Vatican News

Pope sets up new Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences

Vatican News - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 07:04
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has set up a new Pontifical institute for the study of marriage and the family, replacing the organisation set up by his predecessor in 1981. In a Motu Proprio, published on Tuesday, the Vatican announced that the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences is being established to carry forward the work of the two recent Synods of Bishops and the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia . New pastoral challenges Noting the important work that has been carried out by the original institute, founded in the wake of the 1980 Synod on the Family, Pope Francis says the Synods of 2014 and 2015 have brought a renewed awareness of “the new pastoral challenges to which the Christian community is called to respond”. Contemporary anthropological and cultural changes, the pope says, require “a diversified and analytical approach” which cannot be “limited to pastoral and missionary practices” of the past. Complex realities of family life Instead, he says, we must be able to interpret our faith in a context in which individuals are less supported than before as they deal with the complex realities of family life. Faithful to the teachings of Christ, the pope says, we must explore these “lights and shadows of family life” with realism, wisdom and love. Like its predecessor, the new institute will continue to work as part of the Pontifical Lateran University. It will also be closely connected to the Holy See through the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Pontifical Academy for Life and the new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. The institute, which comes into effect immediately, will offer students courses leading to a diploma, a license and a doctorate in marriage and family sciences. Please find below the original Latin text of the new Motu Proprio LITTERAE APOSTOLICAE MOTU PROPRIO DATAE SUMMA FAMILIAE CURA Quibus Pontificium Institutum Theologicum pro Scientiis de Matrimonio et Familia Sancto Ioanni Paulo II dicatum constituitur FRANCISCUS           Summa familiae cura sanctus Ioannes Paulus II animatus, post Coetum Synodi Episcoporum anno MCMLXXX de familia celebratum necnon Adhortatione Apostolica Familiaris consortio anno MCMLXXXI exarata, Constitutione apostolica Magnum Matrimonii Sacramentum iuridicam formam tribuit Pontificio Instituto Studiorum Matrimonii ac Familiae, apud Pontificiam Universitatem Lateranensem operanti. Ab illo tempore Institutum proficuum opus pervestigationis theologicae et formationis pastoralis tum in Sede praecipua Romae explevit tum in sedibus extra Urbem, adstantibus in omnibus continentibus.           Recentius Ecclesia ulterius iter synodale effecit, in medium considerationis iterum matrimonium et familiam ponens, primum quidem in Coetu extraordinario Synodi Episcoporum anno MMXIV acto de “Provocationibus pastoralibus familiae in contextu evangelizationis”, et deinde in illo ordinario anno MMXV habito de “Vocatione et missione familiae in Ecclesia et in mundo”. Fructum istius intensi itineris constituit Adhortatio apostolica post-synodalis Amoris laetitia, die XIX mensis Martii anno MMXVI publici iuris facta.           Hoc tempus synodale Ecclesiam adduxit ad renovatam Evangelii familiae conscientiam novarumque pastoralium provocationum quibus oportet christiana communitas respondeat. Praecipuum familiae locum in itineribus “conversionis pastoralis”[1] nostrarum communitatum nec non “commutationis missionalis Ecclesiae”[2] postulat ut – etiam in provincia formationis academicae – in consideratione de matrimonio familiaque numquam desint prospectus pastorales et sollicitudo de vulneribus humani generis. Si fructuosum altum studium theologiae pastoralis agi non potest neglecto peculiari aspectu ecclesiali familiae,[3] altera ex parte ipse sensus pastoralis Ecclesiae non parum curat pretiosum tributum cogitationis et investigationis quae perscrutantur admodum alte et accurate revelationis veritatem et  traditionis fidei sapientiam, ut aptius aetate nostra intellegantur. “Decretorium eventuro pro mundo Ecclesiaque est familiae bonum. […]  Salubre est certis rebus vacare, quandoquidem postulationes impulsionesque Spiritus in eventibus historiae animadvertuntur per quos Ecclesia altius perspicere valet inexhaustum mysterium matrimonii ac familiae”.[4]           Mutatio anthropologica et culturalis, quae hodie omnes vitae provincias movet atque interpretationem postulat analyticam et multiplicem, nobis non consentit coërcere nos tantummodo operibus navitatis pastoralis et missionis quae formas et exempla temporis praeteriti referunt. Oportet interpretes simus conscii et ardentes  fidei sapientiae in rerum adiunctis in quibus singulae personae structuris socialibus minus quam praeterito tempore sustentantur, earum in affectuum et familiari vita. In claro proposito fidelitatis erga doctrinam Christi oportet igitur inspiciamus hodie familiam, cum intellectu amoris et cum sapienti rerum veritate, tota in eius varietate, in eius lucibus et umbris.[5] Has ob rationes opportunum cogitavimus novam iuridicam rationem Instituto Ioannis Pauli II tribuere, ut “praevidens intuitio sancti Ioannis Pauli II, quae firmiter hanc academicam voluit institutionem, hodie adhuc melius agnosci et aestimari [possit] sua in fecunditate et actualitate”.[6] Deliberavimus igitur Pontificium Institutum Theologicum pro Scientiis de Matrimonio et Familia instituere, augentes eius rationem inquisitionis, tum quod pertinet ad novas provincias navitatis pastoralis et missionis ecclesialis, tum quod pertinet ad progressiones scientiarum humanarum et culturae anthropologicae in provincia tam praecipua pro vitae cultura. Art. 1         His Litteris Apostolicis motu proprio datis instituimus Pontificium Institutum Theologicum pro Scientiis de Matrimonio et Familia sancto Ioanni Paulo II dicatum, quod, cum Pontificia Universitate Lateranensi coniunctum, in locum subvenit Pontificii Instituti Ioannis Pauli II Studiorum Matrimonii ac Familiae, conditi per Constitutionem Apostolicam Magnum Matrimonii Sacramentum, quod idcirco exstinguitur. Attamen necesse est ut primigenia inspiratio, quae exstinctum Pontificium Institutum Studiorum Matrimonii ac Familiae genuerat, novi Instituti Theologici operis ampliorem campum usque fecundet, efficaciter contribuens quo Ecclesiae pastoralis missionis hodiernis necessitatibus plene respondeat. Art. 2         Novum Institutum Theologicum, inter institutiones pontificias, ad servitium missionis Ecclesiae universalis, erit centrum academicum ad quod est referendum in provincia scientiarum quae pertinent ad matrimonium et familiam necnon quoad argumenta coniuncta cum fundamentali foedere viri et mulieris pro generationis et creati cura. Art. 3         Peculiaris nexus novi Instituti Theologici cum ministerio et magisterio Sanctae Sedis deinde firmabitur peculiari relatione, quam illud statuet, in modis qui vicissim concordabuntur, cum Congregatione de Institutione Catholica, cum Dicasterio pro Laicis, Familia et Vita atque cum Pontificia Academia pro Vita. Art. 4         § 1. Pontificium Institutum Theologicum, ita renovatum, aptabit suas structuras instrumentaque necessaria disponet – cathedras, docentes, rationes, ministros administrationis – ad perficiendam missionem scientificam et ecclesialem sibi assignatam.         § 2. Auctoritates academicae Instituti Theologici sunt Magnus Cancellarius, Praeses et Consilium Instituti.         § 3. Institutum Theologicum pollet facultate conferendi iure proprio suis studentibus sequentes gradus: Doctoratum in Scientiis de Matrimonio et Familia; Licentiam in Scientiis de Matrimonio et Familia; Diploma in Scientiis de Matrimonio et Familia. Art. 5         Quae praesentis Litteris sunt statuta, pressius explicabuntur et definientur propriis Statutis, a Sancta Sede approbatis. Praesertim providebitur ut aptiores modi inveniantur qui cooperationi et comparationi faveant, in provincia didacticae et inquisitionis, inter auctoritates Instituti Theologici atque Pontificiae Universitatis Lateranensis. Art. 6         Donec nova Statuta approbentur, Institutum Theologicum pro tempore regetur normis hucusque vigentibus Statutorum Pontificii Instituti Ioannis Pauli II Studiorum  Matrimonii et Familiae, inclusis ibi structuratione in Sectiones et normis ad eandem pertinentibus, dummodo praesentibus Litteris non obsistant.           Omnia quae his Litteris Apostolicis motu proprio datis consideravimus, iubemus ut cunctis suis in partibus observentur, contrariis rebus quibuslibet non obstantibus, etiamsi peculiari mentione dignis, atque statuimus ut promulgentur per publicationem in actis diurnis L’Osservatore Romano, die ipso promulgationis in vigorem intrando, proindeque Actis Apostolicae Sedis inserantur.  Datum Romae, apud Sanctum Petrum, die VIII mensis Septembris, in Festo Nativitatis Beatae Mariae Virginis, anno Domini MMXVII, Pontificatus Nostri quinto.                                          FRANCISCUS PP.  [1] Cfr Adhort. ap. Evangelii gaudium, 26-32. [2] Cfr ibid., cap. I. [3] Cfr Conc. Oecum. Vat. II, Const. dogm. Lumen gentium, 11. [4] Adhort. ap. post-synodalis Amoris laetitia, 31; cfr Ioannes Paulus II, Adhort. ap. post-synodalis Familiaris consortio, 4. [5] Cfr Adhort. ap. post-synodalis Amoris laetitia, 32. [6] Sermo ad communitatem academicam Pontificii Instituti  Studiorum Matrimonii et Familiae (27  Octobris 2016): L’Osservatore Romano, 28 Octobris 2016, p. 8. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope at Mass: ‘Pray for leaders despite their mistakes’

Vatican News - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 08:44
(Vatican Radio) As Christians we must pray for our elected leaders, even if we don’t agree with their politics. That was Pope Francis’ message during Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Monday, as he reflected on the readings for the day. Listen to Devin Watkins' report: Pope Francis took as his starting point the First Reading from St Paul’s Letter to Timothy, where he asks that “supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings” be offered “for kings and for all in authority”. In the day’s Gospel, a Roman leader, the centurion, prays that his servant be healed. Recognize one’s subordinate position “This man felt the need to pray,” the Pope noted, because “he was aware that he did not have everything under his control”. He knew that above him was another who was really in charge. The centurion had soldiers as subordinates but he was also aware of being a subordinate. This awareness led him to pray. “If leaders do not pray, they close themselves off in a self-referential circle or in that of their party, a circle from which they cannot escape”, said Pope Francis. It is important to be aware that we are all subordinate to someone more powerful. And those who are more powerful than political leaders, he suggested, are both the people who gave those leaders their power, “and God from whom their power comes through the people”. Political leaders pray, said the Pope, when they are aware of being a subordinate. Leaders must pray Pope Francis went on to talk about the importance of prayer for a leader. “It is the prayer for the common good of the people with whom they have been entrusted.” He then recalled a conversation with a political leader who spent two hours before God every day, despite being tremendously busy. A leader must ask God, said the Pope, for the grace to govern well like Solomon, who asked not for riches and gold but for the wisdom to govern. The Holy Father said political leaders must ask the Lord for the same wisdom. “It is very important for leaders to pray, asking the Lord not to take away the awareness of being subordinate and not to find strength in a little group or in myself.” To those who would object on grounds of agnosticism or atheism, Pope Francis said: “If you cannot pray, confront yourself with your conscience, with the wisdom of your people, but do not remain isolated with the small group of your political party.” This is what leads to becoming self-referential. Prayer for leaders In the First Reading, St Paul invites us to pray for kings, “so that we can live a calm and peaceful life,” the Pope said. He pointed out that when political leaders do something we don’t approve of, they are either criticized or praised, but often we simply claim we didn’t vote for them and pretend we don’t really care what they do. But Pope Francis said we must not leave abandon our leaders. “We need to accompany them with our prayer”, he said. “Christians must pray for their leaders”, even if they do “bad things”. In this case, the Pope continued, they need prayer even more: “Pray, and do penance for leaders. Intercessory prayer is such a wonderful thing, as Paul says. It is to be done for all kings, for all persons in positions of power. Why? ‘So that we can live a calm and peaceful life.’ When a leader is free and can govern in peace, the whole population benefits.” Examination of conscience Pope Francis concluded by asking those present to make an examination of conscience regarding their prayer for leaders. “I ask you this favor: every one of you take five minutes, no more. If you are a leader, ask yourself: ‘Do I pray to the One who gave me power through the people?’ If you are not a leader, ‘Do I pray for my leaders? Yes, for this one and that one, yes, because I like them; but for that one, no.’ They need it so much more for this reason! ‘Do I pray for all leaders?’ And if you find in your examination of conscience before Confession that you have not prayed for your leaders, bring it to Confession. Because not to pray for leaders is a sin.” (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope urges Japanese Bishops to build on the memory of their martyrs

Vatican News - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 10:47
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged Christians in Japan to face current challenges bearing in mind the witness of their many martyrs. In a letter addressed to the Bishops of Japan , on the occasion of Cardinal Fernando Filoni’s pastoral journey to the Land of the Rising Sun, the Pope held up the memory of Japan’s many martyrs and ‘hidden Christians’ whom, he said, from the 17th to the mid-19th centuries lived clandestinely so as not to have to repudiate their faith. Cardinal Filoni, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, has undertaken a pastoral journey to Japan lasting from 17 to 26 September.  Japanese Christians facing current challenges In the letter, the Pope pointed out that Japanese Christians are facing “the challenges that current times pose” and he invited them not to be “resigned”, nor to resort to “an irenic or paralyzing dialogue even although there are problematic situations that raise not few concerns.”    Amongst the situations that arouse concern the Pope mentioned the “high rate of divorce” in Japan, “the number of suicides, even among young people”, the phenomenon of the ‘hikikomori’ – people who choose to live completely disconnected from society, “religious and spiritual formalism, moral relativism, indifference towards religion, an obsession for work and earning”.      It is also true, the Pope continued, that a society that is a frontrunner in economic development leaves many behind: the poor, the marginalized, the excluded – not only those who are excluded in a material sense, but also those who are spiritually and morally in need. Need for constant renewal in the Church Within this particular context, Francis pointed out that it is necessary and urgent that the Church in Japan be constantly renewed, always bearing in mind “Jesus’ mission which is salt and light”. The Pope concluded pointing out that the true evangelical force of the Japanese Church stems from the fact that it has been a Church of martyrs and confessors of the faith, and this “is a great asset to be safe-guarded and developed.”      (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope at Angelus: ‘open your hearts to forgiveness'

