Newscast Media VATICAN, CITY—While some people derive pleasure from ridiculing
and making fun of homeless people, Pope Francis demonstrated the compassionate
aspect of humanity by having four homeless men as his guests on his birthday. The
occasion was celebrated with Mass in the Santa Marta guesthouse. The homeless
men and the pope’s closest collaborators together with staff from the guesthouse, all
greeted him with a birthday song afterwards.
Those present at his morning Mass included Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Secretary
of State and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Dean of the College of Cardinals. After the
mass, all those present wished the Pope a happy birthday and sang greetings to him
before joining him for breakfast in the Vatican guesthouse.
Today’s reading was centered on the genealogy of Jesus and the Pope used this in
his homily to reflect on God’s enduring presence in our lives throughout history. He
said “God wished to live out his life alongside us” and “took his surname from each of
“God,” the Pope continued, “has always walked alongside his people,” beginning with
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He did not want to come to redeem us without coming to
live among us and share our lives. The Pope said this long list of God’s people included
“saints and sinners.” The latter included “high level sinners who committed serious sins
and who didn’t listen” to God’s plans for them.
Pope Francis said in addition to accompanying us in our lives our God follows us and in
this way, he displays His humility, His patience and His love for us. He concluded his
homily with “a Christmas wish” for all of us “to allow God to write our lives for us.”
Source: Vatican Radio
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY—A State official is clearing the misinformation and rumor mongering out there about the moving of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. Shaun Casey, as special adviser for faith-based community initiates at the U.S. State Department clarified that the United States is moving the location of the Embassy to a building that is safer, bigger, and architecturally more appealing. It also is slightly closer to Vatican City.
At the end of 2014 or early 2015, the U.S. will move the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See from its current location near the Circus Maximus in Rome to a U.S. government-owned compound less than two miles away. The new location, which also houses the U.S. Embassy to Italy and U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies, is actually closer to Vatican City than the current location.
The historic and beautiful building that will house the future Embassy provides ideal and expanded office space for the U.S. diplomats who do the critical work of representing the United States to the Holy See. The future Embassy will be 78 percent larger than the current Embassy. The residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See will not change.
All three diplomatic missions on the U.S. compound will retain their distinct character and functions. Each will continue to have independently accredited ambassadors working in separate buildings. Each Embassy will have a separate street address and entrance. The Embassy to the Holy See will continue to operate independently from the other two U.S. Embassies in Rome. It will remain one of the largest foreign missions from any country accredited to the Holy See.
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY—The Vatican’s official daily has criticized Western powers for escalating their war rhetoric against Syria despite an ongoing UN investigation into a recent alleged chemical attack near Damascus.
“The tones are becoming ever more drastic and the action being taken by the United Nations appears subjected to a sort of crossfire,” the Osservatore Romano newspaper wrote on Tuesday. The daily said that “various international actors appear no longer to consider the investigation a determining factor,” adding that “what commitment there was” to a negotiated settlement “appears to be dying out.”
On Thursday, the Vatican’s permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva called for caution over opposition allegations that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack.
“There should not be a judgment until there is sufficient proof,” Monsignor Silvano Tomasi said.
“What immediate interest would the government in Damascus have in causing such a tragedy?” he asked, adding that the real question is “who really benefits from this inhumane crime.”
Pointing to the havoc caused by the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tomasi said that “armed intervention does not bring any constructive results.”
The call for military action against Syria intensified after the foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching the alleged chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar on August 21.
Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem challenged the United States and its allies to present evidence that the government had used chemical weapons.
“We are hearing war drums around us. If they want to launch an attack against Syria, I think using the excuse of chemical weapons is not true at all. I challenge them to show what proof they have,” Muallem said.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced in the violence.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY—When we have a heart of stone it happens that we pick up real stones and stone Jesus Christ in the person of our brothers and sisters, especially the weakest of them. Pope Francis said this, commenting on the day’s Readings during the Mass he celebrated on Friday morning in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
It was a simple celebration to which the Pope invited employees of the garden and cleaning services of the Governorate of Vatican City State. He gave them a brief homily, focused in particular on the Gospel passage of John which recounts the episode of the Jews who wanted to stone Jesus.
Among those who appeared were Cardinale Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, Archbishop emeritus of Quito, Ecuador, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary of the College of Cardinals and of the Congregation for Bishops, Mons. Alfred Xuereb and Mons. Battista Ricca, Director of the Domus.
Also present were sisters of three communities of women religious who work in Vatican City: the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul of the Santa Marta Paediatric Dispensary; the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary – Ravasco Institute of the Casa San Benedetto, the home for retired apostolic nuncios; and the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple – who come from Krakow – of the Holy Father’s private storeroom.
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI prayed that the year 2012 be lived by all under the sign of reciprocal respect and of the common good, and expressing the hope that no act of violence be committed in the name of God, Who is the Supreme Guarantor of justice and peace.
The Pope’s prayer came at the end of remarks he delivered during a special audience for the officers and functionaries of the Italian State Police detail charged with serving the area of St. Peter’s and the Vatican.
The Holy Father expressed to all his personal gratitude and that of his collaborators for what he called, “the precious and delicate work” that they do in maintaining public order, guaranteeing security and tranquility to the millions of pilgrims and tourists who visit the square and the Basilica each year.
The Pope encouraged the officers and functionaries of the Inspectorate to be authentic promoters of justice and sincere builders of peace. http://www.newscastmedia.com/pope-benedict.html
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY, Vatican –The head of the Catholic church, Pope Benedict XVI, named 24 new cardinals Wednesday, putting his mark on the body that will elect his successor and giving a boost to Italian hopes to regain the papacy. Benedict said the new “princes of the church” will be formally elevated at a ceremony in Rome on Nov. 20, making the announcement “with joy” at the end of his weekly public audience.
The new cardinals include Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., and Archbishop Raymond Burke, an American who leads the Vatican’s supreme court and has been sharply critical of the U.S. Democratic Party for its support of abortion rights.
Among the new cardinals are two Americans and prelates from key posts in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Other key posts include Warsaw, Poland; Munich; Kinshasa, Congo; Quito, Equador; Aparecida, Brazil; Lusaka, Zambia; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and the leader in Egypt of the Catholic Coptic church, who is currently heading a Vatican meeting on the plight of Christians in the Middle East.
Cardinals are close advisers to a pope, but their key job is to elect the pontiff. With the installation of the new cardinals, Benedict in just five years has named nearly half of the 120 prelates under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave following the death of a pope. Eight of the new cardinals under 80 are Italians, giving them a total of 25 nearly half of the Europeans in the electing body of the College of Cardinals.
Italians held the papacy for 455 years until the election of Poland’s John Paul II in 1978, followed by the German-born Benedict in 2005. http://newscastmedia.com/cardinals.htm
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY, Vatican– The press has been assured by The Vatican that “the Holy See” is following the case of the Iranian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning.
Rev Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican’s press office said, “When the Holy See is asked, in an appropriate way to intervene in humanitarian issues with the authorities of other countries, as it has happened many times in the past, it does so not in a public way , but through its own diplomatic channels.”
The Vatican has voiced the Church’s opposition of the death penalty especially stoning which it considers a brutal aspect of it.
Four years ago, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was convicted of adultery four years ago after having pled to the crime of “illicit relationship” with two men, though the incident occurred after the death of her husband. The mother of two later retracted her confession to the crime, claiming it was made under duress and that she does not speak Farsi, but instead only Azeri, an Azerbaijani language more closely related to Turkish.
After an international outcry about the nature of punishment, the Iranian government put the sentence on hold, but Ashtiani’s lawyer believes she could be stoned anytime soon.