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The World Seen From Rome
Updated: 41 min 25 sec ago

Papal Nuncio to Join Filipino Children in Praying for Peace

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 4:38 PM

Pope Francis’ envoy to the Philippines will join hundreds of Filipino children in praying the rosary for unity and peace in the world on Oct. 25, according to CBCP News.

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia will take part in the global rosary movement with students of Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City.

The activity is part of the yearly “One Million Rosary Praying the Rosary” campaign which will simultaneously be held in several countries at 9 am on Oct. 18.

Organized by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, it aims to gather children from every continent to pray the rosary for mutual harmony among nations.

In the Philippines, it will be joined by children in about 40 dioceses across the country.

ACN Philippines, however, decided to move its celebration to Oct. 25 at 8 am due to the availability of the papal nuncio.

“It’s okay to hold it any day in October since the whole month is dedicated to the Holy Rosary,” said Jonathan Luciano, ACN Philippines national director.

He said that participants will also get rosaries personally blessed by Pope Francis.

The campaign came into being in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas in 2005.

ACN Philippines started the campaign in 2016 after it began its operation in Manila, as one of the two national offices in Asia.

Luciano expressed hope that the yearly activity will inspire Filipino Catholics and families to pray the rosary.

“If children don’t see their parents or elders’ praying it’s going to be very difficult for them to imbibe the importance of praying the rosary and prayer for that matter,” he added.

“Let us intensify the campaign starting with the youth. Let’s do it not only this month but even after,” Luciano also said.

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Holy See Calls for Relations Among States to be Based on Justice and Law

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 4:36 PM

On October 14, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave a statement before the Sixth Committee of the Seventy-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda item 83, dedicated to the “The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels.” The statement was delivered by Monsignor Fredrik Hansen.

In his statement, Archbishop Auza mentioned Pope Francis’ address to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps earlier this year about the need for relationships between States to be based on justice and law and about the framework of international law as a mechanism to resolve problems and differences between States. Archbishop Auza welcomed the Secretary-General’s report on strengthening the rule of law at the United Nations and expressed his hope that it will achieve its aim to build independent justice systems that can work towards increasing accountability at an international level and assure access to justice for the marginalized and vulnerable. The Holy See, he said, supports U.N. initiatives seeking to promote the rule of law as a means to achieving peace, fairness, human rights, and multilateral relations. He joined the Secretary-General’s call for renewed efforts to address the challenges to the rule of law and underlined that there can be no rule of law unless lawyers and judges are free to uphold it.

The Archbishop’s Full Statement:

Mr. Chair,

In his January 2019 Address to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See for the Traditional Exchange of New Year’s Greetings, Pope Francis referred to the primacy of justice and law in regulating the relationships between nations. However, it is “troubling,” the Pope said, “to see the reemergence of tendencies to impose and pursue individual national interests without having recourse to the instruments provided by […]  law for resolving controversies and ensuring that justice is respected. [1]

My Delegation welcomes the Secretary-General’s report on strengthening the rule of law activities of the United Nations.[2] The various capacity-building and technical-support projects of this Organization aimed at strengthening the rule of law at the national level are laudable, including the work of building independent justice systems, people-centered security measures; ensuring  accountability for the most serious crimes of international concern; and assuring greater access to justice for marginalized and vulnerable groups, including detainees, indigent persons, refugees, and other displaced persons. Likewise, my Delegation supports the United Nations’ ongoing initiatives to promote the rule of law at the international level. These and other efforts address the call of Pope Francis for respect for law and justice both within nations and in the international community.[3]

My Delegation concurs with the Secretary-General’s call for a stronger commitment to a world order in accordance with international law, that has the United Nations at its center, to ensure that investment in building a fair and multilateral system bear positive results for all.[4] Indeed, the carefully crafted framework of multilateral treaties and legal agreements concluded under the aegis of the United Nations over a range of areas, including human rights, trafficking in persons, corruption, arms control, and biological diversity underpins the rule of law at the international level. However, such achievements must be rendered effective and operative in order to ensure that the voiceless and the defenseless have access to justice. Therefore, the rule of law can only be effective if the observance of human rights rests upon adequate effective, accountable and inclusive procedures and institutions at the national level.

It is indeed true, as noted in last year’s resolution, that rule of law activities must be “anchored in a national context and that States have different national experiences in the development of their systems of the rule of law,” [5] however, we must not lose sight of the “universal objective and rational nature of international human rights law in particular, lest there prevail partial and subjective visions of humanity that risk leading to new forms of inequality, injustice, discrimination and, in extreme cases, also new forms of violence and oppression.”[6]

Mr. Chair,

My Delegation joins the Secretary-General in urging renewed efforts to address specific challenges old and new in the wide field of the rule of law at both the national and international levels. We must, as he states, “strengthen the rule of law to ensure a people-centered approach that protects the rights of the most vulnerable and fairly distributes the burdens of climate change and the benefits of adaptation.”[7] We must, therefore, find ways to measure the actual impact of legal reform on the lives of those whose need is greatest.

Finally, there can be no rule of law unless lawyers and judges are free to uphold it, free from any pressure, harassment, corruption or persecution. My Delegation notes with dismay the continued rise of assaults upon the independence of both “bench and bar” around the world.  In this regard, we commend the most recent report of the Special Rapporteur on Lawyers and Judges.[8] We urge that this issue become more prominent in the discussions on the rule of law in this Committee.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

1. Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See for the Traditional Exchange of New Year Greetings, 7 January 2019.

2. Report of the Secretary-General, Strengthening and coordinating United Nations rule of law activities (A/74/139).

3. Address of His Holiness Pope Francis cited above.

4. Report of the Secretary-General cited above.

5. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 2018 on the report of the Sixth Committee (A/73/533), A/Res/73/207.

6. Address of His Holiness Pope Francis cited above.

7. Report of the Secretary-General cited above.

8. Report of the Special Rapporteur on lawyers and judges (A/HRC/41/48).

Copyright © 2019 Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, All rights reserved.

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Amazon Synod Briefing for October 21, 2019

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 4:21 PM

The Prefect of the Dicastery for Communications, Dr. Paolo Ruffini, opened the Monday, October 21, 2019, briefing, reported by Vatican News. He confirmed that Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Archbishop emeritus of Sào Paulo, had presented the draft text of what will be the final synod document. The text contains details of what was discussed in both the General Congregations and small working groups. These issues include inculturation, and missionary and ecological conversion, among others. The main message to emerge, however, is that “the process of listening is not yet over”.

Ms. Marcivana Rodrigues Paiva represents the Sateré-Mawé indigenous people in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. She mentioned the active role taken by women in her territory. She also said she came to the Synod as a witness for indigenous people living in urban contexts. 35,000 of them live in the city of Manaus alone. Indigenous people migrate to the cities where they face discrimination and often consider themselves “invisible”, she said.

Bishop Domenico Pompili comes from Rieti, Italy. A devastating earthquake that struck his diocese in August 2016 left more than 250 people dead and thousands homeless. Reconstruction is still far from complete. The Amazon is “a metaphor” for the wounded earth, he said, and he

Fr Dario Bossi, M.C.C.J. is Superior General of the Comboni Missionaries in Brazil and has spent the past 15 years in the country. He addressed the impact of mineral extraction and the damage caused by multinational companies. His region is located “at the heart of the Amazon”, he said. It includes the “largest open-air mine for the extraction of iron”, an area that covers 900 kilometers and crosses 100 communities.

Deforestation is a problem, he said, because companies use wood to produce fuel that causes pollution. He spoke of the effect of 30 years of toxic waste on the population, and of how mercury in the water affects the children.

Fr Bossi said that an ecumenical network collaborates with the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference, demonstrating their awareness and commitment “to finding a solution”.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, O.P., Archbishop of Vienna and President of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference, addressed journalists at the briefing, saying he had spent two weeks in the Amazon “listening to their experiences”. At the Synod, he said he learned “we have nothing to teach the Amazon”, but that we need to understand what our contribution can be. The Synod provides an opportunity to consider those who are “forgotten by world politics”, he said, and to “give voice” to those in the Amazon Region whose lives are threatened.

Proposals at the Synod for a permanent diaconate, he said, are aimed at “assisting pastoral ministry in this huge territory”. Referring to the 180 permanent deacons who serve in his own Archdiocese of Vienna, the Cardinal said he thought the permanent diaconate was “useful and significant for the life of the Church”.

Fr Dario Bossi responded to a question about the effects of extractivism, the process of mining natural resources for exportation. There is nothing sustainable in this process, he confirmed. There is “no intergenerational justice”. Fr Bossi gave the example of his own community that had stood up to this “violence” and called for reparation. They began by building a new settlement far from the polluted areas, he said, a sign that “hope can be found with the Amazon communities themselves”.

A question about impressions

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn was asked what he is learning from this Synod and what he will take back with him to Vienna. He responded saying he has been struck by “the courage of the indigenous people who have lived under threat for 500 years”. We must be “alert and attentive to what it means for these people to be under pressure, under danger of extinction for centuries”, he said. While the Church has used her voice to defend them in the past, it has not been enough, he added. We need to be attentive “to those who have no voice”, he concluded.

A question about rights

Ms. Marcivana Rodrigues Paiva returned to the issue of urbanization saying that being “invisible” in big cities means indigenous people have no rights. Indigenous pastoral ministry plays an important role in giving people living in urban areas “support and visibility”, she said. Their cultural identity is tied to their territory, she added. They have no identity without their land.

A question about permanent deacons

Cardinal Schönborn was asked a follow-up question regarding the issue of permanent deacons. He responded by suggesting that more priests should be ready to serve in the Amazon. “Europe has an abundance of clergy”, he said, but, “justice asks us to do something”. The Synod discussed the question of “vocational solidarity”, said the Cardinal, and agreed that the “whole Church is co-responsible for the Amazon”.

A question about development

The last question was put to Ms. Marcivana Rodrigues Paiva and concerned the kind of development her people hope for. Her people’s spirituality is focused on the earth “from which we come”, she said. “Which is why we have such a strong relationship with the earth”. Our ancestors have been caring for the earth for thousands of years, concluded Ms. Marcivana Rodrigues Paiva. That is why “the cry coming from the Amazon is to take care of mother earth”, she said.

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Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Greets Hindu Feast of Diwali

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 4:11 PM

The Feast of Diwali is celebrated by all Hindus, and is known as Deepavali, or the “row of oil lamps”. Symbolically based on ancient mythology, it represents the victory of truth over lies, of light over darkness, of life over death, and of good over evil.

The actual celebration lasts three days, marking the beginning of a new year, family reconciliation, especially between brothers and sisters, and worship of God.

This year the feast will be celebrated by many Hindus on October 27, 2019.

For the occasion, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has sent a message with the theme: Believers: Builders of Fraternity and Peaceful Coexistence.

The message, signed by the president, Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., and the secretary, the Reverend Msgr. Indunil Kodithuwakku Janakaratne Kankanamalage, was also sent in Hindi.

The following is the full text of the message:

Believers: Builders of Fraternity and Peaceful Coexistence

Dear Hindu Friends,

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sends you cordial greetings and sincere good wishes as you celebrate Deepavali on 27 October this year. May this festival of lights illumine your hearts and homes and bring to your families and communities joy and happiness, peace and prosperity. At the same time, may it strengthen your spirit of fraternity with one another.

Alongside the experience of unprecedented advancement in many fields, we live at a time when, on the one hand, efforts are being made towards interreligious and intercultural dialogue, cooperation and fraternal solidarity. On the other hand, there is apathy, indifference and even hatred among some religious people towards others. This is often caused by a failure to recognize the ‘other’ as a brother or sister. Such an attitude can arise from misguided, ungenerous or unsympathetic sentiments, which upset and unsettle the very fabric of harmonious coexistence in society. It is with concern about this situation that we deem it fitting and beneficial to share with you some thoughts on the need for every individual, particularly Christians and Hindus, to be builders of fraternity and peaceful coexistence wherever they are.

