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The World Seen From Rome
Updated: 6 min 23 sec ago

General Audience: Greetings to the English-speaking visitors

57 min 45 sec ago

“I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Australia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and the United States of America”, said Pope Francis during the Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on September 20, 2017.

“I offer a particular greeting to the new students of the Venerable English College in Rome, and assure them of my prayers as they begin their studies for the priesthood”, added Pope Francis answering to the noisy group with a smile.

“I also welcome the physicians and medical professionals meeting in Rome, with prayerful encouragement for their efforts to cherish and defend God’s gift of life in the face of today’s pressing ethical challenges”, said Pope Francis.

The concluded: “Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

General Audience: “Trust in the fulfilment of God’s promises.”

1 hour 4 min ago

“Trust in the fulfilment of God’s promises” said Pope Francis to the youth during the Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on September 20, 2017.

Catechesis in English

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, I would now like to reflect on how we teach the virtue of hope. So I will speak directly, person to person, especially to our young people, with a few words of guidance and encouragement.

First and foremost, wherever the Lord has planted you, stand firm in hope; never lose heart! Trust in God’s fatherly care, the love of Jesus and the power of the Spirit to transform and renew all things.

Never yield to the negativity that tears things and people down, but keep building, trying to make this world conform ever more fully to God’s plan.

Keep your eyes open to the beauty all around you, keep the lamp of faith burning in your heart, and trust in the fulfilment of God’s promises.

Use your Godgiven gifts of mind and heart to help our human family to grow in freedom, justice and dignity.

Jesus has won the victory and he asks us to follow his example by bringing his love and mercy to a world wounded by sin, hatred and division.

Be faithful to your ideals, get up whenever you fall, and never despair.

In a word: live, love and believe!

And with God’s grace, be beacons of hope to all around you.

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Pope on 100th Anniversary of Death of Mother Cabrini

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 6:27 PM

Mother Cabrini brought forth a “clearly feminine, mission consecration,” according to Pope Francis, “from the total and loving union with the Heart of Christ whose compassion surpasses all limits.”

The Holy Father’s comments came in a letter to the Reverend Mother Sister Barbara Louise Staley, General Superior of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The congregation is observing the death centennial of their foundress with a general assembly in Chicago, September 17 – 23, 2017.

Speaking of Mother Cabrini, the Pope said, “She lived and instilled in her sisters the impelling desire of reparation for the ills of the world and to overcome separation from Christ, an impetus that sustained the missionary in tasks beyond human strength.

“Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini accepted a missionary vocation from God, which in those days could have been considered unusual,” Frances continued, “ – to train and send consecrated women all over the world setting no limits to missionary horizons, not just as auxiliaries of religious institutes or male missionaries but with their own charism as consecrated women religious.”

Mother Cabrini died in Chicago, on December 22, 1917, at the age of 67. She was beatified on November 13, 1938, by Pope Pius XI, and canonized by Pope Pius XII on July 7, 1946, making her the first US citizen to be canonized. Her feast day is celebrated on November 13; she is the patron saint of immigrants.

 

Here is the Vatican translation of the letter from Pope Frances to the Reverend Mother Sister Barbara Louise Staley General Superior of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

 

To the Reverend Mother

Sister Barbara Louise Staley

General Superior of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The centennial of the death of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini is one of the main events marking the journey of the Church both because of the greatness of the figure commemorated and because of the contemporary nature of her charism and message, not just for the ecclesial community but for society as a whole. Through this message of mine and my prayers, it is my wish therefore to participate in spirit in the General Assembly which as the Institute of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and its lay collaborators you will hold from September 17 to 23 this year in Chicago near the National Shrine named after your beloved Foundress and Patron Saint of Immigrants.

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini accepted a missionary vocation from God, which in those days could have been considered unusual – to train and send consecrated women all over the world setting no limits to missionary horizons, not just as auxiliaries of religious institutes or male missionaries but with their own charism as consecrated women religious. At the same time, these women were willing to collaborate fully and totally with both local churches and with various congregations dedicated to proclaim the gospel ad gentes. This clearly feminine, missionary consecration born in Mother Cabrini came from the total and loving union with the Heart of Christ whose compassion surpasses all limits. She lived and instilled in her sisters the impelling desire of reparation for the ills of the world and to overcome separation from Christ, an impetus that sustained the missionary in tasks beyond human strength. She took St. Paul’s claim, “I can do all things in Him Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) as her motto. This motto was borne out by the surprising number and by the importance of the works that she undertook during her lifetime in Italy, France, Spain, Great Britain, the United States, Central America, Argentina and Brazil. But her love for the Heart of Christ translated into the evangelical fervor that shines out in the care Frances Xavier Cabrini gave to those who today are considered emarginated in society. One such example was when Mother Cabrini opened a house in the most infamous Italian quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, just one year after the cruel lynching of Italians accused of having murdered the city’s Chief of Police.

The charism of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini enlivened a total and intelligent dedication to the immigrants who left Italy for the New World. This choice was the fruit of her sincere and loving obedience to the Holy Father, Pope Leo XIII, and it extended to other fields of missionary work as well. Today’s epoch-making population movements with the inevitable tensions they create make Mother Cabrini a very contemporary figure. In particular, the Saint focused attention on situations of greatest poverty and fragility such as the needs of orphans and miners. She combined that with a lucid cultural sensitivity by continuous dialog with local authorities. She undertook to conserve and revive in the immigrants the Christian tradition they knew in their country of origin, a religiosity which was sometimes superficial and often imbued with authentic popular mysticism. At the same time, she offered ways to fully integrate with the culture of the new countries so that the Missionary Mothers accompanied the Italian immigrants in becoming fully Italian and fully American. The human and Christian vitality of the immigrants thus became a gift to the churches and to the peoples who welcomed them. The great migrations underway today need guidance filled with love and intelligence similar to what characterizes the Cabrinian charism. In this way the meeting of peoples will enrich all and generate union and dialog, not separation and hostility. Nor must we forget that the missionary sensitivity of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini was not sectorial but universal; that is the vocation of every Christian and of every community of the disciples of Jesus.

