Pope Francis calls Benedict’s teaching ‘precious heritage’

Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis at a Vatican event in 2014. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis at a Vatican event in 2014. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The theological work and papal teaching of retired Pope Benedict XVI “continue to be a living and precious heritage for the church,” Pope Francis said.

The pope met Nov. 18 with the winners of the 2017 Ratzinger Prize, named for the retired pope to honor those who make significant contributions to theology and culture.

The three winners had met the day before with Pope Benedict in his residence in the Vatican gardens. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Vatican investigating abuse at pre-seminary

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests demonstrate in Philadelphia in 2015 during Pope Francis' visit to the United States. (CNS/Joshua Roberts)

Members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests demonstrate in Philadelphia in 2015 during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. (CNS/Joshua Roberts)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican announced it had launched a new investigation into reports about sexual abuse in a pre-seminary for young adolescents run by the Diocese of Como, Italy, but located inside the Vatican.

Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, issued a statement Nov. 18 saying that beginning in 2013 when “some reports, anonymous and not,” were made, staff of the St. Pius X Pre-Seminary and the bishop of Como both conducted investigations.

“Adequate confirmation was not found” regarding the allegations, which involved students and not staff. Some of the students already had left the pre-seminary when the first investigations were carried out, the statement said.

However, “in consideration of new elements that recently emerged, a new investigation is underway to shed full light on what really happened,” the statement said. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

‘Invest in love,’ pope says on first World Day of the Poor

Pope Francis eats lunch with the poor in the Paul VI hall after celebrating Mass marking the first World Day of the Poor at the Vatican Nov. 19. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — People have a basic choice in the way they live: either striving to build up treasures on earth or giving to others in order to gain heaven, Pope Francis said.

“What we invest in love remains, the rest vanishes,” the pope said in his homily Nov. 19, the first World Day of the Poor.

Between 6,000 and 7,000 poor people attended the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica as special guests, the Vatican said. While almost all of them live in Europe, they include migrants and refugees from all over the world.

Among the altar servers were young men who are either poor, migrants or homeless. The first reader at the Mass, Tony Battah, is a refugee from Syria. Those presenting the gifts at the offertory were led by the Zambardi family from Turin, whom the Vatican described as living in a “precarious condition” and whose 1-year-old daughter has cystic fibrosis.

In addition to the bread and wine that were consecrated at the Mass, the offertory included a large basket of bread and rolls that were blessed to be shared at the lunch the pope was offering after Mass. Some 1,500 poor people joined the pope in the Vatican’s audience hall for the meal, while the other special guests were served at the Pontifical North American College — the U.S. seminary in Rome — and other seminaries and Catholic-run soup kitchens nearby. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Spaghetti Bowl: Fitness, camaraderie part of U.S. seminary life in Rome

Michael Caraway, a seminarian from Diocese of Lake Charles, La., uses a treadmill in the new gym at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Caraway said he got to know many of his brother seminarians while working out. (CNS/Robert Duncan)

Michael Caraway, a seminarian from Diocese of Lake Charles, La., uses a treadmill in the new gym at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Caraway said he got to know many of his brother seminarians while working out. (CNS/Robert Duncan)

By Matthew Fowler
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A seminary is not typically known for its emphasis on physical activity and fitness, but many seminarians see it as an integral part of daily life.

Andrew Auer, Joseph Caraway and his cousin, Michael Caraway, are just a few of the seminarians at the Pontifical North American College in Rome who find value in sports and physical activity.

Priests need energy to serve their people, so “we need to have bodies that are prepared for it,” said Auer, a seminarian from the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “We have our gym always available just to stay healthy to be able to serve, which is really the end goal.”

The North American College, which is sponsored by the U.S. bishops, educates students from the United States and Australia who are preparing for the priesthood. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Sunday Scripture readings, Nov. 19, 2017: Wisdom and gratitude at Thanksgiving

The Catholic News Service column,

The Catholic News Service column “Speak to Me Lord” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Nov. 19, Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

      Cycle A readings

      1) Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

      Psalm 128:1-5

      2) 1 Thes 5:1-6

      Gospel: Mt 25:14-30

 

By Jem Sullivan
Catholic News Service

Jem Sullivan writes for the Catholic News Service Scripture column,

Jem Sullivan

We give thanks to God by being faithful stewards of the natural talents and spiritual gifts we receive. This is perhaps what the master in this Sunday’s Gospel meant to convey at the close of the parable when he says, “Come, share your master’s joy” because “you were faithful in small matters.”

No two people in our circle of relationships in family, friends or community have the same talents. In creating us out of love, God lavishes on each of us particular blessings — natural talents and spiritual gifts.

And while Thanksgiving is a perfect time to recall God’s blessings, the whole of the Christian spiritual life is a journey of unpacking the blessings of God. The greatest of God’s blessings is the gift of his son Jesus, whose life, death and resurrection reconcile us to friendship with God. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

New museum tells the story of the Bible — chapter and verse

A touch monitor about Dorothy Day and "Freedom From Want" is seen inside the "Bible in the World" exhibit at the Museum of the Bible in Washington. Day, a candidate for sainthood, co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement and its newspaper. (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

A touch monitor about Dorothy Day and “Freedom From Want” is seen inside the “Bible in the World” exhibit at the Museum of the Bible in Washington. Day, a candidate for sainthood, co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement and its newspaper. (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

By Mark Pattison
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Hey, Smithsonian, there’s a new kid on the block.

It’s the Museum of the Bible, just a few blocks from the National Mall in Washington. Opening to the public Nov. 18, it will tell visitors how the Bible — both Old Testament and New Testament — has intersected society and at times even transformed it.

The people behind the museum say that if visitors were to read the card behind every artwork, saw every video, heard every song and took part in every interactive experience — including a Broadway-style musical called “Amazing Grace” about the song’s writer, John Newton, and the biblical inspiration behind the abolitionist movement — it would take them 72 hours to do it all.

But visitors can take their time, because there is no admission charge to the museum. Continue reading

Posted in U.S.

In light of faith: Take action against gun violence

(A series of columns focused on and written by millennials and young adults)

By Christopher White
Catholic News Service

Christopher White

Christopher White

I was in sixth grade when two gunmen entered Columbine High School and mowed down 12 of their fellow students and a teacher before taking their own lives. By the time another madman decided to shoot up his own campus of Virginia Tech, killing 32 students and faculty members, I was halfway through college.

What had become immediately clear was the lesson that classrooms had the potential to become battlefields — a reality that the generation following mine knows in even more painful and immediate ways.

Since then, that battlefield has extended to concert venues, airports, movie theaters and churches. By one count, there have been 739 victims of mass shootings in the United States since 1987, the year I was born.

This year alone, over 13,000 people have died as a result of gun violence in this country. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 93 Americans is killed by guns each day based on data from the past five years. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials