In his homily Pope Francis focused on the cardinals being called to follow Christ more closely, to build up the unity of the church and to proclaim the Gospel more courageously.
Slipping hillsides of clay, mud and gravel entombed an enormous necropolis below today’s Vatican City State, keeping its underground “city of the dead” safely sealed for two millennia.
An official at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said that, despite widespread news reports and the statement of an Italian bishop, he does not expect Pope Francis to write an encyclical on the subject of poverty.
The Catholic Church is not going to change its position on the inadmissibility of women priests, Pope Francis said, but it does have to stop linking all decision making to ordination and allow women to have a voice in deliberations.
Here are a few of the main features of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), which was released Nov. 26 at the Vatican:
Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on sharing the joy of the Gospel is a call to faith-filled optimism, recognizing challenges but knowing that God’s love and lordship will prevail, said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, introducing the text to the media.
Defending human dignity and protecting society’s most vulnerable necessarily means protecting the unborn and defending their right to life, Pope Francis said in his apostolic exhortation.
Pope Francis had called for the prayer vigil less than a week earlier, as the central event of a worldwide day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world.
The pope appointed Archbishop Pietro Parolin, 58, a longtime official in the Vatican secretariat of state and nuncio to Venezuela since 2009, to be his secretary of state.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has sent information to its priests and deacons about how they can mark this intention with their parishioners.