The present centennial celebration is an invitation to take a new look at all this with intimate and joyful gratitude to God. This is a great gift above all for you, the spiritual daughters of Mother Cabrini. May your whole Institute, every community and every religious receive an abundant BOLLETTINO N. 0611 – 19.09.2017 4 effusion of the Holy Spirit that revitalizes faith and the following of Jesus in accordance with the missionary charism of your Foundress. May your many faithful lay collaborators share and support your evangelical work in the current social context. For my part, I assure you of my remembrance and prayers with deep affection, both because I have always known the figure of Mother Cabrini and because of the special concern I devote to the cause of immigrants. While I ask you to pray for me and for my ministry, from my heart I send a special Apostolic Blessing to your Assembly, to the Congregation and to the whole Cabrinian family.

From the Vatican, 29 August 2017

Memory of martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist

 

[Original text: Italian]

Holy See Applauds Work of International Atomic Energy Agency

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:04 PM

The Holy See supports the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the work it has done to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Speaking on September 18, 2017 in Vienna to the participants at the 61st General Conference of the IAEA, Fr. Bruno Marie Duffe, Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, pointed out the important elements of IAEA’s work that has “done so much to prevent nuclear proliferation and promote nuclear disarmament, and to foster integral human development through international cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technologies.”

Fr. Duffe pointed out four key areas of achievement:

  • The link between non-proliferation and disarmament: “IAEA safeguards are an indispensable component of the nuclear non- proliferation regime.”
  • Peaceful nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and development: “IAEA technical cooperation projects in the fields of human health, agriculture, nutrition, food safety, animal health, pest management, drinking water, environmental protection, and other matters have contributed to the alleviation of poverty and the ability of countries to meet their development goals in a sustainable way.”
  • Nuclear safety and security: “Efforts to ensure nuclear safety and a safety culture have been greatly improved due to IAEA’s publications, peer-review missions, trainings, and other programs.”
  • Cooperative security: “The Holy See, therefore, appeals to all political leaders to collaborate in good faith on what should be common goals of promoting nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, the peaceful use of nuclear technologies, and integral human development, especially in the poorest countries, all of which are required for true and lasting ”

 

Below is Fr Duffe’s complete address, ZENIT translation by Virginia M. Forrester

 

Madam President,

I have the honor of conveying to you and to all the distinguished participants at this 61st General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency the best wishes and cordial greetings of His Holiness Pope Francis.

Madam President, on behalf of the Delegation of the Holy See, I congratulate you on your election as President of this distinguished Conference.  I would also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation and gratitude to Director General Yukiya Amano and to the Secretariat for their dedicated work to the benefit of the whole IAEA family, and congratulates Director General Amano on his appointment for a further four-year term.

On this occasion, the Holy See, along with various states, congratulates Grenada on being approved for membership of the IAEA.

Madam President,

The Holy See commends and supports all the activities of the IAEA, which for six decades has done so much to prevent nuclear proliferation and promote nuclear disarmament, and to foster integral human development through international cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technologies. I will briefly address four aspects of IAEA’s important work.

1)The link between non-proliferation and disarmament:

IAEA safeguards are an indispensable component of the nuclear non- proliferation regime. The IAEA’s participation in the verification and monitoring of Iran’s commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) contribute to greater peace and security in the Mideast.

Of utmost concern is the nuclear program of the DPRK, which threatens peace and security in the region, as well as the integrity of the non- proliferation regime. There is no military solution to this threat. As difficult as they might be, the Holy See supports continued and patient efforts by the international community to revive negotiations over denuclearization and to enable the IAEA to resume its critical role in nuclear verification there.

As the international community addresses these and other challenges to the non-proliferation regime, it must work equally tirelessly for nuclear disarmament. For that reason, in July, the Holy See supported the negotiations and adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, as a step toward moving beyond nuclear deterrence to a world without nuclear weapons.1 By its safeguard activities, the Agency makes an important contribution to this ultimate goal.

2)Peaceful nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and development:

The “First International Conference on Applications of Radiation Science and Technology” (ICARST 2017), which took place in April, and the Technical Cooperation Conference in May highlighted the need to strengthen partnerships to build upon IAEA’s already considerable achievements in promoting peaceful nuclear energy and technologies that promote integral development and enhance our stewardship of God’s creation. IAEA technical cooperation projects in the fields of human health, agriculture, nutrition, food safety, animal health, pest management, drinking water, environmental protection, and other matters have contributed to the alleviation of poverty and the ability of countries to meet their development goals in a sustainable way.

As we consider the contributions to development of the peaceful use of nuclear technologies, we must not ignore the negative impact of nuclear weapons on the poor. Through the eyes of the poor we can see more clearly how inequality and nuclear weapons are interwoven. As Pope Francis has said, squandering resources on nuclear weapons is “a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty.”2

3)Nuclear safety and security:

The IAEA’s role in promoting nuclear safety and security is also of essential importance, especially in view of political instabilities and crises in several countries and regions. Efforts to ensure nuclear safety and a safety culture have been greatly improved due to IAEA’s publications, peer-review missions, trainings, and other programs. The important “International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitment and Actions”, which took place in Vienna in December 2016, proved the leading role of the IAEA as the global platform for strengthening nuclear security. The broader goals of nuclear non- proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and the peaceful uses of nuclear technologies each depend upon nuclear security.

4) Cooperative security

A new global ethic of responsibility, solidarity, and cooperative security must replace the ethics of isolationism, self-interest, and fear.3 Security is not a zero-sum game; our own peace and security depends on guaranteeing the peace and security of others.4 The Holy See, therefore, appeals to all political leaders  to collaborate in good faith on what should be common goals of promoting nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, the peaceful use of nuclear technologies, and integral human development, especially in the poorest countries, all of which are required for true and lasting peace.

Madam President,

In conclusion, the Holy See reiterates its gratitude and continued support for the IAEA’s many contributions to non-proliferation, disarmament, and the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear technologies.

Thank you.

1 Cf. Pope Francis, Message to the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination. 23 March 2017.

2 Cf., Pope Francis, Message to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, 7 December 2014

3 Cf., Pope Francis, Message to the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards Their Total Elimination, 23 March 2017.

4 Cf., Pope Francis, Message to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, 7 December 2014.

L’Osservatore Romano: Tribute to Fr Giuseppe Puglisi, Martyr of Mafia

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:12 PM

“What’s important is to encounter God, to live like Him, to proclaim His Love that saves,” said Italian priest and martyr, Father Giuseppe Puglisi (1937-1993), born 80 years ago and killed on the day of his birth, September 15, 56 years later, recalled L’Osservatore Romano in Italian on September 14, 2017.

Beatified on May 25, 2013 as the first martyr of the Church killed by the Italian mafia, he “preached love in lands controlled by organized crime,” stated the Vatican’s daily, “and unmasked the horror, the lies and blasphemies hidden behind the mafia’s code of honor.”

