Focus

Jubilee rituals down the centuries: Holy Doors and Hammers

Papst Johannes Paul II. öffnet die Pforte(Vatican Radio) On Saturday 11th of April Pope Francis will mark the Extraordinary Holy Year dedicated to Mercy by reading the so called ‘Bull of Indiction’ as the official document which relates to Jubilees is known. This Holy Year came as a surprise when he first called for it on the 13th of March during a Penitential service in Saint Peter’s Basilica.

So on Saturday when Pope Francis goes back to the Basilica to read some passages from this ‘Bull’ he’s expected to highlight some of the major events connected to this year. As we know it begins on the 8th of December, Feast of the Immaculate Conception and its organization is entrusted to the ‘Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization’. On this occasion however it seems he will not do this inside the Basilica but in the narthex just by the Holy Door.

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Waiting for the Tomorrow of God

resurrection ikoneLooking at many negative developments in the world and in the Church we could be tempted to become pessimistic and discouraged. But it is precisely in times of crisis that Christian hope proves itself because it is more than a naive optimism. Only religious and religious communities which radiate hope and joy, are attractive to people. “Can we wait for the Tomorrow of God? “, is a challenging question the Pope puts to us. […]

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Hundreds of unaccompanied children land on Italy's shores

fluechtlingkind(Vatican Radio) In just the first two months of 2015, the number of migrants and refugees who have crossed the Mediterranean, from Libya for Italy in the hopes of a better life, has increased

a staggering 69 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Italian officials released figures indicating nearly 8,000 people made the crossing so far this year, with at least 350 people dying at sea.

With unaccompanied children often among the migrants landing on Italy’s shores, aid workers have taken on the important work of placing the children in appropriate care.

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Pope warns of globalization of indifference in Lenten message

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is inviting all believers to open their hearts to God and to overcome a "globalization of indifference" that is threatening to spread a feeling of distress and powerlessness and causing individuals and communities to withdraw into themselves, closing "the door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him".

The Pope's words of comfort and concern come in his message for Lent 2015 which was released on Tuesday in the Vatican.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday which falls this year on 18 February 2015.

Please find below the full text of Pope Francis' Lenten Message:

 

Pope Francis concludes trip to the Philippines

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis left Manila on Monday morning, after a weeklong trip to Asia which took him to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos lined the streets of Manila to catch a final glimpse of the Holy Father as he went to the airport.
Pope Francis drew over 6 million to his final Mass in Manila's Luneta Park on Sunday, the largest crowd for a Papal event in history.

At a press conference after the Pope's departure, the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said everyone in the Philippines was "overwhelmed right now with thanksgiving and gratitude to God" for the trip, and were "challenged" by Pope Francis to face problems such as inequality in the country.

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