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Friday, September 19, 2014

Audience with the president of Armenia: special attention to Christian communities and other religious minorities, and to refugees in conflict zones


Vatican City, 19 September 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father Francis received in Audience the President of the Republic of Armenia, His Excellency Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed for the development and strengthening of bilateral relations, highlighting the special role of Christianity in the history and life of Armenian society.

With regard to the regional political situation, it is hoped that complex and hitherto unresolved issues may be overcome through dialogue between all the interested parties. Furthermore, mention was made of the theme of conflict in the Middle East, and trust was expressed in the common efforts of interested nations and religious communities to achieve a peaceful co-existence of peoples throughout the entire region. Special attention was paid to the situation faced by Christian communities and other religious minorities in the area, and to the humanitarian crisis regarding refugees from the affected zones.

Francis prays at St. Mary Major before his trip to Albania


Vatican City, 19 September 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon the Pope made a private visit to the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray in silence before the image of the Virgin “Salus Populi Romani” on the eve of his apostolic trip to Albania, as he has done before his previous trips to other countries. The Holy Father left a floral tribute before the image and stayed in the Basilica, which was closed to the public, for half an hour.


The Pope to visit Naples on 21 March 2015


Vatican City, 19 September 2014 (VIS) – Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, Italy, announced today that the Holy Father will visit Naples on 21 March 2015, confirmed by the Holy See Press Office. Today is the feast day of St. Januarius, patron of the city.

Audiences


Vatican City, 19 September 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

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

- Archbishop James Patrick Green, apostolic nuncio in Peru;

- Professor Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio Community;

- Professor Ignazio Marino, mayor of Rome.

Yesterday, Thursday 18 September, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”;

- Bishop Oscar Vicente Ojea of San Isidro, Argentina;

- A group of cyclists from the “Cruce por la educacion argentina” Association.


Other Pontifical Acts


Vatican City, 19 September 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Ulrich Neymeyr, auxiliary of the diocese of Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany, as bishop of Erfurt (area 12,000, population 2,188,589, Catholics 152,282, priests 200, permanent deacons 1, religious 240), Federal Republic of Germany.

Notice


Vatican City, 19 September 2014 (VIS) – On Sunday, 21 September, on the occasion of Pope Francis' visit to Tirana, Albania, a special edition of the Vatican Information Service bulletin will be transmitted.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Pope receives the bishops of Cote d'Ivoire: the role of the Church can be crucial in rebuilding your country


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – The bishops of Cote d'Ivoire were received by the Holy Father this morning, at the end of their five-yearly “ad Limina” visit, and the written discourse he handed to them emphasised the need for dialogue and brotherhood among prelates and their priests, along with the successful inculturation of faith.

“The fraternal communion that unites the bishops of a nation around Christ is essential for the growth of the Church as well as for the progress of society as as whole”, he writes. “This is especially true in a country that has suffered serious divisions and is in need of your witness and your firm commitment to rebuilding fraternity. Let us not be robbed of the ideal of brotherly love! By really being brothers, open to dialogue and mutual trust, listening to all – even when there are differences and contradictions – and making space for everyone, especially the youngest among you, you will provide a new missionary impulse and will truly transform society, so that it is more consistent with the Gospel ideal”.

“Therefore”, he continued, “I can only encourage you to take on the role that is yours in the task of national reconciliation, setting aside any personal involvement in political disputes at the expense of the common good. However, it is important to maintain constructive relations with the authorities within the country, as well as with the various components of society, so as to spread the true evangelical spirit of dialogue and collaboration. The role of the Church – which is valued and listened to – can be crucial. … I urge you to continue in your dialogue with Muslims, so as to discourage any drift towards violence or any incorrect religious interpretation of the conflict you have experienced”.

“Of course, you are not alone in facing the enormous task of evangelisation and the conversion of hearts: you have the support of the clergy, generous and motivated, and whose numbers continue to grow”, he remarks. “However, to avoid difficulties and shortcomings that some priests encounter, the best approach is without doubt to ensure the quality of formation, both initial and permanent, the encouragement of a priestly fraternity that overcomes ethnic divisions and, in particular, the closeness and attention that, like loving and caring fathers, you must give to each one of them. Use, wherever possible, gentleness, persuasion and encouragement to awaken pastoral zeal, rather than immediate sanctions or severity. I urge you to visit your priests often in order to listen to them and get to know them better. The formation of a fraternal, united 'presbyterium' around the bishop is necessary for a priest to remain attached to his own diocese and to prioritise its needs, rather than giving in to the temptation to leave it, to the detriment of the people of God who need his ministry”.

