Nation and World News

Fifty years later, ‘Populorum Progressio’ takes on new life through Pope Francis

A woman and dog walked amid garbage along a street in 2015 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Blessed Paul VI’s 1967 encyclical “Populorum Progressio” rooted the Catholic Church in solidarity with the world’s poorest nations.

WASHINGTON — These days when Pope Francis talks about integral human development and his vision of a Church that goes to the margins of the world, he likely thanks a predecessor of 50 years ago for the inspiration.

Blessed Paul VI addressed "the progressive development of peoples" as "an object of deep interest and concern to the Church" in his encyclical "Populorum Progressio" ("The Progress of Peoples") that emerged in the years following the Second Vatican Council.

U.S. bishops ask Catholics to accompany migrants and refugees

A woman in New York walked Sept. 16 past hundreds of refugee life jackets collected from the beaches of Greece. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged Catholics to “not lose sight of the fact that behind every policy is the story of a person in search of a better life.”

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops in a pastoral reflection called all Catholics to do what each of them can "to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States."

Titled "Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times," the reflection was issued March 22 "in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict or fear in their native lands," according to a news release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Catholic high school students work to end bullying ‘Piece-by-Peace’

This is the graphic design of an award-winning board game called “Piece-by-Peace” created by three seniors at Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind. Each of the colors represents either a form of bullying, facts about bullying or information about combating bullying.

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Austin Bowen, Noah Harrison and Michaela Kunkler, seniors at Mater Dei High School in Evansville, have ideas about how to combat bullying. Those ideas have helped them each land a full scholarship to the University of Evansville.

The trio recently won the university's High School Changemaker Challenge; the grand prize is a full scholarship to the university for each member of the winning team.

Priests and marriage: Pope’s response not so new after all

Pope Francis greeted a new priest at an ordination Mass April 26, 2015, in St. Peter’s Basilica. In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit in early March, Pope Francis discussed the possibility of examining whether to allow married men to become priests.

VATICAN CITY — While Pope Francis' recent comments on the subject of married priests made headlines around the world, his response falls clearly in line with the thinking of his predecessors.

In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, published in early March, Pope Francis was asked if allowing candidates for the priesthood to fall in love and marry could be "an incentive" for combating the shortage of priestly vocations.

He also was asked about the possibility of allowing married "viri probati" — men of proven virtue — to become priests.

Marketing the Church requires local efforts, sharing Gospel

Irish Bishop Paul Tighe, adjunct secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, spoke March 10 at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. At right is Helen Osman, a communication adviser. Bishop Tighe said of the festival, “Despite all the sophistication, coolness, sarcasm and the irony at an event like this, I think if you speak with authenticity, there’s still a possibility of touching people’s hearts.”

AUSTIN, Texas — McDonald's, Apple, Starbucks and ... the Catholic Church?

In terms of recognizable organization names, the Catholic Church has to rank near the top. But, does it view itself as a brand to be marketed?

POPE’S MESSAGE | Shady business deals that threaten employment a ‘grave sin’

Pope Francis greeted people March 12 on a visit at the Rome parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa.

VATICAN CITY — Employers who make business deals that threaten people's livelihood commit a sin that robs men, women and their families of their dignity, according to Pope Francis.

"Whoever — because of economic maneuvering and business dealings that are not all clear — closes factories and businesses and takes work away from men and women commits a grave sin," the pope said March 15 before concluding his weekly general audience.

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