Catholic Spirit

Vatican backs effort to restore Holy Stairs shrine

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

Just like someone gently unwrapping a present, a restorer carefully peeled back a thin wet veil of paper from a black sooty wall to see what was hidden underneath.

From behind the layers of grime and dirt emerged the frescoed images of a fallen Roman column, a flock of fluffy sheep and a pink sunset sky over a forgotten ancient city.

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US cardinal says pope’s love is energizing

By Beth Griffin

Catholic News Service

Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said Pope Francis is a quintessential Ignatian Jesuit who has melded Jesuit and Franciscan spirituality into his approach to the papacy.

"Our pope is thoroughly Jesuit and thoroughly Ignatian, right down to the fascination with St. Francis," he said. And he is helping the world rediscover the joy of the Gospel for the greater glory of God, the cardinal said.

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In Argentina, pope’s impact felt on many levels

By David Agren

Catholic News Service

Maria Delamonica spoke somewhat sourly of the state of affairs in Argentina, where the economy is teetering and politics are polarized. But her voice brightened when the topic turned to Pope Francis and the changes in the country since he was unexpectedly elected one year ago.

"There’s been a revolution," said Delamonica, a 20-something Catholic who works as a quality control manager in a food processing plant.

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In Argentina, pope’s impact felt on many levels

By David Agren

Catholic News Service

Maria Delamonica spoke somewhat sourly of the state of affairs in Argentina, where the economy is teetering and politics are polarized. But her voice brightened when the topic turned to Pope Francis and the changes in the country since he was unexpectedly elected one year ago.

"There’s been a revolution," said Delamonica, a 20-something Catholic who works as a quality control manager in a food processing plant.

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For Pope Francis, a year of reform, evangelization

By Francis X. Rocca

Catholic News Service

As leader of the universal church, a pope must direct his ministry in both of the ways traditionally described by the Latin terms "ad intra" and "ad extra": inwardly to the church itself, and outwardly to the rest of the world.

Pope Francis has accordingly spent the first year of his pontificate pursuing two ambitious projects: revitalizing the church’s efforts at evangelization and reforming the church’s central administration.

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Bethlehem mayor says pope’s trip is sign of hope

By Judith Sudilovsky

Catholic News Service

Pope Francis’ "pilgrimage of prayer" is a revival of hope for the people of Bethlehem, said Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun.

"The pope’s coming here represents peace and hope and love," said Baboun, a Catholic and the first female mayor of Bethlehem. "In a situation of discrimination and hardship, this represents hope for us. Bethlehem needs a revival, not in faith, but a revival of hope."

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Ukrainians in US are sad and worried, says archbishop

By Catholic News Service

Ukrainians in the U.S. have replaced "hope and excitement" for their country –– after its 1991 independence –– with "great sadness and worry," said Ukrainian Archbishop Stefan Soroka of Philadelphia.

"Confusion and anger have overtaken our hearts and minds as we have witnessed the callous trampling of people’s rights and freedoms in Ukraine," the archbishop said during a March 16 prayer service for peace in that nation held at Philadelphia’s Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

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Meeting will engage all to help strengthen families

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next year will be open to families and people of different faiths, including no faith at all, to engage the wider society in dialogue and to serve and strengthen all families, organizers said.

The gathering Sept. 22-27, 2015, "is meant to be a gift not just for Catholics in Philadelphia, but for every person of good will in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the surrounding regions and the wider world," said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia.

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Meeting will engage all to help strengthen families

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next year will be open to families and people of different faiths, including no faith at all, to engage the wider society in dialogue and to serve and strengthen all families, organizers said.

The gathering Sept. 22-27, 2015, "is meant to be a gift not just for Catholics in Philadelphia, but for every person of good will in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the surrounding regions and the wider world," said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia.

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Cardinal calls to reinterpret doctrine to help families

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

In its approach to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, the Catholic Church needs to find a middle ground that does not destroy or abandon doctrine, but offers a "renewed" interpretation of church teaching in order to help those whose marriages have failed, Cardinal Walter Kasper said.

"I propose a path that goes beyond strictness and leniency," the German cardinal and theologian told Vatican Radio March 10.

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