Vatican: In an annual speech to global ambassadors, Pope Francis adopted voices of Old Testament characters to cry for better treatment of migrants.
The Vatican’s newspaper on Jan. 6 has criticized French weekly Charlie Hebdo for manipulating faith in the magazine’s latest front page, which depicts a blood-soaked God armed with a Kalashnikov.
The controversial cover commemorates a year since a terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo’s Paris headquarters, which left 12 people dead and led to a global debate on religious extremism and freedom of speech.
“One year later, the assassin is still on the run,” reads the black and white front page, with a cartoon depicting a violent God.
In his homily for the feast of the Epiphany, Pope Francis again called for a missionary global church but warned: “The Church cannot deceive itself into thinking that it shines with its own light.”
Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the place where his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, created the world's first Nativity scene in Greccio. The pope used a free day.
Pope Francis erected a new Syro-Malankara eparchy for the United States and Canada. The pope also named Bishop Thomas Eusebios Naickamparambil as its first bishop.
Over 3.2 million pilgrims visited the Vatican in 2015 and attended papal events, liturgies or prayer services, the Vatican said. The statistics were compiled by Prefecture of the Papal Household.
NCR Today: Pope Francis called on Christians to take time during the continuing Christmas season to contemplate the mystery of the child Jesus.
Pope Francis asked for prayers and action concerning the plight of Cuban migrants, a rebel attack in the Philippines, and a deadly gas explosion in Nigeria.
"Only God's mercy can free humanity from the many forms of evil, at times monstrous evil, which selfishness spawns in our midst," the pope said Dec. 25.
Pope Francis has been given the award in recognition of his efforts at global peace and cross-cultural understanding.