God's Word on Sunday: Suffering Servant challenges us to listen

Passion (Palm) Sunday, March 28 (Year B) Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Mark 14:1-15:47

Words can wound or heal, tear down or build up, strengthen or weaken and give hope or break spirits. Everything depends on what is spoken and the manner in which is delivered. It has nothing to do with eloquence or rhetorical skill. The words must be suitable to the person and situation and delivered with care and compassion.

Vatican ends practice of private Masses in St. Peter's Basilica

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican is putting an end to the practice of priests going into St. Peter's Basilica early every morning to celebrate their own Mass at a side altar with just an altar server.

Vatican says no blessing of gay unions

VATICAN CITY -- While homosexual men and women must be respected, any form of blessing a same-sex union is "illicit," said the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

God's Word on Sunday: God’s promise is already within us

Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 21 (Year B) Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51; Hebrews 5:7-9; John 12:20-33

God gave both bad news and good news to the people of Israel.

Vatican says general absolution still permissible during pandemic

VATICAN CITY -- Offering general absolution to the faithful without having them personally confess their sins first may still be done in places seeing serious or increasing levels of coronavirus infections, a Vatican official said.

Pope Francis names woman Scripture scholar as secretary of biblical commission

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has named Sister Nuria Calduch-Benages, an Old Testament scholar and professor at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University, to be secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

Returning from Iraq, Pope Francis talks about 'risks' taken on trip

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM IRAQ -- The Catholic Church's commitment to dialogue with other churches and with other religions flows from the Gospel, but Pope Francis said he knows some Catholics disagree.

Life triumphs over death as Christians rebuild in Iraq, Pope Francis says

QARAQOSH, Iraq -- Amid the rubble and bombed out remains of four churches destroyed by Islamic State militants, Pope Francis paid tribute to Iraqi Christians who endured persecution and even death.

God's Word on Sunday: Reflecting on past paves way for renewal

Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 14 (Year B) 2 Chronicles 36:14-17a, 19-23; Psalm 137; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:14-21

There is a pattern that is often repeated in the narratives of the Old Testament. The people of God fall into sin that is marked by idolatry, corruption and injustice. God sends prophets to warn them and turn their hearts back to the Lord. The warnings are usually ignored and then followed by disaster for the nation, usually at the hands of an oppressor.

Hostility, violence are 'betrayals' of religion, Pope Francis says in Iraq

UR, Iraq -- Traveling to the birthplace of Abraham, Pope Francis urged believers to prove their faith in the one God and father of all by accepting one another as brothers and sisters.

Pope Francis, Iraqi Shiite leader affirm importance of dialogue, respect

NASIRIYAH, Iraq -- In a low-key meeting followed closely in Iraq and beyond, Pope Francis and Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the influential leader of Shiite Muslims in Iraq, spent 45 minutes speaking privately.