Pope Francis issues Christmas Day Prayer … Calls For Prayers for Syria, Libya Peace and Condemns Radical-Islamic “Brutal Acts of Terrorism”
ITS ABOUT TIME THE POPE MADE ISIS AND RADICAL ISLAM A GREATER THREAT THAN GLOBAL WARMING …
Today, Pope Francis issued a Christmas Day prayer from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome that called for peace for Syria and Libya, prayers for the suffering and denounced the radical Islamist “monstrous evil” and atrocities.” The Pope made reference to the heinous terror attacks in Paris earlier this year. He also made mention of the attacks in Egypt’s airspace and in Beirut, Mali and Tunisia. The Pope further went in to denounce the ongoing conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and Ukraine and issued words of consolation to Christians being persecuted for their faith in many parts of the world. Isn’t it quite amazing that pretty much all that the Pope is referencing as “monstrous evil” and atrocities” is at the hands of radical Islam? The Pope stated, “Only God’s mercy can free humanity from the many forms of evil, at times monstrous evil, which selfishness spawns in our midst.”
Pope Francis issued a Christmas Day prayer that recent U.N.-backed peace processes for Syria and Libya will quickly end the suffering of their people, denouncing the “monstrous evil” and atrocities they have endured and praising countries that have taken in refugees.
Speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis issued a plenary indulgence for all Catholics in hopes of spreading the church’s message of mercy in a world torn by war, poverty and extremist attacks. The sun-soaked St. Peter’s Square was under heavy security, as it has been since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks by Islamic extremists that left 130 dead.
An indulgence is an ancient church tradition related to the forgiveness of sins. Francis announced it after delivering his annual “Urbi et Orbi” (To the city and the world) speech listing global hotspots and his prayers for an end to human suffering.
Francis referred to the “brutal acts of terrorism” that struck the French capital this year, as well as attacks in Egypt’s airspace and in Beirut, Mali and Tunisia. He denounced the ongoing conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and Ukraine and issued words of consolation to Christians being persecuted for their faith in many parts of the world.
“They are our martyrs of today,” he said.
Pope Francis Stops Fiat to Kiss the Forehead of a Boy (Michael Keating) with Cerebral Palsy after Landing in Philadelphia, PA (VIDEO)
THIS IS WHAT THE POPE SHOULD ALWAYS BE DOING … PROVIDING HOPE, FAITH AND A BLESSING FOR THOSE LESS FORTUNATE …
I have been some what critical of Pope Fancis’ political statements that he has made while visiting the United States, only because the following is what he should always be doing and be remembered for. On Saturday morning after the Pope landed in Philadelphia and en route to his next speaking engagement, Pope Francis ordered the car he was traveling in be stopped immediately. Pope Francis got out of the fiat, walked over to a boy in a wheel chair in the crowd and kissed the boy on his forehead. The boy was 10 year old Michael Keating, who has cerebral palsy and cannot communicate. But the Lord works in mysterious ways! KUDOS to Pope Francis. Sir, this is what you need to be doing everywhere and stay away from the liberal BS on climate change and the political fray. You are a religious inspiration and need to bring people back to the faith and provide others with it. Stay Holy and away from politics, please.
Pope Francis kissed the forehead of a boy with cerebral palsy after landing in Philadelphia on Saturday morning, coaxing a small smile from the severely disabled 10-year-old.
Francis apparently spied Michael Keating as he was being driven away from the plane. Ordering the Fiat to stop, Francis got out and walked over to the boy, put his hand on his head and kissed him as his sobbing mother looked on.
Kristin Keating thanked the pope, who grasped her hand. Francis also shook the hand of Keating’s husband, Chuck Keating, the band director at Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown. The band serenaded Francis as he arrived in Philadelphia for the last leg of his six-day visit to the United States.
“It was an unbelievable feeling,” Kristin Keating said of the papal encounter, adding she felt “totally blessed and loved” by the pope.
Pope Francis’ Easter Message: End Violence & Oppression … Pope Called for an End to “the Present Absurd Bloodshed and all Barbarous Acts of Violence” of Radical Islam
Pope Francis Easter Message: “Oh God, who on this day through your only begotten son have conquered death and unmarked for us the path to eternity. [...] We ask peace above all for beloved Syria and Iraq. That the roar of arms cease and that peaceful relations be restored”.
During Pope Francis’ message this Easter Sunday, he called for an end to the bloodshed in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and in Africa and called for the international community not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries. Francis prayed for an end to the violence and persecution of Christians, specifically mentioning the recent slaughter of students massacred by Islamist militants at Garissa University in Kenya.
Pope Francis prayed for an end to the persecution of Christians in his Easter Sunday address, commemorating the students massacred by Islamist militants at Garissa University in Kenya.
Calling for peace in Libya, where last February Islamic State militants beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, the pope called for an end to “the present absurd bloodshed and all barbarous acts of violence”.
He prayed for peace in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, where Boko Haram Islamist militants have also targeted Christian churches.
“We ask for peace and freedom for the many men and women subject to old and new forms of enslavement on the part of criminal individuals and groups,” he said.
Pope Francis reminded the world of the Vatican’s status as a state and his role as a moral diplomat in his traditional speech given at the end of Easter Mass.
The Pontiff lamented the suffering of people in the conflicts currently making headlines and called for violence everywhere to end.
Foremost, he asked that bloodshed end in Iraq and Syria and that humanitarian aid get to those in need.
“May the international community not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries and the drama of the numerous refugees,” he said in his “urbi et orbi” address, Latin for “to the city (Rome) and to the world.”
Then he turned to the Holy Land, expressing the wish that the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians resume.
Francis mentioned Libya; the nuclear talks with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland; Yemen; Nigeria; South Sudan; and the shooting at the Garissa University College in Kenya.
The Full Easter Mass can be seen below
“Jesus Christ is risen! Love has triumphed over hatred, life has conquered death, light has dispelled the darkness!
Out of love for us, Jesus Christ stripped himself of his divine glory, emptied himself, took on the form of a slave and humbled himself even to death, death on a cross. For this reason God exalted him and made him Lord of the universe. Jesus is Lord! By his death and resurrection, Jesus shows everyone the way to life and happiness: this way is humility, which involves humiliation. This is the path which leads to glory. Only those who humble themselves can go towards the “things that are above”, towards God (cf. Col 3:1-4). The proud look “down from above”; the humble look “up from below”.
On Easter morning, alerted by the women, Peter and John ran to the tomb. They found it open and empty. Then they drew near and “bent down” in order to enter it. To enter into the mystery, we need to “bend down”, to abase ourselves. Only those who abase themselves understand the glorification of Jesus and are able to follow him on his way.
The world proposes that we put ourselves forward at all costs, that we compete, that we prevail. But Christians, by the grace of Christ, dead and risen, are the seeds of another humanity, in which we seek to live in service to one another, not to be arrogant, but rather respectful and ready to help.
This is not weakness, but true strength! Those who bear within them God’s power, his love and his justice, do not need to employ violence; they speak and act with the power of truth, beauty and love.
From the risen Lord we ask the grace not to succumb to the pride which fuels violence and war, but to have the humble courage of pardon and peace. We ask Jesus, the Victor over death, to lighten the sufferings of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted for his name, and of all those who suffer injustice as a result of ongoing conflicts and violence.
We ask for peace, above all, for Syria and Iraq, that the roar of arms may cease and that peaceful relations may be restored among the various groups which make up those beloved countries. May the international community not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries and the drama of the numerous refugees.
We pray for peace for all the peoples of the Holy Land. May the culture of encounter grow between Israelis and Palestinians and the peace process be resumed, in order to end years of suffering and division.
We implore peace for Libya, that the present absurd bloodshed and all barbarous acts of violence may cease, and that all concerned for the future of the country may work to favor reconciliation and to build a fraternal society respectful of the dignity of the person. For Yemen too we express our hope for the growth of a common desire for peace, for the good of the entire people. (the rest of the message)
Pope Francis Claims There Are Limitations on Freedom of Speech, ‘One Cannot Make Fun of Faith’ … REALLY?
