The “Pope App”: There is an App for Everything These Days

There really is an app for everything. Today I found out about the new “Pope App”. This app lets users see live streaming papal events and video feeds webcams around the Vatican. On top of those functions the app will also alert its users of new stories, news, and other interesting information about the Pope. This is part of an effort to document the ongoing Year of Faith in the best way possible. All of the bishops conference in the next year are being asked to document any materials involved with the celebration of the Year of Faith so that they can make an e-Book out of it all. The “Pope App” should be out sometime next week for the iPhone and iPad.

To learn more about this click here: Papal Events, Vatican Webcam Feeds Streamed Live with New “Pope App”

Was Joining Twitter a Good Idea for Pope Benedict XVI?

There has been a lot of controversy over the Pope’s new Twitter account. There seems to be two sides to this issue. One side is excited for the Pope’s tweets and can’t wait to see what they will be like. I thought I was completely on board with this side of the issue, however the other side makes a decent point. The other side thinks it is unnecessary for Pope Benedict XVI to have a Twitter account. Some of them feel this way because of the obscene and hate filled tweets that some people have been sending at the Pope’s account already. I never thought that people would tweet mean things at the Pope, but I suppose I didn’t think too much about it. If I had I would have known to expect it. The positive side is, even if these negative people are going to tweet bad things at the Pope they are still following him. Meaning even the worst people amongst us are still receiving the messages the Pope sends out.

Fr. Z recently weighed in on the topic over on his blog. The post was called “Are Christ’s mission and Holy Church well-served by ‘me-tooism’?” and gave Fr. Z’s interesting opinion on the matter.

Do you think it was a good idea for Pope Benedict XVI to start a Twitter account?

Pope Benedict XVI Twitter Handle Announced: Tweets to Follow

Today marks the beginning of Pope Benedict’s existence in the Twitter world. Pope Benedict XVI’s Twitter handle has been announced this morning (@Pontifex) and also news that he will tweet for the first time next week. The date that was announced is December 12, and apparently these tweets will be in a Q and A format. I know that I am thoroughly excited to see what the Pope will tweet about. It is very crazy that social media has become so embedded into our every day lives.

Read more about this story here: Pope Benedict XVI Launches Twitter Account

Pope Benedict XVI Asks Parents to Teach Their Children with Joy

Parents should be positive role models in their children’s lives. This means teaching them about simple things like right and wrong, and more importantly setting a good example for them to follow. Children tend to learn best from watching their parents do things. Children will act the way their parents do because that is what they think is right.

Pope Benedict XVI recently urged parents to become more active in sharing the faith with their children. Not only does he wish for parents to be actively involved in teaching their children about the Church, but he also wants them to be joyful when they do it. This idea goes back to the notion that children learn by watching. If a child sees their parent being joyful when speaking about their faith, it will excite them to become involved as well. Explaining your beliefs simply and clearly to your children can go a long way as far as affecting them in their spiritual growth.

To read more about Pope Benedict’s request read this story: Pope Counsels Parents to Share with Joy

How do you teach your children about your faith at home?

Final Installment of Pope’s Book Series About Jesus Coming Out

Pope Benedict XVI has a book coming out next week in the United States. The book focuses on Jesus’ early years as a child. The book is called “Jesus of Nazerath: The Infancy Narratives” and is the final volume in the Pope’s series of books about Jesus. The previous two titles have been New York Times Best Sellers and I’m sure this installment will be as well!

Learn more about “Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives” follow this link: Pope Benedict’s Final Book on Jesus Coming Out Next Week

Pope Benedict XVI Will Join Twitter Soon

Twitter has grown into an essential social media tool in today’s world. Surely many of your are following your favorite celebrities and athletes on Twitter. Starting soon you will be able to follow Pope Benedict XVI on Twitter. CathNews reported in a post titled, “Pope to Connect with Flock on Twitter” about the recent development. Actors, actresses, athletes, and politicians have all made the jump into the Twitter world and I suppose the Pope thought it would be a good idea as well. Not much more is known as this point other then the fact that a Twitter account for Pope Benedict XVI will exist in the near future. This is exciting news and I look forward to following him!

Pope Benedict XVI Will Travel to Palermo

“The Vatican announced on Tuesday that Pope Benedict XVI will make a pastoral visit to Palermo, Italy in early October for an ecclesial meeting with families and young people from the region.

The Holy Father will make his visit on Sunday, Oct. 3, and after celebrating Mass at 10:30 a.m. in the local Foro Italico Umberto I church, he will lead the faithful in the Angelus prayer.

During the remainder of his trip, Pope Benedict is scheduled to meet priests, religious and seminarians at the cathedral of Palermo at 5 p.m. Following that, he will address a gathering of young people in the city’s Piazza Politeama, which takes its name from the Politeama Garibaldi Theatre, built in the 1800s.

The Holy Father will then go to Palermo’s Punta Raisi airport for his return flight to Rome.” – “Holy Father to Make Pastoral Visit to Palermo”, EWTN.com

Looks like Pope Benedict XVI will continue his travels before the canonization of Mary MacKillop when he goes to Palermo on October 3rd. This post from EWTN.com tells all about the Pope’s plans for his visit too. I am glad to see his visit includes time to address the youth of Palermo, as well as local religious life. His meeting with the younger generation of Palermo will also take place at a site that draws its name from one of Palermo’s better known historical spots.

