Faith

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

By

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

By

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

By

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.

At audience, Pope says he feels supported by Catholics' prayers

By

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI said knowing that Catholics around the world pray for him has given him strength and confidence since his election seven years ago.

"From the first moment of my election as the successor of Peter, I always have felt supported by your prayers, by the prayers of the church, especially in the most difficult moments," he said May 9 at his weekly general audience.

Christian, Buddhist clergy call for commitment to overcome evil, greed

By

GARRISON, N.Y. - Combating greed in contemporary society requires a personal commitment to overcome an ancient moral evil, according to speakers at a Buddhist-Christian dialogue May 5 at the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center in Garrison.

"A Buddhist & Christian Understanding of Greed: Personal and Structural" was the topic for the ninth annual dialogue between the two religions sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement.

Presenters said both Christian and Buddhist scriptures decry greed, but prescribe different solutions.

US bishops reflect on their role in the new evangelization

By

ROME - Celebrating Mass in Pope Benedict XVI's cathedral, Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran, a group of U.S. bishops prayed for the Pope and reflected on what they need to do to respond to his call for a new evangelization.

Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs was the homilist and principal celebrant of an evening Mass May 3 during the "ad limina" visit of bishops from Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.

On the eve of the bishops' meeting with Pope Benedict, Bishop Sheridan led his fellow bishops in a reflection on the Pope's insistence that strengthening the faith of Catholics, reviving the faith of those who have fallen away and sharing the Gospel with others means they must preach that Jesus is the son of God and continues to live in the church and the Eucharist.

Progress brings problems without guidance from truth, faith, Pope says

By

VATICAN CITY - Excluding truth and the transcendent from scientific debate and research has impoverished modern thought and weakened the intellect's ability to understand reality, Pope Benedict XVI said.

True intellectual and scientific progress requires an openness to dialogue with opposing views, rather than settling with the "mere repetition" of what one already knows, he added.

Closeness to God gives strength to withstand everything, pope says

By

VATICAN CITY -- The church's first martyr found the strength to face his accusers because of his close relationship with God, Pope Benedict XVI said.

St. Stephen, who was accused of blasphemy and stoned to death, upheld the faith and gave witness to Christ as the righteous one proclaimed by the prophets, the pope said during the general audience in St. Peter's Square May 2.

Priests must live holy lives to be effective ministers, Vatican says

By

VATICAN CITY - Ten years after a historic papal response to clerical sex abuse, the Vatican urged priests to strive for greater holiness in their own lives so that they might effectively minister to others and reverse the tide of atheism.

In its annual letter to priests for 2012, the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy focused on Blessed John Paul II's 2002 Holy Thursday letter to clergy, in which the late pope responded to the growing revelations and scandal of sexual abuse of minors by priests.

Pope says quest for peace must also be quest for truth

By

VATICAN CITY - The quest for justice and peace will bear fruit only if it's also a quest for the truth about the human person, created by God and "endowed with intelligence and freedom, capable of knowing and loving," Pope Benedict XVI said.

Intelligence enables people to discover what is good and beneficial -- "the right order that is inscribed within creation itself" -- the Pope said in a message April 30 to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.