Vatican News - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 08:59
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged all Christians to open their hearts to forgiveness. Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus , the Pope said that to be able to build peace one must be able to forgive. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni : “Forgiveness does not deny the injustice one has been subjected to, but it acknowledges the fact that the human being, created in the image of God, is always superior to the wrong that is committed” he said. The Pope was reflecting on the Gospel reading of the day which narrates the “Parable of the unforgiving servant.” Commenting on Jesus’ invitation to forgive “not seven times, but seventy-seven times,” Francis said this means that Christians are called always to show forgiveness. God wants to forgive us “From the day of our Baptism, he said, God has forgiven us, remitting a terrible debt: the original sin. And then, with infinite mercy, he forgives all of our sins as soon as we show the smallest sign of repentance.” Anyone – the Pope continued – who has experienced the joy of peace and interior freedom that comes from having been forgiven, can open himself to the possibility of forgiving. And he pointed out that this teaching is also contained in “The Lord’s Prayer” which says:  ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ God’s infinite love for us God’s forgiveness, Francis said, is a sign of “His overflowing love for each of us”:  that love that gives us the freedom to stray – like the prodigal son – but that every day awaits our return with open arms; it is the love of the shepherd who goes in search of the lost sheep; it is the tenderness with which each sinner is welcomed when he knocks at His door. “The Lord is full of love and He wants to offer it to us, but he cannot do so if we close our hearts to loving others” he said.   A special greeting for participants in a ‘Run for Peace’ Following the Angelus prayer Pope Francis had special greetings for participants of a just-ended “Run for Peace” with an itinerary that touched symbolic venues for the different religious confessions present in Rome. “My hope is that this initiative of culture and sport may favour dialogue, cohabitation and peace” he concluded.       (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis to the Missionaries of Sacred Heart: “Return to your first and only love”

Vatican News - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 09:32
(Vatican Radio)  “Show by your lives and by your works the passionate and tender love of God for the little ones, the underprivileged, the vulnerable and those whom our world has discarded.”  This was Pope Francis’ exhortation to the  General Chapter delegates of the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart on Saturday here in the Vatican.  In his remarks to the participants of the three week General Chapter who are  exploring the theme, “you have kept the good wine until now,” Pope Francis encouraged to return to their first and only love. The Holy Father went on to say,  “Keep your gaze fixed on Jesus Christ and learn from him how to love with a truly human heart , to care for the lost and hurting members of his flock, to work for justice and show solidarity with the weak and the poor .” The Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) is an international community of religious priests and brothers who work to share the message of God’s love in the ever-changing social climate of our world. The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart minister in more than 50 countries worldwide, with over 1,700 MSCs carrying on the legacy of their founder, Fr Jules Chevalier. The full text of Pope Francis’ address to the General Chapter members is here below: Dear Brothers,           I offer you a warm welcome on the occasion of your General Chapter, and I thank the Superior General for his kind words.  You have met to reflect on the life of your Congregation, and to pray and to discern together the paths that the Lord is pointing out to you.  In this way you will be able to give renewed fruitfulness and effective expression to the charism that the Holy Spirit bestowed on the Church through your founder, Father Jean Jules Chevalier.           The motto you chose to guide the entire Institute in preparing for this Chapter is particularly significant: “You have kept the good wine until now” ( Jn 2:10).  You have looked back with gratitude on the cherished legacy of projects and apostolic works that your charism has brought forth in the Institute’s life in these past one hundred and fifty years, thanks to the fidelity of your confreres who preceded you.  At the same time, you are fully aware of its continuing potential to benefit the Church and the world.  By listening to what the Spirit says to the Church today, and by your openness to the questions and concerns of our fellow men and women, you will be able to discover in your authentic charism the wellspring of renewed strength, courageous decisions and creative expressions of the mission you have received.  The changed situation of our world with respect to the past, and the new challenges it presents to the Church’s mission of evangelization, demand and give rise to new ways of offering the “good wine” of the Gospel to many people as a source of joy and hope.           The original inspiration of your founder was that of spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Today you strive to foster this devotion and to make it bear fruit through a variety of works and activities that witness to the tender and merciful love of Jesus for all , especially those in greatest need.  For this reason, I encourage you, as I do so often with consecrated persons – “to return to your first and only love”.  Keep your gaze fixed on Jesus Christ and learn from him how to love with a truly human heart, to care for the lost and hurting members of his flock, to work for justice and show solidarity with the weak and the poor.  Learn from him to give hope and dignity to the destitute, and to go forth to all those places where people are in need of acceptance and assistance.  This is the first Gospel that the Church entrusts to you by sending you out as missionaries to the world: to show by your lives and by your works the passionate and tender love of God for the little ones, the underprivileged, the vulnerable and those whom our world has discarded.            Although your Institute, like many others, has seen a decrease in numbers in these past decades, the growth of vocations in South America, Oceania and Asia has proved comforting and offers hope for the present and the future.  So too the Christian formation of young people, yet another expression of your charism, will be ensured and increased by the works of the Institute.  How urgent it is today to educate and assist new generations to appropriate authentic human values and to cultivate an evangelical vision of life and history!  Many people consider this a true “educational emergency”; surely, it is one of the frontiers of the Church’s mission of evangelization, towards which the entire Christian community is invited to set out.  In continuity with the achievements and undertakings of those who have gone before you, I encourage you to undertake new initiatives also in this specific area of your apostolate.           The Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart continues to count among its many members a good number of religious brothers.  In a Congregation religious brothers are a grace from the Lord.  I ask you not to yield to the temptation of clericalism that, as I have often remarked, alienates people, especially the young, from the Church.  May your common life be marked by true fraternity, which welcomes diversity and values the gifts of all.  Do not hesitate to continue and expand your communion with the laypersons who participate in your apostolate.  Let them share in your ideals and projects, and in the rich spirituality arising from your Institute’s charism.  With them, and with the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, you will form an ever greater and stronger “charismatic family”, one that will better demonstrate the vitality and relevance of your founder’s charism.           May the Virgin Mary, whom you invoke under the title of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, keep you ever close to her Son, ready to do whatever he tells you, and may she protect you with her maternal intercession.  I accompany you, and all your communities with my blessing, and I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me.  Thank you. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope prays for families who are suffering

Vatican News - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 08:35
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday asked the faithful to join him in prayer for all families “who are feeling the effects of unemployment and for those who are persecuted because of their faith as well as for every family that is suffering”. The Pope’s words came in a message signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on his behalf. It was addressed to participants in the X National Pilgrimage of Families for the Family organized by the “Renewal in the Spirit” movement. Hosted, this year by the town of Scafati and Pompei in Italy’s southern Campania region, there are over 10,000 participants from all over Italy. In his message the Pope sends greetings to all participants assuring them of his spiritual closeness. He also expressed his pleasure that organizers have placed the event within a programme of preparations for the 2018 World Meeting of Families in Dublin. The General Secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Nunzio Galantino, joined the Pope’s greetings with a message of his own in which he highlighted the valuable witness of the “Renewal in the Spirit” movement, and recalled the fundamental role of the family in the current social, anthropological and institutional context.          (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Vatican: AB Gallagher on Iran visit and Rohingya crisis