Religion fundamentally inspires us “to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved” (Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, co-signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in Abu Dhabi on 4 February 2019). It teaches us, moreover, to respect the inviolable dignity and the inalienable rights of others without any unwarranted bias towards their creed or culture. Only when adherents of religions demand of themselves a life consistent with their religious ethic will they be seen to fulfill their role as builders of peace and as witnesses to our shared humanity. For this reason, religions are to sustain the efforts their adherents make in leading an authentic life so as to “bring forth the fruits of peace and brotherhood, for it is in the nature of religion to foster… an increasingly fraternal relationship among people” (Pope John Paul II, Message for the World Day of Peace, 1992). As such, living in a spirit of fraternity and fellowship through constant dialogue should be a natural corollary of being a religious person, Hindu or Christian.

Though negative news dominates the headlines, this should not dampen our resolve to sow seeds of fraternity, for there is a hidden sea of goodness that is growing and leads us to hope in the possibility of building, together with the followers of other religions and all men and women of goodwill, a world of solidarity and peace. The conviction that building a world of fraternity is possible is reason enough for us to engage all the more in efforts towards building the edifice of fraternity and peaceful coexistence, keeping “the good of everyone at heart” (Pope Francis, Message for the Opening of the Annual Interreligious Prayer Meeting for Peace, “Bridges of Peace”, Bologna, 14 October 2018).

It is a happy coincidence that the beginning of this month marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, “an outstanding and courageous witness to truth, love and nonviolence” (Pope John Paul II, Prayer for Peace at the Conclusion of the Visit to Raj Ghat, Delhi, 1 February 1986) and a valiant protagonist of human fraternity and peaceful coexistence. We would do well to draw inspiration from his example in living peaceful coexistence.

As believers grounded in our own religious convictions and with shared concern for the welfare of the human family, may we join hands with those of different religious traditions and all people of goodwill, and strive to do all we can – with a sense of shared responsibility – to build a more fraternal and peaceful society!

Wishing all of you a joyful celebration of Deepavali!

Miguel Ángel Cardinal Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ

President

Rev. Msgr. Indunil Kodithuwakku Janakaratne Kankanamalage

Secretary

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Synod on the Amazon: Draft of Final Document Presented

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 4:02 PM

Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the Relator General, presented the draft of the final document of the Synod for the Amazon to participants in the Synod Hall on Monday, October 21, 2019, reported Vatican News. The text, which reflects the interventions presented during the work, will now go to the small groups for discussion in a “collective manner”.

Amendments will be inserted into the final document by the Relator General and the Special Secretaries, with the help of experts. Then the text will be revised by the editorial committee; and on Friday afternoon, the document will be read in the Hall on Friday afternoon, in the course of the 15th General Congregation. Finally, on Saturday afternoon, at the 16th General Congregation, the Synod Fathers will vote on the document.

Monday’s session began as usual with Mid-Morning prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. The homily was delivered by Archbishop Héctor Cabrejos Vidarte of Trujillo, Mexico, who also serves as President of CELAM (the Latin American Episcopal Council). He invited those present to look to the example of Saint Francis and his “Canticle of the Creatures”. “For St Francis”, Archbishop Trujillo said, “beauty is not a question of aesthetics, but of love, of fraternity at any cost, of grace at any cost”. The Saint of Assisi, he said, “embraces all creatures with a love and a devotion never seen, speaking to them of the Lord and exhorting them to praise Him. In this sense, Francis came to be the originator of the medieval sentiment for nature”.

Archbishop Trujillo said that three words – “to know, to recognize, to restore” – have marked “the rhythm” of the spiritual journey of the Poor Man of Assisi; that is, to know the Supreme Good, to recognize his benefits, and render praise to Him. If for Saint Francis, sin is an appropriation “only of the will but also of the good” that the Lord works in human beings; praise, on the contrary, means restitution. “Human beings”, Archbishop Cabrejos Vidarte said, “are unable to praise God as they should, because sin has wounded the filial relationship” with the Lord.

It is for creatures, then, as St Francis states in the “Canticle”, to carry out the work of mediation to bring praise to God. In fact, creatures can fill the void created by human beings, who are unable, on account of sin, to worthily offer praise. “Saint Francis discovers in God the place of Creation,” the Archbishop said, “and restores Creation to God because he sees in Him not only the Father of all persons but also the Father of all things”.

The morning session was closed by a special guest who focused on the theme of integral ecology, particularly in relation to climate change.

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Synod on the Amazon 2019: Spanish Relatio Texts: Group C

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 3:50 PM

Here is the Zenit translation of the synod “small circle” report from the Spanish-Speaking group C. On October 17, 2019, during the course of 13th General Congregation on the Amazon, the Reports of the 12 Minor Circles were presented. These ‘Minor Circles’ met in the recent General Congregations. Translations of all circles will be provided as soon as possible:

Rapporteur: Rev. Fr. Roberto JARAMILLO, S.J.

Moderator: His Most Revd. Excellency Mons. Jonny E. REYES SEQUERA, S.D.B.

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

 The experience of being a creature refers us back, necessarily, to the Creator as source and summit of all gifts. Made of earth (humus – homo / Adamah – Adam) we are interconnected in it with all the other creatures; responsible for the care of this garden (Genesis) we discover that sin installs itself precisely when that relationship is perverted, becoming self-referential and anthropocentric.

The degradation of our Common Home is evident in Amazonia and it threatens all forms of life. The problems of the destruction of the environment are not only the product of international greed but also of the action of governments and leaders that, guided by strong economic interest, despoil the Amazonian territories, ignoring the rights of its original and traditional inhabitants. This corruption reaches — on occasions — even the regional and local communities, whether urban, peasant or indigenous, under the expectation of abundant, easy and rapid benefits.

The immense wealth of Amazonia makes shriller the growing misery of the impoverished. If the Church doesn’t raise her voice, she will be remiss in face of this sin (ecocide). Perhaps we cannot now defeat the reigning development model, but we do have the necessity to hold and to make clear: Where do we situate ourselves? Whose side are we on? What point of view do we assume?

We are not specialists in technologies or scientific analyses, but we are and must be increasingly greater specialists in humanity because we feel, know and share the problems and challenges of the poor, and we collaborate in the search for alternatives. We are not scientists but Pastors and prophets. And it is also our role to denounce what is not working.

2. DEFENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND OF PEOPLES: TERRITORY <AND> CULTURE

 The interest in the promotion and respect of human rights for all is not optional in our faith. The human being, being part of creation, is the most finished work of the Creator and, in him the whole of creation (the economy, social forms, no less than art, religion, etc.) finds its meaning and direction.

In all the Amazonian countries, there are laws that recognize the rights of the indigenous peoples; however, in practice, these laws are not complied with. The violations of human rights are closely linked to the dynamic of the forms of violence and exploitation that the peoples suffer, particularly the indigenous peoples, quilombolas and the poor. Not a few brothers and sisters, many of them members of our churches, have given their lives as martyrs in their defense.

When we speak of rights we are linking human rights, indigenous rights, environmental rights, and territorial rights. Therefore, we want to affirm — in the context of this Synod — and recognizing the cultural diversity and the peoples’ traditions, the inviolable right to life of all human beings from their conception to their natural death, passing through other generally unknown rights, such as: that of women, young people, children, workers, the sick, the disabled, minority groups without distinction of creed, colour, culture, sexual orientation, politics, or social <standing>, among others.

3. MIGRATIONS AND PASTORAL RESPONSES

 There are different types of mobility in the Amazonian territory: the traditional mobility of the original peoples (according to territories, alliances, seasons, etc.) and another that responds to exogenous conditions, generally linked to violence of origin that motivate displacement.

Forced migration, given its present increase and volume, is an unheard-of political, social and ecclesial challenge. There are positive elements, given the inter-cultural contact and contribution of the migrants in societies of hospitality, and by the generosity with which many ecclesial communities and other organizations have received these migrant brothers and populations. However, at the same time, there are heart-rending stories of sin, exclusion, abuse, suffering, humiliation, and death.

Highlighted especially in this reality at present is the Venezuelan exodus and the reality of young people driven to migrate, attracted by the “deceitful enchantment” of urbanization and their means of propaganda. Many of them are trapped by drug-trafficking and organized crime, and they see their human rights systematically disrespected. The indigenous populations, the women and children suffer the worst and most heart-rending experiences of abuse.

It is very important to have a pedagogy of prevention for isolated indigenous communities, which in practice is transformed into a policy of defense of their territories and original rights; they are the most vulnerable and their territories are the favourite objects of the greed of the market and of the powerful (mining and oil companies, international laboratories, loggers, etc.).

4. INCULTURATED EVANGELIZATION: AMAZONIAN FACE AND HEART

 The Church in Amazonia has a history of lights and shadows. We are grateful for the work of many men and women missionaries who have given their life (so many times silently), sharing the conditions and concerns of the indigenous peoples and of the poor of the region.

We recognize also that on other occasions the Church’s action has not been at the measure of the challenge of the dialogue that generates a true inculturation of the Good News, and that this challenge is harder for us today because it questions directly our way of proceeding ordinarily in the pastoral and organizational traditions that give us security.

It is also necessary to recognize that today there are peoples in Amazonia that have been evangelized by other Churches, and others that have not been evangelized and/or that remain in legitimate voluntary isolation. All of them, without distinction of creed, claim from our Catholic Church the ability to walk with them, to be able to be a “Church going forth,” as a “field hospital” that cures its wounds and that, as the Good Samaritan, is first of all a testimonial Church: “we didn’t ask you to come; you never asked us for permission to come in. However, we receive you as brothers and invite you to be our allies” (Anitalia Pijachi).

The Grassroots Ecclesial Communities continue being an important reference in the evangelizing and inculturated march of the Church. They were and continue to be the great theological pastoral intuition of Latin America. With ease and frequency — because of bad experiences of excessive politization, bad communication and lack of accompaniment — their presence and contribution has been clouded and forgotten.

One of the principal instruments of the history of evangelization in the Church was the work in schools. Educational actions are also being questioned today, because of the necessity to be inculturated and they are challenged to seek appropriate methodologies and contents for the peoples with whom the ministry of teaching is to be exercised. The first step for this <to happen> is profound and cordial knowledge of their languages, their beliefs, and their aspirations, their needs, and urgencies. And what is said for educational action is true also for all the work of the Church, particularly that of liturgy and catechesis.

5. ECCLESIAL NEEDS AND NEW MINISTRIES

 Our ecclesial communities are abundantly blessed by the multiform action of the Holy Spirit, who raises in them women and men that offer themselves generously in the service of the sick, common prayer, the instruction of children and care of the poor, care of health, the explicit proclamation of the Word of God, among many other ministries. Lay ministry must be recognized as a gift of the Spirit, received through the discernment of the person him/herself and of the community, and confirmed and accompanied by the leaders of the community.

A prophetic Church starts from the recognition of the fundamental equality of rights, conditions, and duties in regard to all human beings. It is important that the services assigned to women do not keep them far from instances where decisions are taken in the Church, as it is there that what we preach becomes reality. Given the tradition of the Church, it is possible to give women access to the instituted ministries of Readers and Acolytes as well as of Permanent Deacons.

We also see that many of the ecclesial communities of the Amazon territory have enormous difficulties in accessing the Eucharist. However, the Holy Spirit continues acting in the heart of those communities and distributing gifts and charisms, in such a way that married, responsible men of good reputation are also found there, examples of citizen virtues and good community leaders, who feel the call to serve the People of God, as instruments of the sanctification of the People of God. It will be important to discern, through consultation of the People of God and the discernment of the Ordinary of the place, the suitability for those persons to be adequately prepared and subsequently chosen for the presbyterial service. It is not about a 3rd or 4th-degree priesthood, or of a simple functional recourse for the celebration of the Eucharist, but of true vocations (called) priestly.

Finally, from the reality of the Amazonian churches, we address an urgent call to all the churches worldwide, and very especially the churches of the countries that make up the Amazon River Basin, to turn their eyes and hearts to Amazonia, and to be in solidarity with the urgencies of this region. Their solidarity must be manifested primarily with the missionary action of the laity, priests, men, and women religious willing to be inculturated and to serve the Amazonian churches, but also willing to share material or other resources that come to reinforce the capacities of service of the Vicariates and Dioceses that we serve.

