05 Jul 2016 Articles No comments

Friends Don't Let Friends Promote Porn

No, I don't mean deliberate promotion. I mean the inadvertent kind that results from one group clamoring for a boycott of a book (or movie) whose content …

Read more

23 Mar 2016 Middle East - Africa News Vatican No comments

Nigerian Bishop, amid continuing attacks from Boko Haram Islamic militant group refuses to abandon his people

Amid continuing attacks in Nigeria attributed to the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, Catholic bishop of Maiduguri has said that faith overshadows the fear, a…

Read more

19 Apr 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Australia Europe Middle East Middle East - Africa News United Kingdom USA Vatican Comments (177)

Bleeding Host in Poland confirmed to be the true body and blood of Christ

In Poland a consecrated host fell on the floor and picked up and placed in a container with water, according to the report by Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski of Le…

Read more

12 Oct 2016 News No comments

Priest shot in face with rubber bullets at student protest in South Africa

Fr Graham Pugin was injured along with several others in a student protest A South African priest has been injured after being shot in the face with rubber bul…

Read more

08 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

War is never inevitable: Pope Francis rues 'senseless slaughter'

Vatican City, Sep 8, 2014 / 05:30 am .- In a message to inter-religious faith leaders attending a conference on peace, Pope Francis said there are always altern…

Read more

07 Jun 2016 News No comments

Vatican appoints Guam administrator after archbishop accused of abuse

The archdiocese of Agana has hired a law firm to look into allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron Pope Francis has named a special administrator for the…

Read more

30 Jul 2016 Q&A Comments (2)

Does the Church approve having the Blessed Sacrament in one’s home for private devotion?

Full Question Does the Church approve having the Blessed Sacrament in one’s home for private devotion? Answer No, the Church do…

Read more

03 Oct 2015 Europe News Comments (3)

Ahead of the synod, LGBT activists lobby bishops. Here's what they want.

As the Synod on the Family approaches, a well-funded LGBT activist coalition is lobbying bishops to revive controversial language from the debates of the 2014 e…

Read more

26 May 2016 Vatican No comments

Key passages in Amoris Laetitia recycle article by Argentine ‘ghostwriter’, claims blogger

Controversial passages of the exhortation follow previous writings by Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández New questions have been raised about Pope Francis’s ap…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Serve others, not ideologies, Pope urges Cubans at Mass in Havana

‘We do not serve ideas, we serve people,’ Francis tells hundreds of thousands in Revolution Square

Pope Francis has told the Cuban people that love and service, not ideology, are the keys to their happiness.

“We do not serve ideas, we serve people," the Pope told hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Havana’s Revolution Square for Mass.

For decades the square has been the site of major communist government rallies and is dominated by a huge image of Ernest “Che" Guevara, an Argentine Marxist who became a leader in the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s.

The image of Che was prominent at the Pope’s Mass, but so was a banner proclaiming Pope Francis a “missionary of mercy" and an even bigger image of the merciful Jesus.

After decades of communism, Mass attendance in Cuba is low. Even the Vatican reports that only 60 per cent of the population is baptised Catholic.

But as a sign of the Pope’s hopes for the growth of the Church in Cuba, he granted an exception to his normal practice of personally giving Communion only to the altar servers and other ministers at his public Masses. Five Cuban children received their first Communion from the Pope at the Mass.

In his homily, Pope Francis focused on an aspect of Jesus’s ministry that he tries to imitate: first of all, identify the good in a person, then help or challenge him or her to build on that good instinct or behaviour.

Using the normal Sunday Mass readings, the Pope’s homily was a reflection on the Gospel passage from St Mark in which the disciples are arguing about who among them is the greatest, and Jesus asks what they were discussing.

“We, too, can be caught up in these same arguments: Who is the most important?" the Pope said.

“I remember more than once, at family gatherings, children being asked: ‘Who do you love more, Mummy or Daddy?’" he said. “It’s like asking them: ‘Who is the most important for you?’"

In the lives of individuals and nations, he said, the question of who is most important can take on historic importance because it motivates action and choices. “The history of humanity has been marked by the answer we give to this question," he said.

“Jesus is not afraid of people’s questions. He is not afraid of our humanity or the different things we are looking for," Pope Francis told the crowd, which had filled the square before the sun came up. “He knows the ‘twists and turns’ of the human heart, and, as a good teacher, he is always ready to encourage and support us."

Jesus takes “our searching, our aspirations, and he gives them a new horizon" and challenges people, he said. Jesus sets aside the “right answers" and replaces them with the standard of love as the measure of all.

Love, he said, is lived in a concrete commitment to caring for others – especially the most vulnerable. It does not see superiority, or the best jobs with the best benefits and it is not about helping just “my people" or “our people", he said. Such an attitude always leads to judging and excluding some people as outsiders.

“Being a Christian entails promoting the dignity of our brothers and sisters, fighting for it, living for it," he said.

Pope Francis said he knew the Cuban people and the Catholic Church in Cuba have suffered. Yet, he said, they still know how to celebrate, to praise God and to serve others.

The greatness of a people and a nation, he said, is how it serves the vulnerable.

Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana addressed the Pope at the end of the Mass “in the name of the Cuban people – the Catholics and many other believers, as well as non-believers. Thank you for coming to visit our land, our beloved Cuba. Thank you for sowing with your pontificate, good and necessary questions in our consciences, which had been sleeping and accustomed to mediocrity."

He particularly thanked the Pope “for promoting the process of renewing relations between Cuba and the United States, which will bring such benefit to our people".

Normal, friendly and cooperative relations, the cardinal said, should reach not just the highest political levels in both countries, but also promote reconciliation between people in Cuba and Cubans who emigrated.

“Only love and forgiveness among us will be a valid means for a true and peaceful renewal of our Cuban nation," the cardinal said.

by Cindy Wooden


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories