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Pope Francis could be from several names

St. Francis de Sales, the gentleman saint and ...

St. Francis de Sales, the gentleman saint and patron of St. Francis de Sales High School (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CNN has mentioned St.  Francis of Assisi and St. Francis Xavier, but there’s another one: St. Francis de Sales.

Francis de Sales, C.O., T.O.M., A.O.F.M. Cap., (French: François de Sales) (21 August 1567 – 28 December 1622) was a Bishop of Geneva and is honored as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

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New Pope will have to face same old Church

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A lot of people entirely dismiss the Catholic Church. But that’s not really fair. True, there are problems. And many of them will take a long time to repair. But there are about 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. And it seems unlikely that all of these people would attend Mass merely for aesthetic or sociological reasons.

If Catholicism were just a crazed cult like some folks say, it would have died out after its founder (Jesus Christ) died. Sociologists note that cults always dwindle away and die after their charismatic leader passes.

So what’s going on? Could it be that, as the Church claims, the Holy Spirit lives and breathes within the ancient liturgy? I, myself, believe that it does. But that doesn’t mean that there’s still not a whole host of very human problems in need of repair. – MC

Whoever he may be, the 266th pope will inherit a gerontocracy obsessed with turf and Italian politics, uninterested in basic management practices and hostile to reforms. (

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Our Meeting With Blessed Pope John Paul II

English: First appearance of Pope John Paul II...

First appearance of Pope John Paul II in 1978 via Wikipedia

by: Bob and Penny Lord

In the Spring of 1994, the four of us from Holy Family Mission had just arrived in Rome for an audience with Blessed Pope John Paul II.

We had previously been traveling throughout Poland gathering information and taping the lives of the Polish Saints and Martyrs. Saints like Faustina Kowalska and Martyrs like Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko and the Nuns of Nowogrodek were part of the schedule. In addition we had traveled throughout Poland and Lithuania gathering information on Shrines like Our Lady of Czestochowa and Saint Maximilian Kolbe.

We even had the fortunate experience to go to Mass with President Lech Walesa in his private chapel during the trip.

While we were there we had an audience with Cardinal Glemp, the Primate of Poland and he told us a lot about the Polish people and his friend Pope John Paul II. We went to Wadowice the hometown of Pope John Paul II and gathered information and tape on his early years and childhood in Wadowice. Subsequently, we made a documentary on his life.

Cardinal Glemp explained how Blessed Pope John Paul understood the soul of the Polish people and also understood the workings and minds of the Soviet enforcers.

One particular account comes to mind to clearly point out the situation at that time. John Paul as the Cardinal of Kradow was kept up to date about the plans of the authorities in regards to his flock. On one occasion, he was informed that the authorities wanted to reduce the number of Catholic Churches in Poland by 50%. So John Paul devised a plan. He immediately asked for a meeting with the top level authorities to talk about the Catholic Churches in Poland. The authorities were jubilant – those in charge believed this would be their chance to accomplish the goal. At the start of the meeting John Paul immediately asked for an additional 1000 Catholic Churches to be built right away. The authorities were upset and proceeded to do what they always did compromise – compromise! They negotiated John Paul down to 500 additional Catholic Churches to be built! Blessed John Paul was a genius and the authorities thought they won that battle!

Let us now share one more account before returning to the account of the audience: This account will give you great incites into the Polish mindset. The Catholics in Czestochowa wanted to have a procession with the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The authorities did not want to permit the procession, but also knew they had to obey the laws. Next the Catholics petitioned the authorities for a permit to process the Image in the back of a truck. The authorities were jubilant again, and this time they issued the permit, then refused to permit a driver for the truck. The Catholics simply placed two large wooden poles under the truck and carried the truck with the Image of Our Lady of Czestochowa processing through the streets as planned.

Now back to the audience. We had arranged to be in the Polish group for the audience and were very excited with the Archbishop asked us to step out of the crowd and go to a special place where Pope John Paul II would greet each one of us individually.