[Original text: Spanish]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester

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Synod on the Amazon 2019: Spanish Relatio Texts: Group B

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 3:24 PM

Here is the Zenit translation of the synod “small circle” report from the Spanish-Speaking group B. On October 17, 2019, during the course of 13th General Congregation on the Amazon, the Reports of the 12 Minor Circles were presented. These ‘Minor Circles’ met in the recent General Congregations. Translations of all circles will be provided as soon as possible:

Rapporteur: His Most Revd. Excellency Mons. Francisco J. MUNERA CORREA, I.M.C.

Moderator: His Most Revd. Excellency Mons. Edmundo P. VALENZUELA MELLID, S.D.B.

In our Minor Circle, we lived two very significant moments of communion and participation in a synodal key. The first was when we began the works on Thursday, October 10. All of us participants put our expectations, concerns, and hopes on the table there, with our heart and mind anchored in the cries of our respective ecclesial communities and in the answers of this Synodal Assembly. We lived the second moment taking up again the works of the Circles, on Wednesday the 16th. This was a moment of intense questioning, in which we let resonate within us Pope Francis’ appeal to the entire Synodal Assembly to place ourselves beyond our perspectives, still made up of much human calculation, and to put ourselves more in the logic of God’s “overflowing” love to us, gratuitousness and mercy to embrace with this other look the work that the Lord asks of us as Church, which at the same time makes herself “living presence” and walks “itinerant” in Amazonia.

During the works of the Minor Circles, our Circle addressed and reflected further on three great subjects concerned with the Life and evangelizing action of the Church in Amazonia, namely: 1) ministeriality; 2) the defense of life and human rights and 3) the action of the Church in the care of our “Common Home.”

  1. A NEW MINISTERIALITY FOR THE CHURCH IN AMAZONIA

To address this subject, we began with a look at the reality of the Church in Amazonia, through the diagnosis offered by the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM), referring to the presence and absence of the different lay and ordained ministries in the jurisdictions of our countries. This enabled us to become more aware of the immense need to strengthen this essential dimension of the Church with its own Amazonian and Indian face.

1.1.The Institution of New Lay Ministries

Our Circle regarded as very necessary the strengthening of the lay ministries, beginning with the implementation of the ministries instituted of Lectorship and Accolyteship, foreseen already in the Motu Proprio “Ministeriam Quaedam” (1971), but amplified in its implementation not only to men but also to women. Moreover, it is important that a diversified ministeriality be profiled for the Church in Amazonia, which takes into account those ministries geared to the care and growth of life in the interior of a community, outstanding among which are the ministry of the animator, coordinator, and guide of the community, and the ministry of the catechist. Then, in keeping with the local needs, an enormous variety of services surface, which can also be instituted, prior to discernment within the ecclesial community.

In regard to the evangelizing action in Amazonia, it is very appropriate to establish and institute ministries, which are geared to the different ambits of the missionary action of the Church, such as art, culture, health, politics, education, the environments, and others. In this perspective, the care of the Common Home, the ministry of reception and hospitality are regarded as opportune and necessary, which will help to assume and accompany the situation of migrants, and the ministry that looks at the reality of social communications and the new technologies. Sight must not be lost <of the fact> that all these ministries are in the logic of service and gratuitousness and must be fully integrated in the cultural dynamics of their own communities, be they Indian, peasant or urban of our Amazonia. Their institution must be formalized in a rite, prior to the appropriate formation and subsequent accompaniment.

1.2. The Ministry of the Permanent Diaconate

In the reflection on the Permanent Diaconate, this Circle invites to take up and continue to apply the lights of Vatican II in Lumen Gentium and to develop them according to the guidelines of the Ad Gentes Document for a greater inculturation of this ministry in Amazonia. Proposed likewise is that its direct link with the Bishop’s ministry be highlighted to open further his action towards the poor and the missionary peripheries. That its promotion, formation, and accompaniment be carried out through the Ecclesiastical Provinces, counting, moreover, with support on the part of CELAM and of REPAM to configure an ecclesial organism that consolidates the task if its inculturation in Amazonia.

1.3. Regarding the possibility of posing the question of the Diaconate for women in the Church, taken up and in tune with various opinions expressed in the Synodal Hall, this Circle encourages the continued study of this subject, looking more to its future possibilities than to its past history. Acknowledged, moreover, is that many functions proper to this ministry are carried out by women in Amazonia, they being the ones that sustain in many places the permanent presence of the Church and nourish the processes of the faith.

1.4. Presbyterial Formation

This subject was amply considered in the Minor Circle, given the importance it has for the present and future of the ecclesial communities of Amazonia, to be able to count on sufficient and qualified Presbyters with their own profile, which contributes to the new pathways needed in the Territory. For this reason, it points to a formation founded on personalized and community processes of Christian initiation and of permanent conversion, confronted with inculturation and inter-culturation and with a highly communal and missionary viewpoint. All of it implies a careful adaptation of the “Ratio Fundamentalis” and of the “Ratio Studiorum” to the conditions of Amazonia and of the reflection of indigenous theology, in addition to a careful selection and preparation of the formators, who understand affectively the territory and its dynamics.

There must be, at the base of all this, a strong option for the youth and the vocational pastoral in our respective particular Churches. It must not be forgotten that it is evangelized young people who give a young face to the Church. Stressed, at the level of more concrete proposals, was the possibility to create an indigenous Seminary for Amazonia.

1.5. In regard to the priestly ordination of married men in Amazonia, the approach to this subject was looked at by the Minor Circle from the viewpoint of listening to and discerning the voice of the Spirit, which invites us to take up the cry of our communities and to look with compassion at the way in which a right answer could be given so that the sacramental life, linked to the presidency of the community by the Sacrament of Holy Orders, flows for the personal, communal and missionary growth of the People of God of our Amazonia. The proposal is geared to ask the Holy Father <about> the possibility to confer the Presbyterate on married men for Amazonia, in an exceptional way, under specific circumstances, and for some specific peoples, establishing clearly the reasons that justify it. It is not at all about second class presbyters. It must be taken into account that many are the voices that insist that this subject be decided for Amazonia in the present Synodal Assembly. Other voices, instead, think that it should be studied and defined in a specific Synodal Assembly.

1.6. The Pastoral of “Itinerancy” in Amazonia

The Minor Circle proposed acknowledging the significant, complementary and inter-disciplinary value that this Pastoral of “Itinerancy” has, serving the different geographic and cultural borders of our Amazonia and it sees in this experience a very valuable reference that puts beside presence and insertion, a lifestyle and a spirituality of the way, the visitation and a not comfortable installation. These experiences, which are being accompanied by the Latin American Conference of Religious (CLAR), must continue to promote themselves in greater articulation with the different ecclesiastical jurisdictions.

2. THE ACTION OF THE CHURCH IN THE DEFENSE OF LIFE AND OF HUMAN RIGHTS

A first aspect to be considered is that all the pastorals present in our plans of Evangelization must be geared to life and life in abundance in Christ, as proclaimed in the Document of Aparecida, taking up the fundamental urgencies and appeals of Amazonia.

From the awareness of the fragility of Amazonia and also of the Church that lives there, an appeal is made to strengthen communion and solidarity at all levels, appreciating the experiences of integration of the border churches, both in each country as well as the neighbouring ones; to take advantage of and to strengthen CELAM’s Observatory of Reality at the service of the countries of Amazonia; to address jointly the challenge of migrations with an appropriate pastoral of reception and hospitality.

An updated “mapping” and knowledge of the international standards exacted of our governments are two permanent instruments for the defense and promotion of life and of the territory. With these two instruments the Church, through the Commissions of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation and the Episcopal Conferences, can exact a permanent enforceability before international organisms, always in defense of the life of the weakest and of the territory.

All types of violence, especially to women and to <our> sister “Mother Earth,” require special attention. Anxiety arose about a possible relation between violence to women and violence to the earth. They all call for greater prophetic denunciation on the part of the Church and greater protection and solidarity through the culture of dialogue and encounter, favoured by spirituality and a pedagogy of peace and reconciliation for the resolution of conflicts,, which will make it possible to generate <attitudes> of respect and non-violence at the level of families, of educational institutions, of work environments and others.

3. THE ACTION OF THE CHURCH IN THE CARE OF THE COMMON HOME

Imperative in our particular Churches is further reflection, adaptation, and implementation of the programmatic proposal in chapter 5 of “Laudato Si’ for the topic of influence and chapter 6 for education and spirituality.

In consonance with IL 56, we consider it fundamental to promote all actions that lead us to be sensitized, to become aware and to commit ourselves in the care of our Common Home. This must be supported by a spirituality that strengthens us in the call to listen, to contemplate and to proclaim.

Hence the insistence on proposals that lead effectively to a change of paradigm in our relation with brothers, especially the poor and Sister Earth: “To hear the cry of the poor and of the earth.”

Among the proposals we wish to highlight, first of all, the decision for the whole Church and, as mature fruit of the Synod of Amazonia, a preferential option for the care and protection of our Common Home, and to appreciate the inspiring figures of Saint Francis of Assisi and of our missionaries and martyrs of Amazonia. Other proposals have to do with the implementation of the Chair of “Integral Ecology”: the integration of traditional knowledge of health, food and other things of the ancestral indigenous peoples; rescue of the different rituals, symbols and celebratory ways of indigenous communities (Cf. IL 126); establish dialogues with the realm of economy to foster and strengthen all sustainable and amicable practices in the care of our Common Home; in addition, to revise the habits of cultivation of our peasant and Andean settlers to integrate them in the good practices of the “indigenous farms” in a more integral vision; to encourage all significant and alternative actions of reparation that lead to the protection of our Common Home, and to promote an ecological youth pastoral that leads children and young people to know their traditions and to love and look after the earth.

[Original text: Spanish]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

 

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Pope Francis Encourages Pastoral Care of Maritime Workers

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 3:07 PM

The following is the message sent by the Holy Father on the occasion of the inauguration of the Eleventh World Conference of the International Christian Maritime Association, on the fiftieth anniversary of its founding, taking place in Kaohsiung, Taiwan from 21 to 25 October 2019, on the theme “50 years of working together for seafarers, fishers and their families”:

Message of the Holy Father

I offer greetings of peace and goodness to all of you, dear Delegates of the International Christian Maritime Association.

You have gathered at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for your Eleventh World Conference, during which you commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of your praiseworthy Association. This anniversary allows me an opportunity to encourage you to persevere, with renewed ecumenical spirit, in your service to seafarers and maritime personnel.

In these days of encounter and reflection, I am confident that you will identify increasingly effective ways of assisting sailors, fishers and their families. In this regard, the 1997 Apostolic Letter Stella Maris remains most timely. There, my predecessor Saint John Paul II set forth basic principles for the pastoral care of seafarers, their families and all those who travel by sea, and urged that every effort be made to see that they are “provided abundantly with whatever is required to lead holy lives” (II § 2).

I renew that invitation to all of you who represent different Christian traditions. May you help seafarers and maritime personnel to know Jesus Christ and to live in accordance with his teachings, in respect and in mutual acceptance.

I encourage you to surmount whatever difficulties you may encounter in your mission and to promote with conviction the spirit of ecumenism. I accompany you with my prayers and my blessing, which I readily invoke upon you, upon your deliberations in these days, and upon all those entrusted to your pastoral service.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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Synod on the Amazon 2019: Spanish Relatio Texts: Group A

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 2:44 PM

Here is the Zenit translation of the synod “small circle” report from the Spanish-Speaking group A. On October 17, 2019, during the course of 13th General Congregation on the Amazon, the Reports of the 12 Minor Circles were presented. These ‘Minor Circles’ met in the recent General Congregations. Translations of all circles will be provided as soon as possible:

Rapporteur: His Most Revd, Excellency Mons. Jose L. AZUAJE AYALA

Moderator: His Most Revd, Eminence Card. Carlos AGUIAR RETES

The Report of the Hispanicus Circle “A,” moderated by His Eminence Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, considered the following subjects:

1. Integral Ecology and Ecological Conversion

As Christians, we should be concerned for creation, because according to the Genesis account, creation was an act willed by God; the different accounts of the Scriptures ratify it and the Apostle Paul says that creation continues to suffer birth pangs until the glorious manifestation of Christ comes. This consideration of the Apostle speaks of the inter-connection that exists, as in Amazonia, where a great harmony is perceived between the water, the earth, the flora, the air, the sun, the fauna, human beings, which is being distorted and menaced by man’s ambition, who puts capital above the greatest value of creation.

