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POPE FRANCIS : The Love of MONEY Is The Devils Excrement

CHRISTIAN TODAY

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Pope Francis has denounced the love of money as “the devil’s excrement” in an address on his visit to Bolivia this week. He has also called for an end to what he says is “genocide” against Christians in the Middle East.

Speaking to leaders and members of the country’s many popular movements in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in eastern Bolivia, Pope Francis returned to his ongoing passion, defence of the environment.

He warned of “irreversible” damage to the ecosystem in the name of profit.

Using a term that he said was originally coined by St Basil the Great, he described the “stench” of the devil’s excrement. “The unbridled ambition of money dominates. This is the ‘the devil’s excrement’. And the service of the common good fades into the background.”

The term “the devil’s excrement” was also popularised by Venezuelan Juan Alfonso who used it to condemn the easy wealth produced by oil.

In his address, available in Italian and Spanish on the Vatican website, the Pope warned against greed for money and for making an “idol” of capital and allowing it to direct the actions of human beings.

The Pope was speaking towards the end of his week-long trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, three of the smallest and poorest nations in South America.

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POPE FRANCIS : We Can END World Hunger If We WANT, Here Are His Reasons

Pope Francis has called for a new focus on global hunger in a major address to delegates from the international Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome.

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In a hard-hitting speech, he warned against the tendency to “delegate” and “desert” in the face of the problem. He spoke of a “generic resignation” and “indifference” to hunger, as if it were unavoidable. “Sometimes one has the sensation that hunger is an unpopular topic, an insoluble problem,” he said.

However, Francis argued that a lack of will was behind the continuing lack of food security in many parts of the world and said that it was possible to tackle the issue.

He instanced food speculation, responsible for high prices that hit the poor hardest. The products of the earth “have a value that we can say is ‘sacred’, given that they are the fruit of the daily work of persons, families, communities of farmers – a work that is often dominated by uncertainties, worries over climatic conditions, anxieties over the possible destruction of the harvest”, he said.

He also spoke of the shocking waste of food – standing at around a third of everything produced globally – and said it was important to reflect on the use of crops for biofuels and feeding animals: “It is worrying to know that a good quantity of agricultural products is used for other ends, perhaps good ends, but which are not the immediate need of one who is hungry.”

Francis also warned against “monopolising of lands of cultivation by trans-national enterprises and states, which not only deprives farmers of an essential good, but which directly affects the sovereignty of countries”. “There are already many regions in which the foods produced go to foreign countries and the local population is doubly impoverished, because it does not have food or land,” he said.

“And what to say of the women who in many areas cannot possess the land they work, with an inequality of rights that impedes the serenity of family life, because the danger is run of losing the field from one moment to the other?” Most food production, he argued, was “in the main the work of family properties”. He urged the FAO to support small-scale family enterprises through lobbying for better legislation.

The Pope urged a commitment to simpler lifestyles that would mean fewer resources were consumed, saying: “We must begin from our daily life if we want to change lifestyles, conscious that our little gestures can ensure sustainability and the future of the human family.”

He concluded: “Let us modify our relation with the natural resources, the use o

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‘Give Them Milk’ : Pope Francis Encourages Mothers To Breast Feed Their Children In The CHAPEL

pope-francis-throwback postPope Francis encouraged mothers to breastfeed their children during a baptismal service at the Sistine Chapel on Sunday.

“You mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breastfeed them, don’t worry…Because they are the most important people here,” he said, reportedly departing from his prepared homily to expressly reassure that breastfeeding was acceptable.

Francis baptised 33 infants in total, and asked those gathered to remember those across the world who can’t afford to “give food to their children”.

The Pope has previously voiced his support for breastfeeding. In an interview with La Stampa in December, he recalled an encounter with a mother at a general audience whose baby was crying.

“I said to her: ‘Madam, I think the child’s hungry.’ ‘Yes, it’s probably time…’ she replied. ‘Please give it something to eat!’ I said. She was shy and didn’t want to breastfeed in public, while the Pope was passing. I wish to say the same to humanity: give people something to eat!” Francis said.

“That woman had milk to give to her child; we have enough food in the world to feed everyone. If we work with humanitarian organisations and are able to agree all together not to waste food, sending it instead to those who need it, we could do so much to help solve the problem of hunger in the world. I would like to repeat to humanity what I said to that mother: give food to those who are hungry! May the hope and tenderness of the Christmas of the Lord shake off our indifference.”

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Inter-Religious Harmony : Pope Francis Visits A Mosque, Removes Shoes And PRAYS Silently

Pope Francis prayed silently alongside a senior Islamic cleric in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque on Saturday, in a gesture of inter-religious harmony in a country bordering the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

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Francis took off his shoes as he entered the huge mosque, before bowing his head in prayer for several minutes, facing Mecca and standing next to Istanbul’s Grand Mufti Rahmi Yaran, in what a Vatican spokesman described as a joint “moment of silent adoration” of God.

