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Archive for July, 2013

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

The Vatican bank, officially the Institute for the Works of Religion, has launched its own website in an effort to shake its image as a secretive, scandal-ridden institute. Shown is a page from the site at ior.va. (CNS)

The Vatican bank, officially the Institute for the Works of Religion, has launched its own website in an effort to shake its image as a secretive, scandal-ridden institute. Shown is a page from the site at ior.va. (CNS)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In an effort to shake its image as a secretive, scandal-ridden institute and improve its relationship with the media, the Vatican bank has launched its own website.

“It is an important part of transparency to launch a website,” said Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Vatican bank.

The site for the bank — formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion — went live July 31 at ior.va.

Having an online presence is meant “to tell our customers, the church, the interested public what we are doing, how our reform efforts are progressing and what the scope of our work is,” he told Vatican Radio.

But it’s also a way for the bank to try to facilitate relations with the press, which has given extensive coverage of the bank’s woes and less to its campaign to clean up.

The website, published in English and Italian, lists a number of contacts — including two people dedicated to press inquiries — complete with direct phone lines, street addresses and emails.

Von Freyberg told Vatican Radio, “We consider journalists and the media our key intermediaries with the public, but also with those in the church who are interested in our work.

“We hope that this website will also create a platform to communicate with journalists and the media,” he said. (more…)

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By Catholic News Service

cns-logoNEW YORK (CNS) — New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, a July 30 guest on “CBS This Morning” to discuss the pope’s impromptu news conference on a papal flight the previous day, stressed that Pope Francis “would be the first to say, my job isn’t to change church teaching; my job is to present it as clearly as possible.”

Cardinal Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was asked to comment in particular on the pope’s remark: “If a person is gay, seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge? They should not be marginalized. They are our brothers.” (more…)

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Summer Camp Week 2 Day 4

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By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

cns-logoABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM BRAZIL (CNS) — Pope Francis said he was responding to the clear wishes of the College of Cardinals when he set up commissions to study the Vatican bank, Vatican financial and administrative procedures and the reform of the Roman Curia.

The pope also said he knows people have spoken about some kind of “gay lobby” at the Vatican protecting certain priests by threatening to blackmail others. The pope said the “lobbying” is what is worrisome.

Pope Francis held his first news conference July 28, shortly after the Alitalia flight taking him back to Rome departed from Rio de Janeiro. He answered questions from 21 journalists over a period of 80 minutes. The questions were not submitted in advance and no topics were ruled out of bounds. (more…)

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By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

Pope Francis greets a man as he meets with patients, family and staff at St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro July 24. The pope addressed a group of recovering drug addicts offering them a message of compassion and hope as well as a call to s elf-determination. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis greets a man as he meets with patients, family and staff at St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro July 24. The pope addressed a group of recovering drug addicts offering them a message of compassion and hope as well as a call to s elf-determination. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) — Pope Francis addressed a group of recovering drug addicts in a working-class neighborhood of Rio, offering them a message of compassion and hope as well as a call to self-determination.

At the Hospital of St. Francis of Assisi, which he called a “shrine of human suffering,” he told patients they were the “flesh of Christ,” like the leper embraced by the institution’s patron saint in a crucial step toward his conversion. He also said those struggling with drug dependency deserve the “closeness, affection and love” of all society.

Yet the pope also stressed the necessity of personal will in recovering from addiction.

“To embrace someone is not enough,” Pope Francis said July 24. “We must hold the hand of the one in need, of the one who has fallen into the darkness of dependency perhaps without even knowing how, and we must say to him or her: ‘You can get up, you can stand up. It is difficult, but it is possible if you want to.’

“Dear friends, I wish to say to each of you, but especially to all those others who have not had the courage to embark on our journey: ‘You have to want to stand up; this is the indispensable condition!'” (more…)

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By Catholic News Service

Men comfort a woman who was injured after a train crash July 24 in Galicia, Spain, near the pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela. At least 77 people died and more than 100 others were injured when the train derailed, the president of the regional go vernment said. (CNS photo/Xoan A. Soler/Monica Ferreiros/La Voz de Galicia via Reuters)

Men comfort a woman who was injured after a train crash July 24 in Galicia, Spain, near the pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela. At least 77 people died and more than 100 others were injured when the train derailed, the president of the regional go vernment said. (CNS photo/Xoan A. Soler/Monica Ferreiros/La Voz de Galicia via Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis sent condolences to the archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, after a train crash left at least 80 dead and more than 100 injured.

The telegram was sent July 25, the feast of St. James the Apostle, patron saint of Spain. The accident occurred the previous day when the train, traveling above the speed limit, derailed.

Pope Francis’ telegram to Archbishop Julian Barrio of Santiago de Compostela said he was praying for the victims, and he expressed his spiritual closeness to those suffering.

In Washington, the White House said at least six Americans were among those killed, injured or missing.

Among those who died was Ana-Maria Cordoba, a benefits specialist for Virginia’s Arlington Diocese. She was traveling with her husband, Philippe, and daughter, Christina, a rising senior at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. (more…)

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Summer Camp Week 2 Day 3

The second week of the Diocesan Summer Camp is underway. Youth in seventh through ninth grades have been playing games outdoors, participating in arts and crafts, swimming and getting in touch with nature and their faith. (more…)

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