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Pope Francis asks for Prayers for His Upcoming Trip to Africa – Perspectives Daily

What are Pope Francis’ hopes and aspirations for his upcoming trip to Africa this week? Find out here as Pope Francis tells us in his own words.

Salt + Light will be bringing you coverage of Pope Francis’ trip through Kenya, Uganda, and Central African Republic. You can find the link to our broadcasting schedule at http://saltandlighttv.org/apostolicvisit/

When Parishes Merge: Perspectives Daily

What happens when a parish has to close, or two parishes are merged into one? Kevin Mannara CSB talks to us about that and his research into the what makes for a smooth parish consolidation.

Mannara suggests two books as resources for pastors or pastoral planners dealing with parish mergers:

1. Mannara recently had his research published by Liturgy Training Publications. His book is called “That All May Be One: Consolidating Church Buildings When Parishes Merge.”

2. The Struggle for Holy Ground by Michael Weldon, OFM is a book featuring case studies of parishes that have gone through the consolidation process and the lessons learned by those parishes.

Behind Vatican Walls: The Pact of the Catacombs


This year marks 50 years since the end of the Second Vatican Council and the promulgation of several key documents that shaped the church. There is one document, not part of the official canon of Vatican II documents, that shaped the church just as much yet has been almost forgotten. It is called the Catacombs Pact and has experienced a resurgence on its 50th anniversary due, some say, to the ecclesiastical climate created by Pope Francis.

On November 16, 1965 a group of 42 council fathers paid a visit to the Catacombs of Domitila on the outskirts of Rome. At an altar deep below the surface of modern Rome, surrounded by tombs of ancient Christians, Bishop Charles-Marie Himmer of Tournai, Belgium celebrated mass for his fellow council fathers. Following the Mass the fathers composed a text: a set of principles they would agree to adhere to in their ministry. Then-Bishop Helder Camara took served as the group’s scribe.

Among other things, the council fathers agreed to live simply, renounce the pomp and luxury that came with episcopal positions, and entrust the administrative aspects of running a diocese to competent lay people. Essentially, they agreed to let nothing get in the way of being pastors.

Location, location, location

Making the trek out to the catacombs of Domitila in order to sign the document was just as important as the content of the pact.

The best known catacombs under the Eternal City are the catacombs of St. Callixtus which house the remains of nine early popes. The entrance to the catacombs of Domitilla, which house the tombs of 100,000 early Christians, are close by but less advertised. The underground complex is also home to the only underground basilica that can still be visited. The message was clear: “we’re getting back to basics.”

Modus Operandi

Given the name of the pact one expects to find earth shattering statements in the document. To the modern eye the content is rather…..well, unexciting. In 1965, the points contained in the document would have been seen as turning the church on its head. They agreed to:

  • Live the way “our people” normally live in regards to wardrobe, food, transportation and everything related.
  • Renounce “the appearance and reality” of wealth, especially in regards to wardrobe, i.e: fabrics used and insignia made of precious metals.
  • “We will not own under our own name” real estate, furniture or bank accounts and “if it is necessary to have such things, we will put them in the name of our diocese or social or charity organizations”.
  • When possible, entrust management of dioceses’ finances and assets to competent lay people “so we can be pastors and apostles more than managers”.
  • Renounce being referred to by names or titles that convey power and prestige, (monsignor, excellency, eminence)  preferring to be referred to by the evangelical title “Father”.
  • Avoid doing anything that appears to give preferential treatment to those who are wealthy or have power.
  • Invite the faithful to view their participation in the life of the church as a normal part of worship, apostolate and social action and avoid encouraging participation of people just increase income or encourage donations.
  • Give as much of our time, heart, means to apostolic and pastoral care of people and groups that are “economically weak”,  support the lay people, religious, deacons, priests whom the Lord calls to evangelize workers and the poor.
  • Transform works of “charity” into works of social initiative based on love and justice.
  • Work towards getting governments to enact laws, structures and social institutions necessary justice, equality, and harmonious development.
  • Invest, as much as possible, in poor dioceses.
  • “Share our lives with our brother priests, religious and laypeople in Christ so our ministry may become a true service”.

CNS photo/Paul Haring

Watch this week’s Vatican Connections below:


Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.

Canonization of Mother Teresa – Perspectives Daily

Rumors of Mother Teresa’s canonization is causing a media frenzy despite the fact that the date has not been officially confirmed by the Vatican. Today, we also look at the response of the US bishop in light of politicians calling for Syrian Refugees to excluded from the Federal Refugee program.

Pope Francis’ remarkable comments at Lutheran Church – Perspectives Daily

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis and other church leaders respond to the terrorist attacks in Paris, and Pope Francis visits the Lutheran Church of Rome where he makes some remarkable comments about receiving Communion in the Catholic Church.

CNS photo/Nils Meilvang, Reuters

Paris reacts to attacks – Perspectives Daily

How have last week’s terrorist attacks affected Parisians? How has the local Church responded? We talk to Sel et Lumiere‘s Charles LeBourgois for reaction.

CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pope Francis Outlines Vision for the Future of the Church – Perspectives Daily

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis strongly outlined a new, comprehensive vision for the future of the Catholic Church, telling a gathering of the entire Italian Church community there that, “Our times require a deeply merciful Catholicism that is unafraid of change.

The U.S. Supreme Court justices said they will hear seven pending appeals in lawsuits brought by several Catholic and other faith-based entities against the United States’ current contraceptive mandate.

In Syria, ISIS terrorists released 37 Syrian Christians over the weekend, part of a group of over 200 people they kidnapped in February.

Canadian bishops congratulate newly-elected PM Justin Trudeau – Perspectives Daily

Pope Francis gives his daily homily at the Santa Marta Chapel, Father Federico Lombardi delivers a statement on the recent the recent Vatican documents leaks, and the Canadian bishops write to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to congratulate him on his recent election.

Pope Francis to Visit Mexico this February – Perspectives Daily

Pope Francis is set to visit Mexico in February, marking the pontiff’s first trip to the country, according to Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City.

On Tuesday, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for all the cardinals and bishops who have passed away over the past year.

Vatican Radio reports that Cardinal Pietro Parolin, has sent a telegramme with his condolences to Russian President Vladimir Putin and to the families who lost loved ones following the crash of Russian flight A321, on Pope Francis’ behalf.

The Vatican’s news leaks scandal intensified on Tuesday as a book detailing claims of mismanagement and internal resistance, which has been thwarting Pope Francis’s financial reform efforts, will soon be published.

Pope marks All Souls, All Saints feasts – Perspectives Daily

Pope Francis marked the feasts of All Saints and All Souls while Vatican police questioned and arrested two people linked to leaking private Vatican documents to the press. Plus there is progress in the path to union between the Catholic and Lutheran churches in the U.S.