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Church needs young people, but they need to be heard too

ROME (CNS): The Catholic Church needs the enthusiasm, daring and hope of young people so that it can preach the gospel energetically and respond to the questions men and women raise today, Pope Francis told some 300 young adults gathered for the opening a weeklong meeting in preparation for October’s Synod of Bishops on March 19.
 
“We need to rediscover in the Lord the strength to get up after failure, to move forward, to strengthen hope for the future,” the pope said. 
 

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Church leaders praise Stephen Hawking

VATICAN CITY (CNS): British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and popular author, Stephen Hawking, who said he did not believe in God, died on March 14 at the age of 76. He was an esteemed member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and fostered a fruitful dialogue between science and faith.
                                        

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Pope Francis by the numbers

VATICAN (CNS): In just five years as leader of the universal Church, Pope Francis has made 22 international trips, travelling 249,297 kilometres—the equivalent of six times around the world.
 
The pope has also declared 880 new saints, including the martyrdom of an estimated 800 Italian laypeople killed by Ottoman soldiers in the 15th century.
 
The Vatican released those numbers, detailing the many papal events, documents, travels and accomplishments over the past five years, and more on March 17. 

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Pakistan’s bishops meet with pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Archbishop Joseph Arshad of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, recounted that sitting in a small circle in the papal library with four other bishops from Pakistan and Pope Francis felt like having a family discussion.
 
The archbishop, president of the Pakistan Bishops’ Conference, along with with Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi; Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad; Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore; and Bishop Benny Mario Travas of Multan, met with the pope as part of their quinquennial ad limina visit to report the pope.

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Famed director makes film about Pope Francis

VATICAN (CNS): After two years working on the documentary, Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, the award winning German filmmaker, Wim Wenders, said he is most struck by the pope’s courage.
 

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Criticism against Pope Francis is foolish prejudice Pope Benedict says

VATICAN (CNS): “These small volumes reasonably demonstrate that Pope Francis is a man with profound philosophical and theological formation and are helpful to see the interior continuity between the two pontificates, even with all the differences in style and temperament,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote on the occasion of the launching of a new book collection titled, The Theology of Pope Francis.
 

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Pope asks young people to write meditations for Way of Cross

VATICAN (CNS): In light of this year’s Synod of Bishops on Young People, Pope Francis has asked that the meditations for Way of the Cross on Good Friday be written by a group of students Vatican News reported on March 8.
 
The pope wants today’s younger generation to reflect on the Passion of Christ. 
 
Each year, the pope asks a different person or group of people to write the meditations for the nighttime Holy Week event at Rome’s Colosseum which this year falls on March 30.

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Five years on: Pope Francis keeps reaching for the peripheries

HONG KONG (Agencies): “I have the sense that my pontificate will be brief: four or five years.” Pope Francis madd this startling observation during an interview with the Mexican media company, Televisa on the second anniversary of his election to the papacy in 2015. Now, on March 13, as his pontificate reaches its fifth year, the Sunday Examiner wishes him many more! 
 

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No heresy in showing mercy to divorced and remarried

VATICAN (CNS): “A heresy is a tenacious disagreement with formal dogma. The doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage has not been called into question on Pope Francis’ part,” Walter Cardinal Kasper, a theologian, told Vatican News on March 5.
 

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Mercy at the centre of five years of papacy

The 13th of March will mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ pontificate. Over the past five years, he has brought the Catholic Church new life. In particular, his concern for the poor and the disadvantaged in words and deeds, and his commitment to the promotion of peace have greatly impressed people within and outside the Church.
 
What is most impressive is that he stresses on the Church to “go out” to care for the poor and to practise social teaching.