• [2 of 2] VIS-News

    From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Sep 26 08:58:02 2014
    He added that international cooperation "must also address the root causes upon which terrorism feeds in order to grow", and emphasised the strong cultural component of the present terroristic challenge. "Young people travelling abroad to join the ranks of terrorist organisations are often youth of poor immigrant families, deluded by what they feel is a situation of exclusion, and by the lack of values of some wealthy societies. Together with the legal tools and resources to prevent citizens from becoming foreign terrorist fighters, governments should engage with civil society to address the problems of communities most at risk of recruitment and radicalisation, and to achieve their smooth and satisfactory social integration".
    "The Holy See - which is a sovereign international subject that also represents a world faith community - affirms that people of faith have a resolute responsibility to condemn those who seek to detach faith from reason and to instrumentalise faith as a justification for violence", he emphasised, concluding that, "at the same time, it should be stressed that to end the new terroristic phenomenon, the goal of achieving cultural understanding among peoples and countries, and social justice for all, is indispensable".
    Comments of the Holy See on the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child
    Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) - The Holy See has communicated to the competent offices of the United Nations in Geneva the document "Comments of the Holy See on the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child". The Concluding Observations were presented by the Committee on the Rights of the Child on 5 February, following the reports, written responses and interactive dialogue submitted to the Committee by the Holy See as a State signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
    The full English text of the Holy See's comments may be consulted at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/2014/documents/rc-seg-st-20 140205_concluding-observations-rights-child_en.html ___________________________________________________________

    The KAICIID deplores the abuse of religion to justify violent conflict
    Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) - The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, based in New York, U.S.A., yesterday published a declaration of principles, signed by the foreign ministers of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain, as well as by Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, in his role as Holy See Observer, to help build a united front to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the north of Iraq, as well as in other regions of the world. The declaration was approved unanimously by the multireligious Board of Directors of KAICIID, who represent the major world religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.
    The full text of the Declaration, entitled "In the Face of Conflict", is published below:
    "We believe in the sanctity of life and the inherent dignity of the person. We believe that religion is an enabler of respect and reconciliation. We believe that dialogue among people of different religions and cultures is the path to lasting peace and social cohesion.
    "We affirm the purposes and principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. These equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family are the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
    "We condemn violent conflict in the world, more so violence committed in the name of religion, and call for an end to violent hostility. We deplore loss of life and commend those who seek to alleviate suffering, as well as those who strive to promote wellbeing, harmony and peace. We oppose the instrumentalisation of religion to make war. We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes. And we condemn hate speech and extremism that incite violence and fuel prejudice. KAICIID combats prejudice and intolerance, in all their forms.
    "KAICIID counteracts the abuse of religion to justify oppression, violence and conflict and facilitates peaceful resolution by bringing conflict parties to the dialogue table. We continue to enhance interreligious and intercultural dialogue in order to foster respect, understanding and cooperation among people.
    "We resolve to promote mutual respect and understanding among followers of all religions and peoples of all cultures, particularly through dialogue. Let us look upon each other as sisters and brothers and, and let us appreciate difference as enrichment rather than fearing 'otherness' as a threat".

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    Cardinals Nichols, Soo-Jung and Brenes Solorzano take possession of their titular churches
    Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that:
    - on Thursday 2 October, Cardinal Vincent Gerard Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, will take possession of the title of the Most Holy Redeemer and St. Alphonse in Via Merulana, Via Merulana, 26;
    - on Saturday, 4 October, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung, archbishop of Seoul, will take possession of the title of San Crisogono, Piazza Sonnino, 44;
    - on Sunday 5 October, Cardinal Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano, archbishop of Managua, will take possession of the title of St. Joachim at Prati di Castello, Piazza dei Quiriti, 17.

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Professor Klaus Schwab, Germany, founder and executive president of the World Economic Forum (WEF), with his wife and entourage;
    - Abdou Diouf, secretary general of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), with his wife and entourage;
    - Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, apostolic nuncio in Japan;
    - Diego Bossio, executive director of the "Administracion Nacional de la Securidad Social", (ANSES), Argentina.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Jose Antonio Fernandez Hurtado of Tuxtepec, Mexico as metropolitan archbishop of Durango (area 82,017, population 1,385,000, Catholics 1,170,000, priests 178, permanent deacons 8, religious 275), Mexico. He succeeds Archbishop Hector Gonzalez Martinez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

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    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Oct 2 08:24:02 2014
    "In other words", he explained, "the State of social rights must not be dismantled, and in particular the right to work must be protected. This must not be considered a variable, dependent upon financial and monetary markets. It is a fundamental right for dignity, for the formation of a family, for the realisation of the common good and for peace. Education and work and access to welfare for all are key elements both for development and for the just distribution of goods, for achieving social justice and for belonging to society, and for participating freely and responsibly in political life, understood as the management of the "res publica". Ideas that claim to increase income at the cost of restricting the job market and creating further exclusion are not coherent with an economy at the service of man and the common good, or with an inclusive and participatory democracy".
    Further problems arise from the "lasting imbalances between economic sectors, remuneration, commercial banks and banks engaged in speculation, between institutions and global problems: it is necessary to remain vigilant about poverty and social justice. This requires, on the one hand, radical reforms that provide for the redistribution of the wealth produced, and the universalisation of free markets in the service of families, and on the other, a redistribution of sovereignty, at both national and supranational levels".
    Returning to the encyclical "Caritas in veritate", the Pope noted that this document emphasised the bond between the environmental and human ecology, and affirmed the current relevance of its principles. "A love full of truth is in fact the foundation on which we must build the peace that is particularly hoped for and necessary for the good of all today. It enables us to overcome dangerous fanaticism, conflicts over the possession of resources, migration of biblical dimensions, the lasting wounds of hunger and poverty, human trafficking, social and economic injustice and disparity, and imbalance in terms of access to collective goods". He concluded, "the Church is always on the move, in the search of new ways to proclaim the Gospel, also in the social sphere".

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    Pope Francis receives in audience the survivors of the Lampedusa shipwreck that claimed 368 lives
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father received a delegation of Eritrean survivors and relatives of the victims of the shipwreck that occurred a year ago in the waters of Lampedusa, Sicily, in which 368 migrants lost their lives. The delegation was composed of 37 people - more than 20 survivors and some relatives - from the various European countries where they have settled, often with family members who were already present there. These countries include Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark. Other survivors are due to arrive tomorrow, to join the delegation to participate in the commemoration of the tragedy in Lampedusa tomorrow. A few days ago a proposal was put forward to the Italian parliament that 3 October be declared a "Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Sea".
    The delegation was organised by the "3 October Committee", chaired by Tareke Brhane, and was accompanied by Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, almoner of His Holiness, and Fr. Giovanni Lamanna, former president of the Astalli Centre, the Italian home of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), an international Catholic organisation active in more than forty countries, whose mission is to accompany and assist refugees and asylum-seekers, and to defend their rights.
    During the meeting, which took place in a room adjacent to the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, one of the refugees addressed the Pope, asking for his help and support in work that remains to be done, for instance in identifying the bodies, that in some cases has not yet been possible. Another young person thanked the Pope for his support for and interest in the welfare of migrants and refugees.
    The Pope, moved by these testimonies, said, "I cannot find the words to say what I feel. What you have suffered is to be contemplated in silence; one weeps, and seeks a way of being close to you. At times, when you seem to have arrived in the port, we encounter very difficult situations. You find closed doors and do not know where to go. But there are many people whose hearts are open to you. The door of the heart is the most important in these moments. I implore all men and women in Europe to open the doors of their hearts! I want to say that I am close to you, I pray for you, I pray that the closed doors open up".
    The delegation presented the Holy Father with a sculpture in iron, depicting a bottle in the sea, containing a family. At the end of the encounter, the Pope personally greeted all those present.

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    Papal representatives in the Middle East gather in the Vatican to discuss the situation of Christians in the region
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - The papal representatives in the Middle East are meeting in the Vatican from 2 to 4 October, at the Holy Father's behest, to discuss the presence of Christians in the region, due to the grave situation that has prevailed in recent months. The meeting began this morning at the Secretariat of State and was attended by the Superiors of the Secretariat of State and the Roman Curia directly linked with the issue, as well as the Holy See Permanent Observers at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and the apostolic nuncio to the European Union.
    The meeting demonstrates the Holy Father's closeness and interest in this important question. He opened the meeting, thanking the participants convened to pray and reflect together on what to do to approach the dramatic situation experienced by Christians in the Middle East, along with other religious and ethnic minorities who suffer as a result of the violence that continues to rage throughout the region. With heartfelt words the Holy Father demonstrated his concern regarding the situations of conflict currently in progress in many areas, and for the phenomenon of terrorism, which holds human lives to have no value. The Pontiff also mentioned the problem of arms trafficking that is the basis of many problems, as well as the humanitarian drama experienced by many people forced to leave their countries. In emphasising the importance of prayer, the Holy Father expressed his hope that multi-level initiatives and actions may be identified in order to manifest the solidarity of all the Church towards the Christians of the Middle East and also to involve the international community and all men and women of good will, to respond to the needs of the very many people who suffer in the region.
    Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin illustrated the importance and aim of the meeting. Cardinal Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, offered a complete report on the situation experienced by Christians in the Middle East, presenting different aspects of the question and opening up dialogue with the participants. The papal representatives in Syria and Iraq then went on to provide information on the conditions of Christians in their respective countries, and finally, Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", spoke on the role of the Church in facing the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.
    This afternoon, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, will speak on religious dialogue with Islam, and the challenges faced by Christians in the Middle East. This will be followed by a presentation by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, on his recent visit to Iraq as the Holy Father's special envoy. After the debate, the session will close with Vespers.

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru;
    - Archbishop Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru;
    - Seven prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Chad, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Bishop Rosario Pio Ramolo, O.F.M. Cap., of Gore;
    - Bishop Miguel Angel Sebastian Martinez, M.C.C.I., of Lai, apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Doba;
    - Bishop Joachim Kouraleyo Tarounga of Moundou;
    - Bishop Jean-Claude Bouchard, O.M.I., of Pala;
    - Bishop Goetbe Edmond Djitangar of Sarh;
    - Bishop Henri Coudray, S.J., apostolic vicar of Mongo; and
    - Rev. Alphonse Karamba, diocesan administrator of N'Djamena.

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    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Oct 3 07:36:02 2014
    The apostolic nuncio in Israel and the apostolic delegate for Jerusalem and Palestine presented reports n the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on the presence of Christians in the Holy Land. A solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is crucial for the stabilisation of the Middle East and for peace in the region. Indeed, after many years it remains unresolved, with the very grave regional and global consequences this implies. In this regard, the Holy Father's pilgrimage to the Holy Land and the subsequent prayer meeting in the Vatican opened up hopes for peace. The recent conflict in Gaza recalls that the situation is serious and difficult, but it is necessary to renew diplomatic efforts for a just and lasting solution that respects the rights of both parties to the conflict.
    After a moment of dialogue, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity provided information on the relationship between the Catholic Church and other Churches and Christian confessions in the Middle East.
    In the afternoon, two reports will be heard on the role of the Church in relation to the refugee crisis and in the promotion of justice and peace, presented by the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples and the Prefect of the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace". After a lengthy dialogue, the afternoon session will conclude with Vespers and a fraternal dinner at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
    Tomorrow, the final day of the meeting, Holy Mass will be celebrated in the Pauline Chapel of the Apostolic Palace, presided by the Cardinal Secretary of State, followed by an exchange of ideas in relation to the conclusions and working guidelines emerging from these days of study and reflection.

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    Cardinal Baldisseri on the Synod on the Family
    Vatican City, 3 October 2014 (VIS) - A press conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office during which Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, outlined the structure of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, to be inaugurated by the Pope during a solemn mass in St. Peter's Basilica next Sunday.
    The Cardinal explained that among the 191 Synod Fathers there will be 61 Cardinals, one Cardinal Patriarch, 7 Patriarchs, one major archbishop, 67 metropolitan archbishops, 47 bishops, one auxiliary bishop, 1 priest and 6 religious. There will also be 16 experts, 38 auditors and 8 fraternal delegates. He also remarked that since this assembly will consider the theme of the family, special emphasis has been given to married couples, parents and family heads, a total of 12 persons; there is also one married couple within the group of experts.
    He went on to speak about the characteristics of the upcoming Synod, which show the Holy Father's wish to "undertake an innovative and original Synodal path, structured in two phases: the current Extraordinary Assembly, on the theme 'Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation', and next year's Ordinary Assembly, which will take as its theme 'The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world'". Cardinal Baldisseri noted that during the preparatory phase, "there resounded the voice of all of the People of God", from bishops to lay faithful who were able to express their opinions through the questionnaire linked to the preparatory document distributed by the Episcopal Conferences. "The large number of responses is due on the one hand to the theme of the Synod, which regards the life of the community, families and people and reflects the pastoral care that the bishops have always had in relation to the family. On the other hand, the breadth of the material that was submitted is without doubt an indication of the frankness and freeness with which the consultation was carried out. This broad-ranging freedom of expression will also characterise the Synod Assembly, which will certainly take place in an atmosphere of respect for every position, with mutual charity and with a genuinely constructive approach".
    He continued, "other new elements will affect the organisation of the work of the Synod, and therefore relate to the internal methodology of the Assembly. First, the Relatio ante disceptationem will include various novelties, and the Secretariat General asked the Synod fathers to transmit their contributions in advance, indicating the issue on which they intended to speak during the Assembly, respecting the order of themes. These texts were taken into consideration during the drafting of the Relatio ante disceptationem, which proved useful in organising the thematic agenda. In this way, the so-called Relatio becomes reference point which may be worked upon during the interventions in the Assembly".
    Secondly, during the debate in the Synod Hall, which will take place during the first week, beginning with the Second General Congregation, the thematic order established following the Instrumentum laboris will be followed. Each general Congregation will open with the announcement of the theme by the president delegate, followed by an intervention by a married couple of Auditors, who will offer the Synod Fathers their testimony of family life, contributing to the enrichment of the debate on pastoral action.
    Thirdly, during the "Relatio post disceptationem" issued at the end of the first week will provide the basis for the work of the second week by the so-called "small groups", when the Fathers prepare the final document, the "Relatio Synodi", to be submitted to the Holy Father.
    "There will also be novelties regarding the means of communication", continued Cardinal Baldisseri. "Each day there will be a Briefing in the Holy See Press Office, with the collaboration of the Press Secretaries and the participation of various Synod Fathers. The Press Office Bulletin will contain information regarding the day's work. Furthermore, there will be a Twitter service to transmit brief summaries of the most important news in real time.
    "The work of the Synod Fathers will be accompanied by the prayer of the people of God", concluded Cardinal Baldisseri. In Rome, in the Salus Populi Romani chapel in the Basilica of St. Mary Major, a bishop or a cardinal will celebrate a Holy Mass for the family. The presence of the relics of the Blessed couple Zelie and Louis Martin, and their daughter St. Therese of the Child Jesus, are significant, as are those of the Blessed couple Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi. Throughout the world, prayers will be offered in shrines, especially those dedicated to the Holy Family, in monasteries, in communities of consecrated life, in dioceses and in parishes".

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of San Cristobal de La Habana, Cuba.
    In the afternoon of Thursday, 2 October, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, apostolic penitentiary;
    - Bishop Hugo Nicolas Barbaro of San Roque of Presidencia Roque Saenz Pena, Argentina; and
    - Bishop Fernando Martin Croxatto, auxiliary of Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina.

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    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Oct 8 08:00:02 2014
    In the hour dedicated to open discussion - from 6 to 7 p.m. - attention returned to the need for a new language in the proclamation of the Gospel, with particular reference to the new media technologies. With regard to the indissolubility of marriage, it was highlighted that today it would appear that the law is opposed to the good of the person. In reality, the truth of the conjugal bond and its stability is inscribed within the person, and therefore it is not a question of setting the law and the person in opposition to each other, but rather of understanding how to help the person not to betray his or her own truth.
    Further reflection was proposed in relation to families who have not received the gift of children despite wishing for them, and those in regions affected by the Ebola virus.
    Finally, the image of the Church as light was recalled, in the hope that this may be not only the light of a beacon, that remains constant and illuminates from afar, but also a torch, or rather a "soft light" that accompanies humanity on its path, step by step.
    The Pontifical Council for the Family donated to the members of the Synod a copy of the extensive Enchiridion on the family.

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    Fifth General Congregation: critical situations within the family, the question of mixed marriages, and mercy and truth for the divorced and remarried
    Vatican City, 8 October 2014 (VIS) - In the fifth general Congregation, which took place tis morning and which the Holy Father did not attend on account of the general audience, the general debate continued on the themes outlined in the Instrumentum laboris: "The Pastoral Challenges of the Family (Part II, Chapter 2). The Crisis of Faith and Family Life / Critical Situations within the Family / External Pressures on the Family / Special Situations".
    First and foremost, the debate focused on the Church in the Middle East and in North Africa. Both exist in difficult political, economic and religious situations, with serious repercussions on families. Where there are laws that impede the reunification of families, poverty leads to migration, where there is religious fundamentalism and Christians do not enjoy equal rights with Muslim citizens, there are often difficult problems for families resulting from mixed marriages.
    Indeed, in these contexts, interreligious or so-called "mixed" marriages are present and on the increase in these contexts. It was said that the challenge of the Church is therefore to understand what form of catechesis may be offered to children born of such a union and how it is possible to respect to the unknown situation of those Catholics who, united in mixed marriages, wish to continue to practice their religion. Such couples, it was said, must not be neglected and the Church must continue to take care of them. A further challenge is also represented by those Christians who convert to Islam in order to marry: also in this case, suitable reflection is necessary.
    The question is not simply interreligious, but at times also ecumenical: there are cases in which a Catholic who has contracted a canonical marriage and is not able to obtain a declaration of nullity passes to another Christian confession, remarrying in a Church which permits this. In any case, without prejudice to the shared patrimony of faith, the need to follow the path of mercy in difficult situations was underlined.
    With regard to the question of divorced and remarried persons, it was highlighted that the Synod must certainly take the issue into consideration, with the prudence required for important matters, but must also combine the objectivity of truth with mercy for the person and for his or her suffering. It is necessary to remember that many faithful find themselves in this situation through no fault of their own.
    Mention was made of the commitment of the Holy See, whose voice is always heard in the defence of families at all levels - international, national and regional - with the aim of emphasising its dignity, its rights and duties, and always noting that, as Benedict XVI said, her "no" is in reality a "yes" to life. Therefore, it was underlined that the Church must combat the educational and religious silence in families, as there is no place for hesitation and greater commitment to witnessing the Gospel is needed. Creativity in pastoral ministry is always necessary.
    The Assembly went on to reflect on the indispensable contribution of the lay faithful to the proclamation of the Gospel in the family: in particular, the young, ecclesial movements and new communities provide a service of vital importance, carrying out a prophetic mission that runs counter to the current of our times. Listening and believing in the laity, therefore, is shown to be essential, as it is in them and with them that the Church may find the answers to the problems of the family.
    Another theme taken into consideration was that of the precariousness of work and unemployment. The distress caused by the lack of a secure job creates difficulties within families, along with the poverty that often prevents families from having a home. Furthermore, a lack of money often leads to it becoming "deified" and to families being sacrificed on the altar of profit. It is necessary to re-emphasise that money must serve rather than govern.
    There was further reflection on the need for greater preparation for marriage, also with special attention to emotional and sexual education, encouraging a true mystical and familiar approach to sexuality. The great contribution of grandparents to the transmission of faith in families was then recalled and it was highlighted how important it is for the family unit to welcome the elderly with solidarity, care and tenderness. The same care must be reserved to the sick, to overcome the "throwaway culture" that Pope Francis frequently warns against.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 8 October 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Bishop Fausto Tardelli of San Miniato, Italy, as bishop of Pistoia (area 821, population 228,600, Catholics 219,300, priests 119, permanent deacons 22, religious 178), Italy.
    - Bishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta, secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, as coadjutor of the archdiocese of Merida-Badajoz (area 17,405, population 597,300, Catholics 588,100, priests 311, religious 637), Spain.
    - appointed Msgr. Levi Bonatto, of the personal prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Goiania (area 13,320, population 2,024,000, Catholics 1,221,000, priests 208, permanent deacons 14, religious 573), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Sao Jose dos Pinhais, Brazil in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1996. He holds a degree in economics from the Federal University of the State of Parana and a degree in canon law from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including chaplain of the "Castelo" cultural centre in Campinas and of the "Alfa e Esplanada" cultural centre in Sao Jose dos Campos; spiritual father for seminarians in the diocese of Sao Jose dos Campos; chaplain of the "Os Pinhais" professional centre for girls with limited economic resources, and professor of canon law and theology at the "Studium Generale" of Opus Dei in Sao Paulo. He is currently chaplain of the "Marumbi" cultural centre, coordinator of the "Santa Cruz" priestly society in the State of Parana and confessor at the "Sao Jose" minor seminary of Curitiba.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Oct 8 08:48:02 2014
    In the hour dedicated to open discussion ? from 6 to 7 p.m. ? attention returned to the need for a new language in the proclamation of the Gospel, with particular reference to the new media technologies. With regard to the indissolubility of marriage, it was highlighted that today it would appear that the law is opposed to the good of the person. In reality, the truth of the conjugal bond and its stability is inscribed within the person, and therefore it is not a question of setting the law and the person in opposition to each other, but rather of understanding how to help the person not to betray his or her own truth.
    Further reflection was proposed in relation to families who have not received the gift of children despite wishing for them, and those in regions affected by the Ebola virus.
    Finally, the image of the Church as light was recalled, in the hope that this may be not only the light of a beacon, that remains constant and illuminates from afar, but also a torch, or rather a ?soft light? that accompanies humanity on its path, step by step.
    The Pontifical Council for the Family donated to the members of the Synod a copy of the extensive Enchiridion on the family.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Fifth General Congregation: critical situations within the family, the question of mixed marriages, and mercy and truth for the divorced and remarried
    Vatican City, 8 October 2014 (VIS) ? In the fifth general Congregation, which took place tis morning and which the Holy Father did not attend on account of the general audience, the general debate continued on the themes outlined in the Instrumentum laboris: ?The Pastoral Challenges of the Family (Part II, Chapter 2). The Crisis of Faith and Family Life / Critical Situations within the Family / External Pressures on the Family / Special Situations?.
    First and foremost, the debate focused on the Church in the Middle East and in North Africa. Both exist in difficult political, economic and religious situations, with serious repercussions on families. Where there are laws that impede the reunification of families, poverty leads to migration, where there is religious fundamentalism and Christians do not enjoy equal rights with Muslim citizens, there are often difficult problems for families resulting from mixed marriages.
    Indeed, in these contexts, interreligious or so-called ?mixed? marriages are present and on the increase in these contexts. It was said that the challenge of the Church is therefore to understand what form of catechesis may be offered to children born of such a union and how it is possible to respect to the unknown situation of those Catholics who, united in mixed marriages, wish to continue to practice their religion. Such couples, it was said, must not be neglected and the Church must continue to take care of them. A further challenge is also represented by those Christians who convert to Islam in order to marry: also in this case, suitable reflection is necessary.
    The question is not simply interreligious, but at times also ecumenical: there are cases in which a Catholic who has contracted a canonical marriage and is not able to obtain a declaration of nullity passes to another Christian confession, remarrying in a Church which permits this. In any case, without prejudice to the shared patrimony of faith, the need to follow the path of mercy in difficult situations was underlined.
    With regard to the question of divorced and remarried persons, it was highlighted that the Synod must certainly take the issue into consideration, with the prudence required for important matters, but must also combine the objectivity of truth with mercy for the person and for his or her suffering. It is necessary to remember that many faithful find themselves in this situation through no fault of their own.
    Mention was made of the commitment of the Holy See, whose voice is always heard in the defence of families at all levels ? international, national and regional ? with the aim of emphasising its dignity, its rights and duties, and always noting that, as Benedict XVI said, her ?no? is in reality a ?yes? to life. Therefore, it was underlined that the Church must combat the educational and religious silence in families, as there is no place for hesitation and greater commitment to witnessing the Gospel is needed. Creativity in pastoral ministry is always necessary.
    The Assembly went on to reflect on the indispensable contribution of the lay faithful to the proclamation of the Gospel in the family: in particular, the young, ecclesial movements and new communities provide a service of vital importance, carrying out a prophetic mission that runs counter to the current of our times. Listening and believing in the laity, therefore, is shown to be essential, as it is in them and with them that the Church may find the answers to the problems of the family.
    Another theme taken into consideration was that of the precariousness of work and unemployment. The distress caused by the lack of a secure job creates difficulties within families, along with the poverty that often prevents families from having a home. Furthermore, a lack of money often leads to it becoming ?deified? and to families being sacrificed on the altar of profit. It is necessary to re-emphasise that money must serve rather than govern.
    There was further reflection on the need for greater preparation for marriage, also with special attention to emotional and sexual education, encouraging a true mystical and familiar approach to sexuality. The great contribution of grandparents to the transmission of faith in families was then recalled and it was highlighted how important it is for the family unit to welcome the elderly with solidarity, care and tenderness. The same care must be reserved to the sick, to overcome the ?throwaway culture? that Pope Francis frequently warns against.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 8 October 2014 (VIS) ? The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Bishop Fausto Tardelli of San Miniato, Italy, as bishop of Pistoia (area 821, population 228,600, Catholics 219,300, priests 119, permanent deacons 22, religious 178), Italy.
    - Bishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta, secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, as coadjutor of the archdiocese of Merida-Badajoz (area 17,405, population 597,300, Catholics 588,100, priests 311, religious 637), Spain.
    - appointed Msgr. Levi Bonatto, of the personal prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Goiania (area 13,320, population 2,024,000, Catholics 1,221,000, priests 208, permanent deacons 14, religious 573), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Sao Jose dos Pinhais, Brazil in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1996. He holds a degree in economics from the Federal University of the State of Parana and a degree in canon law from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including chaplain of the ?Castelo? cultural centre in Campinas and of the ?Alfa e Esplanada? cultural centre in Sao Jose dos Campos; spiritual father for seminarians in the diocese of Sao Jose dos Campos; chaplain of the ?Os Pinhais? professional centre for girls with limited economic resources, and professor of canon law and theology at the ?Studium Generale? of Opus Dei in Sao Paulo. He is currentlychaplain of the ?Marumbi? cultural centre, coordinator of the ?Santa Cruz? priestly society in the State of Parana and confessor at the ?Sao Jose? minor seminary of Curitiba.

    ___________________________________________________________

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Oct 10 07:48:02 2014
    Furthermore, the Auditors remarked on the need for greater dialogue between Church and State, also through the efforts of lay faithful who, without motivations of personal ambition, know how to promote the protection of the rights of the family and the defence of life, working for a State with a human face. The laity, it was remarked, must be active and competent in the public defence of the values of life and the family.
    The interventions focused on the need to adequately and permanently prepare priests in relation to themes regarding the family, especially in relation to openness to life, so that they are able to explain and speak naturally and clearly about conjugal love. It was also noted that if natural family planning is explained in depth, highlighting its positive worth, it can strengthen the life of the couple. In this respect, it was reiterated that homilies, if well prepared, may ensure that the faithful participate more fully in the celebration of Mass.
    A further starting point for reflection shed light on the importance of testimony: the young do not need theory, it was said, but they clearly understand the centrality of the family if it is demonstrated by families themselves, credible witnesses and subjects of evangelisation. For this, the Assembly reflected on the need for couples to be accompanied by adequate pastoral care after marriage as well as before.
    The Auditors then gave voice to the suffering of those who lose a family member: widows and widowers, orphans, or parents who lose a child. For these people, the accompaniment of the Church is fundamental, through support groups and sharing, so that they do not become lost in the profound anguish of loss, and the fear of a "desert" of emotions, but remain firm in their faith.
    The Synod Fathers went on to speak about the importance of "human ecology", which helps to combat the negative affects of economic globalisation, which often proposes models contrary to Catholic doctrine. They expressed their firm condemnation of all forms of domestic violence, especially in relation to women, showing that this is often perpetrated by young people.
    Finally, the need for communication within families was emphasised, as sharing between couples, participation of both parents in the education of children, and above all prayer within domestic walls, all contribute to strengthening the family unit.

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    Message for families affected by conflicts
    Vatican City, 10 October 2014 (VIS) - The full text of the message of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for families who suffer as a result of conflicts is published below:
    "Gathered around the Successor of the Apostle Peter, we the Synod Fathers of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, along with all participants, share the paternal concern of the Holy Father, expressing our profound closeness to all the families who suffer as a consequence of the many conflicts in progress.
    "In particular, we raise to the Lord our prayers for Iraqi and Syrian families, forced on account of their profession of the Christian faith or their belonging to other ethnic or religious communities, to abandon everything and flee towards a future without any form of certainty. We join with the Holy Father Francis in emphasising that no-one may use the name of God to commit violence, and that to kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. Offering thanks to International Organisations and Countries for their solidarity, we invite persons of good will to offer the necessary assistance and aid to the innocent victims of the current barbarism, and at the same time we implore the international community to act to re-establish peaceful co-existence in Iraq, in Syria, and in all the Middle East.
    "Equally, our thoughts go to those families that are torn apart and suffering in other parts of the world, and who suffer persistent violence. We wish to assure them of our constant prayer that the Lord may convert hearts and bring peace and stability to those who are now in need.
    "May the Holy Family of Nazareth, which suffered on the painful road of exile make every family a community of love and reconciliation a source of hope for the whole world".

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    "Useless slaughter": believers and the Holy See during the First World War
    Vatican City, 10 October 2014 (VIS) - A press conference was held yesterday at 11 a.m. in the Holy Press Office to present the International Congress "Useless Slaughter: Catholics and the Holy See in the First World War", organised by the Pontifical Council for Historical Sciences. The speakers were Fr. Bernard Ardura, O. Praem., president of the Pontifical Council for Historical Sciences and Professor Roberto Morozzo della Rocca of the "Roma Tre" University.
    "The initiative of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences aims to bring together numerous specialists in the field, with the intention of offering a reinterpretation of the conflict not only seen but also experienced by believers, mostly Catholics but also Protestants and Orthodox - and more specifically for the Holy See that, at the time again without territory of its own, and therefore within the territory of Italy, involved in the conflict, sought as far as possible to safeguard its specific nature".
    The theme of the congress, "Useless Slaughter", are two words that express the drama of the First World War. One hundred years after the outbreak of the first world war, the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, in collaboration with the Hungarian Academy in Rome and the Commission International d'Histoire et Etudes du Christianisme, have offered the opportunity to review the historiography with particular attention to the commitment of Catholics and the Holy See in the conflict.
    Fr. Bernard Ardura explained that although the central theme of the meeting was Catholics and the Holy See in the First World War, the congress also includes interventions from various historians regarding States with predominantly Protestant or Orthodox citizens. It is hoped, he affirmed, that a second Congress will be held in 2018 on the consequences of the Treaty of Versailles which were, at least in part, at the origin of the Second World War and whose repercussions can still be felt at the dawn of the 21st century.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 10 October 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Jose Joao dos Santos Marcos of the clergy of Lisbon, Portugal, as coadjutor of the diocese of Beja (area 12,300, population 211,964, Catholics 175,946, priests 54, permanent deacons 10, religious 75), Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in Monte Perobolso, Portugal in 1949 and was ordained a priest in 1974. He studied at the Higher Institute of Theological Studies in Lisbon, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of the Church of "Sao Tiago" in Camarate and "Nossa Senhora da Encarnacao" in Apelacao. He is currently spiritual director of the Christ King major seminary (Olivais) of the patriarchate of Lisbon, spiritual director in the "Redemptoris Mater" seminary, Lisbon, member of the pastoral council of the patriarchate of Lisbon, and canon of the Cathedral Chapter of Lisbon.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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    ___________________________________________________________

    Mass of thanks for the new Canadian saints
    Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) - This morning in St. Peter's Basilica, a Holy Mass was celebrated to give thanks for the canonisation of the Canadian saints Francois de Laval and Marie de l'Incarnation. In his homily, the Holy Father spoke about missionaries who, like the new saints, "in docility to the Holy Spirit, have the courage to live the Gospel".
    "Missionaries have received this call: they have gone out to call everyone, in the highways and byways of the world", he continued. "In this way they have done immense good for the Church, for once the Church stops moving, once she becomes closed in on herself, she falls ill, she can be corrupted, whether by sins or by that false knowledge cut off from God which is worldly secularism. Missionaries have turned their gaze to Christ crucified ... they have been able to live in poverty and abundance, in plenty and hunger".
    The Pope gave two pieces of advice to Canadian pilgrims. "Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith", and "Recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings. Do not abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. You need only endurance".
    Pope Francis concluded by mentioning the many Canadian missionaries, so that "this memory does not lead us to abandon frankness and courage". He added, "the devil is envious and cannot tolerate that a land can be so rich in missionaries", and asked for prayers for Quebec, so that it may "return to the path of fruitfulness, to give many missionaries to the world" and so that the new Canadian saints "may help us as intercessors".

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    Angelus: respond to the Lord's invitation with witness to charity
    Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) - Today at midday, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, Pope Francis commented on the day's reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew, in which God, represented by a king, gives an invitation to participate in a wedding banquet; however, none of those invited choose to attend, and some demonstrate indifference or even annoyance. The Pope first remarked on the three characteristics of the invitation: gratuitousness, amplitude, and universality. "God is good to us", he said. "He freely offers us His friendship. He freely offers His joy and salvation. But very often we do not welcome His gifts. We prioritise our material concerns, our own interests, and even when the Lord calls us, many times it is as if this irritates us".
    He continued, "Some of those invited even mistreat and kill the servants who bring the invitation. But despite the lack of response from those invited, God's project is not interrupted. Faced with rejection from those He invites first, he is not discouraged and does not cancel the feast, but instead extends the invitation again, this time expanding it beyond reasonable limits, sending His servants to the squares and crossroads to gather together all the people they meet".
    "God's goodness has no limits, and does not discriminate against anyone. This is why the banquet of the gifts of the Lord is universal. It is universal for everyone. He gives everyone the opportunity to respond to His invitation, to His call; no-one has the right to feel privileged or to claim exclusivity". He concluded, "The goodness of God does not have limits and does not discriminate against anyone. We are all called upon to expand the Church to the dimensions of the Kingdom of God. There is only one condition: put on the wedding garment: that is, bear concrete witness to charity towards God and neighbour".

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    Genoa in the Pope's prayers
    Vatican City, 12 October 2014 (VIS) - At the end of today's Angelus, the Pope addressed the city of Genoa, again afflicted by floods. "I assure my prayers for the victims and those who have suffered serious damages. May Our Lady of the Guard support the dear people of Genoa in their collective efforts to overcome this crisis".
    He went on to greet all the faithful and pilgrims, especially the Canadians in Rome for the canonisation of Francois de Laval and Marie de l'Incarnation. "May the new saints arouse apostolic fervour in the hearts of young Canadians".

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    Synod Fathers to draw up the Relatio Synodi
    Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has decided that, to draw up the Relatio Synodi, the General Rapporteur, the Special Secretary and the Secretary General will be joined by the following Synod Fathers: Cardinals Gianfranco Ravasi and Donald William Wuerl, Archbishops Victor Manuel Fernandez and Carlos Aguiar Retes, Bishop Peter Kang U-il and Rev. Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, S.J.

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    Tenth General Congregation: Fraternal Delegates
    Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) - The tenth general Congregation involved hearing seven fraternal Delegates of various Christian confessions. The intervention of the eighth Delegate, Metropolitan Hilarion, president of the Department for External Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow, will be given in the coming days.
    In their interventions, the fraternal Delegates expressed to the Holy Father and the Synod Fathers their gratitude for the invitation to participate in the Assembly. Each one then went on to present the question of the family in the context of his own Christian confession.
    Overall, it was underlined that the challenges and hopes attached to the family unit are common to all Christians: the family, it was said, is fundamental for society, it is the foundation of communion in justice. Certainly, there is no lack of difficulties: the economic crisis is pressing, the mass media reduce moments of dialogue in the home, at times even proposing models that lead to adultery, and factors such as wars, migration, globalisation, the drama of diseases such as Aids and Ebola, and the Islamic fundamentalism present in some countries continually place the good of the family at risk in every context.
    Common to all Christians is the need for adequate preparation for marriage and appropriate reflection on marriage between believers and non-believers. With regard to divorced and remarried persons, it was said that their acceptance in the Church may give new hope, promoting a more serene family life and thus creating a richer society. Therefore, on the part of all Christian confessions, it is essential to listen to those who find themselves in difficult family situations, who are in need of mercy and compassion every day, as the Church wishes always to help those who suffer, looking both at the Sacred Scriptures and at the problems of contemporary life.
    The wish was expressed for listening and comprehension, far from any form of condemnation, in relation to homosexual persons, while emphasising that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Particular attention was shown towards children born in difficult contexts and for all victims of violence, especially women and minors, as the defence of the most vulnerable, of those who have no voice of their own - believers or otherwise - is common to all Christians.
    Another central theme in the interventions by the fraternal Delegates was that of the proclamation of the Gospel. The family, it was said, is the first school of faith: it is the place where knowledge of the Good News is transmitted and disseminated, and it is therefore essential that Christians share the "joy of the Gospel", that "evangelii gaudium" frequently mentioned by Pope Francis.
    Some differences in approach were encountered, for example on the theme of birth control, underlining the freedom of conscience of believers, while always respecting the meaning of love and marriage. Furthermore, in relation to second marriages, it was said by the Orthodox delegates that these in any case constitute a deviation and while they are celebrated, it is after a period of accompaniment on the part of the Church in an attempt to bring married couples towards reconciliation.
    In particular, the fraternal Delegates of the Churches present in the Middle East thanked Pope Francis for the prayer vigil for peace in Syria and throughout the world, held on 7 September 2013; in this context, the responsibility of evangelisation by Middle Eastern Christian families within a largely Islamic context was emphasised.
    Finally, the delegates concluded their interventions by expressing the hope that the extraordinary Synod on the family will prove successful, especially in view of the ordinary Assembly scheduled for 2015.

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    Declaration from the director of the Holy See Press Office
    Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) - In response to questions from journalists regarding the meeting between the Holy Father Francis and the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, the director of the Holy See Press Office Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., issued the following declaration:
    "As agreed, the Holy Father Francis will receive Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on Saturday 18 October 2014. The meeting will allow a deepening of the bilateral relations between Viet Nam and the Holy See".

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - Cardinal Geraldo Majello Agnelo, archbishop emeritus of Sao Salvador de Bahia, Brazil;
    - Bishop Francesco Moraglia, patriarch of Venice, Italy.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 11 October 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Bishop Djalwana Laurent Lompo as metropolitan archbishop of the archdiocese of Niamey (area 200,000, population 7,637,000, Catholics 20,600, priests 39, religious 81), Niger. Msgr. Djalwana Laurent Lompo, currently auxiliary of the same diocese, succeeds Archbishop Michel Carteteguy, S.M.A., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Archbishop Vincenzo Pelvi, military ordinary emeritus of Italy, as metropolitan archbishop of Foggia-Bovino (area 1,666, population 215,000, Catholics 212,000, priests 154, permanent deacons 10, religious 228), Italy. He succeeds Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Bishop Jan Piotrowski, auxiliary of Tarnow, Poland, as bishop of Kielce (area 8,319, population 813,525, Catholics 768,743, priests 729, religious 437), Poland. He succeeds Bishop Kazimierz Ryczan, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Oct 27 09:00:02 2014
    "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".

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    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".

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    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".

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    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.

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    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.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Nov 3 14:55:02 2014
    Today, when we remember our dear departed, many people visit the cemetery which, as its name itself implies, is a "place of rest", where we await the final awakening. "Jesus himself revealed that the death of the body is like a sleep from which he awakens us", explained the Holy Father. "With this faith we stop - also spiritually - at the graves of our loved ones. ... But today we are called to remember everyone, even those who no one remembers. We remember the victims of war and violence; the many 'little ones' of the world, oppressed by hunger and poverty. We remember the nameless who rest in common graves. We remember our brothers and sisters killed because they are Christians; and those who sacrificed their lives to serve others".
    "Church tradition has always urged prayer for the dead, in particular by offering the celebration of the Eucharist for them: it is the best spiritual help that we can give to their souls, particularly to the most abandoned ones. The foundation of prayers of remembrance is found in the communion of the Mystical Body. Remembering the dead, caring for their tombs and prayers of suffrage are testimony to confident hope, rooted in the certainty that death does not have the last word on human destiny, as humanity is destined for a life without end, that has its root and its fulfilment in God", said Francis, who concluded the Angelus with a prayer for the departed by the Passionist Antonio Rungi:
    "God of infinite mercy, we entrust to Your immense goodness all those who have left this world for eternity, where you await all humanity, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ Your Son, who died to save us from our sins. Look not Lord, at our poverty, misery and human weaknesses when we present ourselves before You to be judged in happiness or condemned. Gaze upon us with pity, born of Your tender heart and help us to walk the path of purification. May none of your children be lost to the eternal fires of hell, where repentance is no more. We entrust to You Lord, the souls of our beloved departed, of those who died without the comfort of the Sacraments or who did not have the opportunity to repent, not even at the end of their life. May no one fear the encounter with You at the end of their earthly pilgrimage, in the hope of being welcomed within the embrace of your infinite mercy. May sister death find us in prayerful vigilance, and full of all the good we have done during our existence, be it long or short. Lord, may nothing distance us from you on this earth, may everything and everyone support us in our ardent hope to serenely and eternally rest in You. Amen".

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    The Pope celebrates Mass for the cardinals and bishops departed during the last year
    Vatican City, 3 November 2014 (VIS) - Following tradition, this morning the Holy Fther celebrated Mass in the Vatican Basilica in memory of all the cardinals and bishops deceased during the last twelve months, whom he remembered with gratitude, and recalling their service to the Church. "This celebration, thanks to the Word of God, is completely illuminated by faith in the Resurrection", he affirmed.
    "All divine revelation is the fruit of the dialogue between God and His peole, and also faith in the Resurrection is linked to this dialogue, which accompanies the people of God in history. It is not surprising that such a mystery as great, decisive and superhuman as the Resurrection had to come all the way up to Jesus Christ. He was able to say "I am the resurrection and the life", as in Him this mystery is not only fully revealed, but also put into effect, becoming reality for the first time and definitively. ... Every one of us is invited to enter into this event. We are called first to stay before Jesus' cross, to hear the cry of Jesus, his last breath, and finally that silence that lasts the whole of Holy Saturday. And then we are called to His tomb, to see that the great stone has been set aside, to hear the announcement: 'He has risen! He is not here'. And herein lies the answer. Here there is the foundation, the rock. Not in 'persuasive and knowing discourse, but in the living word of the Cross and of Jesus' resurrection.
    "This is what the apostle Paul preached: Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected. If He had not risen again, our faith would be empty and inconsistent. But since He rose again, or rather, He is the Resurrection, our faith is full of truth and eternal life".

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    The Holy See at the United Nations advocates a peaceful use of space
    Vatican City, 3 November 2014 (VIS) - "For a peaceful use of space" was the theme of the intervention by Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations, during the session of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee which took place on 17 October and focused on "International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space".
    "Since the earliest days of human history, humanity has looked to the sky with wonder, longing to understand celestial realities and their meaning in relation to humanity itself", observed the nuncio. "Because of the fundamental questions it has always raised, the exploration of the universe has also deepened the understanding of faith and its rapport with science. The Holy See believes that faith is capable of both expanding and enriching the horizons of reason; thus, it rejoices in the marvellous progress of science, seeing it both as a product of the enormous God-given potential of the human mind and as manifestation of the vastness and richness of creation".
    "Our responsibility is to ensure that the fruits of these advances also benefit the poor around the world", he continued. "My delegation is fully aware of the constraints to a universal access to the beneficial uses of outer space, considering the huge investments put into explorations and questions related to intellectual property, patents, etc. However, in a time when outer space has become a huge economic asset and hosts information and communications technologies, States must work together to ensure that these benefits do not become yet another cause of increasing economic and social inequalities, but rather a shared resource for the common good of the entire global community. Vital to promoting this common good is ensuring the peaceful use of outer space. To this end, the ongoing discussion on the development of an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities represents a positive step toward furthering a fairer and safer use of outer space. It would undoubtedly help toward preventing an arms race in outer space and, consequently, toward averting a new, grave threat to international peace and security".
    The archbishop went on to emphasise the importance of using outer space for an ever greater understanding of our planet. "Satellites monitor the health of oceans and forests. They provide data on water cycles, climate patterns and other atmospheric phenomena. We trust that this knowledge can convince us to change lifestyles and practices detrimental to our environment. If we do not work together, there will be no winners, only losers".
    "The Holy See wishes to highlight the use of satellites in the diffusion of knowledge and the elimination of illiteracy", he concluded. "Indeed, satellites can reach not only those places where illiteracy is a thing of the past, but also those where many still cannot read or write, especially in far-flung areas. However, care must be taken that this outer space technology does not become an instrument of dominion and a vehicle to impose certain cultures and values on others".

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 3 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Chiclayo, Peru, presented by Bishop Jesus Moline Labarta upon reaching the age limit. He has appointed Rev. Fr. Robert Francis Prevost, O.S.A., as apostolic administrator of the same diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. in 1955, gave his solemn vows in 1981 and was ordained a priest in 1982. He holds a degree in canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including chancellor of the diocese of Chulucanas, Peru; promoter of vocational pastoral care and director of missions of his Order in the Province of Chicago, U.S.A.; director of the seminary of his Order in Trujillo, Peru, and prior general of the Augustinian Province of Chicago. He is currently director of formation in the Convent of St. Augustine in Chicago and provincial vicar of the Province Our Lady of Good Counsel.

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    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Nov 6 08:48:02 2014
    Subsequently, in another room, the Pope also met with eighteen other members of the Carlotto family, in a cordial atmosphere. They presented Francis with various gifts, including a poncho and a CD with works by Ignacio Guido, who is a musician, and a scarf of the Grandmothers of the Plazo de Mayo. The encounter lasted for around half an hour.
    At 5 p.m. this afternoon, in the Argentine Embassy at the Quirinal, a press conference will be held in which Estela de Carlotto will participate.

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    The Holy See at the United Nations: a lack of food is not the root cause of hunger
    Vatican City, 6 November 2014 (VIS) - Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations, spoke at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly on 28 October, on the theme of "Agriculture development, food security and nutrition".
    The nuncio observed that according to the Secretary General's report, since 1990 there has been a 17% decrease in the number of people suffering from chronic hunger. However, he added, "it also means that we still have almost 850 million people suffering from acute hunger. The number is already shocking in itself, but what must shock us even more is the fact that behind those numbers are real people, with their fundamental dignity and rights. Thus, eradicating hunger is not only a high priority development goal; it is a moral imperative".
    However, he added, "it is not for lack of food in the world that they suffer acute hunger, because the current levels of world food production are sufficient to feed everyone. The problem lies elsewhere, such as in the lack of conservation technologies among smallholder producers, in weak or absent government support to incentivise the commercialisation of products, or in the lack of infrastructure for better food distribution and marketing".
    He remarked that the whole "United Nations family" must renew its efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in the world, putting it at the forefront of its collective efforts. "It is for this reason that the Holy See welcomes the incorporation of food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture as components of the sustainable development goals. ... The Holy See also welcomes the focus that the report of the Secretary General on Agricultural Development, Food Security and Nutrition puts on those regions of the world where hunger and malnutrition are still at unacceptable levels. The Holy See also appreciates the report's focus on groups most vulnerable to malnutrition, like pregnant women and children below five years old".
    He continued, "The theme of this year's World Food Day tells us that the family is key in the fight to end hunger. ... This recognition of the role of the family must be accompanied by policies and initiatives that really respond to the needs of farming families and communities". He concluded by reminding those present that an international conference on nutrition in will be held in Rome next month, aiming to bring together "government leaders, other top-level policy-makers and representatives of intergovernmental organisations and civil society, to take stock of progress made in improving nutrition and to seek new ways to boost national and global efforts to improve health".

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 6 November 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference;
    - Archbishop Leon Kalenga Badikebele, apostolic nuncio in El Salvador and Belize;
    - Seven prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, S.M.M., of Blantyre;
    - Bishop Peter Martin Musikuwa of Chikwawa;
    - Bishop Montfort Stima of Mangochi;
    - Archbishop Tarcisius Gervazio Ziyaye of Lilongwe;
    - Bishop Emanuel Kanyama of Dedza;
    - Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza of Mzuzu;
    - Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of Karonga.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 6 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Asuncion, Paraguay, presented by Archbishop Eustaquio Pastor Cuquejo Verga, C.SS.R., upon reaching the age limit. Archbishop Cuquejo Verga is succeeded by Bishop Edmundo Ponciano Valenzuela Mellid, S.D.B., coadjutor of the same archdiocese.
    - elevated the diocese of Dodoma, Tanzania, to the status of metropolitan archdiocese and assigning it the suffragan dioceses of Singida and Kondoa.
    - appointed Bishop Beatus Kinyaiya, O.F.M. Cap., of Mbulu, Tanzania, as first bishop of Dodoma (area 38,743, population 1,578,173, Catholics 301,593, priests 80, religious 397), Tanzania;
    - appointed Bishop Eduardo Horacio Garcia, auxiliary of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as bishop of San Justo (area 134, population 1,114,000, Catholics 1,003,000, priests 71, permanent deacons 24, religious 158), Argentina. He succeeds Bishop Baldomero Carlos Martini, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father;
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Donatus Aihmiosion Ogun, O.S.A., as bishop of Uromi (area 2,938, population 946,901, Catholics 139,087, priests 83, religious 39), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Sapele, Nigeria in 1966, gave his solemn vows in 1992, and was ordained a priest in 1993. He studied canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including prior and bursar of the "Our Lady of Lourdes" community in Coker Village, Lagos; prior and bursar of the "Our Lady of Good Counsel" community in Iwako Oka and university chaplain; and bursar of "St. Cyprian" in Warri and episcopal vicar for religious persons of the diocese of Warri. He is currently lecturer in the St. Thomas Aquinas major seminary and director of the St. Augustine Institute in Makurdi;
    - appointed Bishop Juan Jose Omella Omella of Calahorra y La Calzada - Logrono, Spain, as member of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - appointed Msgr. Giacomo Incitti, ordinary professor of canon law at the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome, as advisor to the Apostolic Penitentiary;
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Serge Thomas Bonino, O.P., general secretary of the International Theological Commission and member of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), as president of the same Pontifical University;
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Philippe Curbelie, official of the Congregation for Catholic Education, as office head of the same dicastery;
    - appointed Msgr. Maurice Monier as judge of the Court of Appeal of Vatican City State.

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    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Nov 10 08:25:02 2014
    Finally, in reference to mission, the Pope comments that it is "inseparable from prayer, as prayer opens you to the Spirit, and the Spirit guides you in mission", and encourages them to prioritise, in their encounters with others, the most marginalised. He also urges them to entrust themselves to Mary and to allow themselves to be guided by her: "Mary accompanied Jesus in His mission. She was present at the Pentecost when the disciples received the Holy Spirit, and she maternally accompanied the first steps of the Church".

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    Witness the Salesian charism of encounter, says Francis to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians
    Vatican City, 8 November 2014 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall the Holy Father received in audience the participants in the General Chapter of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the theme of which is "With the young today: being a house that evangelises". This theme, remarked Francis, fits well in today's social and ecclesial context, characterised by many forms of spiritual and material misery. "Indeed, today many suffer not only from poverty but also from a lack of love or relationships". In this context, he added, "you are able to perceive above all the fragility of the young people to whom you dedicate yourselves with admirable commitment, in the style of Don Bosco and following in the footsteps of Mother Mazzarello".
    In the general chapter, various basic directions emerged for the life of each religious person and every community. First, there is "the commitment to being guided by the prospect of outreach, of setting out for the many geographically and existentially peripheral zones, with preferential attention to the poor and the different forms of exclusion. Then, there is the awareness of the need to put into effect appropriate itineraries of change and pastoral conversion, thus transforming your houses into places of evangelisation, where above all the young are involved in the same mission".
    "I can only encourage you to pursue with enthusiasm in this line of action that the Holy Spirit is suggesting to you. Open your hearts to welcome the ... grace of God; broaden your outlook to recognise the truest needs and the urgency of a society and a generation in flux. Everywhere be prophetic witnesses and an educative presence, through an unconditional welcome to the young, facing intercultural challenges and identifying approaches to make your apostolic interventions effective in a context - that of youth - permeated by the virtual world and by new technologies, especially those of a digital nature".
    In order to do this, "it is necessary always to place Christ at the centre of your existence: it is necessary to allow yourselves to be formed by the Word of God, that enlightens, orientates and supports; it is necessary to nurture the missionary spirit with assiduous prayer". At the same time, he added, the Daughters are called upon to "bear witness to an ideal of sisterly communion between you, with sentiments of mutual acceptance", that must be accompanied by attentive formation, including timely studies of the human sciences that may help them in their mission. "Indeed, you are called upon to be able to listen with openness and understanding to those who turn to you for moral and human support, in order to inculturate the message of the Gospel. In this respect, the missio ad gentes offers you a vast field in which to give yourselves with love".
    Finally, the Pope urged the Daughters, who during the Chapter have also reflected extensively on their daily apostolic life, that places them in contract with the joys, expectations and sufferings of the people, to be "missionaries of joy, bearing witness to the values of your Salesian identity, especially in the category of encounter, a fundamental aspect of your charism. It is an ever fresh and vital source from which to draw the love that revitalises passion for God and for the young. May the inevitable difficulties you encounter along the way never dampen the enthusiasm of your apostolic action. May the example of St. John Bosco and St. Domenica Mazzarello encourage you to contribute even more enthusiastically to new evangelisation with your activities in the fields of education and school, catechesis and the formation of young people in the apostolate".

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    The Pope to the Adult Scouts Movement: respecting nature and eliminating wastefulness
    Vatican City, 8 November 2014 (VIS) - "Make way in the family, in creation, and in the city", exhorted the Pope this morning as he received in audience seven thousand members of the adult Italian scouts, gathered in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the foundation of this branch of the movement.
    With regard to the first path to take, within the family, Francis remarked that this community of life and love is where every person learns how to relate to others and to the world and, "thanks to the foundations acquired in the family, is able to project him- or herself in society, and to frequent other formative environments, such as school, the parish or associations, in a positive way. Thus, in this integration of the bases assimilated in the family and 'external' experiences, we learn to find our way in the world. ... For a movement such as yours, based on continuing education and on the choice to educate, it is important to reaffirm that education in the family constitutes a priority decision. ... Dialogue between spouses, along with mutual listening and comparison, are elements essential for a family to be serene and fruitful".
    Turning to the second point, opening up a path in creation, the Holy Father reiterated that in our time "we cannot ignore the ecological question, which is vital for the survival of mankind, nor can we reduce it to a merely political issue: indeed, it has a moral dimension that affects all of us, and so no-one may choose to ignore it. As Christ's disciples, we have a further reason to unite with people of good will for the protection and defence of nature and the environment. Indeed, creation is a gift entrusted to us from the hands of the Creator. ... This doctrine of our faith offers us an even stronger impetus towards a responsible and respectful relationship with creation: in inanimate nature, in plants and in animals we recognise the imprint of the Creator, and in our peers we see His likeness. Living in close contact with nature ... does not only imply respect for it, but also commitment to contributing in a concrete way towards eliminating the wastefulness of a society that tends increasingly to discard goods that are still usable and could be donated to those in need".
    Finally, to lead the way in cities, it is important to bring the joy of Gospel values to the streets and quarters and to make a contribution to the common good, in a just and open dialogue on different social and cultural themes. "In a complex and multicultural society, we are able to offer witness, with simplicity and humility, to Jesus' love for every person, also experimenting with new paths of evangelisation, faithful to Christ and faithful to humanity. People often live in wearisome situations in cities, and at times risk becoming disorientated and losing the capacity to see the horizon, to feel God's presence. The true compass to offer to these brothers and sisters is a heart close by, a heart that is 'oriented', as it were, towards God".

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    Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
    Vatican City, 10 November 2014 (VIS) - On Friday, 7 November, the Holy Father Francis received in a private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorised the Congregation to promulgate decrees on the heroic virtues of the following Servants of God:
    - Francisco Maximiano Valdes Subercaseaux, Chilean bishop of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (1908-1982);
    - Ildebrando Gregori (ne Alfredo Antonio), Italian abbot general of the Sylvestrine Congregation of the Benedictine Order and founder of the Congregation of the Reparatrix Sisters of the Holy Face (1894-1985);
    - Raimondo Calcagno, Italian priest of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri (1888-1964);
    - John Sullivan, Irish professed priest of the Society of Jesus (1861-1933);
    - Pelagio Sauter, German professed priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (1878-1961);
    - Jeanne Mance, French laywoman and foundress of the Hotel-Dieu in Montreal (1606-1673);
    - Marthe Robin, French laywoman and foundress of the Association Foyers de Charite (1902-1981);
    - Silvio Dissegna, Italian child of the diocese of Turin (1967-1979).

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 10 November 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - John Dramani Mahama, president of the Republic of Ghana, with his wife and entourage;
    - Thirteen prelates of the Conference of Bishops of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Archbishop Theodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal;
    - Bishop Benjamin Ndiaye of Kaolack, Senegal;
    - Bishop Jean-Pierre Bassene of Kolda, Senegal;
    - Bishop Ernest Sambou of Saint-Louis du Senegal, Senegal;
    - Bishop Jean-Noel Diouf of Tambacounda, Senegal;
    - Bishop Andre Gueye of Thies, Senegal;
    - Bishop Paul Abel Mamba of Ziguinchor, Senegal;
    - Bishop Ildo Augusto dos Santos Lopes Fortes of Mindelo, Cape Verde;
    - Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado of Santiago de Cabo Verde, Cape Verde;
    - Bishop Martin Albert Happe of Nouakchott, Mauritania;
    - Bishop Carlos Pedro Zilli of Bafata, Guinea-Bissau;
    - Bishop Jose Camnate na Bissign of Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, with his auxiliary, Bishop Jose Lampra Ca.
    - Malu Dreyer, minister-president of the Land Rhineland-Palatinate, with her husband and entourage.
    On Saturday, 8 November, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
    On the afternoon of Friday, 7 November, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints;
    - Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta, coadjutor of Merida-Badajoz, Spain.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 10 November 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father:
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of San Carlos de Venezuela, Venezuela, presented by Bishop Tomas Jesus Zarraga Colmenares, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
    - appointed the following members of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA): Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, U.S.A.; Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota, Colombia; Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
    On Saturday, 8 November, the Holy Father appointed:
    - Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, U.S.A., as patron of the Order of Malta. Cardinal Burke is currently prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura;
    - Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, France, as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Archbishop Mamberti is currently secretary for Relations with States;
    - Rev. Chad Zielinski as bishop of Fairbanks (area 1,061,508, population 164,355, Catholics 13,939, priests 20, permanent deacons 25, religious 17), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1996. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1983 to 1986 and subsequently obtained a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a master of divinity from the Sacred Heart major seminary in Detroit. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of St. Philip Neri, Empire and of St. Rita and St. Joseph, Maple City. He is currently Air Force chaplain at the military based of Eielson, Fairbanks.

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    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Nov 17 08:12:02 2014
    "Attention to human life, especially when it is most in difficulty, in the case of the sick, the elderly, and children, profoundly involves the mission of the Church. She is also called upon to participate in the debate on human life, presenting her outlook based on the Gospel. In many contexts, quality of life is linked predominantly to economic conditions, 'well-being', beauty and the pleasure of life in a physical sense, forgetting other deeper dimensions - relational, spiritual and religious - of existence. In reality, in the light of faith and good reason, human life is always sacred and always 'of quality'. There does not exist a human life that is more sacred than another, just as there is no human life qualitatively more significant than another, simply on the basis of greater means, rights, and economic and social opportunities", emphasised the Holy Father.
    Therefore, he continued, the work of Catholic doctors must offer witness "by word and by deed that human life is always sacred, valid and inviolable, and as such must be loved, defended and cared for". The profession of medicine, "enriched with the spirit of faith, is a further reason to collaborate with those - even of different religious beliefs or thought - who recognise the dignity of human beings as a criterion for their activity. Indeed, while the Hippocratic oath commits you to serving life, the Gospel leads you further - to love it always and anyway, especially when in need of particular care and attention".
    "Prevalent thought offers a 'false compassion': that which sees abortion as being in favour of women, procuring euthanasia as an act of dignity, and the 'production' of a child - considered as a right instead of being welcomed as a gift - as a scientific conquest, as well as using human lives as 'guinea pigs', presumably to save others. Instead, compassion based on the Gospel is that which accompanies in times of need, that of the Good Samaritan, who 'sees', who 'has compassion', who approaches and offers concrete help". The Pontiff concluded, "Your mission as doctors puts you in daily contact with many forms of suffering: I encourage you to take these on as 'good Samaritans', taking special care of the elderly, the sick and the disabled. Faithfulness to the Gospel of life and the response to it as a gift from God will at times require courageous, counter-current decisions that, in particular circumstances, may lead to conscientious objection, and to the many social consequences that such fidelity leads to. We are living in a time of experimentation with life. But it is a bad form of experimentation. ... Playing with life ... is a sin against the Creator: against God the Creator, Who created all things as they are".

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    The Holy See at the United Nations: defending the civil population from remnants of war
    Vatican City, 15 November 2014 (VIS) - Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations and Other International Organisations in Geneva spoke on 10 November at the 8 th Conference of the States Party to Protocol V of the Convention on prohibitions or restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects (CCW). Protocol V stipulates the obligations and the best practices to defend the civil population against the dangers of explosive remnants of war and abandoned ordinances.
    "For the sake of credibility and to keep the door open for negotiating and adopting other instruments in the future, it is incumbent upon all States parties to take seriously the implementation of this instrument in its preventative dimension as well as in its remedial dimension", said Archbishop Tomasi in his English-language address. "The many conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, North Africa and Europe remind us of our responsibilities regarding explosive remnants of war and abandoned ordinances. Apart from the safety of civilians, we are witnessing national and regional destabilisation because of the lack of safety and security of stocks, that the international community is unable or not sufficiently prepared to prevent. ... It is true that the primary responsibility lies with the affected State. But international cooperation is also an obligation. Almost all current conflicts involve national, regional and international actors, state actors and non-state actors. It must also be borne in mind that the majority of countries in conflict are developing countries which do not always have sufficient means to overcome the consequences of armed conflict on their soil".
    "The success of the partnership between States, international organisations and non-governmental organisations in several areas of disarmament is well established. CCW, including Protocol V, has always opened its door to the participation of civil society and its organisations. We all profit from the professionalism and expertise of these organisations. We believe they should continue to have a place and a voice in this sphere, and a role to play in international cooperation in the prevention and remedy of damages caused by explosive remnants of war".
    "Wars and armed conflicts are always a failure of politics and of humanity", he concluded. "International humanitarian law should keep this essential human dimension to make coexistence possible nationally and internationally. When the international community fails to preserve peace, it should not accept a second failure. Protocol V is a modest attempt to prevent innocent people from becoming victims once the conflict is over. Compliance is not only a legal obligation. It is in the first place a moral duty towards the people and a political duty to restore peace".

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    Cardinal Gracias, Pope's special envoy at the 500th anniversary of the evangelisation of Myanmar
    Vatican City, 15 November 2014 (VIS) - In a letter made public today, written in Latin and dated 16 October, the Holy Father nominated Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, as his special envoy at the celebration of the fifth centenary of the evangelisation of Myanmar, scheduled to take place in Yangon from 21-23 November 2014.
    The pontifical mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Rev. Fr. Mariano Soe Naing, S.D.B., professor in the Theological Institute of the St. Joseph Major Seminary, Yangon, and Rev. Fr. Peter Sein Hlaing, O.O., lecturer at the same Institute.

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 17 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has received in audience:
    - Archbishop Ivan Jurkovie, apostolic nuncio in Russia and Uzbekistan;
    - Mehmet Pagaci, new ambassador of Turkey to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters;
    - Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik of Daejeon, Korea;
    - Maestro Daniel Baremboim and entourage;
    - Eleven prelates of the Zambia Episcopal Conference, on their five-yearly "ad Limina" visit:
    - Archbishop Ignatius Chama of Kasama, apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis"of Mpika;
    - Bishop Patrick Chisanga, O.F.M. Conv., of Mansa;
    - Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu of Lusaka;
    - Bishop George Cosmas Zumaire Lungu of Chipata, with his auxiliary, Bishop Benjamin Phiri;
    - Bishop Clement Mulenga, S.D.B., of Kabwe;
    - Bishop Raymond Mpezele of Livingstone;
    - Bishop Evans Chinyama Chinyemba, O.M.I., of Mongu;
    - Bishop Moses Hamungole of Monse;
    - Bishop Alick Banda of Ndola;
    - Bishop Charles Joseph Sampa Kasonde of Solwezi.
    On Saturday, 15 November, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
    - Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Canada, president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada, with the deputy president, Bishop David Douglas Crosby of Hamilton, and the deputy secretary, Bede Hubbard.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 17 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Cristobal Ascencio Garcia as bishop of Apatzingan (area 13,102, population 404,000, Catholics 373,000, priests 59, religious 126), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in El Josefino de Allende, Mexico in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of San Juan de los Lagos, including parish priest of the "Espiritu Santu" parish; prefect and subsequently rector of the major seminary, and judge in the ecclesiastical tribunal and the Appeals Tribunal. He is currently parish priest of the "San Francisco de Asis" parish in Tepatitlan di Morelos. He succeeds Bishop Miguel Patino Velazquez, M.S.F., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Juan Carlos Ares as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Buenos Aires (area 203, population 2,944,000, Catholics 2,696,000, priests 782, permanent deacons 10, religious 1,951), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1989. He has served as parish priest of the "San Rafael" parish, chaplain of Scouts in Argentina for the Episcopal Vicariate Devoto, deputy director of the Schools Department of the archiepiscopate of Buenos Aires, and parish priest of "San Ramon Nonato". He is currently parish priest of "Nuestra Senora de Balvanera".
    - appointed Rev. Martin Fassi as auxiliary of the diocese of San Isidro (area 1,379, population 1,178,000, Catholics 1,120,000, priests 138, permanent deacons 38, religious 203), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in San Isidro, Argentina in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He studied philosophy and theology in the San Agustin major seminary, San Isidro, and has served as formator of the regional seminary "Nuestra Senora de la Encarnacion" in Resistencia, missionary in the diocese of Olguin, Cuba, and parish priest in the "Purisima Concepcion" parish of Pacheco. He is currently vicar general of the diocese of San Isidro.
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Guadalajara, Mexico, presented by Bishop Miguel Romano Gomez, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
    On Saturday, 15 November, the Holy Father:
    - appointed Bishop Stephen Tjephe as bishop of the diocese of Loikaw (area 11,670, population 346,000, Catholics 74,868, priests 93, religious 235), Myanmar. Msgr. Tjephe is currently auxiliary of Liokaw and apostolic administrator "sede vacante ed ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the same diocese.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Francisco Javier Pistilli Scorzara, J. Sch., as bishop of Encarnacion (area 16,525, population 611,000, Catholics 502,000, priests 52, permanent deacons 1, religious 110), Paraguay. The bishop-elect was born in Asuncion, Paraguay in 1965, gave his religious vows in 1988 and was ordained a priest in 1997. He completed his studies at the theologate of the Capuchin Franciscan Fathers in Munster, Germany, and has served as parish vicar in the Nuestra Senora del Rosario parish in Luque, Asuncion; and master of novices in Tuparanda, San Lorenzo. He is currently regional superior of the Secular Institute of Schonstatt Fathers for Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Nigeria. He succeeds Bishop Ignacio Gogorza Izaguirre, S.C.I. Of Beth, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Encarnacion, Paraguay, presented by Bishop Claudio Silvero Acosta, S.C.I. Beth, upon reaching the age limit.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Heinz Wilhem Steckling, O.M.I., as bishop of Ciudad del Este (area 29,562, population 795,000, Catholics 783,200, priests 111, permanent deacons 1, religious 198), Paraguay. The bishop-elect was born in Werl, Germany in 1947 and was ordained a priest in 1974. He holds a diploma in theology from the University of Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany. He has served in as provincial of the vice provincia of Pilcomayo e Nord Argentina of the Oblate Missionaries and superior general of his congregation and is currently rector of the major seminary of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Asuncion, Paraguay, and consultor for the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Lorenzo Lorusso, O.P., as under secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Fr. Lorusso is currently consultor of the same dicastery, rector of the Basilica of St. Nicholas in Bari, and lecturer in Law at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Nov 20 08:24:02 2014
    "If we believe in the principle of the unity of the human family, based on the common paternity of God the Creator, and in the fraternity of human beings, no form of political or economic pressure that exploits the availability of foodstuffs can be considered acceptable. Political and economic pressure: here I think of our sister and mother, Earth, our planet, and of whether we are free of political and economic pressure and able to care for her, to avoid her destruction. We have two conferences ahead of us, in Per* and France, which pose the challenge to us of caring for our planet. I remember a phrase that I heard from an elderly man many years ago: God always forgives ... our misdemeanours, our abuse, God always forgives; men forgive at times; but the Earth never forgives. We must care for our sister the Earth, our Mother Earth, so that she does not respond with destruction. But, above all, no system of discrimination, de facto or de jure, linked to the capacity of access to the market of foodstuffs, must be taken as a model for international efforts that aim to eliminate hunger.
    "By sharing these reflections with you, I ask that the Almighty, God rich in mercy, bless all those who, with different responsibilities, place themselves at the service of those who experience hunger and who assist them with concrete gestures of closeness. I also pray that the international community might hear the call of this Conference and consider it an expression of the common conscience of humanity: feed the hungry, save life on the planet. Thank you".

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    Intense work by the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops
    Vatican City, 20 November 2014 (VIS) - The Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops will meet on 18 and 19 November to reflect on the results of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, held during October, and to prepare for the 14 th General Ordinary Assembly on the theme "The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world", to be held from 4 to 25 October 2015.
    The Holy Father will chair the Council on Tuesday 18 and his presence will underline the importance he accords to the Synod as an expression of episcopal collegiality and to the family, the theme of the two Assemblies: the extraordinary Assembly held this year and the Ordinary one, in the preparatory stages.
    Alongside the secretary general, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, and the under-secretary, Archbishop Fabio Fabene, the meeting was attended by Cardinals Christoph Schonborn, Wilfried F. Napier, Peter K.A. Turkson, George Pell, Donald W. Wuerl, and Luis A. Tagle, and by Archbishops Bruno Forte and Salvatore Fisichella. Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, also participated by invitation.
    In his introduction to the work of the Synod, the secretary general emphasised the climate of freedom and sincerity and the spirit of fraternal communion that characterised the Assembly, in which everyone was encouraged to contribute. Also, the final document, the Relatio Synodi, faithfully reflects the multi-faceted results of the Synod and offers a good summary of the process that took place during the Assembly.
    In the meeting, it was agreed that the current period between the two Assemblies, which is unprecedented in the history of the Synod as an institution, is of great importance. It is necessary to take the path followed so far as a starting point and to make the most of this special opportunity to deepen knowledge of the themes and to promote discussion at the level of the episcopal conferences, finding the means and the tools necessary to further involve various ecclesial bodies in the synodal reflection on the family. Various ideas on communication were also considered, which may be useful in view of the preparation for the upcoming Ordinary Assembly.
    The majority of the work was devoted to the preparation of the Lineamenta for the next Ordinary Assembly. The guidelines will be made up, as previously indicated, of the Relatio Synodi, accompanied by a series of points to help in its reception and elaboration.
    The Lineamenta are expected to be sent to the Episcopal Conferences at the beginning of December, so that the answers can be received in good time to allow them to be developed in the Instrumentum Laboris before the summer of 2015.

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    The joy of the Gospel is a missionary joy
    Vatican City, 20 November 2014 (VIS) - The Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities began in Rome today. Organised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the meeting is a response to the appeal for missionary conversion launched by Pope Francis to all Christians in his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium.
    The congress - the third of this type following those held during the pontificates of St. John Paul II in 1998 and Benedict XVI in 2006 - will be attended by more than 300 members of lay associations from 40 countries, gathered to explore the theme "The joy of the Gospel: a missionary joy".
    The congress was inaugurated by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who recalled the rich teaching of the last three pontiffs on what St. John Paul II defined as "the new season of associations of the faithful". The cardinal emphasised that St. John Paul II closely followed and guided the rapid development of ecclesial movements and new communities, accompanying them with his clear and enlightening words ... and indicated a new phase in the life of new charisms, which would necessarily have to follow their initial flourish - the phase of ecclesial maturity".
    For Pope Benedict XVI, he continued, "the multiple forms and the unity of charisms and ministries are inseparable in the life of the Church. The Holy Spirit desires the multiplicity of movements in the service of the single Body that is the Church".
    Pope Francis well knows the reality of ecclesial movements, insists that the new charisms "are not a closed patrimony, consigned to a specific group to guard it; they are rather gifts from the Spirit integrated into the ecclesial body, attracted towards the centre that is Christ, from where they are channeled into an evangelical impulse".

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 20 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Peter Andrew Comensoli as bishop of Broken Bay (area 2,763, population 930,000, Catholics 395,000, priests 109, permanent deacons 6, religious 155), Australia. Bishop Comensoli is currently auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sydney, Australia.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Nov 21 08:36:02 2014
    The Pontiff remarked that fifty years ago on 21 November, the dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, and the Decree on the Oriental Catholic Churches, Orientalium Ecclesiarum, were also published alongside Unitatis Redintegratio. These three profoundly connected texts offer the ecclesiological vision of Vatican Council II.
    "Firstly, we can rejoice in the fact that the teaching of the Council has been widely received", affirmed Francis. "In these years, on the basis of theological reasons rooted in the Scripture and in the tradition of the Church, the attitude of us as Catholics has changed in relation to Christians of other Churches and ecclesial communities. Hostility and indifference, which had dug trenches that it seemed impossible to fill and had inflicted deep wounds, now belong to the past, and a healing process has begun that enables us to accept others as brothers or sisters, in the profound unity born of Baptism".
    This change in mentality has made it possible to "deepen our contact with many Churches and ecclesial Communities, and to develop new forms of collaboration. In this respect, the ecumenical traditions of the Sacred Scripture have been very important. Christians of different Churches and ecclesial Communities work together in the service of suffering and needy humanity, for the defence of human life and its inalienable dignity, for the protection of creation and against the injustice that afflict many people and populations".
    He continued, "while we give thanks, we must acknowledge that Christians remain divided, and that divergence in relation to new anthropological and ethical themes complicates our path towards unity. However, we cannot give in to discouragement and resignation, but must continue to trust in God who plants seeds of love and unity in the hearts of Christians, so they can face today's ecumenical challenges with renewed zeal; to cultivate spiritual ecumenism, to recognise the value of ecumenism of blood, and to walk the path of the Gospel together".
    Spiritual ecumenism culminates in the Week of Prayer for Christian unity, "a worldwide network of moments of prayer that, from parochial to international level, infuse the body of the Church with the oxygen of genuine ecumenical spirit; a network of gestures, that unite us in working together charitably; and it is also the sharing of prayer, thoughts and other texts that circulate on the web and may contribute to increasing mutual knowledge, respect and esteem".
    With regard to ecumenism of blood, Unitatis Redintegratio invites us to recognise, "in the brothers and sisters of other Churches and Christian Communities, the capacity, given by God, to bear witness to Christ unto the sacrifice of their lives. These testimonies have not been lacking in these fifty years, and continue to this day. ... Those who persecute Christ in his faithful do not differentiate in terms of confession: they persecute them simply because they are Christians".
    The Pope went on to remark that, in recent months, encountering many non-Catholic Christians, and reading their letters, he has noted the existence of a "widespread and strong desire to walk together, to pray, to know and love the Lord, to collaborate in service and in solidarity with the weak and suffering. I am convinced of this: on a common path, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and learning from each other, we can grow in the communion that already unites us".
    "Fifty years on from Unitatis Redintegratio, the quest for full Christian unity remains a priority for the Catholic Church, and it is therefore one of my main daily concerns. Unity is, first and foremost, a gift from God and it is the work of the Holy Spirit, but we are all called to collaborate, always and in every circumstance".

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    The Virgin Mary, protagonist of the 19th Public Session of the Pontifical Academies
    Vatican City, 21 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a message to Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Council for Coordination between the Pontifical Academies, on the occasion of the 19th Public Session of the Pontifical Academies, devoted to the theme "Mary, icon of the infinite beauty of Dios Marialis cultus and the Marian teaching of Blessed Paul VI", organised by the Pontifical International Marian Academy.
    In his message, the Pope spoke about Blessed Paul VI's great love for the Virgin Mary, which he expressed on many occasions during his papacy, as well as in several documents, including his two encyclicals, Mense Maio and Christi Matri, dedicated to the Mother of God and the worship of her as Mater Ecclesiae. He also devoted three apostolic exhortations to Mary: Signum Magnum, Recurrens Mensis October and, finally, Marialis Cultus, published forty years ago this year.
    "On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the closure of Vatican Council II, established by Paul VI - not by chance - on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 1965, it is beautiful that you wish to make his voice through the recording of the homily in which he entrusts the fate of the Church, radically renewed through the Council assize, to Mary. On that solemn and historical occasion, Paul VI wished to commend the entire Church to Mary as the Mother of God and our spiritual Mother".
    Similarly, Francis recalled that in crucial and difficult moments for the Church and for humanity, Paul VI always turned to Mary, exhorting the people of God to pray for her intercession and protection, and invoking the gift of peace. "In the wake of the Synod of Bishops on new evangelisation, in the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I too entrusted the way of the Church to Mary's maternal and caring intercession, reminding all believers that there is a Marian style to the evangelising activity of the Church, as every time we look to Mary we believe again in the revolutionary power of tenderness and affection. In her we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but rather of the strong, who do not need to mistreat others to feel important".
    The Holy Father continued, "Let us not tire of learning from Mary, of admiring and contemplating her beauty, of letting ourselves be guided by her, she who leads us always to the original source and fullness of authenticity: infinite beauty, that of God, revealed to us in Christ, Son of the Father and Son of Mary". The Pontiff concluded by awarding the Pontifical Academies Prize to the Italian Interdisciplinary Mariological Association, above all for more than twenty years of publishing the journal Theotokos, and the Pontifical Medal to the "Centro mariano de difusion cultural" of the Order of the Servants of Mary, in Mexico.

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 21 November 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, president of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
    - Bishop Enrico Dal Covolo, Magnificent Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University;
    - Bishop Anthony Sablan Apuron of Agana, Guam.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 21 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Ariel Lascarro Tapia as bishop of Magangue (area 20,165, population 838,000, Catholics 677,000, priests 70, religious 30), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Carmen de Bolivar, Colombia in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He holds a licentiate in theology from the University of Navarra, Spain, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Cartagena, including parish priest of "San Estanislao Kostka", "Inmaculada Concepcion", "Maria, Madre de los pobres", "Cristo Salvador", "Maria, Madre de la Iglesia" and "Santa Catalina de Alejandria"; diocesan head of vocational pastoral ministry, delegate for missionary childhood and archdiocesan delegate for the biblical inspiration of pastoral care. He is currently archdiocesan vicar for pastoral care and parish priest of "Nuestra Senora del Perpetuo Socorro", Bocagrande.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Moises Carlos Atisha Contreras, Sch.P., as bishop of San Marcos de Arica (area 16,512, population 198,400, Catholics 140,000, priests 37, deacons 29, religious 30), Chile. The bishop-elect was born in Santiago de Cile, Chile in 1969 and gave his religious vows and was ordained a priest in 1994. He has served as spiritual director of the "Colegio Hispano-americano y Calasanz" and as secretary of the National Commission for Youth Pastoral Care in the Chilean Episcopal Conference, and is currently parish priest of "La Ascension del Senor" in the archdiocese of Santiago.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Jorge Martin Torres Carbonell as auxiliary of Lomas de Zamora, Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He has served as parish priest of "Santa Clara", "Nino Jesus" and "Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza" in the archdiocese of Buenos Aires, as well as head of youth pastoral care in the archdiocese, episcopal vicar for the "Villas de Emergencia", and dean and member of the presbyteral council. He is currently priest of the the Shrine of San Cayetano of Buenos Aires.
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of La Serena, Chile, presented by Bishop Luis Carlos Gleisner Wobbe upon reaching the age limit.

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    Appointment of the deputy editor of "L'Osservatore Romano"
    Vatican City, 21 November 2014 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has appointed Giuseppe Fiorentino as deputy editor of "L'Osservatore Romano". The new deputy director was previously a reporter for the same newspaper.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Nov 24 08:48:02 2014
    Pope Francis went on to thank, personally and on behalf of the Church, the families and religious groups and various associations present for the work they carry out every day with persons affected by autism, and encouraged scholars and researchers in the arduous task of discovering therapies and support mechanisms in the treatment and above all the prevention of these disorders. He concluded, "All this is to be done with the necessary attention to the rights of those affected, considering their needs and their potential, and always safeguarding the dignity of every person".

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    Ecclesial movements and new communities: conserve freshness of charism, respect freedom and seek communion
    Vatican City, 22 November 2014 (VIS) - Conserve the freshness of charism, respect freedom and always seek communion were the three directions that Pope Francis outlined at the Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity and based on the theme "The joy of the Gospel, a missionary joy".
    "The movements and communities you represent are now being projected into the phase of ecclesial maturity, which requires a vigilant attitude of permanent conversion, to render the evangelising impulse increasingly alive and fruitful", said the Holy Father, who received the participants in the congress this morning in the Clementine Hall. Conversion and mission he said, are "intimately connected. Indeed, without an authentic conversion of heart and mind, the Gospel cannot be proclaimed; at the same time, if we are not open to mission, conversion is not possible and faith becomes sterile".
    With regard to the first indication, conserving the freshness of charism, Francis remarked that "as time goes by, there is a greater temptation to become comfortable, to become hardened in set ways of doing things, which, while reassuring, are nonetheless sterile. However, realities are more important than ideas; even if a certain institutionalisation of the charism is necessary for its survival, we ought not delude ourselves into thinking that external structures can guarantee the working of the Holy Spirit. The newness of your experiences does not consist in methods or forms, which are important, but rather in your willingness to respond with renewed enthusiasm to the Lord's call".
    A further issue is how to welcome and accompany people today, especially the young. "Men and women today experience serious identity problems and have difficulty making proper choices; as a result, they tend to be conditioned and to delegate important decisions about their own lives to others. We need to resist the temptation of usurping individual freedom, of directing them without allowing for their growth in genuine maturity. Moral or spiritual progress that manipulates a person's immaturity is only an apparent success, and one destined to fail. Christian education instead requires a patient accompaniment which is capable of waiting for the right moment for each person, as the Lord does with each one of us. Patience is the only way to love truly and to lead others into a sincere relationship with the Lord".
    Finally, movements must not forget that "the most precious good, the seal of the Holy Spirit, is communion". ... For the world to believe that Jesus is Lord, it needs to see communion among Christians. If, on the other hand, the world sees divisions, rivalries and back-biting, regardless of the cause, how can we evangelise? Remember this further principle: 'Unity prevails over conflict', because our brothers and sisters are always of greater value than our personal attitudes; indeed, it is for our brothers and sisters that Christ has shed his blood. In addition, real communion cannot exist in Movements or in New Communities unless these are integrated within the greater communion of our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church. The whole is greater than the part, and the part only has meaning in relation to the whole. Communion also consists in confronting together and in a united fashion the most pressing questions of our day, such as life, the family, peace, the fight against poverty in all its forms, religious freedom and education", concluded the Holy Father.

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    Telegram for the death of Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini
    Vatican City, 22 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram to Vinicio Angelini for the death of Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini last night at the age of 98. He offers his condolences to the family of the deceased cardinal, to the diocesan community of Rome and to the Benedictine Sisters of the Reparation of the Holy Face, and expresses his affection for "this dear and esteemed pastor, who exercised his long and intense ministry to build up the Church in Rome, in Italy and in the world, first as part of Catholic Action, then with praiseworthy apostolic zeal in hospitals and nursing homes in Rome, and finally as president of the Pontifical Council for Health Workers (for Health Pastoral Care)".
    He continues, "I raise fervent prayers to the Lord that, by the intercession of the Mary Salus Populi Romani, He may receive this generous and distinguished man of the Church in joy and eternal peace, and I impart the comfort of my heartfelt apostolic blessing to those who mourn his passing".

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    Private meeting between the Pope and the president of the Italian Republic
    Vatican City, 22 November 2014 (VIS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., announced yesterday that the Holy Father received in audience the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano. The meeting, of a strictly private nature, took place in very cordial atmosphere and lasted over an hour.

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 24 November 2014 (VIS) - This afternoon the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in audience Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and entourage.
    On Saturday 22 November, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 24 November 2014 (VIS) - 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
    - appointed Bishop Donald J. Hying, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Milwaukee, U.S.A., as bishop of Gary (area 4,680, population 809,000, Catholics 189,000, priests 129, permanent deacons 64, religious 123), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Dale J. Melczek, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Fr. Victor Hlolo Phalana as bishop of Klerksdorp (area 34,800, population 1,500,000, Catholics 27,000, priests 24, permanent deacons 4, religious 11), South Africa. The bishop-elect was born in Erasmus, South Africa in 1961, and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate in spirituality from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and studied African culture at the Catholic University of East Africa in Nairobi. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including parish priest in the parishes of "Christ the King", Mabopane, "Good Shepherd" and "St. Peter" in Winterveldt; professor in the preparatory seminary of Hammanskraal and Cape Town; spiritual director of the St. Peter philosophical seminary; teacher at the St. John Vianney major seminary, and teacher at the Lumuko Pastoral Institute. He is currently vicar general of the archdiocese of Pretoria and administrator of the Cathedral of Pretoria.
    On Saturday 22 November, the Holy Father:
    - appointed Bishop Kieran O'Reilly of Killaloe, Ireland as metropolitan archbishop of Cashel and Emly (area 3,082, population 83,710, Catholics 82,118, priests 139, religious 196), Ireland. He succeeds Archbishop Dermot Clifford, whose resignation from the patoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Bishop Jean-Pierre Batut, auxiliary of Lyon, France, as bishop of Blois (area 6,422, population 340,729, Catholics 185,100, priests 98, permanent deacons 9, religious 121), France. He succeeds Bishop Maurice Le Begue de Germiny, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. William Nolan as bishop of Galloway (area 9,332, population 520,000, Catholics 47,700, priests 39, permanent deacons 3, religious 41), Scotland. The bishop-elect was born in Motherwell, Scotland in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1977. He holds a degree in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including vice rector of the Pontifical Scottish College in Rome, and in the diocese of Motherwell, parish priest of "Our Lady of Lourdes", East Kilbride; judge of the National Ecclesiastical Tribunal of Scotland; head of continuing formation of clergy in the diocese, and deputy president of the presbyteral council. He is currently vicar general of Motherwell. He succeeds Bishop John Cunningham, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Stephen Marmion Lowe as bishop of Hamilton (area 49,700, population 678,000, Catholics 96,500, priests 49, religious 73), New Zealand. The bishop-elect was born in Hokitika, New Zealand in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1996. He studied spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of Timaru North and chaplain of the Roncalli College, Christchurch. He is currently director of formation at the Holy Cross national seminary in Auckland, parish priest of Ponsonby and administrator of Herne Bay in the diocese of Auckland. He succeeds Bishop Denis George Browne, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. John Yaw Afoakwa as bishop of Obuasi (area 6,350, population 1,394,910, Catholics 102,260, priests 84, religious 31), Ghana. The bishop-elect was born in Akrokerry, Ghana in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a B.A. in religious education from the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome, a B.A. in religion with sociology from the University of Ghana in Accra, and an M.Sc. in Education from the Le Moyne College, Syracuse, U.S.A. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including teacher and chaplain at the Christ the King Secondary School in Obuasi; director of the diocesan Catechetics Office and the diocesan department of social communications; rector of the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Akaporiso; and parish vicar at the Blessed Trinity Parish in the diocese of Rochester, U.S.A.. He currently teaches at the Bodwesango Senior High School, and is rector of the St. Louis Rectorate and chaplain of the St. Louis Clinic, Bodwesango.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Henryk Wejman as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Szczecin-Kamien (area 12,754, population 1,053,713, Catholics 1,000,000, priests 663, religious 250), Poland. The bishop-elect was born in Recz, Poland in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He holds a licentiate in theology of spirituality and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including: teacher and spiritual director in the major seminary of Szczecin, parish priest in the St. Albert Chmielowski parish, and adjunct professor in the Institute of philosophy of the University of Szczecin and the "Adam Mickiewicz" University of Poznan. He is currently professor of moral and spiritual theology and dean of the faculty of theology of the University of Sczcecin, and member of the College of Consultors and the presbyteral council.
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, presented by Archbishop Louis Kebreau, S.D.B., upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Archbishop Max Leroy Mesidor, currently coadjutor of the same archdiocese.
    - appointed Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria, as his special envoy at the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine, to be held in Kiev on 10 December 2014.

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    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Nov 26 08:24:02 2014
    "At the same time, the Sacred Scripture teaches us that the fulfilment of this marvellous plan cannot but affect all that which surrounds us and which emerged from the thought and the heart of God. ... What we expect, as the completion of a transformation that is in reality already in process ever since Christ's death and resurrection, is therefore a new creation; it is not, therefore, the annihilation of the cosmos and all that which surrounds us, but rather bringing everything to its fullness of being, of truth, of beauty. This is the plan that God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, has always wished to fulfil, and is fulfilling". He concluded, "when we think of these stupendous reality that awaits us, we realise the extent to which belonging to the Church is truly a wonderful gift, that leads towards the highest vocation".

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    Francis asks for prayers for his trip to Turkey
    Vatican City, 26 November 2014 (VIS) - Following today's catechesis, the Pope offered special greetings to the Arab-speaking faithful, in particular those from Iraq and the Middle East. "The violence, suffering and the seriousness of the sins committed must lead us to leave all to the justice of God, who will judge each one according to his works. Be strong and cling to the Church and to your faith, so as to purify the world with your confidence; transform with your hope and heal with your forgiveness, with the love and patience of your witness. May the Lord protect and support you".
    Finally, during his greetings in Italian, and recalled that tomorrow his three-day apostolic trip to Turkey will begin, he invited those present to pray that "Peter's visit to his brother Andrew may bring fruits of peace, sincere dialogue between religions and harmony in the Turkish nation".

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    Pope Francis' message to the International Pastoral Congress on the World's Big Cities
    Vatican City, 26 November 2014 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father sent a message to Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain, on the occasion of the International Pastoral Congress on the World's Big Cities, held in the Catalan capital.
    "I am glad to learn of the work accomplished and encourage all to continue to reflect creatively on the way to face the task of evangelising in great urban centres, in increasing expansion, and in which everyone needs to feel the closeness and mercy of God, who does not abandon", writes the Pope.
    "The Church has the mission of ensuring that the Good News of Jesus Christ and His salvific love reaches all environments, without fear of pluralism and without any form of discrimination. She does not consider it a loss to go out to the peripheries or to change the usual preconceptions, when necessary. Like a mother, whose primary concern is the wellbeing of her children, without sparing any effort or sacrifice, may she ensure they never lack the light of the Gospel that fills life with hope, joy and peace; that they never lack acceptance to feel integrated within a community, in circumstances of disintegration or in cold anonymity; that there grows in them the spirit of authentic solidarity with all, especially with those most in need".

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    First International Prayer Day and reflection on human trafficking
    Vatican City, 26 November 2014 (VIS) - The Pontifical Councils for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples and for Justice and Peace, in collaboration with the international male and female Unions of Superior Generals (UISG and USG) have convoked an international conference for prayer and reflection on human trafficking, tobe held on 8 February 2015, feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, the Sudanese slave canonised in 2000.
    According to a press release, "human trafficking is one of the worst examples of slavery in the XXI Century. This concerns the whole world. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) roughly 21 million people, often very poor and vulnerable, are victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced labour and begging, illegal organ removal, domestic servitude and forced marriages, illegal adoption and other forms of exploitation. Each year around 2.5 million people are victims of trafficking and slavery: 60 are women and children. They often suffer abuse and unspeakable violence. On the other hand, for traffickers and pimps, this is one of the most lucrative illegal activities in the world, generating a total of 32 billion dollars a year. It is the third most profitable 'business' after drugs and arms trafficking".
    "The primary objective of the International Day is to create greater awareness on this phenomenon and to reflect on the overall situation of violence and injustice that affect so many people, who have no voice, do not count, and are no one: they are simply slaves. Another goal is to attempt to provide solutions to counter this modern form of slavery by taking concrete actions. For this, it is necessary to stress the need to ensure rights, freedom and dignity to all trafficked persons, reduced to slavery. On the other hand, we must denounce both the criminal organisations and those who use and abuse the poverty and vulnerability of victims to transform them into goods for pleasure and gain".

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    In brief
    Vatican City, 26 November 2014 (VIS) -
    CARDINAL JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN, PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR Interreligious Dialogue is participating in the 9th Colloquium between the aforementioned Pontifical Council and the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue (CID) of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation (ICRO), held in Teheran, Iran from 25 to 26 November on the theme "Christians and Muslims in constructive dialogue for the good of society". In his address, the cardinal remarked that the term "construction" normally refers to the building of a house on strong foundations, and emphasised that "we need to be sure that we are doing good work, on solid foundations, to be sure of the hoped results for our present and our future". Other themes to be considered during the meeting are spirituality, religious values as a response to extremism and violence, and the role of the media in promoting a culture of dialogue. Cardinal Tauran remarked that, when agreeing the sub-themes during the preparatory meeting, no-one imagined that extremism and violence would become as dramatic as they are today. "We cannot remain silent or indifferent to the extreme, inhuman and multi-form violence to which Christians and Yezedis have been subjected. Many of them, as we know, have preferred death to renouncing their faith. They are true martyrs. ... Nothing can justify these heinous acts. Invoking religion to justify these crimes would be a crime against religion itself as well".
    ARCHBISHOP DOMINIQUE MAMBERTI, SECRETARY FOR RELATIONS WITH STATES yesterday addressed the plenary assembly of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sydney, in a discourse devoted to the diplomatic activity of the Holy See, with special reference to the situation of Christians in the Middle East. "The Holy See's diplomacy has various particular aims, which flow from its primarily spiritual mission. These include the defence of the Church's rights and freedom, and of religious liberty in general, the promotion of an ethical vision in the various questions which affect human life, society and development, the defence of human dignity and rights, the promotion of reconciliation and peace, the promotion of integral human development and humanitarian interests, the protection of the environment and, when requested, the mediation of disputes".
    The Holy See, he added, "is very concerned about the tragic situation currently unfolding in the Middle East. It does not propose technical solutions but it is tirelessly involved in raising international awareness and in appealing to the international community to intervene as a matter of urgency to stop the aggressor, provide humanitarian aid and address the root causes of the present crisis".

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 26 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Celestin Hakizimana as bishop of Gikongoro (area 2,057, population 582,159, Catholics 248,471, priests 51, religious 70), Rwanda. The bishop-elect was born in Kigali, Rwanda in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1991. He holds a doctorate in theology from the San Tommaso Faculty of Theology in Naples, Italy, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar in Rutongo, diocesan representative for Catholic education, director of the St. Paul National Pastoral Centre in Kigali, and director of GEMECA-Rwanda. He is currently secretary general of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Nov 27 09:12:02 2014
    The Pope made two proposals for facing these challenges: to reach out to encounter God, "Who lives in the cities and in the poor", to facilitate the encounter of others with God, making the Sacraments accessible, and to work towards a Samaritan Church, "with concrete witness of mercy and tenderness that endeavours to be present in the existential and poor peripheries, acting directly on the social subconscious, producing guidance and meaning for city life".

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    To the Pauline family: take the breath of the Gospel to the most diverse cultures and social contexts
    Vatican City, 27 November 2014 (VIS) - This morning the Pope received in audience the members of the Pauline Family, the group of institutions that encompasses the Society of St. Paul and the Daughters of St. Paul (Paulines), dedicated to the apostolate through means of communication. Founded by Blessed Giacomo Alberione (1884-1971), the Pauline Family is composed of ten members: five religious congregations, four aggregated institutes and an association of lay collaborators. This year it celebrates the centenary of its foundation and, to commemorate this anniversary, Francis invited them to renew their "commitment to living and communicating faith", especially through the editorial and multimedia tools typical of their charism.
    He also encouraged them to continue the path their founder opened up and which the Family has followed so far, "always keeping your gaze on broader horizons", adding that we must never forget that "evangelisation is essentially connected with the proclamation of the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ, or have always denied Him. ... Everyone has the right to receive the Gospel. Christians have the duty of announcing it without excluding anyone. This impulse to move towards the people, but also to existential peripheries, this 'Catholic' impulse, is something you have in the blood, in your DNA, for the very fact that your founder was inspired by the figure and the mission of the apostle Paul".
    Francis explained that Blessed Giacomo Alberione saw, in the announcement of Christ and of the Gospel to the masses, the most authentic and most necessary form of charity that could be offered to men and women who thirst for truth and justice". He added, "you too are called to serve the people of today, to whom the Spirit sends you, with creativity and dynamic fidelity to your charism, identifying the most appropriate ways of announcing Jesus. ... The imagination of charity knows no bounds, and knows how to open up ever new roads to bring the breath of the Gospel into the most diverse cultures and social environments".
    "Vatican Council II presented the Church to us as a population on the move ... a vision that expresses Christian hope. ... Therefore, our being a Church in progress, while it roots us in the task of announcing Christ and His love for every creature, also prevents us from being imprisoned by earthly and mundane structures; it keeps the spirit open and makes us capable of outlooks and demands that find their fulfilment in the beatitude of the Lord.

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    Holy Father's calendar for December 2014 and January 2015
    Vatican City, 27 November 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 December 2014 and January 2015:
    DECEMBER
    Monday 8: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At 4 p.m. in Piazza di Spagna, veneration of the image of Mary Immaculate.
    Friday 12: Feast of Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. At 6 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for Latin America.
    Sunday 14: "Gaudete Sunday" Third of Advent. At 4 p.m., pastoral visit to the Roman Parish of "San Giuseppe all'Aurelio".
    Wednesday 24: Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. At 9.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass.
    Thursday 25: Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Central loggia of the Vatican Basilica, at 12 p.m., "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.
    Wednesday 31: Solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. At 5 p.m. First Vespers and Te Deum, in Thanksgiving for the past year.
    JANUARY
    Thursday 1: Solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. 48th World Peace Day. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass.
    Tuesday 6: Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass.
    Sunday 11: Sunday after the Epiphany: Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. At 9.30 a.m. in the Sistine Chapel. Holy Mass and baptism of babies.
    Monday 12 to Monday 19: Apostolic trip in Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
    Sunday 25: Solemnity of the Conversion of St. Paul. At 5.30 in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, Vespers.

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    Christians and Muslims condemn extremism and violence committed in the name of religion
    Vatican City, 27 November 2014 (VIS) - The Centre for Interreligious Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue held their Ninth Colloquium of dialogue from 24 to 26 November in Teheran, Iran, under the joint chairmanship of Abuzar Ibrahimi Turkaman, president of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation, and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed on the following:
    1. Two decades of dialogue between the abovementioned institutions have provided the occasion for better knowledge and mutual understanding;
    2. The participants emphasised that Christian-Muslim constructive dialogue plays a crucial role in making a better society;
    3. Spirituality is a both a divine gift and the fruit of a human journey leading to truth;
    4. A genuine spirituality enables us to recognise God's presence and action within ourselves and in the world;
    5. The media are called to play their distinctive role in the promotion of positive relations between Christians and Muslims;
    6. The participants condemned all kinds of extremism and violence, especially committed in the name of religion.
    The participants decided to hold the next colloquium in Rome in 2016, which will be preceded by a preparatory meeting 2015.

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 27 November 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Michael A. Blume, apostolic nuncio in Uganda;
    - Archbishop Ramiro Moliner Ingles, apostolic nuncio in Albania.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Sun Nov 30 06:36:02 2014
    "This is especially true for us Christians, because for us the truth is the person of Jesus Christ", observed the Pontiff. "The example of Saint Andrew, who with another disciple accepted the invitation of the Divine Master, 'Come and see', and 'stayed with him that day', shows us plainly that the Christian life is a personal experience, a transforming encounter with the One who loves us and who wants to save us. In addition, the Christian message is spread thanks to men and women who are in love with Christ, and cannot help but pass on the joy of being loved and saved. Here again, the example of the apostle Andrew is instructive. After following Jesus to his home and spending time with Him, Andrew 'first found his brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (meaning Christ). He brought him to Jesus'. It is clear, therefore, that not even dialogue among Christians can prescind from this logic of personal encounter".
    Therefore, "it is not by chance that the path of reconciliation and peace between Catholics and Orthodox was, in some way, ushered in by an encounter, by an embrace between our venerable predecessors, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI, which took place fifty years ago in Jerusalem. Your Holiness and I wished to commemorate that moment when we met recently in the same city where our Lord Jesus Christ died and rose.
    "By happy coincidence, my visit falls a few days after the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of Unitatis Redintegratio, the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Christian Unity. This is a fundamental document which opened new avenues for encounter between Catholics and their brothers and sisters of other Churches and ecclesial communities. In particular, in that Decree the Catholic Church acknowledges that the Orthodox Churches 'possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy'. The Decree goes on to state that in order to guard faithfully the fullness of the Christian tradition and to bring to fulfilment the reconciliation of Eastern and Western Christians, it is of the greatest importance to preserve and support the rich patrimony of the Eastern Churches. This regards not only their liturgical and spiritual traditions, but also their canonical disciplines, sanctioned as they are by the Fathers and by Councils, which regulate the lives of these Churches".
    The Pope emphasised the importance of reaffirming respect for this principle "as an essential condition, accepted by both, for the restoration of full communion, which does not signify the submission of one to the other, or assimilation. Rather, it means welcoming all the gifts that God has given to each, thus demonstrating to the entire world the great mystery of salvation accomplished by Christ the Lord through the Holy Spirit. I want to assure each one of you here that, to reach the desired goal of full unity, the Catholic Church does not intend to impose any conditions except that of the shared profession of faith. Further, I would add that we are ready to seek together, in light of Scriptural teaching and the experience of the first millennium, the ways in which we can guarantee the needed unity of the Church in the present circumstances. The one thing that the Catholic Church desires, and that I seek as Bishop of Rome, 'the Church which presides in charity', is communion with the Orthodox Churches. Such communion will always be the fruit of that love which 'has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us', a fraternal love which expresses the spiritual and transcendent bond which unites us as disciples of the Lord".
    In today's world, "voices are being raised which we cannot ignore and which implore our Churches to live deeply our identity as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first of these voices is that of the poor. In the world, there are too many women and men who suffer from severe malnutrition, growing unemployment, the rising numbers of unemployed youth, and from increasing social exclusion. These can give rise to criminal activity and even the recruitment of terrorists. We cannot remain indifferent before the cries of our brothers and sisters. These ask of us not only material assistance - needed in so many circumstances - but above all,our help to defend their dignity as human persons, so that they can find the spiritual energy to become once again protagonists in their own lives. They ask us to fight, in the light of the Gospel, the structural causes of poverty: inequality, the shortage of dignified work and housing, and the denial of their rights as members of society and as workers. As Christians we are called together to eliminate that globalisation of indifference which today seems to reign supreme, while building a new civilisation of love and solidarity".
    A second plea, he said, "comes from the victims of the conflicts in so many parts of our world. We hear this resoundingly here, because some neighbouring countries are scarred by an inhumane and brutal war. I think in a particular way of the numerous victims of the grotesque and senseless attack which recently killed and injured so many Muslims who were praying in a Mosque in Kano, Nigeria. Taking away the peace of a people, committing every act of violence - or consenting to such acts - especially when directed against the weakest and defenceless, is a profoundly grave sin against God, since it means showing contempt for the image of God which is in man. The cry of the victims of conflict urges us to move with haste along the path of reconciliation and communion between Catholics and Orthodox. Indeed, how can we credibly proclaim the Gospel of peace which comes from Christ, if there continues to be rivalry and disagreement between us?"
    A third cry is that of young people. "Today, tragically, there are many young men and women who live without hope, overcome by mistrust and resignation. Many of the young, influenced by the prevailing culture, seek happiness solely in possessing material things and in satisfying their fleeting emotions. New generations will never be able to acquire true wisdom and keep hope alive unless we are able to esteem and transmit the true humanism which comes from the Gospel and from the Church's age-old experience. It is precisely the young who today implore us to make progress towards full communion. I think for example of the many Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant youth who come together at meetings organised by the Taize community. They do this not because they ignore the differences which still separate us, but because they are able to see beyond them; they are able to embrace what is essential and what already unites us.
    Pope Francis concluded by addressing Bartholomaios I: "We are already on the way, on the path towards full communion and already we can experience eloquent signs of an authentic, albeit incomplete union. This offers us reassurance and encourages us to continue on this journey. We are certain that along this journey we are helped by the intercession of the Apostle Andrew and his brother Peter, held by tradition to be the founders of the Churches of Constantinople and of Rome. We ask God for the great gift of full unity, and the ability to accept it in our lives. Let us never forget to pray for one another".

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    Joint declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomaios I: "We call on all religious leaders to pursue and strengthen interreligious dialogue"
    Vatican City, 30 November 2014 (VIS) - Following the Divine Liturgy, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomaios I appeared on the balcony of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and blessed the faithful gathered in the street. Francis imparted the blessing in Latin, and Bartholomaios I in Greek. They subsequently ascended to the Throne Room where they signed and read the following joint Declaration:
    "We, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I,express our profound gratitude to God for the gift of this new encounter enabling us,in the presence of the members of the Holy Synod, the clergy and the faithful of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to celebrate together the feast of Saint Andrew, the first-called and brother of the Apostle Peter. Our remembrance of the Apostles, who proclaimed the good news of the Gospel to the world through their preaching and their witness of martyrdom, strengthens in us the aspiration to continue to walk together in order to overcome, in love and in truth, the obstacles that divide us.
    "On the occasion of our meeting in Jerusalem last May, in which we remembered the historical embrace of our venerable predecessors Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, we signed a joint declaration. Today on the happy occasion of this further fraternal encounter, we wish to re-affirm together our shared intentions and concerns.
    "We express our sincere and firm resolution, in obedience to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, to intensify our efforts to promote the full unity of all Christians, and above all between Catholics and Orthodox. As well, we intend to support the theological dialogue promoted by the Joint International Commission, instituted exactly thirty-five years ago by the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios and Pope John Paul II here at the Phanar, and which is currently dealing with the most difficult questions that have marked the history of our division and that require careful and detailed study. To this end, we offer the assurance of our fervent prayer as Pastors of the Church, asking our faithful to join us in praying 'that all may be one, that the world may believe'.
    "We express our common concern for the current situation in Iraq, Syria and the whole Middle East. We are united in the desire for peace and stability and in the will to promote the resolution of conflicts through dialogue and reconciliation. While recognising the efforts already being made to offer assistance to the region, at the same time, we call on all those who bear responsibility for the destiny of peoples to deepen their commitment to suffering communities, and to enable them, including the Christian ones, to remain in their native land. We cannot resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians, who have professed the name of Jesus there for two thousand years. Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have been forced violently from their homes. It even seems that the value of human life has been lost, that the human person no longer matters and may be sacrificed to other interests. And, tragically, all this is met by the indifference of many. As Saint Paul reminds us, 'If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together'. This is the law of the Christian life, and in this sense we can say that there is also an ecumenism of suffering. Just as the blood of the martyrs was a seed of strength and fertility for the Church, so too the sharing of daily sufferings can become an effective instrument of unity. The terrible situation of Christians and all those who are suffering in the Middle East calls not only for our constant prayer, but also for an appropriate response on the part of the international community.
    "The grave challenges facing the world in the present situation require the solidarity of all people of good will, and so we also recognise the importance of promoting a constructive dialogue with Islam based on mutual respect and friendship. Inspired by common values and strengthened by genuine fraternal sentiments, Muslims and Christians are called to work together for the sake of justice, peace and respect for the dignity and rights of every person, especially in those regions where they once lived for centuries in peaceful coexistence and now tragically suffer together the horrors of war. Moreover, as Christian leaders, we call on all religious leaders to pursue and to strengthen interreligious dialogue and to make every effort to build a culture of peace and solidarity between persons and between peoples. We also remember all the people who experience the sufferings of war. In particular, we pray for peace in Ukraine, a country of ancient Christian tradition, while we call upon all parties involved to pursue the path of dialogue and of respect for international law in order to bring an end to the conflict and allow all Ukrainians to live in harmony.
    "Our thoughts turn to all the faithful of our Churches throughout the world, whom we greet, entrusting them to Christ our Saviour, that they may be untiring witnesses to the love of God. We raise our fervent prayer that the Lord may grant the gift of peace in love and unity to the entire human family.
    "'May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you'".
    After the signing of the Declaration, the Pope, the Ecumenical Patriarch and various members of the respective delegations lunched together on the third floor of the Phanar.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Dec 22 09:36:02 2014
    "Imagine how our world would change if each one of us began straight away", he remarked. "This is the true Nativity: the feast of the poverty of the God Who annihilated Himself, assuming the nature of a slave; of God Who served at the table; of God Who hid Himself from the intelligent and the wise and instead revealed Himself to the smallest, the simple and the poor. It is above all the feast of Peace brought to earth by the baby Jesus, ... the peace the Angels sang". He continued, "Peace needs our enthusiasm, our care, to warm our frozen hearts, to encourage distrusting souls and to brighten jaded eyes with the light of Jesus' face".
    The Pope concluded by asking forgiveness for his shortcomings, and those of his colleagues, and also for the various scandals "that do a great deal of damage", he commented. "Forgive me and, please, pray for me".

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    Angelus: at Christmas, Jesus calls out again to the heart of every Christian
    Vatican City, 21 December 2014 (VIS) - On the fourth and final Sunday of Advent, with Christmas just around the corner, the Gospel narrates the Angel's annunciation to Mary and the Virgin's "yes" that made possible the Incarnation, the revelation of a mystery "enveloped in silence for eternity". Before this morning's Angelus prayer, Pope Francis addressed the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, focusing on two essential aspects of Mary's attitude as a model to prepare for Christmas.
    The first is her faith, which consists of listening to the Word of God in order to surrender herself entirely to it, with full willingness of both mind and heart. "In her 'yes', full of faith, Mary does not know which road she will have to embark upon, how much pain she will have to suffer, what risks she will run. But she is aware that it is the Lord Who asks her to entrust herself entirely to Him, and she surrenders herself to His love. This is Mary's faith".
    "Another aspect is the capacity of the Mother of Christ to recognise the time of God. Mary teaches us to seize the favourable moment in which Jesus passes into our life and asks for a prompt and generous response".
    "And Jesus passes", added the Pope, "because the mystery of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, which historically took place more than two thousand years ago, occurs as a spiritual event on the 'today' of the Liturgy. The Word, that finds a home in the virginal womb of Mary, during the celebration of the Nativity calls out to the heart of every Christian; it passes, and knocks on the door. Each one of us is called to answer, like Mary, with a personal and sincere 'yes', placing ourselves entirely at the disposal of God and His mercy, His love".
    "How many times does Jesus pass into our lives!", he exclaimed. "And how many times he sends us an angel, and how often we do not realise, because we are too preoccupied, immersed in our thoughts, in our affairs and even, these days, in our preparations for Christmas, to realise that He passes and knocks at the door of our heart, asking for welcome, asking for a 'yes', like that of Mary".
    "A saint once said, 'I am afraid that the Lord will pass'. Do you know why he was afraid? He was afraid he would not welcome Him, that he would let Him pass by. When we feel in our heart, 'I would like to be a better person', "I feel remorse for doing that", it is the Lord Who is calling. He makes you feel this: the wish to be better, the wish to stay closer to others and to God. If you feel this, then stop. It is the Lord Who is there! And pray, perhaps go to Confession, to clean up a little ... this does you good. But keep in mind: if you feel this desire to improve, it is He Who is calling: do not let Him pass by".
    Francis also recalled, in the mystery of the Nativity, the silent presence of Joseph and emphasised the example that he and Mary offer as an invitation to receive with total openness the Lord Jesus, "who for love made Himself into our brother, and came to bring light to the world", as the angels proclaimed to the shepherds: 'on earth peace, good will toward men'".
    "The precious gift of Christmas is peace", he concluded. "Christ, Who is our true peace, calls to our hearts to give us peace, the peace of the soul. Let us open the doors to Christ".

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    The Pope receives the Community of Pope John XXIII and praises its generosity in helping people rise above material and moral degradation
    Vatican City, 20 December 2014 (VIS) - Today in the Paul VI Hall the Holy Father received 7,500 members of the Community of John Paul XXIII, founded by the Italian priest Oreste Benzi in 1968. The association, currently present in 34 countries, is concerned with situations of marginalisation and poverty and promotes the non-violent removal of the root causes. It follows the principle of sharing of life in a number of contexts: minors and young people in difficult conditions, the disabled, detainees, itinerant communities, drug users, alcoholics, those without fixed abode, the elderly, the sick, mothers with problems and women forced into prostitution.
    During the audience, various members of the Community narrated to the Pope their experiences, which as Francis said, spoke of "slavery and liberation, of the selfishness of those who imagine they can build up their lives by exploiting others and taking advantage of the generosity of those who help others to rise up from material and moral degradation. They are experiences that shed light on the many forms of poverty that unfortunately afflict our world, and they reveal the most dangerous misery of all, the cause of all others: distance from God, the presumption of being able to do without Him. This is the blind misery of those who believe that the aim of their existence is material wealth, the pursuit of power and pleasure, and the enslavement of the lives of others to these objectives".
    "Yes, my friends, it is the presence of the Lord that makes the difference between the freedom of good and the slavery of evil ... it broadens horizons ... and gives us the strength necessary to overcome difficulties and obstacles. ... Faith, indeed, moves the mountains of indifference and apathy, of disinterest and sterile self-centredness. ... Faith opens the doors of charity ... giving us the courage to act according to the example of the Good Samaritan. Fr. Oresti Benzi, the founder of your association, understood this well. His love for the least and for the poor, for the excluded and the abandoned, was rooted in his love for Jesus crucified, Who made Himself poor for us. ... From the mission of involving adolescents and encouraging their interest in the figure of Jesus, there was born the idea of organising for them a vital and radical encounter with Him as a hero and friend, through testimonies of life, fully demonstrating the Christian message, but in a joyful or even joking fashion".
    "In this way your community was born, now present in 34 countries with its family-houses, its social and educational cooperatives, its houses of prayer, services for accompanying difficult motherhood and other initiatives", continued the Pope. "Providence has enabled you to grow, demonstrating the vitality of the charism of your Founder, who liked to say that "to get onto your feet, you need to kneel first".
    Pope Francis concluded by inviting those present to be attentive to their spiritual formation, and to partake frequently of the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, as "it fills the heart with the love for God that is the wellspring of charity towards our brothers and sisters".

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    Audiences
    On Saturday, 20 December, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - His Royal Highness Jaime Bernardo, Prince of Bourbon de Parme, ambassador of the Netherlands to the Holy See, presenting his letters of credence;
    - Clelio Galassi, ambassador of the Republic of San Marino to the Holy See, presenting his letters of credence;
    - Eduardo Felix Valdes, ambassador of the Republic of Argentina to the Holy See, presenting his letters of credence.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 22 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has
    - appointed Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Indianapolis, U.S.A., as bishop of Burlington (area 23,651, population 651,000, Catholics 123,700, priests 133, permanent deacons 43, religious 149), U.S.A.
    - appointed Bishop Benjamin Ndiaye of Kaolack, Senegal, as archbishop of Dakar (area 4,803, population 3,677,000, Catholics 455,000, priests 168, religious 645), Senegal. He succeeds Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Basel, Switzerland, presented by Bishop Martin Gachter upon reaching the age limit.
    - erected the new diocese of Kuzhithurai (area 915, population 855,485, Catholics 264,222, priests 131, religious 269) India, with territory taken from the diocese of Kottar, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Madurai. He appointed Fr. Jerome Dhas Varuvel, S.D.B., as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Paduvoor, India in 1951, gave his perpetual vows in 1981, and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics and theology, and a licentiate in education from the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome, and has served in a number of roles, including vice rector of the novitiate in Vellakinar, rector of the pre-novitiate in Tirupattur and Maiyam, dean of the Salesian student body in Trichy, parish priest and rector of the con-Cathedral of Madras-Mylapore, provincial counsellor, director of Kalvi Solai in Tirupattur and in Ennore, and director of Mount Don Bosco in Thalavadi. He is currently master of novices in Yeallagiri Hills, Vellore.
    On Saturday, 20 December, the Holy Father appointed:
    - Bishop Jose Guadalupe Torres Campos of Gomez Palacio, Mexico, as bishop of Ciudad Juarez (area 29,639, population 2,727,000, Catholics 2,318,000, priests 116, permanent deacons 19, religious 206), Mexico. He succeeds Bishop Renato Ascencio Leon, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue as camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church;
    - Archbishop Giampiero Gloder, apostolic nuncio and president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, as vice camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Dec 29 09:12:02 2014
    "We too, in this blessed night, have come to the house of God. We have passed through the darkness which envelops the earth, guided by the flame of faith which illuminates our steps, and enlivened by the hope of finding the 'great light'. By opening our hearts, we also can contemplate the miracle of that child-sun who, arising from on high, illuminates the horizon.
    "The origin of the darkness which envelops the world is lost in the night of the ages. Let us think back to that dark moment when the first crime of humanity was committed, when the hand of Cain, blinded by envy, killed his brother Abel. As a result, the unfolding of the centuries has been marked by violence, wars, hatred and oppression. But God, who placed a sense of expectation within man made in his image and likeness, was waiting. God was waiting. He waited for so long that perhaps at a certain point it seemed he should have given up. But he could not give up because he could not deny himself. Therefore he continued to wait patiently in the face of the corruption of man and peoples. The patience of God. How difficult it is to comprehend this: God's patience towards us.
    "Through the course of history, the light that shatters the darkness reveals to us that God is Father and that his patient fidelity is stronger than darkness and corruption. This is the message of Christmas night. God does not know outbursts of anger or impatience; he is always there, like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, waiting to catch from afar a glimpse of the lost son as he returns; and every day, with patience. The patience of God.
    "Isaiah's prophecy announces the rising of a great light which breaks through the night. This light is born in Bethlehem and is welcomed by the loving arms of Mary, by the love of Joseph, by the wonder of the shepherds. When the angels announced the birth of the Redeemer to the shepherds, they did so with these words: 'This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger'. The 'sign' is in fact the humility of God, the humility of God taken to the extreme; it is the love with which, that night, he assumed our frailty, our suffering, our anxieties, our desires and our limitations. The message that everyone was expecting, that everyone was searching for in the depths of their souls, was none other than the tenderness of God: God who looks upon us with eyes full of love, who accepts our poverty, God who is in love with our smallness.
    "On this holy night, while we contemplate the Infant Jesus just born and placed in the manger, we are invited to reflect. How do we welcome the tenderness of God? Do I allow myself to be taken up by God, to be embraced by him, or do I prevent him from drawing close? 'But I am searching for the Lord' - we could respond. Nevertheless, what is most important is not seeking him, but rather allowing him to seek me, find me and caress me with tenderness. The question put to us simply by the Infant's presence is: do I allow God to love me?
    "More so, do we have the courage to welcome with tenderness the difficulties and problems of those who are near to us, or do we prefer impersonal solutions, perhaps effective but devoid of the warmth of the Gospel? How much the world needs tenderness today! The patience of God, the closeness of God, the tenderness of God.
    "The Christian response cannot be different from God's response to our smallness. Life must be met with goodness, with meekness. When we realise that God is in love with our smallness, that he made himself small in order to better encounter us, we cannot help but open our hearts to him, and beseech him: 'Lord, help me to be like you, give me the grace of tenderness in the most difficult circumstances of life, give me the grace of closeness in the face of every need, of meekness in every conflict'.
    "'Dear brothers and sisters, on this holy night we contemplate the Nativity scene: there "the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light'. People who were unassuming, people open to receiving the gift of God, were the ones who saw this light. This light was not seen, however, by the arrogant, the proud, by those who made laws according to their own personal measures, who were closed off to others. Let us look to the crib and pray, asking the Blessed Mother: 'O Mary, show us Jesus!'".

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    Christmas Message: "many tears, together with the tears of the Infant Jesus"
    Vatican City, 25 December 2014 (VIS) - At midday today, the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, the Pope gave his traditional Christmas message from the central balcony of the Vatican Basilica and imparted the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.
    "Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!
    "Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, is born for us, born in Bethlehem of a Virgin, fulfilling the ancient prophecies. The Virgin's name is Mary, the wife of Joseph.
    "Humble people, full of hope in the goodness of God, are those who welcome Jesus and recognise him. And so the Holy Spirit enlightened the shepherds of Bethlehem, who hastened to the grotto and adored the Child. Then the Spirit led the elderly and humble couple Simeon and Anna into the temple of Jerusalem, and they recognised in Jesus the Messiah. 'My eyes have seen your salvation', Simeon exclaimed, 'the salvation prepared by God in the sight of all peoples'.
    "Yes, brothers and sisters, Jesus is the salvation for every person and for every people!
    Today I ask him, the Saviour of the world, to look upon our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria, who for too long now have suffered the effects of ongoing conflict, and who, together with those belonging to other ethnic and religious groups, are suffering a brutal persecution. May Christmas bring them hope, as indeed also to the many displaced persons, exiles and refugees, children, adults and elderly, from this region and from the whole world. May indifference be changed into closeness and rejection into hospitality, so that all who now are suffering may receive the necessary humanitarian help to overcome the rigours of winter, return to their countries and live with dignity. May the Lord open hearts to trust, and may he bestow his peace upon the whole Middle East, beginning with the land blessed by his birth, thereby sustaining the efforts of those committed effectively to dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.
    "May Jesus, Saviour of the world, protect all who suffer in Ukraine, and grant that their beloved land may overcome tensions, conquer hatred and violence, and set out on a new journey of fraternity and reconciliation.
    "May Christ the Saviour give peace to Nigeria, where more blood is being shed and too many people are unjustly deprived of their possessions, held as hostages or killed. I invoke peace also on the other parts of the African continent, thinking especially of Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and various regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I beseech all who have political responsibility to commit themselves through dialogue to overcoming differences and to building a lasting, fraternal coexistence.
    "May Jesus save the vast numbers of children who are victims of violence, made objects of trade and trafficking, or forced to become soldiers; children, so many abused children. May he give comfort to the families of the children killed in Pakistan last week. May he be close to all who suffer from illness, especially the victims of the Ebola epidemic, above all in Liberia, in Sierra Leone and in Guinea. As I thank all who are courageously dedicated to assisting the sick and their family members, I once more make an urgent appeal that the necessary assistance and treatment be provided.
    "The Child Jesus. My thoughts turn to all those children today who are killed and ill-treated, be they infants killed in the womb, deprived of that generous love of their parents and then buried in the egoism of a culture that does not love life; be they children displaced due to war and persecution, abused and taken advantage of before our very eyes and our complicit silence. I think also of those infants massacred in bomb attacks, also those where the Son of God was born. Even today, their impotent silence cries out under the sword of so many Herods. On their blood stands the shadow of contemporary Herods. Truly there are so many tears this Christmas, together with the tears of the Infant Jesus.
    "Dear brothers and sisters, may the Holy Spirit today enlighten our hearts, that we may recognise in the Infant Jesus, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, the salvation given by God to each one of us, to each man and woman and to all the peoples of the earth. May the power of Christ, which brings freedom and service, be felt in so many hearts afflicted by war, persecution and slavery. May this divine power, by its meekness, take away the hardness of heart of so many men and women immersed in worldliness and indifference, the globalisation of indifference. May his redeeming strength transform arms into ploughshares, destruction into creativity, hatred into love and tenderness. Then we will be able to cry out with joy: 'Our eyes have seen your salvation'.
    "With these thoughts I wish you all a Happy Christmas!"

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    The gift of Christian integrity is coherence: think, feel and live as Christians
    Vatican City, 26 December 2014 (VIS) - At midday the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, the Pontiff gave a brief address to those present, on the subject of coherence with faith.
    "The Gospel of this feast day shows a part of Jesus' discourse to his disciples in the moment in which He sends them on their mission. Among other things, He says, 'You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved'. These words of the Lord do not disrupt the celebration of Christmas, but strip it of that false saccharine-sweetness that does not belong to it. It makes us understand that in the trials accepted on account of the faith, violence is overcome by love, death by life. To truly welcome Jesus in our existence, and to prolong the joy of the Holy Night, the path is precisely the one indicated in this Gospel: that is, to bear witness in humility, in silent service, without fear of going against the current, able to pay in person. While not all of us are called, as St. Stephen was, to shed their own blood, every Christian is nonetheless required in every circumstance to lead a life coherent with the faith he or she professes. Christian integrity is a grace that we must ask of the Lord. To be coherent, to live as Christians rather than merely saying, 'I am Christian' while living like a pagan. Coherence is a grace we must ask for today".
    Francis explained that following the Gospel is a "demanding but beautiful path, and those who follow it with devotion and courage receive the gift promised by the Lord to men and women of goodwill". He asked those present to pray "in a special way for those who are discriminated against, persecuted and killed for their witness of Christ ... so that due to the sacrifice of these latter-day martyrs, of whom there are many, the commitment to recognising and guaranteeing religious freedom, an inalienable right of every human being, may be reinforced in every part of the world".
    After the Angelus prayer, the Pope conveyed his wishes for peace to all those present and prayed to St. Stephen for the grace of Christian coherence: "thinking, feeling and living as a Christian, not thinking as a Christian and living as a pagan".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Jan 2 08:36:02 2015
    "May this gentle and loving Mother obtain for us the Lord's blessing upon the entire human family. On this, the World Day of Peace, we especially implore her intercession that the Lord may grant peace in our day; peace in hearts, peace in families, peace among the nations. The message for the Day of Peace this year is 'Slaves no more, but Brothers and Sisters'. All of us are called to be free, all are called to be sons and daughters, and each, according to his or her own responsibilities, is called to combat modern forms of enslavement. From every people, culture and religion, let us join our forces. May He guide and sustain us, Who, in order to make us all brothers and sisters, became our servant".

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    New Year's Eve Vespers: "Give thanks and ask forgiveness"
    Vatican City, 1 January 2014 (VIS) - "The meaning of time, temporality, is the atmosphere of the Epiphany of God, or rather the manifestation of God and His concrete love. Indeed, as St. Peter Faber said, time is God's messenger", affirmed the Holy Father during the celebration of Vespers on the Solemnity of Mary Most Holy Mother of God, on the last day of the year. He continued, "Today's liturgy recalls the phrase of the apostle John: 'Children, it is the last hour', and that of St. Paul, who speaks of the 'fullness of time'. Therefore, today shows us how time was, so to speak, 'touched' by Christ, the Son of God and Mary, and received from Him new and surprising meanings: it became 'salvific time', or rather the definitive time of salvation and grace. And all this urges us to think of the end of the path of life, of the end of our journey".
    The Pope also remarked that with the Te Deum, the traditional hymn of thanksgiving at the year end, and the Eucharistic blessing, we praise the Lord and at the same time ask for forgiveness. "The attitude of giving thanks disposes us to humility, to recognising and receiving the Lord's gifts", and as the apostle Paul explains in the reading, the fundamental reason for giving thanks to God is the fact that "He has made us all His children, He has adopted us as His children. This unmerited gift, fills us with gratitude and wonder. Some might say, 'But are we not already all His children, by the very fact of being men?'. We certainly are, since God is the Father of every person who comes into the world. But we must not forget that we were estranged from Him because of original sin. ... For this reason, God sent His Son to redeem us at the price of His blood. And if there was a ransom, it is because there was slavery. We were His children, but we became slaves, following the voice of the evil one. None other than Jesus redeems us from that effective slavery; He Who took on our flesh from the Virgin Mary and died on the cross to free us from the slavery of sin and to restore to us our lost filial status".
    Francis emphasised that the liturgy also reminds us that "in the beginning, before time, there was the Word ... and the Word was made man", and mentioned that "the very gift for which we give thanks is also a reason for an examination of conscience, for reviewing our personal and communal life, for asking ourselves: how do we live? Do we live as sons or as slaves? Do we live as persons baptised in Christ, anointed by the Spirit, redeemed and free? Or do we live according to a worldly, corrupt logic, doing what the devil makes us believe is in our interest?" He added, "we are afraid of freedom and paradoxically we more or less unconsciously prefer the slavery that prevents us from fully and truly living in the present, as it empties it of the past and closes it to the future, to eternity. Slavery makes us believe that we cannot dream, fly, hope".
    "Nostalgia for slavery resides in our heart, as it is seemingly more reassuring than freedom, which is far riskier. How we like to be rapt by so many fireworks, which appear beautiful but in reality last just a few instants. This is the reign, the fascination of the moment. For us, as Christians, the quality of our work, our life, our presence in cities, our service to the common good, our participation in public and ecclesial institutions, depends on this examination of conscience".
    The Pope went on to speak about the significance of living in Rome, "which is a great gift, as it means dwelling in the eternal city; for a Christian, in particular, it means being part of the Church founded on the witness and martyrdom of the holy apostles Peter and Paul. Therefore, we also thank the Lord for this". However, he added, there are also "grave issues of corruption, which have emerged recently, and which require a serious and conscious conversion of hearts for a spiritual and moral rebirth, as well as renewed commitment to constructing a more just and caring city, where the poor, the weak and the marginalised are the focus of our concerns and our daily actions. A great and daily attitude of Christian freedom is necessary to have the courage to proclaim, in our city, that we must defend the poor, and not defend ourselves from the poor; that we must serve the weak and not make use of them".
    "When in a city the poor and the weak are cared for, assisted and helped to promote themselves in society, they are shown to be the treasure of the Church and an asset to society. Instead, when a society ignores the poor, persecutes them and criminalises them, compelling them to turn to organised crime, that society is impoverished to the point of misery, loses its freedom and favours the 'garlic and onions' of slavery, the slavery of its selfishness, the slavery of cowardliness, and that society ceases to be Christian. Dear brothers and sisters", he concluded, "to bring the year to an end is to reaffirm that a 'last hour' exists, and that the 'fullness of time' exists. In concluding the year, in giving thanks and asking for forgiveness, it will do us good to ask for the grace to be able to walk in freedom, to be able to repair the damage done and to be able to defend ourselves from the nostalgia of slavery, not to idealise slavery". He encouraged those present to pray to the Virgin Mary, that she might help us receive the Saviour with an open heart, to truly be and live freely as children of God".

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 2 January 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Marcelino Antonio Maralit as bishop of Boac (area 959, population 238,850, Catholics 222,130, priests 30, religious 38), Philippines. The bishop-elect was born in Manila, Philippines in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He holds a licentiate from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain and a licentiate in church history from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar of the "Immaculate Conception" parish in Batangas; professor at the St. Francis de Sales major seminary of Lipa City; deputy director and subsequently director of the diocesan commission for vocations; vice-rector, professor, dean of studies and subsequently rector of the St. Francis theological seminary. He is currently parish priest of the "Invencion de la Santa Cruz" parish in Alitatag, Batangas and member of the presbyteral council of the archdiocese of Lipa.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Jan 7 08:48:02 2015
    At that point "they resume their journey, and once more they see the star; the evangelist says that they 'rejoiced exceedingly'. Coming to Bethlehem, they found 'the child with Mary His mother'. After that of Jerusalem, this was their second great temptation: to reject this smallness. But instead, 'they fell down and worshipped Him', offering him their precious symbolic gifts. Again, it is the grace of the Holy Spirit which assists them. That grace, which through the star had called them and led them along the way, now lets them enter into the mystery. The star which led them on the journey allows them to enter into the mystery. Led by the Spirit, they come to realise that God's criteria are quite different from those of men, that God does not manifest himself in the power of this world, but speaks to us in the humbleness of His love. God's love is great. God's love is powerful. But the love of God is humble, very humble. The wise men are thus models of conversion to the true faith, since they believed more in the goodness of God than in the apparent splendour of power".
    "And so we can ask ourselves", continued the Holy Father, "what is the mystery in which God is hidden? Where can I find Him? All around us we see wars, the exploitation of children, torture, trafficking in arms, human trafficking ... In all these realities, in these, the least of our brothers and sisters who are enduring these difficult situations, there is Jesus. The crib points us to a different path from the one cherished by the thinking of this world: it is the path of God's self-abasement, that humility of God's love by which He abases himself, He completely lowers himself, His glory concealed in the manger of Bethlehem, on the cross upon Calvary, in each of our suffering brothers and sisters".
    "The wise men entered into the mystery", he concluded. "They passed from human calculations to the mystery: this was their conversion. And our own? Let us ask the Lord to let us undergo that same journey of conversion experienced by the wise men. Let us ask Him to protect us and to set us free from the temptations which hide the star. To let us always be aware of the uncomfortable question: 'Where is the star?', whenever - amid the deceptions of this world - we lose sight of it. To let us know ever anew God's mystery, and not to be scandalised by the 'sign', that sign spoken of by the angels, which points to 'a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger', and to have the humility to ask the Mother, our Mother, to show Him to us. To find the courage to be liberated from our illusions, our presumptions, our 'lights', and to seek this courage in the humility of faith and in this way to encounter the Light, Lumen, like the holy wise men. May we enter into the mystery. May it be so".

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    Angelus: the path of the Magi is a journey of the soul towards Christ
    Vatican City, 6 January 2014 (VIS) - At the end of the Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.
    The Holy Father, returning to the theme of the journey of the wise men, remarked that "with their act of adoration, the Magi testify that Jesus came to earth to save not just one people, but all peoples" and, therefore on the Epiphany "our gaze extends to the horizon of the whole world to celebrate the manifestation of the Lord to all people, that is, the manifestation of God's love and universal salvation".
    "As the Creator and Father of all, he wishes to be the Saviour of all", he continued. "This is why we are always required to nurture great trust and hope in every person and in his salvation: even those who appear to be far from the Lord are followed - or rather "pursued" - by His impassioned -and faithful love".
    The Gospel account of the Magi describes their journey from the East as "a journey of the soul, a journey towards the encounter with Christ. They are attentive to the signs that point to His presence; they are tireless in facing the difficulties of their search; they are courageous in coping with the consequences of their encounter with the Lord. ... The experience of the Magi evokes every man's journey to Christ. ... The star that is able to guide every person to Jesus is the Word of God, which is the light that directs our journey, nourishes our faith and regenerates it". Therefore, Pope Francis emphasised, "We must not forget to read it and to meditate on it every day, so that it may be a flame we carry within us to illuminate our steps and the steps of those who walk beside us, who perhaps struggle to find their way to Christ".
    The Holy Father went on to mention "our brothers and sisters in the Christian East, Catholics and Orthodox, many of whom celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord tomorrow", and sent them a warm greeting.
    Finally, he remarked that today we celebrate the World Day of Missionary Childhood, "dedicated to children who joyfully live the gift of faith and pray that the light of Jesus might reach all the children of the world. I encourage teachers to nurture the missionary spirit in the young so that witnesses of God's tenderness and heralds of His love might be born among them".

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    The Holy See intensifies its fight against the Ebola virus
    Vatican City, 7 January 2014 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace" today publishes its document "Expanding the Catholic Church's commitment to the Ebola emergency response", in which it describes for the first time its pastoral response to a relatively new disease which has devastated communities above all in the countries of Western Africa, especially Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
    According to the document, "The Holy See wishes to express its appreciation to the local Catholic Church in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for its timely response to the Ebola crisis. In order to strengthen these efforts, and as a practical response to the emergency, the Holy See is making a financial contribution. The funds will support Church-sponsored structures with a view to increasing the assistance they offer via healthcare institutions, community initiatives and pastoral care of patients and healthcare professionals. The Holy See encourages other donors, whether private or public, to add to these funds as a sign of solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are suffering gravely in the areas affected by the disease.
    "The monies contributed by the Holy See will be used to purchase much-needed protective supplies, to assist with the transport of patients, and to pay for the renovation of buildings, among other things. A portion of the Holy See's contribution will be directed towards residents in targeted communities so as to develop and enhance strategies needed to stop the spread of Ebola. Funds are also earmarked for the support of afflicted families and orphaned children. As part of a pastoral response, the Holy See will contribute to the care of people in affected areas by training and supporting clergy, men and women religious as well as lay pastoral workers, ensuring that they are better equipped to attend to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the sick and the suffering. The Holy See will focus on parishes,because so much of the Church's work takes place at the level of the parish, and it is an important grass-roots institution in fighting the Ebola-related stigma now emerging as a serious problem, particularly for survivors".

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 7 January 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Jose Antonio Peruzzo of Palmas - Francisco Beltrao, Brazil, as archbishop of Curitiba (area 5,751, population 2,444,000, Catholics 1,821,000, priests 405, permanent deacons 64, religious 1,549), Brazil.
    - appointed Fr. Leomar Antonio Brustolin as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Porto Alegre (area 13,530, population 3,395,000, Catholics 2,527,000, priests 362, permanent deacons 58, religious 1,487), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Caxias do Sul, Brazil in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He studied philosophy at the University of Caxias do Sul and theology at the Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul, and holds a licentiate in systematic theology from the Jesuit faculty (FAJE) at Belo Horizonte and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including parish vicar of the Cathedral of Caxias do Sul, professor of theology at the Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul at Porto Alegre, coordinator of the licentiate course in theology at the same university, director of the course in theology for laypersons and director of the Centre for Theology of Caxias do Sul. He is currently parish priest of the St. Teresa of Avila Cathedral in Caxias do Sul.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Jan 13 08:00:02 2015
    Around one thousand representatives of the various religious communities (Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and various Christian confessions) awaited Pope Francis in the Great Hall of the BMICH. The meeting began with the Buddhist chant "Pirith", followed by a Hindu blessing, a Muslim blessing and a prayer by the ecumenical group.
    Following a speech by the Buddhist monk Vigithasiri Niyangoda Thero, the Holy Father gave an address in which he affirmed the Church's profound and lasting respect for other religions, and reiterated that, for the sake of peace, religious beliefs must never be abused to justify violence and war.
    "I have come to Sri Lanka in the footsteps of my predecessors Popes Paul VI and John Paul II to demonstrate the great love and concern which the Catholic Church has for Sri Lanka. It is a particular grace for me to visit the Catholic community here, to confirm them in their Christian faith, to pray with them and to share their joys and sufferings. It is equally a grace to be with all of you, men and women of these great religious traditions, who share with us a desire for wisdom, truth and holiness.
    "At Vatican Council II, the Catholic Church declared her deep and abiding respect for other religions. She stated that she 'rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions. She has a high regard for their manner of life and conduct, their precepts and doctrines'. For my part, I wish to reaffirm the Church's sincere respect for you, your traditions and beliefs".
    He continued, "It is in this spirit of respect that the Catholic Church desires to cooperate with you, and with all people of good will, in seeking the welfare of all Sri Lankans. I hope that my visit will help to encourage and deepen the various forms of interreligious and ecumenical cooperation which have been undertaken in recent years.
    "These praiseworthy initiatives have provided opportunities for dialogue, which is essential if we are to know, understand and respect one another. But, as experience has shown, for such dialogue and encounter to be effective, it must be grounded in a full and forthright presentation of our respective convictions. Certainly, such dialogue will accentuate how varied our beliefs, traditions and practices are. But if we are honest in presenting our convictions, we will be able to see more clearly what we hold in common. New avenues will be opened for mutual esteem, cooperation and indeed friendship.
    "Such positive developments in interreligious and ecumenical relations take on a particular significance and urgency in Sri Lanka. For too many years the men and women of this country have been victims of civil strife and violence. What is needed now is healing and unity, not further conflict and division. Surely the fostering of healing and unity is a noble task which is incumbent upon all who have at heart the good of the nation, and indeed the whole human family. It is my hope that interreligious and ecumenical cooperation will demonstrate that men and women do not have to forsake their identity, whether ethnic or religious, in order to live in harmony with their brothers and sisters.
    "How many ways there are for the followers of the different religions to carry out this service! How many are the needs that must be tended to with the healing balm of fraternal solidarity! I think in particular of the material and spiritual needs of the poor, the destitute, those who yearn for a word of consolation and hope. Here I think too of the many families who continue to mourn the loss of their loved ones.
    "Above all, at this moment of your nation's history, how many people of good will are seeking to rebuild the moral foundations of society as a whole? May the growing spirit of cooperation between the leaders of the various religious communities find expression in a commitment to put reconciliation among all Sri Lankans at the heart of every effort to renew society and its institutions. For the sake of peace, religious beliefs must never be allowed to be abused in the cause of violence and war. We must be clear and unequivocal in challenging our communities to live fully the tenets of peace and coexistence found in each religion, and to denounce acts of violence when they are committed.
    "Dear friends", concluded the Pope, "I thank you once again for your generous welcome and your attention. May this fraternal encounter confirm all of us in our efforts to live in harmony and to spread the blessings of peace".

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    Pope's greetings to the presidents of Doctrinal Commissions of the European Episcopal Conferences
    Vatican City, 13 January 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a message to greet the participants in the meeting of the presidents of the Doctrinal Commissions of the European Episcopal Conferences with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Esztergom, "the religious heart of Hungary". The text was read this morning, during the opening session of the meeting, which will be held from 13 to 15 January.
    "I thank Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for this timely initiative that emphasises the importance of the local Episcopates, and in particular the Doctrinal Commissions, in their responsibility for the unity and integrity of the faith as well as its transmission to the younger generations. As I wrote in my Apostolic Exhortation 'Evangelii Gaudium', resuming the teaching of the dogmatic Constitution 'Lumen Gentium' of Vatican Council II, 'Episcopal conferences are in a position to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realisation of the collegial spirit'. I hope that your meeting will contribute to enabling a collegial approach to various doctrinal and pastoral difficulties that present themselves in Europe today, with the aim of inspiring in the faithful a new missionary zeal and greater openness to the transcendent dimension of life, without which Europe risks losing the very 'humanistic spirit' that it loves and defends.
    "I commend your works to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, model for every believer, and impart my heartfelt blessing".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Jan 14 08:12:02 2015
    The Virgin of Madhu, protectress against snakebites, became well-known throughout the island and, with the arrival of St. Joseph Vaz in 1987, Catholicism began to flourish and Madhu transformed into a missionary centre. The construction of the current building began in 1872, and the papal legate crowned the statue in 1924 on behalf of Pope Pius XI. The church was consecrated in 1944. The Marian shrine is a place of prayer that is well-respected and frequented by Catholic faithful and followers of other religions; nevertheless, it was affected by fighting between Tamil rebels and government forces. The bishops of Sri Lanka managed to ensure that the shrine became a demilitarised zone, to guarantee the safety of pilgrims and the many refugees who fled there in search of safety during the war. Indeed, since 1990 the 160 hectares of land around the shrine have provided a safe haven to thousands of displaced persons, becoming a refugee camp recognised by both parties in the conflict. In April 2008 the shrine passed once more to the diocese of Mannar and reopened as a place of worship in December 2010.
    More than half a million people awaited the Pope, and prayed with him for the consolidation of the peace reached in 2009 following a conflict that had lasted over three decades. Both Tamil and Sinhalese families, who suffered greatly as a result of the hostilities, were present.
    "We are in our Mother's house", Francis began. "Here she welcomes us into her home. At this shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, every pilgrim can feel at home, for here Mary brings us into the presence of her Son Jesus. Here Sri Lankans, Tamil and Sinhalese alike, come as members of one family. To Mary they commend their joys and sorrows, their hopes and needs. Here, in her home, they feel safe. They know that God is very near; they feel his love; they know the tender mercy of God.
    "There are families here today which suffered greatly in the long conflict which tore open the heart of Sri Lanka. Many people, from north and south alike, were killed in the terrible violence and bloodshed of those years. No Sri Lankan can forget the tragic events associated with this very place, or the sad day when the venerable statue of Mary, dating to the arrival of the earliest Christians in Sri Lanka, was taken away from her shrine.
    "But Our Lady remained always with you. She is the mother of every home, of every wounded family, of all who are seeking to return to a peaceful existence. Today we thank her for protecting the people of Sri Lanka from so many dangers, past and present. Mary never forgot her children on this resplendent island. Just as she never left the side of her Son on the Cross, so she never left the side of her suffering Sri Lankan children.
    "Today we want to thank Our Lady for that presence. In the wake of so much hatred, violence and destruction, we want to thank her for continuing to bring us Jesus, who alone has the power to heal open wounds and to restore peace to broken hearts. But we also want to ask her to implore for us the grace of God's mercy. We ask also for the grace to make reparation for our sins and for all the evil which this land has known.
    "It is not easy to do this", acknowledged the Holy Father. "Yet only when we come to understand, in the light of the Cross, the evil we are capable of, and have even been a part of, can we experience true remorse and true repentance. Only then can we receive the grace to approach one another in true contrition, offering and seeking true forgiveness. In this difficult effort to forgive and find peace, Mary is always here to encourage us, to guide us, to lead us. Just as she forgave her Son's killers at the foot of his Cross, then held his lifeless body in her hands, so now she wants to guide Sri Lankans to greater reconciliation, so that the balm of God's pardon and mercy may bring true healing to all".
    Finally, he added, "we want to ask Mother Mary to accompany with her prayers the efforts of Sri Lankans from both Tamil and Sinhalese communities to rebuild the unity which was lost. Just as her statue came back to her shrine of Madhu after the war, so we pray that all her Sri Lankan sons and daughters may now come home to God in a renewed spirit of reconciliation and fellowship".
    "Dear brothers and sisters", he concluded, "I am happy to be with you in Mary's house. Let us pray for one another. Above all, let us ask that this shrine may always be a house of prayer and a haven of peace. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Madhu, may all people find here inspiration and strength to build a future of reconciliation, justice and peace for all the children of this beloved land. Amen".
    Following the Lord's Prayer and after blessing the assembly with the image of Our Lady of Madhu, the Pope returned by Popemobile to the Madhu heliport, a journey of one and a half kilometres, greeting the crowds of faithful along the way. He then returned to Colombo.

