Pope Francis: If we do not enter into this temple, this building, we are not in the Church

 Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

From Catholic News Agency:

Pope Francis said that those waiting at the threshold of the Church without going inside are not true members of the Church which Jesus established and on whom it is built.

“We are citizens, fellow citizens of this Church. If we do not enter into this temple to be part of this building so that the Holy Spirit may live in us, we are not in the Church,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse for his Oct. 28 daily Mass.

Rather, “we are on the threshold and look inside…Those Christians who do not go beyond the Church’s reception: they are there, at the door: ‘Yes, I am Catholic, but not too Catholic.’”

Pope Francis reflected on the daily Gospel and how Jesus founded the Church, saying: (more…)

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Halloween: The Real Story

Image credit: uCatholic

Image credit: uCatholic

With Halloween coming up, many people see the day as a pagan holiday that celebrates death and the demonic. Some Catholics may be hesitant to let their children participate in such a holiday. However, Halloween actually has its roots in Catholic tradition. Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. has an article about The Catholic Origins of Halloween, where he writes:

We’ve all heard the allegations: Halloween is a pagan rite dating back to some pre-Christian festival among the Celtic Druids that escaped church suppression. Even today modern pagans and witches continue to celebrate this ancient festival. If you let your kids go trick-or-treating, they will be worshiping the devil and pagan gods.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian and rather American. Halloween falls on October 31 because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety.

It’s true that the ancient Celts of Ireland and Britain celebrated a minor festival on October 31–as they did on the last day of most other months of the year. However, Halloween falls on the last day of October because the Solemnity of All Saints, or “All Hallows,” falls on November 1. The feast in honor of all the saints in heaven used to be celebrated on May 13, but Pope Gregory III (d. 741) moved it to November 1, the dedication day of All Saints Chapel in St. Peter’s at Rome. Later, in the 840s, Pope Gregory IV commanded that All Saints be observed everywhere.

You can read the whole story at uCatholic.

For more discussion on this topic, listen to yesterday’s Right Here, Right Now show where Patrick Madrid addresses this topic.

 

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Pope Francis: To strengthen marriage we must ‘waste time’ accompanying families

Photo credit: CNS/Reuters

Photo credit: CNS/Reuters

During an October 25 audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis addressed 8,000 lay people and took questions from the audience. The questions ranged from how to strengthen families to how the Holy Father maintains his spirit of hope and happiness in our troubled world. Catholic News Service reports:

In response to a question about how to help families, Pope Francis said he believed “the Christian family, the family, marriage have never been attacked as much as they are right now.”

The family is “beaten and the family is bastardized” and debased, since almost anything is being called a family, he said.

The family faces a crisis “because it is being bludgeoned by all sides, leaving it very wounded,” he said. There is no other choice than to go to the family’s aid and give them personal help, he said.

“We can give a nice speech, declare principles. Of course we need to do this, with clear ideas” and statements saying that unions that do not reflect God’s plan of a permanent union between a man and a woman are forms of “an association, not a marriage.”

However, people must also be accompanied “and this also means wasting time. The greatest master of wasting time is Jesus. He wasted time accompanying, to help consciences mature, to heal the wounds, to teach,” the pope said.

He said the sacrament of matrimony is becoming just a ceremony or social event for some people, who do not see its sacramental nature as a union with God. Part of the problem is a lack of formation for engaged couples and “this is a sin of omission on our part,” he said.

Read the rest at Catholic News Service.

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