“Listen to your grandparents!” and other papal words of wisdom for kids

VATICAN CITY — The success of a kids’ comic book about Pope Francis has prompted its Italian publisher to turn it into an app for the English-speaking world.

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Screenshot of a new app released Feb. 9 by Master New Media using comics to make Pope Francis’ words more accessible to children.

Called “Pope Francis Comics,” the app offers a kid-friendly mini-bio of the Argentine pontiff and 13 catchy phrases based on tweets or speeches by the pope. Kids can test how well they remember the messages with a fill-in-the-blank and coloring game.

comic book

Screenshot of a new app released Feb. 9 by Master New Media using comics to make Pope Francis’ words more accessible to children.

There is also a full-color, eight-page comic book meant for older adolescents.

While the story is a bit far-fetched (the pope plots an unrealized late-night escape to help the poor with his assistant, Corrado, and encourages Corrado to reprimand any cardinals he sees giving too little money to people on the street), it gets the point across that charity and prayer are important in a world with so much suffering.

It’s a cute and easy-to-use app, but probably a bit over-priced ($2.99) for the small amount of content and limited features. However, the publishing house tells me the app will have automatic updates and will provide new features. Right now, it feels much like the newsstand magazine it’s based on, but without the cool mazes and fun stickers.

In any case, it’s a nice attempt and a good model for new ways to reach young children with the teachings of a pope whose speaking style is already well-suited for kids.

What faith-based apps do your kids use and love? Share some of their favorites with us here!

Behind-the-scenes during the announcement “of great importance for the life of the church…”

VATICAN CITY — One year ago today was not like any other workday for the Catholic News Service Rome bureau.

Pope Benedict XVI attends meeting at Vatican announcing his resignation

Pope Benedict XVI at a Feb. 11, 2013 meeting with cardinals at the Vatican announcing he would resign at the end of the month. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Today we’d like to look back on that historic day in several ways.

First, be sure not to miss this exclusive behind-the-scenes’ look right here at how the CNS staff in Rome was among the first in the world to hear the pope was planning to retire. It runs as a slide show, so just click on the gray arrow to scroll through.

Another fascinating story from that day was it was the very first day our intern from Villanova University started work at the Rome bureau.

Watch Lauren Colegrove’s story unfold here as she is interviewed by Matt Lauer from NBC’s Today show:

 

Cardinal Francis Arinze also gave us his engaging first-person account of hearing the pope’s announcement in the Consistory Hall.

 

And finally, here is the dubbed Vatican television footage of the pope announcing his decision to resign.

Where were you when you heard the news and what thoughts went through your mind?

Hog wild! Pope’s Harley gear nabs record prices

Pope greets Harley-Davidson biker after Mass at Vatican

Pope Francis greeting a Harley-Davidson biker as he meets with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square June 16, 2013. (CNS/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — A Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide that Pope Francis put up for auction went for a hefty $326,500 today, demolishing its pre-sale appraisal of $16,000.

The record sale was the hit of the day as hundreds of bidders and spectators attending the Paris auction “erupted into applause when the hammer came down,” according to the Bonhams auction house.

bonhams bike sold price

Bidding was fierce, Bonhams said, and lasted a full six minutes. The 2013 autographed bike went to “a private European buyer” who was bidding over the telephone.

A leather Harley jacket, also signed by the pope, sold for $77,644 to someone “overseas,” meaning, not in Europe. A pre-bid estimate had put the 110th anniversary special edition XL jacket at between $1,400 and $2,000.

bonhams jacket sold price

Seems appraisers didn’t factor in how much papal Harley gear was really worth!

Ben Walker, head of motorcycles at Bonhams, said: “It has to be a world record for a twenty-first century Harley-Davidson and certainly for a Harley-Davidson leather jacket.”

– Bonhams press release

All proceeds will go to benefit the renovation of Caritas Rome’s Fr. Luigi di Liegro shelter and soup kitchen. The money looks like it will provide the final funding needed for the project, which had been $270,000 short of its target.