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    Pope Francis' telegram to the President of the Italian Republic
    Vatican City, 14 January 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram from Sri Lanka to the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, who today stepped down from the position he has held since May 2006. The eleventh president of the Italian Republic and the only one to have been re-elected twice, Napolitano visited the Vatican to greet Pope Francis on 8 June 2013, the first official state visit of his second mandate. The full text of the telegram is published below:
    "Having learned of your resignation from the role of Head of State during my apostolic trip in Sri Lanka and the Philippines, I am spiritually close to you and wish to express to you my sentiments of sincere esteem and keen appreciation for your generous and exemplary service to the Italian nation, performed with authority, loyalty and tireless dedication to the common good. Your enlightened and wise action has contributed to strengthening within the population the ideals of solidarity, unity and harmony, especially in a European and national context marked by considerable difficulties. I invoke divine assistance for you, your wife and your loved ones, with the assurance of your constant remembrance in my prayers".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 14 January 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Joseph G. Hanefeldt as bishop of Grand Island (area 108,800, population 316,000, Catholics 55,800, priests 61, permanent deacons 7, religious 56), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Creighton, Nebraska, U.S.A. in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He holds a bachelor's degree in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and a diploma in sacramental theology from the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar of the "St. Mary" parish in West Point and the "St. Joan of Arc" parish in Omaha; director of the archdiocesan office for pro-life activities; moderator of the archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women; parish priest of the "St. Joseph" parish and the "St. Elizabeth Ann Seton" parish in Omaha; and director of spiritual formation at the North American Pontifical College. He is currently parish priest of the "Christ the King" parish in Omaha and member of the presbyteral council and Priests' Personnel Board. In 2010 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness. He succeeds Bishop William J. Dendinger, whose resignation from the pastoral ministry of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Sun Jan 18 06:36:02 2015
    "Twenty years ago, in this very place, St. John Paul II said that the world needs 'a new kind of young person' - one committed to the highest ideals and eager to build the civilisation of love. Be those young persons! Never lose your idealism! Be joyful witnesses to God's love and the beautiful plan he has for us, for this country and for the world in which we live. Please pray for me. God bless you all!".
    Following the meeting, the Pope returned directly to the apostolic nunciature in Manila.

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    The Pope meets the father of the volunteer who died in Tacloban
    Vatican City, 18 January 2015 (VIS) - Immediately after his return to the apostolic nunciature yesterday around midday local time, the Pope had a long meeting with the father and cousin of Kristel Padasas, the volunteer who died yesterday in Tacloban following his visit, according to information provided by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. "It was an emotional encounter that lasted over twenty minutes, with Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle as interpreter. The father said that he was shocked but consoled by the knowledge that his daughter had been able to prepare for the people's encounter with the Pope. The Holy Father unsuccessfully attempted to contact the mother in Hong Kong by telephone; she will arrive in Manila tomorrow".

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    Concluding Mass in Manila: the child Jesus, protector of the Philippines
    Vatican City, 18 January 2015 (VIS) - After dining and resting for a couple of hours, the Pope proceeded to the "Quirino Grandstand-Rizal Park" stadium, situated in a sixty-hectare urban park and built in preparation for the ceremony for the proclamation of independence on 4 July 1946. It commemorates the national hero Jose Rizal, a poet, writer and revolutionary executed by the Spanish in 1896. The precise location of his execution is indicated by a monument representing the point zero from which the distances of the roads in Luzon are measured.
    "It is a special joy for me to celebrate Santo Nino Sunday with you", said the Pope in his homily. "The image of the Holy Child Jesus accompanied the spread of the Gospel in this country from the beginning. Dressed in the robes of a king, crowned and holding the sceptre, the globe and the cross, he continues to remind us of the link between God's Kingdom and the mystery of spiritual childhood. He tells us this in today's Gospel: 'Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it'. The Santo Nino continues to proclaim to us that the light of God's grace has shone upon a world dwelling in darkness, bringing the Good News of our freedom from slavery, and guiding us in the paths of peace, right and justice. The Santo Nino also reminds us of our call to spread the reign of Christ throughout the world.
    "In these days, throughout my visit, I have listened to you sing the song: 'We are all God's children'. That is what the Santo Nino tells us. He reminds us of our deepest identity. All of us are God's children, members of God's family. Today St. Paul has told us that in Christ we have become God's adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ. This is who we are. This is our identity. We saw a beautiful expression of this when Filipinos rallied around our brothers and sisters affected by the typhoon.
    "The Apostle tells us that because God chose us, we have been richly blessed! God 'has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens'. These words have a special resonance in the Philippines, for it is the foremost Catholic country in Asia; this is itself a special gift of God, a special blessing. But it is also a vocation. Filipinos are called to be outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia.
    "God chose and blessed us for a purpose: to be holy and blameless in His sight. He chose us, each of us to be witnesses of His truth and His justice in this world. He created the world as a beautiful garden and asked us to care for it. But through sin, man has disfigured that natural beauty; through sin, man has also destroyed the unity and beauty of our human family, creating social structures which perpetuate poverty, ignorance and corruption.
    "Sometimes, when we see the troubles, difficulties and wrongs all around us, we are tempted to give up. It seems that the promises of the Gospel do not apply; they are unreal. But the Bible tells us that the great threat to God's plan for us is, and always has been, the lie. The devil is the father of lies. Often he hides his snares behind the appearance of sophistication, the allure of being 'modern', 'like everyone else'. He distracts us with the view promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes. And so we squander our God-given gifts by tinkering with gadgets; we squander our money on gambling and drink; we turn in on ourselves. We forget to remain focused on the things that really matter. We forget to remain, at heart, children of God. That is sin: to forget, in one's heart, to be children of God. For children, as the Lord tells us, have their own wisdom, which is not the wisdom of the world. That is why the message of the Santo Nino is so important. He speaks powerfully to all of us. He reminds us of our deepest identity, of what we are called to be as God's family.
    "The Santo Nino also reminds us that this identity must be protected. The Christ Child is the protector of this great country. When He came into the world, his very life was threatened by a corrupt king. Jesus Himself needed to be protected. He had an earthly protector: St. Joseph. He had an earthly family, the Holy Family of Nazareth. So He reminds us of the importance of protecting our families, and those larger families which are the Church, God's family, and the world, our human family. Sadly, in our day, the family all too often needs to be protected against insidious attacks and programmes contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture.
    "In the Gospel, Jesus welcomes children, He embraces them and blesses them. We too need to protect, guide and encourage our young people, helping them to build a society worthy of their great spiritual and cultural heritage. Specifically, we need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected. And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets.
    "It was a frail child, in need of protection, Who brought God's goodness, mercy and justice into the world. He resisted the dishonesty and corruption which are the legacy of sin, and He triumphed over them by the power of His cross. Now, at the end of my visit to the Philippines, I commend you to Him, to Jesus Who came among us as a child. May He enable all the beloved people of this country to work together, protecting one another, beginning with your families and communities, in building a world of justice, integrity and peace. May the Santo Nino continue to bless the Philippines and to sustain the Christians of this great nation in their vocation to be witnesses and missionaries of the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and in the whole world".
    He concluded by adding, "Please don't forget to pray for me! God bless you all".
    Following the Mass, the final event of Pope Francis' stay in the Philippines, Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle thanked him for his visit. After putting on the yellow raincoat he had also used yesterday, the Holy Father toured the area in the Popemobile in order to bid farewell to the many faithful who lined the streets. Finally, he retired to the apostolic nunciature where he dined privately and rested.

    ___________________________________________________________

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Jan 23 08:00:02 2015
    "When it comes to the challenges of communication, families who have children with one or more disabilities have much to teach us. A motor, sensory or mental limitation can be a reason for closing in on ourselves, but it can also become, thanks to the love of parents, siblings, and friends, an incentive to openness, sharing and ready communication with all. It can also help schools, parishes and associations to become more welcoming and inclusive of everyone.
    "In a world where people often curse, use foul language, speak badly of others, sow discord and poison our human environment by gossip, the family can teach us to understand communication as a blessing. In situations apparently dominated by hatred and violence, where families are separated by stone walls or the no less impenetrable walls of prejudice and resentment, where there seem to be good reasons for saying 'enough is enough', it is only by blessing rather than cursing, by visiting rather than repelling, and by accepting rather than fighting, that we can break the spiral of evil, show that goodness is always possible, and educate our children to fellowship.
    "Today the modern media, which are an essential part of life for young people in particular, can be both a help and a hindrance to communication in and between families. The media can be a hindrance if they become a way to avoid listening to others, to evade physical contact, to fill up every moment of silence and rest, so that we forget that 'silence is an integral element of communication; in its absence, words rich in content cannot exist'. The media can help communication when they enable people to share their stories, to stay in contact with distant friends, to thank others or to seek their forgiveness, and to open the door to new encounters. By growing daily in our awareness of the vital importance of encountering others, these 'new possibilities', we will employ technology wisely, rather than letting ourselves be dominated by it. Here too, parents are the primary educators, but they cannot be left to their own devices. The Christian community is called to help them in teaching children how to live in a media environment in a way consonant with the dignity of the human person and service of the common good.
    "The great challenge facing us today is to learn once again how to talk to one another, not simply how to generate and consume information. The latter is a tendency which our important and influential modern communications media can encourage. Information is important, but it is not enough. All too often things get simplified, different positions and viewpoints are pitted against one another, and people are invited to take sides, rather than to see things as a whole.
    "The family, in conclusion, is not a subject of debate or a terrain for ideological skirmishes. Rather, it is an environment in which we learn to communicate in an experience of closeness, a setting where communication takes place, a 'communicating community'. The family is a community which provides help, which celebrates life and is fruitful. Once we realise this, we will once more be able to see how the family continues to be a rich human resource, as opposed to a problem or an institution in crisis. At times the media can tend to present the family as a kind of abstract model which has to be accepted or rejected, defended or attacked, rather than as a living reality. Or else a grounds for ideological clashes rather than as a setting where we can all learn what it means to communicate in a love received and returned. Relating our experiences means realising that our lives are bound together as a single reality, that our voices are many, and that each is unique.
    "Families should be seen as a resource rather than as a problem for society. Families at their best actively communicate by their witness the beauty and the richness of the relationship between man and woman, and between parents and children. We are not fighting to defend the past. Rather, with patience and trust, we are working to build a better future for the world in which we live".

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    The wisdom of parents must guide children in the digital world
    Vatican City, 23 January 2015 (VIS) - A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning in which Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and Professor Chiara Giaccardi of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy, presented the Holy Father's Message for the 49th World Day of Communications, entitled "Communicating the family: a privileged place of encounter with the gift of love".
    Archbishop Celli explained, "From this text there emerges a positive overall message, given that the Pope affirms that the family continues to be a great resource and not merely a problem or an institution in crisis. As we can see, the Pope is not interested principally in the problem between the family and communication linked to new technologies. He instead focuses on the most profoundly true and human dimension of communication".
    The message affirms, he continued, that the family "has the capacity to communicate itself and to communicate, by virtue of the bond that links its various members", and he noted that "a paragraph is dedicated to prayer, defined as a fundamental form of communication that finds in the family its truest environment of discovery and experience".
    "In this context", he added, forgiveness is understood "as a dynamic of communication, since when contrition is expressed and accepted, it becomes possible to restore and rebuild the communication which broke down". He also remarked that a long paragraph is devoted to the most modern media and their influence on communication in and among families, both as a help and a hindrance. He noted that the text clearly restates what has already been underlined in the teachings of St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. "But it is important to rediscover yet again that the parents are the first educators of their children, who are increasingly present in the digital sphere. The presence of parents does not have a primarily technological dimension - generally children know more than their parents in this field - but is important on account of the wisdom they contribute".
    "It is well-known that one of the great risks is that children or teenagers may isolate themselves in a 'virtual world', significantly reducing their necessary integration in real everyday life and in the interrelationships of friendship. This is not to say that the relationships of affection or friendship that develop in the context of the web are not real. It must also be remembered that the young - and the not so young - are called upon to give witness to Christ in the digital world too, in the social networks we all inhabit".

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    Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
    Vatican City, 23 January 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father Francis received in a private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
    MIRACLES
    - attributed to the Venerable Servant of God Maria Teresa Casini, Italian foundress of the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1864-1937);
    MARTYRDOM
    - Servants of God Fidela (nee Dolores Oller Angelats) and two companions, Spanish professed nuns of the Institute of Sisters of St. Joseph, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 26 and 29 August 1936;
    - Servants of God Pio Heredia Zubia and seventeen companions, of the Trappists of Cantabria and the Cistercian nuns of the Congregation of St. Bernard, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936;
    - Servant of God Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa (ne Bakali), South African layperson, killed in hatred of the faith in South Africa on 2 February 1990.
    HEROIC VIRTUES
    - Servant of God Ladislao Bukowinski, Ukrainian diocesan priest (1904-1974);
    - Servant of God Aloysius Schwartz, American diocesan priest, founder of the Sisters of Mary of Banneux and the Brothers of Christ (1930-1992);
    - Servant of God Cointa Jauregui Oses, Spanish professed nun of the Company of Mary Our Lady (1875-1954);
    - Servant of God Teresa Gardi, Italian layperson of the Third Order of St. Francis (1769-1837);
    - Servant of God Luis De Trelles y Nuogerol, Spanish layperson and founder of the Nocturnal Adoration Society in Spain (1819-1891);
    - Servant of God Elisabeth Maria (nee Erizabe-to Maria) Satoko Kitahara, Japanese layperson (1929-1958);
    - Servant of God Virginia Blanco Tardio, Bolivian layperson (1916-1990).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 23 January 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy;
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
    - Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota;
    - College of the Prelate Auditors of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota;
    - Maja Marija Lovrencic Svetek, ambassador of Slovenia, on her farewell visit.
    Yesterday, Thursday 22 January, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Jan 26 08:24:02 2015
    Francis also mentioned that today is World Leprosy Day, and expressed his closeness to "all those who suffer from this disease, as well as those who care for them and those who fight to eradicate the causes of contagion, that is, living conditions that are not worthy of mankind. Let us renew our commitment to solidarity with these brothers and sisters".
    Finally, he addressed the Filipino community of Rome. "The Filipino people are wonderful for their strong and joyful faith. May the Lord also support those of you who live far from your homeland. Many thanks for your witness, and thank you for all the good you do for us, as you sow faith among us and offer a beautiful witness of faith".

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    The most effective antidote to violence is accepting difference as richness
    Vatican City, 24 January 2015 (VIS) - "In recent years, despite various misunderstandings and difficulties, strides ahead have been made in interreligious dialogue, even with followers of Islam. Listening is essential for this. It is not only a necessary condition in a process of mutual comprehension and peaceful co-existence, but it is also a pedagogic duty in order to 'acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs'", said Pope Francis this morning, as he received in audience the participants in a meeting organised by the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and lslamic Studies (PISAI), commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation. The meeting was held at the Pontifical Urbanian University from 22 to 24 January on the theme: "Studying and Understanding the Religion of the Other. Towards Mutual Recognition between Religions and Cultures in Today's World".
    Francis emphasised the need for adequate education, "so that, secure in our own identity, we can grow in mutual knowledge. We must take care not to fall prey to a syncretism that is conciliatory but ultimately empty and a harbinger of a totalitarianism without values. A comfortable and accommodating approach, 'which says "yes" to everything in order to avoid problems', ends up being 'a way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others'. This invites us, first of all, to return to the basics".
    "At the beginning of dialogue there is encounter", he continued. "This generates the first knowledge of the other. If, indeed, we start from the presumption of our common human nature, it is possible to overcome prejudice and falsehood, and to begin to understand the other from a new perspective". Francis remarked that now there is a need, like never before, for an institution dedicated expressly to research and the formation of dialogue with Muslims, since "the most effective antidote to any form of violence is education in the discovery and acceptance of difference as richness and fruitfulness". This task, affirmed the Pope, is not easy, but "is born of and matures from a strong sense of responsibility".
    He continued, "Islamic-Christian dialogue, in a special way, requires patience and humility accompanied by detailed study, as approximation and improvisation can be counterproductive and or even the cause of unease and embarrassment. There is a need for lasting and continuous commitment in order to ensure we do not find ourselves unprepared in various situations and in different contexts. For this reason it demands a specific preparation, that is not limited to sociological analysis but rather has the characteristics of a journey shared by people belonging to religions that, although in different ways, refer to the spiritual fatherhood of Abraham. Culture and education are not secondary to a true process of moving towards each other that respects in every person "his life, his physical integrity, his dignity and the rights deriving from that dignity, his reputation, his property, his ethnic and cultural identity, his ideas and his political choices".
    The Pope expressed his wish that this "valuable" Institute, may increasingly become "a point of reference for the formation of Christians who work in the field of interreligious dialogue" and that it may establish a fruitful collaboration with other Pontifical universities and research centres, both Christian and Muslim, throughout the world. He concluded by encouraging the community of the PISAI "never to betray the primary task of listening and dialogue, based on clear identities and the keen, patient and rigorous search for truth and beauty, which are placed in the hearts of every man and woman and truly visible in every authentic religious expression".

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    Francis: "Unity is achieved by walking together"
    Vatican City, 24 January 2015 (VIS) - At midday in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father met with the participants in the ecumenical colloquium of men and women religious organised by the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, on the occasion of the Year for Consecrated Life. He highlighted that it is particularly meaningful that the meeting took place during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: "Each year this [week] reminds us that spiritual ecumenism is the soul of the ecumenical movement". He went on to share with those present some thoughts regarding the importance of consecrated life to Christian unity.
    "The wish to re-establish unity among all Christians is present naturally in all Churches, and regards both clergy and laypeople", he began. "But religious life, which is rooted in Christ's will and the common tradition of the undivided Church, has without doubt a particular vocation in the promotion of this unity. ... The search for union with God and unity within the fraternal community is proper to religious life, which thus realises in an exemplary fashion the prayer to the Lord that 'that they all may be one'". Religious life, he continued, "shows us precisely that this unity is not the fruit of our efforts, but is a gift of the Holy Spirit, Who realises unity in diversity. It also shows us that this unity can be achieved only by journeying together, if we take the path of fraternity in love, in service, and in mutual acceptance".
    The Pontiff emphasised that there is no unity without conversion, prayer, or holiness of life. He remarked that religious life reminds us that "at the heart of every search for unity, and therefore every ecumenical effort, there is above all the conversion of the heart, that leads to asking for and the granting of forgiveness", and that the commitment to ecumenism responds, first and foremost, to the prayer of the Lord Jesus and it is based essentially on prayer". He added that "religious life helps us to become aware of the call addressed to baptised persons: the call to holiness of life, that is the one true path towards unity". He concluded by expressing his gratitude for the witness to the Gospel given by men and women religious, and for their service in the cause of Christian unity.

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    Ten years after "Dignitas connubii": in search of swift solutions
    Vatican City, 24 January 2015 (VIS) - This morning Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the international congress commemorating the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Instruction "Dignitas connubii". The symposium was organised by the faculty of canon law of the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and with the patronage of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and the "Consociatio internationalis studio iuris canonici promovendo".
    The Pope declared that the extensive participation in this meeting indicates the importance of the Instruction "Dignitas connubii", "which is not directed principally to jurists but rather to those who work in local tribunals, and noted that "experience teaches us that he who knows the path to follow travels more rapidly. The knowledge of and familiarity with this Instruction may in the future also help ministers of the courts to streamline proceedings, often perceived by married couples as long and tiresome. The resources that this Instruction makes available for rapid proceedings, free of any formalism, have not yet been fully explored; similarly, the possibility of future legislation intended for the same purpose cannot be excluded".
    Finally, he commented on the importance of the contribution of the defender of the bond in cases of marriage annulment, specifying that "his presence and the faithful fulfilment of his task does not condition the judge, but rather allows and promotes the impartiality of his judgement by setting before him the arguments for and against annulment".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 26 January 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Luis Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain;
    - Bishop Gastone Simoni, emeritus of Prato, Italy;
    - Bishop Francesco Micciche, emeritus of Trapani, Italy;
    - Rev. Fr. Alejandro Moral Anton, prior general of the Order of St. Augustine (Augustinians).
    On Saturday 24 January, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference;
    - Maria De Los Angeles Marechal, co-president of the Fundacion Leopoldo Marechal, Argentina.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 26 January 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Msgr. Stefan Hesse as archbishop of Hamburg (area 32,493, population 5,797,975, Catholics 397,331, priests 248, permanent deacons 60, religious 221), Germany. The bishop-elect was born in Cologne, Germany in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He studied theology in Bonn and Regensburg, and holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the High School of the Pallottine Fathers in Vallendar. He has served as parish priest in a number of parishes in the archdiocese of Cologne, and is currently canon of the Metropolitan Chapter of Cologne and vicar general. He served as diocesan administrator from March to September 2014.
    - restored the title of metropolitan archdiocese to Cashel and Emly, Ireland. Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly, currently metropolitan archbishop of Cashel and apostolic administrator of Emly, was appointed as metropolitan archbishop of the new ecclesiastical circumscription.
    On Saturday, 24 January the Holy Father appointed Fr. Ivica Petanjak, O.F.M. Cap., as bishop of Krk (area 1,119, population 40,447, Catholics 35,499, priests 79, religious 110), Croatia. The bishop-elect was born in Drenje, Croatia in 1963, gave his perpetual vows in 1988 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a bachelor's degree in theology from the faculty of theology in Zagreb, Croatia, and a doctorate in church history from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including deputy master of seminarians, parish vicar and hospital chaplain in Split, master of clerics, provincial minister, parish priest of the "Our Lady of Lourdes" parish in Rijeka and master of postulants. He is currently guardian of the Capuchin monastery of Osijek and provincial definitor. He succeeds Bishop Valter Zupan, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Jan 27 08:36:02 2015
    It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you".

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    Indifference, key theme of the Pope's Message for Lent 2015
    Vatican City, 27 January 2015 (VIS) - A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office his morning, during which Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", presented the Pope's Message for Lent 2015, explaining that its central theme is indifference, an issue that the Holy Father has touched upon on a number of occasions. In addition, in his speech to the UN last September Cardinal Secretary of State Parolin emphasised "widespread indifference", which he equated with an "apathy" that is at times even "synonymous with irresponsibility".
    Indifference is, therefore, "an important concept to explain the different phenomena of the modern world. In this way, we can understand this same concept, including it in what is surely a partial interpretation of a certain culture. Indifference comes from a lack of difference, from a lack of attention to the difference. This can be applied at least on three levels".
    "At the interpersonal level, the play on words between difference and indifference is perhaps more easily understood. On the one hand, the difference is stressed in order to provoke a separation. On the other hand, a lack of attention to the difference between the other and myself conforms the other to one's own parameters and thus annihilates him".
    "At the cultural level, that is, in the everyday environment that helps shape our thoughts and judgement, I seem to notice an indifference to values. This is not only related to a lack of awareness of values or an incomplete observance of values; it is above all a lack of judgement on values. In this way, every choice becomes interchangeable, every option becomes viable, any assessment on good and evil, truth and falsity becomes useless. If there is no difference, everything is the same and is therefore not permissible for anyone to propose something that is more or less appropriate to a person's nature. In my opinion, global uniformity, the lowering of the standards of values that comes from the lack of difference is linked to the experience of many of our contemporaries of a lack of meaning. If everything is the same, if nothing is different and everything is therefore more or less valid, in what can one invest one's life? If everything is the same, it means that nothing really has value and therefore it means nothing fully deserves our gift".
    "We then come to a third level, that more specifically regards metaphysical principles. Here lies the greatest indifference, the largest and most consequential form of the lack of attention to difference, that is: indifference towards God and as a result, a lack of attention to the difference between the Creator and creature, which causes so much harm to modern man as it leads him to believe that he is God, while he must continually push against his own limitations".
    Msgr. Dal Toso went on to consider the globalisation of indifference not merely as a geographical phenomenon, but also a cultural one. As it spreads, a Western concept of the world, or Weltanschauung, prevails, linked not only to relationships but also as an existential attitude. The Church does not denounce certain situations simply in order to censure them but instead to offer paths towards healing. For this reason, the Lenten season is always a time of conversion, change and renewal. It is a time for overcoming this globalisation of indifference and entering into a new phase in which we recognise the difference between the self and the other, between one lifestyle and another, between oneself and God. This year's Lenten Message presents three areas in which indifference must be overcome: the Church, the community and the individual".
    He continued, "Pope Francis speaks about the necessary conversion and the new heart that can beat within us. The key step in all social reconstruction and cultural renewal is change in the individual. The Gospel provides the keys for achieving this change in the person, which then affects the whole social fabric". However, he warns, "conversion does not have its purpose in a better society, but in the knowledge of Christ and in becoming like Him. Therefore, as we can see in Pope Francis' Magisterium, he calls us to go beyond a faith that serves only to care for oneself and one's own well being. Indifference stems from an attitude to life in which otherness does not make a difference and so each person withdraws into himself. Faith also can become instrumental in this search for self". Our path, he explained, is must therefore take us further, "beyond ourselves", so that we "live our faith by looking at Christ and in Him we find the Father and brothers and sisters who await us".
    Indifference must also be overcome in Christian communities, which are required to be "islands of mercy in a world dominated by the globalisation of indifference. There is a distinction between the Church and the world, between the heavenly city and the earthly city, a distinction which become increasingly evident. Our Christian places - parishes, communities and groups - must be transformed into places that manifest God's mercy. Faced with this globalisation of indifference, some might be discouraged as it seems as if nothing can be changed, since we are part of a great social and economic process that is is beyond us. Instead, this is not the case. The Christian community can already overcome this indifference, it can show the world that one can live differently and that it can become the city on the mount mentioned in the Gospel. Beginning with this Lent season, Christian community life, where one lives for the other, can be not merely a chimera but instead a living reality; rather than a distant dream, a living sign of the presence of God's mercy in Christ".
    Finally, the third level is the Church in her global reality. "Unfortunately", remarked Msgr. Del Toso, "we tend to see the Church only as an institution and a structure. Instead, she is the living body of those who believe in Christ. It is the Church in her entirety that needs to be renewed. As a body, she shows that she is really alive because she changes, grows and develops. In this body, the members take care of each other".
    Finally, the prelate recalled that "Cor Unum" has always acted as an "instrument of the Pope's proximity to the least of our brothers and sisters", offering three examples. First, he mentioned the recent joint meeting with the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the various other entities involved in the reconstruction of Haiti, during which the balance of the financial aid raised by the Catholic Church's for the island during the five years since the earthquake, estimated at 21.5 million dollars, was presented. He also referred to the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, "where the great victims of these wars are the people, especially the most vulnerable minorities such as Christians who again have become the 'cards' with which those in power play". Finally, he remarked on the Pope's recent trip to the Philippines, where it could be seen what it means to "'make hearts firm' where there is nothing left to hope for". In Tacloban, the area visited by the Pope, "Cor Unum" has built large community centre named after Pope Francis, to care for the young and the elderly. He concluded, "Our Dicastery wishes to be a great global expression of what it means for the Church to be a body in which each member can experience the love of the other".

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    Holy Father's calendar for February to April 2015
    Vatican City, 27 January 2015 (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 from February to April:
    FEBRUARY
    Monday 2: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 19th World Day of Consecrated Life. At 5.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Mass with the members of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life.
    Sunday 8: Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time. At 4 p.m., pastoral visit to the Roman parish of "St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata".
    Saturday 14: At 11 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of new cardinals and for several causes of canonisation.
    Sunday 15: Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Mass with newly-created cardinals.
    Wednesday 18: Ash Wednesday. At 4.30 p.m., Basilica of St. Anselm, "Statio" and penitential procession. At 5 p.m. at the Basilica of St. Sabina, blessing and imposition of the ashes.
    Sunday 22, First Sunday of Lent. Ariccia, beginning of spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia.
    Friday 27: Conclusion of spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia.
    MARCH
    Sunday 8: Third Sunday of Lent. At 4 p.m., pastoral visit to the Roman parish of "Holy Mary Mother of the Redeemer".
    Friday 13: At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, penitential liturgy.
    Saturday 21: pastoral visit to Naples-Pompeii.
    Sunday 29: Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. At 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, blessing of the palms, procession and Mass.
    APRIL
    Thursday 2: Holy Thursday. At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Chrism Mass.
    Friday 3: Good Friday. At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of the Passion of the Lord.
    Friday 3: Good Friday. At 9.15 p.m., at the Colosseum, Via Crucis.
    Saturday 4: Holy Saturday. At 8.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Easter Vigil.
    Sunday 5: Easter Sunday. At 12 p.m., central balcony of the Vatican Basilica, "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.
    Sunday 12: Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday. At 10 a.m. at the Vatican Basilica, Mass for the faithful of Armenian rite.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Feb 2 08:25:02 2015
    With regard to the second theme, the Pope underlined that in Genesis man is called not only to cultivate the land, but also to take care of it. These two aspects "are closely linked: every agriculturalist is well aware of how difficult it has become to cultivate the land in a time of accelerated climate change and increasingly widespread extreme meteorological events. How can we continue to produce good food for the lives of all when climate stability is at risk, when the air, water and the earth itself lose their purity as a result of pollution? We are truly realising the importance of timely action to safeguard Creation; it is urgent that nations succeed in collaborating for this fundamental purpose. The challenge is to achieve a form of agriculture with a low environmental impact. How can we ensure we safeguard the earth as well as cultivating it? Indeed, only in this way will future generations be able to continue to inhabit and cultivate our earth".
    The Holy Father concluded with an invitation to "rediscover love for the earth as the 'mother', as St. Francis would say, from which we come and to which we are constantly called upon to return. And this leads to a proposal: to protect the earth, to make an alliance with her, so that she many continue to be, as God intends, the source of life for the entire human family".

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    Members and substitutes from the Episcopal Conferences for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
    Vatican City, 31 January 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has ratified the appointment of the following prelates as members and substitutes, elected by their respective Episcopal Conferences, for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place in the Vatican from 4 to 25 October 2015 on the theme "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world":
    AFRICA
    BURUNDI
    Member: Bishop Gervais Bashimiyubusa, of Ngozi, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Substitute: Bishop Joachim Ntahondereye of Muyinga.
    ETHIOPIA and ERITREA
    Member: Bishop Tsegaye Keneni Derera, apostolic vicar of Soddo, Ethiopia.
    Substitute: Bishop Markos Gebremedhin, C.M., apostolic vicar of Jimma-Bonga, Ethiopia.
    GHANA
    Member: Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle, of Accra.
    Substitute: Bishop Anthony Kwami Adanuty of Keta-katsi.
    KENYA
    Members: Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Bishop James Maria Wainaina Kungu of Muranga.
    Substitute: Bishop Emanuel Barbara, O.F.M. Cap. of Malindi.
    MADAGASCAR
    Member: Bishop Desire Tsarahazana of Toamasina, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Substitute: Bishop Jean de Dieu Raoelison, auxiliary of Antananarivo.
    RWANDA
    Member: Bishop Antoine Kambanda of Kibungo.
    Substitute: Bishop Smaragde Mbonyintege of Kabgayi, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    AMERICA
    ARGENTINA
    Members: Bishop Pedro Mar0a Laxague, auxiliary of Bahia Blanca.
    Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli, archbishop of Buenos Aires.
    Substitutes: Archbishop Andres Stanovnik, O.F.M. Cap. of Corrientes.
    Archbishop Hector Ruben Aguer of La Plata.
    CHILE
    Members: Bishop Bernardo Miguel Bastres Florence, S.D.B. of Punta Arenas.
    Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., archbishop of Santiago de Chile, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Substitute: Bishop Cristian Contreras Villarroel of Melipilla, general secretary of the Episcopal Conference.
    CUBA
    Member: Archbishop Juan de la Caridad Garcia Rodriguez of Camaguey.
    Substitute: Bishop Marcelo Arturo Gonzalez Amador of Santa Clara.
    ECUADOR
    Members: Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil.
    Archbishop Luis Gerardo Cabrera Herrera, O.F.M. of Cuenca.
    Substitutes: Bishop Julio Parrilla Diaz of Riobamba.
    Bishop Marcos Aurelio Perez Caicedo of Babahoyo, vice president of the Episcopal Conference.
    HONDURAS
    Member: Bishop Luis Sole Fa, C.M. of Trujillo.
    Substitute: Bishop Angel Garachana Perez, C.M.F. of San Pedro Sula.
    MEXICO
    Members: Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez of Tehuacan.
    Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico.
    Bishop Francisco Javier Chavolla Ramos of Toluca.
    Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Substitutes: Bishop Alfonso Gerardo Miranda Guardiola, auxiliary of Monterrey.
    Bishop Jose Francisco Gonzalez Gonzalez of Campeche.
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
    Members: Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz of Louisville, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia.
    Cardinal Daniel N. Di Nardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, vice president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of Los Angeles.
    Substitutes: Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane.
    Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone of San Francisco.
    URUGUAY
    Member: Bishop Jaime Rafael Fuentes Martin of Minas.
    Substitute:Bishop Rodolfo Pedro Wirz Kraemer of Maldonado-Punta del Este, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    ASIA
    PAKISTAN
    Member: Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad.
    Substitute: Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw of Lahore.
    VIETNAM
    Members: Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc of Thanh-Pho Ho Chi Minh, Hochiminh Ville, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Bishop Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, auxiliary of Xuan Loc.
    Substitute: Bishop Pierre Nguyen Van Kham of My Tho.
    EUROPA
    ALBANIA
    Member: Bishop George Frendo, O.P. Auxiliary of Tirane-Durres.
    Substitute: Bishop Ottavio Vitale, R.C.I. of Lezhe, Lesh.
    AUSTRIA
    Member: Bishop Benno Elbs of Feldkirch.
    Substitute: Bishop Kalus Kung of Sankt Polten.
    BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA
    Member: Bishop Tomo Vuksic, military ordinary of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    Substitute: Bishop Marko Semren, O.F.M. auxiliary of Banja Luka.
    FRANCE
    Members: Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop Paris.
    Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Le Havre.
    Bishop Jean-Paul James of Nantes.
    Substitutes: Bishop Olivier de Germay of Ajaccio.
    Bishop Bruno Feillet, auxiliary of Reims.
    GREAT BRITAIN (ENGLAND AND WALES)
    Members: Cardinal Vincent Gerard Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Bishop Peter John Haworth Doyle of Northampton.
    Substitute: Bishop Philip Anthony Egan of Portsmouth.
    GREECE
    Member: Bishop Fragkiskos Papamanolis, O.F.M. Cap. emeritus of Syros, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Substitute: Archbishop Nikolaos Foskolos, emeritus of Athenai.
    IRELAND
    Members: Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.
    Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Substitute: Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly, S.M.A. of Cashel.
    LITHUANIA
    Members: Cardinal Audrys Jouzas Backis, archbishop emeritus of Vilnius.
    Substitute: Bishop Rimantas Norvila of Vilkaviskis.
    NETHERLANDS
    Member: Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht.
    Substitute: Bishop Johannes Wilhelmus Maria Liesen of Breda.
    SPAIN
    Members: Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez, archbishop of Valladolid, president of the Episcopal Conference.
    Bishop Mario Iceta Gavicagogeascoa of Bilbao.
    Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid.
    Substitute: Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla of Alcala de Henares.
    OCEANIA
    AUSTRALIA
    Members: Bishop Daniel Eugene Hurley of Darwin.
    Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge of Brisbane.
    Substitute: Archbishop Philip Edward Wilson of Adelaide.
    NEW ZEALAND
    Member: Bishop Charles Edward Drennan of Palmerston North.
    Substitute: Cardinal John Atcherley Dew, archbishop of Wellington, president of the Episcopal Conference.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Assembly on "Women's cultures"
    Vatican City, 2 February 2015 (VIS) - A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning to present the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture on the theme "Women's Cultures: between equality and difference", which will be held in Rome from 4 to 7 February. The speakers were Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Anna Maria Tarantola, president of RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana); Monica Maggioni, director of RAI News, and Nancy Brilli, actor.
    The Assembly will be divided into four sessions in which the following themes will be considered: "Between equality and difference: the quest for equilibrium", "Generativity as a symbolic code", "The female body: between culture and biology" and "Women and religion: flight or new forms of participation in the life of the Church?". The Congress will be attended only by members and consultors of the Pontifical Council by pontifical appointment, with the exception of the session on Wednesday 4 February, when there will be a moment of public participation at the Teatro Argentina in Rome. For a period of 50 minutes there will be a series of videos, brief interviews, readings and images, and live music. Entry will be free, subject to capacity.

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 2 February 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome;
    - Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria;
    - Eleven prelates of the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:
    -Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius of Kaunas, with his auxiliary, Bishop Kestutis Kevalas;
    - Bishop Eugenijus Bartulis of Siauliai;
    - Bishop Jonas Boruta of Telsia, with his auxiliary, Bishop Linas Vodopjanovas;
    - Bishop Rimantas Norvila of Vilkaviskis;
    - Archbishop Gintaras Grusas of Vilnius, with his auxiliary, Bishop Arunas Poniskaitis and the archbishop emeritus, Cardinal Audrys Juozas Backis;
    - Bishop Jonas Ivanauskas of Kaisiadoris; and
    - Bishop Lionginas Virbalas of Panevezys.
    On Saturday, 31 January the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands;
    - Archbishop Yaser Rasmi Hanna Al-Ayyash of Petra and Philadelphia of the Greek-Melkites, Jordan;
    - Don Notker Wolf, abbot primate of the Benedictine Confederation of Congregations;
    - Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 2 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Msgr. Francisco Eduardo Cervantes Merino as bishop of Orizaba (area 2,012, population 663,000, Catholics 589,000, priests 89, religious 136), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Ocatan Merino Palafox, Mexico in 1953, and was ordained a priest in 1979. He holds a licentiate in pastoral theology from the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, and a licentiate in educational psychology from the Normal Superior School of Mexico. He has held a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Tuxpan, including parish vicar, parish priest of the "Corpus Christi" parish, professor at the diocesan seminary, diocesan coordinator of youth pastoral ministry, and member of the presbyteral council. He is currently parish priest of the Cathedral and vicar for pastoral ministry.
    - Msgr. Liberatus Sangu as bishop of Shinyanga (area 50,000, population 2,440,000, Catholics 745,000, priests 55, religious 58), Tanzania. The bishop-elect was born in Mwazye, Tanzania in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1994. He studied sacramental theology at the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome, and has held a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including formator in the minor seminary of Kaengesa, Sumbawanga; parish priest in Matai; director for vocations; formator at the preparatory seminary and head of youth pastoral ministry, and parish priest "ad tempus" in Sopa. He currently serves as an official of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
    - Fr. Alphonsus Cullinan as bishop of Waterford and Lismore (area 2,542, population 157,358, Catholics 146,215, priests 134, religious 353), Ireland. The bishop-elect was born in County Clare in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He taught in schools in Castleconnell, Limerick and Valladolid, Spain for ten years before preparing for the priesthood in the national seminary at Maynooth. He studied moral theology at the Alphonsianum Academy, Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in Christian anthropology and utilitarianism. He has served as parish vicar at St. Munchin, chaplain of the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick, and chaplain at the Limerick Institute of Technology. He is currently parish priest in the parish of Rathkeale, Limerick.
    On Saturday, 31 January the Holy Father appointed:
    - Bishop Adelio Dell'Oro as bishop of Karaganda (area 711,208, population 3,590,000, Catholics 31,300, priests 18, religious 41), Kazakhstan, conserving "donec aliter provideatur" the role of apostolic administrator of Atyrau, Kazakhstan.
    - Fr. Pietro Bovati, S.J., secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, as consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Feb 12 09:12:02 2015
    The Pope remarked that the good relations between generations can be learned from the Heavenly Father Who "does not take steps backwards in His love for us - never! He always moves forward, and if He cannot go ahead He waits for us, but He never goes backwards; He wants all his children to be courageous and take their steps ahead. Sons and daughters, on their part, must not be afraid of the commitment to building a new world: it is right for them to want it to be better than the one they have received! But this must be done without arrogance, without presumption".
    He mentioned the fourth commandment, to honour one's father and mother, and explained that "a society of children who do not honour their parents is a society without honour. It is a society destined to become full of barren and greedy young people". He added that a society in which the adult generations "do not love to be surrounded by children, considering them above all as a worry, a burden, a risk, is a depressed society" and that while the conception of children must be responsible, having many children should not automatically be considered an irresponsible decision, and choosing not to have children is "a selfish decision". "Life is rejuvenated and acquires energy by multiplying; it is enriched, not impoverished. ... In the multiplication of generation there is the mystery of the enrichment of the life of all, that comes from God Himself. We must rediscover this, challenging prejudice; and live it, in faith and in perfect joy". He concluded by addressing the mothers and fathers who raise their children to be blessed as he passes through the square: "it is a gesture that is almost divine. Thank you for doing it!".

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    Francis prays for the victims of the Lampedusa tragedy
    Vatican City, 11 February 2015 (VIS) - "I follow with concern the news from Lampedusa, where there have been deaths among immigrants due to the cold during the Mediterranean crossing. I offer the assurance of my prayers for the victims and again encourage solidarity so that those affected do not lack the necessary aid", said the Holy Father following the catechesis of today's general audience.
    The Pope also invited prayer for the upcoming Consistory, so that "the Holy Spirit might assist in the work of the College of Cardinals and enlighten the new Cardinals and their service to the Church".

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    Eighth session of the Council of Cardinals
    Vatican City, 11 February 2015 (VIS) - The Eighth Session of the Council of Cardinals took place from 9 to 11 February, with meetings both in the morning and the afternoon.
    All members of the Council were present, and the Pope participated in all the meetings apart from on Wednesday morning, as usual, due to the General Audience.
    The first meeting on Monday morning was dedicated to the preparation of the Report on the work carried out by the Council and on the theme of reform of the Curia, which will be presented on Thursday 12 at the Consistory of the College of Cardinals. The Secretary of the Council, Bishop Semeraro, gave a presentation.
    The Monday afternoon meeting was dedicated to a meeting with Cardinal Ravasi regarding the Pontifical Council for Culture within the framework of reform of the Curia.
    The Tuesday morning meeting was instead dedicated mostly to a presentation by Msgr. Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Commission for Vatican Media, of the Commission's Interim Report, with the main results and proposals for the reorganisation of Vatican media. The Council expressed its appreciation for the work carried out by the Commission and confirmed its principle orientations.
    In the afternoon, questions regarding the Secretariat and Council for the Economy were again taken into consideration, in view of the finalisation of the Statutes of these new entities.
    The first part of the meeting on Wednesday morning was again devoted to the preparation of the following day's Consistory, especially the contribution to be offered by the Coordinator of the Council, Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, while during the second part an update was offered on the organisation and activities of the Secretariat for the Economy.
    In the final meeting, on Wednesday morning, the topics covered in the morning will be examined again with the Holy Father, and it is expected that a report will be given by Cardinal O'Malley on the recent plenary session of the new Commission for the Protection of Minors.

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 12 February 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience Shahindokht Molaverdi, deputy president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 12 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Fr. Luc Crey, C.J.M., as bishop of Puy-en-Velay (area 5,000, population 231,877, Catholics 181,700, priests 147, permanent deacons 10, religious 459), France. The bishop-elect was born in Lille, France in 1958, gave his perpetual vows in 1988 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a doctorate in biology and a licentiate in theology, and has served in a number of roles in the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists), as rector of the interdiocesan seminary of Orleans, president of the Conference of Major Superiors in France, and pontifical commissioner for the province of France and Switzerland of the Societe des Filles du Coeur de Marie. He is currently procurator general of the Congregation of Eudists in Rome.
    - Fr. Francois Gnonhossou, S.M.A., as bishop of Dassa-Zoume (area 13,931, population 717,772, Catholics 217,401, priests 85, religious 65), Benin. The bishop-elect was born in Dassa-Zoume, Benin in 1961, gave his religious vows in 1996, and was ordained a priest in 1997. He holds a licentiate in civil law and a bachelor's degree in theology, he has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest in Guffanti, Nigeria; chaplain of the Apprentis d'Auteil in Paris; vice-superior and subsequently superior of the S.M.A. district in formation Africa, assistant in various parishes in the diocese of Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada; parish vicar of St. Sylvain, Montreal, Canada, and bursar of the local community. He is currently general counsel of the Society of African Missions in Rome.
    - Msgr. Fernando Chica Arellano, nunciature counsellor, as Holy See permanent observer at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (F.A.O.), International Fund for Agricultural Development (I.F.A.D.), and World Food Programme (W.F.P.).
    On Wednesday, 11 February, the Holy Father appointed:
    - Bishop Juan Nsue Edjang Maye of Ebebiyin, Equatorial Guinea, as archbishop of Malabo (area 2,034, population 312,000, Catholics 283,000, priests 37, religious 106), Equatorial Guinea. He succeeds Archbishop Ildefonso Obama Obono whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, upon reaching the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Fr. Ernest Ngboko Ngombe, C.I.C.M., as bishop of Lisala (area 67,674, population 1,683,000, Catholics 897,000, priests 66, religious 124), Democratic Republic of Congo. The bishop-elect was born in Kanya Mbonda, Democratic Republic of Congo in 1964, gave his perpetual vows in 1987, and was ordained a priest in 1996. He studied philosophy and theology in Yaounde, Cameroon, and theology at the Catholic Theological Union (C.T.S.), U.S.A. He has served as a missionary and parish priest in Dakar, Senegal; superior of the autonomous C.I.C.M. district of Senegal for three consecutive mandates; rector of the theological seminary of Cameroon and coordinator of the C.I.C.M. for the Region Africa. He is currently vicar general of his Congregation in Rome.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Feb 16 21:15:02 2015
    Reinstatement: Jesus revolutionises and upsets that fearful, narrow and prejudiced mentality. He does not abolish the law of Moses, but rather brings it to fulfilment. He does so by stating, for example, that the law of retaliation is counterproductive, that God is not pleased by a Sabbath observance which demeans or condemns a man. He does so by refusing to condemn the sinful woman, but saves her from the blind zeal of those prepared to stone her ruthlessly in the belief that they were applying the law of Moses. Jesus also revolutionises consciences in the Sermon on the Mount, opening new horizons for humanity and fully revealing God's 'logic'. The logic of love, based not on fear but on freedom and charity, on healthy zeal and the saving will of God. For 'God our Saviour desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth'. 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice'.
    "Jesus, the new Moses, wanted to heal the leper. He wanted to touch him and restore him to the community without being 'hemmed in' by prejudice, conformity to the prevailing mindset or worry about becoming infected. Jesus responds immediately to the leper's plea, without waiting to study the situation and all its possible consequences! For Jesus, what matters above all is reaching out to save those far off, healing the wounds of the sick, restoring everyone to God's family! And this is scandalous to some people!
    "Jesus is not afraid of this kind of scandal! He does not think of the closed-minded who are scandalised even by a work of healing, scandalised before any kind of openness, by any action outside of their mental and spiritual limits, by any caress or sign of tenderness which does not fit into their usual thinking and their ritual purity. He wanted to reinstate the outcast, to save those outside the camp.
    "There are two ways of thinking and of having faith: we can fear to lose the saved and we can want to save the lost. Even today it can happen that we stand at the crossroads of these two ways of thinking. The thinking of the doctors of the law, which would remove the danger by casting out the diseased person, and the thinking of God, who in his mercy embraces and accepts by reinstating him and turning evil into good, condemnation into salvation and exclusion into proclamation.
    "These two ways of thinking are present throughout the Church's history: casting off and reinstating. Saint Paul, following the Lord's command to bring the Gospel message to the ends of the earth, caused scandal and met powerful resistance and great hostility, especially from those who demanded unconditional obedience to the Mosaic law, even on the part of converted pagans. Saint Peter, too, was harshly criticised by the community when he entered the house of the pagan centurion Cornelius.
    "The Church's way, from the time of the Council of Jerusalem, has always always been the way of Jesus, the way of mercy and reinstatement. This does not mean underestimating the dangers of letting wolves into the fold, but welcoming the repentant prodigal son; healing the wounds of sin with courage and determination; rolling up our sleeves and not standing by and watching passively the suffering of the world. The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for eternity; to pour out the balm of God's mercy on all those who ask for it with a sincere heart. The way of the Church is precisely to leave her four walls behind and to go out in search of those who are distant, those essentially on the 'outskirts' of life. It is to adopt fully God's own approach, to follow the Master who said: 'Those who are well have no need of the physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call, not the righteous but sinners'.
    "In healing the leper, Jesus does not harm the healthy. Rather, he frees them from fear. He does not endanger them, but gives them a brother. He does not devalue the law but instead values those for whom God gave the law. Indeed, Jesus frees the healthy from the temptation of the 'older brother', the burden of envy and the grumbling of the labourers who bore 'the burden of the day and the heat'.
    In a word: charity cannot be neutral, antiseptic, indifferent, lukewarm or impartial! Charity is infectious, it excites, it risks and it engages! For true charity is always unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous!. Charity is creative in finding the right words to speak to all those considered incurable and hence untouchable. Finding the right words. Contact is the language of genuine communication, the same endearing language which brought healing to the leper. How many healings can we perform if only we learn this language of contact! The leper, once cured, became a messenger of God's love. The Gospel tells us that 'he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the word'.
    Dear new Cardinals, this is the 'logic', the mind of Jesus, and this is the way of the Church. Not only to welcome and reinstate with evangelical courage all those who knock at our door, but to go out and seek, fearlessly and without prejudice, those who are distant, freely sharing what we ourselves freely received. 'Whoever says: "I abide in [Christ]", ought to walk just as he walked'. Total openness to serving others is our hallmark, it alone is our title of honour!
    "Consider carefully that, in these days when you have become Cardinals, we have asked Mary, Mother of the Church, who herself experienced marginalisation as a result of slander and exile, to intercede for us so that we can be God's faithful servants. May she - our Mother - teach us to be unafraid of tenderly welcoming the outcast; not to be afraid of tenderness. How often we fear tenderness! May Mary teach us not to be afraid of tenderness and compassion. May she clothe us in patience as we seek to accompany them on their journey, without seeking the benefits of worldly success. May she show us Jesus and help us to walk in his footsteps.
    "Dear new Cardinals, my brothers, as we look to Jesus and our Mother, I urge you to serve the Church in such a way that Christians - edified by our witness - will not be tempted to turn to Jesus without turning to the outcast, to become a closed caste with nothing authentically ecclesial about it. I urge you to serve Jesus crucified in every person who is marginalised, for whatever reason; to see the Lord in every excluded person who is hungry, thirsty, naked; to see the Lord present even in those who have lost their faith, or turned away from the practice of their faith, or say that they are atheists; to see the Lord who is imprisoned, sick, unemployed, persecuted; to see the Lord in the leper - whether in body or soul - who encounters discrimination! We will not find the Lord unless we truly accept the marginalised! May we always have before us the image of St. Francis, who was unafraid to embrace the leper and to accept every kind of outcast. Truly, dear brothers, the Gospel of the marginalised is where our credibility is at stake, is discovered and is revealed!".

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    Angelus: good is contagious
    Vatican City, 15 February 2015 (VIS) - At midday, following the Mass celebrated with the cardinals in the Vatican Basilica, the Pope appeared at the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
    Francis returned to the theme of his homily, Christ's compassion and mercy when faced with any type of ailment of the body or spirit, based on the Gospel narrative of the healing of the leper.
    "God's mercy overcomes every barrier, and Jesus' hand touches the leper. He does not keep a safe distance and does not act by proxy, but rather He directly exposes Himself to contagion by our malady; and it is precisely our malady that becomes the locus of contact: He, Jesus, takes our ailing humanity from us and we take His healthy, restorative humanity from Him. This happens every time that we receive a Sacrament with faith: the Lord Jesus 'touches' us and gives us His grace. In his case, we think especially of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which cures us from the leprosy of sin".
    "Once again the Gospel shows us what God does when faced with our sickness: God does not come to 'give a lecture' on pain; neither does He come to eliminate suffering and death from the world; rather, He comes to take upon Himself the burden of our human condition, to bear it unto the end, to free us in a radical and definitive way. Thus Christ vanquishes the ills and sufferings of the world: by taking them upon Himself and defeating them with the strength of God's mercy".
    Today, the Gospel passage of the healing of the leper tells us that if we wish to be "true disciples of Christ, we are required to become, joined with Him, instruments of His merciful love, setting aside every type of marginalisation. To be 'imitators of Christ' before the poor or sick, we must not be afraid to look them in the eye and to draw closer with tenderness and compassion, to touch and embrace them", explained the Pope, adding that he often asks those who help others to do so "looking them in the eye, without being afraid to touch them, so that the gesture of aid may also be a gesture of communication".
    "We too need to be accepted by them", he continued, "A gesture of tenderness, a gesture of compassion. ... If evil is contagious, so is good. Therefore, good must increasingly abound in us. Let us be 'infected' by good, and spread good to others!".
    Following the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father expressed his desire for hope and peace to all the men and women of the Far East and in the other parts of the world that celebrate the new lunar year. "This celebrations offer them the happy occasion to rediscover and live intensely fraternity, the precious bond of family life and the foundation of social life. May this annual return to the roots of the person and the family help these peoples to build a society in which relationships based on respect, justice and charity may be woven".
    Finally, he greeted all those who have come to Rome for the consistory and to accompany the new cardinals, and thanked the countries that had sent official delegations. Pope Francis concluded by asking the faithful and pilgrims in the Square to applaud the new cardinals.

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 16 February 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
    - Pynchas Brener, chief rabbi emeritus of the "Israelite Union of Caracas", and entourage.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 16 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Ystinus Harjosusanto, M.S.F., of Tanjung Selor, Indonesia, as archbishop of Samarinda (area 114,810, population 2,774,246, Catholics 105,959, priests 44, religious 109), Indonesia.

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Feb 17 09:00:02 2015
    Once I asked you the question: "Where is your treasure? In what does your heart find its rest?". Our hearts can be attached to true or false treasures, they can find genuine rest or they can simply slumber, becoming lazy and lethargic. The greatest good we can have in life is our relationship with God. Are you convinced of this? Do you realise how much you are worth in the eyes of God? Do you know that you are loved and welcomed by him unconditionally, as indeed you are? Once we lose our sense of this, we human beings become an incomprehensible enigma, for it is the knowledge that we are loved unconditionally by God which gives meaning to our lives. Do you remember the conversation that Jesus had with the rich young man? The evangelist Mark observes that the Lord looked upon him and loved him, and invited him to follow him and thus to find true riches. I hope, dear young friends, that this loving gaze of Christ will accompany each of you throughout life.
    Youth is a time of life when your desire for a love which is genuine, beautiful and expansive begins to blossom in your hearts. How powerful is this ability to love and to be loved! Do not let this precious treasure be debased, destroyed or spoiled. That is what happens when we start to use our neighbours for our own selfish ends, even as objects of pleasure. Hearts are broken and sadness follows upon these negative experiences. I urge you: Do not be afraid of true love, the love that Jesus teaches us and which St. Paul describes as "patient and kind". Paul says: "Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things".
    In encouraging you to rediscover the beauty of the human vocation to love, I also urge you to rebel against the widespread tendency to reduce love to something banal, reducing it to its sexual aspect alone, deprived of its essential characteristics of beauty, communion, fidelity and responsibility. Dear young friends, "in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of aenjoying' the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, afor ever', because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage to aswim against the tide'. And also have the courage to be happy".
    You young people are brave adventurers! If you allow yourselves to discover the rich teachings of the Church on love, you will discover that Christianity does not consist of a series of prohibitions which stifle our desire for happiness, but rather a project for life capable of captivating our hearts.
    3. ... for they shall see God
    In the heart of each man and woman, the Lord's invitation constantly resounds: "Seek my face!". At the same time, we must always realise that we are poor sinners. For example, we read in the Book of Psalms: "Who can climb the mountain of the Lord? Who shall stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart". But we must never be afraid or discouraged: throughout the Bible and in the history of each one of us we see that it is always God who takes the first step. He purifies us so that we can come into his presence.
    When the prophet Isaiah heard the Lord's call to speak in his name, he was terrified and said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips". And yet the Lord purified him, sending to him an angel who touched his lips, saying: "Your guilt is taken away, and your sin is forgiven". In the New Testament, when on the shores of lake Genessaret Jesus called his first disciples and performed the sign of the miraculous catch of fish, Simon Peter fell at his feet, exclaiming: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord". Jesus' reply was immediate: "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be fishers of men". And when one of the disciples of Jesus asked him: "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied", the Master replied: "He who has seen me has seen the Father.
    The Lord's invitation to encounter him is made to each of you, in whatever place or situation you find yourself. It suffices to have the desire for "a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter you; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day". We are all sinners, needing to be purified by the Lord. But it is enough to take a small step towards Jesus to realise that he awaits us always with open arms, particularly in the sacrament of Reconciliation, a privileged opportunity to encounter that divine mercy which purifies us and renews our hearts.
    Dear young people, the Lord wants to meet us, to let himself "be seen" by us. "And how?", you might ask me. St. Teresa of Avila, born in Spain five hundred years ago, even as a young girl, said to her parents, "I want to see God". She subsequently discovered the way of prayer as "an intimate friendship with the One who makes us feel loved". So my question to you is this: "Are you praying?" Do you know that you can speak with Jesus, with the Father, with the Holy Spirit, as you speak to a friend? And not just any friend, but the greatest and most trusted of your friends! You will discover what one of his parishioners told the Curo of Ars: "When I pray before the tabernacle, aI look at him, and he looks at me'".
    Once again I invite you to encounter the Lord by frequently reading sacred Scripture. If you are not already in the habit of doing so, begin with the Gospels. Read a line or two each day. Let God's word speak to your heart and enlighten your path. You will discover that God can be "seen" also in the face of your brothers and sisters, especially those who are most forgotten: the poor, the hungry, those who thirst, strangers, the sick, those imprisoned. Have you ever had this experience? Dear young people, in order to enter into the logic of the Kingdom of Heaven, we must recognise that we are poor with the poor. A pure heart is necessarily one which has been stripped bare, a heart that knows how to bend down and share its life with those most in need.
    Encountering God in prayer, the reading of the Bible and in the fraternal life will help you better to know the Lord and yourselves. Like the disciples on the way to Emmaus, the Lord's voice will make your hearts burn within you. He will open your eyes to recognise his presence and to discover the loving plan he has for your life.
    Some of you feel, or will soon feel, the Lord's call to married life, to forming a family. Many people today think that this vocation is "outdated", but that is not true! For this very reason, the ecclesial community has been engaged in a special period of reflection on the vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world. I also ask you to consider whether you are being called to the consecrated life or the priesthood. How beautiful it is to see young people who embrace the call to dedicate themselves fully to Christ and to the service of his Church! Challenge yourselves, and with a pure heart do not be afraid of what God is asking of you! From your "yes" to the Lord's call, you will become new seeds of hope in the Church and in society. Never forget: God's will is our happiness!
    4. On the way to Krakow
    "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God". Dear young men and women, as you see, this beatitude speaks directly to your lives and is a guarantee of your happiness. So once more I urge you: Have the courage to be happy!
    This year's World Youth Day begins the final stage of preparations for the great gathering of young people from around the world in Krakow in 2016. Thirty years ago St. John Paul II instituted World Youth Days in the Church. This pilgrimage of young people from every continent under the guidance of the Successor of Peter has truly been a providential and prophetic initiative. Together let us thank the Lord for the precious fruits which these World Youth Days have produced in the lives of countless young people in every part of the globe! How many amazing discoveries have been made, especially the discovery that Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life! How many people have realised that the Church is a big and welcoming family! How many conversions, how many vocations have these gatherings produced! May the saintly Pope, the Patron of World Youth Day, intercede on behalf of our pilgrimage toward his beloved Krakow. And may the maternal gaze of the Blessed Virgin Mary, full of grace, all-beautiful and all-pure, accompany us at every step along the way.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 17 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, apostolic nuncio in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as apostolic nuncio in Australia.

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Feb 20 08:48:02 2015
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    Communique from the Managing Board and the College of Auditors of the Vatican Pensions Fund
    Vatican City, 20 February 2015 (VIS) - The following is the full text of the communique issued today by the Managing Board and the College of Auditors of the Vatican Pension Fund:
    "Since for some months, and amplified by press reports, alarming data has been circulating regarding the situation of the Vatican Pensions Fund and on the sustainability of honouring the commitments undertaken towards present and future subscribers, the Managing Board of the Fund and the College of Auditors consider it opportune to officially communicate the actuarial situation, assets and income of the aforementioned Fund, as it appears in the actuarial Technical Financial Statements drawn up by the actuary and the Financial Statements regularly approved by the Secretary of State.
    With regard to the actuarial aspect, there is a substantial balance between available resources and commitments to current and future employees, due also to interventions (approved by the Secretary of State following proposals by the Managing Board) both in terms of contributions (increase of rates throughout the years up to the current rate of 26% on the total of taxable income) and in relation to performance (increase of two years of working life, raising the age of retirement to 67 for laypersons and 72 for clergy and persons religious.
    The working Statements also show, throughout the years, the solidity of the assets and financial structure of the Fund itself. The funding ratio of the Pensions Fund is 0.95%. From a strictly income-based perspective, the economic and financial situation of the institution records a gradual increase of financial and real estate resources both in terms of capital resources which, from 1993 to 2013 increased on average from C 22,256,196 per year, and in terms of the upward trend in net profit, which during the last 6 years has passed from C 23,583,882 to C 26,866,657, sums sufficient to cover the current costs of pensions.
    To complete the picture, the Fund's assets on 31 December 2014 were recorded at C 477,668,000. Adding the budget surplus for 2015, estimated to be around C 27,140,000, a net worth by 31 December 2015 of over 504 million euros may be hypothesised, confirming the real solidity of the Fund, which has progressed from an initial budget of 10 billion of the old Italian lire in 1993 to over 500 million euros in little more than twenty years".

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    The Holy See at the United Nations: social development policies must address the spiritual and ethical dimension of the human person
    Vatican City, 20 February 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York addressed the 53rd Session of the Commission for Social Development on 10 February. He highlighted the Holy See's concerns regarding economic growth which has led to new challenges, but has not benefited everyone in society equally. Significant inequalities remain and many of the most vulnerable groups in society have been left behind. Without addressing these inequalities, especially as we transition into the post 2015 development agenda, we risk undermining the impact of economic growth on poverty and on the well-being of society as a whole.
    "To be sustainable and beneficial for all, social development must be ethical, moral and person-centred", he said. "We must be attentive to those indicators that give a complete picture of the well-being of every individual in society while promoting policies that encourage a truly integral approach to the development of the human person as a whole".
    He continued, "It is not enough to have gainful employment. Work must also be dignified and secure. Investments in education, access to basic health-care services, and the creation of social safety nets are primary, not secondary factors to improving a person's quality of life, and ensuring the equitable distribution of wealth and resources in society. By placing the human person at the centre of development and encouraging investments and policies that meet real needs, the progress made towards eradicating poverty remains permanent and society more resilient in the face of potential crises".
    The archbishop reiterated that the market economy does not exist to serve itself, but rather to serve the common good of all of society, and therefore particular attention must be given to the welfare of the most vulnerable. He added that "the authentic integral development of the person and the eradication of poverty are achievable only by focusing on the tremendous value of the family to society", and by adopting a strategic approach towards the eradication of poverty, "based on true social justice in order to help reduce the suffering of millions of our brothers and sisters. ... Social development policies must address not only the economic and political needs, but also the spiritual and ethical dimension of each human person".

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 20 February 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Prelates of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc, accompanied by his auxiliaries, Bishop Bohdan Dzyurakh and Bishop Yosyf Milan;
    - Bishop Stepan Meniok, archiepiscopal exarch of Donetsk;
    - Bishop Mykhaylo Bubniy, archiepiscopal exarch of Odessa;
    - Bishop Josaphat Oleh Hovera, archiepiscopal exarch of Lutsk;
    - Archbishop Volodymyr Viytyshyn of Ivano-Frankivsk, accompanied by his auxiliary, Bishop Yosafat Moshchych;
    - Bishop Vasyl Ivasiuk, of Kololyia-Chernivtsi;
    - Bishop Ihor Voznyak, archbishop of Lviv of the Ukrainians, accompanied by his auxiliary, Bishop Venedykt Aleksiychuk;
    - Bishop Jaroslav Pryriz of Sambir-Drohobych, accompanied by his auxiliary, Bishop Hryhoriy Komar;
    - Bishop Mykhaylo Koltun of Sokal-Zhovkva;
    - Bishop Taras Senkiv of Stryi. accompanied by his auxiliary, Bishop Bohdan Manyshyn;
    - Archbishop Vasyl Semeniuk of Ternopil-Zboriv;
    - Bishop Dmytro Hryhorak, Vescovo di Buchach;
    - Bishop Vasyl Tuchapets, archiepiscopal exarch of Kharkiv;
    - Bishop Dionisio Lachovicz, apostolic visitator for the Ukrainian faithful of Byzantine Rite resident in Italy and Spain;
    ***
    - Bishop Milan Sasik of Mukachevo of Byzantine Rite, accompanied by his auxiliary, Bishop Nil Yuriy Lushchak:
    ***
    Prelates of the Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops in Ukraine on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, of Lviv of the Latins;
    - Bishop Leonid Dubrawski of Kamyanets-Podilskyi, accompanied by his auxiliary, Bishop Radoslaw Zmitrowicz;
    - Bishop Stanislav Szyrokoradiuk of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Marian Buczek and his auxiliary, Bishop Jan Sobilo;
    - Archbishop-Bishop Petro Herkulan Malchuk of Kyiv-Zhytomir;
    - Bishop Vitaliy Skomarovskyi of Lutsk;
    - Bishop Antal Majnek of Mukachevo of the Latins;
    - Bishop Bronislaw Bernacki of Odessa-Simferopol, with his auxiliary Bishop Jacek Pyl.

    ___________________________________________________________

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Feb 23 09:01:02 2015
    The Holy Father greeted the representatives of the various associations from the area that are occupied in "welcoming the suffering Christ", especially those who have problems of substance abuse through support centres and homes, and recalled last year's meeting with the detainees in the Castrovillari prison, with the sick, and the extraordinary presence of the people on the Sibaris plain. "May the Lord help you to be welcoming communities, to accompany toward Christ those who find it difficult to discern his presence that saves".
    "I would like to reaffirm a thought that I suggested to you during my visit: he who loves Jesus, he who listens to Him and welcomes His Word, and he who lives in a sincere way the response to the Lord's call cannot in any way lend himself to the works of evil. Either Jesus, or evil! Jesus did not invite us to dine with demons: he cast them out, because they were evil. It is not possible to declare oneself Christian and then violate the dignity of people; those who belong to the Christian community cannot plan and implement violent acts against others and against the environment. The outward gestures of religiosity, unaccompanied by true and public conversion, are not sufficient to believe oneself in communion with Jesus and with His Church. The external gestures of religiosity are not enough to credit as believers those who, with the wickedness and arrogance typical of miscreants, make illegality their way of living. To those who have chosen the way of evil and who are affiliated to delinquent organisations, I renew my invitation to conversion. Open your heart to the Lord! The Lord awaits you and the Church will welcome you if, just as your decision to serve evil is public, your wish to serve good is clear and public".
    "The beauty of your land is a gift from God and an asset to conserve and to hand down in all its splendour to future generations", remarked Francis. "Therefore, there is a need for courageous efforts by all, starting with the institutions, to ensure that it is not defaced irreparably by sordid interests". He went on to list the Emmanuel Community among the places of beauty in the area: an place of "welcome and sharing" where young people whose lives have been devastated by drug abuse can find a "good Samaritan who tends to their wounds and knows how to anoint them with the balsam of closeness and affection", and noted that it has restored hope to many families. "The Church thanks you for this service", he said. "Placing yourself by the side of young people and adults who suffer as a result of addiction, you have embraced the suffering Christ and sowed hope".
    "Our time has a great need for hope!", exclaimed the Holy Father. "The young can no longer be robbed of hope. ... The young need hope. It is necessary to offer concrete signs of hope to those who experience pain and suffering. Social organisations and associations, as well as individuals who strive towards acceptance and sharing, are generators of hope. Therefore, I exhort your Christian communities to be agents of solidarity, never to stop before those who, for mere personal interest, sow self-centredness, violence and injustice. Oppose yourselves to the culture of death and be witnesses to the Gospel of life! May the light of God's Word and the support of the Holy Spirit help you to look with new and willing eyes upon the new forms of poverty that drive so many young people and families to desperation".

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 21 February 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 23 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Freddy Antonio de Jesus Breton Martinez of Bani, Dominican Republic, as metropolitan archbishop of Santiago de los Caballeros (area 3,633, population 1,320,000, Catholics 1,105,000, priests 128, permanent deacons 121, religious 325), Dominican Republic. He succeeds Archbishop Ramon Benito de la Rosa y Carpio, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Rev. Andres Napoleon Romero Cardenas as bishop of Barahona (area 6,973, population 396,270, Catholics 215,000, priests 28, permanent deacons 2, religious 54), Dominican Repubilc. The bishop-elect was born in Ramonal Arriba, Dominican Republic in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He holds a licentiate in philosophy and letters and in religious sciences from the Pontifical University Mater et Magistra, Dominican Republic, and in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including parish vicar, formator in the minor seminary and diocesan director for priestly vocations, professor of sacred scripture and research methodology, dean of the faculties of philosophy and theology, and formator at the St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical major seminary. He is currently parish priest of the Cathedral of Santa Ana in the diocese of San Francisco de Macoris. He succeeds Bishop Rafael Leonidas Felipe y Nunez, whose resignation from the pastoral governance of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Fr. Hector Rafael Rodriguez Rodriguez M.S.C., as bishop of La Vega (area 4,919, population 977,000, Catholics 801,000, priests 92, permanent deacons 65, religious 223), Dominican Republic. The bishop-elect was born in Sanchez, Dominican Republic in 1961, gave his solemn vows in 1984 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a licentiate in spiritual theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. During his pastoral ministry he has served as parish vicar and, within his community, director for aspirants at the Vocational Centre, director of the post-novitiate, master of novices, Provincial. He has also served as member of the Managing Body of the Dominican Conference of Religious. He is currently first adviser of the Congregation of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. He succeeds Bishop Antonio Camilo Gonzalez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Bishop Jose Miguel Gonzalez Rodriguez of Libano-Honda, Colombia, as bishop of Facatativa (area 2,311, population 546,000, Catholics 512,000, priests 93, permanent deacons 4, religious 305), Colombia.
    On Saturday, 21 February appointed Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, apostolic nuncio in Pakistan, as apostolic nuncio in Mozambique.

