Departing from his prepared text for yesterday’s Angelus address, Pope Francis issued an impassioned plea to the leaders of the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine to stop the wars that are enveloping those regions.
On this feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pope Francis focused this morning’s homily on distinguishing Jesus from the other spiritual leaders of this time, saying that His message resonated with common people because his message “went to the heart” of people.
Pope Francis welcomed Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the Vatican yesterday in an historic “prayer summit” that he is hoping will mark the “beginning of a new journey” in the efforts to bring peace to the Holy Land.
Pope Francis is not known to be shy about the subject of Satan and he raised it again last week while addressing a large gathering in Rome, telling the crowd that the devil wants to destroy families “to prevent love from becoming free.”
Pope Francis surprised the world at the end of yesterday’s Mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square when he invited the presidents of Israel and Palestine to the Vatican to pray together for peace. Even more surprising is that both leaders accepted!
A day before the pope’s plane lands in Amman, Jordan, a flurry of last-minute activity – and squabbling – is sweeping across the Holy Land in anticipation of his arrival.
Once again the faithful are enduring a media-inspired kerfuffle over an alleged statement made by Pope Francis during a personal phone call to a divorcee who remarried outside the Church that she can take Communion; however, the Vatican calls these reports “unreliable” and the woman’s pastor says the whole episode is “impossible.”
Pope Francis delivered his second Urbi et Orbi message for Easter and called upon Christians to spread the good news that in Jesus “love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death.”