IMAGE: CNS/L'Osservatore RomanoBy Carol GlatzVATICAN
CITY (CNS) -- Help wipe out bullying and aggression by being better listeners and
offering concrete gestures of tolerance and patience, Pope Francis told a group
of top YouTubers from around the world.
level of aggressiveness in our world needs to be dialed down. (The world) needs
tenderness, meekness, (people) listening and walking together," he told them
and others taking part in a world congress sponsored by Scholas Occurrentes.
arrogance -- eradicate them. Because pride and arrogance always have a bad
ending," he said May 29 at the close of the three-day meeting at the
pope met privately -- for an informal closed-door Q-and-A session -- with a dozen young
YouTubers, people who create their own videos or vlogs, or video blogs, and share them on
YouTube. The YouTube "celebrities" who were invited to meet the pope
have, when tallied together, about 25 million subscribers.
pope also met privately with U.S. film stars, Richard Gere, Salma Hayek and
George Clooney, who were honored at the congress for working to help
marginalized young people.
pope sat in on the closing portion of the world congress, which was dedicated
to dialogue and social integration. He heard personal testimonies, including from a young woman
who was born in Mexico, moved to Chicago and was the victim of bullying for years.
pope called for an end to "aggression, bullying" when answering one
of two questions from the audience.
is an aggression that conceals profound cruelty, and the world is cruel"
with wars representing "the monuments of cruelty," he said.
photographs he received from a nun picturing a child massacred in a civil war
unfolding in Africa, Pope
Francis said bullying is the same kind of cruelty because it "massacres"
order to build a better world, "we need to eradicate all forms of
cruelty," he said.
important to listen to others and ask questions -- not argue right away -- but inquire in order to truly understand the other person's point of view and find
points in common, he said.
isn't a soccer match or a debate because "in dialogue everyone
wins, no one loses," he said. "Even if I think differently, don't argue, but
rather, persuade softly."
also important people feel like they belong, which can even include "a
virtual belonging" -- being part of something meaningful online, he said.
"It's urgent to offer some kind of belonging," he told his audience.
pope also urged participants to work harder at practicing the "language of
we like to talk, talk," he said, but "we risk paying lip service
and this doesn't work."
is not enough and sometimes what is needed is "a smile that gives hope,
looking in someone's eyes, gestures of approval, patience, tolerance."
the many new initiatives Scholas organizers announced at the congress, one
included an invitation for young people to ask Pope Francis a question at
www.askpopefrancis.com. Selected questions and replies will then be published
in a book in various languages and countries in the autumn.
Occurrentes is a project Pope Francis supported as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina,
and expanded as pope. Through schools it links students from different
neighborhoods, countries, economic backgrounds and faiths to promote
communication, understanding and cooperation.- - -Copyright © 2016 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.
By Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The church needs the service of the many women who
continue to follow Mary's example of courage and service despite the odds, Pope
Women who serve with joy to bring their families forward
in life, to ensure their children's education and who "face so many
adversities and who heal the sick" are courageous, the pope said May 31 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae
Commemorating the feast of
the Visitation, when the pregnant Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who
was pregnant with John the Baptist, the pope said the memorial is a
"breath of fresh air" that highlights the importance of joy in
Christians who are sad, he
said, can seem "ugly" and although "they think they are
Christian, they are not fully." Joy is the Christian message
"which today's liturgy gives us as a gift."
The pope noted Mary's courageous service in visiting her
cousin Elizabeth despite being pregnant herself and who "gets up and goes
"Service is a Christian sign. Those who do not live
to serve," serve very
little purpose in life. "To serve with joy: this is the attitude
that I would like to underline today. There is joy and
also service; always (willing) to serve," he said.
Another Christian sign, Pope Francis said, is the
willingness to meet with others. Both serving and encountering others like
Mary, he added, require Christians to come out of themselves.
"With this service of Mary, with this encounter, the
Lord's promise is renewed; it takes place in the present. And the Lord -- as we
heard in the first reading: 'The Lord your God is in your midst' -- the Lord is
in service, the Lord is in the encounter," the pope said.- - -Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -Copyright © 2016 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 Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN
CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called on Catholics and Orthodox Christians to pray
for children in Syria who are suffering because of the ongoing conflict in the
"The children of Syria invite children from all over
the world to join in their
prayer for peace" on International Children's Day June 1, he said.
Before praying the Angelus May 29, the
pope said Catholic
and Orthodox Christians would be taking part together in the special prayer for
peace and that the children were "the protagonists" by inviting all
the world's children to unite with them in prayer.
joint Day of Prayer for Peace, sponsored by the Catholic charity Aid to the
Church in Need, is one of several initiatives meant to promote peace in Syria.
pope's invitation echoes that of Catholic leaders and Orthodox patriarchs in
the country, who signed a joint message inviting Christians around the world to
join them in praying for peace.
message says: "We pray to him -- the Christ, the king of the universe, who
carries the world in his hand, in the arms of his mother -- to bless all the children
of Syria. We implore him, who alone can bring peace: 'Protect and save the
children of this land! Hear our prayers, now! Delay no longer in granting peace
to our land! Look upon the tears of the children; dry the tears of the mothers;
let the cries of grief at last fall silent!'" - - -Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -Copyright © 2016 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 EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS)
-- Deacons are called to be servants who set aside their own self-serving plans
and are generous with their lives, Pope Francis said.
A servant "is
not a slave to his own agenda," but rather always is prepared for the
unexpected and responds, even if that means ignoring the parish schedule, the
pope said May 29 at a Mass for the Jubilee of Deacons in St. Peter's Square.
