Quotes of the Week December 12

"We are resolved to be martyrs in this land, blood martyrs, like some of our faithful. Despite the woes and the quite tragic situation that we have been experiencing for nearly three years now, we want to stay and help our faithful to stay."

Patriarch Grégoire III Laham, speaking of his clerics with Pope Francis during the pair's recent meeting in Rome.

"I beseech you from the heart not to proceed. You will deny yourself the blessing of the most just Lord whose help and protection we daily need as much personally as nationally."

Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus, in an appeal for Greek lawmakers to reject a proposal to legalise same-sex unions.

"Are you good? Do you know how to pray? Thank you for being here to spend this time together and get to know each other better."

Pope Francis, speaking to First Communion children during a visit to the St Cyril parish in Rome.

"Pope Francis is reduced to a cartoonish socialist to quiet consciences rankled by his exhortation. Thoughtful Catholics, thoughtful economists, and thoughtful policymakers know that there is no perfect economic system. Markets cannot be totally rational or totally just and even self-correcting, markets have consequences when greed, undue excess, or irrational speculation affects real human beings, with real families and real dignity at stake."

Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, responds to charges made by radio host Rush Limbaugh that Evangelii Gaudium shows Pope Francis to be a 'socialist'.

"The time has come for this local Church to reawaken the enthusiasm for evangelisation. Deepen the faith of those who are already baptised and share it with those who have drifted away from the Church, this is the pastoral urgency that your diocesan ecclesial community has to deal with."

Cardinal Filoni Fernando, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, speaking to the faithful of the island of Guadeloupe in the Antilles at the end of his recent pastoral visit.