IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Paul HaringSANTIAGO, Chile (CNS) -- Where there is smoke, there is
normally fire -- but not always.
Journalists covering Pope Francis' visit in Santiago, Chile,
added another tale Jan. 16 to their oral history of papal-trip misadventures.
As a large tour bus carrying dozens of journalists passed
under a bridge that was too low, the sound of breaking metal and crunching
plastic filled the air. The slow-moving bus stopped. Then it went forward again,
and more of the same terrible sounds were heard from the roof of the bus.
Most of the journalists, photographers and TV crews working on the bus were so tired after covering six events that they didn't
Then came the smoke, which quickly began to fill the bus. "Open
the door," shouted Salvatore Scolozzi, press handler with the Vatican
Press Office. Within seconds, everyone had evacuated the bus.
Journalists witnessed police carrying off the road large
pieces of debris that previously were part of the roof of the bus. The large
air conditioners on top of the bus had apparently been torn off by the impact, but nothing had fallen inside the bus.
I was in the front section of the bus. When I saw the smoke,
I thought there was a fire and left all my photographic gear on the bus as I
evacuated. Soon after everyone got off it became clear that the bus was not on
fire. The smoke was actually refrigerant spilling out under high pressure from
the ripped-off air conditioners.
Although there was extensive damage to roof of the bus, no
one on board was injured. The mood outside the bus was lighthearted, as
journalists realized that everyone was OK and that we had a great story to
tell. We then walked a few blocks and were picked up by another bus.
Surely it couldn't happen again. But it did. As the
journalists' bus was leaving the site of the final Mass of the trip in Lima,
Peru, Jan. 21, it hit an overhead sign that had been put in place just for the
Mass. This time damage was light, and there was no need to evacuate. The bus
moved on, and we laughed it off as just another bit of craziness on a demanding
papal trip.- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE: CNS/Kevin Lamarque, ReutersBy Julie AsherWASHINGTON (CNS) -- In remarks broadcast to the March
for Life from the White House Rose Garden, President Donald Trump said that his
administration "will always defend the very first right in the Declaration
of Independence, and that is the right to life."
He invoked the theme of this year's march, "Love
Saves Lives," and praised the crowd as being very special and "such
great citizens gathered in our nation's capital from many places for one
beautiful cause" -- celebrating and cherishing life.
"Every unborn child is a precious gift
from God," he said. His remarks were interrupted several times by applause from
the crowd gathered on the National Mall. He praised the pro-lifers for having
"such big hearts and tireless devotion to make sure parents have the
support they need to choose life."
"You're living witnesses of this year's March
for Life theme, 'Love Saves Lives,'" he said. His remarks were broadcast to the crowd
live via satellite to a Jumbotron above the speakers' stage, a first for any
U.S. president, according to March for Life.
During their tenure in office, President Ronald
Reagan, President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush all addressed
the march via telephone or a radio hookup from the Oval Office, with their
remarks broadcast to the crowd.
Trump spoke with a crowd surrounding him in the Rose
Garden, including 20 students from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North
Dakota. One of those standing next to the president was a Marianne Donadio, a top
official with Room at the Inn,
a nationally accredited Catholic ministry based in North Carolina that serves
homeless, pregnant women and single mothers with children.
Vice President Mike Pence, who addressed last year's
March for Life in person at Trump's request, introduced the president as the
"most pro-life president in American history," for among other things
issuing an executive memorandum shortly after his inauguration to reinstate the
"Mexico City Policy." The policy bans all foreign nongovernmental
organizations receiving U.S. funds from performing or promoting abortion as a
method of family planning in other countries.
Trump also has nominated pro-life judges to fill
several court vacancies and a day before the March for Life the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services announced formation of a new Conscience and
Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights. Its aim is to
protect the conscience rights of doctors and other health care workers who do
not want to perform procedures they consider morally objectionable.
For the first time in a recent memory, the weather in
Washington was more than tolerable for March for Life participants as they
gathered on the National Mall to mark the anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme
Court decision legalizing abortion. The sun was shining and the blue sky was
cloudless. By the time the speeches ended and the march to the Supreme Court
started, the temperature had reached 50 degrees. March officials estimated that more 100,000 were in attendance.
Mancini, president of March for Life, opened the rally by calling on
everyone in the crowd to text the word "March" to 7305 and to show their
commitment to ending abortion and join their voices in calling on Congress to
defund Planned Parenthood.