"It pains my
heart when I see a schedule in the parishes -- 'from this time to that time' --
and then, the door is closed. There is no priest, no deacon, no layperson to
welcome the people. This is wrong. Have the courage to ignore the
schedule," he said.
Thousands of deacons
and their families, braving the increasingly hot and humid Rome weather,
attended the final Mass of the three-day Year of Mercy celebration dedicated to
the diaconal ministry.
In his homily, the
pope reminded them that in order to proclaim Christ, one must first imitate him
and "strive to become a servant."
evangelizing is the mission entrusted at baptism to each Christian, serving is
the way that mission is carried out. It is the only way to be a disciple of
Jesus," the pope said.
The first step in
becoming "good and faithful servants," he continued, is to be
available to others and detached from living life in one's own way. A true
servant doesn't "hoard his free time," but gives up "the idea of
being the master of his day."
"One who serves
is not a slave to his own agenda but ever ready to deal with the unexpected,
ever available to his brothers and sisters and ever open to God's constant
surprises," he said.
Reflecting on the
Sunday Gospel reading, in which a centurion humbly asks Jesus to heal his servant,
the pope noted the soldier's meekness. Despite his authority to insist or force
Jesus to come to his house, "he was modest and unassuming, he did not
raise his voice or make a fuss."
one of the virtues of a deacon. When a servant is meek, he is a servant and
doesn't try to mimic the priests. No, he is meek," the pope said.
Pope Francis said
that like the servant healed by Christ, deacons must have "a healthy
heart" that has been healed by God through forgiveness and constant
dialogue with Jesus through daily prayer and the sacraments.
"You can offer
the Lord your work, your little inconveniences, your weariness and your hopes
in an authentic prayer that brings your life to the Lord and the Lord to your
life. When you serve at the table of the Eucharist, there you will find the
presence of Jesus, who gives himself to you so that you can give yourselves to
others," he said. - - -Copyright © 2016 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/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPABy Carol ZimmermannWASHINGTON
(CNS) -- Immediately after the Supreme Court sent the contraceptive case back
to the lower courts May 16, some called the decision a punt -- the football
analogy of sending the ball back to the other team -- or in this case the lower
analogy falls short on a practical level because the seven consolidated cases
in Zubik will be sent back to the lower courts with a very different look -- bearing
the stamp of being vacated by the nation's high court.
5th, 10th and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals -- which ruled in favor of the Affordable
Care Act's contraceptive mandate and did not see it as posing a substantial
burden to the petitioners' free exercise of religion -- now must give another
look at the issue equipped with the new information submitted to the Supreme
Court showing a possible compromise.
the justices' unanimous decision in Zubik v. Burwell took many by surprise,
others said they saw something like this coming when the Supreme Court essentially
showed its hand asking both sides to provide ways to implement the contraceptive mandate that would satisfy both sides.
to most press coverage, this was not a punt," said Michael McConnell, a
law professor at Stanford Law School in California, writing about the Zubik
ruling. He described the decision as "a compromise in which the Little
Sisters won the case but no precedent was set for the future. This is unorthodox,
but arguably Solomonic," he added.
Smith, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing
the Little Sisters of the Poor in the case, similarly didn't buy the sports
analogy that grabbed headlines.
don't see it as a punt at all," she told Catholic News Service May 27. She
said the Supreme Court was not just returning the cases to the lower courts but
was "very specific in its order and outlined several points" such as forbidding
the government from levying fines on the groups that objected to the contraceptive
coverage, erasing previous court decisions and telling the courts to
essentially find a feasible resolution.
other words, when the court sent these cases back, it also sent guidelines for
a new way forward.
the court's decision was essentially telling the federal government: "You
can do this in a different way, now you have to go back and do it."
it is going to take some time for this to work through the courts and she
couldn't predict a time frame for it.
already been nearly five years that religious groups have been involved in challenging
the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate. The Department of Health and
Human Services announced an "interim final rule" in August 2011 requiring
that coverage of contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration be included in
most employees' health plans. The rule provided a narrow religious exemption to
the mandate that only applied to houses of worship and did not include most
religious universities, schools, social service agencies, outreach ministries
or health care providers.
The plaintiffs don't seem daunted by the time it is taking for a resolution. Washington Cardinal Donald W.
Wuerl said in a statement after the Supreme Court's decision that the court's
opinion offered a path forward but "this struggle will continue."
Archdiocese is one of seven plaintiffs in the consolidated Zubik case.
question for both sides is whether the courts follow the Supreme Court's
cue and find a compromise.
In a post for scotusblog.com, University of Notre Dame law professor Richard Garnett wrote that the courts could possibly "extend unwarranted deference to the government's assertions about 'compelling interests' and the least restrictive ways of accomplishing them or engage in ungenerous second-guessing of religious claimants' descriptions of the burdens imposed by government action on their religious exercise."
experts say the government could either decline to cooperate on a solution or could
change its regulations to implement the Supreme Court's opinion and adopt a
less restrictive alternative for religious employers who currently would need to have a third party to provide contraceptive coverage through their health
insurance. However, the government would still need to determine how to accommodate
religious objectors that self-insure.
the final outcome hangs in the balance, Garnett said the case itself highlights
a troubling sign about the accommodation of religion.
the extent, the right to religious freedom is regarded as a luxury good, a
license to do wrong, or as special pleading by the culture war's losers, it is
increasingly vulnerable," Garnett wrote. "This should concern us all,
because believers and nonbelievers alike benefit from a legal and cultural
commitment to religious freedom and have a stake in the legal regime that
respects and protects it."
- - -
Zimmermann on Twitter @carolmaczim.- - -Copyright © 2016 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.