Nick Benson

OTHER NEWS

#PrayForPriests during Holy Week, says Cardinal Nichols

Cardinal Vincent Nichols is encouraging Catholics to pray for our priests through Holy Week – particularly on Maundy Thursday when we recall the Last Supper and the institution of the Holy Eucharist. “We’re asking priests to renew their promises, the promises they...

Cardinal Nichols calls for prayers for Boris Johnson

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has urged Catholics to pray for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently in intensive care receiving treatment for Covid-19. In a tweet, Cardinal Nichols said: ‘Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a personal fight on his hands against the...

Vatican calls for creative ways to protect elderly from loneliness

Local churches and individuals must do more to help and to protect the elderly from loneliness and infection during the coronavirus pandemic, a Vatican office said. "We must devote new energies to defend them from this storm, just as each of us has been protected and...

God’s love in charity exists even in most secularised places, pope says

During times of freedom or persecution, the Gospel is needed to bring meaning, fullness and hope to life, Pope Francis said.

Speaking about his recent visit to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the pope said he visited these Baltic nations as they celebrated the 100th anniversary of their declarations of independence.

However, during these past 100 years, these countries have experienced “the yoke of occupation,” beginning with the Nazis and then the Soviet Union, the pope said at his general audience in St Peter’s Square on 26th September.

During his visit, the pope paid homage to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania, which saw more than 95 per cent of its Jewish population murdered, and he visited a former Soviet KGB headquarters that is now a museum dedicated to victims of genocide, foreign occupations and political resistance.

“I stopped in prayer in the rooms where opponents of the regime were detained, tortured and killed. They killed 40 people, more or less, a night,” he said, noting how upsetting it was to see how cruel human beings could be. “Let us think about that.”

The situation in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is very different now compared to when St John Paul II visited in 1993, “therefore, my mission was to newly proclaim to these people the joy of the Gospel and the revolution of mercy, of tenderness because freedom (by itself) is not enough to give meaning and fullness to life without love, the love that comes from God.”

During difficult, trying times, he said, the Gospel “gives strength and enlivens the struggle for freedom.”

During times of freedom, he added, the Gospel “is the light” showing the way for people’s daily journey, and it is “the salt” giving ordinary life flavour and preserving it from “the corruption of mediocrity and selfishness.”

A strong sign of the Gospel being alive is seeing concrete works of charity, he said.

Even where secularisation has hit hardest, the pope said, “God speaks with the language of love, of care, of selfless service to those who are in need. And then hearts open up and miracles happen. In deserts, new life blooms.”

Picture: Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead the 26th September general audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters).

Share

OTHER NEWS

#PrayForPriests during Holy Week, says Cardinal Nichols

Cardinal Vincent Nichols is encouraging Catholics to pray for our priests through Holy Week – particularly on Maundy Thursday when we recall the Last Supper and the institution of the Holy Eucharist. “We’re asking priests to renew their promises, the promises they...

Cardinal Nichols calls for prayers for Boris Johnson

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has urged Catholics to pray for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently in intensive care receiving treatment for Covid-19. In a tweet, Cardinal Nichols said: ‘Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a personal fight on his hands against the...

Vatican calls for creative ways to protect elderly from loneliness

Local churches and individuals must do more to help and to protect the elderly from loneliness and infection during the coronavirus pandemic, a Vatican office said. "We must devote new energies to defend them from this storm, just as each of us has been protected and...