Vatican News - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 10:57
(Vatican Radio) The Vatican is following closely the plight of the Rohingya people , as Pope Francis prepares to visit Myanmar and Bangladesh at the end of November. Archbishop Paul Gallagher , the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, confirmed on Friday that the pope raised his concerns with Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, during her private visit to the Vatican in May. He said the country’s bishops will continue to put pressure on the government to stop the attacks on Rohingya villages and to respect the rights of these suffering people. The Vatican foreign minister discussed the plight of the Rohingyas recently with top Iranian leaders in Teheran. During that September 5th to 9th visit, he also had “very frank” discussions about the difficulties facing Christians in Iran , as well as in war torn Syria and Iraq. In an interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Gallagher also spoke of the latest escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula , insisting that the crisis must be seen in a broader context of “unprecedented dangers” due to the worst global insecurity since the Second World War. Listen to Philippa Hitchen’s interview with Archbishop Paul Gallagher:  Archbishop Gallagher said the Holy See is “extremely concerned” about increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula . Noting that there was no formal resolution of the Korean war, he said the Holy See “remains committed to promoting a nuclear free world ”, based “on an ethic of fraternity, rather than the ethics of aggression”. Pressure on North Korea He urged the international community to “continue to make pressure on North Korea”, adding that the Vatican offers “whatever encouragement we can”. Recalling his trips to Pyongyang 20 years ago, he said today “our channels [of communication] with North Korea are very weak indeed”. Danger of global insecurity Speaking of his forthcoming visit to the UN, the Vatican foreign minister stressed the need for a united approach to North Korea and other areas of conflict. He said it’s “very important for the international community to see the crisis on the Korean peninsula as also part of a general situation of great insecurity”, adding that “we should be really waking up to the great dangers which are now facing the world, unprecedented dangers since the Second World War”. Iran's role in Syria and Iraq Sharing details of his encounter with Iranian government leaders in Teheran, Archbishop Gallagher spoke of efforts underway in Geneva to end the Syria conflict. Asked about the future of the Christian communities in Syria and Iraq, Archbishop Gallagher replied that many of those who’ve fled the fighting will not return. Those in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan, he said, will come back if there are assurances of peace and incentives, such as an initiative regarding the renewal of villages on the Nineveh plain. Christian presence in Middle East The Vatican foreign minister stressed that Christians play “an essential role in the Middle East, they’re a bit like the cement that holds society” together. In the midst of ethnic or religious conflicts, he said, “Christians, who’ve been there forever, need to continue to be part of that society, to be citizens like everybody else, and to make their contribution for the rebuilding of these nations”. Difficulties for Catholics in Iran Discussing the difficulties facing Catholics in Iran, Archbishop Gallagher said he raised these concerns openly in talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. He spoke of the different understandings of religious freedom, saying that the Iranian authorities were “very complimentary about the role and contribution that Christians make” but at the same time “it’s also quite clear that rules of the game are very demanding on our Christian communities”. He said he hoped his visit would draw attention to their plight and lead to future cooperation “to face some of the practical problems of these communities”. Possible papal visit to Teheran? Asked about the possibility of a papal visit to Iran, Archbishop Gallagher said: “I think we’re a long way from that,”. He noted the positive relations with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue but said he stressed “that good relations with the Holy See are also supposed to be reflected in good relations with local Christian communities”. Myanmar's Rohingya crisis The Vatican Secretary for Relations with States said he discussed the Rohingya crisis with Iran's political and religious leaders. He said both Pope Francis and Cardinal Parolin raised their concerns with Aung San Suu Kyi during her visit to the Vatican, noting that “her reply was in line with other things that have been said in recent days”. Cardinal Bo and local bishops, he added, will continue to put pressure on the authorities “in a very complex and difficult situation”, while the Holy See will follow developments closely in preparation for the pope’s visit there. Pope concern for plight of refugees  Archbishop Gallagher stressed how Pope Francis has shown “great courage” in speaking out at times which could have jeopardized progress in bilateral relations. But he added, “the pope is clear that the plight and suffering of ordinary people is as important to him as the interests of the great and powerful”. Asked if the crisis could jeopardise the papal visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh, he replied: “As we all know, it takes quite a lot to discourage the pope”. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope sends letter to Card. Parolin for Casamari Cistercian Abbey celebration

Vatican News - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 08:47
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis sent a letter on Friday to the papal legate for the celebration of the 8th centenary of the consecration of the Basilica of the Casamari Cistercian Abbey in Italy. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, was appointed on 19 August as the papal legate for the celebration, which takes place on 15 September. Cardinal Parolin is accompanied by a mission composed of the following ecclesiastics: - Don Ugo Gianluigi Tagni, abbot vicar general of the Congregation of Casamari; - Rev. Fr. Sebastiano Paciolla, O.Cist., under-secretary of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life. The following is the Pope's full letter to the Cardinal Secretary of State: Venerabili Fratri Nostro PETRO S.R.E. Cardinali PAROLIN Secretario Status Octingenti transeunt anni ab illo die quo Summus Pontifex Honorius III, Decessor Noster rec. mem., adstantibus Cardinalibus, Episcopis et  fidelibus, in sollemni liturgia Basilicam consecravit Casamariensem, sanctis martyribus Romanis dicatam Ioanni et Paulo nec non Beatae Deiparae et Virgini Mariae. Sacra illa aedes saeculis decurrentibus in provincia potissimum spirituali, morali et cultus divini magni ponderis exstitit non solum in terris circumstantibus, sed etiam in tota Italia media et meridionali. Venusta eius architectura animum monachorum Cisterciensium revelans, magnificum constituit testimonium eorum precis, cantus, meditationis atque apud multos peregrinos et visitatores singularem suscitat admirationem. Fausta ergo occasione memorati iubilaei data, dilecti sodales Congregationis Cisterciensis Casamariensis evangelici itineris elementa altiore usque modo perscrutantur, Domini vocem diligenter auscultant, spiritali ratione fideles abbatiam invisentes sequuntur ut omnes clare Divinam providentiam misericordiamque experiri possint. Die autem XV proximi mensis Septembris sollemnis agetur in memorata sacra aede celebratio, signum gratitudinis erga Deum omnipotentem ob tanta Eius beneficia quae saeculorum decursu fidelibus ibidem orantibus largiri est dignatus. Quapropter Reverendus Dominus Eugenius Romagnuolo, Abbas Praeses Congregationis Cisterciensis Casamariensis, humanissimas Nobis litteras scripsit quibus Nosmet Ipsos ad celebrationem hanc invitavit. Grati omnino hac de invitatione, quam in corde Nostro tenemus, decernimus tamen eminentem Virum illuc mittere qui Nostras vices Casamarii gerat Nostramque erga Christi discipulos ibi commorantes et adstantes dilectionem significet. Ad Te ergo, Venerabilis Frater Noster, qui munus Secretarii Status studiose exerces, mentem Nostram vertimus Teque hisce Litteris LEGATUM NOSTRUM nominamus ad octavam centenariam memoriam consecrationis Basilicae Casamariensis, quae memorato die Casamarii sollemniter perficietur. Praeclaro illo in templo sollemni praesidebis Eucharistiae atque omnes adstantes, sacros Pastores, presbyteros, religiosos viros ac mulieres, christifideles laicos, sermone tuo ad diligentiorem usque Christi vitae imitationem cohortaberis: oportet enim ut novis viribus novaque diligentia peculiarem dilectionem Ecclesiae et Evangelii demonstrent atque fidei virtute cotidie ardeant. Singularem insuper salutationem Nostram dilectis monachis Cisterciensibus transmittes; exoptamus omnino ut omnipotens Deus hanc monasticam Congregationem auxiliis suis foveat ita ut, vestigiis suos antecessores secuti, tum in sanctificatione adipiscenda tum in sacro ministerio explendo uberes iugiter fructus colligant (cfr Pius PP. XII, Litterae apostolicae Cum ex Summi Pontificatus, AAS 35 [1943], 392). Nos autem Te, Venerabilis Frater Noster, in tua missione implenda precibus comitabimur. Denique Benedictionem Apostolicam, caelestium donorum pignus, libentes Tibi impertimur, quam omnibus celebrationis participibus rite transmittes. Ex Aedibus Vaticanis, die XXV mensis Augusti, anno MMXVII, Pontificatus Nostri quinto. (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis travelling entertainers: “The vocation of your life and work is Joy”