    ___________________________________________________________

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Mar 6 23:01:02 2015
    The third suggestion relates to the relationship between the economy and social justice, dignity and the value of the person. "It is well known that a certain liberalism believes it is necessary first and foremost to produce wealth, and that it is not important how, before promoting any form of redistributive policy", explained the Pope. "Others think that it is the same enterprise that must donate the crumbs of accumulated wealth, thus absolving it of its so-called 'social responsibility'". However, we know in achieving a new quality of the economy, it is possible to enable people to grow in all their potential. A member of a cooperative must not be merely ... a worker ... but must instead always be a protagonist, and must grow, through the cooperative, as a person, socially and professionally, in responsibility ... an enterprise managed by a cooperative must grow in a truly cooperative way, involving all".
    "If we look around us, we see that the economy is never renovated in an ageing society, instead of one that grows", he continued, presenting his fourth suggestion: strengthening the harmonisation between work and family within the cooperative movement. "Doing this also means helping women to fully achieve their vocation and to put their talents to use" through initiatives that meet the needs of all, from nurseries to domestic care.
    "The fifth suggestion may be surprising. Doing all these things takes money! Cooperatives are not generally founded by great capitalists. ... The Pope instead says to you: you must invest, and you must invest well! In Italy certainly, but not only, it is difficult to obtain public funding to compensate for the scarcity of resources. The solution I propose to you is this: unite with determination the right means for carrying out good works. Collaborate more with cooperative banks and businesses, organise resources to allow families to live with dignity and serenity, and pay fair salaries to your workers. ... Money, placed at the service of life, can be managed in the right way by the cooperative, if however it is an authentic and true cooperative, where capital does not rule over people, but people over capital".
    "Therefore, I say that you do well to oppose and combat false cooperatives, and to continue to do so; they prostitute the name of cooperative, a very positive thing, to deceive people in the interests of profit, contrary to those of a true and authentic cooperative. ... In the field in which you are active, to display an honourable facade while instead pursuing dishonourable and immoral objectives, often associated with the exploitation of labour or the manipulation of the market, or even a scandalous traffic in corruption, is a shameful and serious falsehood. The cooperative economy ... if it seeks to fulfil a strong social function, if it wishes to be an agent of the future for a nation and for each local community, must pursue clear and transparent aims. It must promote an economy of honesty, a healing economy in the treacherous sea of the global economy. A real economy promoted by people who have at heart and in their minds only the common good".
    The final part of the Pope's address was dedicated to cooperation at the international level. "Extend your hand to the old and new existential peripheries, where there are disadvantaged people, where there are people who are alone and discarded, where there are people who do not receive respect. ... It is necessary to have the courage and imagination to build the right road to integrate development, justice and peace throughout the world", he concluded.

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    Presentation of the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM): Incentive and relaunch of the Church in the Amazon
    Vatican City, 2 March 2015 (VIS) - A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning to present the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network, established in 2014 in Brasilia, Brazil, during a meeting of bishops whose territories include Amazon regions, priests, missionaries of congregations who work in the Amazon jungle, national representatives of Caritas and laypeople belonging to various Church bodies. The speakers were Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace"; Archbishop Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, S.J., of Huancayo, Peru and president of the Department of Justice and Solidarity of the Latin American Episcopal Council; Michel Roy, secretary general of Caritas Internationalis; and Mauricio Lopez Oropeza, executive secretary of REPAM. Cardinal Claudio Hummes, O.F.M., president of the Commission for Amazonia of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, was unable to be present but participated via an audio message.
    The Amazon territory is the largest tropical forest in the world. It covers six million square kilometres and includes the territories of Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil. It is home to 2,779,478 indigenous people, comprising 390 indigenous tribes and 137 isolated (uncontacted) peoples with their valuable ancestral cultures, and 240 spoken languages belonging to 49 linguistic families. As Archbishop Barreto explained, it is "a territory that is devastated and threatened by the concessions made by States to transnational corporations. Large-scale mining projects, monoculture and climate change place its lands and natural environment at great risk", leading to the destruction of cultures, undermining the self-determination of peoples and above all affronting Christ incarnate in the people who live there (indigenous and riparian peoples, peasant farmers, afro-descendants and urban populations). REPAM was founded as "God's answer to this heartfelt and urgent need to care for the life of people so they are able to live in harmony with nature, starting from the widespread and varied presence of members and structures of the Church in Pan-Amazonia".
    Cardinal Turkson illustrated the main characteristics of the network, starting with transnationality. "The large number of countries involved is due to the awareness that effective action to face challenges that cross the borders of a single State requires synergy between the living forces of all the nations involved, from the Secretariat of the REPAM to that of the dioceses and other Church initiatives in the various States, without forgetting that, from the beginning, the REPAM has worked in harmony with the Holy See, CELAM and its structures". Another key feature is ecclesiality: "as well as working transnationally, REPAM proposes the institution of harmonious collaboration between the various components of the Church: religious congregations, dioceses, Caritas, various Catholic associations and Foundations, and lay groups".
    Commitment to the defence of life is, for Cardinal Turkson, the third characteristic. "REPAM was born in response to important challenges. It is engaged in defending the life of a number of communities who cumulatively comprise 30 million people. They are threatened by pollution, the radical and rapid change of the ecosystem upon which they depend, and the lack of protection for their basic human rights". He added that the network is presented in Rome not only on account of the symbolic value of the See of Peter, but also to give visibility to REPAM. "The form in which REPAM, acting as a platform, is structured and defines its working methods, its agenda, its allies or its methods of accreditation, could serve as a model for other local churches in other countries facing similar challenges. In addition, REPAM has been conceived so as to become a took that may be applied in different basic contexts, such as justice, legality, the promotion and protection of human rights; cooperation between the Church and public institutions at various levels; conflict prevention and management; research and spread of information; inclusive and equitable economic development; responsible and equitable use of natural resources, respecting Creation; and the preservation of the traditional cultures and ways of life of the different populations".
    Cardinal Hummes, in his audio message, reiterated that the creation of the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network "represents a new incentive and relaunch of the work of the Church in Amazonia, strongly desired by the Holy Father. There, the Church wishes to be, with courage and determination, a missionary Church, merciful, prophetic, and close to all the people, especially the poorest, the excluded, the discarded, the forgotten and wounded. A Church with an 'Amazonian face' and an 'native clergy', as Pope Francis proposed in his address to the bishops of Brazil".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, Pope's special envoy to the 4th centenary of the martyrdom of St. John Ogilvie, S.J.
    Vatican City, 28 February 2015 (VIS) - Today a letter was published, written in Latin and dated 15 February, by which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, archbishop emeritus of Westminster, as his special envoy to the solemn celebrations in honour of St. John Ogilvie S.J. (from 9 to 10 March in Glasgow, Scotland).
    The pontifical mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of his personal secretary Rev. Roger Reader, and Msgr. Javier Herrera Corona, adviser to the apostolic nunciature in London.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 2 March 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO, and entourage;
    - Rev. Janusz Urbanczyk, Holy See permanent observer at the International Governing Organisations in Vienna;
    - Nechirvan Barzani, president of the Council of Ministers of the Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan;
    - Ten prelates of the Regional Episcopal Conference of North Africa (C.E.R.N.A) on their "ad Limina" visit:
    Bishop Claude Rault of Laghouat, Algeria;
    Archbishop Ghaleb Moussa Abdalla Bader of Algiers, Algeria;
    - Bishop Paul Desfarges of Constantine, Algeria;
    - Bishop Jean-Paul Vesco of Oran, Algeria;
    - Bishop Sylvester Carmel Magro, apostolic vicar of Benghazi, Libya;
    - Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, apostolic vicar of Tripoli, Libya;
    - Archbishop Vincent Landel of Rabat, Morocco;
    - Archbishop Santiago Agrelo Mart0nez of Tangier, Morocco;
    - Fr. Mario Leon Dorado, O.M.I., apostolic prefect of the Western Sahara; and
    - Archbishop Ilario Antoniazzi of Tunis, Tunisia.
    On Saturday, 28 February, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, Italy.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 2 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Fidencio Lopez Plaza as bishop of San Andres Tuxtla (area 13,495, population 1,113,000, Catholics 1,035,000, priests 100, permanent deacons 33, religious 109), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Capullin, Mexico in 1950 and was ordained a priest in 1982. He specialised in pastoral and catechesis at the Pastoral Theological Institute of Medellin, Colombia, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including coordinator of the diocesan secretariat for evangelisation and catechesis, professor in the conciliar seminary of Queretaro, parish priest in a number of parishes, head of the deanery of Guanajuato and member of the presbyteral council and the college of consultors. He is currently episcopal vicar for pastoral ministry of the diocese of Queretaro and parish priest of the "Pentecostes" parish.
    On Saturday, 28 February, the Holy Father appointed:
    - Rev. Fr. Francesco Savino as bishop of Cassano all'Jonio (area 1,311, population 108,100, Catholics 104,187, priests 98, permanent deacons 3, religious 74), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Bitonto, Italy in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1978. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Istituto Teological Pugliese and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto, including parish vicar of San Silvestro-Crocifisso and parish priest of Cristo Re Universale in Bitonto. He is currently parish priest-rector of the parish-santuary of the Santi Medici in Bitonto, member of the College of Consultors, the diocesan presbyteral council and the Ministry of Health Commission on palliative care. He succeeds Bishop Nunzio Galantino, secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Msgr. Marek Marczak as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Lodz (area 5,200, population 1,490,000, Catholics 1,410,000, priests 763, religious 759), Poland. The bishop-elect was born in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of roles, including lecturer in dogmatic theology and the major seminary of Lodz, president of the Commission for the Lay Apostolate, visitator for catechesis, pastoral collaborator in the parish of St. Dorothy in Loz-Mileszki, and collaborator for the pastoral ministry of university lecturers in the archdiocese. He is currently rector of the major seminary and member of the presbyteral council.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Mar 12 11:37:02 2015
    The delegation of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue will meet with the academic community of the Catholic University of Western Africa (UCAO) in Abidjan Cocody.
    In Yamoussoukro, Cardinal Tauran will meet with members of the Episcopal Conference of Cote d'Ivoire and will preside at Mass concelebrated in the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace.
    The visit will offer the opportunity to promote and encourage interreligious dialogue in Cote d'Ivoire, in a context of respect and friendship, in accordance with the teaching of Pope Francis. With this objective, various meetings are scheduled with leaders of other religious traditions, especially of Islam and traditional African religions, first in Korhogo, and subsequently in Yamoussoukro and Abidjan.
    On 17 March, Cardinal Tauran will pay a private visit to the president of the Republic, Alessane Ouattara.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See reaffirms its opposition to the death penalty
    Vatican City, 12 March 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva gave an address at the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council on 4 March, regarding the issue of the death penalty.
    Speaking in English, the nuncio said, "The Delegation of the Holy See ... joins an increasing number of States in supporting the fifth U.N. General Assembly resolution calling for a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty. Public opinion in support of the various provisions aimed at abolishing the death penalty, or suspending its application, is growing. This provides a strong momentum which this delegation hopes will encourage States still applying the death penalty to move in the direction of its abolition".
    The archbishop explained that twenty years ago, during the papacy of St. John Paul II, the position of the Holy See was "framed within the proper ethical context of defending the inviolable dignity of the human person and the role of the legitimate authority to defend in a just manner the common good of society". He continued, "Considering the practical circumstances found in most States, as a result of steady improvements in the organisation of the penal system, it appears evident nowadays that means other than the death penalty are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons. For that reason, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity with the dignity of the human person".
    Benedict XVI affirmed in 2011 that "the political and legislative initiatives promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order are moving in the right direction. Pope Francis has further emphasised that the legislative and judicial practice of the State authority must always be guided by the primacy of human life and the dignity of the human person", noting also "the possibility of judicial error and the use made by totalitarian and dictatorial regimes ... as a means of suppressing political dissidence or of persecuting religious and cultural minorities".
    "Respect for the dignity of every human person and the common good are the two pillars on which the position of the Holy See has developed. These principles converge with a similar development in international human rights law and jurisprudence. Moreover, we should take into account that no clear positive effect of deterrence results from the application of the death penalty and that the irreversibility of this punishment does not allow for eventual corrections in the case of wrongful convictions".
    Therefore, the Holy See "contends that bloodless means of defending the common good and upholding justice are possible, and calls on States to adapt their penal system to demonstrate their adhesion to a more humane form of punishment. As for those countries that claim it is not yet feasible to relinquish this practice, my delegation encourages them to strive to become capable of doing so".
    In conclusion, the Holy See delegation "fully supports the efforts to abolish the use of the death penalty. In order to arrive at this desired goal, these steps need to be taken: sustaining the social reforms that would enable society to implement the abolition of the death penalty and improving prison conditions, to ensure respect for the human dignity of people deprived of their freedom".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 12 March 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Girolamo Prigione, apostolic nuncio;
    - Archbishop Andres Carrascosa Coso, apostolic nuncio in Panama;
    - Fourteen prelates of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Bishop Matthias Ri Iong-hoon of Suwon, with his auxiliary, Bishop Linus Lee Seong-hyo;
    - Bishop Peter Lee Ki-heon of Uijeongbu, with Bishop emeritus Joseph Lee Han-taek;
    - Bishop Jacobus Kim Ji-Seok of Wonju;
    - Archbishop Thaddeus Cho Hwan-kil of Daegu;
    - Bishop John Chrisostom Kwon Hyeok-ju of Andong;
    - Bishop Paul Hwang Chul-soo of Busan, with his auxiliary, Bishop Joseph Son Sam-seok;
    - Bishop Gabriel Chang Bong-hun of Cheongnju;
    - Bishop Francis Xavier Ahn Myong-ok of Masan, with Bishop emeritus Michael Pak Jeon-il;
    - Bishop Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il, military ordinary; and
    - Bishop Wenceslao S. Padilla, apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 12 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Rev. Fr. John Stowe, O.F.M. Conv., as bishop of Lexington (area 42,520, population 1,601,000, Catholics 47,900, priests 64, permanent deacons 71, religious 89), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Amherst, Ohio, U.S.A. in 1966, gave his solemn vows in 1992, and was ordained a priest in 1995. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including deputy priest, administrator and parish priest of the "Our Lady of Mount Carmel" parish in El Paso, Texas; vicar general of the diocese of El Paso; administrator of the "Our Lady of the Valley" parish; and chancellor of the diocese of El Paso. He is currently provincial vicar of the "Our Lady of Consolation" Franciscan Conventual Province and rector of the Basilica and national shrine of "Our Lady of Consolation", Carey, Ohio.
    - appointed Bishop Thomas Anthony Daly, auxiliary of San Jose in California, U.S.A., as bishop of Spokane (area 63,325, population 325,161, Catholics 107,271, priests 146, permanent deacons 43, religious 230), U.S.A.
    - given his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church of Rev. Fr. Teodor (Taras) Martynyuk, M.S.U., as auxiliary of the archieparchy of Ternopil'-Zboriv (area 8,346, population 636,000, Catholics 385,000, priests 320, permanent deacons 1, religious 128), Ukraine. The bishop-elect was born in Yaremche, Ukraine in 1974, gave his solemn vows in 1997 and was ordained a priest in 2000. He holds a doctorate in Oriental canon law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute. During his pastoral ministry he has served in various roles in the Lavra of Univ and the monastery of St. Michael in Lviv, and as a lecturer in Oriental canon law at the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Rome. He is currently Igumen of the Lavra of the Dormition in Univ, Ukraine.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 12 March 2015 (VIS) - We wish to inform our readers that tomorrow, 13 March, the second anniversary of the election to the papacy of the Holy Father Francis, the Vatican Information Service bulletin will not be transmitted. The service will resume on Monday, 16 March.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Mar 16 12:53:02 2015
    the duty of a good teacher, and far more so for a good Christian, is to love with greater intensity the most difficult, weakest, most disadvantaged students".
    Francis mentioned that if a professional association of Christian teachers wishes to bear witness to its inspiration, it is required to engage with the peripheries of school, "that cannot be abandoned to marginalisation, ignorance,
    and the underworld", and he encouraged them to follow the example of many great
    teachers who exist in the Christian community to encourage from within the school that, independently of whether or not it is administered by the state, is
    in need of credible teachers and witnesses of mature and complete humanity. "Teaching is not just a job", he concluded. "It is a relationship in which each
    teacher must feel that he is fully involved as as person, to give meaning to the
    task of educating his pupils. ... I encourage you to renew your passion for mankind in the process of formation, and to be witnesses of life and hope".

    ___________________________________________________________

    "Follow Me" Association: engage with earthly reality to serve the good of man
    Vatican City, 14 March 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall of the
    Vatican Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis received in audience members of the "Seguimi" ("Follow Me") lay community, on the 50th anniversary of its foundation. "The gesture, symbolic and intensely spiritual, of the first members
    to depart from the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, demonstrate this wish, that you have expressed in the statutory form of your programme of life: 'Jesus Christ lives at the centre of Seguimi'. This is beautiful. ... I encourage you to live
    according to this programme every day, with commitment; that is, to be decentred
    from yourselves and to place your vital centre in the living Person of Jesus. Yours is a form of evangelical life that is practised in a context of laicism and liberty. A programme of Christian life for laypeople, with clear and demanding objectives, an original way of incarnating the Gospel, an effective way of walking the world".
    Francis encouraged them to "conserve and develop this fraternal communion and exchange of gifts, aimed at the human and Christian growth of all, along with creativity, optimism, joy and the courage to go - when appropriate - against the
    grain. Be vigilant in your spiritual path and help each other to practice spiritual charity, which means defending yourselves against individualistic selfishness in order to be true witnesses to the Gospel".
    "As laypeople, you are immersed in the world and are occupied within earthly situations to serve the good of man. You are required to permeate with Christian
    values the environments in which you work with your witness and word, meeting people in their concrete situations, so that they have full dignity and are reached by Christ's salvation". The Pope concluded by urging them to be "laypeople on the front line", to "feel like an active part of the Church's mission, to live your secularity dedicating yourself to the situations typical of the earthly city: the family, the professions, social life in its various expressions. In this way you are able, as a leaven, to bring the spirit of the Gospel into the folds of history with your witness of faith, hope and charity".

    ___________________________________________________________

    To be able to confess our sins is a gift from God
    Vatican City, 14 March 2015 (VIS) - "The Sacrament of Reconciliation enables us
    to draw near to the Father trustfully, to have the certainty of his forgiveness.
    He is truly 'rich in mercy' and he extends it abundantly to those who turn to him with a sincere heart", said the Pope in his homily during the penitential celebration in St. Peter's Basilica on Friday afternoon. "The transformation of
    the heart that leads us to confess our sins is a gift from God ... it is 'His work'" he continued. "As we leave the confessional, we were his strength that restores life and rekindles the enthusiasm of faith. After confession we are reborn".
    "Jesus' call impels us all not to stop at the surface of things, especially when facing a person. We are called to look beyond, to focus on the heart to see
    how much generosity each person is capable of. No-one must be excluded from God's mercy. Everyone knows that the way to reach it, and the Church, is the house that welcomes all and refuses no-one. Its doors are always wide open, so that those who are touched by grace may find the certainty of forgiveness. The greater the sin, the greater the love must be that the Church expresses towards
    those who convert".
    "Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought of how the Church may make more evident her mission as witness to mercy. It is a path that begins with a spiritual conversion; and we must take this path. Therefore, I have decided to convoke an extraordinary Jubilee, which will be centred upon God's mercy. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. Let us live this in the light of the Word of the Lord: 'Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful'. And this is especially for
    confessors! Have mercy!".
    "I am convinced that all the Church, which is in great need of receiving mercy,
    as we are sinners, may find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and making
    fruitful God's mercy, with which we are all called upon to give consolation to every man and every woman in our time. Let us not forget that God forgives everything, and God always forgives. Let us never tire of asking for forgiveness. Let us hereafter entrust this Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she
    might turn her gaze upon us and keep watch over our path; our path of repentance, our path with an open heart, a year long, to receive God's indulgence, to receive God's mercy".

    ___________________________________________________________

    To the Korean community: be a Church of martyrs
    Vatican City, 14 March 2015 (VIS) - On the afternoon of Thursday, 12 March, the
    Pope celebrated Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica with the Korean community of Rome, accompanied by prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, in
    Rome on their "ad Limina" visit and whom Pope Francis had received in audience in the morning. In his homily, the Pope spoke about the laity, who carried forth
    the Church for two centuries, encouraging them to be as courageous as the first
    faithful; he urged all those present to be aware of this responsibility.
    He went on to mention Korea's martyrs, and emphasised that the seedbed of the Church has been watered with their blood and thus given life. "Do not give up. Be on your guard against 'religious wellbeing'", he said. "If you do not go ahead with the strength of faith, with the zeal and love of Jesus Christ, if you
    become soft - 'rosewater Christians', weak - your faith will diminish". The Pope
    also highlighted the importance of being sons of martyrs, adding that "apostolic
    zeal is not negotiable. ... You are a Church of martyrs, and this is a promise for
    all Asia. Keep going, and do not give up. No spiritual worldliness, nothing. No
    easy Catholicism, without zeal. No religious wellbeing. Love for Jesus Christ, love for Jesus Christ's Cross, and love for your history".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 16 March 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the
    Discipline of the Sacraments;
    - Fr*re Alois, prior of Taizo
    - Delegation of the Latin American Network on the Social Doctrine of the Church;
    - Six prelates of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Vrhbosna, Sarajevo, with his auxiliary,
    Bishop Pero Sudar;
    - Bishop Franjo Komarica of Banja Luka, with his auxiliary, Bishop Marko Senren;
    - Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, apostolic administrator of Trebinje and Mrkan;
    - Bishop Tomo Vuksic, military ordinary.
    On Saturday, 14 March, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - Archbishop Orlando Antonini, apostolic nuncio in Serbia.

    ___________________________________________________________

    From the Oriental Churches
    Vatican City, 16 March 2015 (VIS) - The Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Patriarchal Church, in its extraordinary session of 10 to 14 March 2015:
    - accepted the resignation of Bishop Elias Sleiman from the pastoral care of the eparchy of Lattaquie upon reaching the age limit, and elected him as president of the Patriarchal Tribunal.
    - elected Bishop Joseph Mouawad, patriarchal vicar of Ehden-Zgorta, Syria, as bishop of Zahle (Catholics 50,000, priests 34, religious 42), Lebanon.
    - elected, with pontifical assent, the Rev. Corepiscopa Antoine Chbeir as bishop of Lattaquie of the Maronites (Catholics 35,000, priests 27, religious 50), Syria. The bishop-elect was born in Ghosta, Lebanon, and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome and has served as parish priest and diocesan chancellor. He is currently chancellor of the patriarchal vicariate of Jounieh,
    Lebanon, and succeeds Bishop Elias Sleiman.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    On Saturday, 14 March, the Holy Father:
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Alojzij Cvikl, S.J., as metropolitan archbishop of Maribor
    (area 45,520, population 1,601,000, Catholics 47,900, priests 46, permanent deacons 71, religious 89), Slovenia. The bishop-elect was born in Celje, Slovenia in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He studied philosophy and theology at the Faculty of Theology in Ljubljana and at the Pontifical Gregorian
    University, Rome, and holds a licentiate in pedagogy and social sciences from the "Lumen Vitae" Institute in Brussels, Belgium. He has served in a number of roles, including: deputy priest and parish priest in the parish of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ in Ljubljana - Dravlje, rector of the Internate at the St. Stanislaw Archiepiscopal Institute in Ljubljana-Sentvid and teacher of religion at the Classical Lyceum of the same Institute, provincial of the Jesuits in Slovenia, president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Slovenia,
    and rector of the Pontifical Russian College (Russicum), Rome. He is currently bursar of the Archdiocese of Maribor.
    - appointed the following consultors of the general secretariat of the Synod of
    Bishops: Msgr. Lluis Clavell, ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas; Giuseppe Bonfrate, lecturer in the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; Maurizio Gronchi, ordinary professor of dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome; Michele Giulio Masciarelli, lecturer in dogmatic theology at the Marianum Faculty, Rome, and fundamental theology at the Theological Institue of Abruzzo and Molise, Chieti;
    Peter Paul Saldanha, lecturer in ecclesiology at the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome; Dario Vitali, lecturer in ecclesiology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; Aimable Musoni, S.D.B., lecturer in systematic theology, ecclesiology and ecumenism at the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome; Fr. Frantois Xavier Dumortier, S.J., Magnificent Rector of the Pontifical
    Gregorian University, Rome; Fr. Georges Ruyssen, S.J., lecturer in canon law at
    the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome; Fr. Sabatino Majorano, C.SS.R., lecturer in systematic moral theology at the Alphonsianum Academy, Rome; Fr. Manuel Jesus Arroba Conde, C.M.F., dean of the Institutum Utriusque Iuris at the
    Pontifical Lateran University, Rome; Fr. Jose Granados, D.C.J.M., vice president
    of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Marriage and Family Studies, lecturer at the Pontifical Gregorian Institute.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Sun Mar 22 23:14:02 2015
    possibility of confession, by which a man expresses his inner conversion, and contrition, the gateway to atonement and expiation, to reach an encounter with God's merciful and healing justice. It is furthermore frequently used by totalitarian regimes and groups of fanatics for the extermination of political dissidents, minorities, and any subject labelled as 'dangerous' or who may be perceived as a threat to its power or to the achievement of its ends".
    "The death penalty is contrary to the sentiment of humanitas and to divine mercy, which must be the model for human justice. ... There is discussion in some
    quarters about the method of killing, as if it were possible to find ways of 'getting it right'. ... But there is no humane way of killing another person".
    "On the other hand, life imprisonment entails for the prisoner the impossibility of planning a future of freedom, and may therefore be considered as a sort of covert death penalty, as they deprive detainees not only of their freedom, but also of hope. However, although the penal system can stake a claim
    to the time of convicted persons, it can never claim their hope".
    "Dear friends, I encourage you to continue with your work, as the world needs witnesses of God's mercy and tenderness, and may the Lord Jesus grant the gift of wisdom, so that the action taken against this cruel punishment may be successful and fruitful".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Press release from the Dean of the College of Cardinals
    Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the rights and privileges of a Cardinal, expressed in canons 349,
    353 and 356 of the Code of Canon Law, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, archbishop emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, after
    a long period of prayer. With this provision, His Holiness would like to manifest his pastoral solicitude to all the faithful of the Church in Scotland,
    and to encourage them to continue with hope the path of renewal and reconciliation.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope's telegram for terrorist attack in Tunisia
    Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin
    has sent a telegram of condolences on behalf of the Holy Father to the Archbishop of Tunis, Ilario Antoniazzi, for the victims of the terrorist attack
    on 18 March.
    "Having learned of the grave terrorist attack on the city of Tunis, which caused numerous deaths and injuries, Pope Francis reiterates his strong condemnation of any act against peace and the sacredness of human life, and joins in prayer with the suffering of the families who mourn their loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy, as well as with all the Tunisian people.
    He asks the Lord to welcome the departed in His peace and to comfort those who are seriously injured. As a pledge of consolation, the Pope asks that God might
    grant His abundant blessings to all.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting
    New Evangelisation
    - Sixteen prelates of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki;
    - Bishop Dominic Ryoji Miyahara of Fukuoka;
    - Bishop Paul Kenjiro Koriyama of Kagoshima;
    - Bishop Berard Toshio Oshikawa of Naha;
    - Bishop Paul Sueo Hamaguchi of Oita;
    - Archbishop Thomas Aquino Manyo Maeda of Osaka, with his auxiliary, Bishop Michael Goro Matsuura;
    - Bishop Paul Yoshinao Otsuka of Kyoto;
    - Bishop Augustinus Jun-ichi Nomura of Nagoya;
    - Bishop John Eijiro Suwa of Takamatsu;
    - Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo, apostolic administrator "sede vacante
    et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Saitama, with his auxiliary, Bishop James Kazuo Koda;
    - Bishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi of Niigata;
    - Bishop Bernard Taiji Katsuya of Sapporo;
    - Bishop Martin Tetsuo Hiraga of Sendai; and
    - Bishop Rafael Masahiro Umemura of Yokohama.
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Mario Eduardo Dorsonville-Rodriguez as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Washington, (area 5,447, population 2,824,893, Catholics 621,476,
    priests 793, permanent deacons 246, religious 1,176), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1960 in Bogota, Colombia, and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Xaverian University of Bogota
    and a D.Min. from the Catholic University of America, Washington. In Bogota, he
    served as deputy priest and parish priest, associate chaplain and professor of ethics at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and professor of pastoral counsel and catechesis at the major seminary of Bogota. In Washington, he has served as deputy priest and is currently director of the "Spanish Catholic Centre", vice president for the Mission of Catholic Charities, adjunct spiritual
    director at the St. John Paul II Seminary, and member of the college of consultors and the presbyteral council.
    - reorganised the Hungarian Greek-Catholic Church, elevating it to the status of "sui iuris Metropolitan Church, by the following measures:
    - elevation of the eparchy of Hajdudorog for Catholics of Byzantine rite (Cathlics 270,000, priests 190, permanent deacons 4, religious 13) to a metropolis, with its seat in Debrecen, appointing eparchal Bishop Fulop Kocsis as the first Metropolitan;
    - elevation of the apostolic exarchate of Miskolc (Catholics 56,200, priests 70) for Catholics of Byzantine rite to the status of eparchy, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Hajdudorog, appointing Msgr. Atanaz Orosz,
    formerly apostolic exarch of Miskolc, as the first eparchal bishop;
    - erection of the eparchy of Nyiregyhaza for Catholics of Byzantine rite, with
    territory taken from the eparchy of Hajdudorog, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Hajdudorog, appointing Bishop Atanaz Orosz as apostolic administrator "sede vacante".
    On Thursday, 19 March, the Holy Father:
    - appointed Msgr. Vlastimil Krocil as bishop of Ceske Budejovice (area 12,500,
    population 760,600, Catholics 291,700, priests 136, permanent deacons 19, religious 164), Czech Republic. The bishop-elect was born in Brno, Czech Republic in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1994. Following studies at the Pontifical Lateran University and the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, he
    obtained a degree in theology and philosophy from the Catholic University of Ruzomberok, Slovakia. He has served as chaplain in Jindrichuv Hradec, and is currently professor of patrology and early Christian literature in the faculty of theology at Ceske Budejovice, parish administrator at Veseli nad Luznici, member of the presbyteral council and the college of consultors, and diocesan representative for pastoral ministry.
    - erected the diocese of Nogales, Mexico, with territory from the archdiocese of Hermosillo, Mexico, making it a suffragan of the same archdiocese.
    - appointed Bishop Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez Gonzalez, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Guadalajara, Mexico, as bishop of the new diocese of Nogales (area 44,243, population 483,180, Catholics 381,398, priests 44, religious 62),
    Mexico.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    Syrian crisis. It was thought by many that the Syrian refugee flow was temporary
    and such refugees would leave their countries of asylum in a matter of months. Now, after four years of conflict, it appears likely that these refugees will remain and the locals have to learn to live side by side with them. ? In the camps, there areonly 40 teachers for more than 1,000 students, aged 6 to 17. ? For different reasons, whether in their home countries or in the refugee camps,
    children find an inadequate education system that jeopardizes their future. Everywhere there is an urgent need for an education system that could absorb these children and bring some normalcy to their lives.?
    ?Third, another disruptive consequence of the continuing violence that torments
    the Middle East is the separation of family members, which forces many minors to
    fend for themselves. ? To prevent the further exploitation of children and to protect them properly, an additional effort should be made to facilitate the reunification of minors with their respective families.?
    ?The right to a legal identity, to an adequate education, and to a family,? the
    archbishop concluded, ?are key elements and specific requirements in a comprehensive system of protection for children. Such measuresrequire the close
    collaboration of all stakeholders. Access to quality education and psycho-social
    care, together with other basic services, is extremely important. However, children cannot benefit from such services unless they are registered at birth and their families and communities are supported to protect them better. If the
    violence does not stop and the normal pace of education and development is not resumed, these children are at risk of becoming a lost generation.?

    ___________________________________________________________

    Freedoms of Religion and Expression: Adopting an Ethics of Responsibility Vatican City, 27 March 2015 (VIS) ? On 10 March, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, spoke at the 28th meeting of the Council for Human Rights. His speech, the majority of which is presented here below, emphasized the fundamental importance of religious freedom as well as the freedom of expression.
    ?The International Community is now confronted with a delicate, complex, and urgent challenge with regard to respect for religious sensibilities and the need
    for peaceful coexistence in an ever more pluralistic world: namely, that of establishing a fair relationship between freedom of expression and freedom of religion. The relationship between these fundamental human rights has proven difficult to manage and to address on either a normative or institutional level.
    On theother hand, it should be recognized ?that the open, constructive, and respectful debate of ideas, as well as interfaith and intercultural dialogue at
    the local, national, and international levels, can play a positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement, and violence.? Failure in this effort is
    evident when an excessive and irresponsible use of freedom of expression results
    in intimidation, threats, and verbal abuse and these infringe upon freedom of religion and can sadly lead to intolerance and violence. Likewise, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion has focused on the violence committed ?in the
    name of religion?, and on its root causes.?
    ?Unfortunately, violence abounds today. If genocide means any act committed with
    the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such, then the International Community as a whole is certainly witnessing a sort of genocide in some regions of theworld, where the enslavement and sale of women and children, the killing of young men, the burning, beheading and the forcing into exile of people continue. In this context, the Delegation of the Holy See would like to submit to the joint reflection of the Human Rights Council that these and other unspeakable crimes are being committed against people belonging to ancient communities simply because their belief, social system, and culture are different from the fundamentalist combatants of the so-called ?Islamic State? group. The appeal to
    religion in order to murder people and destroy the evidence of human creativity
    developed in the course of history makes the on-going atrocities even more revulsive and damnable. An adequate response from the International Community, which should finally put aside sectarian interests and save lives, is a moral imperative.?
    ?Violence, however, does not stem from religion but from its false interpretation or itstransformation into ideology. In addition, the same violence can derive from the idolatry of State or of the economy, and it can be
    an effect of secularization. All these phenomena tend to eliminate individual freedom and responsibility towards others. But, violence is always an individual?s act and a decision that implies personal responsibility. It is in fact by adopting an ethics of responsibility that the way toward the future can
    become fruitful, preventing violence and breaking the impasse between extreme positions: one that upholds any form of freedom of expression and the other that
    rejects any criticism of a religion. ??
    ?Freedom of expression that is misused to wound the dignity of persons by offending their deepest convictions sows the seeds of violence. Of course, freedom of expression is a fundamental human right that is always to be upheld and protected; in fact, it also implies the obligation to say in a responsible way what a person thinksin view of the common good. ? It does not, however, justify relegating religion to a subculture of insignificant weight or to an acceptable easy target of ridicule and discrimination. Antireligious arguments even in the form of irony can surely be accepted, as it is acceptable to use irony about secularism or atheism. Criticism of religious thinking can even help
    dismantle various extremisms. But what can justify gratuitous insults and spiteful derision of the religious feelings and convictions of others who are, after all, equal in dignity? Can we make fun of the cultural identity of a person, of the colour of his skin, of the belief of his heart? A ?right to offend? does not exist. ??
    ?Several mutually interdependent issues like freedom of religion, freedom of expression, religious intolerance, and violence in the name of religion come together in the concrete situations the world faces today. The way forward seems
    to be the adoption of acomprehensive approach that would consider these issues together in domestic legislation and deal with them in such a way that they may
    facilitate a peaceful coexistence based on the respect of the inherent human dignity and rights of every person. While opting to be on the side of freedom, the consequences of its exercise cannot be ignored and they should respect this
    dignity and, thus, build a more humane and more brotherly global society.?

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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    ourselves or leading us merely to inner balance, enable us always to start again
    from Jesus, and constitute a genuine school for growth in love for God and neighbour".
    "Starting from her encounter with Jesus, St. Teresa lived 'another life'; she transformed herself into a tireless communicator of the Gospel. Keen to serve the Church, and faced with the great problems of her time, she did not limit herself to being an observer of the situations surrounding her. ... In this way
    she began the Teresian reform in which she asked her sisters not to waste time discussing 'matters of little importance' with God while "the world is in flames'. This missionary and ecclesial dimension has always distinguished the Discalced Carmelites. As she did during her times, St. Teresa opens up new horizons to us today; she calls us to a great enterprise, to look upon the world
    through Christ's eyes, to seek what He seeks and to love what He loves".
    "St. Teresa knew that neither prayer nor mission could sustain an authentic community life. Therefore, the foundation she laid in her monasteries was fraternity. ... She was very careful to warn her sisters of the danger of self-referentiality in fraternal life", emphasising the need to "'place what we
    are at the service of others. To avoid such risks, the Saint of Avila reminded her sisters above all of the virtue of humility, which is neither outward neglect nor inner timidness of the soul; instead, it involves each person being
    aware of their own possibilities and of what God can achieve in us. The contrary
    is what she refers to as a 'false point of honour', a source of gossip, jealousy
    and criticism, that seriously harm relations with others. ... With these noble roots, Teresian communities are called to become houses of communion, able to bear witness to the fraternal and maternal love of the Church, presenting to the
    Lord the needs of the world, riven by divisions and wars".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope's telegram for the death of the Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East
    Vatican City, 28 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to His Beatitude Mar Aprem Locum Tenens of the Assyrian Church of the East for the death of the His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.
    The Pope assures the Assyrian faithful of the spiritual closeness of all Catholics, and remarked that the Christian world has lost "an important spiritual leader, a brave and prudent pastor, who faithfully served his community in extremely difficult times".
    His Holiness Mar Dinka "suffered greatly as a result of the tragic situation in
    the Middle East, especially in Iraq and in Syria", he continues, "resolutely calling attention to the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters and other
    religious minorities suffering daily persecution. I recall how we spoke of this
    at length during the recent visit of His Holiness to Rome. I give heartfelt thanks to Almighty God for the enduring commitment of His Holiness to improving
    relations among Christians and in particular between the Catholic Church and the
    Assyrian Church of the East. May the Lord receive him and grant him eternal repose, and may the memory of his long and devoted service to the Church live on
    as a challenge and an inspiration to us all".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis prays for flood victims in Chile and Peru
    Vatican City, 28 March 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin
    has sent a telegram on behalf of the Holy Father to Archbishpo Ivo Scapolo, apostolic nuncio in Chile, on account of the floodings and landslides caused by
    intense rainfall, that have already claimed six lives and left 19 people missing
    and thousands injured in the north of Chile; in southern Peru a further six people have been killed. The torrential rains have caused a total of at least 4,000 victims in both countries.
    "Due to the severe flooding that has affected areas of Peru and Chile, causing
    casualties and heavy damage to property, the Holy Father offers prayers for the
    eternal repose of the deceased and asks for the Lord to grant consolation and strength to those affected by this disaster.
    The Holy Father furthermore exhorts all institutions and persons of good will,
    motivated by sentiments of fraternal solidarity and Christian charity, to offer
    assistance to overcome these difficult moments, and offers them his heartfelt blessing".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 30 March 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life;
    - Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity;
    - Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference;
    - Msgr. Jean-Louis Brugues, archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church;
    - Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican; vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City State; president of
    the Fabric of St. Peter;
    - Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 30 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Fr. Alberto Vera Arejula, O. de M., as auxiliary of the diocese of Xai-Xai (area 75,709, population 1,664,000, Catholics 298,000, priests 27, religious 81), Mozambique. The bishop-elect was born in Aguilar del Rio Alhama, Spain in 1957, gave his solemn vows in 1981, and was ordained a priest in the same year.
    He studied theology and psychology and, in his pastoral ministry has served in number of roles including parish vicar, formator of postulants and promoter of vocations in the Vicariate of Central America in Guatemala; provincial counsellor and head of youth and vocational pastoral ministry for the Province of Aragon, Spain; formator of the community, superior of the Community of Matola-Mozambiqye, rector of studies of the Mercedarian Seminary, parish priest,
    primary and secondary school director, and diocesan counsellor for Caritas in Maputo, Mozambique. He is currently provincial delegate for the Mercedarian Fathers in Mozambique and parish priest in Xai-Xai.
    On Sunday, 29 March, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Michael Goro Matsuura, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Osaka, Japan, as bishop of Nagoya (area 25,306,
    population 12,379,569, Catholics 26,666, priests 115, permanent deacons 3, religious 268), Japan. He succeeds Bishop Augustinus Jun-ichi Nomura, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    On Saturday, 28 March, the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Makurdi, Nigeria, presented by Bishop Athanasius
    Atule Usuh, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is
    succeeded by Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe, C.M.F., coadjutor of the same diocese.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    the Virgin Mary protect and intercede for us all".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Holy Father's calendar for April to June 2015
    Vatican City, 14 April 2015 (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 from April to June 2015:
    APRIL
    Sunday 26, Fourth Sunday of Easter: at 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, priestly ordinations and Holy Mass.
    MAY
    Sunday 3, Fifth Sunday of Easter: at 4 p.m., pastoral visit to the parish of "Santa Maria Regina Pacis", Ostia.
    Tuesday 12: at 5.30 p.m., at the Altar of the Cathedra in St. Peter's Basilica,
    Holy Mass to inaugurate the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis.
    Sunday 17, Seventh Sunday of Easter: at 10 a.m. St. Peter's Basilica, Holy Mass
    for the canonisation of Blesseds Jeanne-Emilie de Villeneuve; Maria Cristina of
    the Immaculate Conception Brando; Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas; and Marie of Jesus Crucified Baouardy.
    Sunday 24: Pentecost. At 10 a.m. Holy Mass in the Vatican Basilica.
    JUNE
    Thursday 4: Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. At 7 p.m., Holy Mass in the Vatican Basilica; procession to St. Mary Major and Eucharistic
    blessing.
    Saturday 6: Apostolic trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia.
    Sunday 21 - Monday 22: Pastoral visit to Turin.
    Saturday 27: At 10 a.m. in the Consistory Hall, consistory for various causes for canonisation.
    Monday 29: Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. At 9.30 in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and blessing of the Pallia of the new metropolitan archbishops.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Programme of the Pope's visit to Sarajevo
    Vatican City, 14 April 2015 (VIS) - On 6 June the Pope will make an apostolic trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. He will leave from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 7.30 a.m., and will arrive at Sarajevo International Airport an hour
    later. A welcome ceremony will be held in the square adjacent to the presidential palace, during which he will meet with the presidency of the country and the local authorities, to whom he will address his greetings.
    At 11 a.m., in the Kosevo Stadium, he will celebrate Holy Mass, after which he
    will transfer to the apostolic nunciature where he will lunch with bishops. Following a short rest, at 4.20 p.m. he will meet with priests, men and women religious, and seminarians. An hour later he will participate in an ecumenical and interreligious meeting in the International Centre for Franciscan students.
    He will meet with young people at 8.30 in the "John Paul II" diocesan youth centre, and at around 8 p.m. will return to the airport to embark on his return
    flight for Rome, where he is expected to arrive at 9.20 p.m.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Presentation of the Holy See Pavilion at EXPO 2015
    Vatican City, 14 April 2015 (VIS) - A press conference was held this morning in
    the Holy See Press Office to present the Holy See Pavilion at "EXPO Milan" 2015,
    Italy, to be held from 1 May to 31 October this year, which will take as its theme: "Not by bread alone". The Pavilion was promoted, constructed and organised by the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Italian Episcopal Conference, the diocese of Milan and the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".
    The speakers at the conference were Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and commissioner general for the Holy See for
    EXPO 2015; Msgr. Domenico Pompili, under-secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) and Msgr. Luca Bressan, episcopal vicar for culture, charity, the mission and social action in the diocese of Milan.
    Cardinal Ravasi explained that "the presence of the Holy See Pavilion at EXPO Milan 2015 is not a novelty, considering that from the papacies of Pius IX to Benedict XVI the Holy See has taken part in international exhibitions to demonstrate the Church's desire to make her voice heard and to offer her testimony regarding the delicate themes, relevant to the future, that are from time to time proposed by the Expositions, especially in recent decades. The cultural policy of the Holy See therefore remains coherent in confirming the importance of being present and taking part in debates on crucial matters regarding the ways in which we inhabit our planet and safeguard the future".
    In particular, for EXPO 2015, the Holy See intends to guide visitors' attention
    towards the symbolic relevance of nourishment and the potential for the anthropological development of the theme in all its breadth and complexity. The
    Holy See Pavilion will take as its title two short Biblical phrases: 'Not by bread alone' and 'Give us today our daily bread', which lead towards a broad and
    full rather than a reductive view of human needs, and to a concrete approach mindful of daily life, with its demands and emergencies".
    Msgr. Domenico Pompili affirmed that "the intention of EXPO 2015 is to imagine
    another form of food justice, thereby providing the opportunity for world Countries to share ideas on how to improve food security. Its purpose is also to
    reconsider the role of science and research, crucial to the development of risk
    management technology. In the meantime, it is important to acknowledge the ongoing commitment of Italian churches to ensuring food to those in need. The participation of the Italian Episcopal Conference, alongside the Holy See and the diocese of Milan, thus represents a commitment that extends beyond the timeframe of Milan's Universal Exhibition. Over 4,000,000 people in Italy (70 per cent of whom are Italian citizens) currently live below the poverty line while the number of the most deprived requiring food aid in Italy continues to rise. These people are supported in their primary needs by almost 15,000 territorial charitable structures. Through food parcels, soup kitchens or other
    more innovative forms of intervention, such structures offer support to the most
    needy".
    Msgr. Luca Bressan commented that the Holy See Pavilion will offer to help tourists and citizens encounter "the mystical dimension, openness to God". He added that the method to be followed will be that of posing problems and making
    suggestions to solve them, "used with success by Pope Francis, to show that the
    Church is not a sour schoolmistress but rather a sister who shares our path with
    lucidity and a vision of the future, a devoted mother able to show the ways and
    the resources of the future". On 18 May, the Church's presence at Expo Milan 2015 will be inaugurated with a show demonstrating that the relationship with food is the place in which man's lack of harmony with Creation and with other human beings is made most tangible; "where, more than any other place, the throwaway culture is most glaringly evident".
    The feast day of Corpus Christi will be celebrated during Expo Milan 2015, offering an opportunity to show to the world that "the nourishment and future of
    man and of Creation are protected and generated by this bread that is, in reality, the body and blood of Jesus Christ, Who died for us and rose again, God's love made flesh. ... We will be able to show how, in Jesus Christ, God makes
    us able to be in solidarity with all these hungers". Expo will also serve to highlight that Christians cannot fail to be environmentally aware, since the consequences of consumerism and wastefulness that obscure the original role linked to food and the act of nourishing are clearly visible in "emergencies such as the waste of resources and the enormous inequalities in their distribution, ... and in the phenomenon of pollution and the unchecked exploitation of the planet's resources". All this "is contrary to the Creator's
    original plan and is the sign of a still very immature way of undertaking our task of inhabiting the planet like a garden able to nourish everyone". Therefore, in the streets of Milan, in the abbeys that surround the city and in
    the "Sacri Monti" of the Alps, the feast day of Creation, a traditional event for Eastern Christians, will be celebrated and will become for the visitors of Expo Milan 2015 a form of "sentinel" for nature.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 14 April 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Msgr. Luigi Misto, secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony
    of the Apostolic See, as secretary of the Administrative Section of the Secretariat for the Economy;
    - appointed Msgr. Mauro Rivella as secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See;
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archieparchy of Petra
    of Philadelphia of the Greek-Melkites, Jordan, presented by Bishop Yasser Ayyash, in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    that what we hold in common is much greater than any of our differences".
    Archbishop Sartain added, "Over the past several years, I have had the honour of working with L.C.W.R. officers and meeting a large number of L.C.W.R. members
    through the implementation of the Mandate. Our work included the revision of L.C.W.R. Statutes;review of L.C.W.R. publications, programs and speakers; and discussion of a wide range of issues raised by the Doctrinal Assessment, L.C.W.R., and the Bishop Delegates.The assistance of C.D.F. officials was essential to the great progress we made. Our work together was undertaken in an
    atmosphere of love for the Church and profound respect for the critical place of
    religious lifein the United States, and the very fact of such substantive dialogue between bishops and religious women has been mutually beneficial and blessing from the Lord. As we state in our joint final report, aThe commitment of L.C.W.R. leadership to its crucial role in service to the mission and membership of the Conference will continue to guide and strengthen L.C.W.R.'s witness to the great vocation of Religious Life, to its sure foundation in Christ, and to ecclesial communion'. The other two Bishop Delegates and I are grateful for the opportunity to be involved in such a fruitful dialogue."

    ___________________________________________________________

    Presentation of the Annuarium Pontificium
    Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) - The Annuarium Pontificium 2015 and the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2013 have been issued this morning. The former reveals some new aspects of the life of the Church that have emerged between February 2014 and February 2015, and the latter illustrates the changes that took place in 2013.
    The statistics referring to the year 2013, show the dynamics of the Catholic Church in the world's 2,989 ecclesiastical circumscriptions. It may be seen that
    in this period one diocese and two eparchies have been elevated to the level of
    metropolitan sees; three new episcopal sees, three eparchies and one archiepiscopal exarchate have been erected; one territorial prelature has been elevated to a diocese, and one apostolic prefecture to an apostolic vicariate.
    Since 2005, the number of Catholics worldwide has increased from 1,115 million
    to 1,254 million, an increase of 139 million faithful. During the last two years, the presence of baptised Catholics in the world has increased from 17.3%
    to 17.7%.
    There has been a 34% increase in Catholics in Africa, which has experienced a population increase of 1.9% between 2005 and 2013. The increase of Catholics in
    Asia (3.2% in 2013, compared to 2.9% in 2005) has been higher than that of population growth in Asia. In America Catholics continue to represent 63% of a growing population. In Europe, where the population is stagnant, there has been
    a slight increase in the number of baptised faithful in recent years. The percentage of baptised Catholics in Oceania remains stable although in a declining population.
    From 2012 to 2013 the number of bishops has increased by 40 from 5,133 to 5,173. In North America and Oceania there has been a reduction of 6 and 5 bishops respectively, in contrast to an increase of 23 in the rest of the American continent, 5 in Africa, 14 in Asia and 9 in Europe.
    The number of priests, diocesan and religious, increased from 414,313 in 2012 to 415,348 in 2013.
    Candidates to the priesthood - diocesan and religious - dropped from 120,616 in
    2011 to 118,251 in 2013 (-2%). An increase of 1.5% is recorded in Africa, compared to a decrease of 0.5% in Asia, 3.6% in Europe and 5.2% in North America.
    The number of permanent deacons continues to grow well, passing from 33,391 in
    2005 to 43,000 in 2013. They are present in North America and Europe in particular (96.7%), with the remaining 2.4% distributed between Africa, Asia and
    Oceania.
    The number of professed religious other than priests has grown by 1%, from 54,708 in 2005 to 55,000 in 2013. They have increased in number in Africa by 6%
    and Asia by 30%, and decreased in America (2,8%), Europe (10.9%) and Oceania (2%). The significant reduction in women religious is affirmed: currently 693,575 compared to 760,529 in 2005: -18.3% in Europe, -17.1 % in Oceania, and -15.5 in America. However, an increase of 18% in Africa and 10% in Asia is recorded.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Montenegro to take possession of his titular church
    Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Sunday, 19 April at 11.30 a.m., Cardinal Francesco Montenegro, archbishop of Agrigento, Italy, will take possession of the title of Santi Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Celio (Piazza San Gregorio, 1).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Twenty-seven prelates of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth of Kisumu;
    - Bishop Norman King'oo Wambua of Bungoma;
    - Bishop Cornelius Kipng'eno Arap Korir of Eldoret;
    - Bishop Philip A. Anyolo of Homa Bay;
    - Bishop Joseph Obanyi Sagwe of Kakamega;
    - Bishop Joseph Mairura Okemwa of Kisii;
    - Bishop Maurice Anthony Crowley, S.P.S., of Kitale;
    - Bishop Dominic Kimengich of Lodwar;
    - Archbishop Martin Musonde Kivuva of Mombasa;
    - Bishop Paul Darmanin, O.F.M. Cap., of Garissa, with his coadjutor, Bishop Joseph Alessandro;
    - Bishop Emanuel Barbara, O.F.M. Cap., of Malindi;
    Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi;
    - Bishop Emanuel Okombo Wandera of Kericho;
    - Bishop Anthony Muheria of Kitui;
    - Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of Nakuru;
    - Bishop John Oballa Owaa of Ngong;
    - Archbishop Peter J. Kairo of Nyeri;
    - Bishop Paul Kariuki Njiru of Embu;
    - Bishop Virgilio Pante of Maralal;
    - Bishop Peter Kihara Kariuki, I.M.C., of Marsabit;
    - Bishop Salesius Mugambi of Meru;
    - Bishop James Maria Wainaina Kungu of Muranga;
    - Bishop Joseph Mbatia of Nyahururu, with Bishop emeritus Luigi Paiaro;
    - Bishop Alfred Kipkoech Arap Rotich, military ordinary;
    - Bishop Anthony Ireri Mukobo, I.M.C., apostolic vicar of Isiolo.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Msgr. Werner Freistetter as military ordinary of Austria (priests 12, permanent deacons 3, religious 4), Austria. The bishop-elect was born in Linz, Austria in 1953 and was ordained a priest in 1979. He studied theology in
    Vienna and in Rome at the Germanic-Hungarian College, and has held a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar and parish priest in Vienna, assistant at
    the Institute of Ethical and Social Sciences at the Catholic Faculty of the University of Vienna, collaborator in the Pontifical Council for Culture, and member of the Holy See Representation at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (O.S.C.E.). He is currently director of the Institut fur Religion und Friede and episcopal vicar of the Austrian Military Ordinariate, and spiritual assistant of the Catholic International Military Apostolate. He succeeds Bishop Christian Werner, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same military ordinary in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
    - appointed Msgr. Wilhelm Krautwaschl as bishop of Graz-Seckau (area 16,401, population 1,210,971, Catholics 853,594, priests 449, permanent deacons 69, religious 722), Austria. The bishop-elect was born in Gleisdorf, Austria in 1963
    and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Graz, and has served as deputy priest and parish priest in numerous parishes in the diocese of Graz-Seckau, and as dean of the deanery of Bruck an der Mur. He is currently rector of the seminary of Graz and responsible
    for vocational pastoral ministry, and judge at the diocesan tribunal.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    Charity and other associations present in the diocese of Rome. The event will also be attended by detainees from the Rebibbia prison and various inhabitants of camps for nomadic peoples. Elderly people, families and young people from the
    Roman parishes have also been invited, especially those from the quarters afflicted by material and spiritual difficulties.
    An invitation is required to attend the concert. These are entirely free and may be obtained online before 8 May by compiling the form on the website of the
    Choir of the Diocese of Rome, at http://www.corodiocesidiroma.com/concerto-aula-paolo-vi.html. During the press conference, Msgr. Diego Ravelli, head of the office of the Apostolic Almoner, explained that this will be a concert not only "with" the poor but rather "for"
    the poor, as the donations made by the sponsors and all those who wish to offer
    an economic contribution will be destined for Pope Francis' charitable works. This task is entrusted to the Apostolic Almoner, whose mission is explained below, and which receives every day a great number of letters from needy people
    and families, a number that has increased along with the economic crisis, rising
    unemployment and the phenomenon of immigration. All these letters are authenticated by parish priests and other ecclesiastical authorities, to whom as
    guarantors the economic assistance will be given, to be devolved to the people concerned, "as it is important for the Pope's concrete gesture to be integrated
    with the solidarity of the local Church and Christian parish community".
    "Aid will be modest as it is hoped it will reach the largest possible number of
    people", he continued. "The Almoner's Office also supports associations devoted
    to alleviating the suffering of different groups of people in difficulties, such
    as the homeless, political refugees, prisoners, overseas university students, hospital inpatients, the elderly, single mothers and orphaned or abandoned children. Similarly, again with modest subsidies, it also intervenes outside Italy, especially in the poorest countries, to support initiatives of a charitable nature promoted by bishops and diocesan or religious priests. Particular attention is also given to cloistered women religious, who often lack
    sufficient economic resources for everyday needs or to face extraordinary or unexpected maintenance work on community buildings".
    "In total, the sum that the Apostolic Almoner distributed in 2014 exceeded one
    and a half million Euros", said Msgr. Rivelli, who went on to remark that when Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Konrad Krajewski in 2013 he instructed him to
    reach out to the poor, not to wait for them to ask for help, and to "leave his desk to go in search of them beyond the office walls".
    "All this is possible thanks to the charity fund available to the Almoner, made
    up of donations from private individuals and groups or bodies, or collections organised for the purpose, and offers directly from the hands of the Holy Father, who receives contributions for his charity during the general audiences
    and from meetings with pilgrims. The majority of the funds, however, come from the faculty, delegated to the Almoner by Pope Leo XIII, to grant apostolic blessings in the form of documents on parchment to the faithful who request them
    for certain occasions".

    ___________________________________________________________

    New commission for Vatican communications
    Vatican City, 30 April 2015 (VIS) - During the last meeting of the Council of Cardinals to assist the Holy Father 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 (13-15 April 2015), the final report of the committee
    charged with proposing reform of Vatican communications, the so-called Vatican Media Committee (VMC), was examined.
    The Council of Cardinals subsequently proposed to His Holiness the institution
    of a commission to study this final report and to suggest feasible approaches to
    its implementation. The proposal was favourably accepted by the Holy Father, who
    on 23 April decided to institute the commission and to appoint its members.
    The new commission will be chaired by Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano, director of the Vatican Television Centre, and its members will be: Paolo Nusiner, director
    general of the daily newspaper "Avvenire", Nuova Editoriale Italiana, Milan; Msgr. Lucio Adrian Ruiz, head of the Vatican Internet Service, directorate of Telecommunications of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., director of "La Civilta Cattolica"; and Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The international community must not resign itself to the tragedy of Christians
    in the Middle East
    Vatican City, 30 April 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, spoke yesterday at the opening of the Symposium "Christians in the Middle East: what future?", organised by the Sant'Egidio Community and the archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto, Italy.
    In his address, the cardinal remarked that many Christians in the East, hearing
    just a few days ago the story of Pilate's famous gesture of washing his hands, "may have thought of the indifference and inaction to which the international community appears to have resigned itself before the tragedies that have for some years now been wearing away at Syria and Iraq". He added, "it is also saddening to see the incapacity of leaders in Lebanon, even those who are Christians, to arrive at consensus on the new president on the basis of a line of conduct due less to conscience than to the weighty influences of the forces that compete for supremacy in the area".
    "We trust, however, that in the heart of all people, both in the West and in the East, the governor Pilate's poignant question remains alive: 'Quid est veritas?', 'What is truth?', followed by his search and service to it. The truth
    is first and foremost an act of removing every veil and covering from reality. It cannot be denied that if a solution has not yet been found it is certainly because the problems are many and complex, and also touch upon the internal relations between the different groups of Muslim faithful and between them and other religions present in the region, including Christians. But it is also legitimate to think that there are interests and balances of power and wealth that go before - seemingly without conceding a step - the mere survival, rather
    than the well-being, of the populations. And this is a scandal: let us remember
    what the Lord says, still today, to all the Cains on earth: 'What have you done?
    The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground'.
    Cardinal Sandri went on to mention that every year he launches an appeal, on behalf of the Holy Father, for support and aid to Christians in the Holy Land, term that designates not only those who live within the borders of the State of
    Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but also all the places linked to salvation history, the area of Mesopotamia and Persia, where the apostles preached, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, where the Holy Family sought refuge.
    "But mentioning a presence thus configured must be an indication of a method also for discussion at other levels", he added. "It is not possible to speak of
    stability in the Middle East without reference to the age-old question of Israel
    and Palestine, accepting that Christians are permitted to live relatively peacefully in both territories. On the other hand, there must be no doubt regarding the need for all States, including Israel, to exist and be protected,
    not threatened. It is the task of Christian pastors throughout the Middle East to help their faithful to grow in this knowledge, pouring abundant oil of consolation, forgiveness and mercy on the wounds of the recent past. If we do not move in this direction, there is no doubt that power-crazed groups such as ISIS will multiply, especially as they are supported with arms and resources by
    various interested parties".
    "The West appears to have lost, over the centuries, the capacity for conceiving
    of itself within a healthy religious framework of reference, and increasingly favours an exasperated secular model, if not indeed a true 'eclipse of God'. The
    destruction and horrors of the Middle East - which some wish to attribute exclusively to the religious factors - must not become an excuse to confirm this
    partial and mistaken vision, but rather a stimulus for rethinking the coexistence of and collaboration between different sectors of society for the full development of humanity", concluded the prefect.
    The participants in the symposium subsequently attended the Basilica of St. Nicholas, patron of Bari, where they prayed for the saint's intercession to bring an end to the suffering of Christians in the Middle East and to accompany
    the work of the Pan-Orthodox Council, to be held in Turkey in 2016.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 30 April 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience
    Bishop Robert Francis Provost, apostolic administrator of Chiclayo, Peru.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 30 April 2015 (VIS) - We inform our readers that tomorrow, Friday
    1 May, feast of St. Joseph the Worker and a holiday in the Vatican, the Vatican
    Information Service bulletin will not be transmitted. Service will resume on Monday, 4 May.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    who,in transmitting the life of faith, support Christian communities and, in particular, our parishes in a decisive way. On June 12, we will have a large gathering for the sick and disabled, as well as for those who care for them with
    such love and dedication. On November 6, we will celebrate the Jubilee for those
    in prison. This will be held not only in prisons but we have been studying the possibility of giving many of those in prison the opportunity to celebrate their
    own Holy Year with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica.
    "Secondly, there will significant efforts to enact Pope Francis vision and witness of reaching out to those on the existential 'peripheries' of society, in
    order to give a direct testimony to the Church's affinity and care for the poor,
    the suffering, the marginalised, and all those who need a sign of tenderness. These moments will have a symbolic meaning, but we will also ask bishops and priests to perform in their own dioceses similar symbolic gestures of communion
    with Pope Francis so that everyone may receive a concrete sign of the Church's ministry of mercy and closeness. As a concrete sign of the Pope's charitable love, which is an essential component of this Jubilee, effective measures will be taken to meet real needs in the world that will express mercy through tangible assistance.
    "Thirdly, we must meet the needs of the many pilgrims who will come alone to Rome apart from any organised tour or tour group. For these individuals, there will be a number of churches in the historic centre of Rome where they will feel
    welcome, where they can have moments of reflective prayer and prepare themselves
    thoroughly to walk through the Holy Door in an atmosphere of genuine spiritual devotion. All the pilgrims who will come to Rome, however, will have a privileged route through which to walk through the Holy Door. This is necessary
    in order to ensure that the event is lived in a religious way, safe from any climate of abuse that can easily confront millions of people making a pilgrimage
    to Christian holy sites.
    "The official website for the Jubilee has already been launched: www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va, and can be accessed also at www.im.va. The site is available in seven languages: Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French,
    German, and Polish. On the site you will find official information regarding the
    calendar of the major public events, information for participating in the events
    with the Holy Father, and all of the official communications regarding the Jubilee. Also, through the site,dioceses will be able to receive information and
    pastoral suggestions, register pilgrimage groups, andrelay to us their local diocesan projects. The website uses a number of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Flickr) through which we will be able to provide updates on the Holy Father's initiative and follow in real time the major events as they take place. We have also been studying the possibility of an app with which to better integrate all this information".
    Archbishop Fisichella concluded, "We are convinced that the path of mercy on which Pope Francis has placed the Church in this journey of the Jubilee will be
    a moment of true grace for all Christians and a reawakening to the path of the new evangelisation and the pastoral conversion the Pope has indicated. As Pope Francis wrote: 'In this Jubilee Year, may the Church echo the word of God that resounds strong and clear as a message and a sign of pardon, strength, aid, and
    love. May she never tire of extending mercy, and be ever patient in offering compassion and comfort. May the Church become the voice of every man and woman,
    and repeat confidently without end: Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old'".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Leonardo Sandri: signs of light in the churches of Iraq
    Vatican City, 5 May 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, concluded his visit to Iraq with a meeting with the bishops of the country with the entities that form the Roaco (Riunione Opere Aiuto Chiese Orientali", "Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches") in Erbil.
    The cardinal, in his second trip to Iraq, brought Pope Francis' blessing to Iraqi Christians the acknowledgement and encouragement of the Authorities for their work in the difficult current context of Iraq in favour of Christians, other minorities and those who suffer as a result of the violence. From 1 to 3 May Cardinal Sandri visited Baghdad where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Chaldean Cathedral of St. Joseph and lunched with refugees assisted by various ecclesial institutions. In Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, he met
    with the Roaco delegation which is planning aid projects in various areas of pastoral life and in the assistance of refugees.
    In his final address to the bishops in Erbil, the cardinal referred to the "signs of light" he had seen in the Churches of Iraq during his visit: "The liturgy, the hymns, the trust in Mary, but above all the splendour of charity, through ordinary works and those linked to the various forms of welcome and pastoral assistance to displaced and persecuted people. I have encountered first
    hand the heroic dedication of the many priests who are truly good pastors, who do not flee, who stay beside their flock; I have been moved by the profound communion that goes before any theological discussion, although the latter is necessary, and any other form of ecumenical agreement, when priests of different
    Christian churches wish well to each other and, along with the laypeople, organise aid activities for displaced persons, or guide educational paths in schools and parishes. It is also good to see the collaboration that the various
    agencies of the Roaco have offered in the planning and implementation phases for
    the good of all of you".
    "You are all members of the Synods of the respective patriarchal Churches", he
    affirmed, addressing the bishops. "Along with the patriarchs and in communion with them, seek to ensure that the ecclesial body grows with collaboration at every juncture. And I add: especially in this time of difficulty that Iraq is experiencing requires ever deeper communion between the Churches. I hope that this may occur between the Chaldean and Syro-Catholic Churches, which represent
    the majority, and between these two and the smaller Churches. Let us reject any
    form of isolation or self-referentiality, and I invite you to recognise and enhance the value of the assembly of Catholic bishops of Iraq and the assembly in which you gather with your brethren in the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Indeed, ensure that the logic of majority and minority that is causing so much harm to the country does not have implications within the confines of the Church, although I am sure that this danger is far removed from reality".
    Cardinal Sandri concluded his address by invoking the protection of Our Lady and of St. Peter for Pope Francis, "always so close to the Christians of the Middle East and to all those who are persecuted", and for their Beatitudes the Patriarchs Louis Raphael I Sako of the Chaldean Catholic Church, and Ignatius Joseph III Younan of the Syro-Catholic Church.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 5 May 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, Monday 4 May, the Holy Father received in audience Bishop Nunzio Galantino, secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    Composition and Members, Plenary Assembly, Personnel, Working Groups, and General Norms.
    The first part explains that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is an autonomous institution linked to the Holy See with a public legal personality and has an advisory function in the service of the Holy Father. The
    protection of minors, the text continues, is of the first importance, and therefore it is the role of the Commission to propose initiatives to the Pontiff, following the modalities indicated in the Statutes, to promote the responsibility of the particular Churches in the protection of all minors and vulnerable adults. These proposals will have to receive prior approval by the majority of two thirds of the members of the Commission. For the elaboration of
    the proposals, when the matter falls within the competence of other ecclesial bodies, the president of the Commission, with the assistance of the secretary, will consult the competent entities for the protection of minors in the particular Churches, the episcopal conferences, the conferences of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, as well as the dicastery of the Roman Curia competent in the matter. This consultation will
    take place in a transparent manner with the members of the Commission, based in
    Vatican City State.
    The Commission, according to the second part, is composed of a maximum of eighteen members appointed by the Holy Father for a three-year period, which may
    be reconfirmed, and are selected from persons of recognised competence in various areas linked to the activity entrusted to the Commission. Both the president and the secretary are appointed from among the members by the Holy Father for a period of three years, a mandate that may be reconfirmed.
    The plenary assembly, as explained in the third part, will be convoked twice yearly. Upon request by two thirds of the Members and with the consent of the president, an extraordinary plenary assembly may be convoked. For the plenary assembly to be considered valid, at least two thirds of the members must be present; they may participate via video conference.
    The members of the Commission, the personnel and the collaborators with the working groups, according to the final part, are required to observe the norms of professional secrecy regarding the news and information they become aware of
    in the exercise of their tasks and functions.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Publication of the Chirograph by which Pope Francis instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors
    Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) - To complete the publication of the Statutes, the Chirograph by which the Pope instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on 22 March 2014 was also published today.
    "The effective protection of minors and a commitment to ensure their human and
    spiritual development, in keeping with the dignity of the human person, are integral parts of the Gospel message that the Church and all members of the faithful are called to spread throughout the world. Many painful actions have caused a profound examination of conscience for the entire Church, leading us to
    request forgiveness from the victims and from our society for the harm that has
    been caused. This response to these actions is the firm beginning for initiatives of many different types, which are intended to repair the damage, to
    attain justice, and to prevent, by all means possible, the recurrence of similar
    incidents in the future.
    For these reasons, and after having received the counsel of many cardinals and
    members of the college of bishops, together with other collaborators and experts
    in these matters, I decided to continue the work begun by my Predecessors by establishing a permanent Commission attached to the Holy See. The aim of the Commission is to promote the protection of the dignity of minors and vulnerable
    adults, using the forms and methods, consonant with the nature of the Church, which they consider most appropriate, as well as through their cooperation with
    individuals and groups pursuing these same objectives.
    As I had the opportunity to highlight during an encounter with several victims
    of sexual abuse, I rely on the members of this Commission for the effective protection of minors and vulnerable adults, regardless of religion they profess,
    because they are the little ones on whom the Lord looks with love. To my collaborators in this work, I ask for all efforts possible to assist me in responding to these needs of these little ones.
    The Commission's specific task is to propose to me the most opportune initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults, in order that we may do
    everything possible to ensure that crimes such as those which have occurred are
    no longer repeated in the Church. The Commission is to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches, uniting their efforts to those of the
    Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the protection of all children and vulnerable adults.
    It is for all these reasons that I have instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
    All that is established with the present Chirograph has full and stable effect,
    anything to the contrary not notwithstanding, even if deserving of special mention".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope meets with a group of evangelical pastors
    Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father received in private a group of around one hundred Pentecostal evangelical pastors from various parts of the world, who had expressed their wish to meet him. The group
    was led by Pastor Giovanni Traettino, whose community the Pope visited in Caserta last year. The meeting took place in the room adjacent to the Paul VI Hall and was characterised by lively cordiality and a spirit of prayer for unity. The Holy Father was accompanied by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy;
    - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., emeritus secretary of State;
    - Cardinal Franc Rode, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Institutes
    of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life;
    - Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri May 15 08:24:02 2015
    and its fundamental nature as a game and social activity, ensuring that it does
    not become distorted under the pressure of many interests, especially those of an economic nature, which are increasingly evident nowadays".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Canonisation of Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas and Maryam Baouardy: a sign of hope for the men and women of the Middle East
    Vatican City, 15 May 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office Fr.
    Rifat Bader, director of the Catholic Centre for Studies and Media in Amman, Jordan, presented the figure of the Palestinian blesseds Sister Marie-Alphonsine
    Danil Ghattas, founder of the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, and
    the descalzed Carmelite Maryam Baouardy (Mary of Jesus Crucified). Along with another two women religious, the French Jeanne-Emilie de Villeneuve and the Italian Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception Brando, they will be canonised by Pope Francis this coming Sunday in St. Peter's Square.
    The solemn celebration will be attended by cardinals and bishops resident in Rome and from various parts of the world, including a delegation of 2124 people
    from the Palestine territories and Jordan headed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal. The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will also be present, along with numerous prelates from Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Cyprus.
    "Patriarch Fouad Twal affirmed that 'the declaration of the sainthood of the two nuns from Palestine is a spiritual event of prime importance for the citizens of the Holy Land, amid the difficulties we are experiencing, as the two
    saints enlighten our path'", said Fr. Badir. "As the Holy Land, wrecked by violence and dissent, has for some time had a tarnished image, our two saints emerge to restore its sanctity, reminding us that sanctity is possible even in the most difficult circumstances. The canonisation of the two girls from the East during these dark times is an invitation from His Holiness Pope Francis to
    pray, knowing that only prayer can miraculously help save our faith in the midst
    of these times of trial. Now we have two new saints who represent a model of perfection for Christians, as well as for Muslims and Jews alike. They are both
    named Mary, and this name is widespread and commonly used among all three traditions. It is a sign of our modern time which suggests that we can talk about the three religions without any discrimination".
    "This grand event", added Fr. Badir, "is a message of solidarity and encouragement to the Christians of the Holy Land, especially for those in all other Middle East countries, to those who have been forcibly displaced and deported from their home countries, and to all those who suffer persecution, and
    whose persecutors sometimes think that by killing they are offering a sacrifice
    to God, as Jesus Himself warned".
    The new saint Mary of Jesus Crucified was "subjected to acts of extremism and an attempt on her life, seeking to force her to change her religion. She now intercedes for those who are being killed because of their religion and their religious affiliation. Her life and intercession are a cry urging respect for religious and ethnic differences as well as acknowledging human beings as creatures who are made in the image and likeness of God". St. Marie-Alphonsine "succeeded in gaining the support of the religious authorities to set up the first Arab religious congregation, and placing the Arab world on the map in the
    fields of education and religious teaching".
    "Furthermore, the rosary schools associated with this Arab religious congregation have a prominent and influential presence in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, the Gulf states and Rome. We realise that during the late 19th and early 20th century this religious congregation contributed to increasing the Arab role in culture, social awareness, spiritual guidance and education of generations of men and women. Illiteracy has been eliminated in many parts of the Middle East as a direct result of the active contribution of nuns and religious congregations to literacy education".
    He concluded, "The two saintly nuns, whose canonisation coincides with the Church celebrations of the year of consecrated life and the blessed Marian Month
    of May, pray that the Lord would bring peace and calmness to our hearts and minds, and that we will return to worshipping the Almighty. ... We view the consecration of the founder of the Rosary Sisters as an invitation to intensify
    the daily Rosary prayers in Churches, houses, and parish groups to bring peace,
    love and mutual respect among all the peoples of the Middle East".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 15 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine
    of the Faith;
    - Daniel Ramada Piendibene, ambassador of Uruguay to the Holy See, on his farewell visit;
    - nine prelates of the Episcopal Conference of the Central African Republic on
    their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga, C.S.Sp., of Bangui;
    - Bishop Peter Marzinkowski, C.S.Sp., of Alindao, with his coadjutor, Bishop Cyr-Nestor Yapaupa;
    - Bishop Edouard Mathos of Bambari;
    - Bishop Dennis Kofi Agbenyadzi, S.M.A., of Berberati;
    - Bishop Nestor-Desire Nongo-aziagbia, S.M.A., of Bossangoa;
    - Bishop Armando Umberto Gianni, O.F.M. Cap., of Bouar;
    - Bishop Albert Vanbuel, S.D.B., of Kaga-Bandoro; and
    - Bishop Guerrino Perin, M.C.C.I., of Mbaiki.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 15 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Francescantonio Nole, O.F.M. Conv., of Tursi-Lagonegro, Italy, as metropolitan archbishop of Cosenza-Bisignano (area 2,537, population 384,000, Catholics 382,000, priests 230, permanent deacons 40, religious 377), Italy. He
    succeeds Archbishop Salvatore Nunnari, whose resignation from the pastoral care
    of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Msgr. Domenico Pompili as bishop of Rieti (area 1,818, population 99,046, Catholics 93,003, priests 96, deacons 15, religious 227), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Rome, Italy in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1988.
    He holds a licentiate and doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles in the diocese of Anagni-Alatri, including parish priest, special secretary to the bishop, director of the diocesan office for social communications and episcopal vicar for pastoral ministry. He is currently director of the national office for social communications of the Italian Episcopal Conference, under-secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference, secretary of the Communication and Culture Foundation, and lecturer in moral theology at the Pontifical Theological Leonian Institute of Anagni.
    Yesterday, Thursday 14 May, the Holy Father appointed Msgr. Patrick McKinney as
    bishop of Nottingham (area 13,000, population 4,535,000, Catholics 155,000, priests 163, permanent deacons 39, religious 92), England. The bishop-elect was
    born in Birmingham, England in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1978. He holds
    a licentiate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Birmingham, including parish assistant, teacher of fundamental theology and subsequently rector of the Seminary of St. Mary's, parish priest, episcopal vicar for the northern sector of Birmingham, and vicar forane of the deanery of Dudley. He was
    named Prelate of Honour of His Holiness in 1990.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    reaffirming the importance of combating terrorism, the need for interreligious dialogue was underlined.

