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10 Sep 2014 Vatican Comments (2)

Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him

Vatican City, Sep 10, 2014 / 04:53 am .- A man paralyzed from the neck down made his way to Pope Francis' general audience, saying he took the massively risky m…

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23 Dec 2015 News Vatican No comments

Pope Francis addresses Vatican Employees on family care issues

  Pope Francis welcomed the employees of the Vatican and the Vatican City State on Monday at the Paul VI hall, to exchange Christmas greetings with them…

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03 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (7)

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05 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (7)

Where is the scriptural justification that says I should honor Mary or treat her different from any other woman?

Full Question As an Evangelical, I believe in measuring things against the Bible. Where is the scriptural justification that says I should honor Mary or tr…

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03 Nov 2015 Articles Comments (1)

The 5 Papal Resignations in Catholic History

1. Benedict XVI: Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope on 19th April 2005 as Pope Benedict XVI. He announced his resignation from the Papacy in 11 February 2013 sta…

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01 Sep 2016 Americas Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Pope Francis proposes new work of mercy: care for our common home

Holy Father makes proposal in message on World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation Pope Francis is proposing adding care for the environment to the traditio…

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04 Sep 2015 Europe News No comments

Retired bishop assaulted by passenger on a train in Ireland

Bishop Emeritus of Kerry said to be very shaken by the incident Bishop Emeritus Bill Murphy of Kerry was punched in the face last month by a drunken passenge…

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21 Oct 2016 News No comments

Bishop Cantu: Congo’s bishops working hard to steer nation to peace

Politicians in the country have agreed to move a planned election to April 2018 As the most respected institution in Congo, the Catholic bishops’ conference is…

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11 Feb 2016 Articles No comments

Art for Goodness’ Sake

The Virgin of Humility (1435-1445) by Fra Angelico (Bl. Giovanni da Fiesole). Located in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain. How many famous artis…

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Street women, kids aren’t price tags – they’re people, Pope says

On Thursday Pope Francis said that abandoned children and exploited sex workers forced to live on the street are a “shameful reality” in modern society, and encouraged efforts to find more concrete ways to help them.

“(These) sad realities…are the result of indifference, poverty, family and social violence, and human trafficking,” the Pope said Sept. 17.

“They involve the pain of marital separations and the birth of children out of wedlock, frequently doomed to a life of vagrancy.”

Children and women subjected to life on the street, he said, “are not numbers or ‘packets’ to be traded; they are human beings, each with his or her own name and face, each with a God-given identity.”

Francis’ words were addressed to participants in the International Symposium on the Pastoral Care of the Street. Held in Rome Sept. 13-17, the gathering was organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
“No child chooses to live on the streets,” the Pope said, noting that even in a modern, globalized world numerous children are still robbed of both their childhood, rights and their future.

A lack of legal protection and inadequate structures aggravates the situation, he said, since often these children have no true family or access to health care and education.

Every child either abandoned or forced to live on the streets, many “at the mercy of criminal organizations, is a cry rising up to God,” Francis said. “It is an indictment of a social system which we have criticized for decades, but which we find hard to change in conformity with criteria of justice.”

Pope Francis also said that it is “troubling” to see the increasing number of young women and girls who are “forced to earn a living on the street by selling their own bodies.”

Frequently these women are victims of exploitation either by criminal organizations or even parents or family members, he observed, saying this is “a shameful reality in our societies, which boast of being modern and possessed of high levels of culture and development.”

The Pope faulted widespread corruption and greed as the root causes for these injustices, which rob the innocent and vulnerable of having a dignified life, and help sustain criminal organizations.

“No one can remain unmoved before the pressing need to safeguard the dignity of women, threatened by cultural and economic factors!”
Francis told participants not to be discouraged by the depth of the challenges they face in their work, and encouraged them to turn to Christ, who always maintained a special love for the weak and outcast.

The Church “cannot remain silent, nor can her institutions turn a blind eye to the baneful reality of street children and street women,” he said, and charged Christian communities in every country to get involved “at all levels” to everything that causes women and children to live on the streets.

Mercy, the Pope noted, is “the supreme act by which God comes to meet us; it is the way which opens our hearts to the hope of an everlasting love.”

Pope Francis concluded by praying for the participants and their work, before entrusting them to the care and intercession of Mary.

“May the sweetness of her gaze accompany the efforts and the firm purpose of all those who care for street children and street women.”

by Elise Harris


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