Vatican: Training for Diplomatic Service to Include a Year of Mission
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Vatican: Training for Diplomatic Service to Include a Year of Mission

There is no doubt that the decision, now formalized by the Successor of Peter, represents a truly significant change in the course of studies for those who will serve in the Nunciatures and who will, in many cases, be made bishops at a relatively young age. A fundamental piece of the curriculum now becomes the…

Negro Spirituals:  The Power of a Song in a Strange Land
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Negro Spirituals: The Power of a Song in a Strange Land

Songs of Survival For the slaves, the spiritual proved to be an ingenious tool used to counter senseless brutality and the denial of personhood. In order to survive emotionally, resilience was critical. In the spirituals, slaves sang out their struggle, weariness, loneliness, sorrow, hope and determination for a new and better life. Yet these are…

A Closer Look at the Sermon on the Mount
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A Closer Look at the Sermon on the Mount

Whatever be its ecclesial provenance, from its content and inner structure Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount is evidently aimed at presenting an authoritative portrait of Christian discipleship. After a description of Jesus’s introductory healing ministry the scene is set in his ascending the hill and solemnly sitting down to address his disciples and the crowd…

Mexico City: Three Key Missionary Events
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Mexico City: Three Key Missionary Events

Three important events are taking place in Mexico City these days, which concern the pastoral and missionary conversion of the Church on the American continent from the perspective of Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium. The first, which begins today, is intended for missiologists. The continental Seminary of Missiologists is held from February 14-16, which aims to…

Bolivia: Indigenous Peoples Environmental Pioneers
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Bolivia: Indigenous Peoples Environmental Pioneers

On indigenous territories in Bolivia that have secured property rights, deforestation rates are 2.8 times lower than outside of them. Such lands cover 20% of the country’s territory, so the contribution of indigenous peoples in Bolivia to fighting climate change is substantial. But this situation has been undermined by Bolivia’s development policies, and could be threatened further…

Querida Amazonia: Antonio Spadaro SJ’s Commentary on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhoration
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Querida Amazonia: Antonio Spadaro SJ’s Commentary on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhoration

Let me say straightaway that Querida Amazonia is a unique text. I will try to highlight why. This is the first time that a document of such magisterial importance explicitly presents itself as a text that “accompanies” another one, namely, the synod’s Final Document, The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology. The pope immediately wishes to…

How to Spot Fake News?
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How to Spot Fake News?

False allegations and rumours about the coronavirus outbreak have been running riot on social media and in some mainstream media. Misinformation is rampant and conspiracy theories have added to the confusion. Examples include reports that the virus can kill a person in seconds, that Ghana has developed a successful vaccine and that HIV drugs have been used as a cure. There has…

World Day of the Sick: Message of Pope Francis
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World Day of the Sick: Message of Pope Francis

The Pope tells the ill how Jesus looks at a “wounded humanity” with eyes “that gaze into the heart of each person.” His Gaze Embraces Everyone in Their Entirety That gaze, he underscored, is not one of indifference, but rather one which embraces “people in their entirety, each person in his or her health condition,…

Contradictions of the Congo Seen through the Eyes of a Poet
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Contradictions of the Congo Seen through the Eyes of a Poet

You describe scenes in which a mother and her daughter have to trek for several days through the forest, fleeing fighting. Is this something you have lived and what are the threats to their existence as they run for their lives? I have not lived through this. My own experience of growing up orphaned at…

Austen Ivereigh’s ‘Wounded Sherpherd’  – A Review
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Austen Ivereigh’s ‘Wounded Sherpherd’ – A Review

Wounded Shepherd is the follow-up to Austen Ivereigh’s 2013 biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer. The new book covers Francis’s tumultuous first six years, and begins with the story of Francis telling Ivereigh, in June 2018, that he had only one criticism of what Ivereigh had written about him so far. “I braced myself,” writes Ivereigh….

‘Querida Amazonia’- Amazon Synod Exhortation to be Presented next Week
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‘Querida Amazonia’- Amazon Synod Exhortation to be Presented next Week

In a statement from the Holy See Press Office today, journalists were informed that Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 , at 1 pm , there will be the presentation of the document, titled: “Querida Amazonia (‘Dear Amazon’),” in the Holy See Press Office. The papal document is the fruit of the Special Assembly of the Synod…

Pope Video February: Hear the Cry of Migrants
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Pope Video February: Hear the Cry of Migrants

Migrants are often victims of criminal human smuggling and human trafficking. Among other causes, this happens because of corruption on the part of people willing to do anything for financial gain. The money from their dirty, underhanded business is blood money. I’m not exaggerating: it’s blood money. We pray that the cries of our migrant…