Pope responds to violence in Munich and Kabul with call for more prayer
On Sunday, Pope Francis responded to recent acts of violence in Germany and Afghanistan, expressing his closeness to the families of the victims, and stressing the importance of prayer in the face of threats against “safety and peace.” “At this time, our spirit is once more shaken by the sad news relating to the deplorable acts of terrorism and violence which have caused suffering and death,” the Pope said in an appeal after the weekly Angelus at the Vatican.
WYD pilgrims try to grasp the grimness of Auschwitz camps
Walking into the Auschwitz concentration camp, Stephanie Dalton felt a chill up and down her spine. She called it the spirit of those who died at the hands of the Nazis more than 70 years ago. "You could tell the people's presence (was) still there," she said after her group from the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, walked through the camp July 25 as part of their World Youth Day pilgrimage. Dalton, 19, a member of Sts. Simon and Jude Parish, spoke to Catholic News Service during a break after touring the camp and the nearby Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp where nearly 1 million people were killed in secret during World War II.
Pope Francis: the word ‘Father’ is the ‘secret of Jesus’ prayer’
“It is the key that he himself gives us so that we can also enter into this relationship of trusting dialogue with the Father, who has accompanied and sustained his life,” the Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, as he commented briefly on the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. “Jesus’ teaching on prayer continues with two parables, in which he takes as a model the attitude of a friend toward another friend, and of a father toward his son,” Pope Francis continued.
Polish bishops rap fearmongers on immigration
The statement from the Polish bishops' conference was released through the Vatican press office, suggesting a concerted campaign by the Vatican and the Polish episcopal conference to address the issue of immigration before Pope Francis arrives in Krakow. In fact, the Polish bishops' conference observes, only 0.4% of Poland's current residents are immigrants, and most of these are from neighboring countries rather than from the Middle East. Poland "is not located on the road of the main migratory flows in Europe," the statement notes.
Youngest US track Olympian relies on God when times get tough
Sydney McLaughlin has not had an easy year. In recent months, she fell ill with mononucleosis, her mother suffered a heart attack, and she underwent a nervous breakdown before a major qualifying track competition. So when she became the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic track and field team on July 10, the victory was extra sweet. What gets 16-year-old McLaughlin through the stress and pressure that inevitably comes with competing with some of the world’s top athletes? Her Christian faith.