Pope sends aid to flood victims in Iran

People walk near damaged vehicles after flooding in Shiraz, Iran, March 26, 2019. Pope Francis has sent a donation to assist tens of thousands of Iranians who lost their homes and businesses in waves of severe flooding that began in mid-March. (CNS photo/Tasnim News Agency via Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has sent a large donation to assist tens of thousands of Iranians who lost their homes and businesses in waves of severe flooding that began in mid-March.

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said Pope Francis was sending 100,000 euros (US$113,000), which will be distributed with the help of the Vatican nunciature in Tehran.

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At retreat for South Sudan leaders, pope literally begs for peace

Pope Francis greets South Sudan President Salva Kiir April 11, 2019, at the end of a two-day spiritual retreat the pope hosted in the Domus Sanctae Marthae at the Vatican for the political leaders of South Sudan. (CNS photo/Vatican Media via Reuters)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — At the end of a highly unusual spiritual retreat for the political leaders of warring factions, Pope Francis knelt at the feet of the leaders of South Sudan, begging them to give peace a chance and to be worthy “fathers of the nation.”

“As a brother, I ask you to remain in peace. I ask you from my heart, let’s go forward. There will be many problems, but do not be afraid,” he told the leaders, speaking without a text at the end of the meeting.

“You have begun a process, may it end well,” he said. “There will be disagreements among you, but may they take place ‘in the office’ while, in front of your people, you hold hands; in this way, you will be transformed from simple citizens to fathers of the nation.”

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Nicaraguan bishop to leave for Rome as threats against him increase

Nicaraguan Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Baez Ortega of Managua embraces Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes after a news conference in Managua April 10, 2019. Bishop Baez has been among the most vocal critics of President Daniel Ortega and has been harassed for his outspokenness, especially on social media. (CNS photo/Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters)

By David Agren 
Catholic News Service

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — A Nicaraguan bishop said he will leave the country indefinitely as concerns for his security increase — presumably the product of his criticisms of the Central American nation’s president.

Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Baez Ortega of Managua said April 10 he would travel to Rome — at the request of Pope Francis — after finishing Easter celebrations in Nicaragua, which has convulsed with violence for more than a year. Police and paramilitaries loyal to President Daniel Ortega have crushed protests calling for his ouster, and dissidents have been forced to flee the country.

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Human trafficking is ‘crime against humanity,’ pope says

Young Nigerian women, rescued from human traffickers, gather in a shelter on the outskirts of Moscow Feb. 21, 2019. Human trafficking is a “crime against humanity” because it denies the human dignity of the victim, seeing him or her only as a piece of merchandise to be used to enrich or give pleasure to another, Pope Francis said. (CNS photo/Maxim Shemeto, Reuters)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Human trafficking is a “crime against humanity,” because it denies the human dignity of the victim, seeing him or her only as a piece of merchandise to be used to enrich or give pleasure to another, Pope Francis said.

Human trafficking, “in its multiple forms, is a wound in the humanity of those who endure it and those who commit it,” the pope said April 11, addressing the closing session of a Vatican conference.

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Retired pope publishes reflection on abuse crisis

Retired Pope Benedict XVI greets cardinals before a consistory for the creation of new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this Feb. 22, 2014, file photo. Pope Benedict has released an article addressing the roots of the clerical sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and how the church should respond now. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Carol Glatz 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Retired Pope Benedict XVI, acknowledging his role in helping the Catholic Church come to terms with the clerical sexual abuse crisis beginning in the 1980s, wrote an article outlining his thoughts about what must be done now.

Seeing the crisis as rooted in the “egregious event” of the cultural and sexual revolution in the Western world in the 1960s and a collapse of the existence and authority of absolute truth and God, the retired pope said the primary task at hand is to reassert the joyful truth of God’s existence and of the church as holding the true deposit of faith.

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Catholic doctor gives medical view of Christ’s passion, crucifixion

Jesus likely died from excessive blood loss, said Dr. Timothy Millea, an orthopedic surgeon from Bettendorf, Iowa. He is pictured giving a presentation titled “The Passion and Crucifixion: A Medical Perspective” April 4, 2019, at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Davenport, Iowa. (CNS photo/Tom Dermody, The Catholic Post)

By Tom Dermody 
Catholic News Service

DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNS) — Jesus likely died from excessive blood loss, a Catholic surgeon said April 4 during a talk that examined the 18 hours of Christ’s passion and crucifixion from a medical perspective.

“Christ emptied himself,” Dr. Timothy Millea told about 100 people at his home parish of St. Paul the Apostle in Davenport. “As a surgeon, two words that make our hair stand on end are ‘bleeding out,'” he said. “If you can’t stop it, you can’t keep that patient alive.”

Millea, an orthopedic surgeon with offices in Iowa and Illinois, is president of a local chapter of the Catholic Medical Association for members in those two states.

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Posted in U.S., World

Seeking Christ’s face: Some believe hilltop shrine holds true relic

The Holy Face of Manoppello is pictured on display at the shrine in Manoppello, Italy, Jan. 11. Devotees believe that the almost transparent cloth was one of the burial shrouds that covered the face of Jesus in the tomb and that the image was formed miraculously at the moment of the resurrection. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Junno Arocho Esteves 
Catholic News Service

MANOPPELLO, Italy (CNS) — At the Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello, visitors see a transparent cloth encased between two glass panes within an ornate silver frame above the sanctuary’s altar.

Once light is shined on the cloth of byssus fiber, the image of a bearded man, eyes open and mouth seemingly taking a breath is revealed.

Devotees of the Manoppello veil claim that it is “Veronica’s Veil” and that it was secretly moved to the little hilltop town in Abruzzo on orders from Pope Clement VII to protect it following the Sack of Rome in 1527.

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