From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Jun 8 08:24:02 2015
which unites and favours the promotion of moral values, justice, freedom and peace. Dialogue is a school of humanity and a builder of unity, which helps to build a society founded on tolerance and mutual respect".
For this reason, "interreligious dialogue cannot be limited merely to the few,
to leaders of religious communities, but must also extend as far as possible to
all believers, engaging the different sectors of civil society. Particular attention must be paid to young men and women who are called to build the future
of this country. It is always worth remembering, however, that for dialogue to be authentic and effective, it presupposes a solid identity: without an established identity, dialogue is of no use or even harmful. I say this with the
young in mind, but it applies to everyone.
"I sincerely appreciate all that you have managed to accomplish up to this point and I encourage each of you in your efforts for the cause of peace of which you, as religious leaders, are the first guardians here in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I assure you that the Catholic Church will continue to offer her full support and willingness to help", the Pope emphasised. "We are all aware that there is a long way yet to go. Let us not be discouraged, however, by the difficulties, but rather continue with perseverance along the way of forgiveness
and reconciliation. While we seek to recall the past with honesty, thereby learning the lessons of history, we must also avoid lamentation and recrimination, letting ourselves instead be purified by God Who gives us the present and the future: He is our future, He is the ultimate source of peace.
"This city, which in the recent past sadly became a symbol of war and destruction, this Jerusalem of Europe, today, with its variety of peoples, cultures and religions, can become again a sign of unity, a place in which diversity does not represent a threat but rather a resource, an opportunity to grow together. In a world unfortunately torn by conflicts, this land can become
a message: attesting that it is possible to live together side by side, in diversity but rooted in a common humanity, building together a future of peace and brotherhood. You can live life being a peacemaker!".
Following his discourse, and before asking all those present to pray for him and assuring them of his prayers, Pope Francis recited the following prayer "to
the Eternal, One and True Living God, to the Merciful God":
"Almighty and eternal God,
good and merciful Father;
Creator of heaven and earth, of all that is visible and invisible;
God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,
King and Lord of the past, of the present and of the future;
sole judge of every man and woman,
Who reward Your faithful with eternal glory!
We, the descendants of Abraham according to our faith in You, the one God,
Jews, Christians and Muslims,
humbly stand before You
and with trust we pray to You
for this country, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
that men and women, followers of different religions, nations and cultures
may live here in peace and harmony.
We pray to You, O Father,
that it may be so in every country of the world!
Strengthen in each of us faith and hope,
mutual respect and sincere love
for all of our brothers and sisters.
Grant that we may dedicate ourselves
courageously to building a just society,
to being men and women of good will,
filled with mutual understanding and forgiveness,
patient artisans of dialogue and peace.
May each of our thoughts, words and actions
be in harmony with Your holy will.
May everything be to Your glory and honour and for our salvation.
Praise and eternal glory to You, our God!
The Pope to the young of Bosnia and Herzegovina: keep the hope that inspires life
Vatican City, 8 June 2015 (VIS) - The final stage of the Pope's apostolic trip
to Sarajevo was his meeting with young people at the St. John Paul II diocesan Youth Centre, in a outskirts of the city. The centre, operative since 2006, is open to young people of different ethnic backgrounds and religions, and organises a variety of sports, social and voluntary activities, as well as pastoral and religious formation for Catholics. Francis was received by the rector of the Centre and some children who accompanied him to the gymnasium where he was awaited by around 800 people, to unveil the plaque dedicating the institution to St. John Paul II.
After greetings from the auxiliary of Banja Luka, Bishop Marko Semren, the Holy
Father began a conversation with those present, setting aside the prepared text
of his discourse, published in full below.
One of the young people asked why the Pope did not watch television any more, and he answered, "Yes, from the mid-1990s onwards, I felt one night that watching television was not good for, it distanced me, and led me away... and decided not to watch any more. When I wanted to see a good film, I went to the television room in the Archbishop's residence and watched it there. But just that film. The television used to make me feel alienated from myself. And yes, am from the Stone Age, I am ancient! Now, I understand that the times have changed; we live in an age of images. And this is very important. In an age of images we must do what was done in the age of books: choose what is good for us!