    ___________________________________________________________

    "Never fail to listen to those who knock at your door", say the Pope to men and
    women religious in Rome
    Vatican City, 16 May 2015 (VIS) - Thousands of men and women religious from Rome - representing the 25 thousand who belong to the Pope's diocese - gathered
    in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall this morning to meet with the Holy Father, who spoke with them for over an hour, answering all their questions on consecrated life and its difficulties and joys, the relationship between the bearers of different charisms in the Church, and the rapport between cloistered monasteries
    and the outside world.
    The first question, asked by a nun, related to the balance between cloistered life and involvement in diocesan life, and between silent prayer and proclamation.
    "Your vocation is a tension between enclosure and visibility, between God's call to a hidden life and His call to make oneself visible in a certain way, to
    give a sign", answered the Pope. "One of the things you must never, ever leave behind is time to listen to people. ... It is important to have a connection with
    the world, to know what is happening, as your vocation is not a refuge: it is about going straight onto the battlefield, it is about fighting, calling to the
    heart of the Lord for your city. ... Like Moses who lifted his hands up in prayer
    as his people fought. There are also monasteries that set aside half an hour or
    an hour a day to give food to those who come to ask for it, and this does not go
    against enclosure in God. ... It is a service, it is a smile".
    The second question, again from a religious sister, concerned the similarities
    between marriage and consecrated virginity in the vocation to love, and the help
    that consecrated persons can offer Christian spouses and vice versa.
    "In female consecration there is a spousal element", said Francis. "It is present in male consecration too: we say that a bishop is the spouse of the Church, in Jesus' place. But do not forget that the Church is feminine: she is Jesus' bride. We often forget this, as we forget that the love of nuns is maternal, since the love of the Church is maternal, and the love of Our Lady is
    maternal. Faithfulness, the expression of the love of the consecrated woman, should - not as a duty but as a natural characteristic - reflect the faithfulness, love and tenderness of the Mother Church and the Mother Mary. ... It
    is the concrete love ... that we find in the Beatitudes. ... Jesus' plan is concrete. I often think that the Beatitudes are the Church's first encyclical".
    The third question, from a monk, was dedicated to the concrete collaboration between bearers of different charisms in the local Church, without friction or competition.
    "The Church is currently thinking of offering and restoring an old document on
    the relations between consecrated persons and the bishop", the Holy Father explained. "The 1994 Synod called for the document 'Mutuae relationes' (14 May 1978). Many years have passed and it has not been done. The relationship between
    consecrated persons and the bishop, the diocese and priests is not an easy one.
    However it is necessary to face this task together. In the prefectures, how does
    one work on the pastoral plan for this quarter, all together? So it should be in
    the Church too. The bishop should not use consecrated persons as substitutes, and equally the religious should not see the bishop as the head of a company providing work".
    The last question regarded the accompaniment and spiritual direction of consecrated persons, over 80% of whom are women.
    "The accompaniment of men and women religious can be a problem", acknowledged the Pope. "In my former diocese, I always said to the nuns who came to ask for advice, 'Tell me, in your community or your congregation, is there not a wise sister, one who lives the charism well, a good sister with experience, who might
    be your spiritual guide?'. 'But she is a woman! But it is a charism of the laity'. Yes, spiritual direction is not the exclusive charism of presbyters: it
    is a charism of the laity. In primitive monasticism the laity were the great directors. ... The spiritual director is one thing, the confessor is another. tell the confessor my sins ... but I tell the spiritual director what is happening
    in my heart. ... Superiors have the responsibility of finding those in the community, in the congregation, and in the province, who have this charism, of giving them this mission and of forming them and helping them in this. ... I think
    that in this respect, however, we are still immature".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pontifical Council for the Family presents the initiative "The Great Mystery: the Gospel of the family, school of humanity for our times"
    Vatican City, 16 May 2015 (VIS) - This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office for the presentation of the project "The Great Mystery: the Gospel of the Family, school of humanity for our times", promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Family and by Maestro Andrea Bocelli. It is series of events, in particular light and sound shows, to take place in different European cities during the year dedicated to reflection on the family
    in view of the upcoming Synod assembly in October. The speakers at the conference were Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for
    the Family, the tenor Andrea Bocelli, and Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, the first city to host the event in the Basilica of the
    Sagrada Familia.
    Cardinal Martinez Sistach recalled the universal dimension of Barcelona's basilica, which is visited by more than three million people every year, and its
    wealth of biblical, theological and liturgical symbolism. He emphasised that the
    initiative of the Pontifical Council, which will open during a time dedicated to
    the holy family, will propose, through beauty, music and thought, to "present the beauty and transcendence of the mystery of the Christian family, which consists of an intimate community of life and love between spouses and between parents, children, brothers and sisters, in the bosom of a much larger family, in society and in the Church. The great virtues and values of today's Christian
    family are necessary and very urgent. We must not forget that Vatican Council II, speaking of marriage and the family, tells us that the well-being of people,
    society and the Church are strictly linked to the prosperity of the conjugal and
    family communities".
    "The basilica of the Sagrada Familia is a manifestation of the great mystery of
    God and man", explained the archbishop of Barcelona. "In our time, in which man
    attempts to build a life without God, as if He had nothing to say to us, this magnificent temple has great meaning. Gaudi, in his masterpiece, shows us that God is the true measure of man. That the secret of his authentic originality resides, as he himself said, in returning to his origins, which are God. The basilica, in the middle of this great city, a space of beauty, faith and hope, leads man to the encounter with He Who is Truth and Beauty itself".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 16 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father received in separate audiences:
    - Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference;
    - Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello, apostolic nuncio in Hungary;
    - Archbishop Nicola Girasoli apostolic nuncio in Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Grenada, in the Co-operative
    Republic of Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Santa Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname; apostolic delegate in the Antilles;
    - Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, president of the Supervisory Board of the Institute
    for the Works of Religion.
    - Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, penitentiary major, with the regent of the apostolic
    penitentiary, Msgr. Krzysztof Josef Nykiel.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 16 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Rev. Dariusz Buras
    as apostolic administrator of Atyrau (area 747,600, population 2,395,000, Catholics 2,000, priests 8, religious 4), Kazakhstan. Rev. Buras was born in Skrzyszow, Poland in 1971 and was ordained a priest in 1998. He has served as parish vicar of the Cathedral Church of Oslo and head of continuing formation of
    the priests of the diocese of Tarnow, Poland in service in Norway.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    barriers or walls behind which we can hide to protect ourselves from the effects
    of environmental and social degradation. There is no room for the globalisation
    of indifference, the economy of exclusion or the throwaway culture so often denounced by Pope Francis.Of course, the path is not easy, since this ethical and moral responsibility calls into question the resetting of the development model, requiring a major political and economic commitment. However, as I said to the UN Climate Summit on 23 September 2014, 'the technological and operational bases needed to facilitate this mutual responsibility are already available or within our reach. We have the capacity to start and strengthen a true and beneficial process which will irrigate, as it were, through adaptation
    and mitigation activities, the field of economic and technological innovation where it is possible to cultivate two interconnected objectives: combating poverty and easing the effects of climate change'".
    Cardinal Parolin concluded by conveying Pope Francis' best wishes to the participants, and his hope that "the discussions and reflections of this Conference may contribute to further and deepen reflection on the meaning of the
    economy and its goals, as well as to finding ways to guarantee access to a truly
    integral human development for all, especially the poor and the future generations".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See at the 68th Assembly of the World Health Organisation
    Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the
    Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers and head of the
    Holy See delegation at the 68th Assembly of the World Health Organisation, held
    in Geneva from 18 to 26 May, participated in the debate on the Ebola virus epidemic which has claimed 9,380 lives out of a total of more than 23,000 cases
    of contagion throughout the world, mainly in West Africa.
    "The Holy See delegation wishes to note the importance and the timeliness of the theme for the general discussion", said the archbishop. "The recent Ebola outbreak was a human and public health tragedy, which, among others, showed that
    the need to build resilient health systems cannot be over emphasised, as they are essential for the provision of universal health coverage and for a prompt response to outbreaks of disease".
    "Unfortunately, most low income countries, which are still afflicted by infectious disease and epidemics, have very poor health systems that need urgent
    intervention, if they are to respond to the health needs of the whole population. ... This requires long-term commitment from national governments and
    international donors to support resilient health systems and to ensure universal
    coverage of health services, thus strengthening the capacity of national health
    systems to deliver equitable and quality health-care services, and also stepping
    up their ability to respond to outbreaks and to improve community ownership and
    participation. This means short and long-term investment in a number of key elements of the health system; particularly, improved primary health care, an adequate number of trained health workers, availability of medicine, appropriate
    infrastructure, update statistical data, sufficient public financing, public-private partnership and scaling up the number of well-equipped health posts and district hospitals. It is also a challenge to donors to make a shift from short-term program funding to long-term comprehensive health service financing".
    "The recent report on Global evidence on inequities in rural health protection,
    by the International Labour Office, revealed that more than half of the population in rural areas worldwide does not have access to basic healthcare, with many of them at risk of impoverishment or deepened poverty due to out of pocket payment for services. This is clear evidence that, in 2015, we are still
    a long way from universal coverage. For various reasons, there are strong inequalities in access to healthcare between the rural and urban areas, with the
    latter often more advantaged than the former which are most deprived. Embracing
    the recommendation of the report, my delegation wishes to note the urgent need to address this rural urban divide in the post-2015 Development Agenda, bearing
    in mind that "human life is always sacred and always has aquality'".
    "In many countries, the Catholic Church is privileged to be one of the primary
    partners of the State in providing much needed health care services to populations in remote areas, through its over 110,000 health and social-welfare
    institutions around the world", he concluded. "It is therefore important to offer them the necessary collaboration and support so as to enable them to bring
    the services close and to render them accessible to poor people in particular. Indeed, in many low-income countries, the contribution of civil society and communities to health services delivery is fundamental".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Alto Solimoes, Brazil, presented by Bishop Evangelista Alcimar Caldas Magalhaes, O.F.M. Cap., upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Adolfo Zon Pereira, S.X., coadjutor of the same diocese.
    - appointed Fr. Paulo Jackson Nobrego de Sousa as bishop of Garanhuns (area 8,734, population 677,000, Catholics 609,000, priests 60, permanent deacons 7, religious 94), France. The bishop-elect was born in Sao Jose de Espinharas, Brazil in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a licentiate in Biblical Sciences from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, and a doctorate
    in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Patos, Brazil, including
    parish administrator, parish vicar, rector of the diocesan seminary, formator of
    major seminarians at the archdiocesan seminary of Joao Pessoa, diocesan pastoral
    coordinator, and parish priest. He has also served as national secretary of the
    Organisation of Seminaries and Philosophical and Theological Institutes of Brazil. He is currently professor of sacred scripture at the Pontifical Catholic
    University of Minas Gerais, parish priest of the "Senhor Bom Jesus do Horto" parish in Belo Horizonte, and formator of seminarians in Patos.
    - appointed Bishop Laurent Dognin, auxiliary of Bordeaux, France, as bishop of
    Quimper (area 6,785, population 899,870, Catholics 733,000, priests 271, permanent deacons 33, religious 582), France.
    - appointed Bishop Pedro Cunha Cruz, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as coadjutor of the diocese of Campanha (area 15,420, population 780,000, Catholics 762,000, priests 116, religious 181), Brazil.
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Hamburg, Germany, presented by Bishop Norbert Werbs upon reaching the age limit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    that a just society recognises the primacy of the right to life from conception
    to natural end. However, I would like us to go beyond this, and to think carefully about the time that joins the beginning to the end. Therefore, recognising the inestimable value of human life, we must also reflect on the use
    we make of it".
    Francis emphasised that the measure of the progress of a civilisation is "its capacity to protect life, especially in its most fragile phases, rather than the
    spread of technological tools. When we speak about man, we must never forget all
    the assaults on the sacredness of human life. The scourge of abortion is an assault on life. Leaving our brothers to die on boats in the Sicilian straits is
    an assault on life. Death at work due to a failure to respect the minimum safety
    requirements is an assault on life. Death due to hunger is an assault on life. Terrorism, war, violence are all assaults on life, as is is euthanasia".
    "I encourage you to relaunch a culture of life, that knows how to establish networks of trust and reciprocity, and how to offer prospects of peace, mercy and communion", he concluded.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis receives the passengers of the "Children's Train"
    Vatican City, 1 June 2015 (VIS) - "Never stop dreaming ... You can fly with your
    dreams, and dreaming opens the doors to happiness"; said Pope Francis to the six
    hundred children on the "Children's Train", an initiative of the Courtyard of the Gentiles in support of children who live in difficult situations. This year
    it was dedicated to the children of detainees in the Italian penitentiaries of Roma, Civitavecchia, Latina, Bari and Trani, on the theme "Flight".
    The train, on which two-hundred children travelled from Bari and Trani, arrived
    at the Vatican railway station, where they joined those already present from the
    other three provinces. Upon arrival they were welcomed by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and Michele Mario Elia, director of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane SpA, the Italian rail network infrastructure company.
    The Holy Father met with the passengers of the train in the Paul VI Hall, and spoke with them on the theme of flight, inviting them to fly with their imagination to be with their families and to fulfil their dreams.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope receives a group of sick children: "You are life's heroes"
    Vatican City, 30 May 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Pope received in audience a group of twenty seriously
    ill children, accompanied by their parents, along with volunteers and leaders from the UNITALSI association, which organises pilgrimages to Lourdes and Loreto. The majority of the children were aged between seven and 14 years, although there were also some as young as two and three.
    The Pope approached each child affectionately. One of the children then spoke to the Holy Father about a similar previous meeting two years ago, recalling all
    those who had been present and some who have passed away in the meantime, and assured him that they have all prayed a lot for the Pope, as he had asked them too.
    The Holy Father went on to speak about the mystery of the suffering of children. "It is a question I often ask myself, and which many of you, many people, ask themselves: why do children suffer? And there are no explanations. ...
    I simply look to God and ask, 'But why?'. And looking at the Cross: 'Why is Your
    Son there, why?' It is the mystery of the Cross. ... I also often think of the Virgin when as they brought her the lifeless body of her Son. ... She did not understand either. She would have recalled what the Angel had told her: 'He will
    be King, He will be great, He will be a prophet'. With that wounded body in her
    arms, that had suffered so greatly before death, she would surely have wanted to
    say to the Angel: 'Liar! I have been deceived'. She had no answers either".
    "Do not be afraid of asking, indeed even challenging the Lord. 'Why?'", he exclaimed. "Perhaps no explanation will come, but the gaze of the Father will give you the strength to go on. ... The only explanation He will be able to give
    you is: 'My son suffered too'. This is the explanation. The most important is his gaze. This is your strength, the loving gaze of the Father".
    "In a world in which it is so normal to experience a throwaway culture - if we
    are not happy with something we discard it - you live this situation ... with heroism. ... You are the little heroes of life. I thank you for your example", affirmed the Pope, visibly moved. "I pray for you, for these mixed feelings of joy and sadness. ... The Lord knows how to comfort you in your suffering in a special way".
    Those present then prayed a Hail Mary and received the Pope's blessing. He continued the meeting by talking with each child and their parents. The group left the Domus Sanctae Marthae at 6 p.m.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Fr. Lombardi issues clarification on Cardinal George Pell
    Vatican City, 1 June 2015 (VIS) - In response to questions from journalists, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., explained that the statement made by Mr. Peter Saunders (one of the 17 members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors) during a television broadcast was evidently given in an entirely personal way and not on behalf of the Commission, which is not competent to investigate or to pronounce specific judgements on individual cases.
    Moreover, Cardinal George Pell has always responded carefully and thoroughly to
    the accusations and questions posed by the competent Australian authorities, and
    his position has been made known again in recent days by a public declaration on
    his part, which must be considered reliable and worthy of respect and attention.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 31 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Paolo Gualtieri, apostolic nuncio in Madagascar.
    On Saturday 30 May, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - Archbishop Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte of Trujillo, Peru.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 1 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Gustavo Rodriguez Vega of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, as metropolitan archbishop of Yucatan (area 39,612, population 2,064,151, Catholics 1,655,449, priests 237, permanent deacons 37, religious 700), Mexico. He succeeds Archbishop Emilio Carlos Berlie Belaunzaran, whose resignation upon reaching the
    age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    On Saturday 30 May, the Holy Father appointed:
    - Bishop Orlando Roa Barbosa, auxiliary of Ibague, Colombia, as bishop of Espinal (area 14,000, population 484,000, Catholics 437,000, priests 92, religious 71), Colombia.
    - Rev. Fr. Eugene Joseph as bishop of Varanasi (area 21,296, population 21,165,000, Catholics 19,536, priests 154, religious 675), India. The bishop-elect was born in Madurai, India in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a bachelor's degree in education from the Gorakhpur University, Varanasi; a master's degree in English from the Mahatma Gandhi K.V. University,
    Varanasi, and a masters in business administration from the Townsend School of Business, New York, U.S.A.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    has sent a telegram of condolences on behalf of the Holy Father to Bishop Joseph
    Osei-Bonsu of Konongo-Mampong, president of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference, for the many victims of the explosion and subsequent fire in a petrol station in Accra.
    "Deeply saddened to learn of the tragic incident at a petrol station in Accra in which so many people died or were seriously injured, the Holy Father sends heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the deceased and injured, to the authorities and to the entire nation. His Holiness commends the souls of the departed to Almighty God and willingly invokes the divine gifts of consolation and strength upon those who mourn and upon all who have been affected by this tragedy".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Solemnity of Corpus Christi: the Eucharist is not a reward for the good
    Vatican City, 5 June 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday, on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), the Holy Father celebrated Holy Mass before thousands of people at the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The Eucharist the procession began, led by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome, along the Via Merulana to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where the Pope imparted his solemn blessing with the Holy Sacrament.
    In his homily, the Pope recalled that during the Last Supper, Jesus gives us His Body and Blood in the bread and wine, to leave us the memorial of His sacrifice of infinite love, and by means of this 'viaticum', full of grace, the
    disciples have everything that is necessary for their path through history, to extend the kingdom of God to all. As the responsory of today's liturgy shows, "See in this bread the body of Christ which hung upon the cross, and in this cup
    the blood which flowed from His side. Take His body, then, and eat it; take His
    blood and drink it, and you will become His members. The body of Christ is the bond which unites you to Him: eat it, or you will have no part in Him. The blood
    is the price He paid for your redemption: drink it, lest you despair of your sinfulness".
    Francis explained the meaning today of being torn from Him and of despairing, as cowards. "We are torn from Him when we are not obedient to the Word of the Lord, when we do not live brotherhood between us, when we race to occupy the first places, ... when we find the courage to witness to charity, when we are unable to offer hope. The Eucharist allows us to be not torn from Him, for it is
    the bond of communion, is the fulfilment of the Covenant ... that we might remain
    united. ... The Christ present in our midst, in the signs of bread and wine, requires that the power of love exceed every laceration, and at the same time that it become communion with the poor, support for the weak, fraternal attention to those who are struggling to carry the weight of everyday life and are in danger of losing faith".
    To be cowardly, to despair of our sinfulness, he said, "means to let ourselves
    be affected by the idolatries of our time: appearance, consumption, the self at
    the centre of everything; but also being competitive, arrogance as the winning attitude, the idea that one never need admit to a mistake or to find oneself in
    need. All this demeans us, makes us mediocre, lukewarm, insipid Christians, pagans".
    "Jesus shed his blood as a ransom and as a lavacrum - a cleansing agent, that we might be purified of all sins", he continued, "that we might be preserved from the risk of corruption. ... The Blood of Christ will ... give us back our dignity. ... We will be His eyes that go in search of Zacchaeus and of the Magdalene; we will be His hand who helps the sick in body and spirit; we will be
    His heart that loves those in need of reconciliation and understanding. ... In this way we understand that the Eucharist is not a reward for the good, but rather strength for the weak, for sinners. It is forgiveness, the viaticum that
    helps us on our way".
    "Today, the feast of Corpus Christi, we have the joy not only of celebrating this mystery, but also of praising Him and singing in the streets of our city",
    he continued. "May the procession we will make at the end of the Mass, express our gratitude for all the journey that God has allowed us to make through the desert of our poverty, to take us out of slavery, by nourishing us with His love
    through the Sacrament of his Body and the Blood. Soon, as we walk the streets, let us perceive ourselves in communion with our many brothers and sisters who do
    not have the freedom to express their faith in the Lord Jesus. Let us feel that
    we are united with them, let us sing with them, praise with them, worship with them. And we venerate in our hearts those brothers and sisters who have been asked to sacrifice their lives for their fidelity to Christ. May their blood, united to that of the Lord, be a pledge of peace and reconciliation for the whole world".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis' new encyclical to be published on 18 June
    Vatican City, 5 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office Bulletin today reports that Pope Francis' new encyclical will be published on Thursday 18 June.
    Further information on its presentation will shortly be made available in the Bulletin.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 5 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father received in audience:
    - Michelle Bachelet Jeria, president of the Republic of Chile, and entourage;
    - Archbishop Leon Kalenga Badikebele, apostolic nuncio in El Salvador and in Belize;
    - Claudio Descalzi, chief executive officer of ENI SpA., with his family.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 5 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Cologne, Germany, presented by Bishop Manfred Melzer, in accordance with canons
    401 para. 2 and 411 of the Code of Canon Law.
    - Fr. Oscar Munera Ochoa as apostolic vicar of Tierradentro (area 2,087, population 68,000, Catholics 64,000, priests 15, religious 17), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in San Pedro de los Milagros, Colombia in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate in philosophy and religious sciences at the Catholic University of Oriente, Colombia and a diploma in "Missione ad gentes y etnias" from the Pontifical Xavierian University, Bogota,
    Colombia. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Santa Rosa de Osos, including parish vicar, spiritual director and subsequently rector
    of the Apostolic School in Liborina, diocesan delegate for youth and vocational
    pastoral ministry, director of the department of youth in the Episcopal Conference of Colombia; episcopal vicar for the western sector of the diocese; vicar for pastoral ministry and bursar, and director of the department for missions of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia. He is currently parish priest
    of the "Senor de los Milagros de San Pedro" parish.
    - appointed Libero Milone as auditor general of the Holy See and Vatican City State.
    On Thursday 4 June, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, auxiliary of the Xuan Loc, Vietnam, as coadjutor of the same diocese.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 5 June 2015 (VIS) - A special edition of the Vatican Information
    Service bulletin will be transmitted tomorrow, Saturday 6 June, on the occasion
    of Pope Francis' apostolic trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    he was awaited by more than sixty thousand people to participate in the Holy Mass. The readings were dedicated to peace and justice, and the ceremony took place in the Croatian language. In his homily (which he pronounced in Italian, with translations in Croatian), the Holy Father emphasised that peace is God's plan for humanity, and again denounced those who seek confrontation between cultures and civilizations; citing the prophet Isaiah, he reiterated that if the
    work of justice is peace, then that peace is built by hand, day by day. The following is the full text of his homily.
    "The word peace echoes several times through the Scripture readings which we have just heard. It is a powerful, prophetic word! Peace is God's dream, his plan for humanity, for history, for all creation. And it is a plan which always
    meets opposition from men and from the evil one. Even in our time, the desire for peace and the commitment to build peace collide with the reality of many armed conflicts presently affecting our world. They are a kind of third world war being fought piecemeal and, in the context of global communications, we sense an atmosphere of war.
    "Some wish to incite and foment this atmosphere deliberately, mainly those who
    want conflict between different cultures and societies, and those who speculate
    on wars for the purpose of selling arms. But war means children, women and the elderly in refugee camps; it means forced displacement of peoples; it means destroyed houses, streets and factories; it means, above all, countless shattered lives. You know this well, having experienced it here: how much suffering, how much destruction, how much pain! Today, dear brothers and sisters, the cry of God's people goes up once again from this city, the cry of all men and women of good will: no more war!
    "Within this atmosphere of war, like a ray of sunshine piercing the clouds, resound the words of Jesus in the Gospel: 'Blessed are the peacemakers'. This appeal is always applicable, in every generation. He does not say: 'Blessed are
    the preachers of peace', since all are capable of proclaiming peace, even in a hypocritical, or indeed duplicitous, manner. No. He says: 'Blessed are the peacemakers', that is, those who make peace. Crafting peace is a skilled work: it requires passion, patience, experience and tenacity. Blessed are those who sow peace by their daily actions, their attitudes and acts of kindness, of fraternity, of dialogue, of mercy... These, indeed, 'shall be called children of
    God', for God sows peace, always, everywhere; in the fullness of time, he sowed
    in the world his Son, that we might have peace! Peacemaking is a work to be carried forward each day, step by step, without ever growing tired.
    "So how does one do this, how do we build peace? The prophet Isaiah reminds us
    succinctly: 'The effect of righteousness will be peace'. Opus justitiae pax ('the work of justice is peace'), from the Vulgate version of Scripture, has become a famous motto, even adopted prophetically by Pope Pius XII. Peace is a work of justice. Here too: not a justice proclaimed, imagined, planned ... but rather a justice put into practice, lived out. The Gospel teaches us that the ultimate fulfilment of justice is love: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself'. When, by the grace of God, we truly follow this commandment, how things change! Because we ourselves change! Those whom I looked upon as my enemy
    really have the same face as I do, the same heart, the same soul. We have the same Father in heaven. True justice, then, is doing to others what I would want
    them to do to me, to my people.
    "St. Paul, in the second reading, shows us the attitude needed to make peace: 'Put on then ... compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive'. These are the attitudes necessary to become artisans of peace precisely where we live out
    our daily lives. But we should not fool ourselves into thinking that this all depends on us! We would fall into an illusive moralising. Peace is a gift from God, not in the magical sense, but because with his Spirit he can imprint these
    attitudes in our hearts and in our flesh, and can make us true instruments of his peace. And, going further, the Apostle says that peace is a gift of God because it is the fruit of his reconciliation with us. Only if we allow ourselves to be reconciled with God can human beings become artisans of peace.
    "Dear Brothers and Sisters, today we ask the Lord together, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, for the grace to have a simple heart, the grace
    of patience, the grace to struggle and work for justice, to be merciful, to work
    for peace, to sow peace and not war and discord. This is the way which brings happiness, which leads to blessedness".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Decrees for the Causes of Saints
    Vatican City, 6 June 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father Francis received in private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
    MIRACLES
    - attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Francesco de Paola Victor, Brazilian diocesan priest (1827-1905);
    - attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Klara Ludwika
    Szcz?sna, Polish co-founder of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (1863-1916).
    MARTYRDOM
    - Servant of God Frederic de Berga (no Mart0 Tarros Puigpelat) and 25 companions, Spanish priests and lay brothers of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, killed in hatred of the faith in 1936;
    - Servant of God Joseph Thao Tinn, diocesan priest, and ten companions, professed priests of the Society of the Paris Foreign Missions and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and four lay companions, killed in hatred of the faith in Laos between 1954 and 1970.
    HEROIC VIRTUES
    - Servant of God Antonino Celona, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Handmaids of Reparation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1873-1952);
    - Servant of God Ottorino Zanon, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation
    of the Pious Society of St. Cajetan (1915-1972);
    - Servant of God Marcello Labor, Italian diocesan priest (1890-1954);
    - Servant of God Maria Antonia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (noe Rachele Lalia), Italian founder of the Dominican Sisters of St. Sisto Vecchio (1839-1914).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 6 June 2015 (VIS) - In the afternoon of Friday 5 June the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
    - Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints;
    - Bishop Jorge Eduardo Lozano of Gualeguaychu, Argentina;
    - Bishop Vicente Bokalic Iglic of Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 6 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Jose Alberto Gonzalez Juarez as bishop of Tuxtepec (area 6,000, population 781,000, Catholics 738,000, priests 50, permanent deacons 10, religious 34), Mexico. The
    bishop-elect was born in El Parral, Mexico in 1967 and was ordained a priest in
    1995. He holds a licentiate in philosophy from the Pontifical University in Mexico, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Tuxtla Gutierrez, including parish vicar, parish priest, superior of the preparatory course and teacher in philosophy, and rector of the seminary. He is
    currently parish of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and episcopal vicar
    for consecrated life.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    the feasibility study conducted by the same Commission.
    Starting from the analyses and reports of McKinsey and the previous commissions
    (COSEA and the Vatican Media Commission chaired by Lord Chris Patten), the current Commission presented a plan for reform to be implemented over a four-year period, ensuring the protection of staff and a gradual integration of
    institutions. These are the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Centre, the Osservatore Romano, the Photographic Service, the Vatican Publishing House, the
    Vatican Typography and the Internet Office.
    The Council of Cardinals expressed a positive judgement to the Holy Father, also in relation to the expected time span. The constitution of the dicastery will be drafted, and the necessary appointments made during the coming months to
    enable the process to be initiated. The Commission is currently continuing its work, which has yet to be completed.
    On Wednesday morning, the Council heard a communique from Fr. Michael Czerny of
    the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace" regarding the Holy Father's new encyclical and the preparation for its publication. Fr. Czerny explained that, at the Pope's behest, emails will be sent, introduced by a letter from Cardinal
    Turkson, to inform ordinaries throughout the world of the upcoming publication of the encyclical and to provide suggestions and assistance on the teaching and
    previous interventions by the Pope on the theme of the environment. It is hoped
    that this will allow individual bishops and episcopates to prepare for the new document and to accompany it with appropriate explanations and comments, so as to ensure that the publication of the encyclical is experienced as an important
    event in the life of the universal Church and in communion with the Holy Father.
    The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals is scheduled for 14 to 16 September.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See and the United States sign agreement against tax evasion
    Vatican City, 10 June 2015 (VIS) - This morning Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States, and the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth F. Hackett, signed an historic agreement between the Holy See
    (acting also in the name of and on behalf of Vatican City State) and the United
    States of America to improve international tax compliance and the exchange of tax information in view of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
    This agreement - which is the first formal intergovernmental agreement between
    the Holy See and the United States - underscores the commitment of both parties
    to promote and ensure ethical behaviour in the financial and economic fields. In
    particular, this agreement will prevent tax evasion and facilitate the compliance of fiscal duties by those U.S. citizens who conduct financial activities in Vatican City State.
    Ensuring the payment of taxes and preventing tax evasion are of crucial economic importance for every community since adequate tax revenues and public spending are indispensable for governments to become instruments of development
    and solidarity, to encourage employment growth, to sustain business and charitable activities, and to provide systems of social insurance and assistance
    designed to protect the weakest members of society.
    In a context of economic globalisation, it is therefore essential to strengthen
    the exchange of information with the view to prevent tax evasion. The present agreement is thus based on the most up-to-date global standards to curtail offshore tax evasion through the automatic exchange of tax information.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See at the 39th Conference of the FAO: sustainable human development
    Vatican City, 10 June 2015 (VIS) - Msgr. Fernando Chica Arellano, head of the Holy See delegation at the 39th session of the Conference of the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation), being held in Rome from 6 to 13 June, spoke this morning at the seventh plenary session dedicated to the theme "Breaking the cycle of rural poverty and hunger by strengthening rural resilience: social protection and sustainable agricultural development". Tomorrow in the Vatican the Holy Father will receive in audience the 450 attendees of the Conference.
    "The member States and various intergovernmental institutions who work in the sector of development and cooperation keep a close eye on the FAO and its activities, as does civil society in its different and valuable forms of organisation. The work that this organisation is called upon to undertake, in the present and in the near future, in the various regions of the world, must be
    focused on this reality", affirmed the prelate. "This requires extra effort: in
    facing the problems of the rural world and the needs of those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition it is also necessary to consider the condition of agricultural workers and their earnings, but without forgetting that the agricultural worker is not solely an economic subject. He or she is a person capable of participating in decision-making regarding production, conservation and distribution of the fruits of the land".
    "Therefore, more than sustainable development, it would be far more incisive and coherent to speak about sustainable human development, or rather a development that places at the centre the human person, with his or her real capacities, limitations, peculiarities and needs, both individually and as a family. If the economic parameters do not take all this into account, the resulting damage is clear and irreparable, for greater progress can never be equivalent to less humanity. An ethical and human vision of development requires
    us instead to share resources, strategies and financing, but above all reminds us of the urgency and importance of solidarity as well as determination to put an end, once and for all, to the underdevelopment of the rural world. The Organisation may then continue to be the competent 'centre' for the gathering, study and dissemination of information on agriculture, production methods and regulations, as its Constitution stipulates and as is justly expected of it at all levels".
    "The Holy See delegation wishes here to reaffirm the willingness of the Catholic Church, in her structures and organisational forms, to contribute to this effort", concluded Msgr. Chica Arellano.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 10 June 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience
    Archbishop Piergiorgio Bertoldi, apostolic nuncio in Burkina Faso and Niger, with family members.
    This afternoon, he is scheduled to receive in audience Vladimir V. Putin, president of the Russian Federation, and entourage.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 10 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has accepted:
    - the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Amargosa, Brazil, presented by Bishop Joao Nilton dos Santos Souza, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
    - appointed Bishop Teodoro Mendes Tavares, C.S.Sp., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Belem do Para, Brazil, as coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Ponta de Pedras (area 2,082, population 2,253,045, Catholics 1,857,243, priests
    199, permanent deacons 82, religious 545), Brazil.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    between what we Pastors preach and the various social environments. ? At the same time, both they and you are in daily contact with other Christian traditions that are present in your territory and together you can support ecumenical dialogue, which is so necessary today in view of the fact that social
    peace is sometimes shaken by ethnic and linguistic differences.?
    The Pope shares the bishops' determination to promote the family, noting however
    that ?marriage today is often considered a form of emotional gratification that
    can be constituted in any way whatsoever or changed according to the sensibilities of each. Unfortunately, this reductive conception also affects the
    mindset of Christians, causing a ease inresorting to divorce or separation. As pastors we are called to question on the preparation for marriage given to engaged couples and also on how to assist those who are living in these situations so that the children do not become the primary victims and the spouses do not feel excluded from God's mercy and the Church's care but are helped on their faith journey and in the Christian education of their children.?
    Finally, the Pope recalled the economic and social crisis that has also affected
    Latvia and Estonia, provoking a migration the result of which has been a large number of single-parent families in need of special pastoral attention. The absence of a father or mother in many families causes the other spouse greater effort, in every sense, in raising the children. For these families your attention and the pastoral outreach of your priests is truly valuable, combined
    with the effective nearness of the communities.?

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope's Audience with Vladimir Putin: Ukraine and Middle East, Key Points of Meeting
    Vatican City, 11 June 2015 (VIS) - President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir
    Putin was received in audience by the Holy Father yesterday afternoon according
    to a press release from the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico
    Lombardi, S.J.
    The private meeting held in the library of the Apostolic Palace began approximately at 6:15pm and lasted some 50 minutes. Afterwards there was a presentation of the president's entourage and an exchange of gifts. President Putin offered the Pope an image of the famous Church of Christ the Savior which
    the Holy Father reciprocated with a medallion by artist Guido Veroi that represented the angel of peace?an invitation to build a world of solidarity and
    peace based on justice?and a copy of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.
    As foreseen, given the current globalstate of affairs, the meeting was mainly devoted to the conflict in the Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East. Regarding the situation in the Ukraine, the Holy Father affirmed that a great and sincere effort is necessary to achieve peace. He agreed on the importance of
    re-establishing a climate of dialogue and that all parties must commit themselves to enforcing the Minsk Accords. It is also essential to address the serious humanitarian situation, in particular guaranteeing access to humanitarian workers and, with the contribution of all parties, a progressive easing of tensions in the region.
    On the other hand, as regards the conflicts of the Middle East, regarding the territories of Syria and Iraq, the common and urgent idea of seeking peace with
    the concrete participation of the international community, at the same time ensuring the necessary conditions of life to all area of society, including religious minorities, Christians inparticular was substantially confirmed.
    At the same time as the meeting with President Putin, a meeting was held between
    Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov during which the topics of the conflict in the Ukraine and the worrying situation in the Middle East were also discussed.

    ___________________________________________________________

    National Holy See Day at Milan's Expo 2015
    Vatican City, 11 June 2015 (VIS) ? Today marked the celebration of the National
    Day of the Holy See at the Expo 2015 in Milan. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, General Commissioner of the Holy See for Expo Milan 2015, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president on the Italian Episcopal Conference, and Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, all spoke this morning. This afternoon the ?Courtyard of the Gentiles? will also intervene with a presentation on the theme of ?The Faces of the Earth?.
    During the course of the celebrations this morning, Archbishop Becciu's speech emphasized that the Holy See considers the vast objective of ensuring an adequate level of nutrition as a real necessity, a result of true sharing, the same which is evidenced in the participation of so many countries in ExpoMilan 2015.
    ?A shared action,? the archbishop stated, ?whose priority is the reduction of the number of hungry persons must include not only interventions during emergency situations, but also projects in favor of agricultural development and
    their funding proportionate to the different capacity of donors and the needs of
    beneficiaries. Giving and receiving according to justice requires a formation of
    conscience attentive to the needs of others, of each one, including when the problem is related to the use of technology, their transfer to the most vulnerable areas and the ability to meet the needs of beneficiaries without limiting the prerogatives, rights, and?not the least?alimentary customs and cultures. Such a commitment demands that governments, international institutions, and civil social organizations involved in food safety work together, preserving diversity without putting them at odds, and using dialogue
    as the only concretetool.?
    ?Religions and their traditions,? he added, ?know well that freedom from hunger
    also means freedom from conflicts and prevention of war as the Catholic Church's
    litany of saints recalls, in the prayer for liberation from disease, hunger, and
    war: 'a peste, fame, et bello libera nos, Domine'.?

    ___________________________________________________________

    ROACO Plenary Assembly to Analyze Situation of Christians in Middle East, Armenia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Holy Land
    Vatican City, 11 June 2015 (VIS) ? ROACO (Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches) will hold its 88th annual plenary assembly in the Vatican from 15 to 17 June.
    The assembly will begin on Monday morning with an audience granted by Pope Francis to the representatives of the various aid projects to the Oriental Catholic Churches. As in previous years, it will be a session dedicated to the situation in Syria with attention also given to Iraq in view of the recent tragic developments in that region which also affect the faithful of the Eastern
    Churches. The results of the recent visit to Iraq made by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, during which he and a delegation from ROACO met with refugees, bishops, priests, and religious in Baghdad, Erbil, and Dohuk, will bepresented.
    On Tuesday, 16 June, the cardinal will celebrate Holy Mass at St. Stephen of the
    Abyssinians, a historical presence of the Oriental Church within the Vatican walls, to pray for peace in the Middle East as well as the Ukraine where the Greek-Catholic Church has a presence, and to pray for the benefactors, living and deceased, of the Oriental Catholic Churches.
    On the occasion of the centenary memorial of the Medz Yeghern suffered by the Armenian people, a session will be dedicated to the Armenian Catholic Church in
    Eastern Europe, which is present in Georgia and Russia as well as Armenia. Another session will study the Church of Ethiopia and the Church of Eritrea, which was recently elevated by Pope Frances to a metropolitan church (metropolitana sui iuris). As customary, during the assembly the situation of the Church in the Holy Land will be examined, with verifications of the projects
    undertaken thanks to the proceeds of the GoodFriday collection.
    The objective of the proceedings, which will conclude on Thursday 17 June, is to
    identify priorities for the work of evangelization and charitable interventions
    in order that they be coordinated by ROACO as a gesture of the solidarity of the
    universal Church.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, June 2015 (VIS) ? Today, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
    Five prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Latvia and Estonia, on their ad Limina visit:
    - Archbishop Zbig?ev Stankevics of Riga,
    - Bishop Eduards Pavlovskis of Jelgava,
    - Bishop Viktors Stulpins of Liepaja,
    - Bishop Janis Bulis of Rezkene-Aglona, and
    - Bishop Philippe Jean-Charles Jourdan, Apostolic Adminstrator of Estonia. Archbishop emeritus Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid, Spain, and
    a delegation from the San Andres School of Evangelization.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, June 2015 (VIS) ? Today, the Holy Father has appointed Bishop Lionginas Virbalas, S.J., as Metropolitan Archbishop of Kaunas (area 8,750, population 661,000, Catholics 530,000, priests 135, religious 227), Lithuania. Archbishop Virbalas, previously bishop of Panevezys, Lithuania, succeeds Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius, S.J., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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    Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured', until the day of Jesus Christ".

    ___________________________________________________________

    May no-one feel excluded from sport, says the Pope to the athletes of the Special Olympics
    Vatican City, 19 June 2015 (VIS) - "The world of sport looks to the Church with
    trust and attention, as it is aware that together it is possible to work to restore to sporting practice its true meaning: an educational, playful and recreational meaning, and also its cultural and social dignity. You are well aware of this, having chosen sport as an experience of development and growth, in the presence of a condition of fragility and limitation", said the Pope as he
    received in audience 150 athletes participating in the Italian "Special Olympics", and who will participate in the finals of the World Games in Los Angeles this July. The "Special Olympics" is an international sporting association founded in 1968 in the United States by Eunice Kennedy Shriver to help those with different mental capabilities to develop confidence in themselves and in their social capacities through training and competitive sport. "It is beautiful and meaningful that young people and adults find in sport and participation in competitions, including at an international level, an
    incentive to live their life fully. It is a challenge", emphasised Francis, "and
    you have accepted it and 'taken the field'. I encourage you to continue in your
    efforts to help each other to discover your potential and to love life, to appreciate it in all its limits and above all, its beautiful sides. Sport is a path that is well-suited to this discovery, to opening oneself up, to coming out
    of oneself and getting involved. In this way one learns to participate, to outdo
    oneself, to strive together. All this helps you to become active members of society and also of the Church; and it helps society itself and the Church to overcome all forms of discrimination and exclusion".
    "Please", he continued, "be faithful to this ideal of sport. Do not let yourself be contaminated by a false sporting culture, that of economic success,
    victory at any cost, and individualism. Rather, it is necessary to rediscover amateur sport, the sport of gratuity, sport for sport's sake. We must protect and defend sport as an experience of human values: competition yes, but in loyalty and solidarity. Dignity for every person: always! No-one must feel excluded from sport. And the generous action and harmony between the various institutional and social bodies is necessary to attain this objective".
    He concluded by wishing them a joyful and serene experience at the upcoming World Championship, expressing his hope that they would enjoy themselves and form friendships with brothers and sisters throughout the world and reminding them to pray for him.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Christians and Muslims, together to counter violence perpetrated in the name of
    religion
    Vatican City, 19 June 2015 (VIS) - "Christians and Muslims: Together to counter
    violence perpetrated in the name of religion" is the title of the Message from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue for Ramadan, which began this
    year on 18 June, and 'Id al-Fitr. The document, signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.I., respectively president and secretary of the dicastery, is dated 12 June.
    "For some of you and also for others from other religious communities, the joy
    of the feast is shadowed by the memory of the dear ones who lost their life or goods, or suffered physically, mentally and even spiritually because of violence. Ethnic and religious communities in a number of countries of the world
    went through various and enormous unjust sufferings: killing of some of their members, destruction of their religious and cultural heritages, forced emigration from their homes and cities, molestation and rape of their women, enslavement of some of their members, trafficking of persons, commerce of organs, and even selling of cadavers!
    "We are all aware of the gravity of these crimes in themselves. However, what makes them even more heinous is the tentative of justifying them in the name of
    religion. It is a clear manifestation of instrumentalising religion for gaining
    power and richness.
    "Needless to say that those who have the responsibility of security and public
    order have also the duty to protect their people and their properties from the blind violence of the terrorists. Besides, there is also the responsibility of those who have the task of education: families, schools, curricula, religious leaders, religious discourse, media. Violence and terrorism are first conceived
    in the mind of the deviated persons, thereafter perpetrated on the ground.
    "All those are involved in the education of the youth and in the various educational spaces should teach the sacred character of life and the derived dignity of every person, regardless of his or her ethnicity, religion, culture,
    social position and political choice. There is no life that is more precious than another one because it belongs to a specific race or religion. Therefore, no one can kill. No one can kill in the name of God; this would be a double crime: against God and the very person.
    "There cannot be any ambiguity in education. The future of a person, community
    and of the whole humanity cannot be built on such ambiguity or apparent truth. Christians and Muslims, according to their respective religious tradition, look
    at God and relate with Him as being the Truth. Our life and behaviour as believers should reflect such conviction.
    "According to St. John Paul II, Christians and Muslims have 'the privilege of prayer' (Address to Muslim Religious Leaders, Kaduna, Nigeria, 14 February 1982). Our prayer is much needed: for justice, for peace and security in the world; for those who have deviated from the true path of life and commit violence in the name of religion, so as to return to God and change life; for the poor and the sick.
    "Our feasts, among others, nourish in us hope for the present and the future. It is with hope that we look at the future of humanity, especially when we do our best to make our legitimate dreams become a reality.
    "With Pope Francis, we wish that the fruits of Ramadan and the joy of aId al-Fitr may bring about peace and prosperity, enhancing your human and spiritual
    growth".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 19 June 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience
    Archbishop Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio in the Syrian Arab Republic.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 19 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop emeritus of Cologne, Germany, as his special envoy to the inauguration of the recently-restored "conventual complex" of the Shrine
    of Maria-Radna at Timisoara, Romania, to be held on 2 August 2015.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    conscience, exploring its various dimensions and content, ranging from the civil
    effects of canonical marriage, the "customary facilities" for the different rites, respect for feast days and the right of Christians who work in public offices to be able comply with the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, religious assistance for the armed forces and prisoners, and the right of parents to impart a "religious and moral" education to their children. The explicit acknowledgement of authentic conscientious objection as a practice consistent with the right of freedom of thought, belief and religion is notable for its current relevance.
    The signing of the Agreement urges the Parties to look to the future without forgetting history and those events that, on political and legal levels, have outlined the condition, social fabric and normative order of Palestine, and within this, the action of the Church, as may be seen in the following chapters:
    Chapter 3, recognising the legal personality and right to self-organisation of
    the Church, protects its internal order, the freedom to confer ecclesiastical office, and the exemption of clergy from obligatory personal service such as military service, etc. Confirmation is given of the competence, as stipulated by
    Palestinian law, of ecclesiastical tribunals to exercise civil jurisdiction. The
    issue, further clarified in chapter 4, also relates to matters such as marriage,
    filiation and adoption, following the personal status of Christians in the Holy
    Land.
    Chapter 5, starting from the regime of the "Status Quo", lists the nature and typology of the Holy Places. The concept of holiness - from which that of religious rights derives - is posited as the source of the obligation of the civil authorities to respect for the Holy Places the exclusive authority and canonical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, except in the case of joint actions to the contrary. The issue is linked to freedom of worship and the necessary guarantees for pilgrimages and structures offering hospitality to pilgrims.
    Chapter 6 guarantees the Church's right to work in educational, social, charitable and communications sectors, and regulates the relationship with the Palestinian legal system. This is accompanied by general regulations on the freedom to receive funds and the discretion appropriate to ecclesiastical institutions with regard to their function and personnel.
    Chapter 7 is dedicated entirely to Church property and the special fiscal regime applicable to them, inspired by functional criteria of non-liability, issues which due to their direct link to the local situation and legislation will be the object of further negotiations and agreements.
    The participation of the Palestinian Catholic community in the lengthy negotiations, which began in a systematic fashion in 2010, gave the Agreement an
    added value. The local Church has been shown to be an effective agent, providing
    a valuable contribution not only towards the consolidation of the ecclesial reality, but also to the image of Palestine and the Holy Land as a whole.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Metropolitan archbishops to receive the pallium
    Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) - Forty-six metropolitan archbishops have been
    nominated by the Holy Father to receive the pallium this year, imposed every 29
    June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, in the Vatican Basilica:
    Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Cologne, Germany
    Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, archbishop of Valencia, Spain
    Archbishop Julian Leow Beng Kim of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Archbishop Eduardo Eliseo Martin of Rosario, Argentina
    Archbishop Florentino Galang Lavarias of San Fernando, Philippines
    Archbishop Anthony Pappusamy of Madurai, India
    Archbishop Sevastianos Rossolatos of Athens, Greece
    Archbishop Thomas Aquino Manyo Maeda of Osaka, Japan
    Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, Spain
    Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Ireland
    Archbishop Anthony Colin Fisher, O.P., of Sydney, Australia
    Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, U.S.A.
    Archbishop Oscar Omar Aparicio Cespedes of Cochabamba, Bolivia
    Archbishop Jose Antonio Fernandez Hurtado of Durango, Mexico
    Archbishop Stane Zore, O.F.M., of Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Archbishop Djalwana Laurent Lompo of Niamey, Nigeria
    Archbishop Vincenzo Pelvi of Foggia-Bovino, Italy
    Archbishop Richard Daniel Alarcon Urrutia of Cuzco, Peru
    Archbishop Jean Mbarga of Yaounde, Cameroon
    Archbishop Edmundo Ponciano Valenzuela Mellid, S.D.B., of Asuncion, Paraguay
    Archbishop Beatus Kinyaiya, O.F.M. Cap., of Dodoma, Tanzania
    Archbishop Max Leroy Mesidor of Cap-Haitien, Haiti
    Archbishop Kieran O'Reilley, S.M.A., of Cashel, Ireland
    Archbishop Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias of Luanda, Angola
    Archbishop Martin Musonde Kivuva of Mombasa, Kenya
    Archbishop Vicente Jimenez Zamora of Zaragoza, Spain
    Archbishop Benjamin Ndiaye of Dakar, Senegal
    Archbishop Jose Antonio Peruzzo of Curitiba, Brazil
    Archbishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam, M.C.C.J., of Asmara, Eritrea
    Archbishop Stefan Hesse of Hamburg, Germany
    Archbishop Juan Nsue Edjang Maye of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
    Archbishop Yustinus Harjosusanto, M.S.F., of Samarinda, Indonesia
    Archbishop Freddy Antonio de Jesus Breton Martinez of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic
    Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna of Malta, Malta
    Archbishop David Macaire, O.P., of Fort-de-France, Martinique, France
    Archbishop Alojzij Cvikl. S.J., of Maribor, Slovenia
    Archbishop Fulop Kocsis of Hajdudorog for Catholics of Byzantine Rite, Hungary
    Archbishop John Charles Wester of Santa Fe, U.S.A.
    Archbishop Denis Grondin of Rimouski, Canada
    Archbishop Francescantonio Nole, O.F.M. Conv., of Cosenza-Bisignano, Italy
    Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta of Merida-Badajoz, Spain
    Archbishop Gustavo Rodriguez Vega of Yucatan, Mexico
    Archbishop-elect Erio Castellucci of Modena-Nonantola, Italy
    Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin, Germany
    Archbishop Lionginas Virbalas, S.J., of Kaunas, Lithuania
    Archbishop Thomas Ignatius Macwan of Gandhinagar, India.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Peter Sutherland, president of the "International Catholic Migration Commission";
    - Georgios Papadopoulos, ambassador of Greece to the Holy See, on his farewell
    visit;
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine
    of the Faith;
    - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Francisco Antonio Nieto Sua of San Jose del Guaviare, Colombia, as bishop of Engativa (area 133, population 2,000,000, Catholics 1,533,932, priests
    116, permanent deacons 34, religious 407), Colombia.
    - Msgr. Juan Carlos Cardenas Toro as auxiliary of Cali (area 2,504, population
    2,854,000, Catholics 2,425,000, priests 392, permanent deacons 17, religious 899), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Cartago, Colombia in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1997. He holds a licentiate in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Cartago, including parish vicar, professor and spiritual
    director of the minor seminary, parish priest, rector of the "Divino Ecce Homo"
    Shrine in Ricaurte, formator, bursar and spiritual director of the major seminary, and diocesan delegate for social communications. He has also served as
    sub director for the national secretariat for social pastoral ministry and coordinator of the pastoral centre for social evangelisation of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia. He is currently adjunct secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) - We inform our readers that no Vatican Information Service Bulletin will be transmitted on Monday 29 June, Solemnity of
    Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, and a holiday in the Vatican. Service will resume
    on Tuesday 30 June.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    understand that the stakes are so high, time is so short and the task is so large that we cannot afford to allow those differences to divide us. When 400,000 people marched for climate justice in New York last September, the slogan was 'To change everything, we need everyone'. Everyone includes political
    leaders, of course. But having attended many meetings with social movements about the COP summit in Paris, I can report this: there is zero tolerance for yet another failure being dressed up as a success for the cameras. ... If the deal
    fails to bring about immediate emission reductions while providing real and substantive support for poor countries, then it will be declared a failure. As it should be".
    "What we must always remember is that it's not too late to veer off the dangerous road we are on, the one that is leading us towards 4 degrees of warming", emphasised Naomi Klein. "Indeed we could still keep warming below 1.5
    degrees if we made it our top collective priority. It would be difficult, to be
    sure. As difficult as the rationing and industrial conversions that were once made in wartime. As ambitious as the anti-poverty and public works programs launched in the aftermath of the Great Depression and the Second World War. But
    difficult is not the same as impossible. And giving up in the face of a task that could save countless and lives prevent so much suffering - simply because it is difficult, costly and requires sacrifice from those of us who can most afford to make do with less - is not pragmatism. It is surrender of the most cowardly kind. And there is no cost-benefit analysis in the world that is capable of justifying it".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Archbishop Tomasi: terrorism is the antithesis of the values and commitments of
    peaceful national and international co-existence
    Vatican City, 1 July 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Holy See permanent observer at the United Nations and other international bodies in Geneva spoke yesterday at the 29 th Session of the Human Rights Council Panel on
    the effects of terrorism on the enjoyment by all persons of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
    "The Holy See Delegation would like to denounce most especially terrorist acts
    carried out in the name of religion", said the nuncio. "As Pope Francis states,
    'religious fundamentalism, even before it eliminates human beings by perpetrating horrendous killings, eliminates God himself, turning him into a mere ideological pretext'. ... Acts of terrorism cause the destruction of human
    rights, political freedoms and the rule of law. Terrorism is the antithesis of the shared values and commitments which serve as the basis for peaceful coexistence domestically and internationally. Indeed, with the proliferation of
    terrorism and the impunity which its proponents enjoy, we can say that there is
    also a 'globalisation of terrorism'. ... A situation is thus created where the positive political will of the major players is required in order to address and
    resolve the problem of global terrorism and its disastrous effects".
    "The Holy See is deeply convinced that terrorism, especially those forms that derive from religious extremism, must be confronted with concerted political efforts by all players, especially by all the local and regional parties involved, as well as by the major international players, whose role is indispensable in negotiating and finding a viable solution, diplomatic or otherwise, to protect life and the future stability of the regions touched by terrorism. The response to terrorism cannot be merely by way of military action.
    Political participation, fair and just legal systems, and cutting all forms of public and private support for terrorism are means not only to respond, but also
    to prevent, terrorism. It is also important to remember the positive obligation
    that States have to undertake in order to protect their citizens and, where that
    is not possible, to collaborate with other regional authorities in order to address the threats posed by terrorist groups", concluded Archbishop Tomasi.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Message for Sea Sunday: more resources to combat human trafficking and exploitation
    Vatican City, 1 July 2015 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care
    of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples today published its message for Sea Sunday (12
    July), signed by Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio and Bishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, respectively president and secretary of the dicastery. The following is the full text of the message:
    "To transport goods and products around the world, the global economy deeply relies on the maritime industry supported by a workforce of around 1.2 million seafarers, who at sea and in the oceans frequently facing the strong and powerful forces of nature, manage ships of all kinds and dimensions.
    As ports are built far away from the cities, and because of the fast turnaround
    in loading and unloading cargo, the crews sailing the ships are like 'invisible'
    people. As individuals we do not acknowledge the importance and the benefits that the maritime profession brings to our life and we become aware of their work and sacrifices only when disasters strike.
    In spite of the technological development that makes life on board more comfortable and makes it easier to communicate with loved ones, seafarers are forced to spend long months in a restricted space, away from their families. Restrictive and unjust regulations often limit shore leave when in port and the
    continuous threat of piracy in many sea routes adds stress while sailing. We are
    still confident that the ratification and coming into force of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 by a growing number of countries, accompanied by effective inspections by flag States will result in a tangible improvement of the labour and working conditions on board all ships.
    In the present day, with war, violence and political instability in several countries, a new phenomenon has been affecting the shipping industry. Since last
    year, alongside the coast guards and the naval forces of Italy, Malta and European Union, the merchant vessels transiting in the Mediterranean Sea have been actively involved in the by-now daily task of rescuing thousands and thousands of migrants trying to reach the coasts of Italy in all kinds of overcrowded and substandard crafts.
    Since time immemorial seafarers have fulfilled the obligation to rescue people
    in distress at sea under any conditions. However, as it has been stressed by other maritime organisations, for the merchant vessels rescuing migrants at sea
    remains a health, safety and security risk for seafarers. Commercial ships are designed to transport goods (containers, oil, gas, etc.) and all the facilities
    are custom-made for the limited number of crew members on board. For these reasons merchant vessels are not equipped to provide assistance to a large number of migrants.
    Seafarers are professionally qualified in their work and trained to handle a number of emergency situations but rescuing hundreds of often frantic men, women
    and children is something that no training course in maritime school has prepared them for. Furthermore, the physical effort in seeking to rescue as many
    persons as possible, and witnessing numerous lifeless bodies in the sea, render
    the experience traumatic and leave the crews exhausted and psychologically distressed, in need of specific psychological and spiritual support.
    On Sea Sunday as the Catholic Church we would like to express our appreciation
    for seafarers in general for their fundamental contribution to the international
    trade. This year in particular, we would like to recognise the great humanitarian effort made by the crews of merchant vessels that without hesitation, sometimes risking their own life, have engaged in many rescue operations saving thousands of migrants lives.
    Our gratitude goes also to all the chaplains and volunteers of the Apostleship
    of the Sea for their daily commitment in serving the people of the sea; their presence in the docks is the sign of the Church in their midst and shows the compassionate and merciful face of Christ.
    In conclusion, while we appeal to the governments in Europe, the countries of origin of migration flows, and international organisations to cooperate in searching for a durable and definitive political solution to instability in those countries, we would also like to call for more resources to be committed not only for search and rescue missions but also to prevent the trafficking and
    exploitation of persons escaping from conditions of conflict and poverty".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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    themselves indispensable. ... We must be very clear that only the Holy Spirit is
    indispensable in the Church and Jesus is the only Lord. There are no others. ... A
    time limit should be established for roles in the Church, which are in reality form of service. An important service carried out by lay leaders is to facilitate the growth and the spiritual and pastoral maturity of those who will
    take their place at the end of their service. It would be opportune for all roles of service in the Church to have a time limit - there are no lifelong leaders in the Church".
    The Holy Father asked the members of Renewal in the Holy Spirit to share with all in the Church the baptism they have received. "It is the most important service that we can give to all in the Church", he emphasised: "helping the people of God in their personal encounter with Jesus Christ, Who transforms us into new men and women, in small groups, humble but effective, because the Spirit that works within them. Do not focus on large-scale meetings that often go no further, but instead on the 'artisanal' relationships that derive from witness, in the family, at work, in social life, in parishes, in prayer groups,
    with everyone!".
    Another strong sign of the Spirit in Charismatic Renewal is the search for unity in the Body of Christ. "You, as Charismatics, have the special grace of praying and working for Christian unity, so that the current of grace flows through all Christian Churches. Christian unity is the work of the Holy Spirit and we must pray together. ... We have all received the same baptism, we all follow Jesus' path. ... We have all caused these divisions throughout history, for
    different reasons, but not good ones. But now is the time that the Spirit makes
    us think that these divisions are a sort of 'counter-witness', and we must do all we can to walk side by side: spiritual ecumenism, the ecumenism of prayer".
    There is also another form of unity: "the unity of the blood of martyrs, that makes us one. There is the ecumenism of blood. We know that those who kill Christians in hatred of Jesus Christ, before killing, do not ask: 'But are you Lutheran, Orthodox, Evangelical, Baptist, Methodist?' They say, 'You are Christian', and behead them. ... Fifty years ago, Blessed Paul VI, during the canonisation of the young martyrs of Uganda, referred to the fact that for the same reason the blood of their Anglican companion catechists had been shed. They
    were Christians, they were martyrs. Forgive me, and do not be scandalised, but they are our martyrs! Because they gave their lives for Christ, and this is ecumenism of blood. We must pray in memory of our common martyrs".
    Finally, there is "unity in work with the poor and the needy, who also need baptism in the Holy Spirit. It would be good to organise seminars on life in the
    Spirit, along with other Christian charismatic entities, for those brothers and
    sisters who live on the streets: they too have the Spirit within them that pushes for someone to throw open the door from outside".
    Before imparting his final blessing, the Pope invited those present to go forth
    and preach the good news of Jesus "to the poor, to the marginalised, the blind,
    the sick, the imprisoned, to all men and women. In each one of them there is the
    Spirit, Who wants to be helped to throw open the door so as to be revived. May the Lord accompany you in this mission, always with the Bible in your hand, always with the Gospel in your pocket, with the Word of Christ".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Benedict XVI receives Doctorate honoris causa from the Pontifical University of
    John Paul II and the Musical Academy of Krakow Vatican City, 4 July 2015 (VIS) Pope emeritus Benedict XVI today received a Doctorate honoris causa from the Pontifical University of John Paul II and the Musical Academy of Krakow, Poland,
    granted by the rectors of both institutions and conferred this morning at Castel
    Gandolfo by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow and grand chancellor of the university dedicated to St. John Paul II.
    Benedict XVI received the nomination with a discourse in which he recalled how
    St. John Paul II demonstrated by example that "the joy of great religious music
    and the role of popular participation in holy liturgy, the solemn joy and simplicity of the humble celebration of the faith, go hand in hand".
    "In the Vatican Council II Constitution on the liturgy it is written very clearly: 'The treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care'. On the other hand, the text highlights, as a fundamental liturgical
    category, the participatio actuosa of all the faithful in holy action. But what
    remained peacefully together in the Constitution has often subsequently, in the
    reception of the Council, been in a relationship of dramatic tension. Significant parts of the liturgical movement believed that there would be space
    for the great choral works and even orchestral masses only in concert halls, not
    in the liturgy, in which there would have been space only for the hymns and common prayer of the faithful. On the other hand, there was dismay at the cultural impoverishment of the Church that would necessarily have resulted. How
    could the two aspects be reconciled? These were the questions asked by many of the faithful, including simple people, not only those with a theological education".
    "At this point, perhaps it is correct to ask the underlying question: what is music? Where does it come from and where does it lead? I think there are three 'places' from which music arises. The first wellspring is the experience of love. When human beings were seized by love, another dimension of being opened up within them, a new greatness and breadth of reality, driving them to express
    themselves in a new way. Poetry, hymn and music in general were born of the opening up of this new dimension of life. A second origin of music is the experience of sadness, of being touched by death, by suffering and by the abysses of existence. In this case too, in the opposite direction, there open up
    new dimensions of life that do not find answers in discourse alone. Finally, the
    third origin of music is the encounter with the divine, which from the beginning
    is part of what defines the human being. ... It may be said that the quality of
    music depends on the purity and the greatness of the encounter with the divine,
    with the experience of love and pain. The purer and more authentic the experience, the purer and greater will be the music that emerges and develops from it".
    "Certainly, western music goes far beyond the religious and ecclesial environment. However, it finds its deepest source in the liturgy in the encounter with God. In Bach, for whom the glory of God ultimately represents the
    aim of all music, this is entirely evident. The great and pure response of western music developed in the encounter with that God Who, in the liturgy, made
    Himself present in us in Jesus Christ. That music, for me, is a demonstration of
    the truth of Christianity. Where this form of response develops, the encounter with the truth, with the true Creator of the world, takes place. Therefore, the
    great religious music is a reality of theological level and lasting meaning for
    the faith of all Christianity, even though it is not at all necessary for it to
    be performed always and everywhere. On the other hand, it is also clear that it
    cannot disappear from the liturgy and its presence can be an entirely special form of participation in holy celebration and in the mystery of the faith".
    "If we think of the liturgy celebrated by St. John Paul II in all continents, we see the full breadth of the expressive possibilities of faith in the liturgical event, and we also see how the great music of the western tradition is not external to the liturgy, but instead originated and grew within it and in
    this way continually contributes to its formation. We do not know the future of
    our culture and of religious music. But one thing is clear: where there takes place the encounter with the living God Who in Christ comes towards us, there too develops the response, whose beauty comes from the truth itself", concluded
    Benedict XVI.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 4 July 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
    - Joaquin Hermes Robledo Romero of Carapegua, Paraguay, as bishop of San Lorenzo (area 1,944, population 823,239, Catholics 813,000, priests 41, permanent deacons 29, religious 106), Paraguay.
    - Bishop Jean Laffitte, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, as
    prelate of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    "All this began because 'they had no wine'. It could all be done because a woman - the Virgin Mary - was attentive, left her concerns in God's hands and acted sensibly and courageously. But there is a further detail, the best was to
    come: everyone went on to enjoy the finest of wines. And this is the good news:
    the finest wines are yet to be tasted; for families, the richest, deepest and most beautiful things are yet to come. The time is coming when we will taste love daily, when our children will come to appreciate the home we share, and our
    elderly will be present each day in the joys of life. The finest of wines is expressed by hope, this wine will come for every person who stakes everything on
    love. And the best wine is yet to come, in spite of all the variables and statistics which say otherwise. The best wine will come to those who today feel
    hopelessly lost. Say it to yourselves until you are convinced of it. Say it to yourselves, in your hearts: the best wine is yet to come. Whisper it to the hopeless and the loveless. Have patience, hope, and follow Mary's example, pray,
    open your heart, because the best wine is yet to come. God always seeks out the
    peripheries, those who have run out of wine, those who drink only of discouragement. Jesus feels their weakness, in order to pour out the best wines
    for those who, for whatever reason, feel that all their jars have been broken".
    After his final blessing, the Pope transferred by car to the Colegio Javier of
    the Society of Jesus, founded in 1856, and where there are currently 1560 students. The community is made up of 20 Jesuit fathers, with whom the Pope lunched. Following a brief rest he returned to Quito to meet with the president
    of the Republic.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Visit to the president of Ecuador and Quito Cathedral
    Vatican City, 7 July 2015 (VIS) - The Pope spent the last part of his second day in Ecuador in the capital, Quito, where he paid a courtesy visit to President Rafael Correa at Carondelet Palace, the seat of the government. Built
    in the late eighteenth century by the Spanish architect Antonio Garcia, it is located in the historic centre of the city and owes its name to the governor Francisco Luis Hector, baron of Carondelet, under whose mandate it was constructed. During the colonial period it was known as the Royal Palace, but according to legend Simon Bolivar, in admiration of its facade, changed its name
    in memory of the governor.
    Upon arrival President Correa greeted the Pope with a warm embrace; they then entered the Protocol Room where they spoke in private. The president subsequently introduced his family to the Holy Father and gifts were exchanged.
    Francis gave the Ecuadorian head of State a mosaic depicting the Virgin and Child, a copy realised by the Vatican Museums mosaic laboratory of the image from the Chapel of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Roman basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, before which St. Ignatius of Loyola and his first followers gave their religious vows on 22 August 1541, thereby originating the Society of
    Jesus.
    At the end of his visit, the bishop of Rome and the president appeared at the balcony of Carondelet Palace to greet the crowd gathered in Plaza de la Independencia. The Pope travelled on foot the fifty metres between the Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, which invokes the Coronation of the Virgin Mary. The Cathedral, completed in 1585, represents a combination of styles, from the Gothic-Mudejar (Moorish) to Baroque and neo-Classical, and it houses the remains of Antonio Jose Francisco de Sucre y Alcala, the Mariscal Sucre (1795-1830), hero of South American independence.
    The Holy Father entered the cathedral where he was received by the rector; after greeting various sick and disabled people gathered inside, he prayed a moment. Upon leaving, almost at night-time, he blessed the thousands of people congregated in the square, setting aside the brief discourse he had previously prepared, and addressed the following words to them:
    "I give you my blessing, to each one of you, to your families, to all your loved ones and to the great and noble Ecuadorian people, so that there may be no
    more difference, no more exclusion, so that no-one is discarded, so that all may
    be brothers, so that everyone is included and no-one is left out of this great Ecuadorian nation. To every one of you and your families, I give my blessing. But first, let us pray the Hail Mary together...".
    "May the blessing of God Almighty, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
    Spirit, descend upon you and remain with you for ever. And please, I ask you to
    pray for me. Good night, and see you tomorrow".
    Today, 7 July, Pope Francis will meet the bishops of Ecuador and will celebrate
    Holy Mass in the Bicentenario Park in Quito. Later he will visit the Pontifical
    Catholic University of Ecuador, where he will receive the keys to the capital in
    the Church of St. Francis and address those present. He will conclude the day with a private visit to the Church of the Society of Jesus.
    The following is the brief discourse the Pope had prepared, to be given outside
    Quito Cathedral:
    "I have come to Quito as a pilgrim, to share with you the joy of spreading the
    Gospel. When I left the Vatican, I passed the statue of Saint Mariana de Jesus,
    who from the apse of St. Peter's Basilica keeps watch over the little street which the Pope travels so often. I entrusted to her the fruits of this visit, and I prayed that all of us might learn from her example. Her sacrifice and her
    heroic virtue are usually represented by a flower, a lily. Yet, at St. Peter's she holds a whole bouquet of flowers. Along with her own flower, she offers the
    Lord, in the heart of the Church, your flowers, and the flowers of all the people of Ecuador.
    "The Saints call us to imitate them and to learn from them. This was the case with St. Narcisa de Jesus and Blessed Mercedes de Jesus Molina, who were challenged by St. Mariana's example. How many of you here today have known what
    it is to be orphaned? How many of you have had to assume the responsibility of looking after younger brothers or sisters, despite being young yourselves? How many of you care daily with great patience for the sick or the elderly? Mariana
    did just this, and Narcisa and Mercedes followed her example. It is not difficult if God is with us. They accomplished no great feats in the eyes of the
    world. They simply loved much, and they showed this love in their daily lives, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others, in his people. Nor did they do
    this alone, they did it 'side by side' with others. All the work that went into
    the building of this Cathedral was done that same way, our way, the way of the native peoples, quietly and unassumingly working alongside one another for the good of the community, without seeking credit or applause. God grant that, just
    as the stones of this cathedral were carried by those who went before us, we may
    carry one another's burdens, and thus help to build up or heal the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters incapable of doing it by themselves.
    "Today I am here with you, and you have shared with me the joy which fills your
    hearts: 'How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings'. This is the beauty we are called to spread, like an aroma of Christ: our prayer, our good works, and our sacrifices for those most in need. This is the joy of evangelising and 'blessed are you if you do these things'.
    "God bless you all".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 7 July 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Santiago
    Silva Retamales, auxiliary of the diocese of Valparaiso, Chile, as military ordinary for Chile.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    inmates at the "Coreccional del Buen Pastor" women's prison, who had written to
    the Pope asking him to visit them during his trip to Paraguay. As he entered the
    prison, the choir "Fifty voices of hope" welcomed him by singing for him.
    Upon arrival in Asuncion, the Pope transferred to the apostolic nunciature, where he will stay during his days in Paraguay, and from there he travelled by popemobile to the presidential palace, where he was received by President Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara, who introduced his family members, after which they
    spoke in private.
    The President then accompanied the Pope to the garden of the presidential residence, where he met with members of the government, the National Congress, the Supreme Court of Justice and the diplomatic corps. The Pope addressed those
    present, recalling Paraguay's suffering throughout history, as well as the resilience and their determination to build a prosperous nation. He also emphasised the role of the Catholic Church in the common effort to construct a just and inclusive society in which all members live in harmony.
    "A particular word of thanks is due to all those individuals and institutions who worked so hard to prepare this visit and to make me feel at home. It is not
    hard to feel at home in so welcoming a land. Paraguay is known as the heart of America, not only because of her geographic location, but also because of the warmth of her hospitality and the friendliness of her people.
    "From the first days of the country's independence to recent times, Paraguay has known the terrible sufferings brought on by war, fratricidal conflict, lack
    of freedom and contempt for human rights. How much suffering and death! Yet the
    Paraguayan people have also shown an admirable spirit of perseverance in surmounting adversities and in working to build a prosperous and peaceful nation. Here, in the garden of this palace which has witnessed so much of the country's history - from the time when it was no more than a riverbank used by the Guarani, until the present day - I wish to pay tribute to the many ordinary
    Paraguayan people, whose names are not written in history books but who have been, and continue to be, the real protagonists in the life of your nation. I would also like to acknowledge with profound admiration the role played by the women of Paraguay in those very dramatic historical moments, especially during that horrible war which almost managed to destroy fraternity among our peoples.
    As mothers, wives and widows, they shouldered the heaviest burdens; they found way to move their families and their country forward, instilling in new generations the hope of a better tomorrow. May God bless Paraguayan women, the most glorious of all in the Americas!
    "A people which forgets its own past, its history and its roots, has no future;
    it is a dull people. Memory, if it is firmly based on justice and rejects hatred
    and all desire for revenge, makes the past a source of inspiration for the building of a future of serene coexistence. It also makes us realise the tragedy
    and pointlessness of war. Let there be an end to wars between brothers! Let us always build peace! A peace which which grows stronger day by day, a peace which
    makes itself felt in everyday life, a peace to which each person contributes by
    seeking to avoid signs of arrogance, hurtful words, contemptuousness, and instead by working to foster understanding, dialogue and cooperation.
    "For some years now, Paraguay has sought to build a solid and stable democracy.
    It is proper to recognise with satisfaction progress made in this direction, thanks to the efforts of everyone, even amid great difficulties and uncertainties. I encourage you to continue working to strengthen the democratic
    structures and institutions, so that they can respond to the legitimate aspirations of the nation's people. The form of government adopted by your Constitution, a 'representative, participative and pluralistic democracy' based
    on the promotion of and respect for human rights, must banish the temptation to
    be satisfied with a purely formal democracy, one which, as Aparecida put it, is
    content with being 'founded on fair election procedures'. That is a purely formal democracy.
    "In every sector of society, but above all in public service, there is a need to reaffirm that dialogue is the best means of promoting the common good, on the
    basis of a culture of encounter, respect and acknowledgement of the legitimate differences and opinions of others. In the effort to overcome a spirit of constant conflict, unity is always better than conflict; convictions born of ideology or partisan interest should blend advantageously with love of the country and its people. That love must be the incentive to increased administrative transparency and unceasing efforts to combat corruption. I know that today there exists a firm desire to root out corruption.
    "Dear friends, in the desire to serve and promote the common good, the poor and
    needy have to be given priority of place. Paraguay has done much to advance along the path of economic growth. Important steps have been taken in the areas
    of education and health care. May all social groups work to ensure that there will never again be children without access to schooling, families without homes, workers without dignified employment, small farmers without land to cultivate, or campesinos forced to leave their lands for an uncertain future. May there be an end to violence, corruption and drug trafficking. An economic development which fails to take into account the weakest and underprivileged is
    not an authentic development. Economic progress must be measured by the integral
    dignity of persons, especially the most vulnerable and helpless.
    "Mr President, dear friends, in the name of my brothers, the bishops of Paraguay, I also wish to assure you of the commitment and cooperation of the Catholic Church in the common effort to build a just and inclusive society where
    each person can live in peace and harmony. All of us, including the Church's pastors, are called to be concerned with building a better world. Our sure faith
    in God, who willed to become man, to live among us and to share our lot, urges us to press forward. Christ opens up to us the path of mercy, which, founded on
    justice, goes beyond it to inspire works of charity, so that no one will remain
    on the fringes of this great family which is Paraguay, a land you love and wish
    to serve.
    "With great joy that I have come to this country consecrated to the Blessed Virgin of Caacupe - and here I would like to remember in a special my Paraguayan
    brothers and sisters in Buenos Aires, my former Diocese; they belong to the parish of the Virgin of the Miracles of Caacupo - I invoke the Lord's blessings
    on each of you, your families and all the beloved people of Paraguay. May this country be fruitful, as symbolised by the pasiflora fower on Our Lady's mantle,
    and may the national colors which decorate her image draw all the Paraguayan people to embrace the Mother of Caacupe. Thank you very much".
    After his discourse, the Pope attended a musical show with works from the era of the Jesuit Reductions. The Reductions were pioneering missionary villages in
    which the Christian Indios, separated from the Spanish, lived under the protection of European missionaries. At their height, in around 1731, there were
    approximately 150,000 Christian Indios in the Jesuit Reductions, but the experience came to an end in 1767 with the expulsion of the Jesuits from all the
    settlements.
    Today, 11 July, the Holy Father will visit the "Ninos de Acosta Nu" paediatric
    hospital, and will then celebrate Mass in the Marian Shrine of Caacupe. Upon his
    return to Asuncion he will meet with representatives of civil society; the day will conclude with Vespers and an address to the clergy in the Cathedral of Asuncion.