A similar act by his predecessor Pope Benedict in 2006 drew criticism from conservative Catholics and some Muslims.

Several hundred people, many of them tourists, watched from behind police barriers as the pope then walked to the nearby Aya Sofya museum, once the Christian churchHagia Sophia.

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A group of school children waving Turkish and Vatican flags chanted “Long live Pope Francis” in Italian as the Muslim call to prayer rang out across the Sultanahmet square, the heart of Istanbul’s historic quarter.

“We must show respect for each others beliefs. God willing the pope’s visit will help in this respect,” said Halil Ibrahim Cil, 24, a hospital worker from Istanbul.

“We want to practise our religion in peace. We want people to understand Islam. We don’t want war.”

Islamic State insurgents have captured swathes of neighboring Syria and Iraq, persecuting and killing Shi’ite Muslims, Christians and others who do not share their ultra-radical brand of Sunni Islam.

The Blue Mosque, known officially as the Sultanahmet mosque, opened in 1616 and is the most famous in Turkey. Its popular name is a reference to the fine blue Iznik tiles in its main prayer room.

Francis was later given a rapturous welcome by Istanbul’s tiny Roman Catholic community when he celebrated a Mass in the city’s Holy Spirit Cathedral. Several thousand people from a Catholic population of around 53,000 packed the small building and others watched from an outdoor courtyard.

(c) Christian Today

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Big Fat Italian Wedding : Pope Francis To Marry 20 Couples

The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will marry 20 couples on September 14 at St Peter’s Basilica.

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The couples are all from the diocese of Rome, of which the Pope is also bishop.

Francis is not the first Pope to perform a wedding ceremony, but it’s not exactly common. His predecessor, Benedict XVI didn’t preside over any wedding ceremonies.

Pope John Paul II married eight couples in October 2000, to coincide with the celebration of the Jubilee for Families, and led another joint ceremony in 1994.

At a special audience on St Valentine’s Day this year for 10,000 engaged couples, the Pope spoke about the need for Christian marriages built on ‘the rock of love’.

Responding to three questions from couples getting married, the Pontiff said: “Just as God’s love is stable and lasts forever, we want the love on which a family is based to be stable and to last forever. We must not allow ourselves to be conquered by a ‘throwaway culture’.

“This fear of ‘forever’ is cured by entrusting oneself day by day to the Lord Jesus in a life that becomes a daily spiritual path of common growth, step by step. Because ‘forever’ is not simply a question of duration! A marriage does not succeed just because it lasts; its quality is also important. To stay together and to know how to love each other for ever is the challenge Christian married couples face!

(c) Christian Today

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Pope Francis ‘Profoundly Saddened’ After 3 Relatives Including Two Infants Pass Away In Argentina Car Crash

Three of Pope Francis’ relatives in Argentina have died in a car crash, including two young children. The pontiff has said that he is “profoundly saddened” at the tragedy, which also seriously injured his nephew.

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“Pope Francis has learnt of the tragic death of three of his relatives in a traffic accident in Argentina and is ‘profoundly saddened,'” the Vatican Radio reported Tuesday. “The Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, said the Pope had received news of the tragic accident and asks that ‘all those who share in his grief join with him in prayer.'”

The car crash, which according to The Associated Press occurred on a provincial highway between the cities of Rosario and Cordoba, took the lives of Valeria Carmona — the 36-year-old wife of Emanuel Bergoglio, the 38-year-old son of a brother of Pope Francis, along with their two young children, Jose and Antonio.

The crash reportedly occurred after the passenger side of the car smashed into the back of a cargo truck.

Bergoglio, a medical examiner, was seriously injured in the accident and taken to hospital. Francisco Fortuna, the director of the hospital where Francis’ nephew is being looked after, said that the patient had underwent surgery.

“He has made good post-operative progress and the hemorrhage, which was the reason for the surgical intervention, has been contained,” Fortuna said.

Horacio Alberto Gimenez, chief of the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Police, revealed that Carmona was a social worker who specialized in assisting police in helping victims of domestic violence.

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“Churches Are Not BUSINESSES” Says POPE Francis In A Conference With Bishops

The Pope has issued a ringing condemnation of churches that adopt models of management drawn from the world of business and pastors who succumb to the temptations of worldly success and power.

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Preaching to bishops in South Korea, he said that for all its material prosperity, the world is seeking something greater, more authentic and fulfilling.

“Solidarity with the poor has to be seen as an essential element of the Christian life,” he said. “A prophetic witness to the Gospel presents particular challenges to the Church in Korea, since she carries out her life and ministry amid a prosperous, yet increasingly secularized and materialistic society.

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“In such circumstances it is tempting for pastoral ministers to adopt not only effective models of management, planning and organisation drawn from the business world, but also a lifestyle and mentality guided more by worldly criteria of success, and indeed power, than by the criteria which Jesus sets out in the Gospel.

