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Friday, October 31, 2014

The Pope to the Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Renewal: seek unity without fearing diversity


Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – “Seek the unity which is the work of the Holy Spirit and do not be afraid of diversity”, said Pope Francis in his address to a thousand members of the Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowship, who are about to begin their Sixteenth International Conference on the theme “Praise and Worship for a New Evangelisation”.

“Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way”, he underlined. “Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of these gifts at the service of all members of the Church. It means knowing how to listen, to accept differences, and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect towards the other who is my brother or sister. Do not be afraid of differences!”.

Referring to the programme, where the names of the Communities are mentioned, he noted that in the introduction there is the phrase, “to share the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the whole Church”, and reiterated that the Church and all Christians need to open their hearts to the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit ... reveals Jesus Christ to us, and leads us to a personal encounter with him. … Is this your experience? Share it with others! In order to share this experience, you must live it and bear witness to it!”

“Praise is the 'breath' which gives us life, because it is intimacy with God, an intimacy that grows through daily praise”, continued the Holy Father, explaining how spiritual life “works” by analogy with human respiration. “Breathing is made up of two stages: inhaling, the intake of air, and exhaling, the letting out of this air. The spiritual life is fed, nourished, by prayer and is expressed outwardly through mission: inhaling and exhaling. When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. When exhaling this air, we announce Jesus Christ risen by the same Spirit. No one can live without breathing. It is the same for the Christian: without praise and mission there is no Christian life. And with praise, worship. We rarely speak about worship. What do we do when we pray? We ask things of God, we give thanks … But worshipping and adoring God is part of breathing – praise and worship”.

The Pope emphasised that “Charismatic Renewal has reminded the Church of the necessity and importance of the prayer of praise”, which is “the recognition of the Lordship of God over us and over all creation expressed through dance, music and song. … The prayer of praise bears fruit in us. Sarah danced as she celebrated her fertility – at the age of ninety! This fruitfulness gives praise to God. … Together with the prayer of praise, the prayer of intercession is, in these days, a cry to the Father for our Christian brothers and sisters who are persecuted and murdered, and for the cause of peace in our turbulent world”.

“Charismatic Renewal is, by its very nature, ecumenical”, he remarked, citing the words of Blessed Paul VI : “The power of evangelisation will find itself considerably diminished if those who proclaim the Gospel are divided among themselves in all sorts of ways. Is this not perhaps one of the great sicknesses of evangelisation today? The Lord’s spiritual testament tells us that unity among his followers is not only the proof that we are his but also the proof that he is sent by the Father. It is the test of the credibility of Christians and of Christ himself. Yes, the destiny of evangelisation is certainly bound up with the witness of unity given by the Church'”.

Spiritual ecumenism, he concluded, is “praying and proclaiming together that Jesus is Lord, and coming together to help the poor in all their poverty. We must not forget that today the blood of Jesus, poured out by many Christian martyrs in various parts of the world, calls us and compels us towards the goal of unity. For persecutors, we are not divided: we are not Lutherans, Orthodox, Evangelicals, Catholics. No! We are one. For persecutors, we are Christians. It is an ecumenism of blood that we live today!”.



Pope Francis' prayer intentions for November


Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for November is: “That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors”.

Mission of the secretary of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” in Damascus


Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – From 28 to 31 October the secretary of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, visited Damascus in order to attend the meeting of the assembly of Catholic bishops in Syria.

Msgr. Dal Toso also met with various institutions, especially Catholic, that are currently involved in humanitarian aid activities in the country.

In these meetings, special appreciation was expressed for the commitment of the Holy Father and the Holy See to supporting the Christian communities and the population as a whole, who suffer as a result of the conflict, and for encouraging dialogue and reconciliation among the various parties.

Emphasis was also placed on the important role of Catholic aid organisms, who benefit all of the Syrian population. Through the generous contribution of the international community, in the face of growing need, this assistance will have to be intensified in the future.


The Holy See at the United Nations: climate change is not only an environmental problem, but also a matter of justice


Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – On 16 October Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations, addressed the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, dedicated to “Sustainable development: protection of global climate for present and future generations”.

“While the impact of climate change is felt globally, developed and technologically advanced countries have greater capacity to adapt and mitigate the adverse effects, whereas developing and poor nations remain particularly vulnerable”, he said. “During the Climate Summit on September 23 and on many other occasions, we have heard the urgent pleas of Small Island States that climate change is an existential threat to them. This is paradoxical and unjust, given that the primary factors of climate change, like high consumption and high-quantity greenhouse gas emissions, characterize highly industrialised societies. That is why the Holy See believes that climate change is not only an environmental question; it is also a question of justice and a moral imperative”.

“It is a matter of justice to help poor and vulnerable people suffering the most from causes largely not of their making and beyond their control”, emphasised the archbishop. “One concrete step would be to make available to them the best in adaptation and mitigation technology. And now all eyes are already turned to the Twenty-first Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Eleventh Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which will take place in Paris in December 2015. There, the poor and the rich – indeed, all of us – will be winners if we can reach agreement on a post-2020 international regime, in which all the nations of the world, including the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, bind themselves to a universal agreement on climate”.

“It is along this line that my delegation sees a relevance of the term 'responsibility to protect', not only in the humanitarian and human rights areas, but in the question of climate change as well. Everyone shares the responsibility to protect our planet and the human family. … Let us make the conscientious choice of refraining from lifestyles and behaviour that could worsen the state of our planet, and let us promote initiatives that protect and heal it. The world has become a village; thus, we must become more and more aware of this mutual and common responsibility. In particular, States have the grave duty to make policy decisions and devise monitoring structures to ensure that present and future generations live in a safe and worthy environment”, he concluded.


Audiences


Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience:

- Bruno Neve de Mevergnies, new ambassador of Belgium to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters;

- Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;

- Archbishop Martin Krebs, apostolic nuncio in New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Palau, Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Tonga, and apostolic delegate in the Pacific Ocean;

- Archbishop Sergio da Rocha of Brasilia, Brazil.



Other Pontifical Acts


Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Bishop Jean Mbarga of Ebolowa, Cameroon, as archbishop of Yaounde (area 23,807, population 1,594,000, Catholics 1,538,000, priests 138, religious 318), Cameroon. Bishop Mbarga was formerly apostolic administrator of the same archdiocese.

- The following consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints: Fr. Bernard Ardura, O. Praem., France, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences; Msgr. Alejandro Cifres Gimenez, Spain, archivist of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Fr. Paolo Carlotti, S.D.B., Italy, advisor to the Apostolic Penitentiary; Fr. Tomislav Mrkonjic, O.F.M. Conv., Croatia, scriptor of the Vatican Secret Archive; Fr. Paul Murray, O.P., Ireland, Institute of Spirituality of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome; Fr. Martin McKeever, C.S.S.R., Ireland, of the Alphonsianum Academy, Rome; Fr. Jordi-Agusti Pique i Collado, O.S.B., Spain, of the Liturgical Institute of the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum, Rome; Fr. Rocco Ronzani, O.S.A., Italy, of the Augustinianum Patristic Institute, Rome; Fr. Pablo Santiago Zambruno, O.P., of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome; Fr. Raffaele Di Muro, O.F.M. Conv., Italy, of the “San Bonaventura” Theological Faculty; Professor Gabriele Zaccagnini, Italy, of the University of Pisa; Professor Angela Ales Bello, of the Pontifical Academy of Theology.

In memoriam


Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Bishop Cirilo B. Flores of San Diego, California, U.S.A., on 6 September at the age of 66.

- Bishop Joseph Abangite Gasi, emeritus of Tombura-Yambio, South Sudan, on 12 September at the age of 86.

- Bishop Servilio Conti, I.M.C., prelate emeritus of Roraima, Brazil, on 14 September at the age of 97.

- Bishop Jose Luis Serna Alzate, emeritus of Libano-Honda, Colombia, on 28 September at the age of 78.

- Archbishop Carlo Curis, apostolic nuncio in Canada, on 29 September at the age of 90.

- Archbishop Angelo Mottola, apostolic nuncio in Montenegro, on 8 October at the age of 79.

- Bishop John Patrick Boles, ex-auxiliary of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on 9 October at the age of 84.

- Bishop Jose Hernan Sanchez Porras of the Military Ordinariate of Venezuela, on 13 October at the age of 70.

- Bishop Joao Corso, S.D.B., emeritus of Campos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 15 October at the age of 86.

- Bishop Jose Refugio Mercado Diaz, auxiliary emeritus of Tehuantepec, Mexico, on 15 October at the age of 72.

- Bishop Patrick Paul D'Souza, emeritus of Varanasi, India, on 16 October at the age of 86.

- Bishop Paul Henry Walsh, auxiliary emeritus of Rockville Centre, New York, U.S.A., on 18 October at the age of 77.

- Bishop Peter Baptist Tadamaro Ishigami, O.F.M. Cap., emeritus of Naha, Japan, on 25 October at the age of 93.

- Bishop Manuel Revollo Crespo, C.M.F., coadjutor emeritus of the Bolivia Military Ordinariate, on 26 October at the age of 89.

- Bishop Mansour Hobeika of Zahleh, Lebanon, on 28 October at the age of 72.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Pope to the Old Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Union of Utrecht: build bridges of mutual understanding and practical cooperation


Vatican City, 30 October 2014 (VIS) – “A spiritual journey from encounter to friendship, from friendship to brotherhood, and from brotherhood to communion” must be embarked upon by Catholics and Old Catholics to promote unity of the Church in Christ, Pope Francis affirmed this morning as he received the members of the the Conference of Old Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Union of Utrecht, whose visit to Rome coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree “Unitatis Redintegratio” on ecumenism, which marked the beginning of a new era in the search for unity among Christ’s disciples.

In his address, the Holy Father remarked that the work carried out during the intervening years by the International Roman Catholic / Old Catholic Dialogue Commission has made it possible to “build new bridges of a more profound mutual understanding and practical co-operation. ... Convergences and consensus have been found, and differences have been better identified and set in new contexts”.

“While we rejoice whenever we take steps towards a stronger communion in faith and life, we are also saddened when we recognise that in the course of time new disagreements between us have emerged”, he continued. “The theological and ecclesiological questions that arose during our separation are now more difficult to overcome due to the increasing distance between us on matters of ministry and ethical discernment. The challenge for Catholics and Old Catholics, then, is to persevere in substantive theological dialogue and to walk together, to pray together and to work together in a deeper spirit of conversion towards all that Christ intends for his Church. In this separation there have been, on the part of both sides, grave sins and human faults. In a spirit of mutual forgiveness and humble repentance, we need now to strengthen our desire for reconciliation and peace. The path towards unity begins with a change of heart, an interior conversion. It is a spiritual journey from encounter to friendship, from friendship to brotherhood, from brotherhood to communion. Along the way, change is inevitable. We must always be willing to listen to and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth”.

“In the meantime, in the heart of Europe, which is so confused about its own identity and vocation, there are many areas in which Catholics and Old Catholics can collaborate in meeting the profound spiritual crisis affecting individuals and societies. There is a thirst for God. There is a profound desire to recover a sense of purpose in life. There is an urgent need for a convincing witness to the truth and values of the Gospel. In this we can support and encourage one another, especially at the level of parishes and local communities. In fact, the soul of ecumenism lies in a 'change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians'. In prayer for and with one another our differences are taken up and overcome in fidelity to the Lord and his Gospel”, Pope Francis concluded.


Cardinal Lozano Barragan takes possession of his titular church


Vatican City, 30 October 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Saturday, 1 November, at 11 a.m., Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (for Health Pastoral Care), will take possession of the title of Santa Dorotea (Via di Santa Dorotea, 23).


The Holy See at the UN General Assembly: lasting peace based on mutual trust, beyond the logic of nuclear deterrent


Vatican City, 30 October 2014 (VIS) – On 14 October, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations, spoke during the General Debate of the UNGA First Committee held in New York. “The past year has seen progress on the elimination of chemical weapons”, he affirmed; “yet reports of the continued use of chemical weapons, including chlorine gas, reminds the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate once and for all chemical weapons and any use as a weapon of dual-use chemicals”.

“With regard to nuclear weapons, the third conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, which will be held in December in Vienna, Austria, is a sobering reminder of the deep frustration of the international community at the lack of speedy progress on nuclear disarmament, and of the inhuman and immoral consequences of the use of weapons of mass destruction”. He remarked that the ninth Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference will take place very soon in New York, and that nearly all the States represented in the room are parties to the treaty. “The NPT’s central promise of nuclear weapons States to gradually disarm in exchange for non-nuclear-weapon States to refrain from acquiring nuclear arms remains at an impasse”.

As a consequence, he continued, the Holy See delegation “urges this Committee and the preparation for the ninth NPT Review Conference to focus on the need to move beyond nuclear deterrence, and work toward the establishment of lasting peace founded on mutual trust, rather than a state of mere non-belligerence founded on the logic of mutual destruction. In this regard, the Holy See urges all states to sign and/or ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty without further delay, because it is a core element of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime”, adding that the establishment of weapons of mass destruction free zones, in the opinion of the Holy See delegation, “would be a big step in the right direction, as it would demonstrate we can indeed move toward a universal agreement to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction”.