Witnessed once again is that we are in an emergency, given the ecological crisis, which in turn is the fruit of the anthropological crisis; the human being disorders creation, causing the crisis that involves the whole of creation.

The proposal is for an integral ecological conversion that attends to the human being and to nature, which is able to distinguish between the use and abuse of things. This conversion goes through two moments: 1. To have assumed personal conversion, which begins from the encounter with Jesus Christ, and which encompasses the personal, social and ecclesial structure; and, 2. Pastoral conversion in the light of Jesus the Good Shepherd who gives His life for all and invites us to take on new attitudes in this world, assuming our responsibility and commitment, because every action has repercussions for the good or in detriment of one’s life, of that of others, of the whole of creation, given that everything is connected.

Ecological conversion leads the Church to assume her prophetic role, denouncing the violation of the human rights of the indigenous communities and the destruction of the Amazonian territory by extractive activities and other bad practices, which harm the rights of people and nature.

It is proposed that the nine countries of Pan-Amazonia seek effective links to be more connected and that the Synod propose the holding of a WEEK OF CREATION, to create true consciousness of ecological conversion in all.

2. Formation of the Community of Disciples

 The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, cf. Mt 28:16-20. In Amazonia, a Church of disciples must be built with an Amazonian face, with formation that stems from the principles and values of the peoples and cultures present there. One cannot arrive with ready-made plans, their values must be assumed, such as community, the family, spirituality, the communion of goods, and respect of the Common Home. The formation of the family cannot be separated; it is the place where the value of life, of the common good is formed; the family is the place for the ecological conversion.

There must be a formation in the Amazonian ambit that begins from its reality; any plan of formation of missionary disciples must begin from the cultural anthropology of Amazonia, to then enter deeply in the biblical and pastoral pedagogical ambit. One cannot go with an attitude of conquest in formation, but with a synodal perspective, of dialogue and listening, of discernment and decision-taking.

The family and young people must be priority ambits for the formative processes, respecting their community organization, given that many public policies affect the family and collective identity. Formation must also generate areas of interaction with the wisdom of the indigenous peoples, riverine peoples and quilombos that live in the cities, so that they do not lose their identity and achieve their integration and areas of life.

An integral formation is proposed for all agents of the pastoral that serve in Amazonia; and for priestly vocations the creation is proposed of Indian Seminaries, which are not boarding schools, but houses open to the culture and cosmo-vision of the region; <also> proposed is that ministerial formation be done in the territory itself, stimulating tasks and works from the local perspective with missionary sense.

The implementation of the Ratio Fundamentalis, must deepen further the missionary sense; during the pastoral year, the Seminarians of the region must be able to enter into direct contact with the peoples of Amazonia, to achieve a missionary awareness in the candidates, because formation must not be for the past but for what is coming to us.

3. The Role of Women in the Life of the Church

 The Church proclaims the dignity and equality between man and woman. Nevertheless, discrimination is still witnessed against the feminine world, reflected in the areas of decision-making and in their representativeness inside the Church. In the indigenous world, woman is the one that works in multiple ways; she is the one that transmits the faith. The participation of women in the Church in Amazonia is very efficient; it is a testimonial and responsible presence in human promotion.

In a Synodal Church it is necessary that women assume pastoral and directional responsibilities; there must be recognition of woman in the Church through the ministerial <dimension>; it is proposed, therefore, that a Synod be held dedicated to the identity and service of women in the Church where they have a voice and a vote.

4. Young People

 A special concern of the Synod is young people, especially the Indians that, making use of the digital world, find attractive possibilities that uproot them from their territories. The digital world connects them with the known and the unknown. It is a new challenge for the Church in Amazonia. The Amazonian peoples themselves are suffering the loss of identity of their young people, who seek a better future beyond their culture.

Another ecclesial challenge is to help to keep the cultural identity, especially of those young people that go to the large cities, either for study or for work. It is necessary to accompany processes of transmission and acceptance of the cultural and linguistic heritage in families, to surmount the difficulties of inter-generational communication. Thinking of the wellbeing of young people, work must be done in their accompaniment. The Church must be present in the digital world, but without giving up personal accompaniment.

5. Consecrated Life

There must be recognition of the great missionary task carried out by consecrated life in Amazonia; their mission has certainly been great. Today, because of the vocational crisis, the presence of consecrated life has diminished, but those that are there carry out a very intense ecclesial mission, with the option for the poorest. Today, in face of the decrease in vocations, many Congregations have left Amazonia and have concentrated themselves in the cities, which leads to witnessing not only a numerical diminution of consecrated life but also of the meaning and missionary action and prophetic role that has always marked consecrated life.

An appeal is made for a renewal of religious life, that, from CLAR, a new ardour is stimulated, with new ways, presences and appreciating the existing ones, especially contemplative life.

6. Apostolic Vicariates

 The majority of Apostolic Vicariates were entrusted to several Religious Orders and Congregations so that they could be sustained with personnel and economic support. The reality has changed, the diminution of vocations in religious life has changed the scenery and the presence in Vicariates is little. It is suggested that the ius comissionis is revised, and that they be adopted or assumed by some Diocese. The Episcopal Conferences can assume it as a missionary task of the Church.

Another proposal is to revise the boundaries of the jurisdictions, to reduce their territories and make the pastoral care in communities more effective.

7. Defense of Rights 

 Because of her prophetic dimension, the Church is called to announce and denounce the realities of Amazonia, in regard to peoples’ rights and those of nature. The voice of the church is important, given the great threats that the territory and the peoples suffer. She must speak collegially, not personally, so that she has force and echo before governmental organisms.

The formation is proposed of a Pan-Amazonian ecclesial organism and an Observatory in defense of human rights, so that the Church, which has influence in some forums of the world, is able to take the voice of Amazonia in defense of <its> territories and peoples. The Church has the task to accompany and protect the life of the defenders of human rights, who are often criminalized by the public powers.

It is proposed to continue with the processes of Beatification of the martyrs of Amazonia.

8. Dialogue with the Culture

 In Evangelii Nuntiandi 19, Vatican Council II states that culture is in the heart both of the person as well as of the peoples, values of judgment, determinant values, lines of thought, inspiring sources and models of life. The different expressions of peoples must manifest their identity; today the risk is run of folklorizing culture. The rites, music, dance are expressions of the people, who cannot be separated from their identity, because they are expression of their feelings and spirituality. Today with globalization and the influence of the media, it is felt that the cultural identity, especially in the generation of young people, is threatened; hence the call to create a Church with an Amazonian face, namely, with its own identity, from the cultural realities of the peoples.

Manifested in the Liturgy and popular religiosity is the cultural expression of the people that illumine life and the faith of cultures. There must be care and discernment to purify what goes against the Gospel and the values of the community itself. Religiosity in the indigenous world must favor those expressions that are a manifestation of the mystery of God and demonstrate good living and good doing in the communities and peoples.

9. The Environments of Amazonia

 The Educational-Formative Environment

 In some realities, the State does not help the educational processes carried out by the Church in Amazonia, rather, it hinders it; however, the Church cannot renounce her mission as educator of the peoples. The Church has been present in Amazonia in education from the beginning, because it is the fundamental basis for the people not to lose their identity. Education is the answer to the sustaining of the culture and identity of the peoples and it also generates formation for an integral ecology.

Proposed is the creation of a network of educational Institutions of Amazonia, which will help to find new pathways geared to an integral ecology, taking advantage of the resources they have in each place and seeking joint actions that promote the care of our Common Home.

Bilingual education, engaged in by the inhabitants themselves of the communities will aid their growth, through an integral and quality education that is a generator of work opportunities.

An appeal is made to Universities to head educational processes that help to implement programs that stimulate new pathways for education in an integral ecology.

The Realm of Health

Peoples must be able to share ancestral knowledge of alternative medicine and generate an exchange of knowledge between the native peoples to grow in good living. To make known the value of the medicinal plants of the Amazonian territories, with the aid of education to take care of and to promote knowledge of alternative medicine and that is not be exploited or patented by malicious persons.

Peoples in Voluntary Isolation

They are peoples that have decided to take this life option; they need the defense of their territories because they are increasingly displaced, pressured by the Civil Authorities, which limit them and take their territories. It is a great injustice, which must be communicated to generate respect for these peoples.

Politics

What is important in political formation is to give depth to the formation and to the accompaniment carried out by the Church in the communities, seeking to form not only a leader but a working group in which <the members> help one another, accompany each other, defend themselves and don’t fall into the evils of politics, such as corruption. The school of leaders must promote generational alternation, so that there is continuity in the projects that seek the common good.

10. Communicate Amazonian Faces

It must be discerned if there is only one Amazon face in Amazonia or change the expression of faces of Amazonia, through which the identity of the populations is expressed of those that live in a concrete territory. This face-faces is inculturated and missionary, accompanied by the Church that evangelizes and opens paths for the evangelical life processes of the peoples. It is a face with a renewed sense of mission, prophetic and Samaritan, open to inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.

The Amazonian Church, with her own identity, goes out to encounter the other peoples and cultures and asks to be respected and acknowledged.

[Original text: Spanish]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

 

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Synod on the Amazon 2019: Italian Relatio Texts: Group B

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 2:20 PM

Here is the Zenit translation of the synod “small circle” report from the Italian-speaking group B. On October 17, 2019, during the course of 13th General Congregation on the Amazon, the Reports of the 12 Minor Circles were presented. These ‘Minor Circles’ met in the recent General Congregations. Translations of all circles will be provided as soon as possible:

Rapporteur: His Most Revd. Excellency Mons. Filippo SANTORO

Moderator: His Most Rev. Eminence Card. Luis F. LADARIA FERRER, S.J.

The Italian Minor Circle B sees in this Synod a precious gift of the Spirit for Amazonia and for the whole Church, be it under the ecclesial aspect, be for the inescapable task of the Care of the Common Home. In the ecclesial aspect, taking up again Vatican II’s path of implementation, which was developed by the Conferences of the Latin American Episcopate up to Evangelii Gaudium, on the Care of the Common Home and following the development of the social teaching of the Church up to Laudato Si’. In this sense, we propose three steps before the synthetic presentation of the reflection of the Italian Circle B.

  1. First of all, the new pathways are possible from a renewed experience of the Church that, listening to the peoples of Amazonia and their culture, offers the testimony of a lively faith that renews the prophecy, develops a new synodal path and communicate an ardent missionary passion.
  2.  The wounded and deformed beauty of Amazonia is a cry of the whole planet so that a true cultural conversion is implemented promoted by the “integral ecology” of Pope Francis up to creating eco and socio-sustainable projects and “new lifestyles.” This is even more urgent in order not to betray the hope and future of our young people.
  3. Advanced in the third place is the proposal to undertake the way of a proper “Amazonian Rite,” which makes it possible to develop under the spiritual, theological, liturgical and disciplinary aspect the singular richness of the Catholic Church in Amazonia.

Moving to the reflection of the group, the importance was stressed by Pope Francis’ initial intervention in the Synod, when he affirmed: “The pastoral dimension is the essential one, the one that includes everything. We address it with a Christian heart and we look at the reality of Amazonia with the eyes of a disciple.”

In this perspective, the Circle reflected further on the first part ”The Voice of Amazonia,” listening to the direct experience of the Synodal Fathers and auditors, Bishops and priests, missionaries in Amazonia and present in the group. A richness emerged that embraces several natural aspects, among them water, which is the source of life and of relations between peoples in their cultural and spiritual expressions. It was underscored that this life is menaced by environmental destruction and exploitation, by genocide, by ecocide, and by bio-piracy. This happens when the goods of the territory, for example, the medicinal herbs, are taken to the world after having robbed the patent of the lands and of the indigenous peoples. In this situation, the most wounded are the young people, particularly the girls, in prostitution and in trafficking, in sexual exploitation but also the indigenous young people who go to the cities and are seduced by technology and globalization: attracted to a lifestyle that seeks to destroy their origins.

