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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.

Friday, October 24, 2014

To the Oriental Lumen Foundation: there is no true ecumenical dialogue without the will for inner renewal


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – “Every Christian pilgrimage is not only a geographical journey, but also and above all an opportunity to take a path of inner renewal taking us ever closer to Christ our Lord”, said Pope Francis to the members of the Oriental Lumen Foundation in America, who are meeting in Rome in these days as part of an ecumenical pilgrimage.

“These dimensions are absolutely essential to proceed along the road that leads us to reconciliation and full communion among all believers in Christ. There is no true ecumenical dialogue without openness to inner renewal and the search for greater fidelity to Christ and to His will”.

The Holy Father expressed his satisfaction at learning that the pilgrims had decided to honour the memory of Popes St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II, remarking that “this decision underlines their great contribution to the development of ever closer relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. The example of these two saints is without doubt enriching for all of us, since they always bore witness to an ardent passion for Christian unity”.

The Pope asked those present to pray for him during their pilgrimage to Rome, “so that, with the intercession of these two Saints, my predecessors, I may carry out my ministry as bishop of Rome in the service of the communion and unity of the Church, always following the will of the Lord”. With regard to the pilgrims' upcoming meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Holinesss Bartholomaio I, in Fanar, he remarked that he too will meet with the Patriarch during his apostolic trip to Turkey in November. “I beg you to convey to him my cordial and fraternal greetings, as testimony of my affection and esteem”.

Holy Father's calendar for November 2014


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has published the following calendar of liturgical celebrations at which the Holy Father will preside in November:

Saturday, 1: Solemnity of All Saints. At 4 p.m., Holy Mass at the Cemetery of Verano, Rome.

Sunday, 2: Solemnity of All Souls. At 6 p.m. in the Vatican Crypts, a moment of prayer for deceased Supreme Pontiffs.

Monday,3: At 11.30 a.m., Holy Mass for cardinals and bishops who died during this past year.

Sunday, 23: Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. At 10.30 a.m. in the Papal Chapel, Holy Mass for the canonisation of Blesseds Giovanni Antonio Farina, Kuriakose Elias Chavara of the Holy Family, Ludovico da Casoria, Nicola da Longobardi, Eufrasia Eluvathingal of the Sacred Heart and Amato Ronconi.

Friday 28 to Sunday 30: Apostolic trip to Turkey.


World Meeting of Popular Movements: the excluded are the motor of social change


Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – A press conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office to present the World Meeting of Popular Movements, to be held in Rome from 27 to 29 October. The event was organised by the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”, in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and the leaders of various movements.

The speakers at the conference were Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of “Justice and Peace”, Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, and Juan Grabois, head of the Confederation of Workers of the Popular Economy, dedicated principally to organisations and movements for the excluded and marginalised.

Grabois knew Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and emphasised that the then-Cardinal Bergoglio sympathised with the struggle of excluded workers in very difficult moments, and accompanied them in the work of assisting the cartoneros, peasants, those forced to live on the streets and, in general, the heirs of a crisis brought on by neoliberal capitalism. “Francis summons us again today, from a universal perspective; he calls to the poor, organised in thousands of popular movements, to fight, without arrogance but with courage, without violence but with tenacity, for this dignity that has been taken from us, and for social justice”.

“Our encounter responds mainly to concrete and simple objectives we share and want to pass on to our children and grandchildren, but that are increasingly harder for the popular majority to reach: land, housing and work”, he continued, also expressing the need to promote the organisation of the poor “to construct from grass-roots level a human alternative to this exclusionary globalisation that has robbed us of our sacred rights to housing, work, land, the environment and peace”.

The World Meeting of Popular Movements will be attended by the social leaders of the five continents, representing organisations of increasingly excluded social sectors: workers in precarious employment conditions; migrants; temporary workers; the unemployed and those those who are self-employed, without legal protection, labour rights or union recognition; peasants; the landless; indigenous peoples and those at risk of expulsion from the fields as a result of agricultural speculation and violence; and those who live in the peripheries and in temporary settlements, often migrants and displaced peoples, who are marginalised, forgotten, and without adequate urban infrastructure. Alongside them there are trades unions and social, charitable and human rights organisations, who have demonstrated their closeness to these movements and who, it has been suggested, might accompany them, respecting the role of grass-roots movements.

“The aims of the meeting include sharing Pope Francis' thought on social matters, debating the causes of growing social inequality and the increase in exclusion throughout the world, reflecting on the organisational experiences of popular movements and the resolution of problems regarding land, housing and work, evaluating the role of movements in the processes of peace-building and care for the environment, especially in regions affected by conflicts and disputes over natural resources, discussing the relationship between popular movements and the Church, and how to go ahead in the creation of joint and permanent collaboration”.

Grabois emphasised the importance of the two acts with which the meeting will conclude: the publication of a final declaration with the widest consensus possible, and the constitution of a Council of Popular Movements which will work to establish possible cases of global level collaboration.

Cardinal Turkson stated that it was essential for both the Church and the world to “listen to the cry for justice” from the excluded; “not only to the sufferings, but also to the expectations, hopes and proposals which the marginalised themselves have. They must be protagonists of their own lives, and not simply passive recipients of the charity or plans of others. They must be protagonists of the needed economic and social, political and cultural changes. ... The Church wants to make its own the needs and aspirations of the popular movements, and to join with those who, by means of different initiatives, are making every effort to stimulate social change towards a more just world”.

Audiences


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

- Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy;

- Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, apostolic nuncio in Nigeria, and Holy See permanent observer at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);

- delegation from the World Union of Catholic Teachers.
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