Our most memorable moment is when he spoke to each one of us individually. He told the four of us to continue to make television programs for Mother Angelica and EWTN Eternal Word Global Television Network. He stated that television and media was very important.

He stated over and over how important television and media was and we responded that we would heed his advice. Since then we have produced over 200 television ready programs and to this day we continue with that commitment.

The meeting was literally out of this world! Wow!!

We have never lost the determination to produce more media for evangelization.

Copyright (c) 2011 Bob and Penny Lord’s Site

About The Author

Bob and Penny Lord are renowned Catholic authors and television hosts on EWTN, Global Catholic television. They are prolific writers about the Catholic faith, especially the Saints for which they have been dubbed “experts on the Saints.” For more information about Saints in the Catholic Church like Blessed John Paul II go here

The author invites you to visit:

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Pope encourages joining digital “network of relationships”

Pope Benedict XVI prays in front of the image ...

Pope Benedict XVI prays in front of the image of Our Lady of Fatima in central Portugal, May 12, 2010 Image by Catholic Church (England and Wales), credit M.Mazur/www.thepapalvis via Flickr

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The Pope has invited young people “to make good use of their presence in the digital world”.

In a message for “45th World Communications Day” posted on Holy See website on January 24, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI said: “The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness”. He urged his followers “to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible”, adding that “this network is an integral part of human life.”

But the Pope also pointed out: “It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives……Direct human relations always remain fundamental for the transmission of the faith!”

The Pope listed the limits of digital communication as: “the one-sidedness of the interaction, the tendency to communicate only some parts of one’s interior world, the risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence”. He listed dangers of entering cyberspace as: enclosing oneself in a sort of parallel existence, or excessive exposure to the virtual world.

Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, suggested other Hindus to realize the Self. He argued that digital networks were just tools, and the broader goal being self-realization, it really did not matter which tools one used.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, blamed Pope for indulging too much into materialism and consumerism in his promotion of “digital world”, “cyberspace”, etc.

Ancient Hindu scripture Katha Upanishad points out that when wise realize the Self, they go beyond sorrow. Self is supreme and those who meditate on Self are freed from the cycle of birth and death. When one realizes Self, there is nothing else to be known, quotes Rajan Zed.

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Hindus disappointed at Pope for not reaching out to minorities during Malta visit

Escorting the package

Escorting the package: Christian De'Bono

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Hindus find it a disappointment that there was reportedly no mention of any interfaith dialogue with non-Catholic religious leaders during Pope Benedict’s two-day “Apostolic Journey to Malta” which ended April 18.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it appeared that Catholic Church in Malta was not serious to share minority viewpoint and discuss issues of religious equality with minority religions/denominations, which was very sad. He had earlier urged Malta Archbishop to organize the meeting of leaders of various religions and denominations with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during this visit.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that as a dominating majority in Malta, Catholics and Pope had a moral responsibility to take care of minority brothers/sisters from different faith/denomination backgrounds. Besides Catholic majority, Malta has minority communities of Protestants, Orthodox, other Christian denominations, Muslims, Hindus, Baha’is, Jews, Wiccans/Neo-Pagans, people with “no religion”, etc.

Rajan Zed urged Malta to treat all religions and denominations equally in front of the law. Malta Criminal Code reportedly makes one liable to imprisonment up to six months for publicly vilifying “Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion”, while committing such act against “any cult tolerated by law” makes one liable to imprisonment only up to three months.

Zed further said that under the subject of “religion”, Malta should come up with a “comparative religion” class teaching basics of all major world religions, including the viewpoint of non-believers, in its public primary and secondary schools. According to Constitution of Malta (Chapter I, Article 2, Item 3): “Religious teaching of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Faith shall be provided in all State schools as part of compulsory education.”

Rajan Zed argued that Pope’s reported staying away from religious minorities during Malta trip was kind of “un-Christian” and added quoting from The Bible: “The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel (Psalm 147:2)” and  “…Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another (Gospel According to John 13: 34).” Pope needed to grow-up, he added.

