Your Faith

Pope Watch July 2016

Visit with Muslim scholar

After five years of silence, Pope Francis met with the Grand Imam of the renowned Al-Azhar mosque and university in Egypt on May 23. Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib and the pontiff met at the Vatican to promote inter-religious dialogue and peace. Talks between the head of the important Sunni Muslim mosque and university had been discontinued in 2011 after a speech by Pope Benedict XVI which linked Islam and violence. “Our meeting is the message,” Pope Francis told the Grand Imam as he greeted him.

What's the point of small faith-sharing groups?

All over the country, a movement is really taking shape in the form of small faith-sharing groups. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the value of and need for this practice, so we’re going to talk about it here and now.

Small faith-sharing groups meet a very practical and human need: the need to belong. In a large parish, there is always the danger of getting “lost in the shuffle.” In a small parish, there is always the challenge of being the “new person” or outsider.

St. Thomas More: A man for all seasons

Feast Day: June 22

St. Thomas More was an educated man – a lawyer, husband, and father. He was known as being a statesman with great faith and high standards. He was appointed Lord Chancellor of England in 1529 by King Henry VIII. But three years later, Thomas More resigned this high post because of his opposition to Henry’s divorce to Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. He also refused to acknowledge Henry as the supreme head of the Church of England, which would mean breaking with Rome.

Pope Watch June 2016

Visiting refugee detention center on Greek island of Lesbos

“Europe today faces one of its most serious humanitarian crises since the end of the Second World War,” states a declaration signed by Pope Francis and two leading Greek Orthodox churchmen. These three religious leaders met at a port in Lesbos, Greece to pray for all those seeking refuge, and to encourage political leaders to work toward ensuring all individuals have the freedom to remain in their own homelands. After the meeting, the pontiff returned to Italy with 12 refugees, including six children.

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