Important though it was to Mexican Catholics, Pope Benedict’s first visit to a Central American country was remarkable mainly for the stamina the 84-year-old pontiff displayed after a long and tiring journey. He made one remark that raised eyebrows, saying it was not right that the laity “should feel treated as if they hardly count in the Church”, and calling for an end to “sterile divisions, criticism and unhealthy mistrust”.
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Dear young friends, I am happy to address you once more on the occasion of the 27th World Youth Day. The memory of our meeting in Madrid last August remains close to my heart. It was a time of extraordinary grace when God showered his blessings on the young people gathered from all over the world. Now we are looking forward to our next meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, whose theme will be: “Go and make disciples of all nations!” (cf. Mt 28:19).
Sindh governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad had handed Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam prizes to Australian priest, Father Robert McCulloch, and an Irish nun, Sister John Berkmans Conway, for their “untiring efforts in the development of the country in the fields of education, health and promoting interfaith harmony.”
The Pope was greeted by thousands in central city of Guanajuato, and welcomed by President Felipe Calderon. Mr Calderon said the visit had enormous importance as Mexico was suffering greatly from drug-related violence. Before his arrival, the Pope said it was vital "to fight this evil" and urged the young to renounce drugs. After Mexico, he will travel to Cuba.
Reasons for the Pope's trip to Mexico and Cuba: The bicentenary of the independence of the peoples of Latin America; the Mexicans' enthusiastic desire to welcome the Pope; the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Holy See, and the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the image of "Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre" in Cuba.
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has announced he is to stand down in December. He is stepping down and will take the position of Master of Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge from January 2013, his website says.
“I have worked for many years very closely with the Holy Father and I can tell you from my personal experience that he has always had, and he continues to have, a great love for the people of Ireland and a high regard for the Catholic Church in Ireland,” the Pope's representative said at his formal welcome.
In his Lenten message, Pope Benedict XVI called on the faithful to be concerned for one another and "not to remain isolated and indifferent" to the fate of others. Materialism and a sense of self-sufficiency are obstacles to a Christian life of charity, the pope said.
Catholics in British cities hosting events for the 2012 Olympic Games are being urged to show hospitality to athletes who cannot afford to stay in hotels. They are being encouraged to register with the Athlete Family Homestay Program and open their homes for eight days or more to Olympic and Paralympic competitors and their families from poor nations.
Faith Matters – the Diocese of Westminster’s Catholic Lecture Series – returns on Tuesday evenings in Lent 2012 to Westminster Cathedral Hall to address some of the Church’s key priorities identified by the Catholic Bishops’ of England and Wales in their 2011 document ‘A Vision for the Church in Our Land’.
The news of the death of Father Lawrence Zhang Wenchang has sparked heated words on the popular Chinese website Tianzhujiao Zaixian (Catholic Church online). Some netizens praised Fr Zhang’s fidelity to Rome. He was arrested in 1958 and sent to prison for counter-revolutionary crimes. He received reform-through-labor in a farm from 1962-82, after which he began to visit Catholics and work part-time.
6 February 2012 was a day of both sad reflection and celebration for millions of Britons, as well as the citizens of 15 other countries around the world that count Queen Elizabeth as their Head of State.
The northeast corner of India is the place where the Catholic Church has grown most over the past 30 years, with an average of about 10,000 adult baptisms every year -- and this despite the fact that for many generations missionaries were banned. Mark Riedemann spoke with a bishop from the region, John Thomas Kattrukudiyil of Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.
The card is designed to be a daily reminder of the carrier's religion. Catholics are being encouraged to carry a "faith card" to remind them of their faith responsibilities. One million credit card-sized cards are being printed to be handed out in dioceses across England and Wales.
"Here I cannot fail to address before all else the grave and disturbing developments of the global economic and financial crisis. The crisis has not only affected families and businesses in the more economically advanced countries where it originated, creating a situation in which many people, especially the young, have felt disoriented and frustrated in their aspirations for a serene future, but it has also had a profound impact on the life of developing countries.
The Year of Faith was announced by Pope Benedict XVI last year in his apostolic letter “Porta Fidei.” It will begin on October 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. It also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The year will end on November 24, 2013, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Universal King.
Cardinal Thuan was named coadjutor archbishop of Saigon archdiocese seven days before South Vietnam fell to the communist North on April 30, 1975. The communist authorities rejected his appointment and imprisoned him for 13 years, nine of them in solitary confinement in the north.
The FIDES news service noted the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who said on December 26 of that year, “As in ancient times, today the sincere adherence to the Gospel may require the sacrifice of life, and many Christians in various parts of the world are sometimes exposed to persecution and martyrdom”. Fides’ list includes not only missionaries ad gentes in the strict sense, but all pastoral care workers who died violent deaths.