    ___________________________________________________________

    First hearing in the trial of ex-nuncio Jozef Wesolowski postponed due to ill health
    Vatican City, 11 July 2015 (VIS) - This morning, at 9.30, at the Vatican City State Tribunal, the first hearing took place in the criminal trial of the ex-nuncio to the Dominican Republic Jozef Wesolowski, indicted for the crime of
    possession of child pornography and for paedophile acts.
    The panel of judges is composed of Professor Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president; Professor Piero Antonio Bonnet; Professor Paolo Papanti-Pellettier; and Professor Venerando Marano, substitute.
    The promoter of Justice is Professor Gian Piero Milano, assisted by Professor Alessandro Diddi and Professor Roberto Zannotti. The defence counsel is Antonello Blasi.
    At the opening of the trial the promoter of Justice announced that the defendant was not present in court as he has been admitted to hospital.
    The Court took due note of the impediment to the presence of the defendant, following the onset of an unexpected illness necessitating his transfer to a public hospital where he is currently in the intensive care unit.
    In accordance with Article 471 c.p.p. the Tribunal suspended the trial and postponed it until a later date, awaiting the termination of the cause that has
    given rise to the postponement.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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    will see them. So, I decided to leave them to Our Lady of Copacabana, the Mother
    of Bolivia, and these two honours will go to the Shrine of Copacabana, to Our Lady. However, I am taking the the sculpture of Christ with me.
    Question: During the Mass in Guayaquil, you said that the Synod will have to develop true discernment to find concrete solutions to the difficulties faced by
    families. And then you asked the people to pray because even that which may seem
    impure to us, which may seem scandalous or frightening, can be transformed into
    a miracle by God. Can you clarify what "impure", "scandalous" or "frightening" situations you were referring to?
    Answer: Here again there is a need for a hermeneutics of the text. I was talking about the miracle of the wine during the wedding at Cana and I said that
    the jars of water were full, but they were intended for purification. Or rather,
    every person who entered the feast carried out a rite of cleansing, leaving behind their spiritual impurities. It is a purification rite performed before entering a house or a temple. A rite that we have in holy water, which is what remains to us of the Jewish ritual. I said that Jesus made good wine with the impure water, the worst water. In general, I thought about making this comment:
    the family is in crisis, we all know this. ... I was referring to all of this, in
    general: that the Lord may purify us of these crises, of the many things that are described in the Instrumentum laboris. It is a general issue, not referring
    to any particular point.
    Question: Seeing how well the mediation went between Cuba and the U.S., do you
    think it would it be possible to do something similar between other delicate situations in other countries on the Latin American continent? I'm thinking of Venezuela and Colombia.
    Answer: The process between Cuba and the United States was not mediation. It did not have the character of mediation. There was a wish that came ... And then,
    to tell you the truth, three months went by, and I only prayed about the matter
    ... what could I do with these two who had been like this for more than 50 years.
    Then the Lord made me think of a cardinal. He went there and talked; then knew nothing more and months went by. One day the secretary of State, who is here, told me, "Tomorrow we will have the second meeting with the two teams." ... "Yes,
    yes, they are talking, the two groups are talking ...". It happened by itself. It
    was not a mediation. It was the goodwill of the two countries, and the merit is
    theirs, the merit is theirs for doing this. We did hardly anything, only small things. And in mid-December, it was announced. ... Now, I am concerned that the
    peace process in Colombia must not come to a halt. I have to say this, and I hope that the process goes ahead. In this sense, we are always willing to help,
    in many ways. It would be a bad thing if it did not go ahead. In Venezuela, the
    Episcopal Conference is working to make peace there, too. But there too, there is no mediation.
    Question: One thing we have heard very little of is a message for the middle class, that is, people who work, who pay their taxes, normal people. My questions is: why are there so few messages for the middle class in the Holy Father's teaching?
    Answer: Thank you, it is a good correction? You are right, it is an error on my
    part. The world is polarised. The middle class is becoming smaller. The polarisation between rich and poor is great, this is true, and perhaps this has
    led me not to take account of it. Some nations are doing very well, but in the world in general polarisation is very evident. And the number of poor is large.
    And why do I speak of the poor? Because they are at the heart of the Gospel. ...
    Then with regard to the middle class, I have said a few words, but somewhat "in
    passing". But the common people, the simple people, the worker, that is a great
    value. But I think you are telling me about something I need to do: I need to deepen the magisterium on this.
    Question: Now that Cuba will have a greater role in the international community, do you think that Havana will have to improve its reputation with regard to human rights and religious freedom? And do you think that Cuba risks losing something in its new relationship with the most powerful country in the world?
    Answer: Human rights are for all, and are not to be respected only in one or two countries. I would say that in many countries throughout the world human rights are not respected. ... What will Cuba or the U.S. lose? Both will gain something and lose something, because this happens in negotiations. Both will gain, this is sure: peace, encounter, friendship, collaboration. These they will
    gain ... but what will they lose, I cannot imagine. They may be concrete things.
    But in negotiations one always [both] wins and loses. But returning to human rights, and religious freedom: just think that in the world there are some countries, even in Europe, where you cannot make a religious sign, for different
    reasons. The same applies to other continents. Religious freedom is not respected in all the world: there are many places where it is not respected.
    Question: Holy Father, in summary, what message did you want to give to the Latin American Church in these days? And what role can the Latin American Church
    have, also as a sign to the world?
    Answer: The Latin American Church has a great asset: it is a young Church ... with a certain freshness, also some informalities, it is not very formal. In addition it has a rich body of theological research. I wanted to encourage this
    young Church and I believe that this Church can offer us much. One thing that really struck me was that in all three countries, in the streets, there were many fathers and mothers with their children. ... I have never seen so many children! It is a people - and also a Church - that has a lesson for us, for Europe, where the declining birthrate is worrying, and there are few policies for helping large families. France has a good policy for helping large families
    and it has achieved a birthrate of more than two per cent, but in others it remains at zero percent. ... The greatest asset of this people and of this Church
    is that it is a living Church. I believe we can learn from this and correct it as otherwise, if we no longer have children ... It is what touches me most about
    this tendency to cast aside: children are discarded, the elderly are discarded,
    and through the lack of work, the young too are discarded. These new nations of
    young people give us greater strength. For the Church, I would say that a young
    Church - with many problems, because it has problems - I think that this is the
    message I find: do not be afraid of this youth and this freshness of the Church.
    It can also be a somewhat undisciplined Church, but with time it will become disciplined, and it offers us much that is good.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See regards the Iranian nuclear programme in a positive light
    Vatican City, 14 July 2015 (VIS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., made the following statement this morning regarding
    the nuclear agreement with Iran:
    "The agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme is viewed in a positive light by the Holy See. It constitutes an important outcome of the negotiations carried
    out so far, although continued efforts and commitment on the part of all involved will be necessary in order for it to bear fruit. It is hoped that those
    fruits will not be limited to the field of nuclear programme, but may indeed extend further".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 14 July 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Fr. Emmanuel Fianu, S.V.D., as bishop of Ho (area 5,893, population 658,845,
    Catholics 200,670, priests 82, religious 92), Ghana. The bishop-elect was born in Tegbi, Ghana in 1957, gave his perpetual vows in 1984, and was ordained a priest in 1985. He studied biblical theology at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, and has served in a number of administrative and academic offices, including admonitor of the S.V.D. District in Lome, lecturer in biblical sciences at the St. Jean Paul II Seminaire and the Institute St. Paul of Lome; secretary for the Commission for liturgical publications for Ghana-Togo; rector of the College of the Divine Word, Rome; secretary for formation for the Africa-Madagascar S.V.D. Provinces; and coordinator for the AFRAM zone, based in Accra. He is currently secretary of the General Council of
    his Congregation. He succeeds Bishop Francis Anani Kofi Lodonu, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Msgr. Jorge Enrique Concha Cayuqueo, O.F.M., as auxiliary of the archdiocese
    of Santiago de Chile (area 9,132, population 6,290,000, Catholics 4,205,000, priests 877, permanent deacons 339, religious 3,109), Chile. The bishop-elect was born in Carahue, Chile in 1958, gave his solemn vows in 1983, and was ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a doctorate in social sciences from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of roles, including provincial secretary for formation and studies, parish vicar, guardian
    of the "San Felipe de Jesus" formation house in Santiago and commissioner for the Holy Land in Chile. He is currently provincial minister for the Franciscan Province of the Most Holy Trinity in Chile, president of the Conference of Provincial Ministers of the Southern Cone (Argentina, Paraguay and Chile) and first deputy president of the Conference of Religious in Chile.
    - Fr. Benedictus Son Hee-Song as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Seoul (area 17,349, population 10,143,645, Catholics 1,472,815, priests 908, religious 2,282), Korea. The bishop-elect was born in Kyenki Yeonchenun Chadari, Korea, and was ordained a priest in 1986. He studied theology in Innsbruck, Austria, obtaining a licentiate and doctorate. He has served in a number of roles, including parish priest, lecturer at the Catholic University of Seoul, deputy director of the Commission for reviewing publications; and secretary general of
    the Episcopal Commission for the doctrine of faith. He is currently director of
    archdiocesan pastoral ministry, member of the presbyteral council, member of the
    pastoral council, member of the Commissions for continuing formation of the clergy, for foreign missions, and for the management of day care centres for the
    elderly of Seoul, member and deputy director of the Commission for the protection of the holy sites of martyrdom in Seoul, and secretary general of the
    Episcopal Commission for the lay apostolate.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Sep 3 08:49:02 2015
    between Jesus and various Pharisees. We run the risk, he states, of considering
    ourselves to be better than others for the mere fact of following rules and customs, even if we love our neighbour. The literal fulfilment of precepts is fruitless if it does not change our heart and does not translate into concrete acts: opening ourselves up to the encounter with God and His Word, seeking justice and peace, and assisting the poor, the weak and the oppressed".
    After reciting the Angelus prayer, the Pope mentioned that yesterday in Harissa, Lebanon, the Syro-Catholic bishop Flaviano Michele Melki, martyred during a terrible persecution of Christians, was declared blessed. "Today too, in the Middle East and in other parts of the world, Christians are persecuted. May the beatification of this bishop martyr instil in them comfort, courage and
    hope".
    Finally, he denounced the tragic humanitarian crisis of migrants, many of whom
    recently lost their lives in Austria and in the Mediterranean, and he underlined
    the need to prevent these crimes, an affront to the entire human family.
    LETTERS, MESSAGES AND TELEGRAMS
    4. Publication of the letter, written in Latin and dated 21 May, in which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, archbishop emeritus of Quito, Ecuador, as his special envoy in the Tenth National Eucharistic Congress of Peru (Piura, 13-16 August).
    6. Publication of the Pope's letter to Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, dated 25 July, in which the latter is appointed as papal legate to the
    celebration of the fifth centenary of the evangelisation of the Democratic Republic of East Timor (15 August).
    The Holy Father writes to Bishop Maroun Lahham, auxiliary of Jerusalem of the Latins and patriarchal vicar for Jordan, on the situation faced by refugees from
    these countries.
    7. Publication of the letter, dated 2 June, in which Pope Francis appoints Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture,
    as his special envoy to the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the Cathedral of Strasbourg, France (15 August).
    8. Publication of the letter, dated 20 May, in which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia, as his special envoy to the celebration of the third centenary of the Shrine of Our Lady of Miracles held in Sinj, Croatia (15 August).
    10. Message to Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez, archbishop of Vallidolid, Spain, and president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, for the European Youth
    Meeting (Avila, 5-9 August) on the theme "In troubled times, strong friends of God", commemorating the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila.
    With a letter to Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace", and Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the
    Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Pope institutes the World
    Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
    18. Telegram of condolences to Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, for the death on 17 August of Cardinal Laszlo Paskai, O.F.M. Cap., archbishop emeritus of the same archdiocese.
    19. Message to Brother Alois and the Taize Community for the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Community on 20 August, in the year of the centenary of the birth of founder Brother Roger Schutz and the tenth anniversary of his death.
    Message to Bishop Francesco Lambiasi of Rimini for the 36th Meeting for friendship between peoples, held in Rimini from 20 to 26 August.
    20. Telegram from Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, on behalf of the
    Holy Father, to His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, following the
    terrorist attacks on the Hindu Erawan shrine and the Sathorn district of Bangkok.
    22. Publication of the letter, dated 25 July, in which the Holy Father designates Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, as his special envoy to the Mass in Bobbio, Italy on 30 August for the 18th International Meeting of Columbanian Communities, on the 1400th anniversary of the death of St. Columbanus.
    23. Message to Bishop Pier Giorgio Debernardi of Pinerolo, Italy, on the occasion of the Synod of the Methodist and Waldensian Churches, in Torre Pellice, Italy, from 23 to 28 August.
    29. Publication of the letter dated 11 July in which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago del Chile, Chile, as his special envoy to the Sixth National Eucharistic Conference
    of Mexico (Monterrey, 9-13 September).
    OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
    1: The Holy Father appoints Msgr. Alberto Ortega as apostolic nuncio in Jordan
    and Iraq, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop.
    He also appoints Professor Alfredo Pontecorvi director of the Department of Health and Hygiene of the Governorate of Vatican City State. The new director is
    professor of Endocrinology and director of the School of Specialisation in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases at the Agostino Gemelli Teaching Hospital.
    4. Bishop Fernando Jose Castro Aguayo, auxiliary of Caracas, Venezuela, is appointed as bishop of Margarita in Venezuela.
    6. The Pope accepts the resignation of Bishop Joseph Kunnath, C.M.I., from the
    pastoral care of the eparchy of Adilabad of the Syro-Malabars, India. Bishop Kunnath is succeeded by Fr. Anthony Prince Panengaden, former protosyncellus and
    parish priest in the same eparchy.
    He erects the apostolic exarchate for the Syro-Malabars in Canada and appoints
    Fr. Jose Kalluvelil as the first exarch, elevating him to the dignity of bishop.
    8. Appointment of Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France, as the Holy Father's special envoy to the consecration of the new cathedral of the
    diocese of Creteil, France, to be held on 20 September 2015.
    The Pope appoints Professor Fabrizio Soccorsi, former head physician of hepatology at San Camillo Hospital, Rome, as his personal doctor.
    10. The Holy Father appoints Fr. Juan Carlos Bravo Salazar, parish priest of Nuestra Senora de Belen en Guasipati, as bishop of Acarigua-Araure, Venezuela.
    Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap., archbishop of Boston, U.S.A., is appointed as the Holy Father's special envoy to the ceremony for the 450th anniversary of the first founding mass of the city of St. Augustine, Florida, U.S.A.
    14. The Holy Father appoints Fr. Paolo Bizzetti, S.J., as apostolic vicar in Anatolia, Turkey, elevating him to episcopal rank. The new apostolic vicar was formerly rector of the Patavina Residentia Antonianum.
    15. The Pope appoints Bishop Michael Didi Adgum of El Obeid, Sudan, as coadjutor archbishop of Jartum, Sudan, and apostolic administrator of El Obeid.
    22. Cardinal Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B., archbishop of Montevideo,
    Uruguay, is appointed as the Holy Father's special envoy to the Fifth Eucharistic Congress of Bolivia (Traija, 16-20 September).
    The Pope appoints Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" as his special envoy to the concluding ceremony of
    the First National Eucharistic Congress of the Czech Republic (Brno, 17 October).
    24. The Holy Father accepts the resignation presented by Bishop Gilberto Delio
    Goncalves Canavarro dos Reis from the pastoral ministry of the diocese of Setubal, Portugal, upon reaching the age limit, and appoints Fr. Jose Ornelas Carvalho, S.C.I., superior general of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Dehonians) as the new bishop of Setubal.
    26. The Holy Father extended the eparchy of Mandya of the Syro-Malabars, India,
    to include the six civil districts around Bangalore in which Syro-Malabar faithful are resident: Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Chickballapur, Kolar, Ramnagara and Tumkur.
    The Pope gave his assent to the election by the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Major
    Archiepiscopal Church of Fr. Antony Kariyil C.M.I., former director of the Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology, Cochin, India, as eparchal vicar
    of Mandya of the Syro-Malabars.
    28. Appointment of Fr. Jean-Pierre Cottanceau, S.S.C.C., as apostolic administrator of the archdiocese of Papeete, French Polynesia.
    AUDIENCES
    5. Audience with the ambassador of Nigeria, Francis Chukwuemeka Okeke, on his farewell visit.
    7. The Pope receives in the Paul VI Hall the members of the Eucharistic Youth Movement.
    8. Audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for
    the Causes of Saints, during which Pope Francis authorises the promulgation of the decree regarding the martyrdom of Servant of God Flaviano Miguel Melki, born
    in 1858 in Kalaat Mara, present-day Turkey, and bishop of Gazireth of the Syrians, killed in hatred of the faith in Gazireth, present-day Turkey, in 1915.
    12. Audience with the ambassador of Hungary, Gabor Gyorivanyi, on his farewell
    visit.
    29. Audience with Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
    31. The Pope receives in separate audiences:
    - Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, archbishop of Perugia-Citta della Pieve, Italy;
    - Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence, Italy;
    - Archbishop Piero Pioppo, apostolic nuncio in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea;
    - Archbishop Rino Passigato, apostolic nuncio in Portugal;
    - Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, apostolic nuncio in Colombia;
    - Archbishop Giacinto Berloco, apostolic nuncio in Belgium and Luxembourg;
    - Fr. Pascal Burri, chaplain of the Swiss Guard Corps, on his farewell visit.
    OTHER ACTIVITIES OF THE HOLY FATHER
    4. The Pope meets with several thousand altar servers from more than twenty countries, participating in an international pilgrimage to Rome on the theme "Here I am! Send me".
    11. The Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace" makes public the theme chosen by
    the Holy Father for the 49th World Day of Peace (1 January 2016): "Overcome indifference and win peace".
    20. The Holy Father chooses the theme for the 102nd World Day of Migrants and Refugees (17 January 2016): "Migrants and refugees challenge us. The response of
    the Gospel of Mercy".
    OTHER NEWS
    14. The Holy See and the Democratic Republic of East Timor sign an agreement defining the legal status of the Catholic Church and regulating various matters
    including Catholic marriage, places of worship, religious education.
    28. Press release regarding the raising of flags of Observer States in the central headquarters and offices of the United Nations.
    28. The Holy See Press Office issues a communique on the death at home, by natural causes, of Msgr. Josef Wesolowski, former apostolic nuncio. 29. The Holy
    See Press Office announces that, following the death of former nuncio Josef Wesolowski in the evening of 27 August, the Office of the Promoter of Justice, in the fulfilment of its required functions, has ordered that a post-mortem examination take place, and has appointed a commission of three experts to perform the task, coordinated by the Giovanni Arcudi, professor of forensic medicine. The first conclusions of the autopsy, carried out in the afternoon of
    28 August, confirm the natural cause of death, due to cardiac failure. In the forthcoming days, the Office of the Promoter of Justice will obtain the results
    of the laboratory tests performed by the Commission.
    30. Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sends a letter on behalf of the
    Holy Father to Bishop Gianni Ambrosio of Piacenza-Bobbio, Italy, on the occasion
    of the 18th International Meeting of the Columbanian Communities on the 1400th anniversary of the death of St. Columbanus.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Sep 8 00:16:02 2015
    me'. The two parishes of the Vatican will also welcome two families of refugees
    in these days".
    The Pope then went on to mention that the bishops of Venezuela and Colombia will meet shortly to examine together the painful situation that has emerged on
    the border between the two countries. "I see in this meeting a clear sign of hope. I invite all, especially the beloved Venezuelan and Colombian peoples, to
    pray that, in a spirit of solidarity and fraternity, the current difficulties may be overcome".
    He also remarked that yesterday in Gerona, Spain, the women religious Fidelia Oller, Josefa Monrabal and Facunda Margenat, "killed for their fidelity to Christ and to the Church", were proclaimed blessed. Despite threats and intimidation, these women bravely stayed where they were to assist the sick, trusting in God. May their heroic witness, unto the shedding of their blood, give strength and hope to those who are persecuted today for their Christian faith. And as we know, there are many of them".
    Finally, he spoke about the inauguration last Friday in Brazzaville, capital of
    the Republic of the Congo, of the eleventh African Games, in which thousand of athletes from all over the continent will compete. "I hope that this great festival of sport will contribute to peace, fraternity and the development of all the countries of Africa".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy Father receives the "Cells of evangelisation"
    Vatican City, 5 September 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis received more than 5,000 members of the "Cells of Evangelisation" from all over the world, accompanied by the Fr. Piergiorgio Perini, parish priest of
    St. Eustorgio in Milan, Italy, who founded this institution whose statutes were
    formally recognised by the Catholic Church on 15 April this year. With the help
    of their "cells", parish priests are able to educate their parishes in evangelisation and to continue their ordinary pastoral ministry while also giving it a missionary quality.
    This missionary aim requires, above all, "listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit Who continues to speak to His Church and to drive her to take paths that
    are at times little-known but decisive for the progress of evangelisation. Remaining always willing to listen and being careful never to become exhausted by tiredness and the difficulties of the moment, are conditions for overcoming the various obstacles we encounter on the path of evangelisation".
    The cells, with their daily commitment and in communion with other ecclesial entities, help the parish community to become a family "in which we find the rich and multiform reality of the Church". "Meeting in homes to share the joys and hopes that are present in the heart of every person, is a genuine experience
    of evangelisation that closely resembles what took place in the early years of the Church", remarked the Pope, noting that the Cells are "able to welcome all without judging anyone, to offer the experience of God's presence and love for one's brothers. Welcome is fundamental to evangelisation, as it is one of the first signs of the communion to which we are called to bear witness, for having
    encountered Christ in our life".
    The Holy Father exhorted the members of the movement to make the Eucharist the
    heart of their evangelising mission, "so that each Cell may be a Eucharistic community where breaking bread is equivalent to recognising the real presence of
    Jesus Christ among us". "Your statutes were approved on Divine Mercy Sunday. May
    you always bear witness to the tenderness of God the Father and His closeness to
    everyone, especially the weakest and loneliest".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Fernando Sturla, Pope's special envoy to the Fifth National Eucharistic Congress of Bolivia
    Vatican City, 5 September 2015 (VIS) - In a letter published today, written in
    Latin and dated 22 August, the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B., archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay, as his special envoy
    to the Fifth National Eucharistic Congress of Bolivia, to be celebrated in Tarija, Bolivia from 16 to 20 September.
    The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Msgr. Diego Luis Espana Gonzalez, vicar general of the diocese of Tarija, Bolivia, and Fr. Pablo
    Cesar Alcoba Miranda, parish priest of the parish Nuestra Senora de Pilcomayo in
    Yacuiba and episcopal vicar of the same diocese.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 7 September 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience 40 prelates from the Portuguese Episcopal Conference, on their "ad Limina" visit, in two separate groups. In the early morning, he received:
    - Cardinal Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente, patriarch of Lisbon, with his auxiliaries, Bishop Joaquim Augusto da Silva Mendes, Bishop Nuno Bras da Silva Martins, and Bishop Jose Augusto Traquina Maria;
    Bishop Antonio de Sousa Braga of Angra;
    - Bishop Antonio Jose Cavaco Carrilho of Funchal, with Bishop emeritus Teodoro
    de Faria;
    - Bishop Manuel da Rocha Felicio of Guarda;
    - Bishop Antonio Augusto dos Santos Marto of Leiria-Fatima, with Bishop emeritus Serafim de Sousa Ferreira e Silva;
    - Bishop Antonino Eugenio Fernandes Dias of Portalegre Castelo Branco;
    - Bishop Manuel Pelino Domingues of Santarem;
    - Bishop Gilberto Delio Gongalves Canavarro dos Reis of Setubal with Bishop emeritus Manuel da Silva Martins;
    - Archbishop Jose Francisco Sanches Alves of Evora, with Bishop emeritus Maurilio Jorge Quintal de Gouveia;
    - Bishop Antonio Vitalino Fernandes Dantas of Beja, with coadjutor Bishop Jose
    Jogo dos Santos Marcos;
    - Bishop Manuel Neto Quintas of Faro, with Bishop emeritus Manuel Madureira Dias;
    In the late morning, he received:
    - Archbishop Jorge Ferreira da Costa Ortiga of Braga, with his auxiliary, Bishop Francisco Jose Villas-Boas Senra de Faria Coelho;
    - Bishop Antonio Manuel Moiteiro Ramos of Aveiro;
    - Bishop Jose Manuel Garcia Cordeiro of Braganca Miranda, with Bishops emeritus
    Antonio Jose Rafael and Antonio Montes Moreira;
    - Bishop Virgilio do Nascimento Antunes of Coimbra;
    - Bishop Antonio Jose da Rocha Couto of Lamego, with Bishop emeritus Jacinto Tomas de Carvalho;
    - Bishop Antonio Francisco dos Santos of Porto, with his auxiliaries, Bishop Antonio Maria Bessa Taipa, Bishop Joao Evangelista Pimentel Lavrador and Bishop
    Pio Goncalo Alves de Sousa, and former auxiliary Bishop Joao Miranda Teixeira;
    - Bishop Anacleto Cordeiro Gongalves de Oliveira of Viana do Castelo, with Bishop emeritus Jose Augusto Martins Fernandes Pedreira;
    - Bishop Amandio Jose Tomas of Vila Real;
    - Bishop Ilidio Pinto Leandro of Viseu;
    - Bishop Manuel da Silva Rodrigues Linda, Military Ordinary, with Military Ordinary emeritus Bishop Januario Torgal Mendes Ferreira.
    On Saturday, 5 September, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine
    of the Faith;
    - Archbishop Sergio da Rocha of Brasilia, Brazil, president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, with Archbishop Murilo Sebastiao Ramos Krieger
    of Sao Salvador da Bahia, vice president; and Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, auxiliary of Brasilia, secretary general.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 7 September 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    On Saturday, 5 September, the Holy Father:
    - appointed Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Catholic Education, as his special envoy at the concluding celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival from Rome of the Sacred Image of the Madonna of Lask in the shrine of Lask in the archdiocese of Lodz, to be held on
    Sunday 8 November.
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Taiohae, Marquis Islands, France, presented by Bishop Guy Chevalier, SS.CC. upon reaching
    the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Pascal Chang-Soi, SS.CC., coadjutor of
    the same diocese.
    - gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Armenian Patriarchal Church of Rev. Archpriest Kevork (Georges) Assadourian as auxiliary of the patriarchal eparchy of Beirut of the Armenians (Catholics 12,500, priests 22, permanent deacons 3, religious 49), Lebanon. The bishop-elect was born in Kamichlie, Syria in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) and at the Pontifical Lateran University, and has served in a number of roles in Lebanon, including vice rector of the seminary of
    Bzommar, vicar and parish priest in several parishes, and bursar. He currently exercises his pastoral ministry in Paris in the Armenian-Catholic eparchy of France.
    - appointed Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson, formerly apostolic nuncio in Ukraine, as apostolic nuncio in Switzerland and in the Principality of Liechtenstein.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Press conference on Pope Francis' two new Motu proprio on the reform of canonical procedure for marriage annulment
    Vatican City, 7 September 2015 (VIS) At midday tomorrow, Tuesday 8 September, press conference will be held in the Holy See Press Office to present the two letters issued "Motu proprio" by Pope Francis, "Mitis ludex Dominus Iesus" and "Mitis et misericors Iesus" on the reform of canonical procedure for the annulment of marriage in the Code of Canon Law (CIC) and the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches (CCEO) respectively.
    The speakers in the conference, in the order in which they will intervene, are:
    - Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, dean of the Roman Rota and president of the Special Commission for the Study of the Reform of Matrimonial Processes in Canon Law;
    - Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and member of the Special Commission;
    - Bishop Dimitrios Salachas, apostolic exarch of Athens for Greek Catholics of
    Byzantine Rite and member of the Special Commission;
    - Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., secretary of the Congregation
    for the Doctrine of the Faith and member of the Special Commission;
    - Msgr. Alejandro W. Bunge, prelate auditor of the Roman Rota and secretary of
    the Special Commission;
    - Fr. Nikolaus Schoch, O.F.M., substitute promoter of Justice at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and secretary of the Special Commission.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Sep 8 09:12:02 2015
    "Following in the same path, and taking into account the particular ecclesial and disciplinary order of the Eastern Churches, I have decided to issue in a separate Motu proprio the norms for the reform of the discipline of marriage processes in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches".
    The Pope goes on to emphasise the importance of the ministry of the bishop, with according to the teachings of the Eastern Fathers, is "judge and physician,
    since man, wounded and fallen, owing to original sin and his personal sins, sickens and with the medicine of penitence obtains healing and forgiveness from
    God, and is reconciled with the Church. Indeed, the bishop, constituted by the Holy Spirit as the figure of Christ and in the place of Christ, is first and foremost the minister of divine mercy".
    The Bishop of Rome emphasises that appeal to the Metropolitan See is "a hallmark of the fundamental synodality in the Eastern Churches, which should be
    supported and encouraged", and addresses to the Synods of the Eastern Churches the recommendations which in the Motu proprio "Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus" are addressed to the Episcopal Conferences.
    Finally, he decrees and establishes that in Title 26 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (Chapter 1, article 1). Cases for the declaration of the nullity of marriage, canons 1357-1377) is entirely substituted by the new norms,
    with effect from 8 December 2015.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Presentation of the Holy Father's Motu proprio on the reform of procedures for
    the declaration of marriage nullity
    Vatican City, 8 September 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy Press Office press conference was held for the presentation of the two letters issued "Motu proprio" by the Holy Father Francis, "Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus" and "Mitis et misericors Iesus" on the reform of canonical processes for the declaration of nullity of marriage in the Code of Canon Law (CIC) and the Code of Canons of the
    Oriental Churches (CCEO) respectively.
    The speakers at the conference were Msgr. Vito Pinto, dean of the Roman Rota and president of the Special Commission for the Reform of Matrimonial Processes
    in Canon Law; Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and member of the Special Commission; Bishop Dimitrios Salachas, apostolic exarch of Athens for Greek Catholics of Byzantine
    Rite and member of the Special Commission; Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and member of the Special Commission; Msgr. Alejandro W. Bunge, prelate auditor of the Roman Rota and secretary of the Special Commission; and Fr. Nikolaus Schoch,
    O.F.M., substitute promoter of Justice at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic
    Signatura and secretary of the Special Commission.
    Cardinal Coccopalmerio specified that the reform regards the canonical process
    for the declaration of nullity of marriage. "It is a process that leads to the declaration of nullity, or in other words, which leads first to establish whether a marriage may be declared null and, if so, to declare its nullity. It is not, therefore, a process that leads to the annulment of the marriage. Nullity is distinct from annulment, and declaring the nullity of a marriage is entirely different to decreeing its annulment.
    Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., recalled the necessary requisites according to canon law for the validation of a marriage between Catholics which, aside from the absence of diriment impediments and the observance of canonical form, including the free consent of the spouses.
    "According to the teaching of the Church", he said, "marriage is one, only a man and a woman may unite in marriage, and it is impossible to undertake a new matrimonial union during the life of the spouse. Marriage is indissoluble, as Jesus taught, and we have many examples of this teaching in the Gospel. The Letter to the Ephesians explains to us that sacramental marriage cannot be broken as it is the image and expression of Christ's love for His Church. ... Marriage must be open to the transmission of life".
    "In our traditional civilisation, it was possible to suppose that these teachings of the Church were known and shared. In recent times there has emerged
    the doubt, that would seem not without basis, as to whether all those who marry
    in the Church are sufficiently aware of these teachings and, therefore, as to whether their consent truly refers to them. If it is not the case, their marriage would be null; that is, it would not exist in fact. And precisely because there are these doubts, many would like to be able to offer a rapid but
    reliable means for resolving the problem and contributing to pacifying the conscience of many Catholics".
    The key points of the reform were explained by the prelate auditor of the Roman
    Rota, Msgr. Bunge: "1) the central role of the diocesan bishop, to be applied in
    the spirit of collegiality.
    As well as the regional, interdiocesan and synodal tribunals, according to the
    various methods of the Church and taking into account the good of the faithful and the appropriateness of accessibility of pastoral remedies for wounded faithful, the diocesan bishops are enabled to have their own diocesan tribunals,
    and if necessary, also to decide that in this tribunal, if it impossible to have
    a collegial tribunal (always chaired by a member of the clergy), there may be single judge (again clerical).
    2) Short procedure (avoiding the terms 'summary' or 'administrative') for clear
    cases of nullity of marriage, to render it more accessible to the 'masses'. In these cases the judge would be the bishop, assisted in ascertaining the facts by
    two assessors, with whom he will discuss in advance the moral certainty of the facts adopted in deciding on the nullity of the marriage. If the bishop is convinced of the moral certainty, he will pronounce the decision; otherwise the
    case will be referred to the ordinary process.
    It may be objected that a bishop would be unable to decide a high number of cases, to which there is a dual response: in a region there would be not only the regional and interdiocesan tribunals, but also the bishop in each diocese for cases that are obviously clear; secondly, the bishop would be assisted by the staff of his tribunal. Ongoing formation would ensure that each bishop, with
    his tribunal for these cases of marriage nullity, would discover the ministry appropriate to him, entrusted to him in his holy ordination, as the judge of his
    faithful.
    3) Appeal would be rare, as there would exist agreement between the parties and
    there would be evident facts regarding nullity; in the presence of elements that
    would lead the appeal to be considered merely dilatory or instrumental, it would
    be rejected a limine.
    4) Ordinary process:
    - Fast (a maximum of one year)
    - Abolition of the double conforming decision (that is, the need according to canon law in the procedures for the declaration of nullity of marriage to have two conforming decisions to enable the spouses to be free to contract a new marriage. This implies that two tribunals of distinct grade declare the nullity
    of the marriage for the same reasons in fact and in law, Ed.).
    - The affirmative non-appellate judgement ipso facto becomes executive.
    - If an appeal is sought following an affirmative judgement this can be rejected a limine due to an evident lack of supporting arguments.
    This may occur in the case of instrumental appeal, intended to harm the other party; often the non-Catholic appellant has already undertaken a civil remarriage.
    There emerges in the reform the situation which is by now the reason why the majority of Catholics seek the declaration of nullity of marriage: 'consulere conscientiae', that is, aside from the civil law aspects, for reasons of conscience (to partake in the sacraments of the Church and to perfect a new bond
    which, unlike the first, is stable and happy).
    5. The speed of the procedure favours the limitation of appeals to the Holy See
    and therefore to the Roman Rota, or appeals to the Apostolic Signatura to newly
    present a case previously rejected by the Rota.
    In conclusion; the glory of God s living man, and may I add, man saved by the diligent ministry of the justice and mercy of the Church".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 8 September 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Raymond Poisson, auxiliary of Saint-Jerome, Canada, as bishop of Joliette (area
    8,800, population 281,000, Catholics 256,000, priests 113, permanent deacons 7,
    religious 230), Canada.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    capital is guided by people. Favour the growth of an economy of honesty".
    "The economy of honesty - in this age in which the wind of corruption blows in
    all places. You are required not only to be honest - this is normal - but to spread and entrench honesty everywhere. A struggle against corruption", remarked
    the Pope, suggesting as a final point "active participation in globalisation so
    that it may be a globalisation of solidarity".
    "You are the largest Cooperative Credit Bank in Italy", he recalled. "The most
    important challenge you face is to grown while continuing to be truly cooperative, rather, becoming even more so. This means promoting the active participation of your members. Work together and work for others. ... Banking is
    delicate enterprise that requires great rigour. But a cooperative bank must have
    something more: it must seek to humanise the economy, uniting efficiency with solidarity".
    In social doctrine there is an important word: "solidarity. As cooperative credit banks you have put the principle of subsidiarity into practice when you faced the difficulties of the crisis with your means, joining forces and not at
    the expense of others. This is subsidiarity: not placing a burden on institutions and therefore on the country when it is possible to face problems with one's own strengths, responsibly". It is also important for cooperatives to
    allocate resources to charity and mutual funds and to be aware of where income is produced, "with attention to keep people, the young and families, at the centre".
    "At the origin of rural savings banks it was expected that the credit cooperative would be able to stimulate further initiatives of cooperation", observed Francis. "This spirit remains valid. The BCC can be the nucleus around
    which a large network can be built, allowing the birth of businesses that create
    employment ... there are many people without work. Businesses that create work in
    order to support families, and to experiment with microcredit and other ways of
    humanising the economy, and above all to give every man and woman the opportunity to have the dignity of work", he concluded.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope's message for the opening of the plenary Assembly of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe
    Vatican City, 12 September 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father send a message to Cardinal Peter Erdo, president of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe, which holds its plenary assembly in the Holy Land from 11
    to 16 September. The following is the full text of the message:
    "I send fraternal greetings and prayerful good wishes to you and all the members of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences gathering in the Holy Land from 11 to 16 September 2015. As you reflect on the life of the Church in your various countries, I pray that your time together may be above all a time of deep prayer and solidarity. May your rest in the Lord renew you in holiness of life and in apostolic zeal for those entrusted to your care. May it also rekindle for you the freshness of the Gospel, from which 'new avenues arise, new
    paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent sings and words with new meaning for today's world'. I especially entrust to your prayers the upcoming General Synod, that the Church may respond with ever greater urgency and generosity to the needs of the family. Invoking the intercession of Mary, our Mother, I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing to all of you as a pledge of wisdom and strength in Jesus Christ our Lord".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Holy Father's calendar for September to November 2015
    Vatican City, 12 September 2015 (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 from September to November:
    SEPTEMBER
    Saturday 19 to Monday 28: Apostolic trip to Cuba and the United States of America.
    OCTOBER
    Saturday 3: at 7 p.m. in St. Peter's Square, prayer vigil in preparation for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
    Sunday 4, 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time: at 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the opening of the 14th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of
    Bishops.
    Sunday 18, 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: at 10.15 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica,
    Holy Mass for the canonisation of Blesseds Vincenzo Grossi, Mary of the Immaculate Conception, and the couple Louis and Marie-Azelie Martin.
    Sunday 25, 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time: at 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod
    of Bishops.
    NOVEMBER
    Sunday 1, Solemnity of All Saints: Holy Mass at 4 p.m. in the Verano Cemetery,
    Rome
    Monday 2, All Souls Day: at 6 p.m. in the Vatican Grottoes, a moment of prayer
    for deceased Supreme Pontiffs.
    Thursday 5: at 11.30 a.m. at the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica,
    Holy Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year.
    Sunday 15: at 4 p.m., visit to the Evangelical and Lutheran Church of Rome.
    Wednesday 25 to Monday 30: Apostolic trip to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cor Unum convenes meeting on the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq
    Vatican City, 14 September 2015 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" has organised a meeting on the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq to be held on 17 September, which will be attended in particular by the Catholic charitable organisations active in the Middle East and the bishops of the region.
    The meeting, supported by more than 30 organisations, will be divided into two
    parts. During the morning, after the introduction by Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso,
    secretary of the Pontifical Council, there will be addresses from Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and the
    United Nations under-secretary general for Humanitarian Affairs. There will then
    be a presentation of the report on humanitarian aid provided by ecclesial entities in the context of the crisis in Syria and Iraq (2014-2015), prepared by
    "Cor Unum".
    In the afternoon, following the presentation by Msgr. Khaled Akasheh, director
    of the Office for Islam of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and updates from the local Churches by Archbishop Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio
    in Syria, Bishop Antoine Audo, president of Caritas Syria and Bishop Shlemon Warduni, president of Caritas Iraq, the meeting will focus on concrete aspects of cooperation between the various actors in Syria, Iraq and the neighbouring countries.
    The aim of the meeting, following the itinerary adopted during the last three years, will be to evaluate the work carried out so far by Catholic charitable organisations in the context of the crisis; to share information on the evolution of the crisis and the Church's responses to the humanitarian situation; to discuss key issues that have emerged and to identify future priorities; to analyse the situation of Christian communities resident in the countries affected by war, promoting synergy between ecclesial organisms, religious congregations and dioceses; and to analyse the activity of the "Humanitarian Focal Point", instituted by Catholic charitable agencies within "Cor Unum" last year.
    The crisis in Syria and Iraq is at the centre of the attention of the international community due to the seriousness of the situation caused by war. The Holy See, aside from its diplomatic activity, participates actively in aid programmes and in offering humanitarian assistance. Since 2011, according to available data, the crisis has claimed over 250 thousand victims and has caused
    a million injuries. There are currently over 12 million people in need of aid in
    Syria and more than eight million in Iraq; there are 7.6 million internally displaced people in Syria and more than three million in Iraq, and four million
    Syrian refugees throughout the Middle East: in particular, there are 1.9 in Turkey, 1.1 in Lebanon, and more than 600 thousand in Jordan.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Courtyard of Francis, from 23 to 27 September in Assisi
    Vatican City, 14 September 2015 (VIS) - From 23 to 27 September the Italian city of Assisi will be the seat of the "Courtyard of Francis", a place of encounter and dialogue, that will welcome political and institutional figures, artists and intellectuals, and all other men and women who wish to listen and to
    participate.
    The initiative, which develops from the "Courtyard of the Gentiles" organised by the Pontifical Council for Culture some years ago, proposes, in the birthplace of the saint who "was not afraid to speak with the Sultan of Egypt, to embrace a leper, to involve all of creation in a choral chant", to delve into
    the deepest identity of people, "way beyond differences of faith, ideas, behaviour and political and social alliances", as Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi explained today in a press conference held in the Holy See Press Office.
    The other speakers at the Conference were the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, the director of the Museum of Bardo Moncef Ben Moussa, the architect Santiago Calatrava and the philosopher Massimo Cacciari.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Kurt Koch, Pope's special envoy to the 1500th anniversary of the Swiss
    Abbey of Saint-Maurice
    Vatican City, 13 September 2015 (VIS) - In a letter published today, written in
    Latin and dated 8 August, the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Kurt Koch president
    of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as his special envoy to
    the closing celebration of the 1500th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of Saint-Maurice, Switzerland, to be held on 22 September.
    The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Bishop Markus Buchel
    of Sankt Gallen and president of the Conference of Swiss Bishops, and Rev. Dom Marc de Pothuau,O.Cist., Cistercian Abbey of Hauterive, Fribourg.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 14 September 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Martin Krebs, apostolic nuncio in New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu and Tonga, and apostolic delegate for the Pacific Ocean.
    On Saturday 12 September 2015, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education (for Educational Institutions), accompanied by the secretary of the same dicastery, Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani;
    - Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei";
    - Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference;
    - Rev. Fr. Raul Reinaldo Troncoso.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 14 September 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Msgr. Angelo De Donatis as auxiliary of the diocese of Rome (area 849, population 2,885,272, Catholics 2,365,923, priests 4,834, permanent deacons 122,
    religious 27,524). The bishop-elect was born in Casarano, Italy in 1954 and was
    ordained a priest in 1980. He holds a licentiate in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and has served in a number of roles, including
    parish vicar in the parishes of San Saturnino and Santissima Annunziata a Grottaperfetta and officer of the General Secretariat of the Vicariate. He is currently archivist of the Secretariat of the College of Cardinals; director of
    the Clergy Office of the Vicariate of Rome and spiritual director of the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary, pastor of San Marco Evangelista in Campidoglio,
    Rome, and assistant for the diocese of Rome at the National Association of Families of Clergy.
    On Saturday 12 September the Holy Father appointed:
    - Cardinal Malcolm Ranjit Patabendige Don, archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka, as
    his special envoy to the National Eucharistic Congress of India, to be held in Mumbai from 12 to 15 November 2015.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    pain of marital separations and the birth of children out of wedlock, frequently
    doomed to a life of 'vagrancy'. Street children and street women are not numbers, or 'packets' to be traded; they are human beings, each with his or her
    own name and face, each with a God-given identity".
    "No child chooses to live on the streets. Sadly, even in our modern, globalised
    world, many children continue to be robbed of their childhood, their rights and
    their future. Lack of legal protection and adequate structures only aggravates their state of deprivation: they have no real family or access to education or health care. Every child abandoned or forced to live on the streets, at the mercy of criminal organisations, is a cry rising up to God, Who created man and
    woman in His own image. It is an indictment of a social system which we have criticised for decades, but which we find hard to change in conformity with criteria of justice".
    He also spoke about the troubling increase in the number of young girls and women forced to earn a living on the street by selling their own bodies, victims
    of exploitation by criminal organisations and at times by parents and family members. "This is a shameful reality in our societies, which boast of being modern and possessed of high levels of culture and development. Widespread corruption and unrestrained greed are robbing the innocent and the vulnerable of
    the possibility of a dignified life, abetting the crime of trafficking and other
    injustices which they have to endure. No one can remain unmoved before the pressing need to safeguard the dignity of women, threatened by cultural and economic factors".
    He asked, "please: do not be disheartened by the difficulties and the challenges which you encounter in your dedicated work, nourished as it is by your faith in Christ, Who showed, even to death on the cross, the preferential love of God our Father for the weak and the outcast. The Church cannot remain silent, nor can her institutions turn a blind eye to the baneful reality of street children and street women. The Christian community in the various countries needs to be involved at all levels in working to eliminate everything
    which forces a child or a woman to live on the street or to earn a livelihood on
    the street. We can never refrain from bringing to all, and especially to the most vulnerable and underprivileged, the goodness and the tenderness of God our
    merciful Father. Mercy is the supreme act by which God comes to meet us; it is the way which opens our hearts to the hope of an everlasting love".
    The Holy Father concluded by offering to the participants in the congress "prayerful good wishes for the fruitfulness of your efforts, in your various countries, to offer pastoral and spiritual care, and liberation, to those who are most frail and exploited; I likewise pray for the fruitfulness of your mission to advance and protect their personhood and dignity".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope: no-one can remain oblivious to the atrocities and human rights violations in Syria and Iraq
    Vatican City, 17 September 2015 (VIS) - "One of the most overwhelming human tragedies of recent decades are the terrible consequences that the conflicts in
    Syria and Iraq have on civilian populations as well as on cultural heritage. Millions of people are in distressing state of urgent need. They are forced to leave their native lands. Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey today carry the weight of millions of refugees, which they have generously received. Faced with such a situation and conflicts that are expanding and disturbing in an alarming way the
    internal and regional equilibrium, the international community seems unable to find adequate solutions while the arms dealers continue to achieve their interests".
    With these words the Pope addressed the participants in the meeting on the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq, organised by the Pontifical Council "Cor
    Unum", attended by Catholic charitable bodies and the bishops of the region, among others, and to which more than thirty organisations have lent their support.
    Francis went on to emphasise that "today, unlike in the past, atrocities and unspeakable human rights violations, which characterise these conflicts, are transmitted live by the media. Therefore, they captured the attention of the whole world. No one can pretend not to know! Everyone is aware that this war weighs in an increasingly unbearable way on the shoulders of the poor. We need to find a solution, which is never a violent one, because violence only creates
    new wounds".
    In this "ocean of pain", he urged the attendees at the meeting to give special
    attention to the material and spiritual needs of the weakest and most defenceless: "I think particularly of the families, the elderly, the sick and the children. Children and young people, the hope of the future, are deprived of
    basic rights: to grow up in the serenity of the family, to be looked after and cared for, to play and study. With the continuation of the conflict, millions of
    children are deprived of the right to education and, consequently, they see the
    horizon of their future becoming obscured. Do not miss your commitment in this vital area".
    "There are many victims of this conflict: I think in all of them and I pray for
    all. However, I cannot fail to mention the serious harm to the Christian communities in Syria and Iraq, where many brothers and sisters are oppressed because of their faith, driven from their land, kept in prison or even killed. For centuries, the Christian and Muslim communities have lived together in these
    lands on the basis of mutual respect. Today the very legitimacy of the presence
    of Christians and other religious minorities is denied in the name of a 'violent
    fundamentalism claiming to be based on religion'. Yet, the Church responds to the many attacks and persecution that she suffers in those countries by bearing
    witness to Christ with courage, through her humble and fervent presence, sincere
    dialogue and the generous service in favour of whoever is suffering or in need without any distinction".
    The Pope remarked that "in Syria and Iraq, evil destroys buildings and infrastructures, but especially the conscience of man. In the name of Jesus, Who
    came into the world to heal the wounds of humanity, the Church feels called to respond to evil with good by promoting an integral human development of 'each man and of the whole man'. To answer this difficult call, Catholics must strengthen the intra-ecclesial collaboration and the bonds of communion which unite them with other Christian communities, seeking also cooperation with international humanitarian institutions and with all men of good will. I encourage you, therefore, to continue on the path of cooperation and sharing, and working together and in synergy. Please: do not abandon the victims of this
    crisis, even if the world's attention were to lessen".
    "I ask that you all bring my message of profound solidarity and closeness to those who are in trial and enduring the tragic consequences of this crisis", he
    concluded. "In communion with you and with your communities, I pray unceasingly
    for peace and the end of the torments and injustices in your beloved lands".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    The first question related to the Pope's opinion on the trade embargo against Cuba, and whether he intends to refer to this theme in his address to the United
    States Congress.

    "The question of the trade embargo is part of the negotiations", replied Francis. "This is public: both presidents have referred to it. So, it is a public matter, that leads in the direction of the good relations that are being
    constructed. My hope is that an agreement satisfying both parties may be reached. ... With regard to the position of the Holy See on the embargoes, previous Popes have spoken not only about this case, but also on other cases of
    embargoes. On this matter I refer to the social doctrine of the Church, which is
    precise and just. With regard to the United States Congress ... I am thinking about what I would like to say in this respect; but not specifically on this theme, but rather in general on the issue of bilateral and multilateral agreements, as a sign of progress in co-existence. But this theme in a concrete
    sense is not mentioned, I am almost sure of this".

    "We have heard that more than fifty dissidents were arrested outside the nunciature because they were trying to obtain a meeting with you. Would you like
    to meet the dissidents? And if such a meeting took place, what would you say to
    them?"

    "Firstly, I am not aware that this happened. ... Directly, I do not know. Your two
    questions concern the future. I would like this to happen. I like meeting all people. First of all because I believe that all people are sons and daughters of
    God, and secondly, an encounter with any person is enriching. Yes, I would like
    to meet them. If you would like me to continue to speak about the dissidents, have something very concrete to say. First of all, it was very clear that I would not have given any audience, as I was asked for an audience not only with
    the dissidents, but also with people from other sectors, including various heads
    of State. ... Audiences were planned neither with dissidents, nor with others. Secondly, from the nunciature there were telephone calls with various people who
    form part of this group of dissidents. The task of the nuncio was to communicate
    to them that with pleasure, upon my arrival at the cathedral for the meeting with consecrated persons, I would have greeted those who were there. A greeting,
    this is true. But given that nobody presented themselves for the greeting, I do
    not know if they were there or not. I greeted all those who were there. Above all I greeted the sick, those who were in wheelchairs. But nobody presented him-
    or herself as a dissident. From the nunciature calls were made to invite them for a passing greeting".

    The third question was on the suffering of the Cuban Catholic Church under Fidel
    Castro, and whether during his meeting with the Commander, the Pope thought he had repented to any degree.

    "Repentance is something very intimate, it is a matter of conscience", said the
    Holy Father. "In the encounter with Fidel I spoke with him about the Jesuits he
    knew, as one of the gifts I took was a book by Fr. Llorente, a close friend of his and a Jesuit, and another by Fr. Pronzato which he will certainly appreciate. We spoke about these things. We spoke at length about 'Laudato si'',
    as he is very interested in environmental issues. It was an informal and spontaneous meeting. We spoke about the encyclical as he is very concerned about
    this matter, but we did not talk about the past".

    "Given that the Pope has denounced the current economic system, some sectors of
    American society have asked whether the Pope is communist and others, indeed, whether he is Catholic. What does Francis think about this?"

    "I am sure that I have not said anything that is not present in the social Doctrine of the Church", responded the Holy Father. "On another flight a journalist asked me if, when I went to speak to the Popular Movements, if the Church was following me, and I answered that I follow the Church, as in this way
    I don't think I can make a mistake. I don't believe I have said anything that is
    not in the social Doctrine of the Church. These things can be explained. Perhaps
    an explanation gave the impression that I tended a little to the left, but it would be an error of explanation. No. My doctrine, on all of this, on 'Laudato si'', on economic imperialism and all of this, it is that of the social doctrine
    of the Church. And if it is necessary for me to recite the Creed, I am willing to do so!"

    Another journalist recalled that during his last apostolic trip to Latin America
    the Pope harshly criticised the liberal capitalist system while in Cuba his criticism of the Communist system was less severe. "What is the reason for this
    difference?"

    "In the addresses I gave in Cuba, I always mentioned the social Doctrine of the
    Church", explained Francis. "The things that need to be corrected I have mentioned clearly. ... I have not said anything more than what I have written in
    the encyclical and in 'Evangelii Gaudium' on unfettered or liberal capitalism. ...
    But here in Cuba ... it has been a very pastoral trip, with the Catholic community, with Christians, and also with those people of good will and so my discourses have been homilies. ... Even with the young - whether or not they were
    young believers and, among the believers, of different religions - it was a discourse of hope to encourage dialogue between them, to seek the things they have in common and not those that divide them, to build bridges. ... It was a more
    pastoral language. Instead, in the encyclical it was necessary to tackle more technical issues".

    The penultimate question was whether or not the Catholic Church will assume any
    role in encouraging openness to political freedom in Cuba, considering the role
    the Holy See has already played in re-establishing relations between Cuba and the United States.

    "The Church in Cuba has drawn up a list of prisoners to be pardoned", revealed the Pope. "Amnesty has been granted to 3,500 of them, according to the president
    of the Episcopal Conference. And there are still cases under consideration. And
    the Church here in Cuba is working for further amnesty. For example, some people
    tell me it would be good to do away with life imprisonment. Speaking plainly, life imprisonment is almost a form of hidden death sentence. I have said this publicly in an address to European jurists. You stay there, dying every day without hope of freedom. It is a hypothesis. Another hypothesis is that there be
    general amnesties every year or two. But the Church is working, has worked on this. I am not saying that these three thousand were freed because of the Church
    lists, no. The Church has made a list, has officially requested amnesty, and will continue to do so".

    Finally, a reporter asked if the fact that three Popes have visited Cuba in twenty years may be interpreted as indicating that the island is in some way afflicted, inasmuch as a doctor visits a sick patient rather than a person in good health.

    "No, no", he replied. "The first was John Paul II, the first historic visit", he
    affirmed. "But it was normal - he visited many countries, including those that were hostile towards the Church. The second was Pope Benedict XVI. ... Initially
    my idea was to enter the United States via Mexico, but to visit Mexico without visiting Our Lady of Guadalupe would not have been good. Then, with the announcement of 17 December last year, when the talks that had been taking place
    for almost a year were made public, I said that I would like to visit the United
    States via Cuba. And I chose to do so for this reason. But Cuba does not have any particular affliction that other countries do not have".

    ___________________________________________________________


    Francis arrives in the United States of America

    Vatican City, 23 September 2015 (VIS) - With his arrival, ten minutes earlier than expected (3.49 p.m. local time, 9.50 p.m. in Rome) at the Andrews air base
    in Washington D.C. yesterday, the Pope began the second part of his apostolic trip. During his six days in the United States, he will meet with President Barack Obama and the American episcopate, canonise Blessed Junipero Serra, speak
    before the United States Congress (the first Pontiff to do so), meet the homeless in New York, address the United Nations, participate in an interreligious meeting at Ground Zero and a meeting for religious freedom, visit
    prison detainees and celebrate mass at the World Meeting of Families.

    Upon arrival in the United States, Francis was received by President Barack Obama accompanied by the First Lady Michelle Obama, and their two daughters. The
    mayor of the District of Colombia and the governors of Maryland and Virginia were also present, along with the apostolic nuncio in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, and the archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald
    Wuerl.

    The Pope and the President, with the First Lady, spoke privately for a few minutes in the airport. Following their conversation the Pope transferred by car
    to the apostolic nunciature in Washington D.C., where he spent the night.

    At 9.15 a.m. local time (3.15 p.m. in Rome) the welcome ceremony will be held in
    the White House, and in the grounds the Holy Father will pronounce his first discourse in the United States. He will then meet in private with President Obama, after which he will meet the bishops in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the
    Apostle. He will later celebrate Mass for the canonisation of Blessed Junipero Serra in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Francis will conclude
    his day with a visit to the John Paul II Seminary.

    ___________________________________________________________


    Other Pontifical Acts

    Vatican City, 23 September 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Ponta de Pedras, Brazil, presented by Bishop Alessio Saccardo, S.J., upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Teodoro Mendes Tavares, C.S.Sp., coadjutor of the same diocese.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Sep 24 08:12:02 2015
    stewards but not masters. It is wrong, then, to look the other way or to remain
    silent. No less important is the Gospel of the Family, which in the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia I will emphatically proclaim together with you and the entire Church".
    "These essential aspects of the Church's mission belong to the core of what we
    have received from the Lord. It is our duty to preserve and communicate them, even when the tenor of the times becomes resistant and even hostile to that message. I urge you to offer this witness, with the means and creativity born of
    love, and with the humility of truth. It needs to be preached and proclaimed to
    those without, but also to find room in people's hearts and in the conscience of
    society. To this end, it is important that the Church in the United States also
    be a humble home, a family fire which attracts men and women through the attractive light and warmth of love. ... Only a Church which can gather around the
    family fire remains able to attract others. And not any fire, but the one which
    blazed forth on Easter morn".
    "Before concluding, allow me to offer two recommendations which are close to my
    heart. The first refers to your fatherhood as bishops. Be pastors close to people, pastors who are neighbours and servants. Let this closeness be expressed
    in a special way towards your priests. ... Find ways to encourage their spiritual
    growth, lest they yield to the temptation to become notaries and bureaucrats, but instead reflect the motherhood of the Church, which gives birth to and raises her sons and daughters".
    "My second recommendation has to do with immigrants. I ask you to excuse me if
    in some way I am pleading my own case. The Church in the United States knows like few others the hopes present in the hearts of these 'pilgrims'. From the beginning you have learned their languages, promoted their cause, made their contributions your own, defended their rights, helped them to prosper, and kept
    alive the flame of their faith. Even today, no American institution does more for immigrants than your Christian communities. Now you are facing this stream of Latin immigration which affects many of your dioceses. Not only as the Bishop
    of Rome, but also as a pastor from the South, I feel the need to thank and encourage you. Perhaps it will not be easy for you to look into their soul; perhaps you will be challenged by their diversity. But know that they also possess resources meant to be shared. So do not be afraid to welcome them. Offer
    them the warmth of the love of Christ and you will unlock the mystery of their heart. I am certain that, as so often in the past, these people will enrich America and its Church".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The canonisation of Blessed Junipero Serra: Jesus has no 'shortlist' of people
    worthy of His message
    Vatican City, 24 September 2015 (VIS) - Blessed Junipero Serra (1713-1784), known as the "Apostle of California", was canonised yesterday by Pope Francis during a solemn Mass celebrated in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the title under which, since 1847, the Virgin Mary is the patroness
    of the United States.
    The new saint, born in Mallorca, Spain, was a missionary first in Mexico, where
    he learned the Pame language in order to teach the indigenous peoples the catechism and ordinary prayers, which he translated for them. He was also master
    of novices in the apostolic College of San Fernando. In 1767, the Jesuits were expelled from the missions of Baja California, which were entrusted to the Franciscans. Fr. Junipero was appointed Superior and arrived with 14 companions
    in the territory in 1760, where he founded the first mission of San Diego. He went on to found missions in Alta California: San Carlos de Monterrey, San Anselmo, San Gabriel and San Luis Obispo. In California alone he travelled 9,900
    kilometres and 5,400 nautical miles to found new missions from which there derive the Franciscan names of Californian cities such as San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. Serra was beatified by John Paul II in 1988.
    In his homily the Pope cites St. Paul's words to the Philippians: "Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, rejoice!". "Paul tells us to rejoice; he practically orders us to rejoice. This command resonates with the desire we all
    have for a fulfilling life, a meaningful life, a joyful life. ... Something deep
    within us invites us to rejoice and tells us not to settle for placebos which simply keep us comfortable. At the same time, though, we all know the struggles
    of everyday life. So much seems to stand in the way of this invitation to rejoice. Our daily routine can often lead us to a kind of glum apathy which gradually becomes a habit, with a fatal consequence: our hearts grow numb".
    "We don't want apathy to guide our lives ... or do we?", he continued. "We don't
    want the force of habit to rule our life ... or do we? So we ought to ask ourselves: What can we do to keep our heart from growing numb, becoming anaesthetised? How do we make the joy of the Gospel increase and take deeper root in our lives? Jesus gives the answer. He said to his disciples then and he
    says it to us now: Go forth! Proclaim! The joy of the Gospel is something to be
    experienced, something to be known and lived only through giving it away, through giving ourselves away".
    The spirit of the world "tells us to be like everyone else, to settle for what
    comes easy. Faced with this human way of thinking, 'we must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and for the world'. It is the responsibility to proclaim the message of Jesus. For the source of our joy is 'an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit
    of our own experience of the power of the Father's infinite mercy'. Go out to all, proclaim by anointing and anoint by proclaiming. This is what the Lord tells us today. He tells us that a Christian finds joy in mission: Go out to people of every nation! A Christian experiences joy in following a command: Go forth and proclaim the good news! A Christian finds ever new joy in answering call: Go forth and anoint!".
    "Jesus sends His disciples out to all nations. To every people. We too were part of all those people of two thousand years ago. Jesus did not provide a short list of who is, or is not, worthy of receiving His message, His presence.
    Instead, He always embraced life as He saw it. In faces of pain, hunger, sickness and sin. In faces of the wounded, in thirst, weariness, doubt and pity.
    Far from expecting a beautiful life, smartly-dressed and neatly groomed, He embraced life as He found it. It made no difference whether it was dirty, unkempt, broken. Jesus said: Go out and tell the good news to everyone. Go out and in my name embrace life as it is, and not as you think it should be. Go out
    to the highways and byways, go out to tell the good news fearlessly, without prejudice, without superiority, without condescension, to all those who have lost the joy of living. Go out to proclaim the merciful embrace of the Father. Go out to those who are burdened by pain and failure, who feel that their lives
    are empty, and proclaim the 'folly' of a loving Father Who wants to anoint them
    with the oil of hope, the oil of salvation. Go out to proclaim the good news that error, deceitful illusions and falsehoods do not have the last word in a person's life. Go out with the balm which soothes wounds and heals hearts".
    Mission is "never the fruit of a perfectly planned program or a well-organised
    manual. Mission is always the fruit of a life which knows what it is to be found
    and healed, encountered and forgiven. Mission is born of a constant experience of God's merciful anointing. The Church, the holy People of God, treads the dust-laden paths of history, so often traversed by conflict, injustice and violence, in order to encounter her children, our brothers and sisters. The holy
    and faithful People of God are not afraid of losing their way; they are afraid of becoming self-enclosed, frozen into elites, clinging to their own security. They know that self-enclosure, in all the many forms it takes, is the cause of so much apathy. So let us go out, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of
    Jesus Christ. The People of God can embrace everyone because we are the disciples of the One who knelt before his own to wash their feet.
    "The reason we are here today is that many other people wanted to respond to that call. They believed that 'life grows by being given away, and it weakens in
    isolation and comfort'. We are heirs to the bold missionary spirit of so many men and women who preferred not to be 'shut up within structures which give us false sense of security ... within habits which make us feel safe, while at our
    door people are starving'. We are indebted to a tradition, a chain of witnesses
    who have made it possible for the good news of the Gospel to be, in every generation, both 'good' and 'new'".
    "Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Fr. Junipero Serra. He was the embodiment of 'a Church which goes forth', a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. Junipero Serra left his native land and its way of life. He was excited about blazing trails, going forth to meet many people, learning and
    valuing their particular customs and ways of life. He learned how to bring to birth and nurture God's life in the faces of everyone he met; he made them his brothers and sisters. Junipero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it. Mistreatment and wrongs which today still trouble us, especially because of the
    hurt which they cause in the lives of many people".
    Father Serra "had a motto which inspired his life and work, a saying he lived his life by: siempre adelante! Keep moving forward! For him, this was the way to
    continue experiencing the joy of the Gospel, to keep his heart from growing numb, from being anaesthetised. He kept moving forward, because the Lord was waiting. He kept going, because his brothers and sisters were waiting. He kept going forward to the end of his life. Today, like him, may we be able to say: Forward! Let's keep moving forward!".
    After the Mass for canonisation the Holy Father proceeded to the new St. John Paul II archdiocesan seminary, inaugurated in 2011, inhabited by 47 seminarians
    who awaited Francis at the entrance to the institution. The Pope unveiled a plaque commemorating his visit and returned to the nunciature in Washington D.C., where he spent the night.
    Today, 24 September, at 10 a.m. local time (4 p.m. in Rome), the Holy Father will address the United States Congress assembled in joint session, an extraordinary gathering of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. He
    will subsequently meet with homeless people in the St. Patrick parish. After leaving the At 5 p.m. local time (11 p.m. in Rome) he will depart by air for New
    York, where he will conclude the day with Vespers in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 24 September 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the metropolitan archdiocese of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela, Italy, presented by Archbishop Calogero La Piana, S.D.B., in accordance with canon 402 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Laws.
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Alba, Italy, presented by Bishop Giacomo Lanzetti, in accordance with canon 402 para.
    2 of the Code of Canon Laws.
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Goya, Argentina, presented by Bishop Ricardo Oscar Faifer, upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Adolfo Ramon Canecin, coadjutor of the same diocese.
    - appointed Archbishop Luis Gerardo Cabrera Herrera, O.F.M., of Cuenca, Ecuador
    as archbishop of Guayaquil (area 14,637, population 3,275,192, Catholics 2,783,913, priests 202, permanent deacons 21, religious 607), Ecuador. He succeeds Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Sun Sep 27 08:12:02 2015
    population. If instead it aims to unite all, but respecting each person, with his or her richness and particular characteristics, then this globalisation is good and makes us all grow; it leads us to peace. I like using geometry to describe this. If globalisation is a sphere, in which we are all equal, equidistant from the centre, then it annuls difference and is not good. If on the other hand it unites us like a polyhedron, in which we are all united but each person conserves his or her individual identity, then it is good, allows the people to grow, endows all men with dignity and grants rights to all".

