Pope criticizes women who have abortions ‘to save their looks

Pope Francis on Wednesday took aim at the modern world’s obsessions with power, success and beauty, citing the example of a woman who had an abortion to preserve her looks.

In an anecdote he said dated from his time as Bishop of Buenos Aires, Francis recounted the story of a a very beautiful woman who was inordinately proud of how she looked.

“She said, as if it was natural, ‘Yes, I had to have an abortion because my appearance is important’,” the 80-year-old, whose papacy began in March 2013, said during his midweek public audience.

“When values such as physical beauty, health become idols to which everything must be sacrificed they create confusion in our spirit and in our hearts.

“Rather than promoting life, they drive us towards death,” he added in comments that also targeted “power, success and vanity with their illusions of eternity and omnipotence.”

Catholic teaching considers abortion as akin to the most heinous of murders.

Francis does not waver from that line but has authorised priests to absolve women who have had terminations, something which only a bishop could previously do.

Bride Who Breastfed Her Child During Wedding Ceremony Has A Word For Mothers

This beautiful 22-year-old mother shared photo of her breastfeeding her son on her wedding day and wrote:

 

“I enjoy nursing my son and I made sure when I chose my wedding dress I would be able to nurse throughout my entire night,” she said.

 

“And I was able to. So I just want to share with women that no matter who doubts you or who turns their noses up to breastfeeding that it can be done. No one should feel embarrassed about feeding their child in the most natural way”

 

This may be a subtle reiteration of the statement made by Pope Francis some days ago about breastfeeding babies in public where the Pope told nursing mothers to Feel free to breastfeed “hungry” babies in church.

 

He went on to say; “The benefits of breastfeeding include providing optimal nutrition and an immune system boost for babies, while helping mothers bond with infants and speeding maternal weight loss after birth.”

 

In many countries around the world, however, women are still widely discouraged from breastfeeding, especially when they are in public.

 

“Feel free to breastfeed “hungry” babies in church”, Pope Francis tells nursing mothers

Pope Francis encouraged women attending a ceremony in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday to feel free to breastfeed their children in the church. 

“The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is,” the pontiff said.

 

“You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus,” he told worshippers attending an annual ceremony commemorating the baptism of Jesus.

The Argentine pope on Sunday baptised 28 children — 15 boys and 13 girls. 

He has previously voiced his support for breastfeeding, including in public.

 

The benefits of breastfeeding include providing optimal nutrition and an immune system boost for babies, while helping mothers bond with infants and speeding maternal weight loss after birth.

 

In many countries around the world, however, women are still widely discouraged from breastfeeding, especially when they are in public.

Pope Francis empowers priests to forgive abortions.

Pope Francis on Monday extended indefinitely to all Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion, a right previously reserved for bishops or special confessors.

Francis, who has made a more inclusive and forgiving Roman Catholic Church a characteristic of his papacy, made the announcement in a document known as an “apostolic letter” after Sunday’s close of the Church’s “Holy Year of Mercy”.

He said he wanted to “restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life” but “there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with (God)”.

Francis had already temporarily granted the power to all priests to give what is known as “sacramental absolution” for abortion during the Holy Year, from Dec. 8 to Nov. 20, but the solemn tone of his words in Monday’s letter suggested that change would last for at least the rest of his papacy.

“I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion. The provision I had made in this regard, limited to the duration of the Extraordinary Holy Year, is hereby extended …,” he said.

In Roman Catholic teaching, abortion is such a serious sin that those who procure or perform it incur an automatic excommunication, until it is absolved in confession.

In the past, only a bishop or a designated chief confessor of a diocese could grant absolution for an abortion.

Although bishops in some dioceses in developed countries such as the United States and Britain had already delegated this authority to parish priests, the old practice was still in effect in most of the world.

In a document last year, Francis described the “existential and moral ordeal” faced by women who have terminated pregnancies and said he had “met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision”.

Pope Francis Begs For Immediate Ceasefire In Syria

Pope Francis appealed on Wednesday for an immediate ceasefire in Syria, calling for “at least” a truce enabling civilians, especially children, to be evacuated, after Aleppo came under fierce air assault.

“I want to underline and reiterate my closeness to all the victims of the inhumane conflict in Syria,” he said at his weekly audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

“It is with a sense of urgency that I renew my appeal, begging those responsible, with all my strength, for an immediate ceasefire to be imposed and respected at least long enough to consent the evacuation of civilians, especially children, who are still trapped under the ferocious bombardments,” he said.