“Twenty, sixty, one hundred years of life, of what use is it if one is mistaken in its direction?” asked Father Puglisi. And he pointed out the only sure direction: towards God and towards the poor.

During an intervention at Trento in 1991, Father Pino, as he was usually known, said: “If we want to be disciples of Jesus, we must become witnesses of the Resurrection.” And he added: “From witness to martyrdom the step is brief and it is what, in fact, gives value to the witness.”

This Sicilian priest was shot in the neck in front of his house, Anita Garibaldi Square, in Palermo’s neighborhood of Brancaccio. He had become a “thorn in the side” of the mafia system, as one of his killers avowed, because he “preached and took children off the street.”

“Father Puglisi was an exemplary priest, especially devoted to the pastoral care of young people,” said Pope Francis, recalling his beatification in May of 2013. By educating adolescents according to the Gospel, he extricated them from the milieu and thus the latter sought a way to overcome him by killing him. But, in reality, he was the one who overcame thanks to the Risen Christ.”

The words spoken by Popes on the mafia have always been very clear, notes L’Osservatore Romano: men who “live of criminal actions and violence” are not in communion with God and, therefore, “excommunicated,” said Pope Francis on June 21, 2014 at Sibari. “Repent! One day God’s Judgment will come!” urged Pope John Paul II on May 9, 1993 at Agrigento.

Last July 19, Pope Francis exhorted prayer “for all the victims of the mafias” and to ask for “the strength to go on, to continue to fight against corruption,” in a Tweet published only in Italian, for the 25th anniversary of the murder of anti-mafia Judge Paolo Borsellino.

The Vatican reiterated “the moral obligation” to fight corruption in a document dated July 31, 2017, of the International Consultation Group for Justice, Corruption, Organized Crime and Mafias (ICG).

JF

Marriage and the Family: Pope Renews the John Paul II Institute

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:01 PM

By the Motu Proprio “Summa Familiae Cura,” Pope Francis has created the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and the Family, instead of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, founded in 1981. The decision was made public on September 19, 2017, which widens the Institute’s competencies at the pastoral, missionary and academic level, in order to take into account “the reality of the family today in all its complexity, with its lights and shadows.”

The Argentine Pope recalls in the Motu Proprio, dated September 8, that the Institute was founded by John Paul II, moved by “great concern for the family,” after the Synod of Bishops of 1980, and located within the Pontifical Lateran University, and developed in the course of the years in all the Continents.

In recent times the Church has put marriage and the family at the center, notably during the two Synodal Assemblies of October 2014 and October 2015, which concluded with the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, published in 2016.

These events led to “renewed awareness of the Gospel of the Family and new pastoral challenges, to which the Christian community is called to respond,” notes the Argentine Pontiff, who stresses that the present “anthropological and cultural change” calls for “an analytical and diversified approach.” Thus, he insists, “we must not limit ourselves to practices of pastoral care and the mission that reflect forms and models of the past.”

“We must be conscious and passionate interpreters of the wisdom of the faith in a context where individuals are less supported by social structures than in the past in their affective and family life,” he continues.

It is about “looking, with an intelligence of love and wise realism, at the reality of the family today in all its complexity, with its lights and its shadows.”

It’s from this point of view that Pope Francis confers “a new legal framework on the John Paul II Institute, so that Saint John Paul II’s visionary intuition, his intense desire for this academic institution, is still better recognized and appreciated in its fruitfulness and timeliness.”

The Motu Proprio enlarges the Institute’s competencies, at the pastoral level as well as that of the ecclesial mission, “of human sciences and of the anthropological culture, in an area so fundamental for the culture of life.”

The new structure, which will continue to be linked to the Lateran University, succeeds the former Institute, which “comes to an end.” However, the original inspiration must continue “to fecund” the new engagements, specifies the text.

The Institute will have “an academic center of reference, at the service of the mission of the universal Church,” which will deepen “the sciences concerning marriage and the family and the themes connected to the fundamental alliance of man and woman for the safeguarding of generation and Creation.”

It will enjoy a privileged link “with the ministry and magisterium of the Holy See,” notably by the intermediary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life and the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The Theological Institute will have the faculty to confer University Diplomas to its students — doctorates and licentiates – in the  “sciences on marriage and the family”; it will be equipped with the necessary instruments – Chairs, teachers, programs, administrative personnel – to carry out the scientific and ecclesial mission entrusted to it.

JF

Japan: Evangelization Is “An Act of Great Charity,” says Cardinal Filoni

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:33 PM

The proclamation of the Gospel “is an act of great charity to brothers waiting for the light,” said Cardinal Fernando Filoni, on addressing Japanese seminarians.

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples addressed the seminarians of the Fukuoka Seminary, in the north of Japan’s Kyushu Island on the evening of September 18, 2017, during his pastoral visit to the country (September 17-26), reported the Vatican agency Fides.

The heart of the Christian novelty is the “extraordinary and generous gift of redemptive grace and mercy” proclaimed in the Gospel, stressed Cardinal Filoni. “All are in need of salvation, which the law of karma can’t give, but which is found only in the God that Jesus Christ revealed to us,” he continued.

The Cardinal then reflected on the questions posed in bygone days to missionaries in Japan: “Why do you bring us a foreign religion and ask us to believe in your God? “What else does Christianity have which is not already contained in the Confucian culture or within the Shintoist, Taoist and Buddhist tradition?” To answer this, the Cardinal mentioned “the famous historical novel of Endo Shusaku, entitled “The Silence,” which is now also a known film.”

Cardinal Filoni reminded the future Japanese priests that their mission consists in being “collaborators of God in the proclamation of this joyful novelty to your people.”

“It’s true that priests, Religious and you in as much as seminarians of Japan are few in number. But the strength of salt and light doesn’t come from quantity but from authenticity. The Apostles were just a dozen but thanks to the zeal and power of Christ’s Grace, they took the message of the Gospel everywhere,” he reminded the seminarians.

JF

Orlandi Affair: The Holy See Denies Any Financial Implication

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:09 PM

The Holy See energetically denied any financial implication in the matter of the disappearance on June 22, 1983, of young Italian Emmanuela Orlandi, then 15, daughter of a Vatican employee.