The Pope offers warm thanks to the consecrated persons for “the considerable task they take on, along with laypersons working alongside them, in the sectors of education, health and development. Their work is appreciated by all and is absolutely indispensable in view of the intimate connection between evangelisation and human development”: He also invites the bishops to ensure their pastoral closeness to all the lay faithful, but especially families, “who are more fragile nowadays, both on account of the secularisation of Ivorian society and the movement of the population and divisions caused by the conflict, as well as by less morally demanding temptations that arise all around them”. The Pontiff also draws attention to the elderly as, “despite the traditional African mentality that reserves a special veneration for them, many now find themselves alone and abandoned, due to the 'throwaway' culture that has appeared in your societies. However, their participation is essential for the equilibrium of the people and the education of the young”.

Francis concludes by expressing his joy and gratitude for the great work of evangelisation that is being carried out in Cote d'Ivoire. “However”, he warns, “faith remains fragile and the wind does not blow in its favour. Often, as the recent conflicts have unfortunately shown, ethnic particularism overrides evangelical fraternity, and many baptised persons, tired or disillusioned, drift away from the light of truth in search of easier solutions, whereas others simply do not put the demands of faith into practice in their lives. Undoubtedly the key for the future is found partly in ensuring the Word of God is more deeply rooted in people's hearts. It is certainly also necessary to enter into deeper dialogue with cultural, religious and traditional reality in order to achieve a true inculturation of our faith, unambiguously rejected what is contrary to it while welcoming and nurturing what is good. I therefore encourage you to continue ceaselessly in your work of evangelisation. In this way, the Church in Cote d'Ivoire can face the challenges of the future with serenity”.

Francis to bishops: men able to cultivate God's fields


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received in audience the bishops appointed during the last year, who are participating in the congress organised by the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Francis commented that he was happy to meet them and said that they were “the fruit of the arduous work and tireless prayer of the Church who, when she chooses her pastors, recalls that entire night the Lord spent on the mount, in the presence of the Father, before naming those He wanted to stay with him and to go forth into the world”.

The Pope asked them now that they have overcome their initial fears and excitement of their consecration, never to take for granted the ministry entrusted to them, never to lose their wonder before God's plan nor the awe of walking aware of His presence and the presence of the Church who is, first and foremost, His. He also reminded them of “the inseparable bond between the stable presence of the bishop and the growth of the flock”. “When the pastor is missing or unavailable, pastoral care and the salvation of souls is at risk. In fact, in the pastors Christ gives to the Church, He shows His love for His bride and gives His life for her”.

He continued, “we do not need superficially happy bishops; it is necessary to dig deeper to discover what the Spirit continues to inspire in your Bride. You are not fixed-term bishops, who always need to change address, like medicines that lose their power to cure, or like those insipid foodstuffs that have to be thrown away because they have lost their usefulness. It is important not to block the curative force that springs from within the gift you have received, and this defends you from the temptation to come and go aimlessly, because no wind is favourable to he who does not know where he is going. And we have learned where we are going: we are always going towards Jesus”. He added, “in this way, your watch over your flock will never fail to encounter the flame of the Risen Christ”.

“I also beg you not to fall prey to the temptation to change the people. Love the people that God has given you, even when they have committed grave sins, without tiring of turning to the Lord for forgiveness and a new beginning, even at the cost of having to cancel your false images of the divine face or the fantasies you have nurtured of how to ensure their communion with God”. The Church, he added, is to offer “welcome to all without discrimination, offering the firmness of the authority that enables growth and the gentleness of paternity that generates. Do not fall prey the temptation to sacrifice your freedom by surrounding yourself with courts, networks or choirs of assent, as the Church and the world always have the right to hear from the lips of bishops the Gospel that sets them free”.

Pope Francis advised the bishops to imitate Moses' patience in leading his people, as “nothing is more important than introducing people to God!”. He therefore urged them to begin with the young and the elderly, “because the first are our wings, and the second are our roots. Wings and roots without which we do not know what we are, much less where we are going”. He added that he saw the bishops as sentinels, able to awaken their Churches; “men able to cultivate and ripen God's fields and pastors able to restore unity. “Do not waste energy in conflict and disagreement, but rather use it to build and to love”, he concluded, wishing them “fruitfulness, patience, humility and much prayer”.