On Tuesday, regime ally Russia carried out its heaviest air strikes in days on Aleppo, killing 25 civilians including four children according to a monitor, and causing massive damage in several residential areas of the city’s rebel-held east.

Syria’s army announced a bid last month to retake the city, which has been divided since mid-2012.

The assault began after the collapse of a short-lived truce negotiated by Washington and Moscow, and has seen the besieged east of Aleppo come under fierce aerial assault.

Read More:

http://guardian.ng/news/pope-francis-begs-for-immediate-ceasefire-in-syria/

Killing In The Name Of God Is Satanic – Pope Francis

Pope Frances urged religious leaders today to tell their followers that any killing carried out in the name of God is “satanic.”

The pontiff made the remarks during a Mass honoring Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old priest murdered by ISIS-supporting teenagers who stormed his church in northern France in July.

“Killing in the name of God is satanic,” the pope told the ceremony in the Vatican’s Domus Santa Marthae chapel. “I would like it if all religions said this, ‘To kill in the name of God is satanic,'” he
said.

Mother Teresa To Be Made Saint On Sunday By Pope Francis

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, is set to become a Catholic saint on Sunday in an open-air Mass led by Pope Francis.

Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the Canadian priest who promoted her sainthood cause, said on Thursday in Vatican that hundreds of thousands of faithful are expected to attend the canonisation service to be led by Pope Francis in front of St. Peter’s basilica.

He said that her canonisation is one of the highlights of Francis’ Jubilee of Mercy.

“Affectionately called the “saint of the gutters” during her lifetime, Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be made an official saint of the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, just 19 years after her death.

“The Church defines saints as those believed to have been holy enough during their lives to now be in Heaven and able to intercede with God to perform miracles.

“She has been credited with two miracles, both involving the healing of sick people,’’ he said.

Kolodiejchuk said that Mother Teresa was one of the most influential women in the Church’s 2,000-year history, acclaimed for her work amongst the worlds poorest of the poor in the slums of the Indian city now called Kolkata.

He said critics view her differently, arguing she did little to alleviate the pain of the terminally ill and nothing to stamp out the root causes of poverty.

The priest recalled that in 1991, the British medical journal the Lancet visited a home she ran in Kolkata for the dying and said untrained carers failed to recognise when some patients could have been cured.

Kolodiejchuk said her detractors missed the point of her mission, arguing that she had created a place to comfort people in their final days rather than establish hospitals.

“We don’t have to prove that saints were perfect, because no one is perfect,” he said.

He said that several events are planned in the run up to the ceremony, including a prayer vigil on Friday, an audience in St Peter’s Square with Francis on Saturday morning.

Kolodiejchuk said it would be followed in the evening by a veneration of Teresa’s relics in a Roman basilica outside of the Vatican.

Read More: dailytrust

Pope Francis Meets 20 Former Prostitutes

Pope Francis left the Vatican on Friday to visit a Catholic charity that is giving shelter to women rescued from forced prostitution, the Vatican said on Friday.

Francis met 20 women at the Community Papa Giovanni XXIII in Rome, including six from Romania, four from Albania, seven from Nigeria and the rest, each from Tunisia, Italy and Ukraine.

“Today’s visit by Pope Francis is another call to conscience to fight the trafficking of human beings, which the Holy Father has on several occasions defined as ‘a crime against humanity,” a statement said.

This year, on one Friday per month, the pope pays special visits to honour the Jubilee of Mercy, an 11-month Catholic festival that ends in November.

Previous destinations for Francis’ Fridays of Mercy includes the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a migrant centre on the Greek island of Lesbos, and facilities around Rome for the elderly, mentally ill and recovering drug addicts.

Credit: NAN

“Messi is The Best Footballer Of All Time” – Pope Francis

Pope Francis says that he thinks Lionel Messi is the best footballer of all time.

Pope Francis said this in Krakow, Poland, during lunch while on a trip for the World Youth Day gathering, according to sport-english.com.

He was joined by 12 youths and one of them asked him, “Who is better, Maradona or Pele?” and the pope responded, “For me, Messi,” without giving further explanation.