The archbishop concluded by emphasising that the Holy See “welcomes the progress, however modest, in the areas of conventional weapons”, but remains “deeply concerned that the flow of conventional arms continues to exacerbate conflicts around the globe”. He expressed the delegation’s hope that “this year’s session will respond to this challenge, and recognise the grave consequences of the proliferation and use of conventional weapons on human life throughout the world”.


Audiences


Vatican City, 30 October 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience:

- Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, and entourage;

- Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, apostolic nuncio in Italy and the Republic of San Marino;

- Archbishop Henryk Jozef Nowacki, apostolic nuncio in Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway;

- Bishop Jose Raul Vera Lopez of Saltillo, Mexico.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

General Audience: the relationship between the visible reality and spiritual nature of the Church


Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) – The Church: spiritual nature and visible reality. “Two different things or a single Church?”, said the Pope in this Wednesday's general audience, returning in his catechesis to the theme of the Church. “If the Church is always one”, he continued, “how can we understand the relationship between the visible and spiritual reality?”.

Francis commented that when we speak about visible reality we must not think only of the Pope, bishops, priests, nuns and consecrated persons. “The visible reality of the Church is constituted by the many baptised brothers and sisters throughout the world who believe, hope and love. … The Church is all of us”. Therefore, the visible reality of the Church cannot be measured or known in its entirety. “How can we know all the wonders that Christ is capable of achieving through us, in the hearts and lives of people?” he said. “See: even the visible reality of the Church goes beyond our control, beyond our strength, and it is a mysterious reality, as it comes from God”.

To understand the relationship between the visible and spiritual realities of the Church we must look to Christ, “whose body is the Church and from whom She is generated, in an act of infinite love. Indeed, also in Christ, through the mystery of the Incarnation, we recognise a human nature and a divine reality, united in the same person in a wonderful and indissoluble way. This applies in a similar way to the Church … who is a mystery too, in which what we are unable to see is more important than what we can see, and can be recognised only with the eyes of faith”.

The Holy Father went on to ask how visible reality could be placed at the service of the spiritual nature of the Church, explaining that it is possible by following the example of Christ, “who made use of His humanity, as He was also a man, to announce and implement the divine plan for redemption and salvation, as He was God. Through her visible reality, from all that we see, the sacraments and the witness of all Christians, the Church is called each day to be close to every person, beginning with the poor; to the suffering and the marginalised, so as to make them aware of Jesus' compassionate and merciful gaze”.

Before concluding, he asked all the faithful present to pray for the gift of faith, “so that we are able to comprehend how, despite our limits and our poverty, the Lord has truly made us instruments of His grace and the visible sign of His love for all humanity. We can become the source of scandal, it is true. But we can also become the source of witness, saying through our lives what Jesus wants from us”.

Pope Francis' appeal to the international community: stop the spread of Ebola and assist the suffering


Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) – After today's catechesis, Pope Francis expressed his grave concern regarding the worsening of the Ebola epidemic, “this implacable disease that is spreading especially in Africa, and in particular among the most disadvantaged populations”.

The Holy Father expressed his affection and closeness in prayer to those affected, along with the doctors, nurses, volunteers, religious institutes and associations “who are making heroic efforts to help our stricken brothers and sisters”. He renewed his appeal to the international community “to take all necessary measures to eradicate the virus and to alleviate the suffering of those who are so sorely afflicted”.

Addressing the faithful present in St. Peter's Square, he concluded, “I invite you to pray for them and for those who have lost their lives”.

Statistics on the Catholic Church in Turkey


Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father will make an apostolic visit to Turkey from 28 to 30 November. The following statistical data on the Catholic Church in the country is provided by the Central Office of Church Statistics.

Turkey has an area of 774,815 square kilometres and a population of 76,140,000 inhabitants of whom 53,000 are Catholics – 0.07 % of the population. There are 7 ecclesiastic circumscriptions, 54 parishes and 13 pastoral centres. The work of the apostolate is carried out by 6 bishops, 58 priests, 7 male religious and 54 female religious, and 2 permanent deacons. There are 2 lay members of secular institutes, 7 lay missionaries and 68 catechists. There are 4 major seminarians.

