Pope prays that Catholics in China may live their faith in peace

A woman prays during Holy Thursday Mass March 29 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing. (CNS photo/Damir Sagolj, Reuters)

By Carol Glatz 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis asked people to pray for Catholics in China so that they may be able to live their faith with serenity and in full communion with the pope.

The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians May 24. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI established the feast as a world day of prayer for the church in China because Mary is venerated under that title at the Marian shrine in Sheshan, outside Shanghai, China.

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Posted in Vatican, World

Church official cautiously optimistic about DACA bills before Congress

People walk near the U.S. Capitol in Washington May 21. Four bills to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, have been introduced in Congress. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

By Carol Zimmermann 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services gives credit to a group of moderate Republicans in Congress trying to revive interest in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals legislation, or DACA, by their efforts to bring not just one bill, but four, to the House floor.

“They are surfacing the issue forcefully and making the House deal with it,” said William Canny.

Although he believes the bills could bring about a “path forward,” he said he is not fully convinced it will happen because of the extent of anti-immigrant sentiment in Congress and the White House.

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Posted in U.S.

Cardinal stats: Pope makes college more international, not much younger

Cardinals participate in New Year’s Eve vespers service led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this Dec. 31, 2017, file photo. The pope announced May 20 that he will create 14 new cardinals at a June 29 consistory. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Backgrounder and analysis

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although it is not unusual for a pope to set aside temporarily the limit of 120 cardinals under the age of 80, Pope Francis has done so in a way that could last for more than a year.

The pope announced May 20 that he would create 14 news cardinals June 29; 11 of them are under the age of 80 and would be eligible to enter a conclave to elect a new pope.

In early June, Cardinal Angelo Amato will celebrate his 80th birthday, which will drop the number of electors to 114. Three weeks later, the batch of new cardinals will raise the number of potential electors to 125.

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Posted in Vatican, World

Accompanying families, reaching out to youth recurring encuentro themes

Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori speaks during the May 19 Region IV encuentro held at The Catholic University of America in Washington. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)

By Norma Montenegro Flynn 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Catholic Church needs to walk with and accompany Hispanic and immigrant families, reach out to youth and young adults, and strengthen faith and leadership formation.

These were the recurring themes voiced by participants of the episcopal Region IV encuentro held May 19, at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

As part of the National Fifth Encuentro process, nearly 100 regional participants — lay and religious leaders from seven dioceses — from Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia, gathered for the day to “encounter,” as the word “encuentro” suggests, each other and listen to the voices from parish communities and organizations within the region.

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Posted in U.S.

Pope will create 14 new cardinals in June

Pope Francis blesses the faithful with holy water as he celebrates Pentecost Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. After the Mass, he announced that he will create 14 new cardinals June 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis announced he would make 14 new cardinals June 29, giving the red cardinal’s hat to the papal almoner, the Iraq-based patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church and the archbishop of Karachi, Pakistan, among others.

Announcing his choices May 20, the pope said that coming from 11 nations, the new cardinals “express the universality of the church, which continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to all people of the earth.”

Pope Francis’ list included three men over the age of 80 “who have distinguished themselves for their service to the church.”

When the pope made the announcement, the College of Cardinals had 213 members, 115 of whom were under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, was to celebrate his 80th birthday June 8. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Pope to canonize Blesseds Paul VI, Oscar Romero in Rome Oct. 14

Blessed Paul VI, pictured in 1969, and Blessed Oscar Romero, pictured in 1979. (CNS photos)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will declare Blesseds Oscar Romero, Paul VI and four others saints Oct. 14 at the Vatican during the meeting of the world Synod of Bishops, an institution Blessed Paul revived.

The date was announced May 19 during an “ordinary public consistory,” a meeting of the pope, cardinals and promoters of sainthood causes that formally ends the sainthood process.

During the consistory, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, formally petitioned the pope “to enroll in due course among the saints” six candidates for canonization “for the glory of God and the good of the whole church.”

Each of the candidates, the cardinal told the pope, gave “a convinced and coherent witness to the Lord Jesus. Their example continues to enlighten the church and the world in accordance with the perspective of mercy that your Holiness never ceases to indicate and propose.” Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Texas archdiocese, bishops offer healing, support after shooting

Law enforcement responds to a school shooting May 18 at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, near Houston. Police reported that 10 people were killed and at least 10 were wounded. (CNS photo/HCSO, handout via Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

HOUSTON (CNS) — In response to the May 18 school shooting at a Houston-area high school, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said the archdiocesan community would “unite to support and offer healing to those affected.”

“As a society, we must strive for a way to end such acts of senseless gun violence in our schools and communities,” he added in a May 18 statement.

The cardinal said he was “deeply saddened” and that his prayer and the prayers of Catholics in the archdiocese are with the “victims and families of those killed and injured in this horrific tragedy.”

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Posted in U.S.