Msgr. Enrico Feroci, head of Caritas Rome, told Bonhams:

“We are delighted with the results of the sale, which far exceeded any of our expectations.

“We would like to thank Bonhams for their professionalism with handling the motorcycle and for all their efforts in helping us to achieve such an amazing result.”

Hark, the heraldry: cracking the coat-of-arms code

book cover coat of arms

Cover of a new book on the heraldic signs and symbols in the church. (CNS/Carol Glatz)

VATICAN CITY — Have you ever wanted to decipher the mysterious signs and symbols on a coat of arms?

An Italian cardinal has just published a book (alas, in Italiano) on cracking the code of heraldry in the church — the unique and personal crest every bishop, cardinal and pope adopts with their episcopal ordination, elevation to the College of Cardinals or election to the papacy.

The author, Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, is an expert on heraldry and created Benedict XVI’s blazon when he was elected pope in 2005.

It gives an in-depth look at the history and “grammar” of a properly designed coat of arms.

2008 FILE PHOTO OF POPE GIVING HOMILY AT YANKEE STADIUM MASS IN NEW YORK

Under a large reproduction of his coat of arms, Pope Benedict XVI giving his homily during Mass at Yankee Stadium in New York in this April 20, 2008 file photo. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Pope Benedict introduced a number of radical changes to the papal crest when he and the cardinal set about designing his papal shield.

The pope’s resignation then prompted Cardinal Cordero to think about how the now-retired pope’s coat of arms should be amended, given his change of status to “supreme pontiff emeritus.”

It was a tough question since there were no precedents to look at. Yes, there were popes who had stepped down, but it was not clear if or how their shields ever reflected that change, the cardinal said in the book.

The coat of arms of a retired pope should retain all the symbolic elements on the shield that reflect his personality and history, the cardinal said.

But, he said the external elements — like the two crossed keys, which symbolize the powers Christ gave to the Apostle Peter and his successors — should be abandoned or altered since they represent an office he no longer holds.

The cardinal includes two hypothetical designs of what he thought the new pope-emeritus shield should look like, replacing the bishop’s miter with a white “galero” with 15 tassels and returning the banner with his episcopal motto: “Cooperatores Veritatis” (“Cooperators of the truth”).

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However, the retired pope passed on any changes. The cardinal said Pope Benedict thanked him for his “interesting study,” but preferred not to alter his papal shield.

Other bits of trivia are highlighted in the book such as the elements in Pope Francis’ coat of arms. It’s the first time the emblem of the Society of Jesus ever appears on a papal blazon, Cardinal Cordero said, and probably the first time the spikenard flower has ever appeared on a coat of arms.

But see if you can catch a very small, yet “inexplicable” detail in Francis’ papal coat of arms. I hadn’t noticed the mistake until the cardinal pointed it out in his book. Happy hunting!

Vatican updates coat of arms of Pope Francis

Pope Francis’ coat of arms. (CNS photo).

Coincidence? Or is the pope a secret CNS fan?

VATICAN CITY — There’s been another strange coincidence where we at Catholic News Service have put out a story on a very specific topic and a couple of days later, Pope Francis picks up the same theme.

Pope Francis gestures as he speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during private audience at Vatican

Pope Francis speaking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private audience at the Vatican May 18. (CNS/Gregorio Borgia, pool via Reuters)

 

The first time I noticed it was after I wrote a piece on his use of “threes” in almost all of his talks.

Lo and behold, three (!!) days later the pope explained why he likes to break things down into three neat concepts (It’s a Jesuit thing, he said).

Then last Friday, our videographer, Robert Duncan, posted a video with Fr. Dwight Longenecker, who was visiting Rome and gave us a preview of his new book coming out, “The Romance of Religion.”

In the video, Fr. Longenecker talks about two strands running through the history of the church: what he calls the “priestly” with its attention to observing rules, and the prophetic.

And wouldn’t you know, Pope Francis emphasized exactly those two points two days later in his homily at Mass marking the World Day for Consecrated Life.

