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July, 2019
Volume 45, Number 2
15 March 2013
Greg Kandra

Newly elected Pope Francis breaks the seal to enter his residence at the Vatican on 15 March. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)

Pope meets with College of Cardinals (CNS) Never give in to the devil’s pessimism, discouragement and bitterness, Pope Francis said; Christians need to share the Gospel message with joy and courage because it will truly answer people’s deepest needs. Young people also need the wisdom and knowledge of older people, whose insight is like “fine wine that gets better with age,” he told the College of Cardinals on 15 March. His remarks came during a meeting in the Clementine Hall in the apostolic palace with all the cardinals who were present in Rome, including the non-elector cardinals who were over the age of 80 and did not vote in the conclave…

Pope reaches out to Jews (Associated Press) Like his predecessor, Pope Francis reached out to Rome’s Jewish community at the very start of his pontificate, pledging to continue to strengthen the increasingly close ties between Catholics and Jews. Just hours after he was elected the first non-European pope in history, Pope Francis sent a letter to Rome’s chief rabbi, Riccardo di Segni, saying he hoped to “contribute to the progress that relations between Jews and Catholics” have seen since the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council. Jewish leaders welcomed the election of a pontiff seen as an ally when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. Israeli President Shimon Peres said the pope would be a “welcome guest in the Holy Land” while Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, said the new pope “always had an open ear for our concerns”…

Pope will meet with Eastern rite delegates (VIS) Announcing the pope’s schedule for next week, the Vatican notes: “On Wednesday, 20 March, he will hold an audience with fraternal delegates representing the heads of the various Eastern-rite churches, so there will not be a General Audience”…

Egyptian Christians look to new pope for comfort (Euronews) In Egypt, which has one of the largest Christian communities in the region, our reporter asked Bishop Krikor Augustinos Coussan, primate of the Armenian Catholic community there, what Christians were hoping from Pope Francis: “We ask the pope to use all his power to bring a comprehensive and equitable peace especially in the Middle East, the country of Jesus and the apostles who carried the Gospel of Christ and his teachings to the whole world”…

A humanitarian perspective on the new pope (Vatican Radio) One organisation that has warmly welcomed the new Holy Father is CAFOD, the official aid agency for England and Wales. It said that, “This choice of pope puts service to the poor and tackling injustice at the forefront of the church’s mission in the world.” Speaking to Lydia O’Kane about the new pope, Tom O’Connor, CAFOD’s director of communities, said: “There’s a real tangible sense of enthusiasm…”

Tags: Pope Francis Middle East Christians Middle East Ecumenism Catholic-Jewish relations