In addition, the Catholic Church in Turkey has 23 educational centres consisting of pre-schools, primary schools, middle schools and secondary schools, as well as 6 centres of special education. There are also 3 hospitals, 2 clinics and 5 homes for the elderly and disabled.



Private and informal meeting between the Pope and President Evo Morales: affection and closeness to the people and Church of Bolivia


Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., explained yesterday afternoon that President Evo Morales’ visit to the Vatican was due to his attendance at the International Meeting of Popular Movements, organised by the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”. Participants in the event received in audience by the Pope on the morning of 28 October.

The visit was not, therefore, organised through the usual diplomatic channels. The private and informal meeting between the Holy Father and the President which took place yesterday evening was an expression of affection and closeness to the Bolivian people and Church, and of support for the improvement of relations between the authorities and the Church within the country.

The Holy See in the United Nations: peace must be negotiated in the Middle EastOther Pontifical Acts


Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) – Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York participated in the Security Council Open Debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine question. The nuncio's address, structured in six points, focuses on the Holy See's conviction that peace in the Middle East may be achieved only through negotiation and not by unilateral decisions imposed by force.

“As regards the Israeli-Palestinian question, the Holy See reiterates its support for a two State solution”, he affirmed. “Israel and Palestine, with the vigorous support of the competent organs of the United Nations and of the whole international community, must work toward the final objective, which is the realisation of the right of the Palestinians to have their own State, sovereign and independent, and of the right of the Israelis to peace and security”.

“As regards the horrific situation in Syria”, he continued, “the Holy See urgently calls on all parties to stop the massive violations of international humanitarian law and fundamental human rights, and on the international community to help the parties find a solution. There is no other way to alleviate and put an end to the untold sufferings of the entire nation, where half of its population needs humanitarian assistance and around a third has been displaced”.

With regard to Lebanon, “the Holy See calls for international solidarity, at this time that the country is gravely affected by the Syrian crisis and by the massive presence of refugees, and exhorts Lebanon to find a solution as soon as possible to the vacancy of the Presidency of the Republic. The Holy See reaffirms its support for a sovereign and free Lebanon. Lebanon is a 'message', a 'sign' full of hope for the coexistence of the various groups that form it”.

Turning to the “grave violations and abuses committed by the so-called 'Islamic State' in Iraq and Syria, the competent organs of the United Nations must act to prevent possible new genocides and to assist the increasing number of refugees. The Holy See appeals in particular for the protection of the ethnic and religious groups, including the Christian communities, who are specifically targeted and victimised because of their ethnic origins and religious beliefs. The Holy See insists on the respect of the right of these communities and all the displaced persons to return to their homes and to live in dignity and safety”.

“The Holy See hopes that the United Nations take the escalating, ruthless phenomenon of international terrorism as an occasion to urgently re-enforce the international juridical framework of a multilateral application of the responsibility to protect people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and all forms of unjust aggression. With lessons learned from our failure to stop recent horrors of genocide and presently confronted with blatant, massive violations of fundamental human rights and of international humanitarian law, the time is for courageous decisions”, urged the Permanent Observer.

“The Holy See reiterates its call to all the religious leaders in the region and everywhere in the world to play a leading role in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue, in promptly denouncing every use of religion to justify violence, and in educating all to reciprocal understanding and mutual respect”, the nuncio concluded.


Other Pontifical Acts


Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Giuseppe Negri, P.I.M.E., of Blumenau, Brazil, as coadjutor of the diocese of Santo Amaro, (area 563, population 3,281,000, Catholics 2,624,000, priests 192, religious 448), Brazil.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Pope in the World Meeting of Popular Movements: combat the structural causes of poverty


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Synod Hall the Holy Father met with participants in the World Meeting of Popular Movements (27 to 29 October), organised by the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace” in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and with the leaders of various movements.

The Pope spoke about the term solidarity, “a word that is not always well accepted”, that is much maligned and almost “unrepeatable”; however it is a word that indicates much more than a few sporadic acts of generosity. It means thinking and acting in terms of community, of prioritising the life of all over and above the appropriation of goods by the few. It also means fighting the structural causes of poverty, inequality, unemployment, lack of land and housing, and the denial of social and labour rights. It means facing the destructive effects of the empire of money: forced displacement, painful migration, human trafficking, drugs, war, violence and all these situations that many of you suffer and that we are all called upon to transform. Solidarity, in its deepest sense, is a way of making history and this is what the popular movements do”.