Audiences


Vatican City, 18 September 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience fourteen prelates from the Episcopal Conference of the Cote d'Ivoire on their “ad Limina” visit:

- Cardinal Jean Pierre Kutwa, archbishop of Abidjan;

- Bishop Alexis Touabli Youlo of Agboville;

- Bishop Raymond Ahoua, F.D.P., of Grand-Bassam;

- Archbishop Paul-Simeon Ahouanan Djro, O.F.M., of Bouake;

- Bishop Ziri Boniface Gbaya of Abengourou;

- Bishop Marcellin Yao Kouadio of Yamoussoukro;

- Archbishop Joseph Ake Yapo of Gagnoa;

- Bishop Maurice Konan Kouassi of Daloa;

- Bishop Gaspard Beby Gneba of Man;

- Bishop Jean-Jacques Koffi Oi Koffi of San Pedro-en-Cote d'Ivoire;

- Archbishop Marie-Daniel Dadiet of Korhogo;

- Bishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo of Katiola;

- Bishop Antoine Kone of Odienne;

- Bishop Jean Salomon Lezoutie, coadjutor of Yopougon.


Other Pontifical Acts


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Anthony Colin Fisher of Parramatta, Australia, as metropolitan archbishop of Sydney (area 1,264, population 2,482,000, Catholics 664,000, priests 484, permanent deacons 3, religious 1,537), Australia.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Church, universal and missionary, cannot be wrapped up in herself


Vatican City, 17 September 2014 (VIS) – The meaning of the terms “Catholic” and “apostolic” when we speak about the Church was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis at this morning's Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square, attended by 50,000 faithful.

When we profess the Creed, we state that we believe in a Catholic and apostolic Church. “Catholic means universal”, said the Holy Father, “and a clear sign of this Catholicity is that she speaks all languages. This is none other than the effect of the Pentecost: indeed, it was the Holy Spirit that enabled the Apostles and the entire Church to communicate to all, to the very ends of the earth, the Good News of salvation and of God's love. Thus, the Church was born Catholic – that is, 'symphonic' since the beginning, and she cannot be otherwise, destined as she is for evangelisation and for encountering everyone”: The Pope, remarking that everyone is able to read the Word of God in his or her own language, again encouraged those present always to carry a copy of the Gospel and to read one or two passages each day.

“If the Church is born Catholic, it means that she was born to go forth, missionary”, continued Pope Francis. “If the Apostles had stayed in the Cenacle without going out to preach the Gospel, the Church would have remained there, in that city, in that country, in that room. It is what we express when we describe her as 'apostolic'. But they went forth. An apostle spreads the good news of Jesus' resurrection. This term reminds us that the Church, on the foundations of the Apostles and in continuity with them, is sent to proclaim the Gospel to all humanity, with the signs of the tenderness and strength of God. The Apostles went forth, they travelled the world, they founded new churches, they consecrated new bishops and in this way, we continue their work”.

“And this too derives from the Pentecost. Indeed, the Holy Spirit is able to overcome any resistance, to defeat the temptation to remain wrapped up in ourselves, an elect few, and to consider ourselves as the only ones destined to receive God's blessing. Imagine if a group of Christians were to consider itself in this way; they would die out. First in soul and then in body, as they would not be able to generate new life. They would not be apostolic. The Holy Spirit leads us towards our brothers, even to those who are far away in every sense, so that they can share with us the gift of love, peace and joy that the Risen Lord has left us”.

“What does it mean, for our communities and for each of us, to be part of a Church that is Catholic and apostolic? First of all, it means taking to heart the salvation of all humanity, not to be indifferent or removed from the fate of so many of our brothers, but rather to be open and in solidarity with them. It also means having a sense of the fullness, the completeness, the harmony of Christian life, always rejecting partial and unilateral positions that close us up in ourselves”.

Being part of the apostolic Church means “being aware that our faith is anchored in the proclamation and the witness of Jesus' Apostles, and therefore always being aware that were are sent out, in communion with the successors of the Apostles, with our hearts full of joy, to proclaim Christ and His love for all humanity”.

Pope Francis recalled the “heroic life” of all the missionaries who leave their homelands to take the Gospel to others, encouraging those present to give thanks to God for the missionaries the Church has had and will continue to need.

“Let us ask the Lord to renew in us the gift of His Spirit, so that every Christian community and baptised person may be an expression of the Catholic and apostolic Holy Mother Church”.

The Pope to the faithful: accompany me in Albania in prayer


Vatican City, 17 September 2014 (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, the Holy Father greeted those present in various languages. In his greetings in Arabic, he addressed the faithful of the Holy Land “from where the light of proclamation issued forth to the ends of the earth”, urging them always to be, “despite difficulties, courageous and joyful bearers of the Message of salvation, truth and blessing”.

Before his greetings in Italian, the Pope spoke about his trip to Albania this coming Sunday, 21 September, and invited the faithful to accompany him in prayer. “I decided to visit this country because it has suffered greatly as a result of a terrible atheist regime and is now realising the peaceful co-existence of its various religious components”.

Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints


Vatican City, 17 September 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience he authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:

MIRACLES

- Blessed Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception (nee Adelaide Brando), Italian foundress of the Oblation Sisters of the Holy Sacrament (1856-1906);

- Venerable Servant of God Pio Alberto del Corona, Italian professed priest of the Order of Preachers, bishop of San Miniato and founder of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit (1837-1912);

- Venerable Servant of God Marie-Elisabeth Turgeon, Canadian foundress of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (1840-1881).

The Pontiff also approved the votes of the Ordinary Session of the Cardinal and Bishop Fathers in favour of the canonisation of Blessed Joseph Vaz, Indian priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, founder of the Oratory of the Holy Cross of Miracles in Goa (1651-1711).

Finally, the Holy Father decided that a Consistory will be convoked shortly for the canonisation of Blessed Joseph Vaz and Blessed Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception, nee Adelaide Brando.


Sixth meeting of the Council of Cardinals


Vatican City, 17 September 2014 (VIS) – This morning, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., provided an update on the sixth meeting of the Council of Cardinals, which began on Monday, 15 September and will conclude this afternoon. As usual, the Holy Father was present at all sessions apart from this morning's, due to the Wednesday general audience.

“In the previous meetings, the Cardinals had worked by examining all the Congregations and Pontifical Councils, but they had also assigned a significant amount of time to hearing the referring Commissions on economic and organisational questions (COSEA and CRIOR) and on matters pertaining to the economic Dicasteries. Work in this area may now be considered complete, following the constitution of the Council and the Secretariat for the Economy. The press conference held by Cardinal Pell in July focused on the results of this work and on the initiation of the activities of these new organs.

“Therefore, in this meeting the Council of Cardinals resumed work on the other Dicasteries. In the meantime, several contributions had been prepared by various members of the Council on the different issues within their sphere of competence, which were proposed or presented to the Council. During these days, the Council focused on two principal “hotspots”.

“The first includes the themes of the laity and the family. It is a very broad area, encompassing many issues, including for instance the role of women in society and in the Church, youth, childhood, or matters related to lay associations and movements, and so on.

“The second comprises themes linked to justice and peace, charity, migrants and refugees, health, and the protection of life and ecology, especially human ecology.

“As can be seen, the discussions therefore involved many of the major issues that fall within the competences of the current Pontifical Councils, and how to face them in a coordinated and integrated fashion.

“The Council of Cardinals, as we are aware, does not make decisions, but formulates proposals for the Pope, who certainly intends to consult in further depth, also with regard to the various Dicasteries, involving those in roles of responsibility. Therefore, the Council’s proposals will be studied further, and it is to be expected that the Pope will speak about them, for instance, during the meetings with the Heads of the Dicasteries, which are convoked regularly and will certainly take place in the coming months.

“A draft Introduction for the new Constitution was also drawn up and distributed.

“In order to speed up this new phase in the work of the Council, the coordinator Cardinal Maradiaga has prepared an overall plan to facilitate the organisation of the contributions and reflections already offered during the previous meetings and the integration of new ones.

“It may be assumed that, with the next two meetings of the Council (9-11 December 2014 and 9-11 February 2015), the draft Constitution will reach an advanced stage of preparation, making it possible for the Pope to proceed with further consultations”.

With regard to the Commission for the Protection of Minors, the director of the Holy See Press Office commented that the appointment of the Secretary, Msgr. Robert Oliver, had been made public during recent days, adding: “In the next few weeks other very important aspects will be specified regarding the Statutes and further members of the Commission. It is expected that these will be clarified at the time of the next meeting of the Commission itself, scheduled for early October (4-5)”.

“With regard to the Commission on Vatican media, chaired by Lord Chris Patten, the first meeting will be held from 22-24 September at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. As a first meeting, it will be dedicated primarily to drawing up a framework for the common base of information necessary to enable the work of the members (several of whom are from contexts external to the Vatican), the planning of the work to be done over the coming months, and the method to be used. The Commission itself, during its first meeting, will establish its own strategy of communication. Therefore, interviews or communications will not be given prior to the meeting”, he concluded.


“Evangelii gaudium” and pastoral ministry: three day meeting in the Vatican


Vatican City, 17 September 2014 (VIS) – The international meeting “The Pastoral Project of 'Evangelii gaudium'”, organised by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, will be held in the Vatican from 18 to 20 September and will be attended by more than two thousand pastoral workers from seventy countries worldwide. Bishops, priests, catechists, consecrated persons, pastoral workers and members of associations and movements will explore in depth the content of the apostolic Exhortation that Pope Francis has indicated as the programmatic document of his papacy. Renowned speakers will discuss specific themes in relation to pastoral ministry and evangelisation. The meeting will culminate with an encounter with the Holy Father on Friday afternoon.

A detailed programme of the event can be found at www.novaevangelizatio.va

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Presentation of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, 2015


Vatican City, 16 September 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office, Archbishops Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, U.S.A., presented the World Meeting of Families on the theme “Love is our mission: the family fully alive”, which will take place in the North American city from 22 to 27 September 2015.

In his presentation Archbishop Chaput commented on Philadelphia's deep religious roots and expressed his hope that Pope Francis may be present at next year's meeting, at which between ten and fifteen thousand people from all over the world are expected to attend. He also explained that the theme of the Meeting was based on St. Irenaeus' famous words, “the Glory of God is man fully alive”. “In like manner, the glory of men and women is their capacity to love as God loves. Life in a family is a summons to embody that love in everyday life”.

The event in Philadelphia will be accompanied by an official document, a catechesis that “will help parish and diocesan leaders, catechists and other interested persons prepare Catholics across the globe for next year's meeting. … It develops its teaching in ten simple steps. It starts with the purpose of our creation and moves into the nature of our sexuality; the covenant of marriage; the importance of children; the place of priesthood and religious life in the ecology of the Christian community; the Christian home as a refuge for the wounded heart; the role of the Church; and the missionary witness of Christian families to the wider world”.

“The text gives us a foundation for all of the different programming that will go into the World Meeting of Families”, continued Archbishop Chaput, “from major talks, to panels and breakout sessions, to family entertainment throughout the event. The text is currently available in English and Spanish. Portuguese, French and other language editions are planned this fall through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The catechesis also includes the special prayer we commissioned to prepare for the 2015 gathering”.

In addition, a specially-commissioned oil painting will be displayed in Philadelphia's Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul throughout the World Meeting. By the artist Neil Carlin, it represents the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary and Joseph – along with Mary's parents, Sts. Anne and Joachim. “They are a reminder that, today and throughout history, the Christian family includes both the young and the elderly; it reaches beyond parents and child to include grandparents and many other extended relations”.

Archbishop Paglia presented the events that will be organised by his dicastery this year and the next, in relation to the theme of the family. On 18 September, with the collaboration of Caritas International, a seminar will be held on “Family and poverty”, in which it 150 experts on the theme are expected to participate. On 28 September, with the theme “The blessing of longevity”, the elderly and grandparents will meet with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square. From 22 to 24 January 2015, an international congress of associations, movements and groups for the family and for life will meet with the aim of “Reviewing together the Extraordinary Synod on the Family”, and on 24 March, anniversary of the publication of St. John Paul II's encyclical “Evangelium vitae”, a prayer vigil will be held in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major.

Finally, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family reported that every day until the opening of the Synod (5 October) on the site www.familia.va, there will be a special edition of “Jarà – the spectacle of life”, which will present through words and images the main themes of the Synod and explain how they figure in the Instrumentum Laboris. During the assembly there will be a weekly note presenting and summarising the work of the Synod fathers. All this will be supplemented with exclusive interviews with bishops and experts.

Appointments to the IOR Board of Superintendence finalised


Vatican City, 16 September 2014 (VIS) – The Commission of Cardinals for the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) has appointed Mauricio Larrain (Chile) and Carlo Salvatori (Italy) as members of the IOR Board of Superintendence, according to a press release published by the Institute today.

On the occasion of the nomination Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, President of the IOR’s Supervisory Commission of Cardinals, said: “The IOR is looking forward to working with these two new board members who will add significant financial experience and global perspective at a time when the role of IOR is being reinforced and confirmed to meet the objectives of the Holy Father.” With these appointments, the IOR Board of Superintendence is now complete. Besides Mauricio Larrain and Carlo Salvatori, it is composed of Mr. Jean-Baptiste de Franssu (France), President of the Board, Mr. Clemens Boersig (Germany), Prof. Mary Ann Glendon (USA) and Sir Michael Hintze (UK), who assumed office on 9 July 2014. In addition to these six lay members of the Board, Monsignor Alfred Xuereb, Secretary-General of the Secretariat for the Economy, serves as its non-voting Secretary.

