Faith

VATICAN CITY - Through volunteer work, Christians become signs of God's love in the world, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Especially at a time of serious economic crisis, moral uncertainty and social tension, Christian volunteers show "that goodness exists and that it is growing in our midst," the Pope said Nov. 11 in a speech to participants at a Vatican meeting on Catholic volunteer activity in Europe.

The two-day meeting, sponsored by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which promotes and coordinates Catholic charity, was held in conjunction with the European Year of Volunteering. It brought together about 160 bishops and representatives of charitable organizations from 25 countries.

At audience, pope appeals for victims of flooding around world

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI offered prayers for victims of recent flooding in Central America, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world and urged people to be generous in helping those suffering the effects of natural disasters.

In a sunny St. Peter's Square, after days of rain in Rome, Pope Benedict made his appeal at the end of his weekly general audience Nov. 9.

"The Future of Religion in a Secular Age" - writers say faith requires intelligence

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TORONTO - With a title like “The Future of Religion in a Secular Age” the evening of high-minded talk on the campus of the University of Toronto might have been an invitation to religious hand-wringing.

The new atheists, religious illiteracy, technology, loneliness, multiculturalism and community breakdown were all on the agenda. But with humour and insight two of the most prolific and thoughtful religious writers alive used the evening to affirm that faith requires intelligence.

“Think of me as a lapsed heretic,” said England’s Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

Vatican’s top ecumenist Cardinal Koch assesses progress, prospects

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WASHINGTON - A top Vatican ecumenist said different types of divisions affect Catholic relations with the Orthodox churches and with those that were born from the Protestant Reformation, but both can be resolved with dialogue.

He also criticized the “anti-Catholic attitude” displayed by some Pentecostals and said Catholics must resist a temptation to adopt the “sometimes problematic evangelical methods” of those churches.

Cardinal Kurt Koch, the Swiss-born president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, spoke at The Catholic University of America Nov. 3. The title of his talk was “Fundamental Aspects of Ecumenism and Future Perspectives.”

Chaminade's first graduate-priest gained strength through faith

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TORONTO - It's fitting that Chaminade College School's motto is Fortes in Fide, strength through faith, said Fr. Ante Market, the school's first ever graduate to be ordained to the priesthood.

"I'm thankful to God for calling me and I'm thankful to Chaminade for giving me the opportunity to grow in my faith," he told The Catholic Register.

Life-giving power of resurrection is not symbol, but reality, Pope says

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VATICAN CITY - Christ's resurrection is not a mere symbol of life and renewal but is the true source of a love that conquers the power of death, Pope Benedict XVI said.

"The abyss of death is filled by another abyss of even greater depth, that of God's love, so that death no longer has any power over Jesus Christ nor over those who, through their faith and baptism, are tied to him," he said during a memorial Mass Nov. 3.

At audience, Pope prays G-20 summit will help world's poor

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI prayed that a summit of the leaders of countries with the world's largest economies would find ways to overcome the current economic crisis and promote real development.

At the end of his weekly general audience Nov. 2, the pope issued a special appeal to the leaders of the G-20 nations scheduled to meet Nov. 3-4 in Cannes, France.

"I hope the meeting will help overcome the difficulties, which -- on a global level -- block the promotion of an authentically human and integral development," the Pope said.

Irish eucharistic congress a time of communion

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TORONTO - The 50th anniversary of the International Eucharistic Congress will be a time of communion, reflection and renewal of faith, says Fr. Kevin Doran, secretary general of the congress to be held next year in Dublin.

With the theme “The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another,” the congress will be held June 10 to 17, 2011 in the Irish capital.

Papal buzz for Manila archbishop?

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IMUS, Philippines - On a recent Sunday morning, Nemie Anciado squinted against the searing sun shining on the doorway of the crowded Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral.

Anciado has been a longtime custodian at the cathedral, where Archbishop Luis Tagle served as bishop from 2001 until his recent appointment as head of the Manila archdiocese.

Anciado said he has mixed feelings about Tagle’s new assignment. He said he’s sad to lose him and happy that “he will be able to grow in his new position.”

All Saints' Day calls for focus on holy vocation of Church, Pope says

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VATICAN CITY - The feast of All Saints calls on Catholics to see the church as the communion of saints -- as Christ meant it to be -- and not to focus on it as an earthly institution with members who sometimes sin, Pope Benedict XVI said.

"We are called to see the church, not in its temporal and human aspect, marked by fragility, but as Christ wanted it, that is, as the communion of saints," the Pope said Nov. 1 before reciting the Angelus for the feast of All Saints.

Pope says Assisi participants represent all who work for peace

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VATICAN CITY - Thanking the 300 delegates who joined him for a peace pilgrimage to Assisi, Pope Benedict XVI said they represent billions of people -- believers and nonbelievers -- committed to making the world a better place.

The gathering was "a vivid expression of the fact that every day, throughout the world, people of different religious traditions live and work together in harmony," the Pope told the delegates Oct. 28, the morning after they had gone by train with him to Assisi.