    Finally, he addressed America's large Hispanic population, along with representatives of recent immigrants to the United States. "I greet all of you with particular affection!" he exclaimed. "Many of you have emigrated to this country at great personal cost, but in the hope of building a new life. Do not be discouraged by whatever challenges and hardships you face. I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation. You should never be ashamed of your traditions. Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land. I repeat, do not be ashamed of what is part of you, your life blood. You are also called to be responsible citizens, and to contribute fruitfully to the life of the communities in which you live. think in particular of the vibrant faith which so many of you possess, the deep
    sense of family life and all those other values which you have inherited. By contributing your gifts, you will not only find your place here, you will help to renew society from within. Do not lose the memory of what happened here more
    than two centuries ago. Never forget that Declaration which proclaimed that all
    men and women were created equal, that the Creator has endowed them with inalienable rights, that governments exist to protect and defend these rights".

    Pope Francis concluded by thanking all present for their warm welcome, adding, "Let us conserve this freedom. Take care of freedom. Freedom of conscience, religious freedom, the freedom of every person, every family, every people, which gives rise to our rights".

    ___________________________________________________________


    God gave Creation to a family

    Vatican City, 27 September 2015 (VIS) - The Pope's first day in Philadelphia concluded yesterday with his participation in the Festival of Families in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Pope arrived by popemobile, greeted by thousands
    of faithful and well-wishers along the way. The event was hosted by the actor Mark Wahlberg, and there were performances by several musicians, including Aretha Franklin, who sang "Amazing Grace", the tenor Andrea Bocelli who performed the Lord's Prayer accompanied by the Philadelphia Symphonic Orchestra,
    and the Colombian singer Juanes. The festival also included readings, some by the actor Jim Caviezel, and testimonies from families from all over the world.

    The Pope set aside the official text prepared for the occasion, which is given below, and improvised a brief address in which he said that God gave the "most beautiful thing He had", the world, to a family, to a man and a woman so that they would grow, multiply and make the land fruitful. Francis also remarked that
    He wanted His only Son to grow up within a family home, and emphasised that the
    family enjoys "divine citizenship". While there are problems in every home, they
    can be overcome with love, whereas the division of the heart prevents difficulties from being overcome. Finally, he insisted on the special care due to children and the elderly, the hope and memory of the family.

    "Dear brothers and sisters, dear families. First of all, I want to thank the families who were willing to share their life stories with us. Thank you for your witness! It is always a gift to listen to families share their life experiences; it touches our hearts. We feel that they speak to us about things that are very personal and unique, which in some way involve all of us. In listening to their experiences, we can feel ourselves drawn in, challenged as married couples and parents, as children, brothers and sisters, and grandparents.

    "As I was listening, I was thinking how important it is for us to share our home
    life and to help one another in this marvellous and challenging task of 'being family'. Being with you makes me think of one of the most beautiful mysteries of
    our Christian faith. God did not want to come into the world other than through
    a family. God did not want to draw near to humanity other than through a home. God did not want any other name for Himself than Emmanuel. He is 'God with us'.
    This was His desire from the beginning, His purpose, His constant effort: to say
    to us: 'I am God with you, I am God for you. He is the God who from the very beginning of creation said: 'It is not good for man to be alone'. We can add: it
    is not good for woman to be alone, it is not good for children, the elderly or the young to be alone. It is not good. That is why a man leaves his father and mother, and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh. The two are meant to be a home, a family.

    "From time immemorial, in the depths of our heart, we have heard those powerful
    words: it is not good for you to be alone. The family is the great blessing, the
    great gift of this 'God with us', who did not want to abandon us to the solitude
    of a life without others, without challenges, without a home. God does not dream
    by Himself, He tries to do everything 'with us'. His dream constantly comes true
    in the dreams of many couples who work to make their life that of a family.

    "That is why the family is the living symbol of the loving plan of which the Father once dreamed. To want to form a family is to resolve to be a part of God's dream, to choose to dream with Him, to want to build with Him, to join Him
    in this saga of building a world where no one will feel alone, unwanted or homeless. As Christians, we appreciate the beauty of the family and of family life as the place where we come to learn the meaning and value of human relationships. We learn that 'to love someone is not just a strong feeling - it
    is a decision, it is a judgement, it is a promise'. We learn to stake everything
    on another person, and we learn that it is worth it.

    "Jesus was not a confirmed bachelor, far from it! He took the Church as His bride, and made her a people of His own. He laid down His life for those He loved, so that His bride, the Church, could always know that He is God with us,
    His people, His family. We cannot understand Christ without His Church, just as
    we cannot understand the Church without her spouse, Christ Jesus, Who gave His life out of love, and Who makes us see that it is worth the price.

    "Laying down one's life out of love is not easy. As with the Master, 'staking everything' can sometimes involve the cross. Times when everything seems uphill.
    I think of all those parents, all those families who lack employment or workers'
    rights, and how this is a true cross. How many sacrifices they make to earn their daily bread! It is understandable that, when these parents return home, they are so weary that they cannot give their best to their children.

    "I think of all those families which lack housing or live in overcrowded conditions. Families which lack the basics to be able to build bonds of closeness, security and protection from troubles of any kind.

    "I think of all those families which lack access to basic health services. Families which, when faced with medical problems, especially those of their younger or older members, are dependent on a system which fails to meet their needs, is insensitive to their pain, and forces them to make great sacrifices to
    receive adequate treatment.

    "We cannot call any society healthy when it does not leave real room for family
    life. We cannot think that a society has a future when it fails to pass laws capable of protecting families and ensuring their basic needs, especially those
    of families just starting out. How many problems would be solved if our societies protected families and provided households, especially those of recently married couples, with the possibility of dignified work, housing and healthcare services to accompany them throughout life.

    "God's dream does not change; it remains intact and it invites us to work for society which supports families. A society where bread, 'fruit of the earth and
    the work of human hands' continues to be put on the table of every home, to nourish the hope of its children.

    "Let us help one another to make it possible to 'stake everything on love'. Let
    us help one another at times of difficulty and lighten each other's burdens. Let
    us support one another. Let us be families which are a support for other families.

    "Perfect families do not exist. This must not discourage us. Quite the opposite.
    Love is something we learn; love is something we live; love grows as it is 'forged' by the concrete situations which each particular family experiences. Love is born and constantly develops amid lights and shadows. Love can flourish
    in men and women who try not to make conflict the last word, but rather a new opportunity. An opportunity to seek help, an opportunity to question how we need
    to improve, an opportunity to discover the God Who is with us and never abandons
    us. This is a great legacy that we can give to our children, a very good lesson:
    we make mistakes, yes; we have problems, yes. But we know that that is not really what counts. We know that mistakes, problems and conflicts are an opportunity to draw closer to others, to draw closer to God.

    "This evening we have come together to pray, to pray as a family, to make our homes the joyful face of the Church. To meet that God who did not want to come into our world in any other way than through a family. To meet 'God with us', the God Who is always in our midst".

    Today, 27 September, the Pope will meet the bishops attending the World Meeting
    of Families in the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, visit detainees at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility and will celebrate Mass to conclude the Eighth World Meeting of Families in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. After greeting the organisers of the event and the volunteers who participated, he will board his return flight to Rome, departing at 8 p.m. local time (2 a.m., 28
    September in Rome).

    ___________________________________________________________


    Other Pontifical Acts

    Vatican City, 27 September 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Kaga-Bandoro, Central African Republic, presented by Bishop Albert Vanbuel, S.D.B., upon reaching the
    age limit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Sep 29 08:00:02 2015
    encounter" is the theme chosen by the Holy Father for World Communications Day.
    The choice of theme this year has clearly been determined by the Celebration of
    the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and the Holy Father undoubtedly desired that
    World Communications Day would provide the appropriate occasion to reflect on the deep synergy between communication and mercy.
    In the Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee Year, in paragraph 12, the Pope affirms
    that the Church is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart
    of the Gospel, which in its own way must penetrate the heart and mind of every person. He adds that her language and her gestures must transmit mercy, so as to
    touch the hearts of all people and inspire them once more to find the road that
    leads to the Father.
    It is helpful, in this regard, that communication is a key element for the promotion of a culture of encounter. The Pope, on this occasion, refers to the language and gestures of the Church but the context makes it clear that all men
    and women in their own communications, in their reaching out to meet others, ought to be motivated by a deep expression of welcome, availability and forgiveness.
    The theme highlights the capacity of good communication to open up a space for
    dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation, thereby allowing fruitful human encounters to flourish. At a time when our attention is often drawn to the
    polarised and judgemental nature of much commentary on the social networks, the
    theme invokes the power of words and gestures to overcome misunderstandings, to
    heal memories and to build peace and harmony.
    Once again, Pope Francis is reminding us that, in its essence, communication is
    a profoundly human achievement. Good communication is never merely the product of the latest or most developed technology, but is realised within the context of a deep interpersonal relationship.
    World Communications Day, the only annual worldwide event called for by the Second Vatican Council, is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost (in 2016, May 8th).
    The Holy Father's message for World Communications Day is traditionally published on 24 January, in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers.
    Communication and Mercy: a fruitful encounter
    Vatican City, 29 September 2015 (VIS) "Communication and mercy: a fruitful encounter" is the theme chosen by the Holy Father for World Communications Day.
    The choice of theme this year has clearly been determined by the Celebration of
    the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and the Holy Father undoubtedly desired that
    World Communications Day would provide the appropriate occasion to reflect on the deep synergy between communication and mercy.
    In the Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee Year, in paragraph 12, the Pope affirms
    that the Church is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart
    of the Gospel, which in its own way must penetrate the heart and mind of every person. He adds that her language and her gestures must transmit mercy, so as to
    touch the hearts of all people and inspire them once more to find the road that
    leads to the Father.
    It is helpful, in this regard, that communication is a key element for the promotion of a culture of encounter. The Pope, on this occasion, refers to the language and gestures of the Church but the context makes it clear that all men
    and women in their own communications, in their reaching out to meet others, ought to be motivated by a deep expression of welcome, availability and forgiveness.
    The theme highlights the capacity of good communication to open up a space for
    dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation, thereby allowing fruitful human encounters to flourish. At a time when our attention is often drawn to the
    polarised and judgemental nature of much commentary on the social networks, the
    theme invokes the power of words and gestures to overcome misunderstandings, to
    heal memories and to build peace and harmony.
    Once again, Pope Francis is reminding us that, in its essence, communication is
    a profoundly human achievement. Good communication is never merely the product of the latest or most developed technology, but is realised within the context of a deep interpersonal relationship.
    World Communications Day, the only annual worldwide event called for by the Second Vatican Council, is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost (in 2016, May 8th).
    The Holy Father's message for World Communications Day is traditionally published on 24 January, in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers.

    ___________________________________________________________

    "Cantate Domino", the music of Popes, recorded in the Sistine Chapel
    Vatican City, 29 September 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office a conference was held to present the music CD "Cantate Domino. The Sistine Chapel and the music of Popes", produced by Deutsche Grammophon. The speakers were Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Papal Household; Msgr. Massimo Palombella, S.D.B., director of the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir; Mark Wilkinson, president of Deutsche Grammophon; and Mirko Gratton, director of
    the classical music section of Universal Italia.
    "The Pontifical Musical Choir, also known as the Sistine Chapel Choir, is among
    the oldest choral institutions in the world and has the unique characteristic of
    being the Pope's choir", explained Archbishop Ganswein. This characteristic makes it part of the life of the "Pope's Home" and places the Pontifical Sistine
    Chapel Choir within the structure of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, and
    gives it the specific task of being an entity whose service is entirely devoted
    to the Pontiff. "The Prefecture is the point of reference for the Choir in terms
    of its artistic, administrative and disciplinary management. It is a composite and structured entity made up of 20 adult singers regularly employed by the Holy
    See, with the addition of 20 pueri cantores who attend the private elementary school annexed to the Choir. The release of a musical CD under the prestigious Deutsche Grammaphon label is an unprecedented event in the history of the Pontifical Musical Choir, and attests to the quality and professionalism that this Institution has achieved, thanks to its serious and diligent work under the
    guidance of Maestro Massimo Palombella".
    The album, released on 25 September, includes Renaissance music written for the
    Sistine Chapel Choir by Palestrina, Lassus and Victoria. There are also two pieces of Gregorian chant, alongside world premiere recordings of the original version of Allegri's fabled Miserere (Sistine Codex of 1661) and a Nunc dimittis
    attributed to Palestrina which is still used during papal celebrations. Cantate
    Domino offers listeners the chance to hear these pieces as the composers intended - in Latin and in the surroundings for which they were originally written. In order to capture the magic, mystery and beauty of the music in such
    unique surroundings, Deutsche Grammophon set up a specially constructed studio within the Chapel. The mixing desk was set up in an ante-chamber, next to the "Sala del Pianto" (where the newly elected pontiff first dresses in the papal vestments).
    "The Sistine Chapel was consecrated in 1483, and since then it has been home, without interruption, of the Pontifical Musical Choir", explained Msgr. Palombella. "In recent years, after intense and specific study of Renaissance religious music and its aesthetic importance, we have been able to undertake an
    interesting and significant recording. My hope is that these musical masterpieces will reach millions of people throughout the world, bringing them into contact with the historical culture and profound spirituality of the Catholic Church".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 29 September 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Hugo Alberto Torres Marin, auxiliary of Medellin, Colombia, as bishop
    of Apartado (area 26,000, population 561,000, Catholics 403,000, priests 65, religious 118), Colombia.
    - Bishop Joao Evangelista Pimental Lavrador, auxiliary of Oporto, Portugal, as
    coadjutor of the diocese of Angra (area 2,243, population 246,102, Catholics 224,105, priests 147, permanent deacons 5, religious 129), Portugal.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Vatican Radio
    Vatican City, 29 September 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has appointed Fr. Andrzej Majewksi, S.J., as director of programming for
    Vatican Radio.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    minors are still forced to fight in militias as child soldiers! How many people
    are victims of organ trafficking, forced begging and sexual exploitation! Today's refugees are fleeing from these aberrant crimes, and they appeal to the
    Church and the human community to ensure that, in the outstretched hand of those
    who receive them, they can see the face of the Lord, 'the Father of mercies and
    God of all consolation'.
    Dear brothers and sisters, migrants and refugees! At the heart of the Gospel of
    mercy the encounter and acceptance by others are intertwined with the encounter
    and acceptance of God Himself. Welcoming others means welcoming God in person! Do not let yourselves be robbed of the hope and joy of life born of your experience of God's mercy, as manifested in the people you meet on your journey!
    I entrust you to the Virgin Mary, Mother of migrants and refugees, and to St. Joseph, who experienced the bitterness of emigration to Egypt. To their intercession I also commend those who invest so much energy, time and resources
    to the pastoral and social care of migrants. To all I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Presentation of the Pope's message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees: "Emigration is not the juxtaposition of cultures, but rather an encounter of peoples"
    Vatican City, 1 October 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office
    Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, and Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, secretary of the same dicastery, presented the Holy Father's Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, published today.
    Cardinal Veglio explained that not only does the Day fit naturally into the context of the Year of Mercy, the point of reference for the Church during the coming months, but also in view of the current situation in which migration is assuming immense proportions and leading to tragedies throughout the world, it must be recognised that this phenomenon in all its forms challenges us to respond.
    It is hoped that this year the Day, celebrated in all the Church and at both national and diocesan levels as the Jubilee Day of Migrants and Refugees, will therefore provide a concrete opportunity for all the Christian community to reflect, pray and act. "Migration especially affects the local Churches, as they
    are closest to migrants and refugees. There we meet these people face to face and it is at that level that our encounter can truly assume a dimension nature".
    "We cannot remain indifferent or in silence when faced with so many tragedies.
    We cannot fail to express our heartfelt pain before so many situations of suffering - they are men and women, often poor, hungry, persecuted, spiritually
    or physically wounded, exploited or victims of war - who seek a better life. ...
    This is the basis of the theme chosen for the Holy Father for the next Day", added Cardinal Veglio, who went on to outline the issues in the Pope's document
    that challenge both individuals and the community as a whole.
    Firstly, the text refers to the humanitarian crisis in the context of migration
    that affects not only Europe, but the entire world. This fact, as the Holy Father writes, "necessitates deeper study of the situation to enable us to better understand the causes of migrations, along with the consequences both in
    the destinations and from a global perspective, and therefore to face the phenomenon in the correct way ensuring the protection of human dignity".
    Secondly, the Message highlights the question of identity. "The arrival of immigrants in a new social context requires a process of mutual adaptation to the new situation", the Cardinal observed. "Integration in the new society also
    requires inner strength demanding changes in elements of one's identity to adapt
    to the new social and cultural context". Similarly, the arrival of migrants "seriously challenges the various societies who receive them, so that the process of insertion and integration respects values that make us ever more humane and help us to live a balanced relationship with God, others and creation
    , but at the same time allow migrants to contribute to the growth of the society
    that receive them. The Holy Father invites us to find a delicate balance between
    the two extremes, avoiding the creation of a cultural ghetto on the one hand, and any trace of extreme nationalism or xenophobia on the other".
    The Message also highlights the theme of welcome, emphasising that the Church has a prophetic word in encouraging welcome, that resonates in the various acts
    and works that the Christian communities carry out.
    Faced with these problems and questions, the Pope affirms that "the response of
    the Gospel is mercy". Mercy leads to solidarity with others and to cultivating culture of encounter; "it challenges all of us so that everyone is willing not only to give but also to receive from others, and tends to build communion and unity".
    "The complexity of migration makes it difficult to separate the different political legislative, humanitarian and security aspects", emphasised the prelate. "The perspective of the culture of encounter implies looking at the migrant as a whole, with all of his or her aspects. ... In this way the presence
    of migrants becomes not a mere juxtaposition of different cultures in the same territory, but rather an encounter of peoples, where the proclamation of the Gospel inspires and encourages routes towards the renewal and transformation of
    all humanity".
    The third issue considered by the Holy Father in his Message is the defence of
    every person's right to live with dignity, remaining in his or her homeland. ...
    Every person has the right to emigrate - it is one of the fundamental rights ascribed to every human being. But beyond and before this, the right not to have
    to emigrate should be reaffirmed - that is, to be in the condition of being able
    to remain in one's homeland. First of all this implies the need to help those countries migrants and refugees leave behind. ... The need for a response is not
    limited only to the war against smugglers or the tightening of immigration legislation, but must also consider that those who enjoy prosperity should ensure that the poor and needy (both individuals and nations) have the means with which to respond to their needs and to undertake a path of development through an equitable distribution of the planet's resources".
    Finally, the Pope mentions the responsibility of the media and the importance of those who contribute to "unmasking false prejudices regarding migration, presenting it as truthfully as possible".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Decrees for the Causes of Saints
    Vatican City, 1 October 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday, 30 September, the Holy Father Francis received in a private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of
    the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
    MARTYRDOM
    - Servant of God Valentin Palencia Marquina, Spanish diocesan priest, killed in
    hatred of the faith in Suances, Spain in 1937;
    HEROIC VIRTUES
    - Servant of God Giovanni Folci, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Opera Divin Prigioniero (1890-1963);
    - Servant of God Franciszek Blachnicki, Polish diocesan priest (1921-1987);
    - Servant of God Jose Rivera Ramirez, Spanish diocesan priest (1925-1991);
    - Servant of God Juan Manuel Mart0n del Campo, Mexican diocesan priest (1917-1996);
    - Servant of God Antonio Filomeno Maria Losito, Italian professed priest of the
    Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (1838-1917);
    - Servant of God Maria Benedetta Giuseppa Frey (nee Ersilia Penelope), Italian
    professed nun of the Cistercian Order (1836-1913);
    - Servant of God Hanna Chrzanowska, Polish layperson, Oblate of the Ursulines of St. Benedict (1902-1973).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 1 October 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Francisco Jose Ottonelli, ambassador of Uruguay, presenting his Credential Letters;
    - Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela, honorary president of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela, with: - Archbishop
    Diego Rafael Padron Sanchez of Cumana, president of the Episcopal Conference of
    Venezuela;
    - Bishop Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas, first deputy president;
    - Bishop Mario del Valle Moronta Rodriguez of San Cristobal de Venezuela, second deputy president;
    - Rev. Victor Hugo Basabe, secretary general.
    - Filip Vucak, ambassador of Croatia, on his farewell visit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 1 October 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Msgr. Luigi Renna as bishop of Cerignola-Ascoli Satriano (area 1,327, population 110,889, Catholics 101,672, priests 58, permanent deacons 14,
    religious 87), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in 1966 in Corato, Italy, and was ordained a priest in 1991. He holds a licentiate in moral theology from the
    Pontifical Gregorian University, and a doctorate from the Pontifical Lateran University. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles in the diocese of Andria, Italy, including vice rector of the episcopal seminary; director of the diocesan "Msgr. Di Donna" school of formation; rector of the diocesan minor seminary, and lecturer in moral theology at the Pugliese Theological Faculty in Molfetta. He is currently canon of the cathedral chapter
    of Andria; director of the diocesan "San Tommaso d'Aquino" library; member of the college of consultors; director of the "San Luca Evangelista" diocesan archive; director of the school for training pastoral workers and rector of the
    Pius XI Pontifical regional seminary of Molfetta. He was named Chaplain of His Holiness in 2009.
    - appointed Fr. Giovanni Roncari, O.F.M. Cap., as bishop of Pitigliano - Sovana
    - Orbetello (area 2,177, population 72,100, Catholics 70,000, priests 65, permanent deacons 9, religious 68), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in 1949 in
    Verona, Italy, gave his religious vows in 1972 and was ordained a priest in 1975. He holds a licentiate in Church history and has served in a number of roles in his order and as parish priest and delegate for the archdiocese of Florence for the lay apostolate. He is currently a parish priest, member of the
    college of consultors, episcopal vicar for the Florentine clergy and professor of theology in the Central Italy Faculty of Theology.
    - confirmed the election of Rev. Sarkis Davidian as Armenian bishop of Ispahan
    (Catholics 2,000, priests 1, religious 12), Iran. The bishop-elect was born in 1943 in Aleppo, Syria and was ordained a priest in 1970. He has served as parish
    priest in France and Lebanon, and currently exercises his ministry as pastor in
    Armenia.
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Cebu,
    Philippines, presented by Bishop Emilio L. Bataclan, upon reaching the age limit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    mind that this project is the composition of three texts that have already been
    received in the Circuli minores - whose reports were read in plenary and published - further interventions must be advanced with regard to the collective
    work conducted so far.
    Subsequently, the above Commission oversees the preparation of the final text of the Relatio finalis, to be presented on the morning of Saturday 24 October in
    plenary session and submitted for approval to the Assembly in the afternoon.
    In accordance with the nature of the Synod, this document, the result of the collective work of the Fathers (cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 343), will be consigned to the Holy Father (cf. Ordo Synodi Episcoporum, Art. 23 o 4), who is
    responsible for decisions.
    4) Given the large number of those entitled to speak (318 Fathers, the fraternal delegates and auditors) and the extra space reserved for Circuli minores (13 sessions), each speaker has the right to speak in the House for three minutes and to intervene extensively in the Circuli. As in the past, the General Congregations are granted one hour each, dedicated to free interventions
    by the Fathers. In addition, it is always possible to submit other written texts
    to the General Secretariat, in addition to the texts in paper and electronic formats presented in the Assembly Hall.
    5) Considering that media communication and information during the last Extraordinary General Assembly was abundant and comprehensive, the same methods
    will also be used in relation to this General Assembly. In this regard, it is essential to bear in mind the basic criterion mentioned by the Holy Father on number of occasions: the Synod must be a safe space so that the Holy Spirit can
    act and so that the Fathers have the freedom to express themselves with parresia.
    During the three weeks, the briefing will be maintained as the basis for providing information; it will however be expanded, with a greater presence of the Synod Fathers, and using all available means of communication. The Fathers are free to communicate with the media at their own discretion and responsibility. The various stages in the development of the basic document remain confidential, since during the synodal process, the texts are subject to
    continuous developments right up to the final draft. However, the reports of the
    Circuli minori on the three aspects of the work of the Synod will be published.
    A special Commission, together with the Holy See Press Office, will as usual be
    responsible for providing information on the Synod.
    Further information
    On Saturday 17 October from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm, the Commemoration of the 50th
    Anniversary of the Synod of Bishops will take place in the Paul VI Hall. The event is open to all who wish to participate, as well as those attending the Synod. In the mind of Blessed Paul VI, who instituted it on 15 September 1965, the Synod was intended to perpetuate the spirit of Vatican Council II in the Church, so that even after its conclusion, it would continue to receive that 'great abundance of benefits that we have been so happy to see flow to the Christian people during the time of the Council as a result of Our close collaboration with the bishops'.
    After the introduction by the General Secretary, the commemorative report will
    be entrusted to Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna and president
    of the Episcopal Conference of Austria. There will then be communications from five prelates representing all continents (Cardinal Gerald Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster and president of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, for Europe; Archbishop Francisco Chimoio of Maputo, for Africa; Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, archbishop of Santiago del Chile and president
    of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, for the Americas; His Beatitude Raphael Louis Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, and Head of the Synod of the
    Chaldean Church, for Asia; and Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, bishop of Tonga
    and president of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific, for Oceania). Lastly,
    the Holy Father will give the concluding address.
    On Sunday 18 October at 10:30 am in the Vatican Basilica, there will be a Mass
    for the canonisation of, among others, the Blessed spouses Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guorin, parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus.
    In the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, the People of God are invited to accompany with prayer the work of the Synod, invoking the protection of the Salus Populi Romani and the Blessed Martin couple, whose relics are exhibited there. Every day the Holy Rosary will be recited at 5 p.m. and Mass will be celebrated at 6. In the first week we will pray for children, in the second for
    parents, and for grandparents in the third.
    Near the Synod Hall there will be, as usual, a chapel for prayer for the participants in the Synod, where the relics of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, her parents and the Beltrame Quattrocchi spouses will be displayed".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Statement by the Director of the Holy See Press Office
    Vatican City, 2 October 2015 (VIS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office,
    Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., today issued the following statement regarding the
    Pope's meeting with Kim Davis, an American public official who spent five days in prison for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
    "The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. has continued to provoke comments and discussion.
    In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points:
    Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington D.C. for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope's characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the
    Pope at the nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.
    "The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his
    meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinals to take possession of their titular churches
    Vatican City, 2 October 2015 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Sunday 11 October the following cardinals will take possession of their titular churches.
    At 11 a.m., Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, archbishop of Bangkok, Thailand, will take possession of the title of Santa Maria Addolorata (Viale della Venezia Giulia, 134).
    At 11.15 a.m. Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda, archbishop of Morelia, Mexico, will
    take possession of the title of San Policarpo (Piazza Aruleno Celio Sabino, 50).
    At 11.30 a.m., Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, will take possession of the title of Sant'Ireneo a Centocelle (Via dei
    Castani, 291).
    At 12.00 p.m., Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez, archbishop of Valladolid, Spain, will take possession of the title of Santa Maria in Vallicella (Via del Governo Vecchio, 134).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 2 October 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Alexandros Couyou, ambassador of Greece, presenting his credential letters;
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine
    of the Faith;
    - Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation
    of Peoples;
    - Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson, apostolic nuncio in Switzerland and in Liechtenstein;
    - the 200 participants in the meeting organised to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Servant of God, Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 2 October 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Jan Dubina, Slovakia, as papal master of ceremonies.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    concluded the Prelate.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Respecting the freedom of faith, the outcome of an interreligious marriage
    Vatican City, 12 October 2015 (VIS) - During the Sixth General Congregation of
    the Synod, held on Saturday, the Baiai couple spoke before the Holy Father and the Synod Fathers. Catholic and married to for 39 years to a Hindu, Penelope Baiai spoke about her
    experience of interreligious marriage as a couple, and in terms of faith and community, emphasising that the outcome of an interreligious marriage is mutual
    respect so that neither of the spouses feel obliged to renounce their faith. "This religious freedom made the path of our marriage smooth and successful".
    She also spoke about her experience as the mother of two children, who accompanied her to Church and attended Sunday School, but were not baptised. "It
    was my husband's desire that both our children should be allowed the freedom of
    choosing their own religion and I accepted it with a very large lump in my throat", she said, commenting that, however, "the differences of religion were never a deterrent to us, for little magic words like compromise, humility and sorry helped us to lose our ego and live for the other".
    "Is there someone out there who knows how a perfect marriage takes place?", she
    joked, remarking that "we are still learning and understanding our marriage every day. If if were not for my husband's tolerance and love of Christianity and my love and understanding of where he comes from, we would never have been able to celebrate our life and inter-community differences".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Telegram for the attack in Turkey
    Vatican City, 10 October 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sent a telegram on behalf of the Holy Father to the president of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following the attack against peace demonstrators in Ankara that caused around a hundred deaths and many injuries.
    "His Holiness Pope Francis is deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and
    the injuries caused by the explosions in Ankara this morning, and he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with those affected by this tragedy. While His Holiness
    deplores this barbaric act, he asks you to convey his spiritual closeness to all
    the families affected during this time of grief, and to the security and emergency personnel working to assist the wounded. Commending the souls of all who have died to the loving mercy of the Almighty, Pope Francis invokes divine strength and peace upon their grieving relatives".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Plenary Session of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors
    Vatican City, 12 October 2015 (VIS) - The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors gathered in Plenary Assembly, from 9 to 11 October in Rome.
    It is the second time that the full Commission has gathered together.
    The Plenary Assembly began with Mass with the Holy Father in the Domus Sanctae
    Marthae. Members then focused their sessions on listening to and discussing progress reports presented by the Working Groups formed in the February 2015 Plenary.
    These Working Groups cover key areas of the mission that has been entrusted to
    the Commission by the Holy Father, namely to advise him, his collaborators and the local church on the following areas of the protection of minors. The Working
    Groups are:
    - Guidelines for the safeguarding and protection of minors;
    - Healing and care for victims, survivors and their families;
    - Formation of candidates to the priesthood and religious life and the education of Church leadership;
    - Education of families and communities;
    - Theology and spirituality;
    - Canonical and civil norms.
    Particular areas of focus of these working groups include research into the assessment and ongoing formation of candidates to the priesthood and religious life; the use of forensic assessments with people accused of a crime; the provision of liturgical materials for the pastoral care of victims, survivors and communities. The Commission does not address individual cases, it does not exercise oversight, and is not a decision-making body.
    Since its establishment, the Commission for the Protection of Minors has been invited by Church leaders to place the inter-disciplinary expertise of its members at the service of Church in various parts of the world.
    Commission members have taken part in workshops, conferences and seminars on the protection of minors in Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and recently in the Philippines, where 76 bishops attended.
    Next month, Commission members will also address all of the bishops of Central America.
    Very positive feedback has been received from the Commission's participation in
    these initiatives. The Commission's contribution has been seen as a resource for
    the local Church worldwide as Bishops' Conferences continue to develop sound and
    culturally effective guidelines that reflect the local reality.
    The Commission plans to hold its next Plenary Assembly in February, 2016.
    Commission members:
    Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap.,United States of America, President; Msgr. Robert Oliver, United States of America, Secretary; Rev. Fr. Luis Manuel Ali Herrera, Colombia; Catherine Bonnet, France; Marie Collins, Ireland; Gabriel Dy-Liacco, Philippines; Sheila Baroness Hollins, United Kingdom; Bill Kilgallon,
    New Zealand; Sr. Kayula Lesa, RSC, Zambia; Sr. Hermenegild Makoro, CPS, South Africa; Kathleen McCormack, Australia; Claudio Papale, Italy; Peter Saunders, United Kingdom; Hanna Suchocka, Poland; Krysten Winter-Green, United States of America; Rev. Fr. Humberto Miguel Yanez, S.J., Argentina, and Rev. Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J., Germany.

    ___________________________________________________________

    New dormitory for the homeless near the Vatican
    Vatican City, 12 October 2015 (VIS) - "Dono di Misericordia" ("Gift of Mercy")
    - is the name of the new dormitory for the homeless, newly established near Santo Spirito Hospital and the Church of the same name in Rome. In an extraterritorial zone, the dormitory is a gift to the Pope from the General House of the Society of Jesus in response to the Pope's appeal to religious communities and orders to house people in need or in difficulty in their properties.
    It is a "Gift of Mercy" as it is offered as a gift from the community, and mercy is the second name of the love expressed through concrete and generous gestures towards others, according to a press release from the Apostolic Almoner, which financed and carried out the works necessary to adapt the structure to the needs of its users. It was funded by the proceeds from the sale
    of parchments of the Apostolic Blessing and by generous contributions from private individuals. The Almoner, along with the Sisters of Mother Teresa, will
    continue to provide economic support for the Dormitory.
    The structure is able to house 34 men. The religious sisters engaged in its administration are those who already assist people in need at Termini Station and San Gregorio Magno al Celio. According to the regulations of the Gift of Mercy Dormitory, guests are received following an interview with the Sisters for
    reception and registration of applicants (at the Casa Dono di Maria in the Vatican), and may stay for a maximum period of thirty days. There is a precise timetable regarding entry into the dormitory (between 6 and 7 p.m.), waking time
    (6.15 a.m.) and closing time (8 a.m., to allow general tidying and cleaning). There are also rules regarding personal hygiene and the personal maintenance of
    each bed and cupboard.
    Guests who stay the night may also dine at the canteen at the Casa Dono di Maria before arriving at the Dormitory, and are offered breakfast prepared at the Dormitory before they leave. They may use the showers available under the Colonnade of St. Peter's Square.
    It should be recalled that since 1988, in the Casa Dono di Maria in the Vatican, fifty beds are available to accommodate women for overnight stays, of which around thirty are occupied on a stable basis.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinals to take possession of their titular churches
    Vatican City, 12 October 2015 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of
    the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Sunday 18 October the following cardinals will take possession of their titular churches:
    At 11 a.m., Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M., archbishop of Addis
    Abeba, Ethiopia, will take possession of the title of San Romano Martire (Largo
    Antonio Beltramelli, 23).
    At 6.30 p.m., Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R., bishop of David,
    Panama, will take possession of the title of San Giuseppe da Copertino (Via dei
    Genieri, 12).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Cordes, Pope's special envoy to the First National Eucharistic Congress of the Czech Republic
    Vatican City, 10 October 2015 (VIS) - In a letter published today, written in Latin and dated 17 September 2015, the Holy Father appointed Cardinal Paul Josef
    Cordes, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", as his special
    envoy to the closing celebrations of the First National Eucharistic Congress of
    the Czech Republic, to be held in Brno on 17 October 2015.
    The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of: Don Radek Tichy of the clergy of the archdiocese of Prague, lecturer in liturgy at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Carlo in Prague; and Don Zdenek Mares of the clergy of the diocese of Ceske Budejovice, lecturer in systematic theology at the Theological Faculty of the University of South Bohemia.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 11 October 2015 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martin, apostolic nuncio in Jordan and Iraq,
    with family members.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    if it were its only concern. "Fidelity and indissolubility should be referred to
    as a gift and call, rather than in the legal terms of duty; they should not be perceived as superimposed on commitment, but rather as deeply integrated into the language of love and within its theological dimension. Marriage should be considered as a call to love and communion".
    The Spanish group recommends that emphasis be placed on gradualness and processuality in understanding the process by which God communicates the grace of the Covenant, educating by taking into account each person, progressively, in
    their community, correcting, accompanying and forgiving. As part of divine pedagogy, processuality is also present in Tradition and in the Aparecida document, notes the rapporteur Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan. "There are expressions that render marriage and the family absolute, while Jesus relativises them in the Kingdom of God. There are encounters between Jesus and specific persons in specific contexts, but it emphasis should be given to those
    that occur in the context of the family: Lazarus and his family, Peter and his famiyl ... Jesus always opens doors. God's faithfulness is expressed in the sacrament of marriage, but in a human way: 'quidquid recipitur, ad modum recipientis recipitur'. The indissoluble fidelity of marriage is a mystery that
    includes fragility. We have a theology of the family and the marriage, but more
    closely linked to morality. The Magisterium should present the Gospel of the family in an organic and integrated from. Following the thesis of the 'semina Verbi', the many positive values in other types of families cannot be overlooked".
    Several groups attribute great importance to the preparation of young couples for marriage and the need to support them on their journey. While the French group B notes a significant reduction in marriages in European capitals, the Latin American Cardinal Lacunza, who clarifies that "when talking about young people and marriage, it is done from the perspective of fear, which is not enough, it is an anthropological question: they live in the moment, 'for ever' does not fit in with their way of thinking". Perhaps we could speak about informality: perhaps we have surrounded marriage with so many formalities that do not fit into the minds of young people who often identify formality with hypocrisy. Moreover, to say that they are afraid or do not dare would contradict
    the experience of many young people who accept the risk of volunteer work or risk for political or other struggles".
    The French group B also reports that the members have voted unanimously in favour of the proposal that "the proclamation of the Gospel of the family today
    demands a magisterial intervention to simplify and render more coherent the current canonical theological doctrine on marriage", and that it must support the definition of the family "as a subject of pastoral action".
    In this regard, the French group, whose rapporteur is Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Canada, notes that "shared pastoral experiences lead us to
    see that in the Church, speaking about families means speaking about a human reality that is inscribed in time and in space. ... Every famliy has its genealogy that entrenches it in a history and a culture. ... This complexity is
    the place and the occasion for the manifestation of the mystery and the mercy of
    God. We wish to express our hope that the Synod will open up a period of patient
    seeking by theologians and pastors with the intention of establishing the correct directions for family pastoral ministry, translating the horizon of the
    family to a horizon of communion. We are less in need of adaptations of universal discipline than a solid basis for reflection and pastoral commitment".
    The concept of family as mission is also recurrent. The Italian group C speaks
    about the "evangelising value of marriage and the family" and calls for a "new style of closeness to families on the part of the Church, a contagious closeness, a strong and demanding tenderness". The members insist that "the Christian community should be a family of families, measuring its pastoral action according to the style of the family and transmitting in this way a humanising force to the life of the world, to overcome the tendency towards individualism".
    "The Synod Fathers have found it very useful to refer to Pope Francis' catechesis on the need to harmonise an appreciation of the sacramentality of marriage and attention to its creaturely dimension", write the members of the Italian group A, who also call for the text of the Instrumentum Laboris to be completed with the addition of the spiritual and pneumatological dimension, open
    to the sensibility of the Eastern tradition. Translated into a more concrete proposal, this makes more explicit the primacy of grace, the recognition of sin
    and the need to inspire conversion. Grace does not act only at the time of the celebration of the sacrament but rather throughout life, as it is a permanent sacrament like the Eucharist".
    Cardinal Coleridge, of the English group C, comments on "the need to explore further the possibility of couples who are civilly married or cohabiting beginning a journey towards sacramental marriage and being encouraged and accompanied on that journey", and in the English group D, a number of bishops emphasised that the document should explore further the role of women, recalling
    that many suffer abuse by their husbands. "We need to be realistic about marital
    problems rather than simply encouraging people to stay together", the text affirms. In the same group, another prelate remarks that "exemplary families are
    sometimes difficult for people in painful circumstances to see as positive". Some bishops suggest that the text present the canonical reasons for separation
    of spouses and reasons for seeking an annulment.
    Another common concept is the vocation to family life and family spirituality,
    and therefore the English group A, whose rapporteur is Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, suggests a consideration of best practices, "which would show families how to more fully and faithfully live out their vocation". These would include receiving the Word of God in the family, family catechesis and the explicit encouragement of the use of para-liturgical prayers and rituals within the family setting.
    Cardinal Coleridge's group also suggests that the final document present a series of clear initiatives or strategies to help families and to support those
    in difficulty, in harmony with the essentially practical nature of this second Synod on the family.
    The English group A notes that "in the past, the Holy Father often used the final approved texts as a basis for an Apostolic Exhortation and we spoke of the
    fruitfulness of this approach. However, we recognise the limitations of a document that will be approved at the conclusion of this Synod. Though every effort should be made to provide for streamlined, attractive language, a primary
    concern was the clarity of well-grounded explanations of Church teaching on marriage and the family".
    Again considering the final document, the Spanish group B considers the approach of the Synod. "The doctrine is known", its members write, "but the needs of reality and the new emphases of theological reflection must be taken into account in order to truly make a meaningful contribution. More explicit reference is suggested to texts from both the Old and New Testaments (God's nuptial love for His people), as well as the rich post-conciliar Magisterium on
    the family".
    The Italian group B comments on the need for a magisterial document: "given that the Synod is not able to respond to the need to reorder in a complete and exhaustive document the complex and diversified doctrine on marriage and the family, it is necessary, on the one hand, to require a magisterial document that
    responds to this need, and on the other, to consider the pastoral aspects relevant to the issue. In this respect, the Fathers express the need to consider
    the mission specific to pastoral mediation in the transmission of doctrine".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 14 October 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Fr. Jonny Eduardo Reyes Sequera, S.D.B., as apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho (area 184,000, population 231,000, Catholics 177,000, priests 30, religious 68), Venezuela. The bishop-elect was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1952, gave his religious vows in 1976, and was ordained a priest in 1979. He holds a bachelor's degree in theology from the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome, and a licentiate in moral theology from the Alphonsianum Academy, Rome. He
    has served in a number of roles, including local superior of the San Lucas Seminary in Caracas, local superior and provincial counsellor in the Don Bosco College of Valencia, provincial vicar, and provincial superior. He is currently
    master of novices. He succeeds Bishop Jose Angel Divasson Cilvetti, S.D.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same apostolic vicariate upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Bishop Roque Paloschi of Roraima, Brazil as archbishop of Porto Velho (area 84,696, population 680,000, Catholics 464,000, priests 44, religious 165), Brazil.
    - Bishop Pablo Virgilio Siongco David, auxiliary of San Fernando, Philippines,
    as bishop of Kalookan (area 40, population 1,269,243, Catholics 1,173,422, priests 42, religious 70), Philippines.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    should not force the innocent party to continue in a sexual marital relation with him/her, because this damages the innocent party physically, physiologically and socially".
    Our Church allows divorce in cases of adultery and in cases of what we call 'legal adultery'; which is anything that is counted as adultery like: homosexuality, intercourse against natural use, urging or compelling an innocent
    party into forbidden relations for materialistic gain or sexual exchange".
    Metropolitan Iosif of the Patriarchate of All Romania described the family as "the primary cell of the Church. ... All family characteristics derive from its
    Eucharistic structure, based essentially on forgiveness nurtured by humility, which favours the growth of mutual love and transforms both the person and Christian life in the short and the long term. The divine greatness of marriage
    resides in the fact that in marriage we find a living representation of the union of the Word with human nature".
    The Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley of the Baptist World Alliance remarked that "There is no perfect family and no perfect marriage. In our broken world, families are
    not only a source of great blessing, they can also be a source of great harm. ...
    This is the pastoral reality: families have their blessings and their dysfunctions. Amidst such experiences people yearn for mercy". Therefore, he affirmed, Hence, in Baptist hymnology the theme of Jesus as friend is important.
    "Hymns ... express for us the presence of God in the midst of our imperfections
    and struggles. They remind us of the one who in his vocation of suffering servant enters our woundedness. This is the one who invites sinners to sit at his table; the one who is 'gentle and humble in heart, in whom we find rest for
    our souls'; the one to whom we pray in all confidence, 'Lord, have mercy'".
    Archbishop Yostinos Boulos Safar of Zahle and Bekaa commented on the principle,
    in the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, of economy. "This principle finds in the sacrament of the Eucharist a medicine for wounded souls, as well as a help for those who wish to recover their relationship with the Lord". He noted that this sacrament, "which is salvific in effect", should not be withheld as "part of the norms of punishment, other than in certain exceptional cases. The Eucharist is not a prize or compensation, but the means by which the Lord Jesus
    cures our weaknesses and attracts us towards Him".
    Metropolitan Stephanos of Tallin and all Estonia, observed that "today marriage
    and family have changed direction. In a number of countries, new legislation is
    being enacted regarding this issue. These mutations in the family are a challenge to us. ... The law confirms, without doubt, a new social situation but
    for the Church, the sacrament of marriage, it is hoped, is not revealed as a mere institution but first and foremost, it is hoped, as a mystery of life. Marriage makes sense only in relation to faith in Christ, in the Gospel, in the
    certainty that the actions of Christ continue in the Gospel, that is, in the Sacraments. Our first task is therefore to evangelise". Perhaps, he added, it would be useful to help the "young and not so young, often uncertain, sometimes
    psychologically unwell, to adopt a different outlook, to free themselves from too symbiotic a relationship, to become truly responsible for each other, in the
    hope, at times, of already being able to experience the resurrection in the glory of the body".
    The fraternal delegate Tim Macquiban, director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office of Rome, remarked that "Sometimes in this Synod we seem to have concentrated on one form of family, of parents and children, as defined through
    sacramental marriage and its vocation. For some this fails to take account on the different ways many people experience different forms of family in our various contexts and cultures. ... Those who are single, with or without children,
    or in civil partnerships or co-habiting relationships, and even those within marriages conducted in church and childless can easily feel excluded. The Church
    is challenged to accept that it can ... add to these difficulties with such a stress on 'the Gospel of the Family'".
    Bishop emeritus Ndanganeni Petrus Phaswana of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa comments that "Frequently, politics, religion and culture are
    instrumentalised and used to divide people and nations. This has led to growing
    alienation and disunity. In the midst of this isolation, it is our task as Churches to proclaim and witness that God does not call us to isolation, but, rather, to life in communion with Christ and with one another". He also spoke about the great commitment on the part of both Catholics and Lutherans in promoting Christian unity through theological dialogue, noting that "we should therefore remain sensitive to how our theological discussions support individual
    Christians in the challenges and sorrows facing them in their everyday lives".
    The Right Rev. Timothy Thornton of the Anglican Communion commented that the first part of the Instrumentum Laboris "is too focused on the negative aspects of family life", adding that "there is much joy in families and family life and
    much to celebrate". He emphasised that "All families change. ... Change is a key
    part of Christian faith. Every day we are called to be converted to Christ, to turn away from sin and turn to God. Every day we open ourselves to the possibility of transformation. That is why all Christians are full of joy and hope every day".
    The fraternal delegate of the Disciples of Christ, Dr. Robert K. Welsh, focused
    on three brief reflections. "First, how do we understand marriage and family life today? What can we do to respond to the growing number of divorces and the
    impact on the children in those families? These are urgent issues before all Christians, and all societies, that represent major theological, practical, and
    pastoral challenges". Secondly, with regard to "mixed marriages", he observed that in the Instrumentum Laboris, "mixed marriages are only named in the context
    of presenting problems; for example, at the pastoral level of religious education of children and in the relation to liturgical life. My hope is that this Synod might also identify 'mixed marriages' in a more positive and hopeful
    context as 'great opportunities' for witnessing to God's gift of oneness in Christ and God's love for all persons, especially for those marriages between persons baptised as Christians". Finally, he focused on the challenge of facing
    the difficulties that interreligious or interdenominational families experience
    every day. "My regret continues to be that, when I attend Mass with my grandson,
    I am not allowed to partake of the Eucharist. It is personal, and it is painful".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    Churches. While I repeat the need and urgency to think of a 'conversion of the papacy' ... I am convinced that I have, in this respect, a particular responsibility, above all in ascertaining the ecumenical aspiration of the majority of Christian communities and in listening to the request that is presented to me to find a way of exercising this primacy that, while not renouncing in any way the essence of its mission, is open to a new situation".
    "Our gaze also extends to humanity. A synodal Church is like a standard borne among the nations in a world that, while invoking participation, solidarity and
    transparency in public administration, frequently leaves the destiny of entire populations in the rapacious hands of small powerful groups. As a Church who 'walks together' with mankind, participating in the labours of history, we cultivate the dream that the rediscovery of the inviolable dignity of peoples and the function of the service of authority may also help in the edification of
    civil society in justice and fraternity, giving rise to a world that is more beautiful and worthier of humanity for the generations to follow us".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Programme of the Holy Father's trip to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic
    Vatican City, 17 October 2015 (VIS) - Today the programme was published for Pope Francis' apostolic trip to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic,
    to take place from 25 to 30 November.
    The Holy Father will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport on 7.45 a.m. on Wednesday 25 November, destined for "Jomo Kenyatta" airport in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is due to arrive at 5 p.m. Following the welcome ceremony at State House, he will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Republic and will meet with the authorities and diplomatic corps.
    On Thursday 26 November, the Pope will attend an interreligious and ecumenical
    meeting in the apostolic nunciature in Nairobi, after which he will celebrate Holy Mass on the University of Nairobi campus. This will be followed by a meeting with the clergy, men and women religious and seminarians at the St. Mary's School sports field. The day will conclude with a visit to the United Nations Office at Nairobi.
    Friday 27 November will begin with a visit to the poor quarter of Kangemi in Nairobi, after which he will meet first with young people in the Kasarani Stadium, and then with Kenyan bishops. After the farewell ceremony at "Jomo Kenyatta" airport, the Pope will depart for Entebbe, Uganda at 3.30 p.m, where he will arrive at 4.50 p.m.
    After the welcome ceremony at Entebbe International airport, the Pope will pay
    a courtesy visit to the president in the State House, and will meet the authorities and diplomatic corps in the conference hall. The third day of his apostolic trip will conclude with a visit to Munyonyo and greetings to catechists and teachers.
    On Saturday 28 November, the Pope will visit the Anglican and Catholic shrines
    to martyrs in Namugongo, and will celebrate Mass for the martyrs of Uganda in the area of the Catholic shrine. After meeting with the young at the Kololo Air
    Strip at Kampala, he will visit the Nalukolongo House of Charity. At 6 p.m. he will meet with Ugandan bishops in the archbishop's residence, followed by an encounter with the clergy, men and women religious and seminarians in the cathedral.
    After a farewell ceremony at Entebbe airport, at 9.15 a.m. the Holy Father will
    depart for the Central African Republic, the third leg of his apostolic trip, where he is scheduled to arrive at the International "M'Poko" airport of Bangui
    at 10 a.m. He will first pay a courtesy visit to the Head of State of the Transition in the presidential palace "de la Renaissance" and will meet with members of the governing class and diplomatic corps. This will be followed by visit to a refugee camp and an encounter with the bishops of the country. In the
    afternoon he will meet with evangelical communities at the faculty of evangelical theology in Bangui, and will celebrate Mass with the clergy, men and
    women religious, catechists and the young in the cathedral of Bangui. He will then confess some young faithful and, in the evening, will inaugurate a prayer vigil outside the Cathedral.
    On Monday 30 November, Pope Francis will begin the final day of his eleventh apostolic trip with a meeting with the Muslim community in the central mosque of
    Koudoukou in Bangui. After celebrating Mass in the Stadium of the Barthelemy Boganda Sports Complex, he will transfer to "M'Poko" International airport and at 12.30 p.m., following a brief farewell ceremony, he will depart for Rome where he is expected to arrive at Ciampino airport at 6.45 p.m.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Maung Bo to take possession of his titular church
    Vatican City, 19 October 2015 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of
    the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Wednesday, 21 October, at 6.30 p.m.,
    Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, will take possession of the title of Sant'Ireneo a Centocelle (Via dei Castani, 291).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 19 October 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of Madre di Dio a Mosca, Moscow, Russian Federation.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 17 October 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Msgr. Francesco Manenti as bishop of Senigallia, (area 580, population 130,012, Catholics 121,260, priests 86, permanent deacons 11, religious 110), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Sergnano, Italy in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1975. He holds a licentiate in theology from the theological faculty of northern Italy in Milan, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the
    diocese of Crema, including parish vicar at the Cathedral, chaplain, spiritual director of the episcopal seminary, teacher at the "Dante Alighieri" diocesan school, head of the diocesan centre for spirituality and diocesan director of the family office. He is currently vicar general of the diocese of Crema, parish
    priest, lecturer in theology and member of the Commission for the permanent formation of the clergy. He succeeds Bishop Giuseppe Orlandoni, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Msgr. Joso Melit<n Chbvez as bishop of A+atuya (area 68,000, population 155,800, Catholics 138,000, priests 43, religious 110), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Romera Pozo in Argentina in 1957, and was ordained a priest in 1985. He has served in various roles in the archdiocese of Tucumbn, including parish vicar, pastor, vicar forane, formator, vice rector and rector of the major seminary of Tucumbn, assessor for Catholic Action, vicar general, episcopal vicar for soliarity and member of the pastoral council and college of
    consultors. He is currently pastor of the El Salvador parish.
    - Msgr. Joso Luis Henao Cadavid as bishop of Libano - Honda (area 3,477, population 257,049, Catholics 238,710, priests 48, religious 83), Colombia. The
    bishop-elect was born in Andes, Colombia in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1979. He holds a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome, and has served in a number of roles, including parish vicar,
    pastor, rector of the minor seminary, defender of the bond, judge in the ecclesiastical tribunal of Medellin, diocesan delegate for social and lay pastoral ministry, diocesan vicar for pastoral ministry and pastor of the Cathedral. He is currently pastor of the "Nuestra Se+ora de las Mercedes" parish
    in Andes.
    - Cardinal Nicolbs de Jes.s L<pez Rodr0guez, archbishop of Santo Domingo, as his special envoy to the celebration of the fifth centenary of the city of Cumana, Venezuela, origin of the evangelisation of South America, scheduled for
    27 November 2015.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    Church which flow from the indissolubility of marriage apply to the situation of
    people in irregular unions, including situations arising from the practice of polygamy".
    There are many references to this issue in St. John Paul II's encyclical "Familiaris consortio".
    The condition of homosexual persons is considered primarily from the perspective of the family context. The English group C insists that "we address
    this issue as pastors, seeking to understand the reality of people's lives rather than issues in some more abstract sense". The group also asks that "the final document include at an appropriate point a clear statement of Church teaching that same-sex unions are in no way equivalent to marriage".
    On the same issue, the English group A reiterates that "the Church as the spouse of Christ patterns her behaviour after the Lord Jesus, Whose all-embracing love is offered to every person without exception. Parents and siblings of family members with homosexual tendencies are called to love and accept these members of their family with an undivided and understanding heart".
    Some Fathers suggest that the issue be eliminated from the discussions in this
    Synod as its importance would call for a specific Synod on the matter.
    The theme of responsible parenthood has given rise to lively exchange, and is of great current importance in relation to the dignity of the person and of life. The working groups also considered mixed marriage, and called for greater
    pastoral focus on the defence of women and children in precarious situations.
    With regard to the Synod methodology, the French group represented by Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher writes, "like agronomists who talk about different methods of irrigation, we have talked about the method of our Synod. Is it well-suited to its purpose? We expend an enormous amount of energy, from all points of view. People are exhausted from the work they are doing. Will the
    result be worth the effort? Perhaps we could have identified some specific themes to examine between the two Synods, so as to have more time to study. Will
    Pontifical Commissions be appointed to carry out the work we hope will be done?
    ... We have enjoyed the greater amount of time given to us in small groups. From
    our exchanges, there strongly emerges the ministry of communion that is ours as
    bishops".
    "The theme of mercy has run throughout the Synod, challenging our pastoral ministry", concludes the Italian group B. "We are aware that the mystery of the
    Incarnation fully expresses the salvific will of God. This divine determination
    has also been entrusted to our mission and to the sacramental means that find their true hermeneutic in the sense of being an appeal to conversion, support, medicine and an aid for our salvation".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Declaration by the director of the Holy See Press Office
    Vatican City, 21 October 2015 (VIS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., issued the following statement this morning:
    "The circulation of entirely unfounded news regarding the health of the Holy Father by an Italian newspaper is gravely irresponsible and unworthy of attention. Furthermore, as is clearly evident, the Pope is carrying out his very
    intense activity in an totally normal way".
    Subsequently, during a briefing on the Synod, he added the following further information:
    "I fully confirm my previous statement, having verified the facts with the appropriate sources, including the Holy Father.
    No Japanese doctor has visited the Pope in the Vatican and there have been no examinations of the type indicated in the article. The competent offices have confirmed that there have been no arrivals of external parties in the Vatican by
    helicopter; similarly, there were no arrivals of this type during the month of January.
    I am able to confirm that the Pope is in good health.
    I reiterate that the publication of this false information is a grave act of irresponsibility, absolutely inexcusable and unconscionable. It would be equally
    unjustifiable to continue to fuel similarly unfounded information. It is hoped,
    therefore, that this matter be closed immediately".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 21 October 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Department for External Ecclesiastical Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 21 October 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Fr. Henrique Aparecido De Lima, C.SS.R., as bishop of Dourados (area 38,125,
    population 535,000, Catholics 375,000, priests 59, permanent deacons 11, religious 154), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Toledo, Brazil in 1964, gave his religious vows in 1995 and was ordained a priest in 1999. He has served
    in a number of pastoral roles including parish vicar, pastor and administrator of the diocese of Jardim, and deputy provincial of the Redemptorists. He is currently superior of the Redemptorist Province of Campo Grande. He succeeds Bishop Redovino Rizzardo, C.S., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the
    same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Fr. Jose Reginaldo Andrietta as bishop of Jales (area 12,788, population 400,000, Catholics 323,000, priests 36, religious 15), Brazil. The bishop-elect
    was born in Pirassununga, Brazil in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1983. He holds
    a master's degree in catechesis from the Institut de Catechese et Pastorale Lumen Vitae in Brussels, Belgium and a licentiate in pastoral theology from the
    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He has served in a number of pastoral,
    academic and administrative roles in the diocese of Limeira, Brazil and in Brussels, Belgium, including parish vicar, parish priest, professor of pastoral
    theology and member of the presbyteral council. He is currently pastor of the "Sao Judas Tadeu" parish in Americana. He succeeds Bishop Luiz Demetrio Valentini, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Msgr. Paulo Bosi Dal'Bo as bishop of Sao Mateus (area 15,496, population 469,000, Catholics 335,000, priests 46, religious 49), Brazil. The bishop-elect
    was born in Colatina, Brazil in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 2000. He holds
    a degree in accounting sciences and master's degrees in social communications and psychology of education. He has served in a number of roles in the diocese of Colatina, including director of the "Nossa Senhora Mae dos Pobres" house of formation, parish vicar and parish administrator, pastor, rector of the diocesan
    seminary and president of the Organisation of Seminaries and Philosophical and Theological Institutes in Brazil. He is currently vicar general of the diocese and parish priest.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    are all children of God! Do we remember that in Baptism we have received the 'seal' of our Heavenly Father and became His children? ... Here is the root of the vocation to holiness. The saints we remember today are indeed those who lived in the grace of their Baptism, who kept the 'seal' intact, behaving as children of God, seeking to imitate Jesus; and now they have reached their goal
    because they finally 'see God as he really is'".
    Their second characteristic is that they are "examples to imitate. ... Not only
    those who are canonised, but, so to speak, the saints 'next door' who, with the
    grace of God, made the effort to practice the Gospel in the ordinariness of their life. ... To imitate their gestures of love and mercy is rather like perpetuating their presence in this world. Indeed, those evangelical gestures are the only ones that resist the destruction of death: an act of tenderness, generous help, time spent listening, a visit, a good word, a smile. ... To our eyes these gestures might seem insignificant, but in God's eyes they are eternal, because love and compassion are stronger than death".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis to open the Holy Door of the cathedral of Bangui
    Vatican City, 1 November 2015 (VIS) - After today's Marian Angelus prayer, the
    Pope referred to the delicate situation in the Central African Republic following the painful events of recent days, and launched an appeal to the parties involved to put an end to this cycle of violence. "I am spiritually close to the Combonian Fathers of the parish of Our Lady of Fatima in Bangui, which is welcoming many displaced people. I express my solidarity with the Church, other religious confessions and the entire nation, so sorely tried, as they make every effort to overcome divisions and to re-embark on the path of peace".
    "To show the prayerful closeness of all the Church to this afflicted and tormented nation, and to exhort all Central Africans increasingly to be witnesses of mercy and reconciliation, I intend to open the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Bangui on Sunday 29 November, during the apostolic trip I hope to make to this nation".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope's telegram of condolences for the victims of the Sinai air crash
    Vatican City, 1 November 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram of condolences to the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin on behalf of the Holy Father, following
    the crash of a Russian airliner in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula yesterday, 31 October, causing over 200 deaths.
    In the text, the Pope expresses his sadness at learning of the tragic event, and conveys his condolences to the president and the Russian people. He assures
    his prayers for all the deceased and for those who mourn their loss, and invokes
    the strength and peace of Almighty God upon the nation and all those involved in
    the recovery efforts.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audience with the president of Macedonia
    Vatican City, 31 October 2015 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience in the Vatican Apostolic Palace His Excellency Mr. Gjorge Ivanov, president of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who subsequently
    met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by
    Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
    During the discussions, which took place in a cordial atmosphere, the Parties expressed their satisfaction at the existing good bilateral relations, and their
    hope for the realisation of the country's aspirations and increasing efforts to
    join the European Union.
    Attention then turned to various themes of international politics in the current global context, also in relation to persistent difficulties of an economic and social nature, and the need for joint efforts to offer assistance to the great number of refugees arriving in the region.
    Finally, the Parties recognised the importance of further encouraging the co-existence of and dialogue between the various ethnic and religious groups in
    the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope to business leaders: increase an entrepreneurial spirit of subsidiarity
    Vatican City, 31 October 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope received seven thousand members of the Christian Union of Business Executives (UCID), a group of Catholic entrepreneurs who seek to be agents of development for the common good, inspired above all by the Social Doctrine of the Church. The UCID, which is an ecclesial association recognised by bishops, grants great importance to Christian formation and carries out its apostolate in
    the field of work and enterprise.
    In his address, the Holy Father exhorts the members of UCID to live their entrepreneurial vocation in the spirit of the lay mission, emphasising that businesses and their managing offices can become "places of sanctification" through common commitment to building fraternal relations between entrepreneurs,
    managers and workers, promoting co-responsibility and collaboration in mutual interest. "It is fundamental to pay special attention to the quality of the working life of employees, who are the most precious resource of a business, and
    in particular to favour harmonisation between work and family life", he added. "I think especially of female workers: the challenge is to protect both their right to fully recognised work and and their vocation to maternity and presence
    within the family". Another important aspect, Francis remarked, is the "responsibility of businesses in the defence and care of creation and the realisation of progress that is 'healthier, more human, more social, more integral'".
    The call to be missionaries of the social dimension of the Gospel in the world
    of work, the economy and enterprise implies "openness and evangelical closeness
    to the many situations of poverty and fragility", encouraging programmes for development and assistance. However, it is not enough to provide charitable aid,
    the Pope adds. "It is necessary to guide economic activity in an evangelical sense, that is, at the service of the person and the common good. From this point of view you are called upon to cooperate to promote the growth of an entrepreneurial spirit of subsidiarity, to face ethical and market challenges together, and above all the challenge of creating good work opportunities".
    "The business is an asset of common interest. While it may be a private asset,
    managed privately, for the simple fact that it pursues aims of general interest
    and relevance, such as economic development, innovation and employment, it must
    be protected as an asset in its own right. This protection must be provided firstly by the institutions, but also by entrepreneurs, economics, financial bodies and banks, and all those involved must act with competence, honesty and sense of responsibility. The economy and business need ethics in order to function correctly; and not merely any ethical code, but rather one that places
    the person and the community at the forefront", the Holy Father concluded.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Pope's special envoy to the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the sacred image of the Madonna at Lask
    Vatican City, 31 October 2015 (VIS) - In a letter published today, written in Latin and dated 12 October, the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Catholic Education, as his special envoy to the closing celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival from Rome of the sacred image of the "Madonna of Lask" in the sanctuary
    of the same name in the archdiocese of Lodz, Poland, to take place on Sunday 8 November.
    The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Msgr. Tadeusz Ciupinski, canon of the Collegiate Chapter in Lask, and Msgr. Zbigniew Tracz, canon of the Cathedral Chapter in Lodz.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope ordains the new auxiliary bishop of Rome in the Basilica of St. John Lateran
    Vatican City, 3 November 2015 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of
    the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Monday 9 November at 5 p.m. in the papal Basilica of St. John Lateran the Pope will confer episcopal ordination to
    Msgr. Angelo De Donatis of the clergy of the diocese of Rome. Appointed as auxiliary bishop of Rome on 14 September 2015, Msgr. De Donatis was born in 1954
    in Casarano, Italy.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 31 October 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine
    of the Faith;
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 3 November 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Pedro Maria Laxague, auxiliary of Bahia Blanca, Argentina, as bishop of Zarate-Campana (area 5,924, population 728,000, Catholics 660,000, priests 88, permanent deacons 13, religious 178), Argentina. He succeeds Bishop Oscar Domingo Sarlinga, whose resignation in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the
    Code of Canon Law was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Fr. Carlos Azpiroz Costa, O.P., as coadjutor archbishop of Bahia Blanca (area 82,625, population 757,000, Catholics 647,000, priests 83, permanent deacons 18, religious 202), Argentina. Fr. Azpiroz Costa, O.P., was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1956, gave his religious vows in 1984 and was ordained a priest in 1987. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of the North "Santo Tomas de Aquino" (UNSTA) in the Argentine Dominican province, a bachelor's degree in theology from the Pontifical Argentine Catholic University, and a doctorate in canon law from the University
    of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome. He has served in a number of roles within his order, most notably as Master General, and as a lecturer at the University FASTA of Mar del Plata, Argentina. He is currently superior of the Dominican community of Mar del Plata.
    On Saturday, 31 October, the Holy Father:
    - appointed Fr. Abel Szocska, O.S.B.M., as apostolic administrator sede vacante
    of the eparchy of Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, for Catholis of Byzantine rite, without
    episcopal rank. Fr. Szocska was born in Vinohradiu, Nagyszolos, Ukraine in 1972,
    gave his religious vows in 2001 and was ordained a priest in the same year. He is currently provincial superior of the Basilian Fathers in Hungary, pastor of the parish of Mariapocs, and protosyncellus of the eparchy of Miskolc.
    - gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Church of Fr. Joseph Tobji as archbishop of Aleppo of the Maronites, Syria. The bishop-elect was born in 1971 and was ordained a priest in 1996. He holds a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Urbanian University and has
    served as chaplain and parish priest, and as promoter of justice and defender of
    the bond in a number of ecclesiastical tribunals. He is currently secretary of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops.
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Elblag, Poland, presented by Bishop Jozef Wysocki upon reaching the age limit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Nov 6 08:25:02 2015
    Interviewer: Your namesake St. Francis chose radical poverty and even sold his
    evangeliarium. As the Pope, and bishop of Rome, do you ever feel under pressure
    to sell the Church's treasures?
    Pope Francis: "This is an easy question. They are not the treasures of the Church, they are treasures of humanity. For example, if tomorrow I decide to put
    Michelangelo's Pieta up for auction, I cannot do this, since it is not the property of the Church. It is kept in a church but it belongs to humanity. This
    is true of all the treasures of the Church. But we have started to sell gifts and other things that are given to me, and the proceeds from sales go to Msgr. Krajewski, who is my almoner. Then there is the lottery. There were cars that have all been sold or given away with a lottery and the proceeds are used for the poor. There are things that can be sold, and we sell these".
    Interviewer: Are you aware that the wealth of the Church can give rise to this
    type of expectation?
    Pope Francis: "Yes, if we make a catalogue of the assets of the Church, it seems that the Church is very rich. But when the Concordat was made with Italy in 1929 on the Roman Question, the Italian government at the time offered to the
    Church a large park in Rome. And the then Pope Pius XI said no, I would like just half a square kilometre to guarantee the Church's independence. This principle still stands.
    "Yes, the real estate of the Church is considerable, but we use it to maintain
    the structures of the Church and to maintain many works that are carried out in
    countries in need: hospitals and schools. Yesterday, for example, I asked for 50,000 euros to be sent to Congo to build three schools in poor villages, as education is important for children. They went to the competent administration,
    I made the request, and the money was sent".
    Interviewer: Holy Father, is it possible to imagine a world without the poor?
    Pope Francis: "I would like a world without the poor. We must fight for this. But I am a believer and I know that sin is always within us. And there is always
    human greed, the lack of solidarity, the selfishness that creates poverty. Therefore, would seem difficult to me to imagine a world without the poor. If you think about children exploited for slave labour, or sexually abused children. And another form of exploitation: children killed for the trafficking
    of organs. Killing children to remove their organs is greed. Therefore, I do not
    know if we will be able to make a world without poverty, because sin is always there and leads to selfishness. But we must always fight, always ...".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Christians and Hindus: promoting human ecology together
    Vatican City, 6 November 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of
    the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has written a message to the
    followers of Hinduism on the occasion of Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, which will be celebrated on 11 November this year. The message, entitled "Christians and Hindus: promoting human ecology together", is also signed by Fr.
    Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J, secretary of the same dicastery.
    In the text, Cardinal Tauran comments that Pope Francis, in his recent encyclical "Laudato si'", addresses the environmental and human ecological crisis threatening our planet. "Thus we deem it opportune to share, in keeping with our cherished tradition, some thoughts on the need to promote human ecology, and to foster a rediscovery of the interconnectedness of creation. Human ecology points to the relationship and responsibility which humans have towards the earth and to the cultivation of 'ecological virtues'. These virtues
    include a sustainable use of the earth's resources through the adoption of policies, at national and international levels, which respect the interconnectedness and interdependence of human beings and nature. These issues,
    as we know, have a direct bearing not only on the current health of our earth the home of the human family - but also for generations to come".
    "Human selfishness, as evidenced in consumerist and hedonistic tendencies in some individuals and groups, nurtures an insatiable desire to be 'masters' and 'conquerors' rather than 'guardians' and 'stewards' of nature. We are all called, regardless of religious belief or national identity, to live with a greater responsibility towards nature, to nurture life-giving relationships and,
    most of all, to reorder our lifestyles and economic structures according to the
    ecological challenges facing us. Your tradition stresses the 'oneness' of nature, humanity and the divine. The Christian faith teaches that the created world is God's gift to all human beings. As stewards of the created order, we are called to care for it responsibly and resolutely".
    "There is an inseparable link between our harmony with creation and our peace with one another. If peace is to prevail in the world, we must, together and as
    individuals, consciously give ourselves to 'protecting nature, defending the poor, and building networks of respect and fraternity'. Promotion of human ecology requires formation and education, at all levels, in ecological consciousness and responsibility, and in the wise stewardship of the earth's resources. This begins in the family, 'the first and fundamental structure for 'human ecology in which man receives his formative ideas about truth and goodness, and learns what it means to love and to be loved, and thus what it actually means to be a person'. Educational and governmental structures have a responsibility to form citizens in a proper understanding of human ecology and its relationship to the future of humanity and the created world".
    "United by our humanity and mutual responsibility, as well as our shared values
    and convictions, may we Hindus and Christians, together with people of all religious traditions and good will, always foster a culture which promotes human
    ecology. In this way, there will be harmony within us, and in our relationships
    with others, with nature and with God, which will 'favour the growth of the tree
    of peace'".
    "Praying for a healthy ecology and creating awareness of the various ways to care for creation is a truly ennobling work. Pope Francis has instituted, therefore, an annual 'World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation' to be observed on 1 September. It is hoped that this initiative will increase awareness among all people of the need to be good stewards of creation and, thereby, promote a true human ecology".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 6 November 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., secretary of the Congregation
    for the Doctrine of the Faith;
    - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, apostolic nuncio in Poland.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 6 November 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Juan Jose Omella Omella of Calahorra y La Calzada-Logrono, Spain as archbishop of Barcelona (area 340, population 2,657,000, Catholics 2,116,479, priests 826, permanent deacons 46, religious 3,092), Spain.
    - Bishop Jozef de Kesel of Bruges, Belgium, as archbishop of Malines-Bruxelles
    (area 3,635, population 2,825,000, Catholics 1,807,000, priests 1,794, permanent
    deacons 88, religious 3,249), Belgium. He succeeds Archbishop Andre Leonard, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Bishop Jozef de Kesel as military ordinary for Belgium.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Nov 9 08:49:02 2015
    working, you can find yourself without healthcare".
    In this regard, the task of institutions such as INPS is to contribute to ensuring that the funds are not lacking for the subsistence of unemployed workers and their families. "Special attention for female work should not be missing from your priorities; nor should maternity assistance, which should always allow for the protection of a new life and those who serve this on a daily basis. There should be no lack of insurance for old age, sickness, and work-related accidents. The right to a pension must not be neglected, and I underline, the right, as this is what it is".
    "In the final analysis, working means prolonging God's work in history, contributing in a personal, useful and creative way. Supporting employment, you
    support this work too. Furthermore, by guaranteeing dignified income to those who have to leave work, you affirm the most profound reality: work must not be another cog in the perverse mechanisms that grinds resources to obtain ever greater profits; it cannot therefore be prolonged or reduced in relation to the
    earnings of the few or of forms of production that sacrifice values, relationships and principles. This applies to the economy in general ... and also
    to all the social institution whose subject and aim is and must be the human person".
    "Do not forget the person: this is imperative", he concluded. "Love and serve the person with awareness, responsibility and willingness. Work for those who work, and not least for those would like to but cannot. Do this not as a work of
    solidarity but as a duty of justice and subsidiarity. Support the weakest, so that no-one lacks the dignity and freedom to live an authentically human life".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Ranjith, Pope's special envoy to India's National Eucharistic Congress
    Vatican City, 9 November 2015 (VIS) - In a letter published today, written in Latin and dated 12 October, the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjit Patabendige Don, archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka, as his special envoy to the National Eucharistic Congress of India, to be held in Mumbai from 12 to 15 November 2015.
    The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Rev. Fr. Steven Fernandes, lecturer in moral theology at the seminary of Mumbai, and Rev. Fr. Jervis S'Souza, judicial vicar.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 9 November 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, archbishop of Valencia, Spain;
    - Archbishop Michael A. Blume, apostolic nuncio in Uganda;
    - Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi of Piura, Peru.
    On Saturday 6 November the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome;
    - Larry Yu-yuan Wang, ambassador of the Republic of China, on his farewell visit.
    - Members of the "Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet", awarded the Nobel Peace
    Prize 2015: Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh, Abdessatar Ben Moussa, Wided Bouchamaoui and Houcine Abbassi.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 9 November 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Herve Gosselin as bishop of Angouleme (area 5,956, population 365,851, Catholics 275,000, priests 75, religious 176, permanent deacons 10), France. The bishop-elect was born in 1956 in Nantes, France, and was ordained a priest in 1994. He holds a licentiate in moral theology and has served in a number of roles, including parish vicar, chaplain in the Rennes prison for men, professor
    of moral theology, spiritual director and treasurer of the interdiocesan seminary of Rennes. He is currently director of the "Foyer de Charite" of Tressaint. He succeeds Bishop Claude Dagens, whose resignation from the pastoral
    care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    On Saturday 6 November the Holy Father appointed:
    - Fr. Lorenzo Piretto, O.P., as archbishop of Izmir (Catholics 15,000, priests
    17, religious 19), Turkey. The bishop-elect was born in Mazze, Italy in 1942, gave his religious vows in 1963, and was ordained a priest in 1966. He holds a licentiate in theology from the University of Bologna and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Turin. He has occupied a number of academic roles at the F.I.S.T. of Turin and the University of Marmara in Istanbul. He has
    also served within his order as superior of the Convent of Istanbul, and as provincial vicar of Turkey, as in a number of pastoral roles including parish priest and vicar general. He is currently superior of the Convent of Izmir. He succeeds Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini, O.F.M. Cap., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Bishop Eugeniusz Miroslaw Popowicz as archbishop of the archieparchy of Przemysl-Warszawa of the Byzantines (Catholics 30,000, priests 47, religious 97), Poland. Msgr. Popowicz is currently auxiliary of the same archieparchy. He
    succeeds Archbishop Jan Martyniak whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archieparchy upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Rev. Fr. Damase Zinga Atangana as bishop of Kribi (area 11,000, population 150,000, Catholics 85,000, priests 44, religious 17), Cameroon. The bishop-elect
    was born in Nkog Bong, Cameroon in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a doctorate in moral theology and a diploma in history and science of religions from the Charles de Gaulle University in Lille, France. He has served
    in a number of roles in the diocese of Obala, Cameroon, including rector of the
    minor seminary, vicar general, parish priest, and diocesan chaplain. He is currently vicar general of Obala.
    - Rev. Fr. Pedro Manuel Salamanca Mantilla and Rev. Fr. Luis Manuel Ali Herrera
    as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Bogota (area 4,019, population 4,580,000, Catholics 3,925,000, priests 844, permanent deacons 107, religious 2,481), Colombia.
    Rev. Fr. Salamanca Mantilla was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a licentiate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Bogota, including parish vicar, pastor, and formator
    in the major seminary. He is currently archdiocesan delegate for the coordination of permanent formation of the clergy, and parish priest.
    Rev. Fr. Ali Herrera was born in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds licentiates theology and psychology from the
    Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Bogota, including parish vicar, secretary and notary
    of the episcopal vicar, parish priest, university chaplain, and formator in the
    major seminary. He is currently parish priest and member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
    - Msgr. Ricardo Orlando Seirutti as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Cordoba (area 13,717, population 755,000, Catholics 698,179, priests 83, religious 169),
    Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1956 and was
    ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Catholic University of Cordoba and has served as formator in the minor seminary, assessor
    for youth pastoral ministry, chaplain and formator of candidates to the permanent diaconate. He is currently vicar forane and parish priest.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Nov 10 08:24:02 2015
    "However, we know that there are many temptations we must resist. I will present you at least two of them. The first is that of Pelagianism, which leads
    the Church not to be humble, selfless and blessed. ... Often it leads us even to
    assuming a style of control, of hardness, normativity. Rules give to the Pelagian the security of feeling superior, of having a precise orientation. In this it finds its strength, not in the soft breath of the Spirit. Faced with the
    ills or the problems of the Church, it is useless to seek solutions in conservatism or fundamentalism, in the restoration of outdated forms and conduct
    that have no capacity for meaning, even culturally. Christian doctrine is not closed system incapable of generating questions, doubts and uncertainties, but it is living, it knows how to disturb and to encourage. Its face is not rigid, it has a body that moves and develops, it has tender flesh; Christian doctrine is called Jesus Christ".
    "A second temptation is the gnosticism that leads us to place our trust in logical and clear reasoning that, however, loses the tenderness of our brother's
    flesh. ... The difference between Christian transcendence and any other form of
    gnostic spiritualism resides in the mystery of the Incarnation. Not putting into
    practice, not leading the Word to reality, means building on sand, remaining in
    the pure idea and degenerating into intimisms that do not bear fruit, that render its dynamism sterile".
    "The Italian Church has great saints whose examples help live faith with humility, generosity and joy, from St. Francis of Assisi to St. Philip Neri. But
    let us also think of invented characters such as Don Camillo and Peppone. I am struck by how, in the stories of Guareschi, the prayer of a good pastor unites with evident closeness to the people".
    "But then, you will ask, what must we do? What is the Pope asking of us? It is
    up to you to decide: people and pastor together. And I invite you, again, simply
    to contemplate the Ecce Homo above us".
    "I ask the bishops to be pastors. Nothing more: pastors. May this be your joy:
    'I am a pastor'. It will be the people, your flock, who support you. ... May nothing and no-one remove from you the joy of being supported by your people. As
    pastors, do not be preachers of complex doctrines, but rather announcers of Christ, Who died and rose again for us. Focus on the essential, the kerygma. There is nothing more solid, profound and sure than this announcement. But may it be all the people of God who announce the Gospel, people and pastors".
    "I recommend all the Italian Church what I indicated in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: the social inclusion of the poor, who occupy a special place in the People of God, and the capacity for encounter and dialogue
    to promote friendship and in your country, in search of the common good".
    "May God protect the Church in Italy from any kind of surrogate of power, image
    and money. Evangelical poverty is creative, it welcomes, supports and is rich in
    hope. The mother Church ... recognises all her abandoned, oppressed and weary children. And this has always been one of your virtues, as you are well aware that the Lord shed his blood not for some, for few or for many, but for all".
    "I also recommend, in a special way, the capacity for dialogue and encounter. Dialogue is not negotiation. Negotiating is bargaining to obtain your own piece
    of the common 'pie'. That is not what I mean. Instead it is seeking the common good for all".
    "May the Church be a leaven for dialogue, encounter, unity. Indeed, our very formulations of faith are the fruit of dialogue and encounter between different
    cultures, communities and claims. We must not be afraid of dialogue; on the contrary, it is precisely comparison and criticism that helps us to preserve theology from being transformed into ideology. Also remember that the best way to engage in dialogue is not that of speaking and discussing, but rather of doing something together, of constructing something, of making projects: not alone, among Catholics, but along with all people of goodwill".
    "But the Church also knows how to give a clear answer to the threats that emerge within public debate: this is one of the forms of specific contributions
    that the faithful offer to the construction of common society. Believers are citizens. ... I appeal above all to the young: overcome apathy. ... Do not look down
    on life from the balcony, but rather get involved, immerse yourselves in broad social and political dialogue. ... Our times require us to live problems as challenges and not as obstacles: the Lord is active and at work in the world. ...
    Wherever you are, never construct walls or frontiers, but instead open squares and field hospitals".
    "I would like a restless Italian Church, ever closer to the abandoned, the forgotten, the imperfect. I wish for a joyful Church with the face of a mother,
    who understands, accompanies and caresses. May you too dream of this Church, believe in her, innovate freely. The Christian humanism that you are called upon
    to live radically affirms that dignity of every person as Son of God, establishes between all human beings a fundamental fraternity, teaches to understand work, to inhabit creation as our common home, and provides reasons for joy and humour, even in a life that is often very hard".
    Following his encounter with the representatives of the ecclesial congress, shortly before midday, the Pope went to the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata to pray the Angelus with various sick and disabled people, after which he lunched with the poor in the San Francesco Poverino refectory.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Episcopal ordination in the Basilica of St. John Lateran: the Kingdom of God is
    built with patience
    Vatican City, 10 November 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday, 9 November, festivity of the
    dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Pope Francis conferred episcopal
    ordination to Msgr. Angelo De Donatis, of the clergy of Rome, who was appointed
    auxiliary bishop of Rome on 14 September.
    The homily pronounced by the Holy Father during the mass was essentially the ritual homily for the ordination of bishops from the Italian edition of the Pontificale Romanum. However, Francis added some phrases dedicated in particular
    to the proclamation of the Word, the welcome of the poor and vulnerable, and mercy.
    "Announcing the Word at every opportunity and also at less opportune moments; admonish ... but always kindly, exhort with magnanimity and doctrine. May your words be simple, so that everyone can understand, rather than long homilies. ...
    Remember your father, how happy he was to find nearby another parish where Mass
    was celebrated without a homily! May your homilies be the transmission of God's
    grace: simple, that everyone may understand, and so that all wish to become better".
    "With your heart, love like a father and a brother all those whom God entrusts
    to you; as I have said, first and foremost the priests, deacons and seminarians;
    but also the poor, the vulnerable, and those who are in need of welcome and help. Exhort the faithful to cooperate in apostolic efforts and listen to them willingly and with patience. Often you will need a lot of patience ... but the Kingdom of God is built in this way".
    "As we near the Year of Mercy, I ask you as a brother to be merciful. The Church and the world are in need of great mercy. Teach priests and seminarians the path of mercy. With words, but most of all through your attitude. The Father's mercy always receives, there is always room in His heart, He never turns anyone away. He waits, and waits. ... I wish you great mercy".
    During the rite of consigning the episcopal ring, the Pope also added: "Do not
    forget that, before this ring, there was that of your parents. Defend the family".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Clarifications from Fr. Federico Lombardi
    Vatican City, 10 November 2015 (VIS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., in response to questions from journalists,
    today affirmed that:
    "There is no basis to the reports in some articles claiming that in recent days, as part of the investigations in process in the Vatican, a number of cardinals and high prelates have been heard (it has even been stated that four cardinals were involved). This is absolutely false.
    "Similarly, the reports in recent days in some articles regarding contacts with
    the Italian authorities by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello in relation to the problems of leaked documents are entirely untrue".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Nov 11 08:24:02 2015
    our Christian identity, since in recognising the mystery of the Son of God made
    man, we can enter into the mystery of God and the mystery of man. ... Today, too ...
    our joy is sharing this faith and answering the Lord Jesus together: 'You, for us, are the Christ, the Son of the living God'. Our joy is also that of going against the grain and surmounting current opinion, that, like then, does not manage to see Jesus as more than a prophet or a teacher. Our joy is recognising
    in Him the presence of God, the envoy of His Father, the Son who came to make Himself an instrument of salvation for humanity".
    "At the root of the mystery of salvation is "the will of a merciful God, who does not give up when confronted with man's incomprehension, blame and misery, but rather gives Himself to him, to the point of making Himself man in order to
    encounter every person in his or her true condition. This, God's merciful love,
    is what Simon Peter recognises in Jesus' face. It is the same face that we are called upon to recognise in the forms in which the Lord assures us of His presence among us: in His Word, that illuminates the darkness of our minds and our heart; in the Sacraments, that regenerate us from our death to new life; in
    fraternal communion, that the Holy Spirit generates among His disciples; in boundless love, that renders generous and tender service to all; in the poor, who reminds us that Jesus wished for the supreme revelation of Himself and His Father to take the image of Himself humiliated and crucified. This truth of faith, this truth scandalises ... those who do not tolerate the mystery of God impressed on the face of Christ".
    "In reality, the communion between the divine and the human, fully realised in
    Jesus, is our aim, the culmination of human history according to the Father's plan. ... God and man are not the two extremes of an opposition: they always seek
    each other, as God recognises in man His own image and man recognises himself only by looking at God. ... This is the road on which we can encounter humanity ...
    with the spirit of the good Samaritan. It is not by chance that humanism, to whose most creative moments the city of Florence bears witness, has always had the face of charity".
    "At the end of the Mass the Pope greeted the cardinal archbishop of Florence, Giuseppe Betori, and the members of the Italian Episcopal Conference, and thanked the detainees who had constructed the altar. He then transferred by car
    to the "Luigi Ridolfi" stadium where he departed by helicopter to return to the
    Vatican.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See at UNESCO: the importance of education on climate change
    Vatican City, 11 November 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Francesco Follo, Holy See permanent observer at UNESCO, addressed the 38th General Conference of this body, which took place from 25 October to 10 November in Paris.
    "UNESCO is heavily involved in the preparations for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 21) and I am sure that the Organisation, through its Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, plays and will continue to play a very important role in making education in climate change a central and visible element of the international response to this theme. Therefore, the Holy See welcomes with satisfaction ... the UNESCO Road
    Map for the implementation of the programme. Its objective is to help people understand the impact of global warming and to familiarise the young, in particular, with climate change. In order to achieve this, the programme strengthens Member States' capacity to guarantee a quality education in climate
    change, to encourage innovative education approaches to incorporating education
    in climate change in school curricula, and to promote awareness of climate change as well as the strengthening of informal education programmes through the
    communication media, networks and associations".
    Archbishop Follo commented that the 70th anniversary of UNESCO offered a good opportunity to take stock of our history and to reflect on our common future, responding to the Holy Father's urgent invitation to engage in a "new dialogue on the way in which we are constructing the future of the planet" and to promote
    "an 'ecological' education that must take into account the ethics of life and dialogue".
    This dialogue begins with "becoming aware that inhabiting the earth means living 'in her' with respect, sobriety and simplicity in terms of what we require, take and receive from her". But we should also live 'with her and care
    for her'. ... A human attitude that derives from work and the assumption of responsibility is required.
    Indeed, it is important not to forget that the relationship between humanity and nature "is synthesized by work. In effect, on the one hand nature is the expression of a design of love and truth. It precedes us and was given to us by
    God as a living environment, Who established it according to an intrinsic order
    to guide man in cultivating and maintaining it". With regard to responsibility,
    "in simple terms, we all know where we area, and in equally simple terms, we all
    know where we wish to go: we must leave the earth habitable, or render it newly
    habitable for future generations if we have ransacked it".
    "This purpose is inspired by the encyclical "Laudato si'" that Pope Francis dedicated to our common home", concluded Archbishop Follo, citing Pope emeritus
    Benedict XVI, who had encouraged the development of a "human ecology", since "intelligence requires us to respect others as well as the home where we live. ...
    Pope Francis says that intelligence also commands us to respect our common home
    as by doing so, we demonstrate our love for our neighbour".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 11 November 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Fr. Karel Choennie as bishop of Paramaribo (area 163,829, population 505,580, Catholics 115,221, priests 18, permanent deacons 4, religious 16), Suriname. The bishop-elect was born in Suriname in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a licentiate in pastoral theology from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Paramaribo, including parish priest, episcopal vicar, member of the diocesan curia and vicar general. He is currently pastor of the St. Clement parish.
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Detroit, United States of America, presented by Archdiocese Francis R. Reiss, upon reaching the age limit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Nov 11 08:36:02 2015
    the Pope awarded the Pontifical Medal to the Spanish Almudena Alba Lopez for her
    publication "Political theology and anti-Arian polemics" (University of Salamanca).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Humanism with the face of charity: Mass in Florence
    Vatican City, 11 November 2015 (VIS) - Pope Francis concluded his brief pastoral visit to Florence yesterday with Mass celebrated before fifty thousand
    people in the "Artemio Franchi" stadium. Even the detainees in the Florentine prison participated in a way, as the altar at which the Holy Father consecrated
    the Eucharist was produced by them, for which he warmly thanked them.
    In his homily, the Holy Father began from Christ's question to His disciples: "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?". "Jesus is interested in what people
    think, not to keep them happy, but to be able to communicate with them", he explained. "Without knowing what people think, the disciple isolates himself and
    begins to judge people according to his own thoughts and convictions. Maintaining a healthy contact with reality, with what people experience, their tears and their joys, is the only way of being able to help them ... to open their
    hearts to God. In reality, when God wanted to speak with us He incarnated Himself. Jesus' disciples must never forget where they were chosen from - that is, among the people - and must never give in to the temptation to assume detached attitudes, as if what the people think and live did not affect them or
    as if it were of little importance to them. ... This also applies to us. The fact
    that we are gathered today to celebrate Holy Mass in a sports stadium is a reminder of this. The Church, like Jesus, lives amid the people and for the people. For this reason the Church, throughout her history, has always carried within her the same question: who is Jesus for the men and women of today?".
    "Safeguarding and announcing the true faith in Jesus Christ is at the heart of
    our Christian identity, since in recognising the mystery of the Son of God made
    man, we can enter into the mystery of God and the mystery of man. ... Today, too ...
    our joy is sharing this faith and answering the Lord Jesus together: 'You, for us, are the Christ, the Son of the living God'. Our joy is also that of going against the grain and surmounting current opinion, that, like then, does not manage to see Jesus as more than a prophet or a teacher. Our joy is recognising
    in Him the presence of God, the envoy of His Father, the Son who came to make Himself an instrument of salvation for humanity".
    "At the root of the mystery of salvation is "the will of a merciful God, who does not give up when confronted with man's incomprehension, blame and misery, but rather gives Himself to him, to the point of making Himself man in order to
    encounter every person in his or her true condition. This, God's merciful love,
    is what Simon Peter recognises in Jesus' face. It is the same face that we are called upon to recognise in the forms in which the Lord assures us of His presence among us: in His Word, that illuminates the darkness of our minds and our heart; in the Sacraments, that regenerate us from our death to new life; in
    fraternal communion, that the Holy Spirit generates among His disciples; in boundless love, that renders generous and tender service to all; in the poor, who reminds us that Jesus wished for the supreme revelation of Himself and His Father to take the image of Himself humiliated and crucified. This truth of faith, this truth scandalises ... those who do not tolerate the mystery of God impressed on the face of Christ".
    "In reality, the communion between the divine and the human, fully realised in
    Jesus, is our aim, the culmination of human history according to the Father's plan. ... God and man are not the two extremes of an opposition: they always seek
    each other, as God recognises in man His own image and man recognises himself only by looking at God. ... This is the road on which we can encounter humanity ...
    with the spirit of the good Samaritan. It is not by chance that humanism, to whose most creative moments the city of Florence bears witness, has always had the face of charity".
    "At the end of the Mass the Pope greeted the cardinal archbishop of Florence, Giuseppe Betori, and the members of the Italian Episcopal Conference, and thanked the detainees who had constructed the altar. He then transferred by car
    to the "Luigi Ridolfi" stadium where he departed by helicopter to return to the
    Vatican.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See at UNESCO: the importance of education on climate change
    Vatican City, 11 November 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Francesco Follo, Holy See permanent observer at UNESCO, addressed the 38th General Conference of this body, which took place from 25 October to 10 November in Paris.
    "UNESCO is heavily involved in the preparations for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 21) and I am sure that the Organisation, through its Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, plays and will continue to play a very important role in making education in climate change a central and visible element of the international response to this theme. Therefore, the Holy See welcomes with satisfaction ... the UNESCO Road
    Map for the implementation of the programme. Its objective is to help people understand the impact of global warming and to familiarise the young, in particular, with climate change. In order to achieve this, the programme strengthens Member States' capacity to guarantee a quality education in climate
    change, to encourage innovative education approaches to incorporating education
    in climate change in school curricula, and to promote awareness of climate change as well as the strengthening of informal education programmes through the
    communication media, networks and associations".
    Archbishop Follo commented that the 70th anniversary of UNESCO offered a good opportunity to take stock of our history and to reflect on our common future, responding to the Holy Father's urgent invitation to engage in a "new dialogue on the way in which we are constructing the future of the planet" and to promote
    "an 'ecological' education that must take into account the ethics of life and dialogue".
    This dialogue begins with "becoming aware that inhabiting the earth means living 'in her' with respect, sobriety and simplicity in terms of what we require, take and receive from her". But we should also live 'with her and care
    for her'. ... A human attitude that derives from work and the assumption of responsibility is required.
    Indeed, it is important not to forget that the relationship between humanity and nature "is synthesized by work. In effect, on the one hand nature is the expression of a design of love and truth. It precedes us and was given to us by
    God as a living environment, Who established it according to an intrinsic order
    to guide man in cultivating and maintaining it". With regard to responsibility,
    "in simple terms, we all know where we area, and in equally simple terms, we all
    know where we wish to go: we must leave the earth habitable, or render it newly
    habitable for future generations if we have ransacked it".
    "This purpose is inspired by the encyclical "Laudato si'" that Pope Francis dedicated to our common home", concluded Archbishop Follo, citing Pope emeritus
    Benedict XVI, who had encouraged the development of a "human ecology", since "intelligence requires us to respect others as well as the home where we live. ...
    Pope Francis says that intelligence also commands us to respect our common home
    as by doing so, we demonstrate our love for our neighbour".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 11 November 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Fr. Karel Choennie as bishop of Paramaribo (area 163,829, population 505,580, Catholics 115,221, priests 18, permanent deacons 4, religious 16), Suriname. The bishop-elect was born in Suriname in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a licentiate in pastoral theology from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Paramaribo, including parish priest, episcopal vicar, member of the diocesan curia and vicar general. He is currently pastor of the St. Clement parish.
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Detroit, United States of America, presented by Archdiocese Francis R. Reiss, upon reaching the age limit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Nov 12 08:13:02 2015
    kindness".
    "The Eucharist as the theme chosen rightly points out nourishes us. As I underlined in the homily of Corpus Domini, 'the Eucharist actualises the Covenant that sanctifies us, purifies us and unites us in the marvellous Communion with God. Thus we learn that the Eucharist is not only a reward for the good but also the strength for the weak and for sinners. It is forgiveness and sustenance which helps us on our journey'".
    "Human beings all over the word today need nourishment. And this nourishment is
    not just to satisfy physical hunger. There are other hungers - for love, for immortality of life, for affection, for being cared for, for forgiveness, for mercy. This hunger can be satiated only by the bread that comes from above. Jesus himself is the living bread that gives life to the world. His body offered
    for our sake on the cross, his blood shed for the pardon of the sins of humanity
    is made available to us in the bread and wine to the Eucharist transformed in the consecration".
    "But the Eucharist does not end with the partaking of the bread and blood of the Lord. It leads us to solidarity with others. The communion with the Lord is
    necessarily a communion with our fellow brothers and sisters. And therefore the
    one who is fed and nourished by the very body and blood of Christ cannot remain
    unaffected when he sees his brothers suffering want and hunger. Those nourished
    by the Eucharist are called to bring the joy of the gospel to those who have not
    received it. Strengthened by the living Bread we are called to bring hope to those who live in darkness and in despair".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Message to Cardinal Rylko: the conciliar basis of the vocation and mission of the laity
    Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for the Laity, in
    collaboration with the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, has organised study day dedicated to the theme "Vocation and mission of the laity: fifty years
    after the Decree 'Apostolicam Actuositatem'".
    On this occasion, Pope Francis sent a message to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and to all the participants in the event, in which he remarks that the Day enters within the context of the
    50th anniversary of the conclusion of Vatican Council II, an "extraordinary event of grace, that ... led also, among its many fruits, to a new way of looking
    at the vocation and mission of the laity in the Church and in the world, which is magnificently expressed primarily in the two great conciliar Constitutions Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes. ... The Council, therefore, does not look upon
    the laity as if they were members of a 'second order', in the service of the hierarchy and as simple executors of orders from above, but rather as Christ's disciples who, by virtue of their Baptism and their natural integration 'in the
    world', are called upon to inspire every environment, every activity,and every human relationship according to the spirit of the Gospel. ... Within the overreaching framework of this conciliar doctrine, we find the Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, which looks more closely at the nature and scope of the lay apostolate. This document clearly reminds us that ... the announcement of
    the Gospel is not reserved to some 'mission professionals', but should instead be the profound wish of all the lay faithful".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Declaration by Fr. Federico Lombardi on current investigations in the Vatican
    Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., made the following declaration late yesterday afternoon:
    "The Vatican Gendarmerie, in their role as judicial police, have informed the Vatican prosecutors that the activity carried out by the journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi may constitute complicity in the crime of disseminating confidential news and documents, pursuant to Law No. IX of Vatican
    City State, of 13 July 2013 (article 116 bis).
    Since the beginning of the investigation the prosecution has obtained pieces of
    evidence indicating the collaboration in offence by the journalists, who are now
    therefore under investigation.
    The investigators are also examining some other situations regarding persons who, for reasons of office, could have cooperated in the acquisition the reserved documents in question.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Communique from the Holy See Press Office on the activity of APSA
    Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office yesterday issued the following communique:
    "Various articles have been published by news agencies and in the press referring in a biased and inaccurate way to the content of a confidential document, based on the assumption that in the past the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) has been used for illegal financial activity. The Vatican legal authorities have opened an investigation into the circulation of this document. APSA has always collaborated with the competent bodies, is not under investigation and continues to conduct its activities in accordance with current regulations".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Communique by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples on ownership of real estate
    Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) - The following is the full text of the communique issued yesterday afternoon by the Congregation for the Evangelisation
    of Peoples on news relating to its ownership of real estate.
    "The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, also known as 'Propaganda
    Fide', adheres fully to the Holy Father Francis' line of thought and guidance with regard to the life and reform of the Roman Curia; in addition, it his committed to pursuing the institutional aims set forth in the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus', as well as respecting the will of donors who over the years have contributed to its missionary work. Therefore, it welcomes all the administrative reforms anticipated by the Secretary for the Economy and submits all the budgets and final accounts to the latter.
    Certain insinuations on the part of certain sectors of the media, which circulate news not corresponding to the truth, are therefore unacceptable. It has been written, for example, that the Congregation offers luxury properties for rent at low prices as favours, and even that it hosts a spa or is the proprietor of the Hotel Priscilla.
    The real estate belonging to the Congregation, donated for the Missions, is rented at market value; there are exceptions in the case of situations of poverty. The aforementioned properties are rented in accordance with current Italian legislation, to which both the Congregation as the owner and the recipient are subject.
    The income deriving from the rent of these properties, for which regular tax is
    paid in Italy (in 2014 the Dicastery paid IMU - imposta municipale unica, property tax, of 2,169,200 euros in Rome alone) is destined principally for the
    maintenance of the Congregation, the Pontifical Urbanian University, the Pontifical Collegio Urbano, the missionary institutions and young Churches in the mission territories.
    Propaganda Fide is grateful to the benefactors who, with its help, make it possible for the Gospel to be announced and provide support for innumerable educational, social and healthcare initiatives in the poorest countries.
    We wish to clarify that, should such dissemination of false or biased information recur, this Congregation will be obliged to protect its image in the
    appropriate forums".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Slovakia, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky of Bratislava, with his auxiliary, Bishop Josef Hal'ko;
    - Bishop Marian Chovanec of Banska Bystrica;
    - Bishop Viliam Judak of Nitra;
    - Bishop Jan Orosch of Trnava;
    - Bishop Tomas Galis of Zilina;
    - Archbishop Bernard Bober of Kosice, with the archbishop emeritus Alojz Tkac;
    - Bishop Stanislav Stolarik of Rozanava;
    - Bishop Stefan Secka of Spis;
    - Archbishop Jan Babjak, S.J., of Presov for Catholics of Byzantine rite, with
    his auxiliary Bishop Milan Lach;
    - Bishop Peter Rusnak of Bratislava for Catholics of Byzantine rite;
    - Bishop Milan Chautur, C.SS.R., of Kosice for Catholics of Byzantine rite; and
    - Bishop Frantisek Rabek, military ordinary.
    Yesterday, 11 November, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Dominique
    Mamberti, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 12 November 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Marcel Damphousse of Alexandria-Cornwall, Canada, as bishop of Sault Sainte Marie (area 265,000, population 436,000, Catholics 239,200, priests 90, permanent deacons 66, religious 174), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Nov 27 20:13:02 2015
    equitable and completely at the service of the battle against poverty and exclusion. Commercial relationships between States, as an indispensable part of
    relations between peoples, can do as much to harm the environment as to renew it
    and preserve it for future generations".
    "I would especially like to echo the concern of all those groups engaged in projects of development and health care - including those religious congregations which serve the poor and those most excluded - with regard to agreements on intellectual property and access to medicines and essential health
    care. Regional free trade treaties dealing with the protection of intellectual property, particularly in the areas of pharmaceutics and biotechnology, should not only maintain intact the powers already granted to States by multilateral agreements, but should also be a means for ensuring a minimum of health care and
    access to basic treatment for all. Multilateral discussions, for their part, should allow poorer countries the time, the flexibility and the exceptions needed for them to comply with trade regulations in an orderly and relatively smooth manner. Interdependence and the integration of economies should not bear
    the least detriment to existing systems of health care and social security; instead, they should promote their creation and good functioning. Certain health
    issues, like the elimination of malaria and tuberculosis, treatment of so-called
    orphan diseases, and neglected sectors of tropical medicine, require urgent political attention, above and beyond all other commercial or political interests".
    "Africa offers the world a beauty and natural richness which inspire praise of
    the Creator. This patrimony of Africa and of all mankind is constantly exposed to the risk of destruction caused by human selfishness of every type and by the
    abuse of situations of poverty and exclusion. In the context of economic relationships between States and between peoples, we cannot be silent about forms of illegal trafficking which arise in situations of poverty and in turn lead to greater poverty and exclusion. Illegal trade in diamonds and precious stones, rare metals or those of great strategic value, wood, biological material
    and animal products, such as ivory trafficking and the relative killing of elephants, fuels political instability, and fuels organised crime and terrorism.
    This situation too is a cry rising up from humanity and the earth itself, one which needs to be heard by the international community".
    "Once again I express the support of the Catholic community, and my own, to continue to pray and work that the fruits of regional cooperation, expressed today in the African Union and the many African agreements on commerce, cooperation and development, may be vigorously pursued and always take into account the common good of the sons and daughters of this land".

