Pope Francis kicks off the Advent season, by also kicking off a campaign from the charitable foundation Aid to the Church in Need: the “Candle for Peace in Syria” initiative. Said the Pope: “May these flames of hope dispel the darkness of war (…) Let us pray and help Christians to remain in Syria and the Middle East as witnesses of mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation (…) May the flame of hope also reach all those who are suffering in these days from conflicts and tensions in various other parts of the world, near and far.”

Contrary to the accusations of his critics, Pope Francis has consistently validated his predecessor’s instructions on the admission to the seminary of people with homossexual tendencies. On a new book-interview, it has been reported, Francis seems to uphold these instructions once more: “The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case (…) This is something I am concerned about, because perhaps at one time it did not receive much attention (…) the Church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life.”

Meanwhile, the sensationalistic headlines on the media about this have obscured wonderful news: there is a full book-interview from Pope Francis on the topic of vocation to be published soon in ten languages! We recommend people to not stop at these headlines, but actually go read and meditate the entire book at length to get acquainted with Pope Francis’ actual thoughts (and not just the polemical topics), without the filter of pundits and biased reporters.

Pope Francis’ efforts in establishing transparency in the Vatican’s finances have won a confidence vote from the European Union, which has now “approved the extension of the geographical scope of the Single Euro Payments Area to Vatican City State and the Holy See.”

Notable apologist and Pope defender Stephen Walford gave an interview to Fr. Rosica in Salt and Light TV. It can be watched at length here.

Pope Francis’ intentions for December: “Let us pray that people who are involved in the service and transmission of faith may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time



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Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.

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