"Do you agree that's important?" she asked
the crowd. "Yes!" they shouted. March for Life, she said, is about
educating people about abortion and mobilizing to end it and to love all those
women and families who are facing a troubled pregnancy and other needs.
"'Love Saves Lives' is this year's theme,"
she added. "Love and sacrifice go hand in hand It is not easy. No one ever
said it was, but it is the right choice ... the self-sacrificial option."In an interview with Catholic News Service before the march began, Mancini said that as a pro-life Catholic she
believes "100 percent" in church teaching that the sanctity of all life, from conception to
natural death, must be protected. But she said the annual March for
Life has a singular purpose -- to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court's
1973 Roe decision legalizing abortion through nine months of pregnancy nationwide. She
believes abortion is "the single most significant social justice cause of
our time." As a small nonprofit with a staff of six, the March for Life
organization has to "stay focused" on its mission, she said, which is to
educate people about abortion and activate them to stop abortion. Mancini also
told CNS she was "grateful to the leader of the free world" for deciding to address
the rally from the Rose Garden.House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, was among several
others who addressed the crowd from the speakers' platform.
"Thank God for giving us a pro-life president in
the White House," the Catholic congressman said.
"Your energy is so infectious," he told the
crowd, praising them for being "the vigor and enthusiasm of the pro-life
Seeing so many young people "is so inspiring
because it tells us this a movement on the rise," he said. "Why is
the pro-life movement on the rise? Because truth is on our side. Life begins at
conception. Science is on our side."
Herrera Beutler, R-Washington, gave an emotional speech about the
troubled pregnancy she faced about four years ago. She and her husband, Dan,
were told their unborn child had severe defects, that the baby's kidneys would
never develop and the lungs were undeveloped because of a rare condition.
Abortion was their only option, they were told.
Today, that baby is 4-year-old Abigail. She and her
younger brother and their father stood on the stage with the congresswoman.
"Dan and I prayer and we cried (at the news of
their unborn child's condition) ... and in that devastation we saw hope. What
if God would do a miracle? What if a doctor was willing to try something new?
Like saline infusions to mimic amniotic fluid so kidneys could develop?"
With "true divine intervention and some very
courageous doctors willing to take a risk we get to experience our daughter,
Abigail," Herrera Beutler said. She is a very "healthy, happy
4-year-old big sister who some day is going to be 'the boss of mommy's
work,'" she said.
Herrera Beutler asked the crowd to imagine that 45
years of legal abortion had not existed and that 60 million babies had not been
lost to abortion, and if out of those people had come those who could cure
cancer and correct all manner of disabling conditions, including those that
exist in utero, and eradicate poverty.
"What richness we would we get to see instead of
two generations missing," she added.
Another Catholic member of Congress and longtime
pro-life advocate, Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, described the last 45 years
of legal abortion as Orwellian.
"Every one of you here today" and millions
of others throughout the country and world, he said, "are an integral part
of the greatest human rights struggle on earth. Because we pray, because we
fast, we will win. Babies will be protected."- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.
IMAGE: CNS photo/Denis Balibouse ReutersBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Global leaders must implement policies that
support the family and offer real opportunities for the growth and development
of all people, Pope Francis told people attending the World Economic Forum in
"If we want a more secure future, one that
encourages the prosperity of all, then it is necessary to keep the compass
continually oriented toward
'true North,' represented by authentic values," he wrote.
"Now is the time to take courageous and bold steps
for our beloved planet. This is the right moment to put into action our
responsibility to contribute to the development of humanity," he told corporate
and political leaders.
The pope's message was read at the meeting Jan. 22 by
Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human
The annual meeting in Davos brought together people representing business,
government, academia and media to discuss the theme, "Creating a Shared
Future in a Fractured World." They were to address topics such as
sustainable development and inclusive economies as well as challenges posed by cyberattacks
and divisive "narratives."
In his written message, the pope said, "we are increasingly aware that
there is a growing fragmentation between states and institutions."
The pope told world leaders and global executives that
they must confront both new and lingering problems and challenges, such as
unemployment, poverty, economic and social inequality, and new forms of
"It is vital to safeguard the dignity of the human
person, in particular by offering to all people real opportunities for integral
human development and by implementing economic policies that favor the
family," he said.
"We cannot remain silent in the face of the
suffering of millions of people whose dignity is wounded," he said, adding that it is a moral
imperative for everyone "to create the right conditions to allow each
person to live in a dignified manner."
