Let's begin today with highlights from the Pope’s weekly general audience from Paul VI Hall, where he continued his catechesis on the Mass focusing his attention on the Eucharistic Prayer. Through the Eucharistic prayer, the Pope said, “Christians learn three attitudes: to give thanks always and everywhere, to make one's life a gift of love, and, to build communion in the Church with everyone. Here now is the report from CNS.
In other Vatican news, Pope Francis has cleared the way for the canonizations of Blessed Paul VI and Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero.
At a meeting yesterday with the prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the Holy Father signed decrees for the causes of the former Pope and martyred archbishop, along with 11 other men and women.He recognized a miracle attributed to Blessed Paul, who according to the Vatican secretary of state, will be declared a saint in October at the end of the Synod of Bishops.
The miracle needed for Blessed Romero's sainthood cause has also been officially recognized but no date for that canonization has yet been set.
Of course, I’ll keep you up-to-date as those details become available.
Five years after the Pope’s election, a new Pew Research survey of US Catholics is showing some interesting trends. For the first time, the Pope’s increase or decrease in US popularity seems to be tainted by political colours.
A new survey, published yesterday, shows that the vast majority of U.S. Catholics, about (84%), continue to have a favorable opinion of the Pope, and that in general, he represents a major and positive change for the Catholic Church. Interestingly, this approval rate is "virtually identical" to his approval rating after his first year as Pope.
Despite that, however, the lengthy report has found that the number of Republican-leaning Catholics, who say the Pope is “too liberal” is now at 55% - a huge change from the 23% in 2015. On the other hand, among Catholic Democrats, there has been little statistical change with a 71% approval rating, in comparison to 76% percent in 2014.
Based on his current approval ratings, Pope Francis remains more popular than his predecessor, Pope Benedict 16th, whose approval ratings peaked at 83% following his visit to the United States in 2008.
Pope Francis however, remains slightly less popular than Pope John Paul II, whose numbers reached 93% public approval in both 1990 and 1996.
If you would like more details on the study, can visit the Pew Research website listed below.
Finally, we continue with the second part of our exclusive Salt and Light interview with Msgr. Jose Bettencourt, Ottawa’s newest Archbishop-designate, and the next Papal Nuncio to Armenia who will be ordained in Rome by the Pope on March 19th.
Here’s what Archbishop-designate Bettencourt said about the significance of that date.
That is all that we have time for today. Join us again tomorrow, when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic Lens.