After the publication in the Italian press on September 17, 2017, of an “alleged document of the Holy See that would attest to the past payment of considerable sums on the part of the Vatican, to cover Emmanuela Orlandi’s stay outside of Italy,” the Secretariat of State issued a press release at the end of the day denying energetically “the authenticity of the document” and assuring that the information is “totally false and without foundation.”

The Vatican said it is saddened by these publications that “attempt against the honor of the Holy See” and revive “the immense grief of the Orlandi family, to which the Secretariat of State reiterates its solidarity.”

JF

Young People: “Go on the Paths of Life without Fear!”

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:58 PM

“Go on the paths of life without fear, in joy and in hope!” said Pope Francis to young Italians of Loreto, with whom he spent the day on Sunday, September 17, 2017.

The Holy Father welcomed in the Vatican the participants in the 20th edition of “Giovaninsieme” [Young People Together], a group of some 550 boys and girls accompanied by the Minor Brothers of the Marches, reported L’Osservatore Romano on September 19, 2017. The Pontiff spent almost the whole day with the youngsters. He arrived in Paul VI Hall at 9:30 am on foot, directly from Saint Martha’s Residence, and talked with the young people until the Sunday Angelus.

Then Francis joined them again around 3:00 pm and stayed with them until 4:30 pm. L’Osservatore Romano described it as “an informal, family meeting.” “It all unfolded in simplicity and spontaneity.”

The “Giovaninsieme” celebration is organized every year at the beginning of pastoral activity at Loreto, in central Italy, where the Brothers, in collaboration with the Franciscan Sisters of Alcantara, organize in the House of Spirituality “Land of Little Flowers” numerous initiatives for adolescents, young people, families, the divorced and grandparents. This year the Pope invited them, in view of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops dedicated to young people.

“Giovaninsieme” began on September 16 at Loreto with a catechesis on the Gospel of the Resurrection, a pilgrimage to the Hoy House of the Virgin Mary and a Mass celebrated with the Archbishop Monsignor Fabio Dal Cin. On Sunday, around 4:30 am, the young people left for Rome and arrived in the Vatican at 8:30 am. They had breakfast in a room of Paul VI Hall, and Pope Francis arrived at 9:30 am.

Received by the Father Provincial of the Minor Brothers of the Marches, Ferdinando Campana, the Pontiff asked: “But have they had breakfast?” Then he listened to their songs and watched the young people and the Brothers execute dance routines.

Through a video, the young people told the Pope about their recent march from Loreto to Assisi and gave him four presents linked to those days of intense communal life: a particular pilgrim’s staff, from which hangs a cord with knots. Father Alessandro, who took part in the meeting, explained that each knot “Represents a face and a prayer entrusted to the marchers.” Two young people then brought a vessel containing soil of the villages affected by the earthquake and a statute of the Virgin of Loreto, which went on pilgrimage in the affected regions. The last present was a crucifix made by Roberta Giulini on the basis of the famous crucifix of the Portiuncula in Assisi.

After singing an invocation to the Holy Spirit, there was a moment to hear the Word of God with the Reading of Psalm 121, followed by the passage in Luke’s Gospel on the disciples of Emmaus. It was on this passage that the Pope focused his impromptu catechesis for the young people, asking them questions every now and then, such as “Do you want to become an adult or remain a child?”

In the afternoon, during the presentation of the pastoral plan, the Holy Father joked with the Brothers and with Sister Armanda, in an atmosphere of joy that involved everyone, indicated the same source. During the last part of the meeting, the young people asked the Pope questions on life, faith, vocation, love and family.

JF

Santa Marta: Pope Urges Living Compassion, Not Pity

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:42 PM

Pope Francis proposed a true “compassion” and not a simple pity that is content “to look at from afar” those who suffer: take them “by the hand” and lead them “to the dignity that God wants for them, “he explained during the morning mass of September 19, 2017 in the House of Santa Marta.

In his homily, quoted by Radio Vatican in Italian, commenting on the Gospel of the day – the resurrection of the son of the widow of Naim (Lk 7: 11-17) – the Pope emphasized that “compassion is a feeling that implies, is a feeling of the heart, of the viscera, it implies everything. It is not the same as “pain”, or that … “what a pity the poor!”: No, it is not the same thing. Compassion implies. It is “suffering with”. ”

Thus in the Gospel, “the Lord is involved with a widow and an orphan … But, say, you have a whole crowd here, why do not you talk to the crowd? Leave it … it’s life … these are tragedies that happen … No. For him, this dead widow and orphan were more important than the crowd to whom he spoke and who followed him. Why? Because his heart, his viscera got involved. ”

Compassion, Pope Francis remarked, pushes “to approach and touch reality. To touch. Do not look at it from a distance. [Jesus] was seized with compassion – first word – he approached – second word. Then he does the miracle and he does not say, ‘Good-bye, I go on my way’: no. He takes the boy … and returns it to his mother: to give back, the third word. Jesus performs miracles to render, to give people their place. ”

The Pope encouraged Christians to “do the same”, not to help others “from afar”: Christians, through “prayer of intercession” and “work”, must work for the suffering to be made ” society “,” family life “,” everyday life ”

“So often,” he lamented, “we look at the news or some of the newspapers, the tragedies … but look, in this country children do not have enough to eat; in this country, children become soldiers; in this country, women are enslaved; in this country … oh, what a calamity! The poor … I turn the page and go to the novel, the next series. And this is not Christian. ”

He concluded with an examination of conscience: “Am I able to have compassion? To pray? When I see these things … are my viscera rising? Does my heart suffer with these people or I feel pain, I say ‘the poor’ … so it is. It is a question of asking “the grace of compassion”.

JF

Cardinal Turkson: Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation are Human Rights

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 6:39 PM

“The Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation” was the theme of a side event organized in conjunction with the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on September 14, 2017 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Holy See Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, delivered the keynote address.  The session was moderated by Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva.  Representations of several national delegations and NGOs participated.

In his keynote speech, Cardinal Turkson expressed a global will to formalize and strengthen the access to water and sanitation as a human right. He pointed out that “as a good of creation, water is destined for all human beings and their communities,” a view given importance by the Catholic Church for decades.

However, Cardinal Turkson pointed out that “despite the long process of international and intergovernmental negotiations, without solid foundations, our resolutions and declarations of rights are not necessarily respected.” He continued the Catholic Church wants to increase awareness of the issue “to ground the debate on the right to water and sanitation in its anthropological foundations.”

The Cardinal stressed that access to water and sanitation is not just a basic human need but “a crucial element of freedom.”