Out of this come two consequences: the responsibility of television networks to
offer programs which encourage the good, which promote values, which build up society, which help us advance, not ones that drag us down. And then to produce
programs that help us so that values, true values, may be reinforced and may help to prepare us for life. This is the responsibility of television networks.
Secondly: knowing how to choose what programs to watch, and this is our responsibility. If I watch a program that is not good for me, that disparages my
values, that leads me to become vulgar, even filthy, I need to change the channel. As was done in my Stone Age: when a book was good, you read it; when book was not good for you, you would throw it away. And this leads to a third point: the point of evil fantasy, of those fantasies which kill the soul. If you
who are young live attached to your computers and become slaves to the computer,
you lose your freedom! And if you use your computer to look for dirty programs,
you lose your dignity. Watch television, use the computer, but for good reasons,
for great things, things which help us to grow. This is good".
The second question was whether he had felt the joy and the love that all of the young people of Bosnia and Herzegovina had for him. "To tell you the truth,
every time I meet with young people I feel their joy and love", he answered. "Not only for me, but for ideals, for life. They want to grow! But there is some
particular about you: you are, I think, the first post-war generation. You are the first flowers of spring ... you want to go forwards and never go back to destruction, to those things that make us enemies of each another. I see in you
this desire and this enthusiasm. And this is new for me. I see that you do not want destruction: you do not want to become each other's enemies. You want to journey together. And this is great! ... It is not a case of 'them and us', but
rather of 'we'. We want to be 'us', to not destroy our homeland, to not ruin our
country. You are a Muslim, you are a Jew, you are Orthodox, you are Catholic...
but we are 'us'. This is how to make peace. This distinguishes your generation,
and it is your joy. You are called to great things. A great vocation: build bridges, not walls. And this is the joy that I see in you".
The final question was, "What can you say to us, what is your message of peace
for us young people?"
"Everyone speaks of peace", said the Holy Father. "Some world leaders speak of
peace, and say beautiful things about peace, but behind it all they still sell weapons. From you, I expect honesty, coherence between what you think, what you
feel and what you do: these three things together. The contrary is called hypocrisy. Some years ago I watched a movie on this city, I don't remember the name, but the German version (the one that I saw), was called 'Die Brncke' ('The
Bridge'). I don't know what it's called in your language. And in the film I saw
how bridges always unite. When a bridge is not used to go toward another person,
but is closed off, it leads to the ruin of a city, the destruction of existence.
Hence, from you, from this first post-war generation, I expect honesty and not hypocrisy. Be united, build bridges, but also let yourselves cross the bridges that you build. This is brotherhood".
As he bid farewell to the young, and while doves were released as a sign of peace, the Pope exclaimed, "Mir Vama! This is the task I leave you. Make peace,
together! These doves are a sign of peace which brings joy. And peace is made among all, between everyone: Muslims, Jews, Orthodox, Catholics and others. We are all brothers and sisters! We all adore the One God! Never ever let there be
separation among you. Brotherhood and union. And now I must depart and I ask you, please, to pray for me. May the Lord bless you".
Following the encounter, the Pope transferred by car to the airport in Sarajevo
where he was greeted by the Croat member of the Tripartite Presidency, Dragan Covic, and at 8 p.m. he left for Rome, where he arrived an hour and a half later.
Discourse prepared by Pope Francis:
"Being here in this Centre dedicated to St. John Paul II, I cannot forget how much he did for young people, meeting them and encouraging them all around the world. To his intercession I entrust each of you, as well as every initiative which the Catholic Church has undertaken in your land to express her closeness to young people and indeed her confidence in them. We are on this journey together. I know the doubts and the hopes that you have in your hearts", he continued. "Some of these have been expressed by Bishop Marko Semren and your representatives, Darko and Nadezda. In a special way, I join you in hoping that
new generations may be offered real prospects for a dignified future in your country, thus avoiding the sad phenomenon of mass migration. In this regard, institutions are being called upon to put in place timely and courageous plans that will help young men and women to realise their legitimate aspirations; they
will thus be able to contribute energetically to the upbuilding and growth of the country. The local Church, for her part, can contribute by means of suitable
pastoral projects, focusing on educating the civic and moral conscience of the youth, and so help them to be protagonists in society. The Church's commitment can already be seen, especially through the precious work of her Catholic schools, which are rightly open not only to Catholic students but to students of
other Christian communities and other religions. However, the Church must always
dare to hope for more, starting from the Gospel and driven by the Holy Spirit
From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Jul 10 08:24:02 2015
despondency it spawns.
