pope francis

POPE’S MESSAGE | Sunday has lost its sense as day of rest, renewal in Christ

Pope Francis prayed at a prayer service held in front of a statue of Mary near the Spanish Steps in Rome Dec. 8. The brief prayer service was a celebration of the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

VATICAN CITY — Just like a plant needs sun and nourishment to survive, every Christian needs the light of Sunday and the sustenance of the Eucharist to truly live, Pope Francis said.

"How can we carry out the Gospel without drawing the energy needed to do it, one Sunday after another, from the limitless source of the Eucharist," he said Dec. 13 at his weekly general audience.

Pope: To foster vocations, trust young people

Pope Francis ordained one of 16 new priests at Mass in Suhrawardy Udyan park in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 1.

ROME — To foster vocations, the Church must trust young people who, "despite belonging to the 'selfie' generation, look for full meaning in their lives, even when they do not always look for it where it can be found," Pope Francis stated.

"This is where we, consecrated men and women, have an important role: to remain awake to wake up young people, to be centered on the Lord to help young people center themselves in Him," he stated in a message to participants in a two-day conference on vocational ministry and consecrated life.

Pope: Defend the Rohingya, who are ‘images of the living God’

Pope Francis greeted a young Rohingya refugee from Myanmar at a Dec. 1 interreligious and ecumenical meeting for peace in the garden of the archbishop’s residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Each human being is created in the image and likeness of God, yet so often people desecrate that image with violence, as seen in the treatment of Myanmar's Rohingya, Pope Francis said.

"Today, the presence of God is also called 'Rohingya,'" the pope said Dec. 1 after meeting, clasping hands with and listening intently to 16 Rohingya who have found shelter in Bangladesh.

"They, too, are images of the living God," Pope Francis told a gathering of Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu leaders gathered in Dhaka for an interreligious meeting for peace.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Bangladesh, Myanmar youths are a sign of hope for Asia

Pope Francis waved during his Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Dec. 3. Advent is a time to be watchful and alert to the ways one strays from God’s path, but also to signs of His presence in other people and in the beauty of the world, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY — Young people in Myanmar and Bangladesh are a source of hope for a peaceful future in their countries after years of war and suffering, Pope Francis said.

As is customary, at his general audience Dec. 6, the first after his Nov. 27-Dec. 2 trip to Asia, Pope Francis reviewed his visit.

"In the faces of those young people, full of joy, I saw the future of Asia: A future that doesn't belong to those who build weapons, but to those who sow brotherhood," the pope said.

Pope expresses satisfaction with meetings on Rohingya crisis

Pope Francis answered questions from journalists aboard his flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Rome Dec. 2

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM BANGLADESH -- Well aware he was disappointing some people by not using the word "Rohingya" publicly in Myanmar, Pope Francis said his chief concern had been to get a point across, and he did."If I would have used the word, the door would have closed," he told reporters Dec. 2 on his flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Rome.

He spent almost an hour answering reporters' questions after his six-day trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, but insisted that most of the questions be about the trip.

Pope urges bishops to exercise authority as judges in annulments

VATICAN CITY — A diocesan bishop is the sole judge in the streamlined process for handling marriage annulments, Pope Francis said.

The simplified process "is not an option that the diocesan bishop can choose, but rather an obligation that derives from his consecration and from the mission received," making the bishop the sole and exclusive authority in charge throughout the three phases of the briefer process, the pope said.

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