 

Following is the Press Statement Issued by the Vatican Regarding the Event

 

THE HUMAN RIGHTS TO SAFE DRINKING WATER AND SANITATION

On 14th September 2017, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Order of Malta to the United Nations in Geneva and the Caritas in Veritate Foundation, organized a side-event, in conjunction with the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, on the theme: “The Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation.” The event was based on a publication about the Right to Water prepared by the Caritas in Veritate Foundation. His Eminence Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah TURKSON, Prefect of the Holy See Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, delivered the keynote address. A large number of Delegations (among others, Andorra, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Germany, Italy, Maldives, Morocco, Nicaragua, Peru, Spain, USA) and NGOs attended the meeting, which was moderated by His Excellency Archbishop Ivan JURKOVIČ, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva.

The event was opened by Dr. David NABARRO, former Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, who highlighted the importance of successfully implementing the 2030 Agenda by recognizing its common values, where every human being should be able to access basic needs. He pointed out that the 2030 Agenda should follow its principles, being people-centered and planet sensitive. The SDGs should be like an indivisible tapestry and finally he stressed the “leave no-one behind” strategy, where every single person matters. Mr. Nabarro then opened the debate by saying that “for the realization of the SDGs [especially regarding the goal for safe drinking water to all], there is an urgent need to accelerate action at scale.”

In his keynote speech, His Eminence Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah TURKSON expressed a global will to formalize and strengthen the access to water and sanitation as a human right. He pointed out that “as a good of creation, water is destined for all human beings and their communities”, and both the Catholic Church and the International Community have given increased importance to this pressing issue during the last decades, with particular reference to the debates related to the fight against poverty and the conservation and exploitation of ecosystems. However, despite the long process of international and intergovernmental negotiations, Cardinal Turkson pointed out that “without solid foundations, our resolutions and declarations of rights are not necessarily respected”. To this aim, for the Catholic Church it has become of utmost importance to raise awareness on the fundamentality and indispensability of water in order “to ground the debate on the right to water and sanitation in its anthropological foundations”. Thus, the right of access to water and sanitation has to be recognized not just as a basic human need but also as “a crucial element of freedom” and entitlement, as a good to which each institution must grant access and supply (“any society that denies the access to water to some, is betraying its most precious human foundations”) and, finally, as a right that necessarily integrates humans and nature, society and ecosystems. This is what Pope Francis calls “integral ecology”.

For Mr. Léo HELLER, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, the relationship between SDGs and the human rights dimension is crucial; in the implementation process, however, there are high risks of losing this fundamental linkage. The human rights element should be integrated clearer in the monitoring system to grant equitable access to water and sanitation. He highlighted that the right to water is one of the few rights explicitly mentioned in the SDGs. As a matter of fact, we assist nowadays to inequalities between indigenous groups and nonindigenous ones, rural and urban zones, etc. Therefore, the aspect of affordability needs to be introduced. If we create gaps between the Agenda and the right to water and sanitation we will not be capable of “leaving no one behind”.

Mrs. Rose Osinde ALABASTER, Waterlex Program Director for the African Region, pointed out the role that international and domestic trade play in water accountability. During her presentation, she wondered whether the solution to water scarcity should be to commodify water by creating water markets where water futures can be sold like oil and gas. The human right to water puts people at the center of all efforts to distribute water resources in a just way, therefore considering “water not only a social and cultural good, but also an economic commodity must not lead to the fact that water as a commodity takes precedence over the human right to water”. In this regard, governments hold a crucial role since they are obliged to give the protection of human rights priority over economic policy and international trade treaties and to ensure non-discrimination in its access. Finally, affordability was presented through the human rights lens, arguing that at the level of securing access, water is rarely priced in ways that reflect supply and demand, thus privatization procedures must be transparent, and they must be carried out in a participatory way.

Mr. Denys NEYMON, Group CEO Treatment Infrastructure of Suez, presented a private sector perspective to the discussion. He primarily outlined data on the alarming situation of the lack of access to water in some areas, stating that nowadays 5 in 10 people worldwide have no sufficient access to safe drinking water and sanitation. In this regard, the private sector has limited space of action, because “water affair is a political affair, because it concerns cities and social life”. With too many means for limited purposes, private companies have made considerable progress in the past 15 years, and have given high contributions especially in regard to research and innovation in water treatment, thanks to well-qualified experts, who have the ability to train and transfer knowledge to others. Furthermore, he stressed that where Governments have few financial resources, the private sector can bring a short-term solution, even if in the poor countries challenges remain high.

Mrs. Dina IONESCO, Head of the Migration, Environment and Climate Change Division and co-author of the Atlas of Environmental Migration for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), focused on untangling the complex relations between migration, environment, and climate change from a fresh water availability perspective. Over the past ten years great progress has been made in terms of research, policy and action towards a better recognition of environmental drivers in migration strategies, as well as towards an improved understanding of the impact of human mobility on the environment. The impact of climate change should be fully taken into account when speaking about migrants and water, and Mrs. Ionesco expressed her hope that the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) will fully recognize the importance of environmental drivers and in particular of fresh water availability and access as key migration concerns.

Mrs. Maria Amparo ALONSO ESCOBAR, Head of Caritas Internationalis Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva, focused her intervention on the Caritas Internationalis involvement in water and sanitation as a means for promoting integral human development. “In every continent, Caritas organizations carry out projects to improve access to water and sanitation for poor and vulnerable people” and contributed to the Caritas in Veritate publication with case studies from Africa (made by Caritas Malawi, Senegal and Burkina Faso) and from Latin America (brought by REPAM, Red Ecclesial Panamazonica). These examples highlighted vulnerability of the enjoyment to the right to water linked to the inequitable allocation of lands, illustrating the challenges caused, among others, by global natural conditions, demographic pressure on sensitive natural resources and limited water services coverage. The implication of Caritas illustrates the importance of achieving a positive impact, and raises recommendations for Governments and the United Nations mechanism to put an end to these dramatic situations.

Pope Francis Receive 29 Bolivian Bishop for “ad limina” visit

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 2:30 PM

Pope Francis received on September 18, 2017, 29 bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Bolivia on their “ad Limina” visit in the Vatican.

During the “ad limina” visit, each bishop must give an account of the moral and spiritual state of his diocese and its governance.  The visit also allows an information question/answer session with the Holy Father and bishops.

The Bolivian bishops last made an ad Limina visit in November 2008 with Pope Benedict XVI.

As detailed on the website of the Episcopal Conference of Bolivia, the Catholic Church has 18 ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the country.