As set out in the Institute’s revised Statute from 1990, the IOR Board of Superintendence defines strategy and ensures oversight of operations. The members of the Board of Superintendence are nominated in accordance with the new legal framework and for a period of five years. The nomination of a non-voting Secretary and a sixth member to the IOR Board of Superintendence as well as the nomination of a sixth member to the IOR Cardinals’ Commission will be formalised upon completion of the current review of the Institute’s Statute.

Mauricio Larrain is external director of Santander Bank Group Chile and general director of the ESE Business School from the Los Andes University of Chile. He served as the Santander Bank Group Chile’s Chairman and General Director from 1992 until 2014 and was president of Santander Chile Holding S.A. And Universita Chile S.A. from 2000 until 2014. During this period, Santander Bank Group Chile was chosen as the Best Bank in Latin America in six different years by the America Economia Magazine.

Carlo Salvatori has served as president of the investment bank Lazard Italy since June 2010 and of the insurance company Allianz SpA since May 2012. Furthermore, he is amember of the Board of Directors of the Sacred Heart Catholic University, of the Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital, of Chiesi Pharmaceuticals and of the Riso Gallo Group and he also is President of the Christian Union of Business Executives’ Milanese section.

The Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) was founded on 27 June, 1942, by papal decree to serve the Holy See and its customers in the Catholic Church all over the world. Its origins date back to the "Commissione ad Pias Causas" established in 1887 by Pope Leo XIII. The IOR’s purpose is set by its Statute, amended by Pope John Paul II in 1990, and related by-laws. It is “to provide for the custody and administration of goods transferred or entrusted to the Institute by physical or juridical persons, designated for religious works or charity. The Institute can accept deposits of assets from entities or persons of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State”.

The IOR strives to serve the global mission of the Catholic Church by protecting and increasing the patrimony of and providing worldwide payment services to the Holy See and related entities, religious orders, other Catholic institutions, clergy, employees of the Holy See and the accredited diplomatic corps. As of 31 December 2013, the IOR was entrusted with customers’ assets (including deposits, assets held in custody and assets held under portfolio management agreements) totalling EUR 5.9bn, and shareholders’ equity of EUR 720m. The IOR is situated exclusively on the sovereign territory of the Vatican City State, and is supervised and regulated by the "Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria" (AIF), the financial supervisory body for the Vatican City State.


The Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir to sing in Macao, Hong Kong and Taipei


Vatican City, 16 September 2014 (VIS) – The Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir is to perform for the first time in Macao, Hong Kong and Taipei. The concerts will be made possible through the Hong Kong Institute for Promotion of Chinese Culture, in collaboration with the Coro Perosi of the Diocese of Macao and the Taipei Philharmonic Foundation. By sharing the rich musical traditions of East and West, these concerts aim to promote cultural exchange through art and music, thereby creating new channels of communication and communion.

The concerts, entitled “Reverberating Heavenly Tunes in Greater China”, will include pieces from notable composers such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso, Gregorio Allegri and Lorenzo Perosi, whose works historically form part of the repertoire of papal celebrations.

The concerts will take place on 19 September 2014 at 6 p.m. in the Cathedral of Macao; 21 September at 8 p.m. at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre; and 23 September at 7:30 p.m. at the National Concert Hall in Taipei.

In addition, on 21 September at 11 a.m. in the Cathedral of Hong Kong the Sistine Choir will assist, with the authorisation of the Cardinal Secretary of State, at the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist, at which Cardinal John Tong Hon will preside.

The Pontifical Sistine Music Chapel Choir (Sistine Choir), which has its origins in the former Roman Schola Cantorum, has for centuries preserved the musical traditions of the Church and is composed of trained vocal musicians who sing at Papal liturgies and at other celebrations convoked by the Holy Father.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Pope to render homage to martyrs of faith in Albania


Vatican City, 15 September 2014 (VIS) – Homage to martyrs of faith, victims of the communist regime, the importance of dialogue with Islam in a country with a Muslim majority but with a notable Christian presence, both Catholic and Orthodox, and the memory of blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, born in Albania, will be the fundamental themes that Pope Francis will address in his upcoming trip to the capital Tirana next Sunday, 21 September, said Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, in a press conference held this morning.

The apostolic trip to Albania is Pope Francis' first in a European country outside Italy and the fourth of his pontificate.



Sixth meeting of the Council of Cardinals


Vatican City, 15 September 2014 (VIS) – The sixth meeting of the Council of Cardinals with the Holy Father began this morning, and will continue during the days of 16 and 17 September. The Council of Cardinals was instituted by Pope Francis to assist in the governance of the universal Church and to draw up a plan for the revision of the apostolic constitution “Pastor bonus” on the Roman Curia.

