Vatican confirms pope to lead full slate of Holy Week, Easter liturgies
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican confirmed Pope Francis will lead a full slate of Holy Week and Easter liturgies in Rome and at the Vatican, keeping pace with a usually busy papal schedule. The pontiff will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper in a Rome juvenile detention facility rather than in St. Peter's Basilica.
From Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, world’s Christians mark Jesus’ entry
JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The winding road from the Mount of Olives to the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem was alive with music and song in many languages as global pilgrims joined local Christian Palestinians in the traditional Palm Sunday procession commemorating Jesus' entry into the city.
Lebanese youths lament violence, emigration in Way of Cross reflections
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Meditating on Christ's passion and the ways people contribute to his suffering, Lebanese youths lamented the ongoing emigration from and violence in the Middle East, divisions among Christians, the abuse of women and children, and the promotion of abortion. But despite the hardships, horrors and despair, Christians are called to walk with Christ because "suffering, embraced in faith, is transformed into the path to salvation," the youths said in meditations for the March 29 Way of the Cross service at Rome's Colosseum.
Pope on Palm Sunday: Christ’s passion leads to joy
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday Mass as pope March 24, telling an overflow crowd in St. Peter’s Square that Christ’s death on the cross is a source of eternal consolation and joy. “A Christian can never be sad. Never give way to discouragement,” the pope said in his homily, […]
Pope Francis meets retired Pope Benedict, says ‘we’re brothers’
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- With a warm embrace, a helping hand, shared prayer, a long discussion and lunch together, Pope Francis spent several hours with retired Pope Benedict XVI March 23 at the papal summer villa.
Despite close ties, pope skipped family barbecues to minister in slums
Even though Pope Francis is very close to his family, he would often skip their barbecues to spend Sundays or holidays in Buenos Aires' slums, the pope's sister said. "That's the way he is: totally devoted to the mission of a priest; he is the pastor of the least," said Maria Elena Bergoglio.
Vatican workers join pope for early morning Masses
Dressed in orange safety vests, green jumpsuits or other workers' attire, Vatican gardeners, garbage collectors and cleaning crews joined Pope Francis for a 7 a.m. Mass March 22. Usually in the Vatican, "we're the invisible ones," Luciano Cecchetti, coordinator of the Vatican gardeners and sanitation workers, told Vatican Radio after the Mass.
Obama lights candles, prays at Bethlehem’s Church of Nativity compound
U.S. President Barack Obama, visiting the West Bank city of Bethlehem, stopped twice to light candles for his family and himself: first at the Church of Nativity grotto, where Christian tradition holds that Jesus was born, then at the adjacent Catholic Church of St. Catherine. On the last leg of his four-day visit to Israel […]
Syrian Christians turn to Turkish churches, not refugee camps, for help
ISTANBUL (CNS) -- Churches and monasteries in Turkey are struggling to shelter a rising number of Syrian Christian refugees who are reluctant to seek help at government-run relief camps because of reported Muslim extremism, said a Catholic Relief Services staffer.
Pope says religions must cooperate to remind humanity God exists
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For the good of all people, the care of the poor and the future of the Earth, religions must cooperate in reminding modern men and women that God exists and has a plan for their lives and their behavior, Pope Francis said.