#ShortNews: Kim Jong-un invites Pope Francis to visit North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has invited Pope Francis to visit Pyongyang, a spokesman for South Korea’s presidential Blue House said Tuesday.

“Chairman Kim said he will ‘ardently welcome the pope if he visits Pyongyang,’” spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said according to a readout of the news briefing. The spokesman was announcing details about South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s planned visit to Europe next week, which includes a stop at the Vatican on Oct. 17 and 18.

Read full article: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/10/09/asia-pacific/north-koreas-kim-invites-pope-francis-visit-pyongyang-seoul-says/#.W8Q2tbPQ7IV

#ShortStory: Appeal of the Holy Father for Chinese Catholics

There is hope and concern, sadness and uneasiness among Chinese Catholics at the news of the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops signed between China and the Holy See. There are criticisms of illicit bishops who have been excommunicated because they “have lovers and children” and are “loyal collaborators of the regime against the Lord”, together with requests to be able to see and know of the text of the agreement.

Read more: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Chinese-Catholics:-hope-and-sadness-at-China-and-the-Holy-See-agreement-45028.html

Appeal of the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters,

Last Saturday, 22 September, a Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China was signed in Beijing, regarding the appointment of bishops in China. The Agreement is the fruit of a long and careful journey of dialogue, intended to promote a more positive collaboration between the Holy See and the Chinese authorities for the good of the Catholic community in China and for the harmony of society as a whole.

In this spirit, I have decided to address to Chinese Catholics and to all the universal Church a Message of fraternal encouragement, which will be published today. With this, I hope that in China a new phase may begin, which will help to heal the wounds of the past, to re-establish and maintain the full communion of all Chinese Catholics and to assume with renewed commitment the announcement of the Gospel.

Dear brothers and sisters, we have an important task! We are called to accompany our brothers and sisters in China with fervent prayer and fraternal friendship. They know they are not alone. All the Church prays with them and for them. Let us ask Our Lady, Mother of Hope and Help of Christians, to bless and to keep all Catholics in China, while for the entire Chinese people let us invoke from God the gift of prosperity and peace.

#ShortNews: Pope points to Christ’s silence in face of accusations

The Pope said that when Jesus arrived at the synagogue, he aroused curiosity. Everyone wanted to see the person they had heard was working miracles in other places. Instead of satisfying their curiosity, the Pope said, the Son of the Heavenly Father uses only “the Word of God”. This is the attitude Jesus adopted when confronting the devil. The Pope then said that Jesus’ humility opens the door to his first words meant to construct a bridge but instead sow doubt immediately changing the atmosphere “from peace to war”, from “amazement to fury”.

The Pope continued saying the truth is humble and silent and is not noisy, acknowledging that what Jesus did is not easy. However, “the dignity of the Christian is anchored in the power of God”. Even in a family, he said, there are times when division occurs because of “discussions on politics, sports, money”. Pope Francis recommends silence and prayer in these cases:

With people lacking good will, with people who only seek scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family: silence, prayer.

Read full story: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2018-09/pope-mass-santa-marta-silence-truth-humble-silent.html

#ShortNews: Accuse yourself, not others, Pope counsels Christians

We need to recognize that we are sinners: without learning to accuse ourselves, we cannot walk in the Christian life. That was the heart of Pope Francis’ message in the homily for the daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. The morning Eucharistic celebrations in the chapel at the papal residence recommenced Monday following the summer break.

And so that first step is also a grace: the grace of learning to accuse oneself, and not others:

“A sign that a person does not know, that a Christian does not know how to accuse himself is when he is accustomed to accusing others, to talking about others, to being nosy about the lives of others. And that is an ugly sign. Do I do this? It’s a good question to get to the heart [of things]. Today let us ask the Lord for the grace, the grace to find ourselves face to face with Him with this wonder that His presence gives; and the grace to feel that we are sinners, but concretely, and to say with Peter: ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinner’.”

Read full story: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2018-09/pope-francis-homily-daily-mass-accuse-oneself-not-others.html

#ShortNews: Pope Francis writes letter to the entire Church on the abuse scandal

Letter of the Holy Father Francis to the People of God

“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26). These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons. Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike. Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults…”

Read full article: http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/08/20/180820a.html

#ShortNews: Washington Post: ‘Francis’s track record in handling abuse is mixed’

With revelation after revelation, a new wave of sexual abuse scandals is rocking the Roman Catholic Church and presenting Pope Francis with the greatest crisis of his papacy. And, in the past five years, many Catholics have looked to Francis as a figure who could modernize the church and help it regain its credibility.

But Francis’s track record in handling abuse is mixed, something some outsiders attribute to his learning curve or shortcomings and others chalk up to resistance from a notoriously change-averse institution. Analysts who have studied the church’s response to sexual abuse, and several people who have advised the pope, say the Vatican has been unable to take the dramatic steps that can help an organization get out from under scandals — and avoid their repetition.

Read full story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/why-the-vatican-continues-to-struggle-with-sex-abuse-scandals/2018/08/12/483e16e2-9439-11e8-818b-e9b7348cd87d_story.html?utm_term=.fd09dea57b1d

#ShortNews: Pope Francis’s Encyclical on the Environment

After much anticipation, Pope Francis released Laudato Si, an encyclical on climate and justice to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.”

“Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.

This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.

Read full text of the Encyclical letter Laudato si’ Of the holy father Francis: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html