Francis marries twenty couples from the diocese of Rome


Vatican City, 14 September 2014 (VIS) – This morning, Pope Francis celebrated the marriage of twenty couples from Rome, the diocese of which he is bishop, during a Holy Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica. The cardinal vicar of Rome, Agostino Vallini, and Archbishop Filippo Iannone, vice-regent and director of the diocesan Centre for Family Pastoral, concelebrated with the Pontiff.

The couples married by the Pope, according to a press release from the Vicariate of Rome, are like many others, engaged for different lengths of time; some already live together, others have children, and others met within the parish. The youngest couple were born in 1986 and 1989 respectively, whereas the eldest were born in 1958 and 1965.

In his homily, the Holy Father, commenting on the Bible passage that speaks of the long and wearisome journey of the people of Israel through the desert, spoke of marriage as a path with areas of light and shadows, during which the mercy and grace of Christ can regenerate and channel married and family life.

“Today’s first reading speaks to us of the people’s journey through the desert”, he began. “We can imagine them as they walked, led by Moses; they were families: fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, grandparents, men and women of all ages, accompanied by many children and the elderly who struggled to make the journey. This people reminds us of the Church as she makes her way across the desert of the contemporary world, reminds us of the People of God composed, for the most part, of families.

“This makes us think of families, our families, walking along the paths of life with all their day to day experiences. It is impossible to quantify the strength and depth of humanity contained in a family: mutual help, educational support, relationships developing as family members mature, the sharing of joys and difficulties. Families are the first place in which we are formed as persons and, at the same time, the 'bricks' for the building up of society.

“Let us return to the biblical story. At a certain point, 'the people became impatient on the way'. They are tired, water supplies are low and all they have for food is manna, which, although plentiful and sent by God, seems far too meagre in a time of crisis. And so they complain and protest against God and against Moses: 'Why did you make us leave?'. They are tempted to turn back and abandon the journey.

“Here our thoughts turn to married couples who 'become impatient on the way', the way of conjugal and family life. The hardship of the journey causes them to experience interior weariness; they lose the flavour of matrimony and they cease to draw water from the well of the Sacrament. Daily life becomes burdensome, and often, even 'nauseating'. During such moments of disorientation – the Bible says – poisonous serpents come and bite the people, and many die. This causes the people to repent and to turn to Moses for forgiveness, asking him to beseech the Lord so that he will cast out the snakes. Moses prays to the Lord, and the Lord offers a remedy: a bronze serpent set on a pole; whoever looks at it will be saved from the deadly poison of the vipers.

“What is the meaning of this symbol? God does not destroy the serpents, but rather offers an 'antidote': by means of the bronze serpent fashioned by Moses, God transmits his healing strength, namely his mercy, which is more potent than the Tempter’s poison.

“As we have heard in the Gospel, Jesus identifies Himself with this symbol: out of love the Father 'has given' His only begotten Son so that men and women might have eternal life. Such immense love of the Father spurs the Son to become man, to become a servant and to die for us upon a cross. Out of such love, the Father raises up his Son, giving Him dominion over the entire universe. This is expressed by Saint Paul in his hymn in the Letter to the Philippians. Whoever entrusts himself to Jesus crucified receives the mercy of God and finds healing from the deadly poison of sin.

“The cure which God offers the people applies also, in a particular way, to spouses who 'have become impatient on the way' and who succumb to the dangerous temptation of discouragement, infidelity, weakness, abandonment. To them too, God the Father gives His Son Jesus, not to condemn them, but to save them: if they entrust themselves to Him, He will bring them healing by the merciful love which pours forth from the Cross, with the strength of His grace that renews and sets married couples and families once again on the right path.

“The love of Christ, which has blessed and sanctified the union of husband and wife, is able to sustain their love and to renew it when, humanly speaking, it becomes lost, wounded or worn out. The love of Christ can restore to spouses the joy of journeying together. This is what marriage is all about: man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man. This is the task that you both share. 'I love you, and for this love I help you to become ever more a woman'; 'I love you, and for this love I help you to become ever more a man'. Here we see the reciprocity of differences. The path is not always a smooth one, free of disagreements, otherwise it would not be human. It is a demanding journey, at times difficult, and at times turbulent, but such is life! Within this theology which the word of God offers us concerning the people on a journey, spouses on a journey, I would like to give you some advice. It is normal for husband and wife to argue: it’s normal. It always happens. But my advice is this: never let the day end without having first made peace. Never! A small gesture is sufficient. Thus the journey may continue. Marriage is a symbol of life, real life: it is not 'fiction'! It is the Sacrament of the love of Christ and the Church, a love which finds its proof and guarantee in the Cross. My desire for you is that you have a good journey, a fruitful one, growing in love. I wish you happiness. There will be crosses! But the Lord is always there to help us move forward. May the Lord bless you!”.