Pope’s Message to National Pilgrimage of Families for the Family

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 2:04 PM

On behalf of Pope Francis, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told the 10th National Pilgrimage of Families for the Family and that the Holy Father is pleased by such a significant event, offered in preparation for the World Meeting of Families of 2018 at Dublin.

The event was held September 16, 2017 at Scafati and Pompeii. and promoted by Renewal in the Holy Spirit.

JF

 

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Message that the Holy Father Francis sent — signed by the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietor Parolin –, to the participants in the 10th National Pilgrimage of Families for the Family, taking place today at Scafati and Pompeii, and promoted by Renewal in the Holy Spirit.

His Most Reverend Excellency Monsignor Tommaso Caputo

Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii

On the occasion of the 10th National Pilgrimage of Families for the Family, promoted by Renewal in the Spirit, in collaboration with the Prelature of the Shrine of Pompeii, the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, the National Office for the Pastoral Care of the Family of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) and the National Forum of Family Associations on the theme “The Joy of Love that Is Lived in the Family Is also the Joy of the Church,” His Holiness expresses to all its participants his warm greeting and assures them of his spiritual closeness.

He is pleased by such a significant event, offered in preparation for the World Meeting of Families of 2018 at Dublin and, while he exhorts to pray for families tried because of the lack of work, for those persecuted because of the faith and for all families in situations of suffering, he asks for remembrance of him in prayer and from his heart sends the implored Apostolic Blessing.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin

Secretary of State of His Holiness

From the Vatican, September 16, 2017

[Original text: Italian]  {Zenit’s translation – Virginia M. Forrester]

 

 

Fr. Thomas Uzhunnalil“: I Wasn’t Mistreated, Jesus Was with Me”

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 1:31 PM

“I wasn’t mistreated. Jesus was with me. I prayed for the Pope and for my kidnappers,” said Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, who added that he celebrated Mass spiritually by heart, without the Eucharistic species, during a press conference in Rome on Saturday morning, September 16, 2017 at the Salesian House where he is resting since his arrival in Rome.

Father Thomas, native of Kerala, India, was kidnapped at Aden in Yemen on March 4, 2016, during a blitz in the course of which four Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s Sisters) were killed as well as 12 others, members of the staff of a home for guests and for elderly and handicapped, whom they looked after.

August 18 marked the second anniversary of Father Tom’s detention. He was released on September 12 thanks to the intervention of the Sultan of Oman, and of Indian and Vatican diplomacy. However, the Major Rector of the Salesians, Father Angel Fernandez Artime, who was present at the press conference, explained: “We don’t know who freed him. We learned of his liberation in a call from an airplane of the Sultanate, which brought him to Fiumicino, adding: “It’s certain that the liberation and the transfer were effected through a humanitarian worker, in communication and connection with the Sultanate of Oman.”

The presence of Sisters of Mother Teresa at the press conference moved Father Tom, rendering him at first unable to speak. Then he greeted them and thanked them.

Father Tom went on to say: “I wasn’t mistreated, Jesus was with me. They never threatened me with a weapon. Yes, I’m diabetic. I didn’t know where I was or who my kidnappers were.”

“They told me they had doctors who would take care of me,” he added. During his captivity Father Tom slept “in a room with a bed.”

They asked him who would be interested in him: his Bishop, the Pope, or someone else? But he didn’t know the real reason for the kidnapping. “I don’t know, perhaps to try to get some money. There are many groups that do things of this sort for money, or because I’m Indian, I really don’t know,” he said.

They also changed his place of detention: three different places that he is unable to identify.

A video published by his kidnappers shows them about to mistreat him, however, they had alerted him that they wouldn’t harm him, but that it was a staging to attract attention to his fate.  And he reiterated: “I was not mistreated.”

They gave him the medication he needed, something difficult given the situation of war in Yemen, he said, adding that once a doctor came to care for the hypertension he was suffering caused by his diabetes.

As regards his spiritual life, Father Tom said he celebrated Mass in his room “spiritually without bread or wine” and that he prayed “for the Pope, the Bishops, the priests, the deceased missionaries” and also for his kidnappers.

“I thought of the five Sisters who were killed and I prayed for them, but then I heard from the kidnappers that one of them was spared.”

And to give himself courage, he repeated to himself the words of an English song: “One day at a time, give me the grace to live this day.”

“I am as I am today because God took care of me. In the name of God I thank all those who didn’t harm me during my detention and I think that was due to all those who prayed for me.” He clarified that his kidnappers didn’t try to convert him to Islam.

Father Tom is also and electronics technician: he occupied his time trying to connect circuits or counting the seconds and the days, adding: “thanks to 230 tablets I had with me, I was able to count the passing days.”

On the last day of his captivity, his kidnappers told him he would be released and gave him clothes. Three or four hours later, they came by car on a paved road. They waited a long time and then returned. The next day they came back to the same place, and handed him over to others who told him he was free, explained Father Tom to the press.

They took him by car to the desert and they arrived in Oman and, after checking him, he was taken by helicopter to a base where he left by plane.

For his immediate future, he expressed the desire to meet with the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity. And then, he said, he was abandoned to the will of God. “I am a priest and my future life is at God’s disposition.”

Pope Francis received Father Tom at the Vatican last Wednesday, September 13, the day after his release.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

JF

The Holy Father’s Letter to the Bishops of Japan

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 1:15 PM

Pope Francis said that when he recalls the Church in Japan, his “thought runs to the witness of so many Martyrs, who offered their life for the faith.” His comments came in a letter to the bishops of Japan during the pastoral visit of Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of People, September 17-26, 2017.

He went on to encourage the bishops to provide “solid and integral priestly and religious formation.”  And he noted the role that can be played by “the Ecclesial Movements approved by the Apostolic See. With their evangelizing impulse and testimony, they can be of help in pastoral service and in the missio ad gentes.”

JF

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Holy Father Francis’ Letter to the Bishops of Japan, on the occasion of the pastoral visit of Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (September 17-26, 2017).

 

The Holy Father’s Letter

 Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, the pastoral visit of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, offers me the opportunity to have my warm greeting reach you, mindful of our meeting that happened on the occasion of your visit ad Limina in March 2015.

