Focus

Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi Message

“As we contemplate the Crib, let us gaze on the open arms of Jesus, which show us the merciful embrace of God, as we hear the cries of the Child who whispers to us: “for my brethren and companions’ sake, I will say: Peace be within you” (Ps 121[122]:8).''

Here below is a Vatican-provided translation of the Pope's traditional Urbi et Orbi message on Christmas day:

Urbi et Orbi message

Pope Francis opens Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica, opens Jubilee

Papst öffnet die hl. PfortePope Francis on Tuesday opened the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica, inaugurating the Jubilee of Mercy. The ceremony took place after he celebrated Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in St. Peter’s Square.

The rain did not keep the people away: Over 50 thousand arrived, including the President and Prime Minister of Italy, Sergio Mattarella and Matteo Renzi; as well as King Albert II of Belgium with Queen Paola.

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Fr. Perry: Franciscans care for the environment and promote peace

Generalminister OFMReverend Father Michael A. Perry has said the recently concluded Order of Friars Minor (OFM) General Chapter focused on the theme, “Embrace the future with hope.” The theme could be said to revolve around the question, “What does it mean to be a Franciscan Friar Minor in the world today?” Fr. Perry said.

Speaking to Radio Vatican’s English Service for Africa, Fr. Perry gave some insights into the General Chapter which was recently held at St. Mary of the Angels, Assisi, Italy.

“We had to look at the question of identity. We realised that the whole world is living in a time of contested identity. Franciscans are part of the world and we are trying to re-identify ourselves as men of the Gospel, as men who are simple, who live with the poor among themselves. We try to understand what is going on in the world to become part of the planet. In this way, we seek to foster the Gospel,” Fr. Perry said.

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Pope: the Synod is guided by the action of the Holy Spirit

Papst auf der Synode(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday described the just opened Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family as an ecclesial expression that is guided by the action of the Holy Spirit.

Greeting participants at the Assembly just before work began on Monday morning, the Pope reminded them that a Synod of Bishops is not a conference, a parlor or a senate during which an agreement is reached.

It is, he said, a “walking together with the spirit of collegiality and synodality” never losing sight of the good of Church and of families.

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'Climate Issue Is a Matter of Justice,' Says Pope

Papst FranziskusPope Francis says the climate issue is a matter of justice. The Holy Father made this reflection today when speaking to some 300 participants in a meeting promoted by the Foundation for Sustainable Development, titled “Environmental Justice and Climate Change.” Major representatives of religion, politics, economic activity and scientific research in various sectors and international organizations were present.

Founded in 1995, the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) is an international non-profit that "envisions a world where all people have the opportunity and capacity to direct economic, social, and environmental resources toward sustainable outcomes that improve lives and communities."
In his address, Francis underscored, “We must not forget the grave social consequences of climate change.”

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