Changing needs, changing focus: Councils advise, encourage church

VATICAN CITY - The Roman Curia did not have any "pontifical councils" until 1967, but since then they have become a popular structure for focusing attention on practical areas of life in the church and the world.

Changing needs, changing names: Reform of Curia is Vatican tradition

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals continue to study the most effective and efficient way to organize the Roman Curia, a large bureaucracy with a long history of expansions and a few, short-term, attempts at consolidation.

Linking human energy to God within

Few thinkers have influenced me as profoundly as Robert L. Moore. Moore is a scholar who has spent almost 50 years studying human energy from the perspective of psychology, anthropology and spirituality. Few scholars are his equal in linking human energy, even when it is raw and grandiose, to the image and likeness of God inside of us. He merits an audience. 

Faith is in opposition to fear and doubt

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Aug. 10, (1 Kings 19:9, 11-13; Psalm 85; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-33) 

To many people God seems absent from our world. Often it is difficult to discern the presence of God in one’s own life. Part of the reason is that our perception of God is filtered through far too many expectations. We have set ideas about how God is to be revealed and they are usually dramatic, flashy and filled with displays of power — all fine material for Hollywood biblical epics. Compounding the problem is the tendency of ancient peoples to assign manifestations of nature to the immediate hand of God. Our scientific understanding of the natural order would prevent most of us from seeing the hand of God in an earthquake, hurricane or tsunami. 

Pope Francis to visit Philippines and Sri Lanka in January

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle confirmed July 29 that Pope Francis will visit Jan. 15-19, after spending several days in Sri Lanka.

Pope Francis reveals top 10 secrets to happiness

VATICAN CITY - Slowing down, being generous and fighting for peace are part of Pope Francis' secret recipe for happiness.

All is lost with war, says Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY - It's time to stop war, fighting and conflicts, which do nothing but kill and maim, leaving children unexploded ordnance for toys and lives without happiness, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis meets 200 Pentecostals in Italy

VATICAN CITY - His voice breaking with emotion, Giovanni Traettino, a Pentecostal pastor in southern Italy and longtime friend of Pope Francis, welcomed the Pope, "my beloved brother," to his partially built church in Caserta.

Vatican revising canon law on abuse penalties

VATICAN CITY - Church law has procedures and penalties for effectively dealing with allegations of clerical sexual abuse, but the Vatican is working to revise a section of the Code of Canon Law to make those norms and procedures clearer and, therefore, more effective, said the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

Marvelous things happen with God

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Aug. 3 (Isaiah 55:1-3; Psalm 145; Romans 8:35, 37-39; Matthew 14:13-21) 

Remember when pillows and blankets on airplanes were free and there was no charge for baggage? Those days are gone forever, and increasingly every dimension of daily life has charges and costs tied to them. 

Papal puzzler: Leo XIII anonymously published riddles in Latin

VATICAN CITY - Going by the pseudonym "X," Pope Leo XIII anonymously crafted poetic puzzles in Latin for a Roman periodical at the turn of the 19th century.