Pope Watch - January/February 2017

Pictured right: Pope Francis arrives to lead a consistory ceremony to install 17 new cardinals in Saint Peter's Basilica 


Three American bishops elevated to cardinal

Three American bishops were elevated to the College of Cardinals on November 19: Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago; Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life; and Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of Newark. In the Holy Father's homily, he said: "My dear brothers, newly created Cardinals, the journey towards heaven begins in the plains, in a daily life broken and shared, spent and given. In the quiet daily gift of all that we are. Our mountaintop is this quality of love; our goal and aspiration is to strive, on life's plain, together with the People of God, to become persons capable of forgiveness and reconciliation." 

All priests can forgive abortion

Continuing the special dispensation that was begun during the Year of Mercy, all priests now have the power to forgive the sin of abortion, rather than just bishops and designated confessors. Pope Francis extended that permission indefinitely in the apostolic letter Misericordia et misera released on Nov. 21. Although the Holy Father reiterated that “abortion is a grave sin,” he went on to say, “There is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father. May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.”


Pope Francis on Twitter - @Pontifex

November 21 - “Let us remember with gratitude the cloistered and monastic religious who pray for the Church and the world.”

November 28 - “Mercy is not a parenthesis in the life of the Church; it constitutes her very existence, making tangible the profound truths of the Gospel.”