Pope Benedict XVI Reminds Children to Make Quality Life Goals

The Pope spoke to children today in Britain and sent them a very positive message. The article below from EWTN.com tells all about that great message given by Pope Benedict. The message of searching for what makes you happy in life, while still remaining in touch with your religion and its faith and morals is obviously a wonderful message to be giving to young children. If kept at heart those words can really mean a lot and lead to a successful and religiously sound life style for young people.

“Today the Holy Father encouraged schoolchildren in the U.K. to aim high and “not to be content with second-best.” Seeking holiness and “true happiness” in their lives, he said, will lead them to sainthood.

An estimated 4,000 children were in attendance from all over Great Britain for the event, which was held on the sports field at St. Mary’s University College campus in London. The encounter was broadcast to all the Catholic schools in Scotland, England and Wales.

Observing that it is rare that a Pope, or anyone at all, has the opportunity to speak to all of the Catholic schoolchildren in the U.K. at the same time, he said he had something he wanted to tell them.

“I hope,” he said, “that among those of you istening to me today there are some of the future saints of the 21st century. What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy.”

“He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness.”

He told the children to think about what kind of people they would like to be, and in doing so, he asked them “not to be content with second best … not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others.”

One of “the great tragedies” in the world, he said, is that people never find happiness. It is not to be found in money or fame, but the “key to true happiness,” said the Pope, “is to be found in God.

“God wants your friendship. And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue.”

And, in doing so, they will begin to avoid selfishness and greed, to feel greater compassion and to act with charity, empathy, kindness and generosity, he told them, and they will be “well on their way to becoming saints.”

Urging them to maintain sight of the “bigger picture” in their studies, he turned to educational institutions. “A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person,” he said. “And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.”” – “Benedict XVI Urges Children to Pursue Sainthood”, EWTN

Vatican Apostolic Library set to re-open

“The Vatican Apostolic Library will be reopened again this month after three years of reconstruction. As its director explained to Vatican Radio, it aims to be a cultural aid, to offer a glimpse of the “great truth of the world of God.”

Vatican Radio interviewed the library’s prefect, Msgr. Cesare Pasini about the grand reopening set to take place on Sept. 20.

Noting a series of initiatives scheduled to mark the reopening of the library this fall, the prefect also spoke of the value of the library to all people.

He said that by reopening the library, “we not only show scholars and the world what we have done … but we remodel ourselves on this fundamental spirit, on our mission, so that we don’t just make it a place to consult books.”

The library, which allows scholars from all walks and creeds to study its volumes, has an aspect of universality and cultural preservation because it conserves materials “for today and tomorrow,” he said.

Msrg. Pasini also promotes culture by allowing works to be “used, seriously studied and then probed to find any further fragment of truth.

“There are many truths,” he said, “historic truths, truths that make investigations into the reality of things, and these little truths form part of the great truth of the world of God.”

In an article he wrote for last Sunday’s edition of the L’Osservatore Romano, Msgr. Pasini described some of the 15,000 letters and e-mails his office has received hoping for the prompt conclusion to the restoration work and describing the library’s importance to studies. Responding to the interest, he said that in looking around the now “silent and shining” library, he has seen that “only the friendly presence of our scholars is lacking.” He added, “may they know that they are warmly awaited.”

Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives, Cardinal Raffaele Farina, will present the renovated, restored and restructured library in an on-site press conference next Monday.” – “Vatican Library Prepares to Reopen After Three Years of Restoration”, EWTN

This article from EWTN was a cool one to read about. The Vatican’s library has been closed for quite some time now, and it seems like the reopening will be a great success with scholars and Catholic enthusiasts from all over. After three years the library will hopefully be much better and more updated. This should make the great library and even greater place to research information and topics on the Catholic Church. This was very exciting to hear about!

Vatican Does Not Approve of Koran Burning

I am glad to see through this timely posting by EWTN that the Pope does not lament the absurd plans of burning the Koran. The notion that somebody even suggested this poorly thought out idea at all makes me question the human race as a whole. I am glad to see Pope Benedict XVI telling these people off for their awful idea of a 9/11 memorial. This is the last thing that any self-respecting Christians should be thinking of doing.

“Although the charismatic Christian church planning a Koran burning on Sept. 11 only has around 50 members, the spectre of the impact on Muslim relations led the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue to issue a statement today expressing its “great concern” over the plan and stating that “deplorable acts of violence … cannot be counteracted” by burning another religion’s sacred book.

The communique from the pontifical council began by noting that the proposed “Koran Burning Day” is scheduled for the anniversary of “the 11 September tragic terrorist attacks in 2001 which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and considerable material damage.”

Expressing its great concern, the council said, “These deplorable acts of violence, in fact, cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community.”

The council for inter-religious dialogue also stated that religious freedom is a factor in the situation. “Each religion, with its respective sacred books, places of worship and symbols, has the right to respect and protection. We are speaking about the respect to be accorded the dignity of the person who is an adherent of that religion and his/her free choice in religious matters.”

Instead of outrageous ceremonies, the council suggested that September 11 would be much better observed by first offering “our deep sentiments of solidarity with those who were struck by these horrendous terrorist attacks” and then praying for them and their loved ones who lost their lives.

“Each religious leader and believer is also called to renew the firm condemnation of all forms of violence, in particular those committed in the name of religion,” the council affirmed.

Quoting from John Paul II’s 1999 address to the ambassador of Pakistan, the council insisted, “Recourse to violence in the name of religious belief is a perversion of the very teachings of the major religions.” Pope Benedict XVI similarly expressed in 2006, “violence as a response to offenses can never be justified, for this type of response is incompatible with the sacred principles of religion.”” – “Vatican Council Calls Planned Koran Burning Ceremony ‘Outrageous'”, EWTN