Pope Francis celebrated a Pentecost vigil on Saturday with 50,000 Catholic charismatics and Pentecostals from more than 125 countries.
The Pope joined in the singing as he stood between Michelle Moran, president of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services, and Patti Mansfield, who was present when the Catholic Charismatic Renewal was born.
He told the crowd gathered on a field at Circus Maximus in Rome that charismatic renewal was “a current of grace”, adding: “It is a work that was born Catholic? No. It was born ecumenical”, with similar results in many denominations and with Pentecostals providing support and education to new Catholic charismatics.
“It was born ecumenical because it is the Holy Spirit who creates unity,” the Pope said. The Holy Spirit drew Catholics and Pentecostals together to profess that Jesus is Lord and “to proclaim together the Father’s love for all his children,” he added.
In his homily, the Pope said that Christians could block the unity in diversity desired by the Holy Spirit by focusing on their differences rather than on what they share.
“This happens when we want to separate, when we take sides and form parties, when we adopt rigid and airtight positions, when we become locked into our own ideas and ways of doing things, perhaps even thinking we are better than others. When this happens,” the Pope said, “we choose the part over the whole, belonging to this or that group before belonging to the Church”, and taking pride in being “Christians of the ‘Right’ or the ‘Left’ before being on the side of Jesus.”
Thief posing as a pilgrim
A piece of the brain of St John Bosco has been stolen in Italy by a man apparently posing as a pilgrim.
The man entered the basilica of Castelnuovo on Saturday and took the glass reliquary containing the relic.
Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin decried the “profound moral misery of someone who would steal a ‘sign’ that’s been left and conserved for the devotion and the faith of all.
“I invite who took it to give it back immediately, without conditions,” he added, “so we can turn this painful page and continue worthily to honour the memory of Don Bosco in his birthplace.”
St John Bosco, born in Castelnuovo in 1815, founded the Salesian order. He also ministered to Turin’s street children, juvenile offenders and disadvantaged youth.
Police have set up roadblocks and are analysing video footage to try to catch the thief.
Fr Ezio Orsini, rector of the basilica, said: “We trust that Don Bosco can touch the heart of whomever committed this act and make them turn around, just as he was able to transform the lives of the young people he met.”
Historic chapel damaged in fire
A historic Arizona chapel built by the artist Ted DeGrazia has been heavily damaged by fire.
The blaze destroyed much of the chapel’s roof and several murals by DeGrazia. The cause of the fire is unknown.
DeGrazia, who died in 1982, built the chapel in the 1950s in honour of the missionary Fr Eusebio Kino. He dedicated it to Our Lady of Guadalupe. DeGrazia is known as the world’s most reproduced artist.
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