I wish to confide to you that, every time I think of the Church in Japan, my thought runs to the witness of so many Martyrs, who offered their life for the faith. They have always had a special place in my heart: I think of Saint Paul Miki and his companions, who in 1597 were immolated, faithful to Christ and to the Church; I think of the innumerable Confessors of the faith, of Blessed Justus Takayama Ukon, who in the same period preferred poverty and the way of exile rather than abjure the name of Jesus. And what to say of the so-called “hidden Christians,” who from 1600 to the middle of the 1800s lived in clandestinity not to abjure but to keep their faith, of which we recently recalled the 150th anniversary of the discovery? The long list of Martyrs and Confessors of the faith, by nationality, language, social class and age, had in common a profound love for the Son of God, renouncing either their own civil status or other aspects of their social condition, all “for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

Mindful of such spiritual patrimony, it is dear to me to address you, Brothers, who have inherited it and who with delicate solicitude continue the task of evangelization, especially by taking care of the weakest and fostering the integration in the communities of the faithful of various provinces. I want to thank you for this, as well as for your commitment to cultural <and> inter-religious dialogue and to the care of Creation. In particular, I wish to reflect with you on the missionary commitment of the Church in Japan. “If the Church is born catholic (namely, universal) it means that it was born “outbound,” that she was born missionary” (General Audience of 17.9.2014). In fact, “the love of Christ compels” us (2 Corinthians 5:14) to offer our life for the Gospel. Such dynamism dies if we lose the missionary enthusiasm. Therefore, “life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy the most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 10).

I pause on the discourse on the mountain, in which Jesus says: “You are the salt of the earth; [. . .] You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-14). Salt and light are related to a service. The Church in as much as salt has the task to preserve from corruption and to give flavour; in as much as light she impedes the darkness from prevailing, ensuring a clear vision about the reality and end of existence. These words are also a strong call to fidelity and authenticity, namely, it’s necessary that salt truly give flavour and light overcome darkness. The Kingdom of Heaven, as Jesus speaks of it, appears initially with the poverty of a bit of leaven or a small seed; this symbolism reproduces well the present situation of the Church in the context of the Japanese world. Jesus has entrusted to her a great spiritual and moral mission. I know well that not a few difficulties exist because of the lack of clergy, of men and women religious and the limited participation of the lay faithful. However, the scarcity of labourers cannot reduce the commitment to evangelization; rather, it is the occasion that stimulates to seek it incessantly, as the householder of the vineyard does who goes out at all hours to find new labourers for his vineyard (Cf. Matthew 20:1-7).

Dear Brothers, the challenges that the present reality puts before you cannot make you resigned and even less so return to an irenic and paralyzing dialogue, even if some problematic situations arouse not a few preoccupations: I am referring, for instance, to the high rate of divorces, of suicides even among young people, to persons that choose to live totally detached from social life (hikikomori), to religious and spiritual formalism, to moral relativism, to religious indifference, to the obsession for work and earnings. It’s also true that a society that runs in economic development also creates among you the marginalized, the excluded. I am thinking not only of those that are materially so, but also of those that are so spiritually and morally. In this very peculiar context, the need is urgent for the Church in Japan to renew constantly the choice for Jesus’ mission and to be salt and light.  The genuine evangelizing strength of your Church, which comes to her also from having been a Church of Martyrs and Confessors of the faith, is a great good to guard and develop.

In this connection, I would like to stress the necessity of a, a particularly urgent task today, especially because of the spread of the “disposable culture” (Meeting with Seminarians, and Men and Women Novices, 6.7.2013). Such a mentality leads young people, especially, to think that it’s not possible to truly love, that there is nothing stable and that everything, including love, is relative to the circumstances and the needs of sentiment. Therefore, a more important step in priestly and religious formation is to help those that undertake such a course to understand and experience in depth the characteristics of the love taught by Jesus, which is gratuitous, entails the sacrifice of oneself, and merciful forgiveness. This experience renders one capable of going against the current and of trusting the Lord, who doesn’t disappoint. It is the witness of which Japanese society has so much thirst.

I want to say a word again on the Ecclesial Movements approved by the Apostolic See. With their evangelizing impulse and testimony, they can be of help in pastoral service and in the missio ad gentes. In fact, in the last decades the Holy Spirit has aroused and arouses in the Church men and women that intend, with their participation, to vivify the world in which they operate, and, not rarely, involving priests and Religious, they being also members of that People that God called to live fully their missionary nature. Such realities contribute to the work of evangelization. As Bishops, we are called to know and to accompany the charisms of which they are bearers, and to make them participants in our work in the context of pastoral integration.

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, I entrust each one of you to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and I assure you of my closeness and prayer. May the Lord send labourers to His Church in Japan and support you with His consolation. Thank you for your ecclesial service. I extend upon you, upon the Church in Japan and its noble people my Apostolic Blessing, while I ask you not to forget me in your prayers.

From the Vatican, September 14, 2017, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation, Virginia M. Forrester]

Pope’s Address to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:58 AM

Pope Francis urged the participants in the General Chapter of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to learn from Jesus in his address to the group on September 16, 2016 in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace.

“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 Holy Father said.

He continued: “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.”

JF

Vatican Translation of The Holy Father’s Address to the Participants in the General Chapter of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, September 16, 2017

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.

[Original text: Italian]  {Translation by the Holy See]

 

 

At Santa Marta Pope Urges 5 Minutes of Prayer for Those in Power

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:29 AM

Take five minutes today to reflect on the duty to pray for rulers, requested Pope Francis during the morning Mass at Santa Marta Residence, on September 18, 2017. “It’s a sin not to pray for rulers,” he warned.

In his homily, reported on Vatican Radio in Italian, the Holy Father commented on the day’s Readings, where Saint Paul recommends “supplications, prayers  … for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:1-8) and where a Roman centurion implores Jesus to cure his slave (Luke 7:1-10).

This centurion, he noted, “felt the need to pray” because “he was aware that he was not the master of everything, that he was not the last resort.” On the contrary, he who “does not pray, shuts himself in his self-reference or in that of his party, in this circle that one can’t get out of; he is a man closed in on himself.”

A ruler should have “this consciousness of subordination,” he must remember “that there is another who has more power than him. Who has more power than a ruler? The people who gave him the power and God, from whom the power comes through the people. When a ruler has this consciousness of subordination, he prays.”

The ruler’s prayer, continued the Pope, “is the prayer for the common good of the people entrusted to him.” To unbelievers, he recommended: “If you can’t pray, consult . . . your conscience … wise men of your people . . . but don’t remain alone with the small group of your party.”