Consecrated men and women experience an encounter between observance and prophesy, he said.

“We don’t see them as two opposing realities. Rather, let’s let the Holy Spirit animate them both,” he said, urging religious to allow the joy of the Holy Spirit to guide both their observance of their communities’ rules and their willingness to be prophetic.

Obviously the pope is not scanning CNS for ideas, but the coincidences are uncanny!

Pope Francis gives thumbs as he leaves St. Peter's Square after celebrating Palm Sunday Mass

Thumbs up from Pope Francis as he leaves St. Peter’s Square March 24, 2013. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Faster than a speeding bullet, ‘decorum police’ take ‘Super Pope’ down

VATICAN CITY — Like a comic book showdown, Rome’s “decorum squad” took down the city’s latest hero when they scraped off and painted over the “Super Pope” street art very early this morning.

before after

“Before” and “After” shots of a wall near the Vatican showing the quick removal by city workers of the “Super Pope” street art. (CNS photos/Robert Duncan and Carol Glatz)

It marked a new city record given the piece went up Monday night and most illegal urban “decorations” are ignored for years. Notice the illegal cafe’ sign that quickly filled the void…

The artist, Mauro Pallotta, said he saw the censure coming. He told the Italian newspaper La Stampa that “city decorum” officials had been circling “dangerously close” to his piece on Wednesday.

“But the people’s reaction stopped them. There was a small revolution. They left, but they’ll be back,” he said. And right he was.

Pallotta said he draws and paints his “ecological” and removable street art onto paper that he then glues with a water-based adhesive to walls around his historic neighborhood of “the Borgo” — a series of small streets and low buildings near the Vatican.

While city painters scraped off his papered depiction of “Super Pope” and rolled on a fresh coat of paint, they didn’t bother with the street tagging on the rest of the wall or the graffiti plastered throughout the area.

graffitti lives

One of countless patches of graffiti which miraculously survived an early morning blitz by city workers who removed the “Super Pope” pop art. The stenciled slogan (by the same artist) near a restaurant says: “Full tummies don’t think about empty stomachs.” (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)

Pallotta said he got the idea to draw the pope as superman when he was leafing through a superhero comic book while watching TV. A news story came on about Pope Francis and “It blew my mind like a short circuit: ‘Hey, the pope IS a superhero!’”

“The superpowers which I gave him represent the enormous power at his disposal, which he uses — the only world leader — to do good. He’s the only one who does what he says.”

Pope passes news photographers as he arrives to lead general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis passes news photographers as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter’s Square Jan. 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

However, Pope Francis would disagree with being equated with a superhero.

When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Bergoglio  told the story of the dangers of trying to play “Tarzan” and boastfully thinking one person alone can save the world.

He says in the book, “Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words,” that when he was vicar general of the archdiocese, he brushed off a visitor looking to confess because he had a busy day ahead of him and needed to catch a train.

“I had an attitude of superiority, put another way, I was sinning…I was saying to myself, ‘Look how good I am, how great I am, how many things I can do.’ Pride affected my attitude,” the future pope said.

He said he since learned to “travel in patience” and realized that of all the things that need doing at work and in the world, it’s God who will always “sort out the story!”

“So often in life we ought to slow down and not try to fix everything at once! To travel in patience means: giving up the presumption of wanting to solve everything. You have to make an effort, but understand that one person cannot do everything.”

As he’s said elsewhere, you don’t need to be a superhero to be a saint; you just need to stick close to God.

You definitely got mail! What’s inside the papal postbox?

UPDATE: For folks who wish to stuff those mail bags even more, here are the popes’ addresses. There is NO email because the last time they set one up for the pope, the servers crashed.

Pope Francis
Domus Sanctae Marthae
00120 Vatican City State

and

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Mater Ecclesiae monastery
00120 Vatican City State

Pope accepts letter as he arrives to lead general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis accepts a letter from a pilgrim in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 16, 2013. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis gets so much mail — about 30 large mail sacks a week — that the Vatican has set up a special office to sort through and read the overflowing stacks.

