Vatican News

German Catholics and Lutherans take new steps towards unity

Vatican News - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 09:13
(Vatican Radio) The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation offers Catholics and Lutherans an opportunity to take further steps towards reconciliation and full Christian unity. That was Pope Francis ’ message on Monday to an ecumenical delegation from Germany, led by Cardinal Reinhard Marx , president of the German bishops conference, and top Protestant Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm , chairman of the Evangelical Churches in Germany (EKD). Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report:  Welcoming the delegation to the Vatican, Pope Francis praised the positive relationship between Catholics and Lutherans in Germany, urging them to be courageous and determined in their continuing journey together. “We share the same baptism”, he said, “we must walk together tirelessly!” Reflecting on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation , he said it’s an opportunity to put Christ back at the centre of their ecumenical relations. Just as the question of a merciful God was the driving force of Luther and the other Reformers, so it must be at the heart of our joint efforts to propose the radical truth of God’s limitless mercy to men and women today. Speaking of the tragedy of divisions and conflict, fomented by political interests, the Pope praised the initiative of the German delegation to hold an ecumenical service of penitence and reconciliation entitled “Healing memories – witnessing to Jesus Christ”.  Catholics and Lutherans will also be participating in other joint events this year, he said, including a shared pilgrimage to the Holy Land, a congress to present new translations of the Bible and an ecumenical day dedicated to shared social responsibility. Thanks to a shared spiritual communion that has been rediscovered over recent decades, the Pope said, Catholics and Lutherans can together deplore the failures of the Reformation on both sides, as well as appreciating the many gifts which we have received from it. The current challenges of faith and morals facing our Churches today, Pope Francis concluded, impel us to step up our efforts and increase our cooperation in the service of the poor and the protection of our planet. In a period of serious divisions and new forms of exclusion, he said, we are urgently called by God to follow the path of unity and reconciliation.German  (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope: May this year's Super Bowl be a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity

Vatican News - Sun, 02/05/2017 - 11:03
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday reached out to Americans urging them to make this year’s Super Bowl a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity to the world.   In a specially recorded video message for the event which holds the attention of much of the nation and commands a television audience larger than for any other event of the year, the Pope pointed out that great sporting events like the championship game of the National Football League are highly symbolic, and show that it is possible to build a culture of encounter and a world of peace.   “By participating in sport, we are able to go beyond our own self-interest - and in a healthy way - we learn to sacrifice, to grow in fidelity and respect the rules. May this year's Super Bowl be a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity to the world” he said.  The 2017 Super Bowl takes place in Houston and features the final NFL showdown between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. Vice President Mike Pence, who is scheduled to attend, will be the fourth sitting vice president to see the game in person.   Listen to our report:      (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope: 'respond to logic of waste with culture of life'

Vatican News - Sun, 02/05/2017 - 09:29
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged all believers to respond to “the logic of waste and demographic downturn” by upholding and promoting a “culture of life”. Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square after the recitation of the Angelus prayer, the Pope marked Sunday’s celebration in Italy of the “Day for Life” with a call to join Italian Bishops in promoting a culture of life in which “no one is left alone”. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni : “Each life is sacred” Pope Francis said, let’s pray together for those children who risk a pregnancy termination and for those who are nearing the end of life.” “May no one, he continued, be left alone and may love defend the sense of life.” Quoting the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “Life is beauty, admire it; Life is life, fight for it” he said that is true for the child about to be born and for the person who is about to die: “Every life is sacred!”            During his catechesis, the Pope referred to the Gospel reading of the day that tells of the Sermon on the Mount and  urged Christians to preserve society from corruption and gossip. “We are the salt of the earth” he said, and the mission of Christians in society is to give flavor to life with faith and with the love that Christ has given us “rejecting the polluting germs of selfishness, envy and gossip.” “These germs, the Pope said, ruin the texture of our communities that must be places of welcome, solidarity and reconciliation”. To be able to fulfill this mission, he continued, “it is necessary to be free from the corrupting degeneration of worldly influences that are contrary to Christ and to the Gospel.” Thus, Francis invited the faithful never to let down their guard but to be purified continuously  regenerating the spirit of the Gospel every day in our lives. “We Christians, he said, are recognizable as true disciples of Christ in our actions” he said. The Pope pointed out that it is above all our behavior, for the better or for the worse, which leaves a mark in others. “Thanks to the light of faith, the gift that we have received, we have the duty and the responsibility not to keep it to ourselves as if it were our property, but to allow it to shine in the world and give it to others through works of charity” he said. “The world, he said, is much in need of the light of the Gospel that transforms, heals and gives salvation to he who embraces it.” When we give of the light of our faith, Pope Francis said, we do not extinguish it, but strengthen it, but, he warned, it must be nurtured with love and with works of charity.         (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope names Archb. Becciu personal delegate to Order of Malta