“Apostolic Journey to Malta on the occasion of the 1950th Anniversary of St. Paul’s Shipwreck on the Island” (on his way to stand trial in Rome, which is said to have brought Christianity to the island) was the third visit of a Pope to the island, who was reportedly invited by Malta’s President George Abela and Archbishop Monsignor Paul Cremona.

Maltese islands were first settled reportedly in 5,200 BCE. Few European countries have such concentrated architecture, history, and beaches in so small an area as Malta. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion in the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.


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Hindus criticize Pope for being harsh on atheists

Autonomy/Atheism by Zach Stern

Autonomy/Atheism by Zach Stern

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Hindus have criticized Pope for rough handling of atheists and humanists in his long awaited encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (Charity in Truth) issued in Rome.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI wrote in this letter: “…ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism.”

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that as Catholics and Hindus and others had freedom of their belief systems and were respected for their respective choices, and so should be the atheists. A religious leader of Pope’s stature should have been more inclusive.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that although Pope talked about “right to religious freedom”, “cooperation of the human family”, “truly universal human community”, etc., in this document, he apparently condemned the beliefs of a considerable chunk of world population called atheists, humanists, etc. Who were we as human beings to judge publicly that other humans’ beliefs different than us were “inhuman”?

We applauded Pope Benedict for his call for the “common good”, greater social responsibility, reform of financial bodies, sharing earth’s resources equitably; for taking a strong stand on environment; for criticism of growing divide between poor and rich and abuse of modern technologies; etc., as mentioned in this document but he need to learn to be more inclusive and large-hearted, Rajan Zed argued.

More than two years in the making, this 144-page and over 30,000-word encyclical letter of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to “all people of good will” is considered the highest form of papal teaching.

Atheism is disbelief in the existence of God and atheists argue that there is little or no real evidence for the existence of God. Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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Lauding Pope’s call on fighting poverty, Hindus urge religious camaraderie on poverty front

Pope Benedict XVI visits Australia for WYD 2008 by Sam Herd

Pope Benedict XVI visits Australia for WYD 2008 by Sam Herd

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Welcoming the Pope’s call for “global solidarity” to fight against poverty, Hindus have urged all religions to come together on this issue and make poverty eradication a moral priority.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that poverty was a monumental crisis and biggest challenge facing world today and it should be dealt at an emergency level. Religions joining hands on this issue would be the most effective way to deal with it.

Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, agreed with His Holiness Pope Benedictus XVI’s message under “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace” on World Day of Peace (January one) posted at Vatican website, which said, “…we all share in a single divine plan: we are called to form one family in which all – individuals, peoples and nations – model their behaviour according to the principles of fraternity and responsibility.”

Rajan Zed pointed out that world religions should develop a global partnership to stamp out hunger and poverty, promote gender parity, battle AIDS and other diseases, bring about environment sustainability, and ensure universal basic education. As all the faith traditions told us to help the poor, so we as world’s religious leaders should give priority to the needs of the poor.

Zed stressed that religions needed to redouble their efforts in poverty eradication as poverty and suffering were more pervasive than previously estimated. Economics, politics, and markets should also take an ethical approach. Pope was very right when he said, “…peace can be built only if everyone is assured the possibility of reasonable growth”.

Rajan Zed further said that problems like severe malnutrition; spiraling food prices; ineffectual government programs; lack of access to medical facilities, potable water, energy sources, sanitation; illiteracy; etc., required to be immediately dealt with world over. Poverty had lead to many other societal problems, which we faced today.

Zed warned that world should wake up to the magnitude of the emergency of poverty. Raising people above the poverty line was an achievable task. It just needed strong political and social will and should be treated as a crisis.

Religion was the most powerful and far-reaching force in our society and could prove very influential in handling common concerns like human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social & economic development, etc., Rajan Zed added.

Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents. Moksha is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.


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