Pope Francis: today the Eucharist is for pagans too

Catholic missionaries in Papua New Guinea

A Papua New Guinea pilot project in inclusiveness. This is the latest gimmick devised to make Pope Francis’ Church That Goes Forth reach even further: giving the Eucharist to anybody who asks; but only today, by way of exception, to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. It’s not just about the divorced and remarried, or fellow Protestant faithfuls. Even non-Christians and skeptics can now participate and receive the Sacrament. At least if you live in Papua. This morning, during Easter Mass, thousands of people who had never received Jesus in the Eucharist before were greeted in the churches across Papua New Guinea as honored guests who could now experience a direct,…

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Lent fasting & abstinence: do they make sense?

When I was in nursery school the nuns taught us to make some small sacrifices, which were labeled fioretti (literally: small flowers. This word expresses the idea of a small offer to the Virgin Mary). Good deeds, of course, but typically focusing on the effort itself, not on obtaining tangible results. I have a vivid memory of the small poster on the wall where we glued our tiny paper flowers, regular shapes comprised of a few red petals and a yellow circle in the middle. One flower for each fioretto (sacrifice) made: we felt rewarded for being good. And proud of the accomplishment! I don’t remember instead the specific subject of my…

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