Cardinal keeps limits on private Masses in St. Peter's, allows exceptions

VATICAN CITY -- Reaffirming the principles that led the Vatican to severely limit private celebrations of Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in the early morning, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, the new archpriest of the basilica, said exceptions would be made for "groups with particular and legitimate needs."

  • By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

God's Word on Sunday: Do not fear God, but believe in Him

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) June 27 (Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24; Psalm 30; 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-43)

Death was not part of God’s plan, and God takes no delight in it. We need to hear that repeatedly, for fearsome and negative images of God have taken their toll over the centuries. God is the God of the living and the giver of life itself.

Secretariat begins discussing new synod process with bishops

VATICAN CITY -- After issuing revised guidelines for preparing for the next world Synod of Bishops, leaders of the synod's general secretariat held online meetings with the presidents and general secretaries of national and regional bishops' conferences.

  • By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Selfish, materialistic lifestyles help fuel poverty, Pope Francis says in message

VATICAN CITY -- Poverty is the result of people's selfishness; it is not "fate" or the fault of the poor, Pope Francis said.

God's Word on Sunday: Looking for answers to our suffering

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 20 (Year B) Job 38:1-4, 8-11; Psalm 107; 2 Corinthains 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41

So much of our anguish stems from our limited vision and understanding. Facing the challenges of life, we make agonized attempts to figure things out.

God's Word on Sunday: Faith, trust open us to higher power

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 13 (Year B) Ezekiel 17:22-24; Psalm 92; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34

What do trees, leaves and sprigs have to do with anything? The prophets often spoke in enigmas and symbols, and Ezekiel was no exception. God was often portrayed as a gardener or vineyard keeper in Scripture and the garden or vineyard often symbolized the people of God — Israel. The message of Ezekiel, both for his own time and ours, is that God is in charge.

Pope Francis names new envoy to Israel, Palestine

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis named Archbishop Adolfo Yllana to be apostolic nuncio to Israel and to Cyprus and apostolic delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine.

  • By Catholic News Service

Mary Marrocco: Our doubts can move us toward Jesus

Sometimes I imagine what it might have been like for people at the foot of the cross as Jesus’ body was taken down, wrapped in linens and spices, and taken away to the tomb.

Holy See receives permanent observer status at the WHO

VATICAN CITY -- The World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to formalize the participation of the Holy See in the World Health Organization as a nonmember state observer.

Pope Francis promulgates revised canon law on crimes, punishments

VATICAN CITY -- A series of laws and procedures promulgated by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI and, especially, by Pope Francis to protect children, promote the investigation of allegations of clerical sexual abuse and punish offenders are included in a heavily revised section of the Code of Canon Law.

  • By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

God's Word on Sunday: God gives His word; it won’t be broken

Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, June 6 (Year B) Exodus 24:3-8; Psalm 116; Hebrews 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

Blood is one of the most powerful symbols in the world.