Vatican News - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 08:38
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has named Archbishop Angelo Becciu as his personal special delegate to the Sovereign Order of Malta. In a letter Saturday addressed to Archbishop Becciu, Substitute of the Secretariat of State, the Pope gives him “all necessary powers” to help the Order reform its Constitution and elect a new leader. Naming Becciu “as my special delegate to the distinguished Order” of Malta, the Pope emphasized that he will work in “strict collaboration” with the Order’s interim leader, Fra' Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein. The two of them, he said, must work for “greater good of the Order and for the reconciliation among all its components, religious and lay.” Additionally, they will be responsible for developing together “a study in view of the appropriate spiritual renovation” of the Order’s Constitution. Pointing to Becciu’s role in particular, the Pope said he will be charged with caring for “everything related to the spiritual and moral renewal of the Order, especially the professed members.” “You will be my exclusive spokesman” in everything relating to relations between the Order and the Vatican” and “I delegate to you, then, all the necessary powers to determine any issues that may arise concerning the implementation of the mandate entrusted to you” the letter said. Becciu’s mandate will end with the conclusion of the extraordinary Council to elect a new Grand Master, after the former, Matthew Festing, resigned last month upon the request of Pope Francis. The appointment of Becciu falls shortly after Festing’s resignation on January 24 from his position as Grand Master at the request of Pope Francis, and the reinstatement of ousted leader Albrecht von Boeselager as Grand Chancellor. The “Council Complete of State” to elect a new Grand Master must be held within three months of the former’s resignation or death. Though no dates have yet been set, at a press conference highlighting the Order’s priorities this week, Boeselager said the council is expected to take place in late April. The Sovereign Order of Malta is a chivalric order which was founded in 1099, originally to provide protection and medical care to Holy Land pilgrims. It now performs humanitarian work throughout the world, and its two principle missions are defense of the faith and care for the poor. It maintains sovereignty, holding diplomatic relations with more than 100 states and United Nations permanent observer status. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope Francis: Try to change the rules of the socio-economic system

Vatican News - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 07:53
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday called for a change of “the rules of the game of the socio-economic system,” adding “imitating the Good Samaritan of the Gospel is not enough.” The Holy Father was speaking to participants of a meeting to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of Economy of Communion . Associated with the Focolare Movement , the project sets up businesses that follow market laws, but pool the profits in communion. Listen to the report by Charles Collins : “Economy and Communion,” – Pope Francis said – “These are two words that contemporary culture keeps separate and often considers opposite.” The Pope commended the organization for holding their profits in communion, and warned about the danger posed by money. “Money is important, especially when there is none and food, school, and the children’s future depend on it,” – the Pope said – “But it becomes an idol when it becomes the aim.” He said the “goddess fortune” has become the divinity of a hazardous financial system which is destroying millions of families around the world. “This idolatrous worship is a surrogate for eternal life,” – Pope Francis explained – “Individual products (cars, telephones ...) get old and wear out, but if I have money or credit, I can immediately buy others, deluding myself of conquering death.” The Holy Father went on to note that although there are many public and private initiatives to fight poverty, “capitalism continues to produce discarded people whom it would then like to care for.” “The principal ethical dilemma of this capitalism is the creation of discarded people, then trying to hide them or make sure they are never seen,” – the Pope continued – “A serious form of poverty in a civilization is when it is no longer able to see its poor, who are first discarded and then hidden.” Pope Francis said the Economy of Communion , if it wants to be faithful to its charism, must not only take care of the victims, but also build a system where the victims are fewer and fewer, until maybe there are no longer any. “As long as the economy still produces one victim and there is still a single discarded person, communion has not yet been realized; the celebration of universal fraternity is not full,” he said. “Therefore, We must work toward changing the rules of the game of the socio-economic system,” – the Pope continued – “imitating the Good Samaritan of the Gospel is not enough.”  “Of course, when an entrepreneur  or any person happens upon a victim, he or she is called to take care of the victim and, perhaps like the Good Samaritan, also enlist the fraternal action of the market (the innkeeper),” – Pope Francis continued – “I know that you have sought to do so for 25 years. But it is important to act above all before the man comes across the robbers, by battling the frameworks of sin that produce robbers and victims. An entrepreneur who is only a good Samaritan does half of his duty:  He takes care of today’s victim, but does not curtail those of  tomorrow.” The Holy Father told the members of the group that their first gift is the gift of self: “Your money, although important, is too little.” “Capitalism knows philanthropy, not communion,” – the Pope said – “It is simple to give a part of the profits, without embracing and touching the people who receive those ‘crumbs.’ Instead, even just five loaves and two fishes can feed the multitude if they are sharing of all our life. In the logic of the Gospel, if one does not give all of himself, he never gives enough of himself.” “May the ‘no’ to an economy that kills become a ‘yes’ to an economy that lets live,” – he concluded – “because it shares, includes the poor, uses profits to create communion.”   The full text of the Pope’s prepared remarks is below   Dear Bothers and Sisters, I am pleased to welcome you as representatives of a project in which I have been genuinely interested for some time. I convey my cordial greeting to each of you, and I thank in particular the coordinator, Prof. Luigino Bruni, for his courteous words.             Economy and communion. These are two words that contemporary culture keeps separate and often considers opposites. Two words that you have instead joined, accepting the invitation that Chiara Lubich offered you 25 years ago in Brazil, when, in the face of the scandal of inequality in the city of São Paulo, she asked entrepreneurs to become agents of communion. She invited you to be creative, skilful, but not only this. You see the entrepreneur as an agent of communion. By introducing into the economy the good seed of communion, you have begun a profound change in the way of seeing and living business. Business is not only incapable of destroying communion among people, but can edify it and promote it. With your life you demonstrate that economy and communion become more beautiful when they are beside each other. Certainly the economy is more beautiful, but communion is also more beautiful, because the spiritual communion of hearts is even fuller when it becomes the communion of goods, of talents, of profits.             In considering your task, I would like to say three things to you today.             The first concerns money. It is very important that at the centre of the economy of communion there be the communion of your profits. The economy of communion is also the communion of profits, an expression of the communion of life. Many times I have spoken about money as an idol. The Bible tells us this in various ways. Not by chance, Jesus’ first public act, in the Gospel of John, is the expulsion of the merchants from the temple (cf. 2:13-21). We cannot understand the new Kingdom offered by Jesus if we do not free ourselves of idols, of which money is one of the most powerful. Therefore, how is it possible to be merchants that Jesus does not expel? Money is important, especially when there is none, and food, school, and the children’s future depend on it. But it becomes an idol when it becomes the aim. Greed, which by no coincidence is a capital sin, is the sin of idolatry because the accumulation of money per se becomes the aim of one’s own actions.             When capitalism makes the seeking of profit its only purpose, it runs the risk of becoming an idolatrous framework, a form of worship. The ‘goddess of fortune’ is increasingly the new divinity of a certain finance and of the whole system of gambling which is destroying millions of the world’s families, and which you rightly oppose. This idolatrous worship is a surrogate for eternal life. Individual products (cars, telephones ...) get old and wear out, but if I have money or credit I can immediately buy others, deluding myself of conquering death.             Thus, one understands the ethical and spiritual value of your choice to pool profits. The best and most practical way to avoid making an idol of money is to share it with others, above all with the poor, or to enable young people to study and work, overcoming the idolatrous temptation with communion. When you share and donate your profits, you are performing an act of lofty spirituality, saying to money through deeds: ‘you are not God’.             The second thing I would like to say to you concerns poverty, a central theme of your movement.             