Together with these highlights it was noted that if one is to pass from analyses to proposals it is necessary that Amazonian “good living” encounter the experience of the Beatitudes: only by the encounter with the Word of God, does “good living” attain its realization, thus valuing the “seed verbs” present in the various cultures. The direction in which such valuation is carried out is found in Laudato Si’, where a “Theology of Creation” as well as a “Theology of Redemption” is presented.

This leads to the construction of a lifestyle in which a positive and non-predatory relationship can be re-established between man and nature. The Amazonian cosmo-vision has so much to teach the Western world, dominated by technology, very often at the service of the “idolatry of money.” On the other hand, the proclamation of the Gospel and the originality of Christ’s victory over death, in respect of the culture of peoples, is also an essential element also for the Amazonian cosmo-vision.

The explicit proclamation of Christ’s Resurrection, after appropriate times of closeness and sharing of life, without any form of proselytism, is a great richness for the peoples of Amazonia.

It was also noted that Amazonia is living a Kairos, a time of grace, which has a particular relief in this Synod. The Amazonian peoples teach a lot because for thousands of years they have taken care of their land, of the water, of the forest and they have succeeded in preserving them up to today. In this challenge, we must value the significance of the memory, which in the indigenous peoples has a great value in the personal, social experience and in the transmission of the culture and the faith. This is possible through inter-cultural and inter-generational dialogue, making possible the encounter between an “I” and a “you.” The dialogue is possible from the inexhaustibility of the Mystery which is communicated in the life of these peoples and which constitutes a method founded on respect for the freedom of the other, valuing the “seed verbs” present in the various cultures.

That has not always happened; it is demonstrated by the violence caused by agricultural, rain and human <extractive activity> in general. In this area international traffickers and destroyers of the Amazonian diversity dominate with impunity, having solely in view the maximization of profit. Stemming from what has been said is the “ecological debt” (LS 51), rampant in the world and which in Amazonia has brutal effects. One of these is linked to the phenomenon of migrations, which happens in the search for a roof, for land, for a job. In general, the promises are not realized and families are destabilized. Our border dioceses carry out a very positive and important action among migrants, which, however, must be increasingly articulated and developed.

We described urbanization, which seems sociologically and economically an irreversible worldwide phenomenon, as “human extractive activity.” Therefore, it is necessary to develop an urban pastoral that picks up the challenges of globalization and the technological culture. Not to be forgotten, at the same time, is a rural pastoral, so that there are no class B Christians.

It is surprising that the IL doesn’t speak of “favelas” and of “peripheries,” which constitute a characteristic in the medium and large cities of Amazonia as in the whole of Latin America, of an active presence in “favelas” and in the entire society.

On the subject of education, the Church has carried out a role of promotion in the cultures she has encountered and, in face of them, it is necessary to listen as disciples before being teachers. Reflected also in this context was the formation in Seminaries of Amazonia, in which indigenous seminarians are unable to follow the academic rhythm, not because of a lack of intelligence, but because of a different way of thinking.

The action of the Church is first of all educational; it is geared to forming a mentality in which the economy is developed attempting to <keep> present environmental and social sustainability. It is not possible to create economic value through the destruction of nature and of raw materials. It is necessary to educate, not in an abstract way but in view of a change in lifestyles. So people’s satisfaction will not be in consumption but in a realization, in a harmony that is proposed for the contemplative look of Laudato Si’.

 And then a reflection seems opportune of the Church in Amazonia, first on the causes of the drastic diminution of Catholics, because of the action of Neo-Pentecostal and Evangelical Movements. These grow because they respond to the need for healing, for proximity and for Salvation beyond their very questionable economic and political interests. In addition to expressing our concern for the growth of these new religious denominations we are induced to pass from the still too institutional image of the Church to a Church going forth that listens, and that creates communities that enjoy and celebrate the beauty of the Gospel. It is necessary as Church to develop knowledge of the Bible, multiplying translations in the local languages. This will make possible an inter-religious and ecumenical dialogue.

Moreover, some expressed perplexity about the lack of reflection on the causes that have led to the proposal to surmount in some way priestly celibacy as expressed by Vatican Council II (PO 16) and the subsequent magisterium.

In this context, the subject of inculturation has all its value, which was amply developed in our Circle. In fact, stemming from this subject was the proposal presented of an “Amazonian Rite.”

There are about 23 different Rites in the Catholic Church, evident sign of a tradition that, since the first centuries, has sought to inculturate the contents of the faith and their celebration through a language that was as coherent as possible with the mystery to express. All these traditions had their origin in keeping with the mission of the Church (cfr CCC 120001206). Amazonia, with its different cultures and traditions, has already opened itself to the faith and is living a significant process intended to safeguard the expressions of identity and belonging that are proper to it.

It is necessary that the Church recognize this peculiar historical moment, and, in her tireless work of evangelization, do her utmost so that the process of inculturation of the faith is expressed in the most coherent ways, to be celebrated and lived also according to the languages proper of the Amazonian populations.

Requested, therefore, is that the Synod make its own the instance according to which the peoples of Amazonia can undertake the new way of their own “Amazonian Rite” with which to express the liturgical, theological, disciplinary and spiritual patrimony that belongs to them, with particular reference to what Lumen Gentium affirms for the Oriental Churches (cfr LG 23). This enriches the work of evangelization expressing the faith according to the peculiarities of one’s culture.

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

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Synod on the Amazon 2019: Italian Relatio Texts: Group A

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 2:07 PM

Here is the Zenit translation of the synod “small circle” report from the Italian-speaking group A. On October 17, 2019, during the course of 13th General Congregation on the Amazon, the Reports of the 12 Minor Circles were presented. These ‘Minor Circles’ met in the recent General Congregations. Translations of all circles will be provided as soon as possible:

Italian Circle “A”

Rapporteur: Revd. Fr. Dario BOSSI, M.C.C.J.

Moderator: His Most Revd. Excellency Mons. Flavio GIOVENALE, S.D.B.

The Church has the mission to proclaim Jesus Christ in Amazonia. To evangelize is to render present the Kingdom of God (EG 176) in the world. Therefore, it is the task of the Church to present the Good News of Jesus and of his Kingdom in Amazonia.

Christ sets His tent in Amazonia (cfr. Jn 1:14). The path of the Church begins from Christ and Baptism; it is founded on the Gospel to promote an integral ecology, celebrating, serving and protecting life, so that it is always full and abundant for all.

“The Eucharist is a cosmic act of love. Yes, cosmic! Because even when it is celebrated on the small altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always celebrated, in a certain sense, on the altar of the world. It unites heaven and earth. It encompasses and pervades the whole of creation” (Saint John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia n. 8). “Therefore, the Eucharist is also source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, and it directs us to be custodians of the whole of creation” (LAS 236).

May the God of life be praised for our sister and mother Earth and for Amazonia, its beauty and fecundity! May He be praised for the gift of water, for the service of the regulation of the climate and the rains that this biome offers a good part of the South American Continent, immense retention of CO2 in its trees, its bio and socio-diversity.

Stop Violence in Amazonia!

 From Amazonia, however, a cry is raised to God that dismays us. The Church invokes: Stop the violence in Amazonia! She is committed, even more, thanks to this Synod, in support and communion with the victims, so that they do not feel alone. If the Church is on the side of the poor, she cannot make a mistake.

Many young people in the world are also lining up in defense of the Common Home: they challenge us and stimulate us to walk with them and for them.

Never as today are these indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, fishermen, migrants, and the other traditional communities in Amazonia menaced, sometimes also divided and weakened strategically by the seduction of money and power.

The Church, by their side, reaffirms their right to land, culture, language, history, identity, and spirituality. She defends their right to prior, free and informed consensus on projects in their territories; an effective integral reparation for the violations already suffered and the protection of leaders criminalized because of complaints or resistance.

The emergencies are various, in face of which we cannot remain uncertain: the deforestation of Amazonia, which is reaching the point of inflection, risking the “savannahization” of the forest; the attack on indigenous peoples, on the traditional communities and their territories; the climate crisis and the urgency to reduce drastically global warming.

Water is a fundamental human right, source of life for the whole natural cycle, element of integration of Pan-Amazonian peoples and communities. However, it is a limited and vulnerable resource; its privatization or contamination harms immediately the life of communities, especially of the poorest.

The predatory exploitation of the natural resources devours the Amazonian biome. Yet it is the priority model of today’s economic policies, controlled by financial groups that concentrate the great part of the world’s money, favoring ever more the earnings of the few to the detriment of the greater part of the people.

The violence inflicted on women and minors in Amazonia is worrying: they are the ones that suffer most because of the machista culture, authoritarian behaviors and also clericalism, abuses, and trafficking.  It is important to invest our pastoral commitment in defense and promotion of the family.

There are forms of alternative economy, which value the “standing” forest and its goods. It is necessary to support proposals of integral education, specific researches on the economic vocation of the different Amazonian regions, public policies of promotion of the solidary and cooperative economy, initiatives of local and self-managed production, the leadership of small communities, microcredit and local technical formation.

Many young people are leaving the villages and regions of the interior to integrate themselves in the urban world. This ethnic and cultural miscegenation enriches the society thanks to cultural pluralism and can develop positive changes. However, the uprooting of territorial and ancestral bonds can cause the loss of tradition, of ritualism and celebration. In particular, parishes should organize and develop a pastoral of urban indigenous peoples, frequently excluded and scorned.

The Church Common Home

 The Church herself is a true and proper common home, which can still grow in unity so that all peoples, tribes, languages, and nations find themselves in the presence of the Father (Rev 7:9).

The Synod of Amazonia proposes again the challenge of the catholicity of the Church and her constitutive plurality, in which “the individual parts contribute their gifts to the other parts and to the whole Church, and all grow by a universal mutual exchange and a common effort toward unity” (LG 13).

In this connection, the encounter between the Church sent to the Amazonian peoples and that born progressively among them, with her own face, is very fruitful. We must distinguish between the “indigenous” Church, which considers the Indians as passive recipients of the pastoral, and the “indigenous” Church, which understands them as protagonists of their own experience of faith. It is necessary to aim decidedly to an indigenous Church, according to the principle “Save Amazonia with Amazonia.” The Gospel of Christ renews continually life and culture; it purifies and elevates it, makes it fruitful from inside, strengthens, completes and restores in Christ the spiritual qualities and the talents of each people (cfr GS 58).

We acknowledge with gratitude that the men and women missionaries have inserted themselves in depth in the culture and cosmo-vision of the peoples and communities to which they have been sent. It continues to be a challenge today, which is more than ever necessary when all are living in an individualist culture that does not favor sobriety and sacrifice.

The local communities grow in the faith and celebrate the mystery of Christ in their cultural plurality (AG 22). Symbols and gestures of the local cultures can be valued in the liturgy of the Church in Amazonia, keeping the essential unity of the Roman rite, given that “the Church does not want to impose a rigid uniformity in what does not affect the faith or the good of the whole community, also in the liturgy” (SC 37).

In listening to and in respect of the voices of the synodal phase of consultation, we welcome with apostolic zeal their desire to celebrate the Holy Eucharist in a frequent and possibly stable way, as an inalienable right of the lay faithful (CIC 213). Many churches in Amazonia still live a faith-based only on Scripture and on popular piety. It is necessary to study the most effective pastoral way to respond to this insistent appeal.

Some Synodal Fathers ask that in Christian communities with a consolidated path of faith, mature, respected and recognized persons be ordained, celibates or with a constituted and stable family, in order to ensure the Sacraments that guarantee and sustain Christina life.

Canon Law permits requesting the Holy See to wave the impediment to the Sacrament of Holy Orders of a man legitimately and validly married (CCC 1047, paragraph 2,3).

