2017-02-24.  Pope Francis: Are we on the way to a major world war over water?

Pope Francis has fully entered into a problem that is not seen on the front page of newspapers, but its consequences are devastating: access to water and to uncontaminated water.

Before almost a hundred world experts, he called for the right to water to have a central importance in public legislation and for leaders to seek effective solutions to guarantee access to all. Water, he said, is one of the fundamental rights of the world today.

POPE FRANCIS
"It is painful to see when in the legislation of a country or a group of countries, water is not considered a human right. It is even more painful when it is removed from legislation and this human right is denied. I ask myself if in the midst of this third World War happening in pieces, are we on the way to a larger world war over water?"

He concluded by recalling the chilling fact from the United Nations that nearly 1,000 children die every day from diarrheal diseases and that they are the third leading cause of death among children under five.

POPE FRANCIS
"Let's not forget the data, the figures from the United Nations. Let's not forget that every day, 1,000 children - every day - die from water-related diseases. Thank you very much."

His speech left a mark on the experts, both believers and non-believers alike. For two days, all of them debated the causes and possible solutions to end the collateral contamination; one produced by companies that pour their waste into rivers without being fined for it.


2017-02-17.  Pope Francis on the Special Olympics: "The most beautiful victory is to overcome oneself"

"The most beautiful victory is to overcome oneself." With these words, Pope Francis received the athletes of next March Special Olympics in Austria.

POPE FRANCIS
"Seeing a beautiful smile on your face, and the great happiness in your eyes when you have achieved success in a competition- and the most beautiful victory is overcoming oneself - we realize what is meant by a sincere and well merited joy. FLASH. You are a sign of hope for all those who work for a more inclusive society."

The participants came loaded with gifts for the pope who, in addition to praising the value of sports, reminded them of the motto for the next Special Olympics: "Heartbeat for the world."

2017-02-16.  Pope at Santa Marta: Wars begin in the heart of each person

 In his homily at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained that war begins in the heart of an individual, which is why each person is responsible for building peace.

FRANCISCO
"In today's world there is blood being spilt. Today the world is at war. Many brothers and sisters are dying, -even innocent people-, because the great and powerful want a larger slice of the earth; they want a little more power, or they want to make a little more money on arms trafficking. And the Word of the Lord is clear: 'For your own lifeblood, that is for your life, I will demand an accounting: from every animal I will demand it, and from one man in regard to his fellow man.'"

Finally, the Pope also recalled that God will demand accountability from arms traffickers and the most powerful, who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people.


2017-02-15.  Pope Francis: Nothing, and no one, can take away the assurance that
God loves us

 When Pope Francis entered the great hall to the Vatican's audience, they received him with many gifts, from white zucchettos, to letters and flags.

When, in his catechesis at the General Audience, he unveiled the secret of Christians, so as never to be overwhelmed by worries.

POPE FRANCIS

"We know that even in the most difficult and shocking times, the mercy and goodness of the Lord are greater than anything, and nothing will tear us from His hands and communion with Him. Also in this bad time?' 'God loves me'. 'And if I have done a terrible and ugly thing?' 'God loves me'. This security is not taken away from anyone. We must repeat it as a prayer: 'God loves me', 'I am sure that God loves me', 'I am sure that God loves me'."


2017-02-13.  Pope Francis: Do not insult. Whoever insults a brother, kills him in the heart

 During this week's Angelus, the pope reflected on Sunday's Gospel, in which Jesus instructed not to reduce God's law to simply complying with formal norms. He used homicide, adultery, and swearing as examples.

He acknowledged that insulting is obviously not as serious as killing, but that they each have the same root of evil.

POPE FRANCIS
"Insulting: we are used to insulting, it is like saying, 'Good morning.' And that is on the same line as killing. Anyone who insults his brother kills his brother in his heart. Please, do not insult! We earn nothing by doing so."

Regarding adultery, he said that just as one reaches murder with offenses and insults, adultery is reached after feeding intentions to possess a woman.

POPE FRANCIS

"He who looks with a possessing spirit at a woman who is not his own is an adulterer in his heart, he has begun to go down the road to adultery. Let us think a little on this: on the bad thoughts that are in this line."

Pope Francis also said that swearing is to exploit God's authority for our own affairs. Instead, he proposes to foster a climate of trust and transparency, so that is isn't necessary to appeal to another to be believed.


2017-02-10.  Pope Francis: Big corruption begins in small things

 In his homily at Santa Marta, the pope reflected on the differences between the devil's temptation to Adam and Eve, and the temptation to Jesus. He recalled that the devil always deceives, and to not fall into temptation, and to never talk to him.

POPE FRANCIS
"Corruption begins in small things like this, with dialogue: 'No, it's not true that this fruit will harm you. Eat it, it's good! It's a little thing, no one will notice. Do it! Do it!' And little by little, little by little, you fall into sin, you fall into corruption".

The pope says that the Church teaches one to not be naive or foolish, because that is what the devil likes. It always starts by giving into small things. Therefore, the best strategy is to never dialogue with temptation.
Temptations lead us to hide ourselves from the Lord, so that we remain with our "fault," our "sin," our "corruption."


2017-02-09.  Pope in Santa Marta: "Man and woman are not equal, but neither is superior to the other"
In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis recalled the Book of Genesis, and emphasized that woman brings a new element to Creation: harmony. He explained that man and woman are not equal, but neither is superior to the other.

FRANCISCO
A woman is harmony, is poetry, is beauty. Without her the world would not be so beautiful, it would not be harmonious. And I like to think – but this is a personal thing – that God created women so that we would all have a mother."

The Pope also denounced that hurting a woman is not just a crime, but it also destroys the harmony of the world.

"When women are not there, harmony is missing. We might say: But this is a society with a strong masculine attitude, and this is the case, no? The woman is missing. 'Yes, yes: the woman is there to wash the dishes, to do things…' No, no, no! The woman is there to bring harmony. Without the woman there is no harmony. They are not equal; one is not superior to the other: no. It's just that the man does not bring harmony. It's her. It is she who brings that harmony that teaches us to caress, to love with tenderness; and who makes the world a beautiful place."

This is the great gift of God: He has given us woman. And in the Gospel, we have heard what a woman is capable of, eh? She is courageous, that one, eh? She went forward with courage. But there is more, so much more. A woman is harmony, is poetry, is beauty. Without her the world would not be so beautiful, it would not be harmonious. And I like to think – but this is a personal thing – that God created women so that we would all have a mother.

2017-02-07.  Lent 2017: The Pope proposes to see others as a gift

Pope Francis calls again for the end of indifference towards those who suffer. He does so in this year's Lenten message entitled "The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift".

The Pope recalls the parable of the rich man who despises poor Lazarus. From it he says that "a right relationship with people consists in gratefully recognizing their value" and "each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love".

For Pope Francis the problem of the rich man is not his money, but that he has closed his heart to God, and therefore cannot see others as a gift.




Music: God So Loved The World
This page updated February 28, 2017