POPE FRANCIS SAYS THAT YOU CANNOT MAKE FUN OF FAITH …
Following the radical Islam terror attack at Charlie Hebdo, the satirical newspaper that had made fun of the prophet Mohammad in the past, that left numerous dead, Pope Francis stated that there were limitations of freedom of speech and said, “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.” Really? SORRY PONTIFF, YOU COULD NOT BE ANY MORE WRONG. So let’s understand this, the Pope thinks that people do not have the right to make fun of religion? The Pontiff made his point by comparing it to if an individual cursed at his mother, that person would be punched. So is the Pope saying that ‘Charlie Hebdo’ brought this on themselves? Would he say the same about a rape victim?
A note to the Pontiff, blasphemy is offensive, cruel and pretty much wrong, but it is not illegal and does not warrant murder.That is what is supposed to separate Christianity from radical Islam. Sorry, but the very essence of freedom of speech is to defend the very words that you would disagree with, offend you and make your blood boil. Wasn’t it Jesus who told us to bless those who persecute us (Romans 12:14), to return love for hate and good for evil (Psalm 109:5), and even to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). Loving your enemies would include supporting the fundamental commitment to free speech, and defending the right of free speech, even, or especially, for those who offend you. Why am I telling a Pope this?
Pope Francis suggested there are limits to freedom of expression, saying in response to the Charlie Hebdo terror attack that “one cannot make fun of faith” and that anyone who throws insults can expect a “punch.”
The pontiff said that both freedom of faith and freedom of speech were fundamental human rights and that “every religion has its dignity.”
“One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith,” he said. “There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity … in freedom of expression there are limits.”
The right to liberty of expression comes with the “obligation” to speak for “the common good,” Pope Francis said, cautioning against provocation.
To illustrate his point, he joked about Vatican aide Alberto Gasparri who was standing nearby on the plane.
“It’s true that we can’t react violently, but, for example if Dr. Gasbarri here, a great friend of mine, says a curse word against my mother, then a punch awaits him,” the pontiff said.
Pope Francis also said that killing in the name of religion is an “aberration,” but adding that those who deride other faiths can expect to provoke a strong, even violent response. An aberration?
“One cannot react violently, but if [someone] says something bad about my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s to be expected,” the pontiff said. “There are a lot of people who speak badly about other religions. They make fun of them. What happens is what happens with my friend [who insults my mother]. There is a limit.”
The pope made the comments during an in-flight news conference from Sri Lanka to Manila, where he took up the second leg of a weeklong tour of Asia. He was greeted at the airport by President Benigno Aquino III and a performance by hundreds of jeans-clad young people. People cheered the pope’s motorcade to the residence of the apostolic nuncio.
In recent days, the 78-year-old pontiff strongly denounced the attack by two militant Muslim gunmen on Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical publication that has long derided Islam and other religions and their institutions, including the Vatican.
As reported by CBS News, ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is targeting Pope Francis. However, the Vatican is denying the report. Recently, the Pontiff supported the use of force to stop Islamic extremists from attacking religious minorities in Iraq. In a change from the Vatican’s opposition to military force, Pope Francis blessed the use of force to stop the vicious Islamic radicals overrunning Iraq, but he said any intervention first must be backed by the international community.
A new report claims that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is targeting Pope Francis — a report that the Vatican says is simply not true.
According to Il Tempo, Israeli sources reportedly told the Italian newspaper that the pope is “in the crosshairs of ISIS.” The report stated that Francis is being targeted because he is “the greatest exponent of the Christian religions” and the “bearer of false truth.”
The Vatican, though, denounced the report.
“There is nothing serious to this,” Father Federico Lombardi S.J., a Vatican spokesman, told Catholic News Agency. “There is no particular concern in the Vatican. This news has no foundation.”
The Catholic News Agency reports that Italy has issued a nationwide terror alert, despite no imminent threats or specifics about a potential attack on the country.