Source: Fox Nation
Al Arabyia News
For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Francis issued the invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit last week to Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.
A high-ranking Israeli official on Sunday slammed a statement from Catholic bishops, who called for international organizations to lead the cause of Palestinian statehood.
Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Bustros sparked an interreligious firestorm when he suggested that Israel was “using Scripture” to continue its occupation of Palestinian territory.
"The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians,” Bustros said at the close of a two-week conference in Rome, Italy, “to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands.”
One hell of a deal: Pope Francis offers reduced time in Purgatory for Catholics that follow him on Twitter
Court in charge of forgiveness of sins says those that follow upcoming event via social media will be granted indulgences
Source: The Independent
By: MICHAEL DAY
Salvation – or at least a shorter stay in Purgatory – might now be only a tweet away with news that Pope Francis is to offer “indulgences” – remissions for temporary punishment – to the faithful who follow him on the social media site.
The media gushes over the Francis effect because it just means liberalizing the Church.
By George Neumayr
Source Url: American Spectator
In a front-page Washington Post story about the soft style of Pope Francis, Gregory Popcak, who is described as a “marriage and family counselor on the radio and in private practice in Ohio,” related an anecdote about a client who quit therapy on the grounds that “I’m much more of a Pope Francis-Nancy Pelosi Catholic, and you’re an old-school, Pope John Paul II Catholic.”
That story, which is unfolding across many dioceses, captures the tediously trumpeted “Francis effect” perfectly. Nancy Pelosi, for that matter, illustrates the phenomenon. She too sees herself as a Pope Francis-Nancy Pelosi Catholic. Pope Francis is “starting to sound like a nun,” she gushed recently, meaning presumably a silly and left-wing one.
Of course, the cardinal of Washington, D.C., Donald Wuerl, another beaming expert on the Francis effect, keeps the Communion line open for Pelosi no matter how many unborn babies she votes to kill. Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is the foremost authority on canon law as the head of the Vatican Supreme Court, has said repeatedly that priests should deny her Holy Communion. But Wuerl refuses, saying, simultaneously, that denial isn’t “pastoral” and sniffing that Pelosi isn’t a member of “his flock.” That comically craven and contradictory copout is all one needs to know about the emptiness of “pastoral” Catholicism.
ROME (RNS) Pope Francis could be at risk from the ‘Ndrangheta organized crime organization, according to a leading anti-mob prosecutor who has himself been the target of threats from the mafia.
Well it hasn't taken long for this pope to show his true colors. Watering down the gospel and straying from Biblical Christianity. I am sure we will see much more apostacy to come from this wolf.
20 hr ago Nicole Winfield and Rachel Zoll of Associated Press
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is warning that the Catholic Church's moral edifice might "fall like a house of cards" if it doesn't balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make the church a merciful, more welcoming place for all.
Six months into his papacy, Francis set out his vision for the church and his priorities as pope in a remarkably candid and lengthy interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit magazine. It was published simultaneously Thursday in other Jesuit journals, including America magazine in the U.S.
In the 12,000-word article, Francis expands on his ground-breaking comments over the summer about gays and acknowledges some of his own faults. He sheds light on his favorite composers, artists, authors and films — Mozart, Caravaggio, Dostoevsky and Fellini's "La Strada" — and says he prays even while at the dentist's office.
But his vision of what the church should be stands out, primarily because it contrasts so sharply with many of the priorities of his immediate predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI. They were both intellectuals for whom doctrine was paramount, an orientation that guided the selection of generations of bishops and cardinals around the globe.
Francis said the dogmatic and the moral teachings of the church were not all equivalent.
"The church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently," Francis said. "We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel."
Rather, he said, the Catholic Church must be like a "field hospital after battle," healing the wounds of its faithful and going out to find those who have been hurt, excluded or have fallen away.
"It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars!" Francis said. "You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else."
"The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules," he lamented. "The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all."
The admonition is likely to have sharp reverberations in the United States, where some bishops have already publicly voiced dismay that Francis hasn't hammered home church teaching on abortion, contraception and homosexuality — areas of the culture wars where U.S. bishops often put themselves on the front lines. U.S. bishops were also behind Benedict's crackdown on American nuns, who were accused of letting doctrine take a backseat to their social justice work caring for the poor — precisely the priority that Francis is endorsing.
Just last week, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, wrote in his diocesan newspaper that he was "a little bit disappointed" that Francis hadn't addressed abortion since being elected.
Francis acknowledged that he had been "reprimanded" for not speaking out on such issues. But he said he didn't need to.
"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible," he said. "The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."
Francis, the first Jesuit to become pope, was interviewed by Civilta Cattolica's editor, the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, over three days in August at the Vatican hotel where Francis chose to live rather than the papal apartments. The Vatican vets all content of the journal, and the pope approved the Italian version of the article.
Nothing Francis said in this or other interviews indicate any change in church teaching. But he has set a different tone and signaled new priorities compared to Benedict and John Paul — priorities that have already been visible in his simple style, his outreach to the most marginalized and his insistence that priests be pastors, not bureaucrats.
Two months ago, Francis caused a sensation during an inflight news conference when he was asked about gay priests. "Who am I to judge?" about the sexual orientation of priests, as long as they are searching for God and have good will, he responded.
Francis noted in the latest interview that he had merely repeated church teaching (though he again neglected to repeat church teaching that says while homosexuals should be treated with dignity and respect, homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered.")
But he continued: "A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: 'Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?'
"We must always consider the person. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing."
The key, he said, is for the church to welcome, not exclude and show mercy, not condemnation.
"This church with which we should be thinking is the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people. We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity," he said.
Religion Writer Rachel Zoll reported from New York.
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