Msgr. Giuliano Gallorini of the Vatican secretariat of state is in charge of the “Papal Correspondence Office” and is assisted by a nun and two laywomen.

The sacks are brought from the Vatican post office to the “Terza Loggia” in the apostolic palace where the Vatican diplomats work. There, the papal mail team sifts through everything, sorting the letters into low-tech cardboard boxes whose tops have been torn off and labeled “Portuguese,” “Spanish,” “French” and other languages.

papal mail room

Screen grab from CTV video showing makeshift mail room for papal correspondence.

This video by the Vatican Television Center gives an insider’s look at the makeshift mail room, whose floor, understandably, is absolutely cluttered with boxes chock full of the sorted post.

The video, in Italian, talks about the kind of mail the pope gets. Sometimes there are gifts like a handmade scarf, statuettes, drawings, but Msgr. Gallorini said most of the letters are requests for prayers and support.

“It may be the period we are living in, but many deal with people’s difficulties, especially illness. They ask for prayers for children and they detail difficult economic situations,” he said.

gallorini

Screen grab from CTV video showing Msgr. Gallorini, head of the papal correspondence office, going through the mail.

The correspondence team reads all the Italian mail and tries to send the letters on to the right people who can offer help. For example, requests for economic assistance are sent to the appropriate diocesan Caritas office, the monsignor said.

He said they try to do what Pope Francis would want: to listen to people with their hearts and minds, to share in their suffering and to try to find the right words in their replies (they send a reply to everyone!!)

What mail does make it onto the pope’s desk?

Msgr. Gallorini said, “Cases that are more delicate” or sensitive. Those items are sent on to the pope’s secretaries who make sure the pope can look at them himself and decide how they should be handled.

Pope Francis “always says that the pastor has to live with his flock, with his sheep, to feel and live their experiences with them,” the monsignor said. However, because it would be impossible for the pope to read every letter he gets, the pope asks his correspondence crew to approach their work with the same sense of solidarity and affection he would have.

Have any of you written to the pope? Did you get a reply?

A special engagement at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY — Are you engaged to be married? Have nothing special planned for Valentine’s Day? Want to come to Rome?

Engaged

You have just two days left to register for a special audience with Pope Francis here at the Vatican. The deadline is Jan. 30th.

You must be taking or have finished taking marriage preparation courses and you need to apply for the audience through your diocesan office of the family or by writing to events@family.va by this Thursday.

Also, go here for more details and some valuable relationship advice from Pope Francis!

Feathery fiascos: the unfortunate prey for peace

A dove released during an Angelus prayer conducted by Pope Francis, is attacked by a seagull at the Vatican

A dove released during the Sunday Angelus is attacked by a seagull over St. Peter’s Square Jan. 26. (CNS photo/via Reuters – Alessandro Bianchi)

VATICAN CITY — Photographers in St. Peter’s Square yesterday caught the sad scene of a freshly released dove being attacked by a crow and seagull.

The annual dove launch by the pope and two children is meant to highlight the church’s call for peace in the world.

But, unfortunately, the forces of nature (namely hungry predator birds circling the square) usually prevail every year and the symbol of peace becomes prey.

I did a story several years ago that looked at the problem and an easy solution that would not appall bird lovers and would keep the children’s month of peace tradition flying.

Perhaps the advice and the story originally published Feb. 13, 2004, are worth repeating?

Wing and a prayer: Vatican doves sometimes turn chicken

By Carol Glatz 

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The noble white dove has come to symbolize peace, fidelity, fraternity and hope, but the Vatican seems to have seen more than its fair share of doves suffering from a fear of flying.

Some might even say those doves are really just chicken.

What’s meant to be an impressive launch from the fifth-story window of the pope’s studio instead turns into a feathery fiasco. In 1998 both doves recoiled from their release and turned tail back inside the apostolic palace. Delighted, Pope John Paul II said, “It is clear this is a house of peace, because the doves don’t want to leave.”

