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Theme chosen for 2017 World Communications Day

September 29, 2016. The theme for the 2017 World Communications Day has officially been announced. Coming from the book of Isiah, the theme is: "Fear not, for I am with you: communicating hope and trust in our time.”
Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.
World

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.
Pope Francis

Cardinal Parolin to preside at liturgy before peace signing between Colombia and FARC

September 20, 2016. Colombia's government has invited the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to preside over a liturgy before the ceremony to unite representatives from the Colombian government and the FARC, in Cartagena de Indias. The liturgy will take place before the ceremony related to agreements of Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC. It will be next Monday, September 26, and dozens of heads of state are scheduled to attend. In the liturgy, Parolin will "ask God to enlighten each Colombian to work conscientiously and with complete freedom, so that in a responsible and informed way, they can participate in making decisions that concern the common good of the entire country, which is so dear to Pope Francis."
Pope Francis

Pope Francis pays tribute to Father Jacques Hamel

September 13, 2016. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Jacques Hamel, the priest murdered in France by two terrorists on July 26 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. It will be held on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 a.m inside the chapel of his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The bishop from Diocese of Rouen along with 80 pilgrims from the same diocese will be present.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' calendar from September to November

SEPTEMBER Sunday 25, 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Catechists. Friday 30 to Sunday 2 October: Apostolic trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan. OCTOBER Saturday 8: At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Marian vigil. Sunday 9, 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Marian Jubilee. Sunday 16: 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.15 in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and canonisation of Blesseds Salomone Leclercq, José Sanchez del Rio, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, and Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity. Monday 31 to Tuesday 1 November: Apostolic trip to Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. NOVEMBER Friday 4: At 11.30 in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year. Sunday 6, 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Prisoners. Sunday 13, 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of the Homeless. Sunday 20, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy.

Pope in Santa Marta: Mercy does not enter into hardened and closed hearts

2016-03-03

The Pope said that the first step in receiving God's mercy is by recognizing ourselves as sinners. It was during his homily on Thursday at Casa Santa Marta. "Closed hearts do not let the voice of the loving father, our Lord in,” he said.

POPE FRANCIS
"Listen to the voice of the Lord today. Do not harden your heart! The Lord always speaks so tenderly father also tells us: 'Come back to me with all your heart, for I am merciful and gracious'. But when the heart is hard this is not understood. God's mercy can only be understood if you are able to open your heart, so you can come.”

Pope Francis recalled that those who always seek an explanation for not understanding the message of Jesus fail in their loyalty and forget the word forgiveness.

EXCERPTS FROM THE HOMILY IN ENGLISH
(Source: Vatican Radio)

"This unfaithfulness of God's people,”  warns the Pope,  is  "also ours.” It is "our own infidelity [which] hardens the heart, closes the heart!"

"It does not allow [us to hear] the voice of the Lord who, as a loving father, always asks us to open ourselves to His mercy and His love. In the Psalms, the Pope adds, we all pray  together: 'Hear now the voice of God. Do not harden your hearts! ' The Lord always speaks with us in this way, also with the tenderness of a father who says: 'Return to me with all your heart, for I am compassionate and merciful.’But when the heart is hardened, you don’t understand this. God’s mercy can only be understood when you are able to open your heart to let it enter." 

"This is the story, the story of this failed fidelity. The story of closed hearts, of hearts that do not let in the mercy of God, which have forgotten the word forgiveness:  'Forgive me Lord!' - simply because they do not [see themselves as] sinners [but see themselves as] judges of others. A story lasting centuries.”  And Jesus, the Pope continues, explains this failed fidelity very clearly - to combat the discourse of such hypocrites:  ‘He who is not with me is against me.' "It’s clear! Or are you faithful, with your heart open to God who is faithful to you, or you are against Him: 'He who is not with me is against me!'"

"We ask the Lord for the grace of fidelity.  And the first step on this path towards fidelity is to admit you are a sinner,” adds Pope Francis. "If you do not feel sinful, you have begun badly. We ask for grace so that our hearts do not harden - that they are open to God's mercy - and for the grace of faithfulness. And when we find ourselves unfaithful, for the grace to ask for forgiveness."

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