Today, many initiatives, public and private, are being carried out to combat poverty. All this, on the one hand, is a growth in humanity. In the Bible, the poor, orphans, widows, those ‘discarded’ by the society of those times, were aided by tithing and the gleaning of grain. But most of the people remained poor; that aid was not sufficient to feed and care for everyone. There were many ‘discarded’ by society. Today we have invented other ways to care for, to feed, to teach the poor, and some of the seeds of the Bible have blossomed into more effective institutions than those of the past. The rationale for taxes also lies in this solidarity, which is negated by tax avoidance and evasion which, before being illegal acts, are acts which deny the basic law of life: mutual care.             But — and this can never be said enough — capitalism continues to produce discarded people whom it would then like to care for. The principal ethical dilemma of this capitalism is the creation of discarded people, then trying to hide them or make sure they are no longer seen. A serious form of poverty in a civilization is when it is no longer able to see its poor, who are first discarded and then hidden.             Aircraft pollute the atmosphere, but, with a small part of the cost of the ticket, they will plant trees to compensate for part of the damage created. Gambling companies finance campaigns to care for the pathological gamblers that they create. And the day that the weapons industry finances hospitals to care for the children mutilated by their bombs, the system will have reached its pinnacle.             The economy of communion, if it wants to be faithful to its charism, must not only care for the victims, but build a system where there are ever fewer victims, where, possibly, there may no longer be any. As long as the economy still produces one victim and there is still a single discarded person, communion has not yet been realized; the celebration of universal fraternity is not full.             Therefore, we must work toward changing the rules of the game of the socio-economic system. Imitating the Good Samaritan of the Gospel is not enough. Of course, when an entrepreneur or any person happens upon a victim, he or she is called to take care of the victim and, perhaps like the Good Samaritan, also to enlist the fraternal action of the market (the innkeeper). I know that you have sought to do so for 25 years. But it is important to act above all before the man comes across the robbers, by battling the frameworks of sin that produce robbers and victims. An entrepreneur who is only a Good Samaritan does half of his duty: he takes care of today’s victims, but does not curtail those of tomorrow. For communion one must imitate the merciful Father of the parable of the Prodigal Son and wait at home for the children, workers and coworkers who have done wrong, and there embrace them and celebrate with and for them — and not be impeded by the meritocracy invoked by the older son and by many who deny mercy in the name of merit. An entrepreneur of communion is called to do everything possible so that even those who do wrong and leave home can hope for work and for dignified earnings, and not wind up eating with the swine. No son, no man, not even the most rebellious, deserves acorns.             Lastly, the third thing concerns the future. These 25 years of your history say that communion and business can exist and grow together. An experience which for now is limited to a small number of businesses — extremely small if compared to the world’s great capital. But the changes in the order of the spirit and therefore of life are not linked to big numbers. The small flock, the lamp, a coin, a lamb, a pearl, salt, leaven: these are the images of the Kingdom that we encounter in the Gospels. And the prophets have announced to us the new age of salvation by indicating to us the sign of a child, Emmanuel, and speaking to us of a faithful ‘remnant’, a small group.             It is not necessary to be in a large group to change our life: suffice it that the salt and leaven do not deteriorate. The great work to be performed is trying not to lose the ‘active ingredient’ which enlivens them: salt does not do its job by increasing in quantity — instead, too much salt makes the meal salty — but by saving its ‘spirit’, its quality. Every time people, peoples and even the Church have thought of saving the world in numbers, they have produced power structures, forgetting the poor. We save our economy by being simply salt and leaven: a difficult job, because everything deteriorates with the passing of time. What do we do so as not to lose the active ingredient, the ‘enzyme’ of communion?             When there were no refrigerators, to preserve the mother dough of the bread, they gave a small amount of their own leavened dough to a neighbour, and when they needed to make bread again they received a handful of leavened dough from that woman or from another who had received it in her turn. It is reciprocity. Communion is not only the sharing but also the multiplying of goods, the creation of new bread, of new goods, of new Good with a capital ‘G’. The living principle of the Gospel remains active only if we give it: if instead we possessively keep it all and only for ourselves, it goes mouldy and dies. The economy of communion will have a future if you give it to everyone and it does not remain only inside your ‘house’. Give it to everyone, firstly to the poor and the young, who are those who need it most and know how to make the gift received bear fruit! To have life in abundance one must learn to give: not only the profits of businesses, but of yourselves. The first gift of the entrepreneur is of his or her own person: your money, although important, is too little. Money does not save if it is not accompanied by the gift of the person. Today’s economy, the poor, the young, need first of all your spirit, your respectful and humble fraternity, your will to live and, only then, your money.             Capitalism knows philanthropy, not communion. It is simple to give a part of the profits, without embracing and touching the people who receive those ‘crumbs’. Instead, even just five loaves and two fishes can feed the multitude if they are the sharing of all our life. In the logic of the Gospel, if one does not give all of himself, he never gives enough of himself.             You already do these things. But you can share more profits in order to combat idolatry, change the structures in order to prevent the creation of victims and discarded people, give more of your leaven so as to leaven the bread of many. May the ‘no’ to an economy that kills become a ‘yes’ to an economy that lets live, because it shares, includes the poor, uses profits to create communion.             I hope you continue on your path, with courage, humility and joy. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). God loves your joyfully given profits and talents. You already do this; you can do so even more. I hope you continue to be the seed, salt and leaven of another economy: the economy of the Kingdom, where the rich know how to share their wealth, and the poor are called ‘blessed’. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