This scene of one or both doves diving for papal cover has been repeated over the years. Most recently, on Jan. 25, call it stage-fright, call it premonition: One dove refused to leave the pope’s windowsill while the more gutsy of the two flew off to a grisly fate. One Italian newspaper reported the bird of peace was later found injured from a seagull attack.

The dove-launch over St. Peter’s Square occurs the last Sunday of every January after the pope’s Angelus.

The annual avian event started 25 years ago, said Father Antonio Magnotta, assistant to the Rome branch of Italy’s Catholic Action youth group. He said the group asked the Vatican if the kids could help celebrate what’s considered the month of peace with their bishop, Pope John Paul.

Each year, two children join the pope at the end of his noonday prayer, read a message of peace and help launch two white doves.

If only symbolism could be so simple.

“The problem is they toss the doves out with too much force; the bird doesn’t know where it’s going, so it boomerangs back to get its proper bearings,” said Bernard de Cottignies, veteran Vatican Radio journalist and messenger-dove fancier with several champion birds under his cote.

“To get a good takeoff they should slowly open their hands, let the bird get its sense of direction, and then it will go when it’s ready,” he said.

Launching techniques aside, how much is known about where the doves go at the end of the show?

“They head to the Vatican gardens, I think,” Father Magnotta said.

But officials at the Vatican’s immaculately pruned gardens told CNS that there are no white doves there.

“We have lots of grey pigeons, but white doves? I never saw them here,” said the head of the gardens, Elio Cortellessa.

De Cottignies said the white doves end up homeless and starving.

“White doves are usually bred for meat and lack the homing instinct of messenger-doves” — which are also known as “racing pigeons,” he said.

Another problem with farm-raised fowl, he said, is that the white dove cannot fend for itself in the city.

But luckily for the doves, there was a Good Samaritan looking out for them for a while.

“For five years I picked up the stray doves, half-starved and lost in St. Peter’s Square on my way home from work to take them to a friend’s house in the country,” confessed de Cottignies.

Although the release of doves onto St. Peter’s Square is wholly organized by Italian Catholic Action, once upon a time the Vatican used doves in its beatification and canonization ceremonies.

According to a Franciscan Web site, the Mass’s offertory after the act of canonization was made up of “wax candles, bread, wine, water, two turtle doves, two pigeons and a number of smaller birds” in gilded cages.

These offerings were presented to the pope and were meant to “lift up our hearts and minds to the love and contemplation of the supernatural,” the Web site explained.

“I remember in 1976 when the Scottish Jesuit martyr (John Ogilvie) was canonized, the Jesuits turned up with wine and a dove,” said Msgr. Charles Burns, a church historian who spent more than 25 years as an official of the Vatican Archives.

But Archbishop Piero Marini, the pope’s master of liturgical ceremonies, said that after the Second Vatican Council, the use of doves and other symbols in liturgical ceremonies was phased out in favor of simpler gifts.

“But the present-day tradition of the children coming to the pope’s window to release the doves is very nice,” Msgr. Burns said. “It’s a lot like Noah’s Ark,” the dove flying back from land, symbolizing hope and peace.

De Cottignies said there is a solution that would not appall bird lovers and would keep the children’s month of peace tradition flying.

“They could use white messenger-doves. They would have a much more stunning takeoff since the bird knows where home is and would head straight there with impressive speed,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 13 quotable quotes by Pope Francis on sanctity of life

VATICAN CITY — Top 13 quotable quotes from Pope Francis on the sanctity of life:

1.

francis life tweet

2.  “All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”

Message to Catholics taking part in annual Day for Life in Britain and Ireland July 28, 2013

3. “Let’s say ‘Yes’ to life and ‘No’ to death.”

Message to Catholics taking part in March for Life in France Jan. 19, 2014

MAN AND CHILD HOLD HANDS DURING ANTI-ABORTION MARCH

A man and child hold hands during an anti-abortion march in central London in 2007. (CNS photo/Toby Melville, Reuters) (Oct. 30, 2007)

4. “Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. And every elderly person…even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the ‘culture of waste’ suggests!”