The Permanent Diaconate, re-established by Vatican II, sows that it is possible to assume with efficacy a pastoral, sacramental and family commitment in the Church. The majority of Churches of the Oriental Rite, which are part of the Catholic Church, keep married clergy (PO 16). This proposal is founded on Sacred Scripture, in the Apostolic Letters (1 Tim 3:2-3, 12; Tt 1:5-6).

Other Synodal Fathers consider that the proposal, which concerns all the Continents, could reduce the value of celibacy, or lose the missionary impetus at the service of the more remote communities. They hold that, in virtue of the theological principle of synodality, the subject could be subjected to the opinion of the whole Church and, therefore, they suggest a universal Synod in this regard.

All recognize that celibacy in the Church is a gift and a treasure (PO 16, OT 10). It is part of the Christian novelty and is also proposed to the Amazonian populations.

It is necessary to keep alive the missionary impetus and zeal in vocational promotion, to cultivate a vocational culture, without resigning, with insistence and organization. In coherence with the call “Latin America, evangelize yourself!”, we appeal to the Episcopal Conferences of the Continent to reinforce projects of cooperation and communion between churches and send new missionaries to Amazonia, also among those that at present exercise the priestly service in the North of the world.

Formation to the ordained ministry, understood to configure the priest to Christ, must be a community school of fraternity, experiential, spiritual, pastoral and doctrinal, in contact with the reality of the people, in tune with the local culture and religiosity, close to the poor, founded on the perspective of an integral ecology and a synodal style of authority, which values and stimulates participation in community life.

The fabric of the local Church is guaranteed, also in Amazonia, by the small missionary ecclesial communities, which cultivate the faith, listen to the Word and celebrate together, close to the history of the people. It is the Church of baptized women and men, which we must consolidate by promoting ministeriality and especially the awareness of the baptismal dignity.

We propose that (a) the ministry of lectorship and accolyteship be conferred also on women, religious or lay, appropriately formed and prepared; (b) according to the Motu Proprio of Pope Paul VI Ministeria Quaedam, the Episcopal Conferences of Amazonia can ask the Holy See to create a new instituted ministry of community women/men coordinators.

The local Bishop will be able to constitute these ministries in representation of the Christian community, possibly in a rotative service and organized in ministerial teams, to avoid personalism (CCC 517 paragraph 2). The responsible person of the community can also be recognized at the local civil level as representative of the Christian community.

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

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INTERVIEW: Cardinal Filoni: ‘It’s Necessary to Rediscover Affection & Love for One’s Faith’

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 1:55 PM

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, often simply called ‘Propaganda Fide’, has told ZENIT what makes this Missionary Month ‘extraordinary.’

Pope on World Mission Day: ‘Go and Make Disciples of All Nations’

In the interview, he discusses how each year, the Catholic Church celebrates Missionary Month in October, but this year, Francis called for it to be an “extraordinary one,” which is welcoming various events to commemorate it, including the Mass Pope Francis celebrated yesterday morning, on World Mission Sunday, in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Italian prelate also underscores how it is necessary to rediscover love and affection for one’s faith, and how people around the world can partake in this month’s events. Moreover, he underscores, “If there is no love for one’s faith, everything stops!”

Here is our interview:

***

ZENIT: Cardinal Filoni, what makes this October 2019 Missionary Month, as Pope Francis requested, “Extraordinary?”

Cardinal Filoni: First of all, there is the ordinariness of the fact that every year, the month of October is Missionary Month. The ‘extraordinary’ nature of the one of October 2019 is due to the fact that we wish to focus our reflection on a specific point, in a special way: the awareness that as Baptized–enjoying and living the very reality of Baptism, that is to say, grace–, we also become ‘sent.’

It means we cannot be selfish, we cannot shut ourselves up [be quiet and silent]! We want to make people reflect on this because we want to get out of the mentality that has always considered mission as something to be delegated to others, to people “who are a bit more generous,” to people “who have a special vocation,” to people who like to set off” and go into distant, different countries, and so on.

Angelus Address: On World Mission Day

ZENIT: And instead how should mission be conceived?

Cardinal Filoni: We want to show that perhaps this missionary idea, once did require a special vocation, but that today, everyone travels! Everyone moves for reasons of pleasure, vacation… or work or business… or to learn about and meet different cultures. It almost therefore seems that faith remains almost extraneous to all this great human mobility, when instead it should be in the first place! We are not allowed to not think about the role and the mission that we all have to bear witness to the faith. We must bring faith to others.

ZENIT: And how can we witness faith?

Cardinal Filoni: Pope Francis tells us this very clearly: we need to witness what we believe and what we love, which is part of our life, and at the same time, to announce it. This is what Saint Peter said (1 Pt 3:15): “to explain the hope you have in you.” And therefore, this is the announcement. Having this awareness takes us out of that idea of delegating mission to others, to take it instead as our mission, as an integral, essential part of our moral, spiritual life, our life of faith.

ZENIT: And people around the world, how can they take part in this month from their homes?

Cardinal Filoni: Let us first say: we can take part in many ways. An elderly or sick person can bring the contribution of the reality they live. I think of the chain of prayer, the Living Rosary conceived by the Venerable Pauline Jaricot [the founder of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith] in France, almost 200 years old, to pray for missions. At that time traveling, crossing oceans was a difficult experience, if not almost impossible for many people. But Jaricot said that we too can participate in the mission of the Church with this prayer, which unites us, in presenting our own prayer to God.

ZENIT: Is prayer the only way to participate in the Extraordinary Missionary Month?

Cardinal Filoni: Even Pauline Jaricot, at that time, said: is prayer not enough? Then we have those writing off on their tax returns, “here, this is the contribution I make for the needs of the missions.” But in addition to all this, we must be protagonists of the mission and not only delegate the mission to others. It is necessary to rediscover affection and love for one’s faith. And this can be done in many ways.

ZENIT: What do you mean by love for one’s faith?

Cardinal Filoni: If there is no love for one’s faith, everything stops! But when I love my faith, then I become creative. Creativity is needed for mission, even with regard to the tools, the meetings, the vision ..Mission is no longer directed only to distant countries, but it is something that takes place between us. And it’s nice that so many people who have arrived in these last decades for example, in Italy, when they received the tool to learn and live a living faith, if you will, then they themselves asked for Baptism.

ZENIT: Do you know anyone of them? Do you think of anyone in particular?

Cardinal Filoni: Recently, I met a young man from Morocco. When we introduced ourselves, he told me a Muslim name and a Christian name. Then he added: “I am a Christian.” “Oh yes? And what made you decide to become a Christian?,” I asked him. He replied: “[It was] thanks to the testimony I was given here, the way I was received.”

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INTERVIEW: Cardinal Filoni: ‘It’s Necessary to Rediscover Affection & Love for One’s Faith’

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 1:30 PM

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, often simply called ‘Propaganda Fide’, has told ZENIT what makes this Missionary Month ‘extraordinary.’

Pope on World Mission Day: ‘Go and Make Disciples of All Nations’

In the interview, he discusses how each year, the Catholic Church celebrates Missionary Month in October, but this year, Francis called for it to be an “extraordinary one,” which is welcoming various events to commemorate it, including the Mass Pope Francis celebrated yesterday morning, on World Mission Sunday, in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Italian prelate also underscores how it is necessary to rediscover love and affection for one’s faith, and how people around the world can partake in this month’s events. Moreover, he underscores, “If there is no love for one’s faith, everything stops!”

Here is our interview:

***

ZENIT: Cardinal Filoni, what makes this October 2019 Missionary Month, as Pope Francis requested, “Extraordinary?”

Cardinal Filoni: First of all, there is the ordinariness of the fact that every year, the month of October is Missionary Month. The ‘extraordinary’ nature of the one of October 2019 is due to the fact that we wish to focus our reflection on a specific point, in a special way: the awareness that as Baptized–enjoying and living the very reality of Baptism, that is to say, grace–, we also become ‘sent.’

It means we cannot be selfish, we cannot shut ourselves up [be quiet and silent]! We want to make people reflect on this because we want to get out of the mentality that has always considered mission as something to be delegated to others, to people “who are a bit more generous,” to people “who have a special vocation,” to people who like to set off” and go into distant, different countries, and so on.

Angelus Address: On World Mission Day

ZENIT: And instead how should mission be conceived?

Cardinal Filoni: We want to show that perhaps this missionary idea, once did require a special vocation, but that today, everyone travels! Everyone moves for reasons of pleasure, vacation… or work or business… or to learn about and meet different cultures. It almost therefore seems that faith remains almost extraneous to all this great human mobility, when instead it should be in the first place! We are not allowed to not think about the role and the mission that we all have to bear witness to the faith. We must bring faith to others.

ZENIT: And how can we witness faith?

Cardinal Filoni: Pope Francis tells us this very clearly: we need to witness what we believe and what we love, which is part of our life, and at the same time, to announce it. This is what Saint Peter said (1 Pt 3:15): “to explain the hope you have in you.” And therefore, this is the announcement. Having this awareness takes us out of that idea of delegating mission to others, to take it instead as our mission, as an integral, essential part of our moral, spiritual life, our life of faith.

ZENIT: And people around the world, how can they take part in this month from their homes?

Cardinal Filoni: Let us first say: we can take part in many ways. An elderly or sick person can bring the contribution of the reality they live. I think of the chain of prayer, the Living Rosary conceived by the Venerable Pauline Jaricot [the founder of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith] in France, almost 200 years old, to pray for missions. At that time traveling, crossing oceans was a difficult experience, if not almost impossible for many people. But Jaricot said that we too can participate in the mission of the Church with this prayer, which unites us, in presenting our own prayer to God.

ZENIT: Is prayer the only way to participate in the Extraordinary Missionary Month?

Cardinal Filoni: Even Pauline Jaricot, at that time, said: is prayer not enough? Then we have those writing off on their tax returns, “here, this is the contribution I make for the needs of the missions.” But in addition to all this, we must be protagonists of the mission and not only delegate the mission to others. It is necessary to rediscover affection and love for one’s faith. And this can be done in many ways.

ZENIT: What do you mean by love for one’s faith?

Cardinal Filoni: If there is no love for one’s faith, everything stops! But when I love my faith, then I become creative. Creativity is needed for mission, even with regard to the tools, the meetings, the vision ..Mission is no longer directed only to distant countries, but it is something that takes place between us. And it’s nice that so many people who have arrived in these last decades for example, in Italy, when they received the tool to learn and live a living faith, if you will, then they themselves asked for Baptism.

ZENIT: Do you know anyone of them? Do you think of anyone in particular?

Cardinal Filoni: Recently, I met a young man from Morocco. When we introduced ourselves, he told me a Muslim name and a Christian name. Then he added: “I am a Christian.” “Oh yes? And what made you decide to become a Christian?,” I asked him. He replied: “[It was] thanks to the testimony I was given here, the way I was received.”

The post INTERVIEW: Cardinal Filoni: ‘It’s Necessary to Rediscover Affection & Love for One’s Faith’ appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Make Disciples of All Nations

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 2:42 PM
Pope on World Mission Day: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’

‘Go and show love to everyone, because your life is a precious mission: it is not a burden to be borne, but a gift to offer’

Angelus Address: On World Mission Day

‘All Jesus’ Disciples Are Called to Be Witnesses of the Gospel in This, Our Time’

Blessed Alfredo Cremonesi: ‘Winning Lion’

Beatification ‘an encouragement for the Church of Burma’

Cardinal Tagle: ‘Let us go on Mission, Together’

Leading the Mission Month celebration in Manila on Oct. 18

Catholicism by the Numbers

Statistics for the Catholic Church – 2019

Pope Francis Inaugurates ‘Anima Mundi’ Ethnological Museum of Vatican Museums

Amazonia Exhibition

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Cardinal Tagle: ‘Let us go on Mission, Together’

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 1:42 PM

Catholics are called to go on mission, together, and truly be Church, a top churchman said.

Leading the Mission Month celebration in Manila on Oct. 18, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said that mission is not a “do it yourself” task but one that is communal.

“Mission is not just for few individuals but for all of us, even the children and the poor are part of the mission,” Tagle said.