"By rejecting a 'throwaway' culture and a mentality
of indifference, the entrepreneurial world has enormous potential to effect
substantial change by increasing the quality of productivity, creating new
jobs, respecting labor laws, fighting against public and private corruption and
promoting social justice, together with the fair and equitable sharing of
profits," the pope said.
"There is a grave responsibility to exercise wise
discernment, for the decisions made will be decisive for shaping the world of
tomorrow and that of future generations," he added. - - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM PERU (CNS) -- Pope Francis
apologized to victims of clergy sex abuse, saying he unknowingly wounded them by
the way he defended a Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse by his
Speaking with journalists on his flight to Rome from Lima,
Peru, Jan. 21, the pope said he only realized later that his words erroneously implied that victims' accusations are credible only with concrete
"To hear that the pope says to their face, 'Bring me a
letter with proof,' is a slap in the face," the pope said.
Pope Francis was referring to a response he gave in Iquique,
Chile, Jan. 18 when local reporters asked about his support for Bishop Juan
Barros of Osorno, given accusations that the bishop may have been aware of
abuse perpetrated by his former mentor, Father Fernando Karadima. The priest was
sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was found
guilty of sexually abusing boys.
"The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I
will speak. There is not one piece of evidence against him. It is calumny. Is
that clear?" the pope had told the reporters in Iquique.
His response provoked further outrage, especially from
Father Karadima's victims who said the pope's response made his earlier apologies
for the church's failure to protect sex abuse victims seem hollow.
Asked about the incident during the flight back to Rome,
Pope Francis said he meant to use the word "evidence," not
"proof." The way he phrased his response, he said, caused confusion
and was "not the best word to use to approach a wounded heart."
"Of course, I know that there are many abused people
who cannot bring proof (or) they don't have it," he said. "Or at times
they have it but they are ashamed and cover it up and suffer in silence. The
tragedy of the abused is tremendous."
However, the pope told reporters on the papal flight that he
still stood firmly behind his defense of Bishop Barros, because he was "personally
convinced" of the bishop's innocence after the case was investigated twice
with no evidence emerging.
Pope Francis said that while "covering up abuse is an
abuse in itself," if he punished Bishop Barros without moral certainty,
"I would be committing the crime of a bad judge."
During the inflight news conference, Pope Francis answered eight
questions over the course of an hour, although the conference was interrupted
by turbulence, which forced the pope to sit for about five minutes.
As he did in November on his return from Bangladesh, he said
he only wanted to respond to questions related to the trip.
Pope Francis told reporters he appreciated the statement
made Jan. 20 by Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, president of the Pontifical
Commission for the Protection of Minors, acknowledging the pain survivors of
abuse felt because of the pope's statement about Bishop Barros.
"Words that convey the message 'If you cannot prove
your claims then you will not be believed' abandon those who have suffered
reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors
to discredited exile," the cardinal wrote.
He also said, "Pope Francis fully recognizes the
egregious failures of the church and its clergy who abused children and the devastating
impact those crimes have had on survivors and their loved ones."
The pope said he was grateful for Cardinal O'Malley's
statement because it struck the right balance between listing what he has done to
show his support for sex abuse victims and the pain experienced by victims
because of the pope's remarks.
Pope Francis also spoke about the scandal-plagued Sodalitium
Christianae Vitae, a Catholic movement based in Peru.
The movement's founder, Luis Fernando Figari, has been
accused of the sexual and psychological abuse of members; he has been ordered by
the Vatican to remain in Rome and not have any contact with the movement.
"He declared himself innocent of the charges against
him," Pope Francis told reporters, and he has appealed his cause to the
Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's supreme court. According to the information
the pope has received, he said, "the verdict will be released in less than
Pope Francis also was asked about the status of the
Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which he set up in 2014.
The three-year terms of its members expired in December and some have
questioned whether child protection really is a priority when the commission's
membership was allowed to lapse.
Before the terms ended, he said, the members decided to
recommend who should serve a second term and offering the names of possible new
The final list, he said, arrived on his desk a week before
the trip began "and now it is going through the normal channels in the
- - -
Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Barbara J. FraserLIMA, Peru (CNS) -- Pope Francis
took his message of hope to this sprawling, dusty capital of Peru, celebrating
Mass within view of the rocky, waterless Andean slopes where most of the city's
poorest residents live.