"Time, my brothers and sisters, seems to be running out; we are not yet tearing
one another apart, but we are tearing apart our common home. Today, the scientific community realises what the poor have long told us: harm, perhaps irreversible harm, is being done to the ecosystem. The earth, entire peoples and
individual persons are being brutally punished. And behind all this pain, death
and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called 'the dung of the devil'. An unfettered pursuit of money rules. The service of the common good is left behind. Once capital becomes an idol and guides people's decisions,
once greed for money presides over the entire socio-economic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk
our common home.
"I do not need to go on describing the evil effects of this subtle dictatorship: you are well aware of them. Nor is it enough to point to the structural causes of today's social and environmental crisis. We are suffering from an excess of diagnosis, which at times leads us to multiply words and to revel in pessimism and negativity. Looking at the daily news we think that there
is nothing to be done, except to take care of ourselves and the little circle of
our family and friends.
"What can I do, as collector of paper, old clothes or used metal, a recycler, about all these problems if I barely make enough money to put food on the table?
What can I do as a craftsman, a street vendor, a trucker, a downtrodden worker,
if I do not even enjoy workers' rights? What can I do, a farmwife, a native woman, a fisher who can hardly fight the domination of the big corporations? What can I do from my little home, my shanty, my hamlet, my settlement, when I daily meet with discrimination and marginalisation? What can be done by those students, those young people, those activists, those missionaries who come to my
neighbourhood with their hearts full of hopes and dreams, but without any real solution for my problems? A lot! They can do a lot. You, the lowly, the exploited, the poor and underprivileged, can do, and are doing, a lot. I would even say that the future of humanity is in great measure in your own hands, through your ability to organise and carry out creative alternatives, through your daily efforts to ensure the three 'L's' (labour, lodging, land) and through
your proactive participation in the great processes of change on the national, regional and global levels. Don't lose heart!
"You are sowers of change. Here in Bolivia I have heard a phrase which I like:
'process of change'. Change seen not as something which will one day result from
any one political decision or change in social structure. We know from painful experience that changes of structure which are not accompanied by a sincere conversion of mind and heart sooner or later end up in bureaucratisation, corruption and failure. That is why I like the image of a 'process', where the drive to sow, to water seeds which others will see sprout, replaces the ambition
to occupy every available position of power and to see immediate results. Each of us is just one part of a complex and differentiated whole, interacting in time: peoples who struggle to find meaning, a destiny, and to live with dignity,
to 'live well'.
"As members of popular movements, you carry out your work inspired by fraternal
love, which you show in opposing social injustice. When we look into the eyes of
the suffering, when we see the faces of the endangered campesino, the poor labourer, the downtrodden native, the homeless family, the persecuted migrant, the unemployed young person, the exploited child, the mother who lost her child
in a shoot-out because the barrio was occupied by drug dealers, the father who lost his daughter to enslavement. When we think of all those names and faces, our hearts break because of so much sorrow and pain. And we are deeply moved. We
are moved because 'we have seen and heard' not a cold statistic but the pain of
a suffering humanity, our own pain, our own flesh. This is something quite different than abstract theorising or eloquent indignation. It moves us; it makes us attentive to others in an effort to move forward together. That emotion
which turns into community action is not something which can be understood by reason alone: it has a surplus of meaning which only peoples understand, and it
gives a special feel to genuine popular movements.
