Pope likens world to latter-day Babel, announces new doctors of church

VATICAN CITY - The modern world is a latter-day Babel, where arrogance inspired by technological progress leads people to play God and sets them against each other, a predicament from which people can escape only through divinely inspired humility and love, said Pope Benedict XVI.

The pope made his remarks during his homily May 27, Pentecost Sunday, during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

Catholics can gain indulgence by praying for families, going to Milan

VATICAN CITY - Catholics who dedicate themselves to special prayers and efforts to promote the holiness of Christian families can receive special indulgences during the World Meeting of Families May 30-June 2 in Milan.

Pope Benedict XVI authorized the indulgences for those who, "truly repentant and motivated by charity, dedicate themselves to the sanctification of the family," said a decree published May 25 by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, which deals with indulgences.

Vatican publishes rules for verifying Marian apparitions

VATICAN CITY - To help bishops determine the credibility of alleged Marian apparitions, the Vatican has translated and published procedural rules from 1978 that had previously been available only in Latin.

The "Norms regarding the manner of proceedings in the discernment of presumed apparitions or revelations" were approved by Pope Paul VI in 1978 and distributed to the world's bishops, but never officially published or translated into modern languages.

Dublin's city center 'Camino' takes pilgrims to seven historic churches

DUBLIN - A new city center "Camino," or pilgrim walk, has been launched in Dublin as part of the celebrations surrounding the International Eucharistic Congress set for June 10-17.

The walk, involving prayerful visits to seven of Dublin's most historic Catholic and Anglican churches, is partly inspired by the famous pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain and partly inspired by the traditional Dublin devotion of visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday.

Each human being is a miracle loved by God the father, Pope says

VATICAN CITY - Addressing God as "Father" is an acknowledgement that God is the one who created, supports and guides humanity, Pope Benedict XVI said.

"Maybe people today do not understand the beauty, greatness and deep consolation" that comes from recognizing God as father, "because the paternal figure is not sufficiently present today," the Pope said May 23 during his weekly general audience.

Pope tells Cardinals, 'We are on the Lord's team, the winning team'

VATICAN CITY - "We are on the Lord's team, the winning team," Pope Benedict XVI told members of the College of Cardinals at the end of a luncheon he hosted to thank them for their friendship and support.

At the end of the meal in the frescoed Sala Ducale of the Apostolic Palace May 21, the Pope told the Cardinals that St. Augustine once described history as "a battle between two loves," love for oneself and love for God.

Pope calls on Chinese Catholics to be faithful to church, Pope

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI called on Chinese Catholics to be faithful to the Pope, asked that mass media worldwide promote mutual respect and dialogue, and prayed for those hit by a deadly earthquake near Bologna and a school bombing in Brindisi.

After reciting the "Regina Coeli" prayer with those gathered in St. Peter's Square May 20, the Pope denounced a May 19 bombing of a high school in southern Italy, calling it "a vile attack."

We are family: Pope to give Catholic families hope in troubled times

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI will meet with the world's families at a time when the institution of the family is under threat and many are still struggling with a worldwide economic crisis and a lack of cultural and societal support.

As a sign of his deep concern for bolstering the family based on the lifelong union between a man and a woman, the Pope will travel to Milan to meet with those attending the May 30-June 3 World Meeting of Families.

At audience, Pope says work should help, not hinder, family life

VATICAN CITY - Work obligations should not harm a person's family relationships but should provide support, giving couples the resources to have and raise children and spend time together, Pope Benedict XVI said.

At the end of his weekly general audience May 16, Pope Benedict noted how the United Nations chose "family and work" as the focus of the 2012 International Day of Families, which was celebrated May 15.

Christians' civic commitment must respect beliefs of others, Pope says

SANSEPOLCRO, Italy - Celebrating the 1,000th anniversary of a town founded to be a model of Gospel peace and justice, Pope Benedict XVI said Christians today must find ways to infuse their cities and nations with Gospel values while welcoming and respecting people with other beliefs.

In his evening visit May 13 to Sansepolcro, named after the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, the Pope urged the townspeople to use the anniversary to emulate Sts. Arcanus and Aegidius, who established the town after returning from Jerusalem.

Messengers of hope, peace still face persecution, Pope says

VATICAN CITY - People spreading the Gospel are still subject to persecution even though they are bringing a message of peace and hope to a world marked by crises, anxiety and desperation, Pope Benedict XVI said.

"However, despite the problems and tragic reality of persecution, the church does not get discouraged, it remains faithful to the Lord's mandate," knowing that witnesses and martyrs always have been numerous and indispensible for evangelization, he said.