The day's Scripture readings, in
which Jonah was sent to Nineveh and Jesus set out toward Galilee, "reveal a
God who turns his gaze toward cities, past and present," the pope said in
Crowds lined the pope's route to
the Las Palmas military base, where thousands of people arrived during the
night and throughout the morning to participate in the Mass.
Lima's heat and blazing sun did
not wither the spirits of the estimated 1.3 million Mass attendees, who chanted
and sang as they waited for the liturgy to begin.
Mariana Costa of Lima felt fortunate.
She had missed a chance to see Pope Francis in Poland, she said, "and now
I have the opportunity to see him in my own country."
As a young adult, she was
touched by his words to youth.
"Ultimately, we're the ones
who have to work to make sure this faith is not lost," she said.
Sister Maria Lucero of Lima was
struck by three messages the pope had for the priests, religious and
seminarians with whom he met in Trujillo the day before.
"He said to remember what
we are (and spoke of) joy and gratitude to God for everything we have and do
not deserve," she said.
His words kindled a desire to
renew her efforts, "because the people here need it," she said.
The scores of concelebrants
included Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, who was in Lima to celebrate the 60th
anniversary of the founding of the Boston-based Missionary Society of St. James
the Apostle, whose priests have worked in many Latin American countries,
including Peru. Cardinal O'Malley had spoken out Jan. 20 about Pope Francis'
defense of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse. The cardinal
said he understood why victims were hurt by the pope's words.
The place where Pope Francis
presided at the liturgy is not far from the vast neighborhood of Villa El
Salvador, where Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in 1985, when it was a dusty
shantytown in which community leaders, many of whom were active in parishes, were
threatened by terrorist violence.
The poorest neighborhoods form
rings around Lima and other Latin American cities, as people migrate from other
parts of the country in search of opportunities.
Most build their own houses bit
by bit, sometimes in hazardous areas vulnerable to disasters, like the unusual
rains in early 2017 that left thousands homeless on the east side of Lima and in
cities such as Trujillo, which the pope visited Jan. 20.
The majority also work in the
informal economy, eking out a living with day labor, selling goods in markets
or working in small, family-run businesses with no health insurance, pension or
The pope spoke to them when he talked
of "our cities, with their daily situations of pain and injustice,"
which "can leave us tempted to flee, to hide, to run away."
While some people can to build
their lives, others are left "living on the fringes of our cities and
lacking the conditions needed for a dignified existence," he said. "It
is painful to realize that among these 'urban remnants' all too often we see
the faces of children and adolescents. We look at the face of the future."
Seeing those things, people may
be tempted to become "indifferent, anonymous and deaf to others, cold and
hard of heart," he said.
Jesus, who entered Galilee upon
hearing of John the Baptist's arrest, and shows a different way to respond, he
Jesus "began to sow the
seed of a great hope," and the rippling effect of that joy and good news
has been passed down through the apostles and saints, including St. Rose of
Lima and St. Martin of Porres, whose relics he venerated in the morning, Pope
"It has come to us as a timely
antidote to the globalization of indifference," he said. "In the face
of that love, one cannot remain indifferent."
Walking through the city with
his disciples, Jesus saw people who had "given up in the face of
indifference, laid low by the grave sin of corruption," Pope Francis said.
"He begins to bring light to many situations that had killed the hope of
his people and to awaken a new hope."
Jesus taught his disciples to
see things they had overlooked before and to notice new needs, he said.
kingdom of heaven means finding in Jesus a God who gets involved with the lives
of his people."
His words rang especially true
after six days in which he raised issues such as corruption, rapacious
consumerism, environmental devastation, organized crime, violence against women
and industrial activities such as mining and industrial agriculture, which strip
indigenous peoples of their lands and livelihoods.
As he often does, the pope
challenged bishops and clergy to avoid clericalism and walk closely with the
people. He called on government officials to listen to and respond to the needs
of native peoples, youth, the elderly and children.
Jesus "continues to walk on
our streets. He knocks today, as he did yesterday, on our doors and hearts, in
order to rekindle the flame of hope," the pope told the throng of
"Today the Lord calls each
of you to walk with him in the city, in your city. He invites you to become his
missionary disciple, so you can become part of that great whisper that wants to
keep echoing in the different corners of our lives: Rejoice, the Lord is with
Fraser on Twitter: @Barbara_Fraser.- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.