Pope-emeritus Benedict defends his decision to resign (Bild (German)) Pope-emeritus Benedict defended his decision to resign in private letter, written last year to Cardinal Walter Brandmüller. The letter has been made public, nearly a year later, by the German tabloid Bild. In it the former Pope said that he understood the pain some people when he stepped down, but feared that pain had “turned into an anger” against him, and consequently “a papacy itself is now being devalued.” He added that the pain is aggravated by “sorrow about the situation in which the Church now finds herself.”
Pope reflects on 'Honor your father and mother' (Zenit) In recent months, Pope Francis has devoted his Wednesday general audiences to the Sacrament of Baptism (April 11-May 16), the Sacrament of Confirmation (May 23-June 6), and the Commandments (beginning June 13). The September 19 audience, devoted to the Fourth Commandment, took place in St. Peter’s Square (video).
Pope fears spread of racism (AsiaNews) Pope Francis voiced his fear that racism is spreading, because of political leaders exploiting tensions for their own short-term gains. In an audience with participants in a conference on xenophobia and racism, the Pontiff called for “inspiring gestures that contribute to societies founded on the principle of the sacredness of human life and respect for the dignity of every person.”
South Sudan peace accord welcomed by bishops (Fides) The Catholic bishops of south Sudan have welcomed a peace agreement, which was signed by the warring parties while the country’s bishops were in Rome for their ad limina visits. Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio, the president of the bishops’ conference, said that the agreement was a “miracle,” in light of the differences that had seemed likely to prevent peace.