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Vatican previews Pope’s visit to Sweden for Reformation anniversary
Catholics and Lutherans are “no longer defining themselves in opposition to each other,” Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said at an October 27 briefing in anticipation of the visit by Pope Francis to Sweden, to join in observances for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. When questioned about the uneasy responses of Catholics who are dismayed by a celebration of the Reformation, Cardinal Koch said that there are three reasons for a common celebration: the ecumenical progress of the past 50 years, the shared witness of hope for the future, and the repentance for bloody religious conflicts of the past.
Bishops to elect officers, hear task force report, vote on action plan
The U.S. bishops will discuss ways to promote peace in U.S. communities torn apart by violence, vote on ways to implement priority areas for their conference approved last year and elect new leaders during their Nov. 14-16 fall general assembly in Baltimore. The discussion about restoring peace in the nation will stem from a report to be presented to the bishops from a task force formed this past summer after shootings by police and of police took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Minneapolis; and Dallas.
Pope emphasizes importance of the Rosary
“We are nearing the end of the month of October, dedicated to the prayer of the Rosary,” he told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “This is a summary of divine mercy,” he continued. “In the mysteries of the Rosary, with Mary, we contemplate the life of Jesus that radiates the mercy of the Father Himself. Let us rejoice in his love and forgiveness, receiving it in strangers and those in need, and let us live every day of His Gospel.”
Pope encourages church, police in shared battle against trafficking
An unrelenting, coordinated commitment is needed to prevent people from falling prey to traffickers and to help victims caught in their snares, Pope Francis told representatives of law enforcement agencies and church leaders. The growing number of people being trafficked and exploited are “the most vulnerable” people in society; they are stripped of their dignity, physical and mental integrity and sometimes even their life, the pope said Oct. 27 during an audience with the Santa Marta Group.
Rome's poor to be guests of honor at Vatican concert
The Vatican will host a concert for the poor and homeless of Rome next month, not only using the concert to raise money for Pope Francis’ charities, but also inviting the poor to attend as the guests of honor. Called “With the Poor and for the Poor,” free-will donations taken at the end of the concert will benefit Pope Francis’ charitable projects: this year, the building of a new cathedral in Moroto, Uganda, and an agrarian school in Burkina Faso.