Vatican News - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 07:56
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday met with the Italian National Association of travelling show people, telling them that “theirs is a path that is enlightened by faith.” Listen to our report: “The vocation of your life and work is Joy” that is what Pope Francis told travelling circus performers, employees of amusement parks and fairs, street performers, artists, designers puppeteers, and musicians when he met them on Friday in the Vatican. The Pope said, “I think if we go back to the origins of each of your shows, your caravans, we always find someone , a grandfather, a grandmother, a great-grandfather, who is passionate about this kind of show, he has felt a joyful vocation , and for this reason he/she was willing to make great sacrifices.” The Holy Father noted that theirs is a path that is enlightened by faith, a faith, he said, “ that you live especially in the family, and this is very important: the family travelling with God, animated by trust in providence. During the encounter, Pope Francis invited those present to draw close to the sacraments and make time for prayer. Reiterating comments he made last year for the Jubilee for Circus and Travelling Show People, the Pope reminded them that they were,"artisans of festivities, wonder, and beauty, called to nourish feelings of hope and trust." “Your vocation is a mission the Holy Father said, “the mission of offering people, children, but also adults and the elderly, opportunities for healthy, clean fun. And within this vocation and mission, how can there not be the hand of God?”   (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope contemplates Our Lady of Sorrows at Santa Marta Mass

Vatican News - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 07:36
Pope Francis’ homily at the Mass in the Casa Santa Marta this morning focused on the figure of Our Lady of Sorrows, whose feast day the Church celebrates on September 15th. Contemplating the Mother of Jesus We need to contemplate the Mother of Jesus, said the Pope, we need to contemplate “this sign of contradiction, because Jesus is victorious, but upon the Cross”. This is a contradiction, he said, that we can’t understand. “It takes faith to understand it, at least to come close (to understanding) this mystery”. The first disciple Mary knew and lived her whole life with a pierced heart. “She followed Jesus and heard the people’s comments, sometimes for Him, sometimes against. But she was always right behind her Son. That’s why we call her the first disciple”. It was Mary’s concern, continued Pope Francis, that brought about this “sign of contradiction” in her heart. At the foot of the Cross She was there at the end, in silence, at the foot of the Cross, watching her Son. Perhaps she heard comments like: “Look, there’s the Mother of one of the three criminals”. But, said the Pope, she “showed her face for her Son”. “Behold your children” Pope Francis said he was offering these few and simple words to help us contemplate this mystery in silence. In this moment, beneath the Cross, Mary gave birth to the Church and to all of us: “Woman”, says her Son, ‘behold your children”. He doesn’t say “Mother”, he says “Woman”. This strong and courageous Woman was there to say: “This is my Son. I do not deny Him”. A call to contemplation More than a call to reflection, said Pope Francis, today’s Gospel is a call to contemplation. “May the Holy Spirit”, he concluded, “be the one to tell each one of us that which we need (to hear)”.      (from Vatican Radio)...
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Card Farrell: Importance of the Laity and hopes for World Meeting of Families

Vatican News - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 05:09
(Vatican Radio) It’s been just over a year since the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life was created by Pope Francis to replace the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family. Since then this “new” dicastery, as it’s still often referred to, has been carving out a path under the guidance of its Prefect, Cardinal Kevin Farrell , formerly the Bishop of Dallas, Texas in the US, who was asked by the Pope to take up the multifaceted role. Cardinal Farrell spoke to Lydia O’Kane about the workings of this office, the importance of the laity and future projects which include the 2018 World Meeting of Families to be held in Dublin, Ireland. Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Cardinal Kevin Farrell: Dicastery Work Speaking about the dicastery, the Cardinal said, “my challenge is to bring it all together, to combine or bring together laity, family and life and the logic of all of that is the fact that laity live out their lives generally, not always but generally in the married state and it’s the marriage state that gives life to the world and so obviously it’s a great challenge.” He also comments that “it took me almost a year to try and understand exactly what these two Pontifical Councils have done in the past.” Laity Cardinal Farrell pointed out that one of the aims of this new office is to have more laity in it and notes that under the statutes of the dicastery the Prefect and the Secretary can be lay people, adding he will “continue to promote the laity at every level in the Church”. Talking passionately about the work of the laity all over the world, he also underlined that now is the time to implement fully what the Second Vatican Council called for, that is, “the vocation of the laity within the Church.” World Meeting of Families One of the most important dates in the dicastery’s calendar is the World Meeting of Families which will take place in Dublin, Ireland in August 2018. The WMOF was established by Saint John Paul II in 1994 and next year’s event will include a three day congress on the “Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.” Preparations are well underway and for the Dublin born Cardinal this event is a moment to bring together Catholics, Christians and all people of good will who “believe strongly in the importance of the family for the success of humanity.” Asked about the significance of having the World Meeting of Families 2018 in the Irish capital, Cardinal Farrell said, Pope Francis chose Ireland, adding that, “it would be our hope that we would give an impulse to the family in Ireland . It is a unique opportunity for Ireland; there were many other options but Pope Francis chose Ireland and hoped that would attract people from northern Europe.” On a personal level the Cardinal said, he was extremely proud that this gathering would be taking place in the city he grew up in. There is the great hope that Pope Francis will come to Ireland for the meeting and Cardinal Farrell said that if that happens, “I can’t wait to be there to welcome the Holy Father when he gets off that plane.” (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis urges new Bishops to cultivate discernment

