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11 Sep 2014 Vatican Comments (1)

Pope 'deeply saddened' by brutal killing of missionary nuns

Vatican City, Sep 11, 2014 / 02:05 am .- Pope Francis has expressed his condolences following the brutal murder of three Italian nuns in Burundi over the weeken…

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12 Aug 2016 News Comments (1)

Martin Luther was a ‘teacher of the faith’, say German bishops

In a new report Germany's bishops say the 500th anniversary of the Reformation must involve repentance on both sides Germany’s Catholic bishops have praised Ma…

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02 Nov 2014 Articles No comments

How to Make the Case for Marriage

Whether we like it or not, secularism is the dominant mode of public discourse today. Even those we encounter who are not "anti-faith" often place a high value …

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30 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

What's it like to play for the Pope? Here's how one Catholic artist described it

Performing for Pope Francis at Saturday’s Festival of Families in Philadelphia was an answer to prayer for musician Marie Miller, but getting a personal thumbs-…

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15 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (18)

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13 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (1)

Are people who die while excommunicated damned?

Full Question What happens to those who die while excommunicated? Do they go to hell? Answer Excommunication of laypeople principally means that …

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10 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

Church educates through actions; not 'theoretical' lectures

Vatican City, Sep 10, 2014 / 04:44 am .- During his general audience Pope Francis continued to reflect on the Church as mother, explaining that she teaches us b…

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16 Jun 2015 Articles Resources Comments (1)

Thomas Merton, Lent, and the Perils of Avoiding Suffering

We spend one day a week not eating meat, and on a few days we skip meals altogether. We voluntarily deprive ourselves of good things. We intentionally pon…

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22 Jan 2016 News USA Comments (1)

Custom made car Pope Francis used during his visit to Philadelphia up for auction

Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced that the Popes’ Fiat 500L ride that he used during his visit in September to Philadel…

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“I am depriving myself of something of mine to give to you” Pope Francis speaks on almsgiving

On Saturday April 9th, Pope Francis said in his address for the monthly Jubilee of Mercy general audience, almsgiving is about paying close attention to the real needs of the person soliciting help. It is not just about the money

“Almsgiving is a gesture of love which directs us toward those we meet,” the Pope said in his catechesis. “It is a gesture of sincere attention to those who come to us and ask our help.”

“We should not identify almsgiving simply with a (hastily given) monetary offering” he said, “without looking at the person, and without stopping to talk, to understand what they really need.”

In off-the-cuff remarks, the Pope challenged the faithful as to whether they are able to “stop and look in the face, look in the eyes, of the person who is asking for my help.”

The April 9th assembly in St. Peter’s Square was the latest in a monthly series of special audiences for the Holy Year of Mercy, which are held in addition to the weekly general audiences.

The Jubilee of Mercy is an Extraordinary Holy Year that officially began on December 8 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – with the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica. It will close Nov. 20, 2016 with the Solemnity of Christ the King.
Almsgiving “must carry with it all the richness of mercy,” the Pope said in his catechesis, observing that the Italian word for alms – “elemosina” – is derived from the Greek and references “mercy.”

“Just as mercy has a million paths, a million processes, so too almsgiving is expressed in many ways to alleviate the disadvantages of all those in need.”

He said, “God demands particular attention (be given) to the poor, the destitute, foreigners, orphans, and widows.”

He quoted Deuteronomy – “You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging” – he explained how giving to those in need requires “an attitude of interior joy.”

He said, Almsgiving should not be seen as a “weight or annoyance from which we free ourselves hastily,”

Speaking off-script, the Pope spoke on the hesitancy to give money to the poor on the argument that they will just use it “to buy wine and get drunk.”

“But if he is drunk, it is because he does not have another path!” he said.

“And you, what do you do in hiding, that no one sees? And you judge that poor man who asks for a coin (to buy) a glass of wine?”

Francis turned his catechesis to the Gospel, citing Jesus admonishing us not to give to the poor in order to receive “praise and admiration.”

Speaking once again off-the-cuff, the Pope observed that almsgiving should be a sacrifice. He recalled an anecdote of a woman who taught her three young children to always give alms to those who asked. A poor man once approached the children while they were eating, and begged for food. The mother told the children to give half of their meal to the man.

This is an example of being “involved with the poor,” he said. “I am depriving myself of something of mine to give to you.

“And I say to parents: educate your children so give alms, to be generous with what they have.”



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