"Each day you are caught up in the storms of people's lives. You have told me about their causes, you have shared your own struggles with me, and I thank you
for that. You, dear brothers and sisters, often work on little things, in local
situations, amid forms of injustice which you do not simply accept but actively
resist, standing up to an idolatrous system which excludes, debases and kills. have seen you work tirelessly for the soil and crops of campesinos, for their lands and communities, for a more dignified local economy, for the urbanisation
of their homes and settlements; you have helped them build their own homes and develop neighbourhood infrastructures. You have also promoted any number of community activities aimed at reaffirming so elementary and undeniably necessary
a right as that of the three 'L's': land, lodging and labour.
"This rootedness in the barrio, the land, the office, the labour union, this ability to see yourselves in the faces of others, this daily proximity to their
share of troubles and their little acts of heroism: this is what enables you to
practice the commandment of love, not on the basis of ideas or concepts, but rather on the basis of genuine interpersonal encounter. We do not love concepts
or ideas; we love people. Commitment, true commitment, is born of the love of men and women, of children and the elderly, of peoples and communities, of names
and faces which fill our hearts. From those seeds of hope patiently sown in the
forgotten fringes of our planet, from those seedlings of a tenderness which struggles to grow amid the shadows of exclusion, great trees will spring up, great groves of hope to give oxygen to our world.
"So I am pleased to see that you are working at close hand to care for those seedlings, but at the same time, with a broader perspective, to protect the entire forest. Your work is carried out against a horizon which, while concentrating on your own specific area, also aims to resolve at their root the
more general problems of poverty, inequality and exclusion. I congratulate you on this. It is essential that, along with the defence of their legitimate rights, peoples and their social organisations be able to construct a humane alternative to a globalisation which excludes. You are sowers of change. May God
grant you the courage, joy, perseverance and passion to continue sowing. Be assured that sooner or later we will see its fruits. Of the leadership I ask this: be creative and never stop being rooted in local realities, since the father of lies is able to usurp noble words, to promote intellectual fads and to
adopt ideological stances. But if you build on solid foundations, on real needs
and on the lived experience of your brothers and sisters, of campesinos and natives, of excluded workers and marginalised families, you will surely be on the right path.
"The Church cannot and must not remain aloof from this process in her proclamation of the Gospel. Many priests and pastoral workers carry out an enormous work of accompanying and promoting the excluded throughout the world, alongside cooperatives, favouring businesses, providing housing, working generously in the fields of health, sports and education. I am convinced that respectful cooperation with the popular movements can revitalise these efforts and strengthen processes of change.
"Let us always have at heart the Virgin Mary, a humble girl from small people lost on the fringes of a great empire, a homeless mother who could turn a stable
for beasts into a home for Jesus with just a few swaddling clothes and much tenderness. Mary is a sign of hope for peoples suffering the birth pangs of justice. I pray that Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of Bolivia, will allow
this meeting of ours to be a leaven of change.
"Lastly, I would like us all to consider some important tasks for the present historical moment, since we desire a positive change for the benefit of all our
brothers and sisters. We know this. We desire change enriched by the collaboration of governments, popular movements and other social forces. This too we know. But it is not so easy to define the content of change - in other words, a social program which can embody this project of fraternity and justice
which we are seeking. So do not expect a recipe from this Pope. Neither the Pope
nor the Church have a monopoly on the interpretation of social reality or the proposal of solutions to contemporary issues. I dare say that no recipe exists.
History is made by each generation as it follows in the footsteps of those preceding it, as it seeks its own path and respects the values which God has placed in the human heart. I would like, all the same, to propose three great tasks which demand a decisive and shared contribution from popular movements.
"The first task is to put the economy at the service of peoples. Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. Let us say 'no' to an economy of
exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys Mother Earth. The economy should not be a mechanism for accumulating goods, but rather the proper administration of our common home. This entails a commitment to care for that home and to the fitting distribution of its goods among all. It is not only about ensuring a supply of food or 'decent sustenance'. Nor, although this is already a great step forward, is it to guarantee the three 'L's' of land, lodging and labour for which you are working. A truly communitarian economy, one
might say an economy of Christian inspiration, must ensure peoples' dignity and
their 'general, temporal welfare and prosperity'. This includes the three 'L's',
but also access to education, health care, new technologies, artistic and cultural manifestations, communications, sports and recreation. A just economy must create the conditions for everyone to be able to enjoy a childhood without
want, to develop their talents when young, to work with full rights during their
active years and to enjoy a dignified retirement as they grow older. It is an economy where human beings, in harmony with nature, structure the entire system
of production and distribution in such a way that the abilities and needs of each individual find suitable expression in social life. You, and other peoples
as well, sum up this desire in a simple and beautiful expression: 'to live well'.