Vatican News - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 11:18
 (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday urged Bishops to cultivate what he called an “attitude of listening” and to avoid being “imprisoned by nostalgia.” Addressing Catholic Bishops from across the globe who have been appointed during the past year, the Pope focused on the need for discernment.      The Bishops have just completed an annual training programme organized by the Congregation for Bishops. LIsten to the report by Linda Bordon i:    “Authentic discernment,” the Pope said, “although definitive at every step, is always an open and necessary process, and can be completed and enriched”. Insisting that discernment “can’t be reduced to repeating formulas” Francis  pointed out that it is, in fact, an “antidote against rigidity, because the same solutions aren’t valid everywhere.”  You must  have the courage  to ask yourself whether yesterday’s proposals are still evangelically valid, the Pope said to the new Bishops, highlighting the importance for all pastors to not be stuck in the margins but to have the capacity of “evaluating God’s times.”     Saying that the gift of discernment cannot be taken for granted, he described it as the primary condition upon which to draw as the Bishops strive to “discern the paths of God” for the salvation of those entrusted to them. The practice recommended by the Pope for achieving the right kind of balance in personal and ecclesiastical behavior is that of deep and regular prayer. He also pointed out that discernment is not a private exercise by an individual priest, but an activity that unfolds in a community. “The Bishop is not the ‘self-sufficient father-patron’ and still less the frightened and isolated ‘solitary pastor” he said. Those to be consulted in the attempt to reach the right decisions, he continued, are the bishops’ own brother Bishops, their priests and the lay faithful. Real people in concrete situations, he explained, wish to “draw from the treasure of the Church what’s most useful for the ‘today’ of their salvation”. And insisting on the need for all clergy to always keep contact with ordinary people he warned that without such an exchange “the faith of the most cultivated can degenerate into indifference, and that of the humblest into superstition.” Pope Francis also called on bishops to be attentive to the “the culture of religiosity of the people” noting that popular piety is often the “foundation of a people’s self-understanding,” and that discernment has to enter into dialogue with it. “Remember that God was already present in your diocese before you got there” he told the new Bishops, “and he’ll still be there when you leave”. (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope at Mass: ‘Cross of Christ is mystery of love’

Vatican News - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 08:32
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis celebrated his first daily Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday following the summer break, reflecting on the Cross of Christ as the mystery of love. Listen to Devin Watkins’ report: On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, Pope Francis during his homily at daily Mass preached on the “mystery of love” that is the Cross of Christ and warned against two spiritual temptations related to it. The first temptation, he said, is to think of Christ without a cross or to reduce him a “spiritual teacher”. The second, he said, is to think of a cross without Christ or to remove all hope in a type of “spiritual masochism”. Pope Francis said the Liturgy speaks of the Cross as a noble and faithful tree, pointing out that it is not always easy to understand the Cross. “We advance in the mystery of love only through contemplation,” he said. Mystery of the Cross In the day’s Gospel, Jesus explains the Cross to Nicodemus with the verbs “to go up” and “to come down”. “Jesus comes down from Heaven to raise all of us up to Heaven. This is the mystery of the Cross,” he said. In the First Reading, St. Paul says that Jesus “humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” “Jesus’ descent is to the lowest point, even unto humiliation. He emptied himself for love, and because of this God exalted him and made him go up. Only if we succeed in understanding this complete descent can we understand the salvation which this mystery of love offers us.” Two temptations Pope Francis pointed out that true understanding is not easy, because there is always the temptation to aim for one goal instead of the other. St. Paul rebukes the Galatians for “giving in to the temptation not to enter the mystery of love but to explain it”. As the serpent had bewitched Eve and had poisoned the Israelites in the desert, Pope Francis said the Galatians were bewitched “by the illusion of a Christ without a cross and a cross without Christ.” “A Christ without a cross is not the Lord: he is a teacher, nothing else. This is perhaps what Nicodemus, without realizing it, was seeking. It is one of the temptations. Yes, Jesus: ‘What a good teacher’, but… without the cross, [only] Jesus. Who bewitched you with this image? Paul is angry. Jesus Christ is presented but not as crucified. The other temptation is a cross without Christ, that is, the anguish of remaining down, depressed by the weight of sin and without hope. This is a type of spiritual masochism: only the cross, without hope and without Christ.” Mystery of love Pope Francis said the Cross without a Christ would be a “mystery of tragedy”, like a pagan tragedy. “The Cross is a mystery of love; the Cross is faithful; the Cross is noble. Today we should take a minute to ask ourselves these questions. Is Christ crucified a mystery of love? Do I follow Jesus without a cross: a spiritual teacher who fills me with consolation and good counsel? Do I follow a cross without Jesus, without complaining, with this masochism of the spirit? Do I let myself be carried by this mystery of lowering, that is, of total emptying and lifting up of the Lord?” Pope Francis concluded with the wish that the Lord grant His grace, not just to understand, but to enter into this mystery of love “with the heart, mind, and body. Totally.” (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis moved by meeting with rescued Indian priest

Vatican News - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 07:04
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday met privately in the Vatican with the Indian Catholic priest who was freed from abduction by gunmen in Yemen. The Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, reported on the Pope's meeting with Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil  at the papal residence of Santa Marta, after his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.  After being rescued on Tuesday, the 57-year old missionary was flown to the Omani capital, Muscat, and then to Rome, where he is recuperating in a Salesian community. He will return to India after a short stay in Rome. 'Pope visibly moved' Upon meeting the Pope, Fr. Uzhunnalil went down on his knees kissing the feet of the Holy Father in profound reverence.   The Pope lifted Father Tom to his feet and kissed his hands.  Pope Francis embraced and encouraged the Indian missionary assuring him of his continued prayers, just as he had done during Fr. Tom's captivity.  L’Osservatore Romano said the Pope, “visibly moved, blessed him.”  Among several photos circulating the social media, one showed Pope Francis kissing the hand of Fr. Uzhunnalil. Born in Ramapuram, in southern India’s Kerala state, Father Uzhunnalil belongs to the Bangalore Salesian province. He ‎was abducted on March ‎‎4, 2016 when four unidentified gunmen attacked a care home in Yemen's ‎southern port city of Aden, ‎killing 16 people, including four Missionaries of Charity sisters of Mother ‎Teresa. The 57-year old priest had been working for more than four years as a chaplain at the care home. ‎ Interior prayer Fr. Uzhunnallil thanked the Pontiff saying he “prayed for him every day, offering his suffering for his mission and for the good of the Church.”  The Pope was touched by his words, the L’Osservatore Romano reported. The Salesian priest also said he was  “unable to celebrate the Eucharist,” but would recite “in my heart all the prayers of the Mass.”  The Indian priest assured the Pope he would continue praying for all who had been close to him spiritually. He particularly recalled the four Missionaries of Charity sisters of Mother Teresa and twelve people killed during the attack last year. Fr. Uzhunnallil was particularly grateful to the government of Oman for obtaining his release. The Holy See, in a communique, has already expressed its gratitude to all those in obtaining his release, especially the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos, and competent authorities of the sultanate.  'Jesus is great and loves us' Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, who is in the Vatican for the 'C9' Council of Cardinals meeting, accompanied the Salesian priest to the Pope. “After this terrible experience, the essential message that Fr. Tom gives is that Jesus is great and loves us,”  Cardinal Gracias told L’Osservatore Romano.  Fr. Uzhunnalil agreed with him saying, “Really, every day, I felt Jesus close to me.  I always knew and felt in my heart that I was not alone.”  L’Osservatore Romano said that Fr. Uzhunnalil will be in Rome in a Salesian community for some time to undergo some medical check-ups. Cardinal Gracias said that the priest was in “good” health, adding that during his 18-month captivity he did not have any particular problem and was treated well.   Fr. Uzhunnalil was born and brought up in a devout Catholic family. His uncle Matthew, who died in 2015, was also a Salesian priest, and founded the mission in Yemen, where he served.  (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis at Audience: English-language summary

