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Quotes and news

Pope: ‘Give things away to gain heaven’

In his homily on the first Day of the Poor last Sunday, Pope Francis said: “In the poor, we find the presence of Jesus, who, though rich, became poor. In their weakness, a saving power is present. And if in the eyes of the world they have little value, they are the ones who open to us the way to heaven; they are our passport to paradise.

“[Everyone is a beggar] when it comes to what is essential: God’s love, which gives meaning to our lives and a life without end.

“No one can think he or she is useless, so poor as to be incapable of giving something to others. We are chosen and blessed by God, who wants to fill us with His gifts, more than any father or mother does with their own children.

“And God, in whose eyes no child can be neglected, entrusts to each of us a mission.

“Today we might ask ourselves: ‘What counts for me in life? Where am I making my investments?’ In fleeting riches, with which the world is never satisfied, or in the wealth bestowed by God, who gives eternal life?” he asked. “This is the choice before us: to live to gain things on earth, or to give things away to gain heaven.”

Papal video message for Myanmar

Pope Francis sent a video message to the people of Myanmar ahead of his visit to the country this week. In his message the Pope said he is eager to meet Myanmar people, particularly the members of the small Catholic community. But he said he would offer a broader message to the country at large: “I come to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a message of reconciliation, forgiveness and peace.” Everyone is expecting to see whether or not the Pope will mention the bad treatment of the Rohingya minority, which many describe as an example of ethnic cleansing. Many have advised the Pope not to refer to the Rohingya while others say that he should.

UK bishops: ‘Protect children online’

After meeting in Leeds last week, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said: “We now join our voice to all those calling for greater protection for children from the harmful materials accessible to all on the internet.

“We now see so many young people acknowledging that they are addicted to its use and to the pornography which is so readily available there. The internet has also become a major means of the abuse of children, of blackmail and of new forms of degrading slavery.

“We challenge internet provi­ders to take account of their res­ponsibilities and to invest in measures to control the damaging ways in which the internet is used.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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