Pope sends greetings to Nobel peace laureates’ summit

Vatican News - Fri, 02/03/2017 - 09:40
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent his greetings on Friday to the participants in the XVI World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, taking place from 2 to 5 February in Bogotá, Colombia. Pope Francis encouraged participants “in their efforts to promote understanding and dialogue among peoples”. He made special mention of the peace efforts in Colombia between the government and rebel forces, saying they “can inspire all communities to rise above animosity and division, for ‘when victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promoters of nonviolent peacemaking.’” The Holy Father concluded his message invoking ‘blessings of wisdom and strength’ on all participants. “With prayers that nonviolence will thus become the “hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms” (Message for the 2017 World Day of Peace), His Holiness cordially invokes upon all gathered for the Summit meeting the divine blessings of wisdom and strength.” The message was written by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and sent through the Apostolic Nuncio to Colombia, Archbishop Ettore Balestrero. Please find below the full text of the message: Your Eminence, The Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, on behalf of the Holy Father Francis, has sent a message to the participants in the XVI World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. I would ask you kindly to communicate what follows to all participants: His Holiness Pope Francis was pleased to learn that the XVI World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates will be held in Bogotá from 2 to 5 February 2017, and he sends greetings to all present for the occasion. As the participants reflect on the many challenges to peace in the modern world, His Holiness encourages them in their efforts to promote understanding and dialogue among peoples. In a particular way, he trusts that the efforts in Colombia to build bridges of peace and reconciliation can inspire all communities to rise above animosity and division, for “when victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promoters of nonviolent peacemaking”. With prayers that nonviolence will thus become the “hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms” (Message for the 2017 World Day of Peace), His Holiness cordially invokes upon all gathered for the Summit meeting the divine blessings of wisdom and strength. Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State   With gratitude for your valued assistance and with every good wish, Respectfully yours in Christ, Ettore Balestrero Apostolic Nuncio   (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Vatican News

© Copyright 2008 - 2017. Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy. All rights reserved.