    ___________________________________________________________

    In a Kangemi slum: thank you for reminding us that there are other types of culture
    Vatican City, 27 November 2015 (VIS) -This morning the Holy Father transferred
    to the Church of St. Joseph the Worker, situated in one of the poorest quarters
    of the city of Kangemi. "I feel very much at home sharing these moments with brothers and sisters who, and I am not ashamed to say this, have a special place
    in my life and my decisions", said the Pope to the inhabitants of the area. "I am here because I want you to know that your joys and hopes, your troubles and your sorrows, are not indifferent to me. I realise the difficulties which you experience daily! How can I not denounce the injustices which you suffer?"
    He began by speaking about the wisdom found in poor neighbourhoods, "'A wisdom
    which is born of the stubborn resistance of that which is authentic', from Gospel values which an opulent society, anaesthetised by unbridled consumption,
    would seem to have forgotten. You are able 'to weave bonds of belonging and togetherness which convert overcrowding into an experience of community in which
    the walls of the ego are torn down and the barriers of selfishness overcome'".
    "The culture of poor neighbourhoods, steeped in this particular wisdom, 'has very positive traits, which can offer something to these times in which we live;
    it is expressed in values such as solidarity, giving one's life for others, preferring birth to death, providing Christian burial to one's dead; finding a place for the sick in one's home, sharing bread with the hungry (for there is always room for one more seat at the table), showing patience and strength when
    faced with great adversity, and so on'. Values grounded in the fact each human being is more important than the god of money. Thank you for reminding us that another type of culture is possible".
    "I want in first place to uphold these values which you practice, values which
    are not quoted in the stock exchange, are not subject to speculation, and have no market price. I congratulate you, I accompany you and I want you to know that
    the Lord never forgets you. The path of Jesus began on the peripheries, it goes
    from the poor and with the poor, towards others".
    "To see these signs of good living that increase daily in your midst in no way
    entails a disregard for the dreadful injustice of urban exclusion. These are wounds inflicted by minorities who cling to power and wealth, who selfishly squander while a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and run-down peripheries".
    "This becomes even worse when we see the unjust distribution of land (if not in
    this neighbourhood, certainly in others) which leads in many cases to entire families having to pay excessive and unfair rents for utterly unfit housing. I am also aware of the serious problem posed by faceless 'private developers' who
    hoard areas of land and even attempt to appropriate the playgrounds of your children's schools. This is what happens when we forget that 'God gave the earth
    to the whole human race for the sustenance of all its members, without excluding
    or favouring anyone'".
    He emphasised the very serious problem of the lack of access to infrastructures
    and basic services. "By this I mean toilets, sewers, drains, refuse collection,
    electricity, roads, as well as schools, hospitals, recreational and sport centres, studios and workshops for artists and craftsmen. I refer in particular
    to access to drinking water. 'Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is
    a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social
    debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied
    the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity'. To deny a family
    water, under any bureaucratic pretext whatsoever, is a great injustice, especially when one profits from this need".
    "This situation of indifference and hostility experienced by poor neighbourhoods is aggravated when violence spreads and criminal organisations, serving economic or political interests, use children and young people as 'canon
    fodder' for their ruthless business affairs. I also appreciate the struggles of
    those women who fight heroically to protect their sons and daughters from these
    dangers. I ask God that that the authorities may embark, together with you, upon
    the path of social inclusion, education, sport, community action, and the protection of families, for this is the only guarantee of a peace that is just,
    authentic and enduring".
    "These realities which I have just mentioned are not a random combination of unrelated problems. They are a consequence of new forms of colonialism which would make African countries 'parts of a machine, cogs on a gigantic wheel'. Indeed, countries are frequently pressured to adopt policies typical of the culture of waste, like those aimed at lowering the birth rate, which seek 'to legitimise the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it
    has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalised'".
    The bishop of Rome went on to propose "renewed attention to the idea of a respectful urban integration, as opposed to elimination, paternalism, indifference or mere containment. We need integrated cities which belong to everyone. We need to go beyond the mere proclamation of rights which are not respected in practice, to implementing concrete and systematic initiatives capable of improving the overall living situation, and planning new urban developments of good quality for housing future generations. The social and environmental debt owed to the poor of cities can be paid by respecting their sacred right to the "three Ls": Land, Lodging, Labour. This is not a question of
    philanthropy; rather it is a duty incumbent upon all of us".
    He launched an appeal to all Christians, and their pastors in particular, to renew their missionary zeal, "to take initiative in the face of so many situations of injustice, to be involved in their neighbours' problems, to accompany them in their struggles, to protect the fruits of their communitarian
    labour and to celebrate together each victory, large or small. I realise that you are already doing much, but I ask to remember this is not just another task;
    it may instead be the most important task of all, because 'the Gospel is addressed in a special way to the poor'".
    "Dear neighbours, dear brothers and sisters", he concluded, "let us together pray, work and commit ourselves to ensuring that every family has dignified housing, access to drinking water, a toilet, reliable sources of energy for lighting, cooking and improving their homes; that every neighbourhood has streets, squares, schools, hospitals, areas for sport, recreation and art; that
    basic services are provided to each of you; that your appeals and your pleas for
    greater opportunity can be heard; that all can enjoy the peace and security which they rightfully deserve on the basis of their infinite human dignity. Mungu awabariki! God bless you".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope leaves Kenya for Uganda
    Vatican City, 27 November 2015 (VIS) - After visiting the shantytown of Kangemi, Francis transferred by car to the Karasani stadium, situated 22 km outside Nairobi, in order to meet with the young people of Kenya. He gave an extemporaneous address in Spanish, in the form of answers to questions from those present, on issues such as tribalism, the recruitment of child soldiers, and the abandonment of families, and urged them not to give up when faced with difficulties but instead to consider them as an opportunity to overcome the situations that gave rise to them, emphasising the two pillars essential in this
    respect: education and work.
    After his discourse, to be published tomorrow, Saturday, the Pope met with the
    bishops of Kenya in the stadium and then proceeded to the apostolic nunciature of Nairobi where he lunched. From there he travelled to the airport, where he was awaited by President Uhuru Kenyatta, and boarded his flight for Entebbe, the
    capital of Uganda, the second country to be visited by the Pope on his apostolic
    trip in Africa. This afternoon he is expected to visit the Ugandan president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in his official residence, and will then address the civil and religious authorities and the diplomatic corps. The Holy Father's day
    will conclude with an encounter with catechists and teachers at the shrine of Munyonyo, where Uganda's first four martyrs were killed in 1886.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 27 November 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Fr. Hector Vila as bishop of Whitehorse (area 732,515, population 43,000, Catholics 9,600, priests 6, permanent deacons 2, religious 5), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Lima, Peru in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He studied at the University of Toronto, Canada, and the Redemptoris Mater seminary in Rome, and has served in pastoral roles in the Roman parishes of St.
    Ireneo and St. Patrizio and in the parish of St. Norbert in Toronto, and is currently rector of the Redemptoris Mater seminary in Toronto.
    - Fr. Emmanuel Nguyen Hong Son as coadjutor of the diocese of Ba Ria (area 1,988, population 1,427,024, Catholics 254,302, priests 172, religious 799), Vietnam. The bishop-elect was born in Bien Hoa, Vietnam in 1952 and was ordained
    a priest in 1980. He holds a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris, France, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the
    diocese of Ba Ria, including parish priest, dean forane, rector of the minor seminary, head of continuing formation of diocesan clergy, member of the episcopal commission for the doctrine of the faith. He is currently vicar general of the same diocese.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 27 November 2015 (VIS) - We inform our readers that, due to the Holy Father's apostolic trip to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic,
    an extraordinary edition of the Vatican Information Service bulletin will be published on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    do not receive the gift of the Spirit for ourselves alone, but to build up one another in faith, hope and love. I think of Saints Joseph Mkasa and Charles Lwanga, who after being catechised by others, wanted to pass on the gift they had received. They did this in dangerous times. Not only were their lives threatened but so too were the lives of the younger boys under their care. Because they had tended to their faith and deepened their love of God, they were
    fearless in bringing Christ to others, even at the cost of their lives. Their faith became witness; today, venerated as martyrs, their example continues to inspire people throughout the world. They continue to proclaim Jesus Christ and
    the power of his Cross".
    "If, like the martyrs, we daily fan into flame the gift of the Spirit who dwells in our hearts, then we will surely become the missionary disciples which
    Christ calls us to be. To our families and friends certainly, but also to those
    whom we do not know, especially those who might be unfriendly, even hostile, to
    us. This openness to others begins first in the family, in our homes where charity and forgiveness are learned, and the mercy and love of God made known in
    our parents' love. It finds expression too in our care for the elderly and the poor, the widowed and the orphaned".
    "The witness of the martyrs shows to all who have heard their story, then and now, that the worldly pleasures and earthly power do not bring lasting joy or peace. Rather, fidelity to God, honesty and integrity of life, and genuine concern for the good of others bring us that peace which the world cannot give.
    This does not diminish our concern for this world, as if we only look to the life to come. Instead, it gives purpose to our lives in this world, and helps us
    to reach out to those in need, to cooperate with others for the common good, and
    to build a more just society which promotes human dignity, defends God's gift of
    life and protects the wonders of nature, his creation and our common home".
    "Dear brothers and sisters, this is the legacy which you have received from the
    Ugandan martyrs - lives marked by the power of the Holy Spirit, lives which witness even now to the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This legacy is not served by an occasional remembrance, or by being enshrined in a museum as a precious jewel. Rather, we honour them, and all the saints, when we
    carry on their witness to Christ, in our homes and neighbourhoods, in our workplaces and civil society, whether we never leave our homes or we go to the farthest corner of the world".
    "May the Uganda martyrs, together with Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for us, and may the Holy Spirit kindle within us the fire of his divine love! Omukama abawe omukisa. God bless you!".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis to the young people of Kenya: tribalism is defeated by listening, opening one's heart, and dialogue
    Vatican City, 28 November 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father's last act in Kenya was
    his encounter with the young in the Kasarani stadium, where he set aside his prepared discourse and instead directly responded to some questions, in his native Spanish. The following are extensive extracts from Pope Francis' answers.
    "There exists a question at the basis of all the questions you have asked me. Why are there divisions, struggles, war, death and fanaticism? Why is there this
    desire for self-destruction? In the first page of the Bible, after all the wonders that God worked, a brother kills his own brother. The spirit of evil leads us to destruction; the spirit of evil leads us to disunity, to tribalism,
    to corruption, to drug abuse. ... It leads us to destruction through fanaticism.
    Manuel asked me, 'What can we do to ensure that ideological fanaticism does not
    rob us of our brothers or friends?'. ... The first thing I would say in response
    is that a man loses the best of his humanity, and a woman loses the best of her
    humanity, when they forget to pray, because they consider themselves omnipotent;
    they do not feel the need to ask the Lord's help when faced with so many tragedies. Life is full of difficulties, but there are two ways of looking at difficulties: either you can see them as something that obstructs you, that destroys you, or you can see them as a real opportunity. It is up to you to choose. For me, is a difficulty either a path to destruction, or an opportunity
    to overcome my situation, or that of my family, my community or my country? ...
    Some of the difficulties that you have mentioned are challenges".
    "One challenge that Lynette mentioned is that of tribalism. Tribalism destroys
    a nation: ... it can be defeated by using our ear, our heart and our hand. With
    our ears, we listen: what is your culture? Why are you this way? Why does your tribe have this habit or this custom? ... With the heart: after listening, the answer is to open your heart; and finally, to extend you hand so as to continue
    the dialogue. ... I would now like to invite all you young people ... to come here
    and to take each other by the hand; let us stand up and take each other by the hand as a sign against tribalism. We are all a single nation! ... Conquering tribalism is a task to be carried out day by day: it is the work of the ear, in
    listening to others; the work of the heart, opening one's heart to others; and the work of the hand, extending one's hand to others".
    "Another question is that of corruption. ... Corruption is something that enters
    into us. It is like sugar: it is sweet, we like it, it's easy, but then, it ends
    badly. With so much easy sugar we end up diabetic, and so does our country. Every time we accept a bribe and put it in our pocket, we destroy our heart, we
    destroy our personality and we destroy our homeland. ... What you steal through
    corruption remains ... in the heart of the many men and women who have been harmed
    by your example of corruption. It remains in the lack of the good you should have done and did not do. It remains in sick and hungry children, because the money that was for them, through your corruption, you kept for yourself. Boys and girls, corruption is not a path for life, it is a path of death".
    "Manuel too asked some incisive questions. ... What can we do to prevent the recruitment of our loved ones [by militias]? What can we do to bring them back?
    To answer this question we need to know why a young person, full of hope, lets himself be recruited or indeed seeks to be recruited: he leaves behind his family, his friends, he drifts away from life, because he learns how to kill. And this is a question that you must address to the authorities. If a young person, a boy or a girl, a man or a woman, has no job and cannot study, what can
    he or she do? ... The first thing we must do to prevent the young from being recruited or seeking recruitment is to focus on education and work. If young people have no job, what future awaits them? ... This is the danger. It is a social danger, that comes from beyond us, from beyond the country, because it depends on the international system, which is unjust, and which places the economy and the god of money at its centre, rather than the person".
    "Another question was: how can we see the hand of God in the tragedies of life?
    ... Men and women all over the world ask themselves this question in one way or
    another, and they find no explanation. There are questions to which, no matter how much we try to respond, we are unable to find an answer. How can I see the hand of God in a tragedy of life? There is just one answer: no, there is no answer. There is just one route, looking at the Son of God. God delivered Him to
    us to save all of us. God Himself became a tragedy. God let Himself be destroyed
    on the cross. And when the moment comes when you do not understand, when you are
    desperate and the world seems to fall down around you, look to the Cross! There
    we see God's failure, God's destruction. But there is also the challenge of our
    faith. Because the story did not end with this failure: there was then the Resurrection, which renewed us all".
    "A final question ... What words do you have for young people who have not experienced love in their own families? Is it possible to come out of this experience? There are abandoned children everywhere: either they are abandoned at birth, or they were abandoned by life, by the family and parents, and do not
    feel the affection of the family. This is why the family is so important. ... There is just one cure to emerge from this experience: give what you have not received. If you have not received understanding, be understanding with others;
    if you have not received love, love others; if you have felt the pain of loneliness, draw close to those who are alone. Flesh is healed with flesh! And God made Himself flesh to heal us. Let us too do the same towards others".

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    Video message: true change begins in ourselves
    Vatican City, 28 November 2015 (VIS) - "'Realities simply are, whereas ideas are worked out. There has to be a continuous dialogue between the two, lest ideas become detached from realities. It is dangerous to dwell in the realm of words alone, of images and rhetoric'. To prevent the danger of living detached from reality, it is necessary to open the eyes and the heart", says Pope Francis
    in the video message he sent yesterday afternoon to the participants in the 5th
    Festival of the Social Doctrine of the Church, held in Verona from 26 to 29 November, on the theme "The challenge of reality".
    "Our life is made up of many things", he continued; "a torrent of news, of many
    problems: all this leads us not to see, not to be aware of the problems of the people who are near us. Indifference seems to be a medicine that protects us from involvement, and becomes a way of being more relaxed. This is indifference.
    But this non-involvement is a way of defending our selfishness, and saddens us.
    ... The challenge of reality also requires the capacity for dialogue, to build bridges instead of walls. This is the time for dialogue, not for the defence of
    opposition and rigidity. I invite you to face 'the challenge of finding and sharing the mystique of living together, of mingling and encounter, of embracing
    and supporting one another, of stepping into this flood tide which, while chaotic, can become a genuine experience of fraternity, a caravan of solidarity,
    a sacred pilgrimage'".
    "The challenge of reality, however, requires change. Everyone is aware of the need for change, because we sense that something is not working. ... True change
    begins in ourselves and is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. People who experience inner change from the Spirit lead also to social change".
    The Pope goes on to mention the environmental challenge, and the need to "listen to the cry of Mother Earth. Respect for creatures and for creation represents a great challenge for the future of humanity. Man and creation are inseparably linked". Francis emphasises that while we think of this theme as being part of politics, economics and development strategy, "nothing can substitute personal commitment. Austerity, responsible consumption, a lifestyle
    that welcomes creation as a gift and excludes predatory and exclusive forms of possession, is the concrete way of creating a new sensibility. If many of us live like this, it will have a positive impact on society as a whole, and the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor will become audible to all", he concluded.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 28 November 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Yopougon, Cote d'Ivoire, presented by Bishop Laurent Akran Mandjo upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Jean Salomon Lezoutie, coadjutor of the same diocese.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Dec 1 10:23:02 2015
    powers. From Africa, slaves were taken to America, and sold. There are powers that seek only to take the great wealth of Africa. I don't know, it is possibly
    the richest continent. ... But they do not think of how to help countries grow, to
    promote work, so that everyone has work. ... Exploitation! Africa is a martyr. She
    is a martyr to exploitation in history. Those who say that from Africa is the home of all calamities and all wars do not understand well, perhaps, the damage
    that humanity has done to certain forms of development. And it is for this reason that I love Africa, because Africa has been a victim of other powers".

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    Cardinal Parolin at the COP 21: Reach a global and transformational agreement
    Vatican City, 1 December 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin spoke yesterday at the opening of the 21st Conference of States Parties
    to the Convention COP 21, held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December. After communicating Pope Francis' greetings and encouragement to the the participants
    in the hope of a fruitful outcome, the Cardinal mentioned the Holy Father's address to the United Nations Office at Nairobi on 26 November, when he expressed his hope that the Paris conference result in the adoption of a "global
    and transformational" agreement, based on the principles of solidarity, justice,
    equality and participation, orientated towards the attainment of three complex and interdependent objectives: mitigating the effects of climate change, combating poverty, and promoting the dignity of the human person.
    He went on to list the three pillars of this "global and transformational" agreement. "The first consists in the adoption of a clear ethical orientation, inspiring the motivations and aims of the Agreement to be implemented. We are well aware that the people most vulnerable to the impact of the phenomenon of climate change are the poorest and future generations, who suffer the gravest consequences, often without bearing any responsibility. ... Faced with the urgency
    of a situation that requires the broadest collaboration possible so as to reach
    a common plan, it is important that this Agreement be focused on the recognition
    both of the ethical imperative to act in a context of global solidarity, and of
    the common but differentiated responsibilities of all actors in accordance with
    their respective capacities and conditions".
    "The second pillar regards the fact that the Agreement should not only identify
    the methods for its implementation, but should also and above all transmit clear
    signs to guide the behaviour of all the actors involved, beginning with governments, but also local authorities, the world of business, the scientific community and civil society. ... This necessitates undertaking with conviction the
    road towards a low-carbon economy and full human development. ... In this regard,
    the countries with greater resources and capacities should set a good example, contributing resources to those countries in greater need so as to promote sustainable development policies and programmes. For instance, the promotion of
    renewable energy and dematerialisation, as well as the development of energy efficiency, come to mind, or the correct management of forests, transport and waste; the development of a circular model for the economy; the implementation of appropriate, sustainable and diversified programmes for food safety and to combat food waste; strategies against speculation and ineffective or indeed at times harmful subsidies; and the development and transfer of suitable technologies".
    The third and final pillar is the vision of the future. "COP 21 is not a moment
    of arrival or a starting point, but rather a crucial path in a process that without doubt will not end in 2015", emphasised Cardinal Parolin. "An agreement
    with a long term perspective of this type should provide for processes for the revision of commitments and transparent, effective and dynamic follow-ups, able
    to progressively increase the level of ambition, as well as to guarantee suitable control. Furthermore, it is necessary to take into serious consideration the implementation of sustainable models of production and consumption, new attitudes, and new lifestyles. Here we enter the fundamental fields of education and training, unfortunately often situated at the margins of
    negotiations for international agreements. Technical solutions are necessary, but they are not enough if they do not consider education in sustainable life styles and responsible awareness".

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    How did the Council Fathers experience Vatican Council II?
    Vatican City, 1 December 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the International Study Convention "Vatican Council II and its protagonists in the light of the archives" (Vatican City, 9 to 11 December 2015), organised by the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences. The speakers were Fr. Bernard Ardura, O. Praem., and Professor Philippe Chenaux, respectively president and member of the
    Committee.
    Fr. Ardura explained that the event is a follow-up to the Convention held in 2012, with the collaboration of the Centre for Research and Study on the Council, on the theme "Vatican Council II: starting again from the archives", which offered the exceptional opportunity to bring together archivists and university teachers to present the very diverse situations of conservation, cataloguing and use of the legacy of the conciliar Fathers. This second event is
    dedicated instead to the protagonists of the Council, "casting light on the various networks of opinions that had a not insignificant role in forming the convictions of many Council Fathers, both at the level of the episcopal conferences, and at the level of communities of thought. Indeed, the personal notes of many of the Council Fathers enable us at times to follow the evolution
    of their thought and their opinions gradually over the passage of time, highlighting the guiding themes that were consolidated in the sixteen documents
    drawn up by the Council".
    "In the programme of this Convention, we have also tried to take into account not only the diversity, but also the divergences which emerged during the Council. The unanimity Paul VI strongly desired for the approval of the conciliar documents left in the shade the opinions of a minority that was however well-organised; therefore we wanted some of the protagonists of this current to be presented in these days".
    Philippe Chenaux reiterated that the most arduous task for the historian in the
    interpretation of this event is the change of majority between the beginning and
    the end of the council. "To explain this 'inversion of tendency', without falling into the trap of conspiratorial hypotheses, reference to the concept of
    the 'conciliar experience' would appear fundamental. As St. John Paul II said number of times, the council had an unique and unrepeatable meaning for those who took part. This represented, for many bishops, not only an extraordinary experience of fraternal communion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but also a school of theological renewal".
    "How did the Council Fathers experience the Council? What was their personal experience of the event? In what way did the conciliar experience condition their way of understanding the Church and their way of being bishops? Should we
    speak about a simple 'evolution', or a full 'conversion'?" are some of the questions that this Convention endeavours to answer. "Solving the great 'interpretative enigma' - 'what happened during Vatican Council II? - means the
    precise and meticulous reconstruction of the activity of its protagonists", comments Chenaux.
    The first session on 10 December is entitled "The protagonists revealed in the
    archives". The second session on the same day will be dedicated to "Networks of
    contacts and opinions", and will evaluate the consistency of the networks for contact and the exchange of opinions established between the participants. The third session, on 11 December, is entitled "Evolutions during the Council", and
    will explore the theme of the evolution of thought among participants. There will be two further working sessions, the inauguration and introduction, and the
    conclusion, appraising the three sessions mentioned above.
    In the inaugural session on 9 December, after Fr. Ardura's introduction, five reports of a general nature will be presented: by Cardinal Laurent Monsegwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, who will speak on Cardinal Malula and his "African vision" of the Council; Bishop Filaret of Lviv and Galicia, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, will speak about Vatican Council II and the Russian Orthodox Church; and three historians, Professors John O'Malley of Georgetown University (United States of America) Michael Quisinsky of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), and Philippe Chenaux.
    The final session on 11 December will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the conclusion of the Council. There will be a round table discussion chaired by
    Fr. Ardura, with interventions by Cardinal Georges Cottier, O.P., theologian emeritus of the Papal Household, and representatives of various Christian churches: Bishop Filaret, Fr. Alexei Dikarev, delegate of the Department for External Ecclesiastical Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow; His Grace Archbishop David Moxon, representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Holy See and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome; and Philippe Chenaux. A message from the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, will also be read.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 1 December 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Nueve de Julio, Argentina, presented by Bishop Martin de Elizalde, O.S.B., upon reaching
    the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Ariel Edgardo Torrado Mosconi, currently coadjutor of the same diocese.
    - appointed Fr. J. Victor Alejandro Aguilar Ledesma and Fr. Herculano Medina Garfias as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Morelia (area 18,000, population 2,612,300, Catholics 2,455,618, priests 565, religious 1,268), Mexico.
    Bishop-elect Aguilar Ledesma was born in San Guillermo, Mexico in 1965 and was
    ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a licentiate in family pastoral ministry from the Pontifical Lateran University and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar, chaplain of the Clarissian Sisters and diocesan coordinator of family pastoral ministry. He is currently parish priest, episcopal vicar, member of the college of consultors and professor at the major
    seminary of Morelia.
    Bishop-elect Medina Garfias was born in Rincon de Cedenos, Mexico in 1967, and
    was ordained a priest in 1996. He holds a licentiate in social doctrine of the Church from the Padre Alberto Hurtado University in Santiago, Chile. He has served in a number of roles, including spiritual director and professor in the archdiocesan seminary and chaplain of various religious communities. He is currently bursar of the major seminary of Morelia.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    1986. He holds a licentiate in education from the Universidad Simon Rodriguez in
    Caracas and in pastoral theology from the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar, bursar, parish priest, provincial counsellor and local superior. He is currently
    director of the Don Bosco agricultural center in Molinete, in the archdiocese of
    Maracaibo.

    ___________________________________________________________

    To the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples: the Church lives and grows
    Vatican City, 3 December 2015 (VIS) - Pope Francis received in audience this morning the participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, which considered the "missio ad gentes" in the light
    of the Conciliar decree "Ad gentes" and St. John Paul II's encyclical "Redemptoris missio". In his address to the 160 attendees in the Clementine Hall, the Holy Father referred to his recent apostolic trip to Africa, highlighting the spiritual and pastoral dynamism of the continent's many young Churches, as well as the grave difficulties experienced by a large part of the population.
    "I saw that where there is the need, the Church is almost always present to heal the wounds of those most in need, in whom She recognises the afflicted and
    crucified body of the Lord Jesus. How many works of charity, of human promotion!
    How many anonymous good Samaritans work every day in the missions!
    He emphasised that the Church, by nature evangelising, always starts by auto-evangelisation. "As the Lord Jesus' disciple, she listens to His Word and from this she draws the reasons for that hope that never disappoints, as it is based on the grace of the Holy Spirit. Only in this way is she able to conserve
    her freshness and apostolic zeal". As affirmed in the Conciliar decree "Ad gentes", "it is from the mission of the Son and the mission of the Holy Spirit that she draws her origin, in accordance with the decree of God the Father". The
    Pope reiterated, "It is the Church that is at the service of the mission. ... It
    is not the Church who makes the mission, but the mission that makes the Church.
    Therefore, the mission is not a tool, but rather a starting point and aim".
    In recent months, the Congregation has carried out a survey on the vitality of
    the young Churches to understand how to make the work of the missio ad gentes more effective, also in view of the ambiguity to which the experience of faith is sometimes exposed today. "The secularised world, indeed, even when it is welcoming towards the Gospel values of love, justice, peace and sobriety, does not show similar openness to the figure of Jesus; it considers Him neither the Messiah nor the Son of God. At most, it considers Him an enlightened man. It therefore separates the message from the Messenger, the gift from the Giver. In
    this situation of separation, the missio ad gentes serves as a motor and horizon
    for faith. ... The mission, in fact, is a force capable of transforming the Church
    from within, before transforming the life of peoples and cultures. Each parish thus makes the style of the missio ad gentes its own. In this way, the Holy Spirit will transform those whose faith is based on habit alone into disciples,
    disaffected disciples into missionaries, bringing them out of their fears and isolation and projecting them in every direction, to the very limits of the world. May the kerygmatic approach to faith, so familiar in the young Churches,
    have space also for those of a more ancient tradition".
    The Pope recalled that neither Paul nor Barnabas had a missionary dicastery to
    support them, yet they announced the Word, bringing to life various communities
    and shedding their blood for the Gospel. "Over time complexities grew and the need arose for a special relationship between the more recently founded Churches
    and the universal Church. For this reason, four centuries ago, Pope Gregory XV instituted the Congregation 'De Propaganda Fide', which in 1967 changed its name
    to the 'Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples'. It is clear that in this phase of history, 'mere administration can no longer be enough. Throughout
    the world, let us be permanently in a state of mission'. ... Going forth is innate
    in our Baptism, and its boundaries are those of the world. Therefore, continue to work so that the spirit of the missio ad gentes may inspire the journey of the Church, so that she may always know how to listen to the cry of the poor and
    the distant, to meet all and to announce the joy of the Gospel".
    Francis thanked the Congregation for its work in missionary inspiration and cooperation, remarking that "all Churches, if constricted to their own horizons,
    run the risk of atrophy. The Church lives and grows when outbound, taking the initiative" and going out to the people. "In many paths of the missio ad gentes,
    the dawn of a new day is already visible, as is shown by the fact that the young
    Churches know how to give, not only to receive. The first fruits are their willingness to grant their priests to sister Churches of the same nation, the same continent, or to serve Churches in need in other regions of the world. Cooperation is not only along the north-south axis. There is also a movement in
    the other direction, of giving back the good received from the first missionaries. These too are signs of maturity".
    The Pope concluded by asking all present to pray and work so that the Church may always follow the model of the Acts of the Apostles. "Let us be inspired by
    the strength of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit; let us come out of our narrow enclosures and emigrate from the territories where we are are at times tempted to close ourselves away".

    ___________________________________________________________

    "Evangeliario di Misericordia" presented to the Pope
    Vatican City, 3 December 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Hall of Popes, the Evangeliario di Misericordia" was presented to the Holy Father. An initiative by
    the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), it is a publication of the four Gospels
    illustrated with mosaics by the Slovenian artist and Jesuit Maro Ivan Rupnik, who produced the mosaics for the Redemptoris Mater chapel in the Vatican and for
    the Basilica of Fatima. Intended to commemorate the beginning of the Jubilee of
    Mercy, the publication also includes a series of introductory texts by the Fr. Alessandro Amapani. The prologue is by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of
    the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 3 December 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mnller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine
    of the Faith;
    - Bishop David Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., of Hamilton, Canada, president of the Episcopal Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada, accompanied by Bishop Lionel
    Gendron, P.S.S., of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, deputy president, and Msgr. Frank Leo,
    C.S.S., general secretary.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 3 December 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Down
    and Connor, Ireland, presented by Bishop Anthony J. Farquhar, upon reaching the
    age limit.
    - erected the new diocese of Guasdualito (area 35,184, population 200,000, priests 13, religious 9) in Venezuela, with territory taken from the dioceses of
    San Fernando de Apure and Barinas, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan metropolis of Merida.
    - appointed Fr. Modesto Gonzalez Perez, S.B.D., as the first bishop of the new
    diocese of Guasdualito. The bishop-elect was born in 1959 in San Antonio de los
    Alpes, Venezuela, gave his religious vows in 1983 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a licentiate in education from the Universidad Simon Rodriguez in
    Caracas and in pastoral theology from the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar, bursar, parish priest, provincial counsellor and local superior. He is currently
    director of the Don Bosco agricultural centre in Molinete, in the archdiocese of
    Maracaibo.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    priests who participated in the rite, proceeded to the vestibule of the Basilica
    to open the Holy Door. First, he greeted and embraced Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, and then walked alone to the Door where he recited the words of Psalm 118:
    "Open to me the gates of justice".
    Francis pushed against the Door with his hands until it opens and then prayed moment before entering the Basilica. The Pope emeritus then entered, followed by
    the cardinals, bishops, religious and laypeople, including some of Italy's most
    prominent political figures.
    The Jubilee of Mercy is the first extraordinary Jubilee of the 21st century. In
    the 20th century Pius XI proclaimed a Holy Year in 1933 to commemorate the nineteenth centenary of the death of Christ, and Paul VI inaugurated another in
    1966 that lasted five months, dedicated to the closure shortly beforehand of Vatican Council II. St. John Paul II convoked a Jubilee with the Bull "Aperite Portas Redemptori" the Holy Year of Redemption in 1983, for the 1950th anniversary of the Redemption.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Angelus: the Solemnity of the Immaculate reminds us that mercy is all
    Vatican City, 8 December 2015 (VIS) - After the opening of the Holy Door, Pope
    Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception that Holy Father recalled that Mary is our sister in suffering, but not in evil or in sin, which were defeated in her befor they even touched her, since God had filled her with grace.
    "The Immaculate Conception means that Mary was the first to have been saved by
    the Father's infinite mercy, as a preview of the salvation that God intended for
    every man and woman in Christ. Therefore Mary Immaculate has become the sublime
    icon of divine mercy that defeats sin, and in her we are invited to recognise the dawn of a new world, transformed by the salvific work of the Father and the
    Son and the Holy Spirit. The dawn of a new creation put into effect by divine mercy".
    "Celebrating this feast day means two things", he continued. "Firstly, it means
    fully welcoming God and His merciful grace in our life; secondly, it means in turn becoming makers of mercy through the path of the Gospel. The feast of the Immaculate Conception becomes a feast for all of us if, by our daily 'yes', we manage to vanquish our selfishness and make the lives of our brothers and sisters happier, bringing them hope, drying their tears and giving them joy. In
    imitation of Mary, we are called upon to become bearers of Christ and witnesses
    of His love, looking first to those who are privileged in Jesus' eyes".
    The feast of the Immaculate Conception also bears a specific message for us: it
    reminds us that our life is a gift, that all is mercy. "May the Holy Virgin, first among the saved, model of the Church, holy and immaculate bride, beloved of the Lord, help us increasingly rediscover divine mercy as the distinctive sign of the Christian!" exclaimed Francis. "It is impossible to conceive of a true Christian who is not merciful, just as it is impossible to understand God without His mercy. It is the key word of the Gospel: mercy. It is the fundamental feature of Christ's face: that face we recognise in the various aspects of its existence: when He goes towards the people, when He heals the sick, when He sits at the table with sinners, and above all, when nailed on the
    Cross, He forgives. There we see the face of divine mercy. Let us not be afraid:
    let us be embraced by the mercy of God, Who awaits and forgives all. Nothing is
    sweeter than His mercy".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Homage to Mary Immaculate: I come on behalf of families, the elderly, the incarcerated, and those from faraway lands
    Vatican City, 8 December 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Holy Father went to Piazza di Spagna where he performed the traditional act of veneration below the statue of Mary Immaculate crowning the Roman marble column commemorating the proclamation of the dogma by Pope Pius IX
    on 8 December 1854.
    Continuing a tradition established by St. John XXIII in 1958, Francis left a floral tribute at the foot of the column and, accompanied by thousands of faithful led by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar of His Holiness for the diocese
    of Rome, recited a prayer to the Virgin that he had composed himself, the full text of which is published below:
    "Virgin Mother, on this day, the feast of your Immaculate Conception, I pay homage to you in faith and love on behalf of God's holy people who live in this
    city and diocese. I come before you in the name of families, with their joys and
    troubles; on behalf of children and young people, exposed to life's challenges;
    on behalf of the elderly, laden with age and years of experience. I come especially on behalf of the sick, the imprisoned, and those who struggle. As a leader I also come here for the sake of all those who have come from faraway lands in search of peace and work".
    There is space for everyone beneath your mantel, because you are the Mother of
    Mercy. Your heart is full of tenderness towards all your children: the tenderness of God, who, by you, became incarnate and became our brother, Jesus,
    Saviour of every man and every woman. Looking at you, Our Immaculate Mother, ee
    see the victory of divine mercy over sin and all its consequences; and hope for
    a better life is reignited within us, free from slavery, rancour and fear.
    Here, today, in the heart of Rome, we hear your motherly voice calling all of us to walk towards that door, which represents Christ. You say to everyone: "Come, come closer, faithful ones; enter and receive the gift of mercy; do not be afraid, do not be ashamed: the Father awaits you with open arms. He will forgive and welcome you into his house. Come, all those in search of peace and joy".
    "We thank you, Immaculate Mother, because you do not make us walk along this path alone; you guide us, you are near us and help us through every difficulty.
    May God bless you, now and forever. Amen".
    After his homage to the statue of Mary Immaculate, the Pope greeted those present and, as his final act on the first day of the Holy Year of Mercy, he transferred to the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray before the image of Mary "Salus Populi Romani", where he was awaited by a large crowd. As he left for the
    Vatican, the bells of the Basilica, whose Holy Door he will open on 1 January 2016, rang in celebration.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Adoption by Moneyval of Second Progress Report of the Holy See and Vatican City
    State
    Vatican City, 9 December 2015 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today issued the following communique:
    "Yesterday in Strasbourg, the Plenary Meeting of Moneyval (the 'Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of
    Terrorism' of the Council of Europe) approved the Second Progress Report of the
    Holy See/Vatican City State. The approval of this latest Report, which follows on the Mutual Evaluation Report of 4 July 2012 and on the Progress Report of 9 December 2013, is part of the ordinary reporting process foreseen in the Rules of Procedure of Moneyval for all member States.
    The Moneyval Committee has welcomed the outcome of the continued efforts by the
    Holy See and the Vatican City State to further strengthen their institutional, legal and operational framework for combating money laundering and the financing
    of terrorism (AML/CFT).
    'The latest Progress Report confirms that the Holy See has established a functional, sustainable and effective system, aiming at preventing and fighting
    financial crimes', said Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for Relations with States, and Head of Delegation of the Holy See and Vatican City State to the Moneyval Plenary".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 9 December 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Aachen, Germany, presented by Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff upon reaching the age limit.
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Garissa, Kenya by Bishop Paul Darmanin, O.F.M. Cap., upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Joseph Alessandro, O.F.M. Cap., coadjutor of the same diocese.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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    parties precisely acknowledges this significance. Without 'Nostra Aetate', the establishment of these relations would surely not have been feasible. The Fundamental Agreement not only paved the way for the historic papal pilgrimages
    to the Holy Land and thus to the establishment of the bilateral commission with
    the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, but arguably reflected more than anything else the fact that the Catholic Church had truly repudiated its portrayal of the Jewish people as condemned wanderers to be homeless until the final advent".
    "The reference to peace in the Holy land as pertinent to the Catholic-Jewish relationship is also important. The peoples there live in mutual alienation and
    disappointment, and I believe that the Catholic Church can play an important role in rebuilding trust, such as the initiative of prayer for peace taken by Pope Francis. Let me express the hope that there soon will be further initiatives to enable religion to be a source of healing rather than conflict; and to ensure that these are coordinated with those who have the political authority to pave the way to enable the land and the city of peace to fulfil its
    name".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Summary of "The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable"
    Vatican City, 10 December 2015 (VIS) - The Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews has published today the document "The Gifts and the Calling of God
    are Irrevocable: a Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of 'Nostra Aetate' (No. 4)". The text consists of a Preface and seven chapters, entitled: "A brief history of the impact of 'Nostra Aetate' (No.4) over the last 50 years", "The special theological status of Jewish-Catholic dialogue", "Revelation in history as 'Word of God' in Judaism and Christianity", "The relationship between the Old and New Testament and the Old and New Covenant", "The universality of salvation in Jesus Christ and God's unrevoked covenant with
    Israel", "The Church's mandate to evangelise in relation to Judaism", and "The goals of dialogue with Judaism".
    "Fifty years ago", says the Preface, "the declaration 'Nostra Aetate' of the Second Vatican Council was promulgated. Its fourth article presents the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people in a new theological framework. The following reflections aim at looking back with gratitude on all that has been achieved over the last decades in the Jewish-Catholic relationship, providing at the same time a new stimulus for the
    future. Stressing once again the unique status of this relationship within the wider ambit of interreligious dialogue, theological questions are further discussed, such as the relevance of revelation, the relationship between the Old
    and the New Covenant, the relationship between the universality of salvation in
    Jesus Christ and the affirmation that the covenant of God with Israel has never
    been revoked, and the Church's mandate to evangelize in relation to Judaism. This document presents Catholic reflections on these questions, placing them in
    a theological context, in order that their significance may be deepened for members of both faith traditions. The text is not a magisterial document or doctrinal teaching of the Catholic Church, but is a reflection prepared by the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews on current theological questions that have developed since the Second Vatican Council. It is intended to be a starting point for further theological thought with a view to enriching
    and intensifying the theological dimension of Jewish-Catholic dialogue".
    The first chapter explains that great steps have been taken in the dialogue over the last fifty years, and from a detached co-existence we have arrived at deep friendship. The Conciliar declaration "Nostra aetate" (No.4) definitively clarified, for the first time, the theological position of the Catholic Church with respect to Judaism; the document has had a profound impact on many levels.
    With regard to the special theological status of Jewish-Catholic dialogue, the
    second chapter affirms that due to the Jewish roots of Christianity, the dialogue with Judaism cannot in any way be compared with the dialogue with the other world religions. Jesus can only be understood in the Jewish context of his
    time, even though as the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God he transcends that
    historical horizon.
    God reveals himself in his Word, he communicates with humanity. For Jews, this
    Word is present in the Torah; for Christians, the Word of God is incarnated in Jesus Christ. However, the Word of God is indivisible and calls people to respond in such a way that enables them to live in the right relationship with God, as explained in the third chapter.
    The relationship between the Old and New Testament and the Old and New Covenant
    is the subject of the fourth chapter. There is an indissoluble unity between them, even though the two Testaments are interpreted differently by Jews and Christians on the basis of their respective religious traditions. For Christians, the Old Testament is to be comprehended and interpreted in the light
    of the New Testament. The Old and the New Testament are part of the one and only
    history of the covenant between God and his people, even though the New Testament is to be considered as the fulfilment of the promises of the Old.
    The fifth chapter emphasises that through Jesus Christ - and through his death
    and resurrection - all people have a part in salvation, all are saved. Although
    Jews cannot believe in Jesus Christ as the universal redeemer, they have a part
    in salvation, because the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. How that
    can be possible remains an unfathomable mystery in the salvific plan of God.
    The sixth chapter considers the Church's mandate to evangelise in relation to Judaism. While in the dialogue with Judaism Catholics bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ, they refrain from active attempts at conversion or mission towards Jews. The Catholic Church does not envisage any institutional mission towards the Jews.
    In the seventh and final chapter, it is concluded that engaging in fraternal dialogue, Jews and Catholics must learn to understand one another bett