Vatican News - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 06:07
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis dedicated his General Audienc e on Wednesday to a reflection on his Aposotolic Visit to Colombia , which concluded on Sunday. He prayed, “through the prayers of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá, Patroness of Columbia,” that the nation might “continue to progress in the way of peace in love, justice and truth.” Below, please find the official English-language summary of Pope Francis’ remarks at the General Audience for Wednesday, 13 September 2017: Dear Brothers and Sisters: My recent Pastoral Visit to Colombia, in the footsteps of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, sought to encourage the process of reconciliation in that country following a half century of conflict and division. Its motto – Let us Take the First Step – was also an appeal to the nation to discover in its deep Christian roots the spiritual resources needed to advance the work of healing and rebuilding. In Bogotá, I was warmly welcomed, especially by the young, who are the future of the country. The Beatification of two martyrs and the reconciliation service celebrated in Villavicencio were particularly moving. In Medellín, the emphasis was on Christian discipleship and mission, exemplified in the help given to youth through the Hogares group homes and in the faces of the many young men and women who are responding to Jesus’ call to the priesthood and the consecrated life. In Cartagena, the example of Saints Peter Claver and Maria Bernarda Bütler reaffirmed our evangelical commitment to human promotion and the defence of human rights. Through the prayers of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá, Patroness of Columbia, may the nation continue to progress in the way of peace in love, justice and truth.   (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis challenges Colombians to build peaceful future

Vatican News - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:02
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has concluded his visit to Colombia where he spent five days meeting victims of the country’s civil war and urging all people to work together for peace and national reconciliation . But as the spotlight fades and organisers dismantle the Mass venues, what effect will the pope’s words have on the politicians, religious leaders and Colombians from all walks of life who flocked to see and hear him speak in Cartagena, Medellin, Villavicencio and the capital, Bogotà? Our correspondent in Bogotà, Linda Bordoni , put that question to Beatrice Canal, a professional translator and mother of two grown up children, who shares her own reactions to the papal visit. Listen:  Beatrice says she was “pleasantly surprised” and deeply moved to see so many people welcoming the pope “with happiness in their eyes”. The visit, she says, “has brought us together” and “touched the hearts of every Colombian” who had the chance to see him at the main events or simply line the streets as he drove by. Colombians very touched by visit She says she was happy to see that the trip was “completely unpolitical”, but as an overwhelmingly Catholic nation (over 80 percent of the population) “we were very touched by the visit”. In particular, Beatrice says, Colombians are “all very happy that he is the first Latin American pope and “we see him as one of our own”. Desire to reach out to others Asked what impact the papal visit may have on the future of her country, Beatrice notes the pope spoke extensively “about peace and reaching out to others”. She adds: “I hope he leaves behind the desire in every Colombian to again feel and share that brotherly and fraternal love he’s been speaking so much about”. People want to live in peace While she acknowledges that the implementation of the peace agreements remains fraught with difficulties, Beatrice insists that “every Colombian is hopeful to live in a country in peace”. Learn to accept former insurgents She notes that her own children, aged 30 and 35, have never lived in a country in peace, and that she was “a little girl when the violence broke out”. She says: “I know that the signing of a paper does not translate immediately into peace, now comes the most difficult part where every Colombian has to chip into the process and to open our hearts and be accepting of the former insurgents”. Victims need to live without fear Also the victims, she concludes, need to “find a place in their heart to want to forgive” and to be able to live, free of the fear that has caused so much suffering for those living the countryside.  (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis returns to Vatican from Colombia visit

Vatican News - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 10:38
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has returned to the Vatican at the end of his five day apostolic visit to Colombia. After the papal plane touched down at Rome’s Ciampino airport on Monday afternoon, the pope went to the Rome Basilica of St Mary Major, as he habitually does, to give thanks for his successful journey. Inside the ancient basilica, he spent a few moment in prayer in front of the icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani. During the eleven hour flight, Pope Francis answered questions from the journalists who had been covering his visit to the Colombia cities of Cartagena, Medellin, Villavicencio and the capital Bogotà. (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis sends telegrams on return trip from visit to Colombia