Angelus: the Cross restores hope


Vatican City, 14 September 2014 (VIS) – At midday today, after celebrating the marriage of twenty couples from the diocese of Rome, the Pope appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful present in St. Peter's Square.

Pope Francis commented that today, 14 September, the Church celebrates the festivity of the Exaltation of the Cross. “Any non-Christian might ask, why 'exalt' the Cross? We can answer that we do not exalt just any cross, or all crosses: we exalt Jesus Cross, as it was upon the Cross that he revealed the extent of God's love for humanity”, he explained. “The Father gave his Son to save us, and this involved the death of Jesus, and he died on the Cross. Why? Why was the Cross necessary? Because of the gravity of the evil that had enslaved us. The Cross of Jesus expresses both of these things: all the negative force of evil, and all the gentle omnipotence of God's mercy. The Cross appeared to decree Jesus' demise, but in reality it marked His victory. … And it is precisely for this reason that God 'exalted' Jesus, conferring upon Him a universal kingship”.

“When we turn our gaze to the Cross, where Jesus was nailed”, he continued, “we contemplate the sign of God's infinite love for each one of us, and the root of our salvation. From this Cross there springs the mercy of the Father who embraces the entire world. Through the Cross, the evil one is vanquished and death defeated, we are given life, and hope is restored to us. … The Cross of Jesus is our only true hope! This is why the Chruch exalts the glorious Cross of Jesus, sign of God's immense love, sign of our salvation, and path to the Resurrection. And this is our hope”.

“When we contemplate and celebrate the Holy Cross”, he concluded, “we think with emotion of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted and killed for their fidelity to Christ. This happens especially where religious freedom is not guaranteed or fully realised. It also occurs, however, in countries and in environments where in principle freedom and human rights are protected, but where in practice believers and Christians in particular often encounter limitations or discrimination. Therefore, today we remember them and pray especially for them”.


Humanity still has not learnt that war is madness


Vatican City, 14 September 2014 (VIS) – Following today's Marian prayer, the Holy Father mentioned that tomorrow the Security Council of the United Nations begins peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, to promote peace and protect the civil population that is suffering the consequences of a long-standing conflict.

“I assure the peacekeepers of the support and prayer of the Catholic Church, and encourage the efforts of the international community to come to the aid of Central Africans of good will. May the violence give way to dialogue as soon as possible, and may the opposing forces set aside their particular interests and make the necessary provisions to ensure that every citizen, of every ethnic and religious group, may collaborate in constructing the common good. May the Lord accompany this work for peace!”, he exclaimed.

The Pope went on to speak about his visit on Saturday to the Austro-Hungarian cemetery and the military monument of Redipuglia, Italy, where he prayed for those who lost their lives in the First World War. “The figures are frightening: around eight million fallen soldiers and around seven million civilians killed. This shows us what madness war is! A madness from which humanity still has not learnt its lesson: it was followed by another world war soon after, and many others that are still in progress. When will we learn this lesson? I invite everyone to look to the Crucified Jesus to understand that hatred and evil must be met with forgiveness and goodness, to understand that the solution of war leads only to more evil and death!”


Cardinal Aguilar to take possession of his titular church


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Sunday, 21 September, at 11 a.m., Cardinal Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, archbishop emeritus of Pamplona y Tudela, Spain, will take possession of the title of Sant'Angela Merici (Via di Sant'Angela Merici, 57).


Audiences


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience Daniel Ruben Herrera Piedrabuena, federal judge of La Rioja, with his wife and entourage.


Other Pontifical Acts


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Marcus Stock as bishop of Leeds (area 5,033, population 2,068,000, Catholics 157,766, priests 182, permanent deacons 24, religious 149), England. The bishop-elect was born in London, England in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He studied theology at Oxford University and dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of “St. Birinus” in Dorchester-on-Thames, “St. Peter's” in Bloxwich, and Coleshill, and director of Catholic schools for the archdiocese of Birmingham. He is currently secretary general of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales and advisor to the Heythrop College Faculty of Theology, London. In 2011 he was nominated Prelate of Honour of His Holiness.
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