“Mission is in community. Mission is ecclesial, the Church,” he said. “Let us encourage every baptized person… you are sent by Christ and by the Church.”

Thousands of people turned out for the event organized by the Manila archdiocese in coordination with the Pontifical Mission Societies of the Philippines.

Every October, the universal Church celebrates mission month. This year, Pope Francis declared October 2019 Extraordinary Mission Month to revitalize and renew the missionary call in a particular way.

The celebration is also to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter on mission, Maximum Illud.

The Manila gathering featured musical performances, testimonies, and was capped with a Mass, attended by dozens of bishops, priests and the religious.

Also present were Papal nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia and Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao and the head of the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines.

In his homily, the cardinal stressed that by virtue of their baptism, all Catholics are called to be missionaries.

“Every baptized person, living the life of Christ, by sharing in his death and resurrection, is also sent on mission,” Tagle said.

But to be missionaries, he stressed the importance of having a “personal encounter with Jesus”.

Such a thing, according to him, is a requirement for growth in baptism and mission.

“No mission, no proclamation of the Gospel without an encounter with Jesus who is the Gospel,” he said.

The cardinal added that mission is also fundamentally “witnessing to Christ”, which means “bearing the Cross, especially the cross of helplessness”.

He also said that charity is central to the Church’s mission, and Catholics are called to share it with the world, especially those in need.

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Blessed Alfredo Cremonesi: ‘Winning Lion’

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 1:32 PM

Father Alfredo Cremonesi (1902-1953) was a “winning lion”, said the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in celebrating his beatification on October 19, 2019, in Crema, Italy. The Italian missionary offered himself “until the shedding of blood, so that the Good News may reach the distant land of Burma”.

To emphasize the “exemplary bestowal” of the priest of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), Cardinal Angelo Becciu quoted a letter to his mother asking him to return to Italy: “You understand as a missionary like me, who wanted to give himself to God without return, to put forward the only reason to see you again … cannot be enough. “

For the prefect, every Christian is called to follow his example of mercy and gentleness, but also to be “a lion victor, valiant fighter for the cause of truth and justice, defender of the weak and the poor, triumphing over the evil of sin and death “.

Father Cremonesi, he added, is “a missionary deeply convinced and loving his vocation, poor, sick, persecuted, but always serene and confident, ready to face any risk situation”. For him, the cardinal emphasized, martyrdom was “a gift granted only to some, while faith is an appeal addressed to all”.

Setting the Burmese context in the aftermath of independence (1948), when the Church suffered “real persecution”, the prefect pointed out that the death of the martyr, murdered, “has come to life and spiritual enrichment for the Church “.

He saw the beatification of Father Cremonesi as “an encouragement for the Church of Burma to continue in the commitment to overcome spiritual and moral wounds” and to be “a stimulant for young people to reflect on the beauty of the missionary vocation”.

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Angelus Address: On World Mission Day

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 1:18 PM

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!

The second reading of today’s liturgy proposes to us the exhortation that the Apostle Paul addresses to his faithful collaborator Timothy: “Preach the Word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2). The tone is heartfelt: Timothy must feel himself responsible to preach the Word, assuming an all-out commitment, which doesn’t exclude any existential ambit. These sentiments of Saint Paul should be those of all Jesus’ disciples, called to be witnesses of the Gospel in this, our time, in this humanity at times contradictory but loved infinitely by God.

The World Mission Day, which is observed today, is a propitious occasion for every baptized person to have a deeper awareness of the need to cooperate in the proclamation of the Kingdom of God through a renewed commitment. To give new impetus to the missionary responsibility of the whole Church, Pope Benedict XV, a hundred years ago, promulgated the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud. He perceived the need to upgrade evangelically the mission in the world so that it would be purified from all colonial incrustation and free from the conditionings of the expansionist policies of the European Nations.

In today’s changing context, Benedict XV’s message is again timely and stimulates us to overcome the temptation to every self-referential closure and every form of pastoral pessimism, to open ourselves to the joyful novelty of the Gospel. In this time of ours, marked by a globalization that should be solidary and respectful of the particularity of peoples, and instead suffers again from the homologation and from old conflicts of power, which fuel wars and ruin the planet, believers are called to take everywhere, with new impetus, the Good News that in Jesus mercy overcomes sin, hope overcomes fear, fraternity overcomes hostility. Christ is our peace and in Him, every division is surmounted; in Him alone is the salvation of every man and every people.

There is an indispensable condition to live the mission in fullness: prayer, a fervent and incessant prayer, in keeping with Jesus’ teaching proclaimed also in today’s Gospel, in which He tells a parable “on the need to pray always and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Prayer is the first support of the People of God for the missionaries, rich in affection and gratitude for their difficult task to proclaim and give the light and the grace of the Gospel to those that have yet to receive it. It is also a good occasion today to ask ourselves: do I pray for the missionaries? Do I pray for those that go far away to take the Word of God with their witness? Let us think about it.

May Mary, Mother of all peoples, accompany and protect every day the missionaries of the Gospel.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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

 

After the Angelus:

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Proclaimed Blessed yesterday at Crema was the martyr Father Alfredo Cremonesi, missionary priest of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. Killed in Burma in 1953, he was an indefatigable apostle of peace and zealous witness of the Gospel, to the shedding of his blood. May his example drive us to be workers of fraternity and courageous missionaries in every environment; may his intercession support all those that toil today to sow the Gospel in the world. Let us applaud Blessed Alfredo!

And now a warm welcome goes to all of you, pilgrims from Italy and from various countries. In particular, I greet and bless affectionately the Peruvian community of Rome, gathered here with the venerated image of the Senor de los Milagros [Lord of the Miracles] — keep always the faith and traditions of your people! –; the Sisters Nurses of the Addolorata who held their General Chapter; the participants in the march “We Remain Human,” who in the last months have gone through cities and territories of Italy, to promote a constructive confrontation on the subjects of inclusion and hospitality. Thank you for this beautiful initiative!

A special thought goes to the youngsters of Catholic Action, who have come with their educators from all the Italian dioceses, on the occasion of the 50 years of ACR. Dear boys and girls, you are protagonists in evangelization, especially among your contemporaries. The Church has confidence in you; go forward with joy and generosity!

I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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

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Pope on World Mission Day: ‘Go and Make Disciples of All Nations’

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 1:04 PM

Pope Francis repeated the words of Jesus on World Mission Day, October 20, 2019: “Go and make disciples of all nations”, says Jesus in the Gospel (Mt 28:19).

The Holy Father’s words came in his homily in St. Peter’s Basilica to observe the special day, this year being celebrated in the midst of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October.

Pope Francis reflected on three words in his homily, a noun, a verb, and an adjective.

“The noun is the mountain: Isaiah speaks of it when he prophesies about a mountain of the Lord, raised above the hills, to which all the nations will flow (cf. Is 2:2).,” the Pope explained. “It seems, then, that the mountain is God’s favorite place for encountering humanity.

“The mountain unites God and our brothers and sisters in a single embrace, that of prayer. The mountain draws us up and away from the many transient things, and summons us to rediscover what is essential, what is lasting: God and our brothers and sisters. Mission begins on the mountain: there, we discover what really counts. In the midst of this missionary month, let us ask ourselves: what really counts in my life? To what peaks do I want to ascend?”

Pope Francis next mentions the verb: “to go up.” This means t”o leave behind a horizontal life and to resist the force of gravity caused by our self-centeredness, to make an exodus from our own ego.”

And finally, the Holy Father mentions a small but vital adjective: “all”. Jesus calls on Christians to share his word with all peoples.

“Go and show love to everyone, because your life is a precious mission: it is not a burden to be borne, but a gift to offer,” Francis exhorted. “Have courage, and let us fearlessly go forth to all!”

Following is the Holy Father’s full homily, provided by the Vatican

I would like to reflect on three words taken from the readings we have just heard: a noun, a verb, and an adjective. The noun is the mountain: Isaiah speaks of it when he prophesies about a mountain of the Lord, raised above the hills, to which all the nations will flow (cf. Is 2:2). We see the image of the mountain again in the Gospel when Jesus, after His resurrection, tells his disciples to meet him on the mount of Galilee; the Galilee inhabited by many different peoples: “Galilee of the Gentiles” (cf. Mt 4:15). It seems, then, that the mountain is God’s favorite place for encountering humanity. It is his meeting place with us, as we see in the Bible, beginning with Mount Sinai and Mount Carmel, all the way to Jesus, who proclaimed the Beatitudes on the mountain, was transfigured on Mount Tabor, gave his life on Mount Calvary and ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives. The mountain, the place of great encounters between God and humanity, is also the place where Jesus spent several hours in prayer (cf. Mk 6:46) to unite heaven and earth, and to unite us, his brothers and sisters, with the Father.

What does the mountain say to us? We are called to draw near to God and to others. To God, the Most High, in silence and prayer, avoiding the rumors and gossip that diminish us. And to others, who, from the mountain, can be seen in a different perspective: that of God who calls all peoples. From on high, others are seen as a community whose harmonious beauty is discovered only in viewing them as a whole. The mountain reminds us that our brothers and sisters should not be selected but embraced, not only with our gaze but also with our entire life. The mountain unites God and our brothers and sisters in a single embrace, that of prayer. The mountain draws us up and away from the many transient things, and summons us to rediscover what is essential, what is lasting: God and our brothers and sisters. Mission begins on the mountain: there, we discover what really counts. In the midst of this missionary month, let us ask ourselves: what really counts in my life? To what peaks do I want to ascend?

A verb accompanies the noun “mountain”: the verb to go up. Isaiah exhorts us: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord” (2:3). We were not born to remain on the ground, to be satisfied with ordinary things, we were born to reach the heights and there to meet God and our brothers and sisters. However, this means that we have to go up: to leave behind a horizontal life and to resist the force of gravity caused by our self-centeredness, to make an exodus from our own ego. Going up requires great effort, but it is the only way to get a better view of everything. As mountain-climbers know, only when you arrive at the top can you get the most beautiful view; only then do you realize that you would not have that view were it not for that uphill path.

And as in the mountains, we cannot climb well if we are weighed down by our packs, so in life, we must rid ourselves of things that are useless. This is also the secret of mission: to go, you have to leave something behind, to proclaim, you must first renounce. A credible proclamation is not made with beautiful words, but by an exemplary life: a life of service that is capable of rejecting all those material things that shrink the heart and make people indifferent and inward-looking; a life that renounces the useless things that entangle the heart in order to find time for God and others. We can ask ourselves: how am I doing in my efforts to go up? Am I able to reject the heavy and useless baggage of worldliness in order to climb the mountain of the Lord? Is mine a journey upwards or one of worldliness?

If the mountain reminds us of what matters – God and our brothers and sisters – and the verb to go up tells us how to get there, a third word is even more important for today’s celebration. It is the adjective all, which constantly reappears in the readings we have heard: “all peoples”, says Isaiah (2:2); “all peoples”, we repeated in the Psalm; God desires “all to be saved”, writes Paul (1 Tim 2:4); “Go and make disciples of all nations”, says Jesus in the Gospel (Mt 28:19). The Lord is deliberate in repeating the word all. He knows that we are always using the words “my” and “our”: my things, our people, our community… But he constantly uses the word all. All, because no one is excluded from his heart, from his salvation; all, so that our heart can go beyond human boundaries and particularism based on a self-centredness that displeases God. All, because everyone is a precious treasure, and the meaning of life is found only in giving this treasure to others. Here is our mission: to go up the mountain to pray for everyone and to come down from the mountain to be a gift to all.

Going up and coming down: the Christian, therefore, is always on the move, outward-bound. Go is in fact the imperative of Jesus in the Gospel. We meet many people every day, but – we can ask – do we really encounter the people we meet? Do we accept the invitation of Jesus or simply go about our own business? Everyone expects things from others, but the Christian goes to others. Bearing witness to Jesus is never about getting accolades from others, but about loving those who do not even know the Lord. Those who bear witness to Jesus go out to all, not just to their own acquaintances or their little group. Jesus is also saying to you: “Go, don’t miss a chance to bear me witness!” My brother, my sister, the Lord expects from you a testimony that no one can give in your place. “May you come to realize what that word is, the message of Jesus that God wants to speak to the world by your life…. lest you fail in your precious mission.” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 24).