And the people must pray for all rulers without exception, stressed the Pontiff, preventing objections. “’No, I didn’t vote for him . . . let him do what he wants.’ No, we can’t leave rulers alone; we must accompany them with prayer. Christians must pray for rulers. “But Father, how can one pray for one who’s done so many bad things?’ ‘He has even greater need. Pray, do penance for the ruler.’”

“I ask you for a favor,” concluded Pope Francis, “that each one of you take five minutes today, not more. If he is a ruler, let him ask himself: “Do I pray for the one who gave me the power through the intermediary of the people?’ . . . If one is not a ruler, ‘Do I pray  . . . for all rulers?’ When you do your examination of conscience to go to Confession, if you find that you’ve not prayed for rulers, bring that to Confession, because it’s a sin not to pray for rulers.”

JF

Angelus Address: On Forgiveness

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 8:12 AM

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

* * *

Before the Angelus:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

This Sunday’s evangelical passage (Cf. Matthew 18:21-35) gives us a teaching on forgiveness, which doesn’t deny the wrong suffered but recognizes that the human being, created in the image of God, is always greater than the evil he commits. Saint Peter asked Jesus: “how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (v. 21). To Peter it already seems the maximum to forgive the same person seven times; and perhaps for us it seems a lot to do so twice. But Jesus answers: “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven” (v. 22), that is, always: you must forgive always. And He confirms it recounting the parable of the merciful king and of the merciless servant, in which He shows the incoherence of him who was first forgiven and then refuses to forgive.

The king of the parable is a generous man that, gripped by compassion, condones an enormous debt — “ten thousand talents”: enormous — to a servant that entreats him. However, that same servant, no sooner he meets another fellow servant who owes him one hundred denarii — that is, much less –, behaves mercilessly, having him thrown into prison. The incoherent attitude of this servant is also ours, when we refuse to forgive our brothers. While the king of the parable is the image of God, who loves us with a love so rich in mercy as to receive us, love us and forgive us continually.

Since our Baptism God has forgiven us, condoning an insolvent debt: original sin. However, that is the first time. Then, with unbounded mercy, He forgives us all our faults no sooner we show even a small sign of repentance. God is thus: merciful. When we are tempted to close our heart to one who has offended us and apologizes, let us remember the words of the celestial Father to the merciless servant: “I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (vv. 32-33). Whoever has experienced the joy, the peace and the interior freedom that comes from being forgiven, can open himself in turn to the possibility of forgiving.

In the prayer of the Our Father, Jesus wished to insert the same teaching of this parable. He put in direct relation the forgiveness that we ask of God, with the forgiveness that we must grant our brothers: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).  God’s forgiveness is the sign of His overflowing love for each one of us; it’s a love that leaves us free to go away, as the prodigal son, but waits every day for our return. It’s the enterprising love of the shepherd for the lost sheep; it’s the tenderness that receives every sinner that knocks at its door. The celestial Father  — our Father — is full of love and wants to offer it to us, but He can’t do so if we close our heart to love for others.

May the Virgin Mary help us to be ever more aware of the gratuitousness and grandeur of the forgiveness received from God, to become merciful like Him, good Father, slow to anger and great in love.

[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

*

After the Angelus

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I greet you all affectionately, Romans and pilgrims from different countries: families, parish groups, Associations. I greet the faithful of La Plata (Argentina), the officers of the Military School of Colombia, and the catechists of Rho. I greet the participants in the Via Pacis footrace, which has touched places of worship of the different religious Confessions present in Rome. I hope that this cultural and sports initiative can foster dialogue, coexistence and peace.

I greet the numerous young people from Loreto, accompanied by Capuchin Friars, who began today a day of reflection and meditation: you bring us the “perfume” of the Shrine of the Holy House, thank you!  I also greet the Pro Loco volunteers and the walkers who today begin the relay for Assisi. <Have a> good walk!

I wish you all a good Sunday. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!

[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Holy See Recalls Priest from Nunciature in Washington

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 11:27 AM
(Vatican Radio) The Press Office of the Holy See has released the following statement concerning the possibility that a member of the Holy See’s diplomatic mission to Washington may have violated laws relating to child pornography.The priest in question, the statement says, has been recalled to Vatican City, in accordance with common diplomatic practice.STATEMENTOn August 21 last, the Department of State of the United States of America notified the Secretariat of State, through diplomatic channels, of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See accredited to Washington.The Holy See, following the practice of sovereign states, recalled the priest in question, who is currently in Vatican City.

Having received such information from the United States government, the Secretariat of State transmitted this information to the Promoter of Justice of the Vatican Tribunal.

The Promoter of Justice opened an investigation and has already commenced international collaboration to obtain elements relative to the case.

It should be noted that, as provided by the laws in force applicable to all preliminary inquiries, the investigations carried by the Promoter of Justice are subject to investigative confidentiality.

[Vatican-provided statement]

(Vatican Radio)

Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli Is Appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Cyprus

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 11:24 AM

Cyprus has a new Apostolic Nuncio: on September 15, 2017, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli to this delicate post, whom he also appointed on September 13 Nuncio in Israel. The Italian diplomat, 64, is also Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine.

Cyprus is another hot point of the Mediterranean, given the division of the Island, of which Turkey occupies the north.

In 2016, Pope Francis’ “Foreign Affairs Minister,” Archbishop Paul Gallagher, went to Cyprus to encourage peace in the Island.

Stalled for years, the negotiations for the Island’s reunification were re-launched in 2015. However, the divisions between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots remain strong.

According to figures of Aid to the Church in Need, Catholics constitute only 1.4% of the Cypriot population (Orthodox 66% and Muslims 22%).

In February 2014, Pope Francis received the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI himself went to Cyprus in June 2012, and he received the previous President, Demetris Christofias at the Vatican in 2012.

Cyprus joined the European Union (EU) in 2004. The International Community doesn’t recognize the self-proclaimed Republic of the North – after the Turkish invasion –, but its inhabitants are considered citizens of the EU, which regards the Island as united.

Until September 13, Archbishop Girelli was Apostolic Nuncio in Singapore, Apostolic Delegate in Malaysia and in Brunei, Apostolic Nuncio to the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and non-resident papal representative for Vietnam since 2011.

Therefore, Archbishop Girelli is the first non-resident papal representative for Vietnam since 1975: his appointment constitutes a “first step” towards the normalization of relations between the Holy See and Vietnam. It’s one of the fruits of the Joint Working Group. In the framework of this mission, Archbishop Girelli has gone to the country several times.

From 2006 to 2011, he was Apostolic Nuncio in Indonesia and in East Timor.