"Such an economy is not only desirable and necessary, but also possible. It is
no utopia or chimera. It is an extremely realistic prospect. We can achieve it.
The available resources in our world, the fruit of the intergenerational labours
of peoples and the gifts of creation, more than suffice for the integral development of 'each man and the whole man'. The problem is of another kind. There exists a system with different aims. A system which, while irresponsibly accelerating the pace of production, while using industrial and agricultural methods which damage Mother Earth in the name of 'productivity', continues to deny many millions of our brothers and sisters their most elementary economic, social and cultural rights. This system runs counter to the plan of Jesus.
"Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labour is
not mere philanthropy. It is a moral obligation. For Christians, the responsibility is even greater: it is a commandment. It is about giving to the poor and to peoples what is theirs by right. The universal destination of goods
is not a figure of speech found in the Church's social teaching. It is a reality
prior to private property. Property, especially when it affects natural resources, must always serve the needs of peoples. And those needs are not restricted to consumption. It is not enough to let a few drops fall whenever the
From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Sep 15 10:12:02 2015
Archbishop Ramzi Garmou of Teheran of the Chaldeans, patriarchal administrator
of Ahwaz of the Chaldeans, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Tomasz Bernard Peta of Maria Santissima in Astana, president of the
LAOS and CAMBODIA
Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, apostolic vicar of Pakse, Laos
MALAYSIA - SINGAPORE - BRUNEI
Archbishop John Wong Soo Kau of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Cardinal Charles Maung BO, S.D.B., archbishop of Yangon
His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Patriarch of JerUnited States of Americalem of the Latins, JerUnited States of Americalem, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Harold Anthony Perera of Kurunegala
Bishop Silvio Siripong Charatsri of Chanthaburi
Bishop Bas0lio Do Nascimento of Baucau, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc of Thanh-Pho Ho Chi Minh, Hochiminh Ville, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, coadjutor of Xuan Loc
Bishop George Frendo, O.P., auxiliary of Tirane-Durres
Bishop Benno Elbs of Feldkirch
Bishop Johan Jozef Bonny of Antwerpen, Anvers
Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk-Mohilev, president of the Episcopal Conference
BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA
Bishop Tomo Vuksic, military ordinary of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bishop Gheorghi Ivanov Jovcev of Sofia and Plovdiv
INTERNATIONAL EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF STS. CYRIL AND METHODIUS
Bishop Ladislav Nemet, S.V.D., of Zrenjanin, Serbia
Bishop Antun Skvorcevic of Pozega
Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, F.S.C.B., of Mother of God at Moscow, president of the
Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris
Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Le Havre
Bishop Jean-Paul James of Nantes
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munchen und Freising
Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin
Bishop Franz-Josepf Hermann Bode of Osnabruck
ENGLAND AND WALES
Cardinal Vincent Gerard Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, England, president
of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Peter John Haworth Doyle of Northampton, England
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Fragkiskos Papamanolis, O.F.M. Cap., emeritus of Syros, president of the
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin
Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan
Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla of Novara
Bishop Enrico Solmi of Parma
Archbishop Zbig?evs Stankevics of Riga
Cardinal Audrys Juozas Backis, archbishop emeritus of Vilnius
Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo, president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht
Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Poznan, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop-Bishop Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., of Warszawa-Praga
Bishop Jan Franciszek Watroba of Rzeszow
Cardinal Manuel Jose Macario Do Nascimento Clemente, patriarch of Lisbon, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Antonino Eugenio Fernandes Dias of Portalegre-Castelo Branco, president
of the Comisspo Episcopal do Laicado e Fam0lia
Bishop Jan Vokal of Hradec Kralove
Bishop Petru Gherghel of Iasi
Bishop Teemu Sippo, S.C.I., of Helsinki
Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky of Bratislava, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Stane Zore, O.F.M., of Ljubljana
Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez, archbishop of Valladolid, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Mario Iceta Gavicagogeascoa of Bilbao
Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid
Bishop Jean-Marie Lovey, C.R.B., of Sion, Sitten
Archbishop Levon Boghos Zekiyan of Istanbul of the Armenians
Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv of the Latins, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Andras Veres of Szombathely
Bishop Daniel Eugene Hurley of Darwin
Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge of Brisbane
Bishop Charles Edward Drennan of Palmerston North
Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of Suva
PAPUA NEW GUINEA and SOLOMON ISLANDS