What instructions does the Lord give us for going forth to others? Only one, and very simple: make disciples. But, be careful: his disciples, not our own. The Church proclaims the Gospel well only if she lives the life of a disciple. And a disciple follows the Master daily and shares the joy of discipleship with others. Not by conquering, mandating, proselytizing, but by witnessing, humbling oneself alongside other disciples and offering with love the love that we ourselves received. This is our mission: to give pure and fresh air to those immersed in the pollution of our world; to bring to earth that peace which fills us with joy whenever we meet Jesus on the mountain in prayer; to show by our lives, and perhaps even by our words, that God loves everyone and never tires of anyone.

Dear brothers and sisters, each of us has and is “a mission on this earth” (Evangelii Gaudium, 273). We are here to witness, bless, console, raise up, and radiate the beauty of Jesus. Have courage! Jesus expects so much from you! We can say that the Lord is “concerned” about those who do not yet know that they are beloved children of the Father, brothers and sisters for whom he gave his life and sent the Holy Spirit. Do you want to quell Jesus’ concern? Go and show love to everyone, because your life is a precious mission: it is not a burden to be borne, but a gift to offer. Have courage, and let us fearlessly go forth to all!

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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Catholicism by the Numbers

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 7:49 PM

On the occasion of World Mission Day, which this year celebrates its 93rd anniversary on Sunday 20 October within the context of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019, announced by Pope Francis to mark the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Fides News Service offers some statistics chosen to give a panorama of the missionary Church all over the world. They are taken from the latest edition of the “Church’s Book of Statistics” published (updated to 31 December 2017) regarding members of the Church, church structures, healthcare, welfare, and education. Please note that variations, increase or decrease, emerging from our own comparison with last year’s figures, are marked with “+” or “–” in brackets.

World population

On 31 December 2017, the world population was 7,408,374,000 with an increase of 56,085,000 compared to the previous year. Population growth, almost half compared to the previous year, was recorded on every continent, including Europe, in its third year of growth after the decrease in previous years: increases were recorded above all in Africa (+ 33.572.000) and in Asia (+ 11.975.000), followed by America (+ 8.738.000), Europe (+ 1.059.000) and Oceania (+ 741.000).

Catholics

On the same date, 31 December 2017, Catholics in the world numbered 1,313,278,000 with an overall increase of 14,219,000, almost the same as the previous year. The increase affects all continents, including Europe (+ 259.000), after a decrease for three consecutive years. Increases were recorded above all in Africa (+ 5,605,000) and in America (+ 6,083,000) followed by Asia (+ 2,080,000) and Oceania (+ 191,000).

The world percentage of Catholics increased by 0.06 %, settling at 17.73%. By continent: increases were recorded in America (+ 0.05) and Asia (+ 0,03), decrease in Africa (- 0,07), Europe (- 0,02) and Oceania (- 0,01).

Persons and Catholics per priest

This year the number of persons per priest in the world increased by 132, an average of 14.468. The distribution by continent: increase in Africa (+ 49), America (+ 69), Europe (+ 75) and Oceania (+ 337). The only decrease, also this year, was in Asia (- 887).

The number of Catholics per priest in the world increased by 38, an average of 3,168. There are increases in America (+ 48), Europe (+ 29) and Oceania (+ 87). As in the previous year, a decrease was recorded in Asia (- 15), as well as in Africa (- 9).

Ecclesiastical circumscriptions and mission stations

The number of ecclesiastical circumscriptions is 1 more than the previous year, at 3,017 with new circumscriptions created in Asia (+2), while in America the number decreased by one (-1) The number in the other continents remained unchanged.

Mission stations with a resident priest number 2,659 (+ 519). A decrease was recorded for the second consecutive year, in Africa (- 47), along with Europe (- 44) while an increase was recorded in America (+ 460), Asia (+ 133) and Oceania (+ 17).

Mission Stations without a resident priest decreased in all continents, by 4,696. The distribution by continent: in Africa (- 1,448), in America (- 1,333), in Asia (- 1,899), in Europe (- 13), and Oceania (- 3).

Bishops

The total number of bishops in the world increased this year, to 5,389. Both diocesan and religious bishops increased in numbers. Diocesan bishops number 4,116 (+ 26), while religious bishops number 1,273 (+10).

The increase in diocesan bishops is recorded in all continents, with a slight decrease only in Africa (- 1): America (+ 18), Asia (+ 1), Europe (+ 5) and Oceania (+ 3). The number of religious bishops increased in Africa (+ 7) and America (+ 5), while a decrease was recorded in Asia (- 2) and the number remained unchanged in Europe and Oceania.

Priests

The total number of priests in the world also decreased this year, to 414,582 (- 387). The continents which recorded a decrease were again Europe (- 2.946) and Oceania (- 97). Increases were recorded in Africa (+ 1.192), America (+ 40) and Asia (+ 1.424) unvaried.

Diocesan priests decreased by 21, reaching a total of 281,810 with decreases again in Europe (- 2.048) and Oceania (- 36). Increases were recorded in Africa (+ 959), America (+ 404) and Asia (+ 700).

The number of religious priests decreased by 366 to a total of 132,772. Increases were recorded, as in recent years, in Africa (+ 233) and in Asia (+ 724), whereas numbers dropped in America (- 364), Europe (- 898) and Oceania (- 61).

Permanent Deacons

Permanent deacons increased worldwide by 582 to 46,894. The highest increase was recorded again in America (+ 408) followed by Europe (+ 142), Asia (+ 28) and Oceania (+ 11). The only decrease this year was noted in Africa (- 7).

There are 46, 192 permanent diocesan deacons in the world, an overall increase of 583. They increased in number on every continent apart from Africa (- 3): America (+434), Asia (+5), Europe (+140) and Oceania (+7).

Religious permanent deacons number 702, with a decrease by one compared to the previous year. There were decreases in Africa (- 4) and America (- 26), and increases in Asia (+23), Europe (+2) and Oceania (+4).

Men and women religious

The number of non-religious priests decreased for the fifth consecutive year by 1, 090 to 51.535. A decrease was recorded in all continents apart from Africa (+ 48): America (- 403), Asia (-127), Europe (-525) and Oceania (-83).

This year too there is an overall decrease in the number of women religious, by 10,535 to 648,910. An increase was recorded in Africa (+1,489) and Asia (+1,118), decrease in America (- 4,893), Europe (- 7,960) and Oceania (-289).

Members of secular institutes, male and female

Members of male secular institutes number 585 with a decrease of (-33) for the second consecutive year, in all continents except Oceania, which remains unvaried this year too: Africa (- 8), America (- 6), Asia (- 7) and Europe (- 12).

The members of female secular institutes decreased in number this year, by 343 to a total of 22,057 members. An increase was recorded in Africa (+37) and in Asia (+58), while a decrease was recorded in America (- 51), Europe (- 385) and Oceania (-2).

Lay missionaries and catechists

The number of lay missionaries in the world is 355,800, with an overall increase of 1,057, in particular in Europe (+836), America (+691), Asia (+454) and Oceania (+23). A decrease was recorded only in Africa (- 947).

The number of catechists worldwide increased by 34,032, reaching a total of 3,120,321. The only decrease was recorded in Europe (- 2.897). An increase was recorded in Africa (+ 11.405), America (+ 22.532), Asia (+2.699) and Oceania (+293).

Major seminarians

The number of major seminarians, diocesan and religious also decreased this year. Worldwide there are 832, reaching a total of 115,328. Increases occurred in Africa (+786) and Oceania (+ 21), while a decrease was recorded in America (- 853), Asia (- 385) and in Europe (- 401). Major diocesan seminarians number 70,706 (- 411 compared to the previous year) and religious major seminarians 44,622 (- 421). The number of diocesan seminarians increased in Africa (+505) and

Oceania (+17), whereas it decreased in America (- 376), Asia (- 202) and Europe (- 355). The number of religious seminarians increased in Africa (+281) and Oceania (+4), while it decreased in America (- 477), Asia (-183), and Europe (- 46).

Minor seminarians

The number of minor seminarians, diocesan and religious this year decreased for the second consecutive year by 835 to 100.781. There was an overall decrease on all continents except Asia (+82) and Oceania, which remained unchanged: Africa (- 403), America (- 347), Europe (-167).

Minor diocesan seminarians number 78,336 (- 33) and religious seminarians number 22,445 (- 802). The number of diocesan minor seminarians increased in Asia (+ 367) and Oceania (+7). There was a decrease in Africa (- 18), America (- 269), Europe (- 120),

Religious minor seminarians decreased in number in Africa (-385), America (- 78), Asia (- 285), Europe (- 47) and Oceania (- 7).

Catholic schools and Education

In the field of education, the Catholic Church runs 71.305 kindergartens with 7,303,839 pupils;

101,527 primary schools with 34,558,527 pupils; and 48,560 secondary schools with 20,320,592 pupils. The Church also cares for 2,345,799 high school pupils, and 2,945,295 university students.

Catholic charity and healthcare centers

Charity and healthcare centers managed by the Church worldwide include: 5,269 hospitals, most of them in America (1,399) and Africa (1,367); 16,068 dispensaries, mainly in Africa (5,907); America (4.330) and Asia (2.919); 646 care homes for people with leprosy, mainly in Asia

(362) and Africa (229); 15,735 homes for the elderly, the chronically ill or the disabled, mainly in Europe (8,475) and America (3,596); 9,813 orphanages, mainly in Asia (3,473); 10,492 creches, mainly in America (3,153) and in Asia (2,900); 13,065 marriage counselling centres, mainly in Europe (5,676) and America (4,798); 3,169 social rehabilitation centres and 31,182 institutions of other types.

Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

There are 1,115 ecclesiastical circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Cep). Most of these are in Africa (511) and in Asia (484), followed by America (74) and Oceania (46).

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Pope Francis Inaugurates ‘Anima Mundi’ Ethnological Museum of Vatican Museums

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 10:41 PM

Pope Francis on October 18, 2019, inaugurated the “Anima Mundi” Ethnological Museum and the Amazonia Exhibition at the Vatican Museums, reported Vatican News.

“Beauty unites us. It invites us to live human brotherhood,  countering the culture of resentment, racism, and nationalism which is always lurking,” the Holy Father said. “May this Ethnological Museum preserve its specific identity over time and remind everyone of the value of harmony and peace between peoples and nations.” He said he hoped the exhibit will “make the voice of God resound in those who visit this collection”.

The inauguration of the museum and the exhibition were timed for the October 6-27 Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region, currently taking place in the Vatican.

Commenting on the words “Anima Mundi”, the Latin for “The Soul of the World”, the Pope said the Vatican Museums are called to be a living “house”, with doors open to the peoples of the whole world, where everyone feels represented and where the gaze of the Church leaves no one out.

The Pope said that those who enter the “Anima Mundi” Ethnological Museum should feel there is room for them, their people, tradition and culture.  The European, the Indian, the Chinese, the native of the Amazonian or Congolese forest, of Alaska, of the Australian deserts or of the islands of the Pacific, he said, are all represented in the shadow of the dome of St Peter’s, close to the heart of the Church and the Pope. This is because art is not something uprooted but is born from the heart of peoples. It is a message from the heart of peoples to the heart of peoples.

The Pope said that at the Ethological Museum, a person’s art is accorded the same passion and care as the masterpieces of the Renaissance, the Greek or Roman art which attract millions of people every year.  Here, there is a special space for dialogue, for openness to the other and for encounter.

The Pope underscored transparency as an important value, especially in ecclesial institutions.  Since works of art are the expression of the spirit of the people, he said, we must always look to each culture, to the other, with an openness of spirit and benevolence.

In this regard, he recalled that a few months ago, some Chinese artworks from the “Anima Mundi” Ethnological Museum were sent to Beijing, and before that, other artworks had been sent to some Islamic countries.  Through arts, the Pope said, initiatives can be carried out, and barriers and distances can be overcome.

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