He went on to remark that this meeting does not correspond to any form of ideology and that the movements work not with ideas, but with reality. “It is not possible to tackle poverty by promoting containment strategies to merely reassure, rendering the poor 'domesticated' , harmless and passive”, he continued. “This meeting corresponds to a more concrete desire, that any father or mother would want for their children: an aspiration that should be within the reach of all but which we sadly see is increasingly unavailable to the majority: land, housing and work. It is strange, but if I talk about this, there are those who think that the Pope is communist”.

“Today, the phenomenon of exploitation and oppression assumes a new dimension, a graphical and hard edge of social injustice: those that cannot be integrated, the marginalised, are discarded, “cast-offs”. This is the throwaway culture … This happens when the centre of an economic system is the god of money and not humanity, the human person. At the centre of every social or economic system there must be the person, the image of God, created as the denominator of the universe. When humanity is displaced and supplanted by money, this disruption of values occurs”.

Pope Francis mentioned the problem of unemployment, and added that “every worker, whether or not he is part of the formal system of paid work, has the right to fair remuneration, social security and a pension. 'Cartoneros', those who live by recycling waste, street vendors, garment makers, craftspeople, fishermen, farmers, builders, miners, workers in companies in receivership, cooperatives and common trades that are excluded from employment rights, who are denied the possibility of forming trades unions, who do not have an adequate or stable income. Today I wish to unite my voice to theirs and to accompany them in their struggle”.

He went on the mention the theme of peace and ecology. “We cannot strive for land, housing, or work if we are not able to maintain peace or if we destroy the planet. … Creation is not our property, that we may exploit as we please; far less so, the property of the few. Creation is a gift, a wonderful gift that God gave us, to care for and to use for the benefit of all, always with respect and gratitude”.

“Why, instead of this, are we accustomed to seeing decent work destroyed, the eviction of many families, the expulsion of peasants from the land, war and the abuse of nature? Because this system has removed humanity from the centre and replaced it with something else! Because of the idolatrous worship of money! Because of the globalisation of indifference – 'what does it matter to me what happens to others, I'll defend myself'”. Because the world has forgotten God, the Father: it has become an orphan because it has turned aside from God”.

He emphasised that “Christians have something very good, a guide to action, a revolutionary programme, we might say. I strongly recommend that you read it, that you read the Beatitudes”.

He concluded by highlighting the importance of walking together and remarking that “popular movements express the urgent need to revitalise our democracies, that are so often hijacked by many factors. It is impossible to imagine a future for society without the active participation of the majority, and this role extends beyond the logical procedures of formal democracy”.

Other Pontifical Acts


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Richard Daniel Alarcon Urrutia of Tarma, Peru as metropolitan archbishop of Cuzco (area 23,807, population 1,594,000, Catholics 1,538,000, priests 138, religious 318), Peru.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Audience with the President of Uganda: peaceful co-existence between social and religious groups


Vatican City, 27 October 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father Francis received in audience in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the president of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions, the Parties focused on certain aspects of life in the country and the good relations existing between the Holy See and the Republic of Uganda were highlighted, with particular reference to the fundamental contribution of the Catholic Church and her collaboration with institutions in the educational, social and healthcare sectors. Furthermore, the importance of peaceful co-existence between the various social and religious components of the country was underlined.

Finally, mention was made of various questions of an international nature, with special attention to the conflicts affecting certain areas of Africa.

Francis in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences emphasises the responsibility of humanity in creation


Vatican City, 27 October 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father attended the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences held in the Casina Pio IV, during which he inaugurated a bust of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, whom he described as “a great Pope. Great for the strength and penetration of his intelligence, great for his important contribution to theology, great for his love of the Church and of human beings, great for his virtue and religiosity”. He recalled that Benedict XVI was the first to invite a president of this Academy to participate in the Synod on new evangelisation, “aware of the importance of science in modern culture”.

Pope Francis chose not to focus on the complex issue of the evolution of nature, the theme the Academy will consider during this session, emphasising however that “God and Christ walk with us and are also present in nature”. “When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining God as a magus, with a magic wand able to make everything. But it is not so. He created beings and allowed them to develop according to the internal laws that He gave to each one, so that they were able to develop and to arrive and their fullness of being. He gave autonomy to the beings of the Universe at the same time at which he assured them of his continuous presence, giving being to every reality. And so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or a conjurer, but the Creator who gives being to all things. The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origin to another, but derives directly from a supreme Origin that creates out of love. The Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creating, but rather requires it. The evolution of nature does not contrast with the notion of Creation, as evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve”.

