Papacy & Christian Unity

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 Pope Francis’ prayer: November 2015 o December 2016

Lord Jesus Christ,

you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,

and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.

Show us your face and we will be saved.

Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;

the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;

made Peter weep after his betrayal,

and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.

Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:

“If you knew the gift of God!”

You are the visible face of the invisible Father,

of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:

let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.

You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness

in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:

let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.

Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,

so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,

and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,

proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,

and restore sight to the blind.

We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy,

you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

Amen.

As Vicar of Jesus Christ, the Pope governs the Catholic Church as its supreme head. The Pope, as Bishop of Rome, is the chief pastor and shepherd of the whole Church. We believe that the Pope is the successor of Peter, and his bishops are successors of the Twelve Apostles.

It is clear throughout that it is a question of the bishops acting in conjunction with their head, never of the bishops acting independently of the Pope. In the latter instance, without the action of the head, the bishops are not able to act as a College: this is clear from the concept of "College." This hierarchical communion of all the bishops with the Supreme Pontiff is certainly firmly established in Tradition. (Lumen Gentium, Note of Explanation)

In the Acts of the Apostles, we come to know Peter is the head of the early church. When Peter is given the “keys to the kingdom,” Christ is establishing the divine office of leadership over the church. The permanence of the office of the Pope is essential to the everlasting nature of the church.

"The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith – he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals…The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith." This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself. (CCC 891)

Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent" which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it. (CCC 892)

Pope: the prayers of the elderly are a gift to the Church and to society

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the family, we now reflect on the role of grandparents. The Gospel offers us the image of Simeon and Anna as two older persons who hope in the Lord's promises and then, when perhaps least expected, see them at last fulfilled. Simeon and Anna are models of a spirituality for the elderly. They point to the centrality of prayer; indeed, the prayer of grandparents is a great grace for families and for the Church. In prayer, they thank the Lord for his blessings, otherwise so often unacknowledged; intercede for the hopes and needs of the young; and lift up to God the memory and sacrifices of past generations. The purifying power of faith and prayer also helps us to find the wisest way to teach the young that the true meaning of life is found in self-sacrificing love and concern for others. Young people listen to their grandparents! I still treasure the words my grandmother wrote to me on the day of my ordination. In a society which overlooks and even discards the elderly, may the Church acknowledge their contribution and gifts, and help them to foster a fruitful dialogue between the generations!

Holy Father:

Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all'odierna Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Danimarca, Norvegia, Svezia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Canada e Stati Uniti d'America. Rivolgo un saluto particolare ai pellegrini della Corea, conservando un vivo ricordo della mia Visita in quel Paese, nello scorso mese di agosto. Su tutti voi, e sulle vostre famiglie, invoco la gioia e la pace nel Signore Gesù. Dio vi benedica!

Speaker:

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today's Audience, including those from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States of America. I offer a special greeting to the pilgrims from Korea, with vivid memories of my Visit to their country last August. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord Jesus. God bless you all!

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ZENIT

The world seen from Rome

Daily dispatch - March 15, 2015

VATICAN DOSSIER

ANALYSIS

SPIRITUALITY

ANGELUS

  • Angelus Address: On the Greatness of God's Love
    "If in creation the Father has given us the proof of his great love by giving us life, in the passion of His Son He has given us the sum of all proofs: He has come to suffer and die for us."

VATICAN DOSSIER


Pope Francis: World is Trying to Hide Persecution of Christians

Appeals For Peace Following Terrorist Attack Against Two Churches in Pakistan

By Junno Arocho Esteves

ROME, March 15, 2015 (Zenit.org) - Following his Sunday Angelus address, the Pope appealed for peace following a terrorist attack at two Churches in Lahore, Pakistan.

Suicide bombers bombed the Churches during Sunday services, killing 14 people and wounding 70. According to Al Jazeera news, Jamatul Ahar, a Taliban splinter group in Pakistan, has claimed responsibility for the bombing. One Church was Roman Catholic, the other from a Christian denomination.

The Holy Father said that he received the news with "much sadness" and prayed for those who were killed and wounded in Lahore. "Our brothers and sisters shed their blood solely because they are Christians," he said. Assuring his prayers for the victims and their families, the Pope invoked the Lord to bring peace to Pakistan.

He followed with a strong appeal, expressing his hope that "this persecution against Christians, that the world tries to hide, may end and that there may be peace.

There have been increasing attacks against Christians, particularly in the Middle East. The Holy Father has made numerous appeals to the international community to protect the Christians, saying that the Church shares "an ecumenism of blood."

"The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same," the Pope said on February 16th, following the murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.

Christian Unity

Unity is essential for the followers of Jesus. John’s gospel reminds us, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:22-23)

The Catholic Church is united under the leadership of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. Historical breaks and schisms have left us fractured, with the Eastern Orthodox churches no longer in full unity with Roman Catholicism. Beginning with John XXIII and continuing through the papacy of John Paul II and our current pope, the movement to come together in full Christian unity has been underway.