Speech to Catholic healthcare professionals and gynecologists Sept. 20, 2013

5. “All too often, as we know from experience, people do not choose life, they do not accept the ‘Gospel of Life’ but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others.

…As a result, the living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death.”

– from homily at Mass for ‘Evangelium Vitae Day’ June 16, 2013

Boy carries mortar shell in weapons factory of Free Syrian Army in Aleppo

A 10-year-old Syrian boy carries a mortar shell in a weapons factory in Aleppo Sept. 2013. (CNS photo/Hamid Khatib, Reuters)

6. “Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as ‘unnecessary.’ For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; and children being bought and sold in that terrible form of modern slavery which is human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity.”

Speech to diplomats Jan. 13, 2014

7. “Among the vulnerable for whom the church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this.

…Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the church cannot be expected to change her position on this question… It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life…”

– Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium #213-214

Pope blesses sick man inside Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria in Cagliari

Pope Francis blessing a sick man inside the Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria in Cagliari, Sardinia, Sept. 2013. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

8. “The victims of this [throwaway] culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings — the unborn, the poorest, the sick and elderly, the seriously handicapped, etc. — who are in danger of being ‘thrown away,’ expelled from a system that must be efficient at all costs.

…It is necessary to raise awareness and form the lay faithful, in whatever state, especially those engaged in the field of politics, so that they may think in accord with the Gospel and the social doctrine of the church and act consistently by dialoguing and collaborating with those who, in sincerity and intellectual honesty, share — if not the faith — at least a similar vision of mankind and society and its ethical consequences.

Speech to a delegation from the Dignitatis Humanae Institute Dec. 7, 2013

BOY SITS IN DAMAGED HOME AFTER SHELLING IN SYRIA

A boy sitting at his parents’ house damaged by shelling near Homs Aug. 2012. (CNS photo/Shaam News Network handout via Reuters)

9. “We are called to reach out to those who find themselves in the existential peripheries of our societies and to show particular solidarity with the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the disabled, the unborn and the sick, migrants and refugees, the elderly and the young who lack employment.”

Message to the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches dated Oct. 4, 2013

10. On the church supporting life: “This young woman had the courage” to carry her baby to term and not have an abortion, Pope Francis said. But this example of an unmarried woman who sought baptism for her baby, “what does she find? A closed door. And this happens to a lot of people. This is not good pastoral zeal. This pushes people away from the Lord.”

Homily during morning Mass May 25, 2013 in chapel of his residence

SISTER TEACHES LOCAL MEN TO PROVIDE MATERNAL CARE IN SOUTH SUDAN

Sister Joana Mai Hla Kyi, a nurse and member of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, demonstrating prenatal therapy in Riimenze, South Sudan, in this 2010 file photo. (CNS file photo/Paul Jeffrey)

11. The fight against abortion is “part of the battle in favor of life from the moment of conception until a dignified, natural end. This includes the care of the mother during pregnancy, the existence of laws to protect the mother postpartum, and the need to ensure that children receive enough food, as well as providing healthcare throughout the whole length of life…”

…On science being aware it is human life: “A pregnant woman isn’t carrying a toothbrush in her belly, or a tumor…We are in the presence of a human being.”

– Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in book of interviews “Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words”

12. “The right to life is the first human right. Abortion is killing someone that cannot defend him or herself.”

– Cardinal Bergoglio with Rabbi Abraham Skorka in book “On Heaven and Earth”

Pope kisses baby as he arrives to lead general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis kisses a baby before start of general audience in St. Peter’s Square Dec. 18, 2013. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

13. “All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth…to give life is to open (our) heart, and to care for life is to (give oneself) in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart for others.

Caring for life from the beginning to the end. What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing..So, go forth and don’t be discouraged. Care for life. It’s worth it.”

–  from a homily in 2005 by Cardinal Bergoglio  celebrating Aug. 31  feast of St. Raymond Nonnatus, patron saint of expectant mothers, newborns

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