He continued, “With regard to man, instead, there is a change and something new. When, on the sixth day of the account in Genesis, man is created, God gives the human being another autonomy, an autonomy that is different to that of nature, which is freedom. And he tells man to name everything and to go ahead through history. This makes him responsible for creation, so that he might dominate it in order to develop it until the end of time. Therefore the scientist, and above all the Christian scientist, must adopt the approach of posing questions regarding the future of humanity and of the earth, and, of being free and responsible, helping to prepare it and preserve it, to eliminate risks to the environment of both a natural and human nature. But, at the same time, the scientist must be motivated by the confidence that nature hides, in her evolutionary mechanisms, potentialities for intelligence and freedom to discover and realise, to achieve the development that is in the plan of the Creator. So, while limited, the action of humanity is part of God's power and is able to build a world suited to his dual corporal and spiritual life; to build a human world for all human beings and not for a group or a class of privileged persons. This hope and trust in God, the Creator of nature, and in the capacity of the human spirit can offer the researcher a new energy and profound serenity. But it is also true that the action of humanity – when freedom becomes autonomy – which is not freedom, but autonomy – destroys creation and man takes the place of the Creator. And this is the grave sin against God the Creator”, he concluded.

Angelus: love is the measure of faith


Vatican City, 26 October 2014 (VIS) – More than eighty thousand people prayed the Angelus with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square this Sunday. Before the Marian prayer the Holy Father commented on today's Gospel reading, in which he reiterated that all of the divine Law may be summarised in love for God and neighbour: two sides of the same coin.

Pope Francis explained that according to the evangelist Matthew, some Pharisees agreed to put Jesus to the test by asking him which commandment was the most important in the Law. Jesus, citing the book of Deuteronomy, answered: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment”. “He could have stopped there”, said the bishop of Rome. “Instead, Jesus adds something else that was not asked by the expert of the Law. Indeed, he said: 'And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself'. Even this second commandment is not invented by Jesus, but rather taken from the Book of Leviticus. Its newness consists precisely in putting together these two commandments - the love for God and love for one's neighbour - revealing that they are inseparable and complementary, they are two sides of the same coin. You cannot love God without loving your neighbour and you can’t love your neighbour without loving God”.

Indeed, “the visible sign that a Christian can show to give witness to the world … of the love of God is the love of his brethren. The commandment of love for God and one's neighbour is the first not because it is the first in the list of commandment. Jesus does not place it at the top, but rather at the centre since it is the heart from which everything must begin and to which everything must return and refer to. … In the light of Jesus' words, love is the measure of faith, and faith is the soul of love. We can never separate religious life from the service of the brothers and sisters, to those real brethren we meet. We can never divide prayer, the encounter with God in the Sacraments, from listening to others, from closeness to their lives and especially to their wounds”.

“In the midst of the dense forest of precepts and prescriptions – the legalisms of yesterday and today – Jesus opens up a gap through which we can glimpse two faces: the face of the Father and that of the brother. He does not give us two rules or two precepts: he gives us two faces. Or rather, it is one face: that of God that is reflected in the faces of so many, because in the face of every brother and sister, especially the least, the fragile, the helpless and the needy, the very image of God is present”.

“In this way, Jesus offers every man and woman the fundamental criteria on which to base their lives”, concluded Francis. “But above all, He gives us the Holy Spirit, which enables us to love God and our neighbour like Him, with a free and generous heart. Through the intercession of Mary, our Mother, let us open ourselves to receive this gift of love, always to follow the path of this law, of the two faces that are one face, the law of love”.

Following the Marian prayer, the Holy Father commented that on Saturday in Sao Paulo in Brazil, Mother Assunta Marchetti was proclaimed Blessed. Born in Italy, she was the co-founder of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo (the “Scalabrini”). “She was a nun who was exemplary in the service of orphans of Italian immigrants. She saw Jesus in the poor, in orphans, in the sick, in migrants. Let us give thanks to the Lord for this woman, a model of tireless missionary spirit and courageous dedication in the service of charity”.

Pope's message to participants in the congress “In precariousness, hope”


Vatican City, 25 October 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a message to the participants in the national congress organised by the Italian Episcopal Conference in Salerno, Italy, on the theme “In precariousness, hope”. The aim of the conference is to offer, especially to the younger generations, prospects of hope at a time characterised by uncertainty, restlessness and great change.

