Using terms that are certainly new to papal lexicon, Francis denounced "extreme pornography" on the web that adults, and increasingly children consume, and the increasing use of "sexting" and "sextortion" among the estimated 800 million minors who navigate the internet. When answering questions posed by those who are not Catholic, I am proud and excited to show them the continuity of teaching that undergirds what we believe as Catholics. The list includes: Scotland; Flanders, a Dutch-speaking region in northern Belgium; and "Padania", which is a proposed independent country consisting of the northern regions of Italy.
"The biological and psychical manipulation of sexual difference, which biomedical technology allows us to perceive as completely available to free choice - which it is not! - thus risks dismantling the source of energy that nurtures the alliance between man and woman and which renders it creative and fruitful", the Pope told the Pontifical Academy for Life's general assembly.
The Vatican's diplomats, under Pope Francis, in 2014 began detailed discussions with China's Communist rulers that have now been through about half-a-dozen rounds.
The catechism is a great gift and marvelous work. This is something that won't change for a long time.
He added that reciprocal tolerance between the church in China and the Chinese government needed a premise: that "the Holy See not be opposed to the Chinese government". But, and this applies not only to the EU, "we don't throw the baby in the bath water out the window, no?" "This means that tolerance is already experienced in some form".
The priest also interpreted the case of Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, the auxiliary bishop of Shanghai, in the light of this "healthy realism".
He went on to distinguish between independence for emancipation, as was the case of the American continent, which emancipated itself from European states, and independence by secession, which he called "a dismemberment". Since then, he has recanted, describing his dramatic move as a mistake.
The Vatican said Wednesday it would host a summit of young people from around the world March 19-24 as a preparatory meeting to the synod of bishops later in the year.
Here, too, he distinguished between countries that became independent as part of an emancipation process, meaning, for instance, the American countries that declared their independence from colonizing nations.
Outside of Europe, there is a strong independence movement in French-speaking Quebec in Canada, while recently there has been a renewed effort to establish an independent Biafra State in southeast Nigeria, and some English-speaking Cameroonians are agitating for their own independence. Here in the US, where one in six hospital beds is in a Catholic hospital, it is difficult for transgender people in some areas to get the respectful, informed, appropriate care that they need.
He also urged going beyond prejudices and appearances.
The main issue at hand, notes Francis, is "the interconnected opportunities and critical issues that appeal to global humanism, with reference to the recent technological developments of life sciences". But their disputes were due to expressions of a conflict of religious interests instead of differences in faith. Moreover, they have started to reconcile with each other after repeated calls from St. Pope John Paul II.
"The episcopal ordination of Bishop Xing Wenzhi, in 2005, is eloquent proof", Father Shih said. It is an ugly rebellion against God who is all good. The spread of this attitude has very grave consequences for all affections and bonds in life (cf. Laudato si', 48).