“Woe to us if the cross is emptied of its power to judge the wisdom of this world! I urge you and your brother priests to reject this temptation in all its forms. May we be saved from that spiritual and pastoral worldliness which stifles the Spirit, replaces conversion by complacency, and, in the process, dissipates all missionary fervor.”

Pope Francis told the bishops at the Korean Episcopal conference in Seoul, headed by Bishop Peter U-il Kang, that it was a “blessing” for him to be in South Korea for me to be here and to witness at first hand the life of the Church.

He called on them to be guardians of memory and of hope.

“The fruitfulness of the Gospel on Korean soil, and the great legacy handed down from your forefathers in the faith, can be seen today in the flowering of active parishes and ecclesial movements, in solid programs of catechesis and outreach to young people, and in the Catholic schools, seminaries and universities,” he said.

From being a land of mission, Korea had become a land of missionaries, he said in the speech, posted on the Zenit news website in Rome.

“Our memory of the martyrs and past generations of Christians must be one that is realistic, not idealized or triumphalistic. Looking to the past without hearing God’s call to conversion in the present will not help us move forward. Instead, it will only hold us back and even halt our spiritual progress.”

The Pope sent an unprecedented message of good will to China on Thursday before touching down in Seoul, although the first papal trip to Asia in 15 years got off to a shaky start with the news some Chinese had been barred from joining a youth celebration.

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President Obama And Pope Francis Meet For The First Time (Video)

President Barack Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time on Thursday in the Vatican. After a ceremonial procession, the two influential leaders sat across from each other and spoke through interpreters.

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The room was cleared and the leaders spoke privately about such issues as income inequality, religious freedom, human trafficking and the crises in Syria and Ukraine.

See the ceremonial procession and historic first meeting:

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Pope Francis Jions Instagram: Posts ‘Throwback Thursday’ Photo

One of the most popular hashtags on Instagram is #tbt, or “Throwback Thursday,” where users share photos of themselves from years gone by.

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This week, Pope Francis continued to hold his finger on the pulse of all things internet by taking part in Throwback Thursdsay. The Vatican posted this Papal blast from the past on Instagram, a photo of His Holiness when he was known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Oh, the places you’ll go, young Jorge.

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Pope Francis Accepts A Married Man To Join Priesthood For 1st Time In Nearly 100 Years

Pope Francis has signed off on a married man’s decision to join the priesthood in the Maronite Catholic Church.

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Deacon Wissam Akiki, of St. Louis, Mo., who is married and has a daughter, was expected to be ordained on Thursday night, in a the Maronite church. The sect of the Eastern Catholic Christianity originated in the fifth century in what is now modern-day Lebanon.

While married priests are common within in the Maronite Catholic Church overseas, says St. Raymond’s Chancellor Louis Peters, marriage for religious leaders was banned in the U.S. in the 1920s.

According to the church’s American spokesperson, the Pope did not reverse the ban but merely made an exception for Akiki.

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Pope Francis Named The Best Dressed Man Of The Year

Esquire Magazine has named Pope Francis as its “Best Dressed Man of the Year,” 2013, a designation that the men’s fashion and lifestyle magazine has previously doled out to actors such as Bradley Cooper and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

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“Esquire” asserted that the Catholic leader’s dress reflected “a new era (and for many, renewed hope) for the Catholic Church.”

Since assuming the papacy in March 2013, Pope Francis has continually made waves in the media, less for key disruptions or reforms in church policy, but largely because of small, more intimate and personal gestures, many of which when leaked to the press or photographed, have gone viral.

The magazine pointed to Pope Francis’ actions like “paying his own bill at a hotel owned by the church or washing the feet of inmates (two of whom were female) on Holy Thursday,” and added that his apparel was just one more way that he was harkening to a new era in Catholicism.

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Pope Francis : Christian Prohibition Of Worship, Persecution Signs Of Ending Times

Christian persecution and the cultural fear of public expressions of faith are signs of the end times, Pope Francis declared in a homily on Thursday.

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“You must obey the orders which come from worldly powers – You can do many things, beautiful things, but not adore God. Worship is prohibited – this is at the center of the end of time,” Pope Francis said in his daily homily in the chapel of the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse. Once we “reach the fullness of this pagan attitude…truly the Son of Man will come in a cloud with great power and glory,” Francis declared.

The pope preached on Jesus’ speech in Luke 21 about the end times. In that passage, Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem, and trials and tribulations that precede the end times.

“Then he said to them, ‘nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you…for my name’s sake,” the passage reads. “For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

Before Jesus comes, the pope explained, “it will be an abomination, it will be desolation and abomination” in the temple. “It will be like the triumph of the prince of this world: the defeat of God.”

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Pope Francis declared that the worldly powers which try to make religion “a private thing,” truly seek to destroy God. In response, the pope called on all believers to have faith like the prophet Daniel. Christians must pursue “fidelity like Daniel, who was faithful to his God and adored God until the end, and patience, because the hairs of our heads will not fall out – the Lord has promised this,” the pope declared.

 

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