Pictured right: Pope Francis greets members of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples after the General Audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 30
To young people: look to roots to build a better future
In a video message to young people attending a youth assembly on the family in the Caribbean in July, Pope Francis said: “It's from your roots that you will get the strength to continue. None of us – neither you nor me – were manufactured in a laboratory; we have a history, we have roots. And everything we do, the results we achieve, the beauty we create in the future, all comes from those roots.”
Catechism revised to state that death penalty ‘inadmissible’
On Aug. 2, Pope Francis approved a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to clearly state that the death penalty is “inadmissible.” By taking this step, he is following the example of his predecessors, St. John Paul II and Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, both of whom expressed opposition to use of the death penalty.
The catechism now will read: “Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.
“Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.”
Pope Francis’ change to the text concludes: “Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that ‘the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,’ and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”
In gratitude for the gifts of the Spirit
In a recent homily, Pope Francis spoke of how the sacrament of confirmation “invokes a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit” and renews the promises made at baptism. He continued, “Just as Jesus received the outpouring of the Spirit at his baptism in order to carry out his messianic mission, the Church prays that we, too, may receive the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that enable us to help the body of Christ grow in unity and missionary zeal.” We receive the gift of the Spirit through the laying on of hands and anointing with chrism at our confirmation. He encourages us to use this gift and “open our hearts ever more fully to the creativity of the Spirit who makes all things new.”
New movie offers compelling look at Pope Francis
In his new film entitled Pope Francis – A Man of His Word, writer and director Wim Wenders makes clear his desire to allow the audience to really encounter the pontiff. As the name of the film implies, by walking with Pope Francis while he faces the problems of today’s world, the viewer is able to see the pope as a man true to his word. The goal is for the audience to see that Francis truly does practice what he preaches, and strives to live in the footsteps of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, in his care for the poor and weak of society.
The film, which was released in May, shows Pope Francis, not deterred by the many problems the world faces today, as a man courageously and passionately dedicated to speaking out about global problems and then, as a man of his word, walking with all people toward the peace and charity of Christ.
Pope Francis’ Monthly Prayer Intention for August
For those who have responsibility in economic matters: That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.