We live in an age of addictions more sophisticated than ever before. Addictions to substances such as alcohol and other drugs soft and hard, prescription and illegal, addictions to gambling, the internet, work, money and power. All these have the ability to destroy our lives and often end up eating away at our very souls as well.Matt Talbot...

Appearing on a balcony of St Peter's Basilica about an hour after white smoke from a chimney above the Sistine Chapel first signalled his election, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was introduced to the world by his birth name with the traditional proclamation of the Latin phrase "Habemus papam" (We have a pope).Then came the announcement of...

Pope Francisí first encyclical letter, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), which he said is largely the work of retired Pope Benedict XVI, was published in July.Pope Francis points out early in the encyclical that there is an ìurgent needî to address the current crisis of faith, ìto see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith...

The Pope’s reform agendaWith his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis finally made his real debut as papal author.The Pope had already published an encyclical, however, in the opening paragraphs of Lumen Fidei, he explained that the text was essentially the work of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI,...

The Church must adopt a more simple approach and be capable of “walking at people’s side”, was one of the strong messages to come from Pope Francis during a visit to Brazil for World Youth Day (WYD) from July 23-28.It was fitting that our first Latin American Pope should make his first international trip to his native continent,...

Aside from his official visit to Brazil for World Youth Day, Pope Francis’ most significant visits of 2013 beyond the city of Rome were all to Italian territories.On July 8, the Pope drew international attention to the tiny island of Lampedusa, when he travelled to visit the many migrants for whom the Italian-controlled island, a little over...

JanuaryThe year begins with Pope Benedictís World Day of Peace Message promoting respect for life from conception to natural death. His message comes just days after Cardinal Se·n Brady uses his Christmas address to urge the Irish faithful to use their voices to defend the unborn in 2013. In a significant first, Taoiseach Enda Kenny fails...

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