Vatican News - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 09:29
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent telegrams to the countries over which he flew on his return flight to Rome at the conclusion of his Apostolic Visit to the Colombia. Those countries include: Colombia, the Netherlands, United States, Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy. Please find below the original telegrams: Colombia HIS EXCELLENCY JUAN MANUEL SANTOS PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA BOGOTÁ RETURNING TO ROME AT THE CONCLUSION OF MY APOSTOLIC VISIT TO COLOMBIA I ONCE AGAIN WISH TO EXPRESS SINCERE THANKSGIVING TO ALMIGHTY GOD FOR THE MANY GRACES RECEIVED OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS.  WITH RENEWED GRATITUDE FOR THE HOSPITALITY I HAVE RECEIVED, I ASSURE YOUR EXCELLENCY AND ALL THE BELOVED PEOPLE OF COLOMBIA OF MY CONTINUED PRAYERS FOR THE PEACE AND PROSPERITY OF THE NATION.  AS A PLEDGE OF PEACE IN THE LORD I GLADLY INVOKE UPON ALL OF YOU GOD’S ABUNDANT BLESSINGS. FRANCISCUS PP. The Netherlands HIS MAJESTY WILLEM-ALEXANDER KING OF NETHERLANDS EN ROUTE TO ROME AT THE CONCLUSION OF MY APOSTOLIC VISIT TO COLOMBIA, I ONCE AGAIN GREET THE PEOPLE OF THE CARIBBEAN PARTS OF THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS, PRAYING FOR THE BLESSING OF PEACE, HEALTH AND PROSPERITY. FRANCISCUS PP. United States (Ocean & Puerto Rico)  THE HONORABLE DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WASHINGTON AS I FLY THROUGH UNITED STATES AIRSPACE FOLLOWING MY APOSTOLIC VISIT TO COLOMBIA, I ONCE AGAIN PRAY FOR YOUR EXCELLENCY AND YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS, THAT ALL OF YOU MAY CONTINUE TO ENJOY THE ABUNDANT BLESSINGS OF ALMIGHTY GOD. FRANCISCUS PP. Portugal HIS EXCELLENCY MARCELO REBELO DE SOUSA PRESIDENT OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC LISBON AS MY RETURN JOURNEY TO ROME TAKES ME ONCE MORE THROUGH YOUR AIRSPACE, I CORDIALLY RENEW MY PRAYERS THAT ALL THE PORTUGUESE PEOPLE MAY BE BLESSED WITH THE ABUNDANT BLESSINGS OF ALMIGHTY GOD. FRANCISCUS PP. Spain HIS MAJESTY KING FELIPE VI KING OF SPAIN MADRID RETURNING TO ROME FOLLOWING MY APOSTOLIC VISIT TO COLOMBIA, I ONCE AGAIN SEND WARM GREETINGS TO YOUR MAJESTY, THE MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY, AND THE PEOPLE OF SPAIN, WITH RENEWED PRAYERS FOR THE SECURITY, WELLBEING AND PROSPERITY OF ALL. FRANCISCUS PP. France HIS EXCELLENCY EMMANUEL MACRON PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC PARIS RETURNING FROM MY APOSTOLIC VISIT TO COLOMBIA, I ONCE AGAIN GREET YOUR EXCELLENCY AND YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS, WILLINGLY INVOKING UPON YOU AND ALL THE FRENCH PEOPLE ABUNDANT BLESSINGS OF ALMIGHTY GOD. FRANCISCUS PP. Italy A SUA ECCELLENZA ON. SERGIO MATTARELLA PRESIDENTE  DELLA  REPUBBLICA ITALIANA PALAZZO  DEL  QUIRINALE - 00187   ROMA AL RIENTRO DAL VIAGGIO APOSTOLICO IN COLOMBIA, DOVE HO POTUTO INCONTRARE NUMEROSI FEDELI E RAPPRESENTANTI DI QUELLA CARA NAZIONE AMMIRANDONE LA FEDE E IL DESIDERIO DI CRESCITA SPIRITUALE E SOCIALE, ESPRIMO A LEI, SIGNOR PRESIDENTE, IL MIO CORDIALE SALUTO ED ASSICURO UNA SPECIALE PREGHIERA PER IL BENE, LA SERENITA’ E LA PROSPERITA’ DEL POPOLO ITALIANO, AL QUALE INVIO CON AFFETTO LA MIA BENEDIZIONE FRANCISCUS PP.  (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis and the C9: Interview with Council Secretary

Vatican News - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 04:37
(Vatican Radio) The Council of Cardinal Advisors – the so-called C-9 – is holding its 29th Reunion this week, with meetings set to take place in the Vatican from 11-13 September. The Council, established by Pope Francis on 28 September 2013, was created to assist the Holy Father in the governance of the universal Church, and to study the project of revision of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus , which regulates the Roman Curia . The group consists of nine Cardinals from the Vatican and around the world, as well as a Secretary, Bishop Marcello Semeraro . In an exclusive interview with Vatican Radio’s Alessandro Gisotti, Bishop Semeraro spoke about the work of the C-9, how Pope Francis participates in the group’s activities, and the next phase of the ongoing reform of the Curia. WORK OF THE COUNCIL Bishop Semeraro described the work of the Council of Cardinals with three key words: listening , reflecting , and verifying . The Council, he said, listens to the contributions of the Church; reflects on those contributions, and looks into the details of them, considering the best way of going forward. It then makes proposals to the Pope; as Bishop Semeraro explained, the Council has a consultative, rather than a deliberative role. The Council, he said, is a synodal structure, and in this sense the Cardinals are able to serve both the Pope and the local Churches. Pope Francis chose them precisely in order that they might be, “in some sense ‘sensitive antennae’ that are capable of capturing, somehow, the instances of the local Churches over a broad range.” As such, it is an organism that is situated within the context of episcopal collegiality . POPE FRANCIS' PARTICIPATION The Pope himself takes part in the Council’s work, habitually being present in the meetings of the Cardinals. Bishop Semeraro said the Pope is present above all through listening, although he does intervene, “with great discretion,” when there is need of clarifying some point, or presenting his own experiences or calling attention to certain realities within the Church. The Bishop emphasized that the reform of the Curia is only one aspect of the Council’s work; it’s principle duty is to collaborate with the Pope, and to give him advice or share their opinions “when [the Pope] considers it necessary to make this consultation.” He gave the example “the sorrowful reality which is the abuse of minors” which the Council has brought to the Pope’s attention. “This, of itself, is not part of the reform of the Roman Curia,” he said, “and yet the Pope decided to listen to the Council” even with regard to this issue. PROGRESS OF REFORM Asked about the progress of the reform, Bishop Semeraro said the reform is more than three quarters done, at least with regard to the work of the Cardinals. That is, he said, it is almost to the point where the Cardinals are able to present their proposals to the Holy Father. “I think that within a few months this revision will be more or less complete,” he said, and “then the Pope will have at his disposition the proposals that regard all the Dicasteries and I would expect him to decide how and when to actuate them.” He noted that Pope Francis has preferred, up to this point, a more gradual reform, with a kind of “breaking-in” period, which allows for corrections that are inevitably called for as the reform moves from theory to practical reality.  (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis offers final greetings to Colombia

Vatican News - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 21:50
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis offered a final greeting at the conclusion of his Apostolic Visit to Colombia following Mass in Cartagena, inviting Colombians to continue the journey anew each day. He thanked the many people who had prepared his visit for their hard work and sacrifice, especially offering his gratitude to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and civil authorities. “These have been intense and beautiful days; I have been able to meet many people and to experience many things that have touched me deeply,” he said. Pope Francis invited Colombians not to be content with “taking the first step”. “Instead, let us continue our journey anew each day, going forth to encounter others and to encourage concord and fraternity. We cannot just stand still.” Finally, the Holy Father had one final exhortation. “Colombia, your brothers and sisters need you. Go out to meet them.  Bring them the embrace of peace, free of all violence. Be “slaves of peace, forever”. SLAVES OF PEACE, FOREVER.” Please find below the official English translation of the Pope’s prepared remarks: At the conclusion of this celebration, I would like to thank His Grace Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal, Archbishop of Cartagena, for his kind words on behalf of his brother bishops and the entire people of God. I also greet President Juan Manuel Santos, the civil authorities, and all those who have taken part in this Eucharistic celebration, whether here or through the communications media. I am deeply grateful for the hard work and sacrifice that have made this visit possible.  Many people helped, giving freely and readily of their time and energy.  These have been intense and beautiful days; I have been able to meet many people and to experience many things that have touched me deeply.  You have done me much good. Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to leave you with one last word.  Let us not be content with “taking the first step”.  Instead, let us continue our journey anew each day, going forth to encounter others and to encourage concord and fraternity. We cannot just stand still. In this very place, on 8 September 1654, Saint Peter Claver died, after forty years of voluntary slavery, of tireless work on behalf of the poor.  He did not stand still: his first step was followed by many others.  His example draws us out of ourselves to encounter our neighbours.  Colombia, your brothers and sisters need you.  Go out to meet them.  Bring them the embrace of peace, free of all violence.  Be “slaves of peace, forever”.  SLAVES OF PEACE, FOREVER. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

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