Cardinal Ouellet says society has lost sense of marriage, family

MAYNOOTH, Ireland - The Vatican official who will act as papal legate for the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin defended marriage based on the church's traditional teaching and urged Catholics to use the resource of the family to confront the challenges of secularized societies.

Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Congregation for Bishops, made his comment in his keynote address to open the International Theology Symposium at St. Patrick's College June 6.

Vatican II did not downplay eucharistic adoration, Pope says

ROME - A misunderstanding of the Second Vatican Council has led some Catholics to think that eucharistic adoration and Corpus Christi processions are pietistic practices that pale in importance to the celebration of Mass, Pope Benedict XVI said.

"A unilateral interpretation of the Second Vatican Council has penalized this dimension" of Catholic faith, which is to recognize Jesus truly present in the Eucharist and worthy of adoration, the Pope said June 7 during a Mass marking the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Sundays must be a day of rest dedicated to God, family, Pope says

VATICAN CITY - The demands of work can't bully people out of needed time off, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Sunday must be a day of rest for everyone, so people can be free to be with their families and with God, the Pope said.

"By defending Sunday, one defends human freedom," he said during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square June 6.

The Father determines all human destinies

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

A parable or metaphor plucked from its original time and place is often difficult to understand. At first glance, the image of planting and tending shoots in the reading from Ezekiel seems vague and puzzling. It is only when we study chapter 17 in its entirety and place it in the context of the sixth century BC that it becomes clearer.

The crack in our pitcher

There’s a much quoted line from Leonard Cohen that suggests that the place where we are broken is also the place where our redemption starts: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

That’s true, a major wound is often the place where wisdom flows into our lives and a weakness that habitually overpowers us can keep us aware of our need for grace. But that’s half of the equation. A fault, while keeping us humble, can also keep us in mediocrity and joylessness.

John of the Cross offers us this image by way of an explanation:

Large families find strength, grace at world meeting in Milan

MILAN (CNS) -- One thing the Tuncaps and the Wongs have in common, other than attending their first World Meeting of Families with five children each, is they've had a lot of people tell them they were crazy.

Paula Wong, 42, said that back home in Coogee, Australia, people at the supermarket often say "I'm so glad I'm not you!" as she pushes her cart with her tousle-haired kids.

Her husband Hendrikus, 45, said his relatives still can't understand why he would want so many children when his mother grew up poor in Jakarta in a family of 10.

Pope opens possibility of US visit, says faith builds strong families

MILAN - As Pope Benedict XVI closed the World Meeting of Families in Italy's capital of finance and fashion, he opened the possibility of his heading to the United States when he named the Archdiocese of Philadelphia the next venue of the world gathering.

"God willing," he said, he would attend in 2015 as he greeted Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia and "the Catholics of that great city," saying he looked forward to meeting U.S. Catholics and other families from around the world there.

Philadelphia to host World Meeting of Families in 2015

MILAN - When the Archdiocese of Philadelphia hosts the United States' first World Meeting of Families in 2015, it will need to be a significantly smaller affair than the enormous gatherings seen since its inception in 1994, said the city's archbishop.

It is only with a reduced number of participants that "we could manage through special gifts and the like that people would be willing to give to support such a gathering," Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia told Catholic News Service shortly after Pope Benedict XVI's announcement.

For Michael O’Brien, faith is life

TORONTO - The Catholic Civil Rights League has named Michael O’Brien, a world-renowned Canadian author and artist, the 2012 recipient of the Archbishop Adam Exner Award for Catholic Excellence in Public Life.

This annual award recognizes “outstanding lay achievement in advocacy, education, life issues, media and culture, and philanthropy.”

IEC is Ireland's largest religious event since 1979 papal visit

DUBLIN - The weeklong 50th International Eucharistic Congress, which gets under way in Dublin June 10, will be Ireland's largest religious event since Pope John Paul II visited in 1979.

The celebration of faith offers a lively mixture of prayer, reflection and liturgy with participation from some of the leading voices in the Catholic world.

Organizers promise an estimated 12,000 overseas visitors the traditional Irish "cead mile failte" --"a hundred thousand welcomes." Many Dubliners have opened their homes to pilgrims.

Pope deplores 'VatiLeaks' scandal, prays for quake victims [w/ video]

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI voiced regret for the turmoil surrounding the recent publication of leaked Vatican documents, but thanked the vast majority of people who work at the Vatican for their dedication and fidelity.

Speaking at the end of his weekly general audience May 30, the pope said much of the media coverage of the leak of private letters and of the arrest May 23 of his personal assistant has been exaggerated and "completely gratuitous, and has gone far beyond the facts, offering an image of the Holy See that does not correspond to reality."