A response that the participants at the lunch enjoyed – and none of them were Argentine.

lionel-messi

Reports say nearly three million pilgrims made it to the mass he was celebrating on the final day of a five-day to Poland, as the 1,050th anniversary of Poland’s adoption of Christianity was celebrated.

Pope Francis Approves Sainthood For Mother Teresa

Pope Francis today approved sainthood for Mother Teresa, the missionary nun who became a global if controversial symbol of compassion for her care of the sick and destitute.

The pontiff set September 4 as the date for her canonisation, elevating her to an official icon for the Catholic faith.

The move comes 19 years after the death of the Albanian nun who dedicated most of her adult life to working with the poor of Kolkata, India.

There was no immediate word from the Vatican on the location of the canonisation ceremony, which is expected to take place in Rome with a thanksgiving ceremony held at a later date in the Indian city where Teresa is buried.

Teresa, who was 87 when she died in 1997, was revered by Catholics and and many others around the world. She won the 1979 Nobel peace prize for her work with the poor.

But she was also a controversial and divisive figure with critics branding her a religious imperialist whose fervent opposition to birth control and abortion ran contrary to the interests of the communities she claimed to serve.

Despite posthumously published letters revealing that she suffered crises of faith throughout her life, Teresa has been fast-tracked to canonisation in unusually quick time, underlining her status as a modern-day icon of Catholicism.

Teresa took the first step to sainthood in 2003 when she was beatified by Pope John Paul II following the recognition of a claim she had posthumously inspired the 1998 healing of a critically-ill Bengali tribal woman.

Last year she was credited by Vatican experts with inspiring the 2008 recovery of a Brazilian man suffering from multiple brain tumours, thus meeting the Church’s standard requirement for sainthood of having been involved in two certifiable miracles.

Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents in 1910 in Skopje, now the capital of Macedonia.

She started her life as a nun as a teenager with a missionary order in Ireland and arrived in India in 1929.

After more than two decades of missionary and charity work, she founded her own Missionaries of Charity order in 1950. She was granted Indian citizenship a year later.

Francis, who regards Teresa as the incarnation of the kind of Church he wants to lead, met the by-then internationally famous nun three years before her death, when he was still a bishop in Argentina.

He later joked that she had seemed so formidable he “would have been scared if she had been my mother superior”.

Others were much harsher in their judgement, with the likes of Australian-born feminist writer Germaine Greer and British polemicist Christopher Hitchens accusing her of contributing to the misery of the poor with what they saw as her dogmatic views.

In her Nobel acceptance speech Teresa described terminations of pregnancies as “direct murder by the mother herself”.

Critics also raised questions about the Missionaries of Charity’s finances and conditions in the order’s hospices.

The late Italian film director and writer Pier Paolo Pasolini was among those who fell under her spell, in his case when he met her during a trip to India in the early 1960s.

“She has an almost virile jaw and a gentle eye that in its gaze ‘sees’, he wrote, describing Teresa as a a combination of “goodness without sentimentality, someone with no expectations who is both calm and calming, powerfully practical.”

India granted her a state funeral after her death and her grave in the order’s headquarters has since become a pilgrimage site.

AFP

UN General Assembly: Buhari Misses Meeting With Pope Francis

President Muhammadu Buhari missed a very important event on Boko Haram and internally displaced persons, IDPs, and was also prevented from meeting with Pope Francis because he was not properly briefed by the Nigerian UN mission staff.

The Pope delivered a speech at the General Assembly in New York on Friday at 10am. Buhari also came in late for the meeting because of untidy arrangements, and erroneously took a wrong gate rather than the one reserved for presidents and heads of state. He was subsequently prevented from seeing the Catholic pontiff by security operatives because of his late arrival.

Buhari came in while other presidents and heads of government had already lined up to shake hands with the pope, and he was prevented by security operatives from joining in.? Presidency had sought to explain away the missed meeting as not being part of the official events lined up for the president.

“The meeting at which Nigeria was reportedly absent was not one of the official events of the United Nations for which President Muhammadu Buhari and his modest delegation are in New York,” Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, had said. But not only was it an official event, the focus was on the Lake Chad Basin and the effects of insurgency in which Nigeria’s full participation was expected. The listed UN events had the item: “The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, will hold a side event on food security and humanitarian consequences of conflicts-driven displacement in the Lake Chad Basin region.”