“In my visits in Italy, and in my encounters with the people, I have been able to encounter first-hand the situation of many young people who are jobless, in receipt of unemployment insurance, or in precarious work”, Francis writes. “But this is not only an economic problem – it is a problem of dignity. Where there is no work, there is no dignity – there lacks the experience of the dignity of bringing bread home to the table. And unfortunately, in Italy, there are very many young people without work”.

“Working means planning one's own future, deciding to establish a family. There is truly a sensation that the current moment is the 'passion of the young'. This throwaway culture is very strong: everything that does not bring profit is discarded. The young are cast aside, because they are without work. But this means discarding the future of the people, as the young represent the future of the people. We must say 'no' to this 'throwaway culture'”.

While, however, there is precariousness, the Pope observed that there is also hope, as the title of the congress affirms. “How can we make sure that we are not robbed of hope by the 'shifting sands' of precariousness? With the strength of the Gospel. The Gospel is a source of hope, because it comes from God and because it comes from Jesus Christ, who sympathised with all our precariousness”.

“You are young people who belong to the Church”, concludes the Holy Father, “and you therefore have the gift and the responsibility of bringing the strength of the Gospel to this social and cultural situation”, because “the Gospel generates care for others, the culture of encounter and solidarity. Thus, with the strength of the Gospel, you will be witnesses of hope in precariousness”.


Cardinal Parolin: the obstacles to development derive from a distorted vision of the human being and economic activity


Vatican City, 25 October 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday, 24 October, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin spoke at the conference organised by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies dedicated to the theme of “Human Dignity and Human Development”, marking the inauguration of the University of Notre Dame Global Gateway.

The cardinal observed that “the topics which have been discussed show that, in speaking of the relationship between development and human dignity, the terms 'economy', 'economic systems' and the like, can all be employed as synonyms for the term 'development'. This in itself helps us to appreciate better the challenges we face in promoting human dignity. Development is in fact closely linked to the proper management of resources in poorer countries, and the economic decisions made by wealthy countries, which have positive or negative repercussions on the economy of developing countries. But the more fundamental reason for beginning with economics is that the Church’s social teaching has constantly emphasised that the greatest obstacles to universal and integral human development are found in a distorted vision of man and economic activity, one which threatens the dignity of the human person”.

The secretary of State remarked on the continuity between of Francis' magisterium and that of his predecessors, especially Benedict XVI, who “using very similar words, warn that the problems of development and the just regulation of the economy remain insoluble without a holistic vision of the human person and a commitment to constant and coherent moral standards firmly grounded in the natural law and the pursuit of the common good”. As Benedict XVI writes in his encyclical “Caritas in Veritate”, “development will never be fully guaranteed through automatic or impersonal forces, whether they derive from the market or from international politics. Development is impossible without upright men and women, without financiers and politicians whose consciences are finely attuned to the requirements of the common good”.

“Conversion of mind and heart is thus required if economic activity as a whole is to be genuinely directed to integral human development”, Cardinal Parolin emphasised. “A 'Promethean faith' in the market, or in other ideologies and forms of aprioristic thinking, will need to be replaced by faith in God and a transcendent vision of men and women as God’s children. This in turn will lead to intellectual conversion in the sense of developing an economic science and praxis which begins with an integral understanding of the human person, that is placed at the service of human development, and is capable of orienting production and consumption to authentic human fulfilment, in our relationship with God and with our neighbour”.


Audiences


Vatican City, 27 October 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor, apostolic nuncio in Senegal, Capo Verde and Guinea-Bissau, and apostolic delegate in Mauritania;

- A delegation from the Jewish Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

On Saturday, 25 October, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;

- Carlos Federico de la Riva Guerra, ambassador of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, on his farewell visit;

- Maron Curi, president of the “Consejo Nacional Union Cultural Argentino Libanese.


Other Pontifical Acts


Vatican City, 27 October 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Bernardino C. Cortez as bishop-prelate of the prelature of Infanta (area 7,189, population 516,000, Catholics 450,000, priests 41, religious 132), Philippines. Bishop Cortez was previously auxiliary of Manila, Philippines.

On Saturday, 25 October, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Quesnel Alphonse, S.M.M., auxiliary of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as bishop of Fort-Liberte (area 1,600, population 498,000, Catholics 371,000, priests 48, religious 69), Haiti.
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