Read More: nigerianpilot

Pennysylvania Teen Detained Over Threats To Attack Pope Francis During U.S tour

A teenage boy in Pennsylvania has been detained by the FBI for allegedly threatening to launch an ISIS-inspired assault on Pope Francis during the Catholic leader’s US tour, ABC News reports.

“The minor was inspired by ISIS and sought to conduct a detailed homeland attack which included multiple attackers, firearms, and multiple explosives, targeting a foreign dignitary at a high-profile event,” said a joint intelligence bulletin by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security cited by ABC News.

Pope Francis is arriving the U.S next week for a six day trip.

“The minor obtained explosives instructions and further disseminated these instructions through social media,” said the joint intelligence bulletin.

The teenager has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organisation and attempting to provide material support to terrorist activity, the bulletin added. But the network said sources familiar with the case emphasised that any threat from him was not imminent. Questions about the boy’s mental health were also raised.

Despite repeated threats from ISIS and other groups to target the Pope and the Vatican more broadly over the past year, there is no specific, credible threat to the Pope during his visit to the United States next week, law enforcement officials said Monday.

“We will not comment on any specific investigation or threat,” a spokeswoman for the FBI’s field office in Philadelphia said in a statement sent to The Independent.

“The FBI is working closely with the United States Secret Service and our federal, state and local partners in advance of the papal visit to ensure the safety and security of all.” she added.

Pope Francis Begins South America Trip In Ecuador

Pope Francis has arrived in Ecuador, in his first visit since becoming pope to the Spanish-speaking part of South America, bringing a message of solidarity with the poor in the region, while trying to rally his church amid dwindling numbers.

Francis, history’s first South American leader of the Catholic church, arrived in the capital Quito at 19:40 GMT on Sunday for a week-long tour of the continent, which also includes stops in Bolivia and Paraguay.

Crowds had begun gathering on Sunday morning along the route from the airport to the papal nuncio’s residence, where Francis will be staying.

More than a million Roman Catholics are expected at mass in Quito on Tuesday.

Francis, already seen by many as “the pope of the poor”, chose to visit Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay specifically because they are among the poorest and most marginal nations of a region that claims 40 percent of the world’s Catholics.

He is skipping his homeland of Argentina, at least partly to avoid papal entanglement in this year’s presidential election.

Francis had previously visited Portuguese-speaking Brazil in 2013.

Falling world prices for oil and minerals in Ecuador threaten to fray the social safety net woven by President Rafael Correa, who has been buffeted for nearly a month by the most serious anti-government street protests of his more than eight years in power.

While in Ecuador, Francis will also be forced to confront a sex abuse scandal which has tainted the church, said Al Jazeera’s Lucia Newman, reporting from Quito.

Dr James Hamilton, one of the sex abuse victims, told Newman that the church’s punishment of paedophiles is an insult.

Charlie Hebdo: “One Cannot Make Fun of Faith”- Pope

There are limits to freedom of expression when religion is insulted, Pope Francis has said in reference to the cartoons in the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. However, he also pointed out that killing in God’s name is an “absurdity.” Pope Francis spoke to reporters on a flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines.

Answering questions on the Paris attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, he said that freedom of expression was a “fundamental human right” like freedom of religion, but it should be exercised“without giving offense,” the Catholic News Service reports.

One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith,” Francis said, adding that every religion “has its dignity.” The Pope said that one can react violently when being offended. He offered an example, referring to his trip planner saying that if his “great friend says a swear word against my mother, then he is going to get a punch. But it’s normal, it’s normal.

However he added that “one cannot offend, make war, kill in the name of one’s own religion, that is, in the name of God.”

In the wake of the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices over its Prophet Muhammad caricatures, the satirical magazine published a record 3 million copies of its new edition Wednesday. The latest cover depicted the Prophet crying. Pope Francis was among other figures caricatured in the magazine.

Read More: rt.com/news

Pope Francis: Animals Go To Heaven

Pope Francis declared recently in his regular weekly address at St. Peter’s Square that animals go to heaven. He made the statement while trying to comfort a boy who was upset about the death of his pet dog.

Quoting several biblical passages as evidence that animals go to heaven, Pope Francis said, “The holy scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us… what lies ahead… is therefore a new creation… It is not an annihilation of the universe and all that surrounds us. Rather it brings everything to its fullness of being, truth and beauty.”

The 77-year-old pontiff then concluded, “One day we will see our animals again in eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all God’s creatures.”