Bishop Anton Bal of Kundiawa, representative of the Commission for Family Life
IX. ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNION OF SUPERIORS GENERAL
Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, S.J., prepositor general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
Fr. Marco Tasca, O.F.M. Conv., minister general of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual
Fr. Mario Aldegani, C.S.I., superior general of the Congregation of St. Joseph
(Josephites of Murialdo)
Fr. Richard Kuuia Baawobr, M.Afr., superior general of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers)
Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P., master general of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
Fr. Jesus Diaz Alonso, S.F., superior general of the Sons of the Holy Family of
Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Fr. Michael Brehl, C.SS.R., superior general of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists or Liguorini)
Fr. Javier -lvarez-Ossorio, SS.CC., superior general of the Congregation of the
Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Picpus)
Fr. Ab. D. Jeremias Schroder, O.S.B., arch-abbot president of the Benedictine Congregation of St. Odile
B. Herve JANSON, P.F.J., prior general of the Little Brothers of Jesus (Foucauld)
X. HEADS OF THE DICASTERIES OF THE ROMAN CURIA
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of State
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops Cardinal
Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples
Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life
Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, major penitentiary
Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian
Archbishop-Bishop Vincenzo Paglia emeritus of Terni-Narni-Amelia, president of
the Pontifical Council for the Family
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace"
Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples
Archbishop-Bishop Zygmunt Zimowski, emeritus of Radom, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (for Health Pastoral Care)
Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social
Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation
Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy
Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of
the Apostolic See
XI. PONTIFICAL APPOINTMENTS
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, Vatican City
Cardinal Godfried Danneels, archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussel, Maniles-Bruxelles, Belgium
Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop emeritus of Milan, Italy
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, O.P., archbishop of Vienna, president of the Episcopal Conference, Austria
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican City
Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, O.F.M., archbishop of Durban, South Africa
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, president of the Episcopal Conference, Honduras
Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, president of the Episcopal Conference, president of the Consilium Conferentiarum Episcoporum Europae (C.C.E.E.), Hungary.
Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy
Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic
of the Congo
Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, United States of America
Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil
Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York, United States of America
Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, archbishop of Manila, Philippines
Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, archbishop of Quebec, Canada
Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, archbishop of Perugia-Citta della Pieve, Italy
Cardinal Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo, archbishop of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Cardinal John Atcherley Dew, archbishop of Wellington, president of the Episcopal Conference, New Zealand
Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, archbishop of Ancona-Osimo, Italy
Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda, archbishop of Morelia, Mexico
Cardinal Francesco Montenegro, archbishop of Agrigento, Italy
Cardinal Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B., archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay
Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R., bishop of David, president of the Episcopal Conference, Panama
Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, bishop of Tonga, president of the Episcopal Conference, Tonga
Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life,
Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State,
Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Merida, Venezuela
Archbishop Ioannis Spiteris, O.F.M. Cap., of Corfu, Zante and Cephalonia, Greece
Archbishop Bruno Forte, archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, Italy
Archbishop Laurent Ulrich, archbishop of Lille, France
Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, archbishop of Tlalnepantla, Mexico
Archbishop Sergio Eduardo Castriani, C.S.Sp., of Manaus, Brazil
Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, Argentina
Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, United States of America
Bishop George Vance Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, United States of America
Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy
Bishop Alonso Gerardo Garza Trevino of Piedras Negras, Mexico
Bishop Lucas Van Looy, S.D.B., of Gent (Ghent, Gand), Belgium
Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, Vatican City
Msgr. Saulo Scarabattoli, pastor of the Santo Spirito in Porta Eburnea parish,
Fr. Roberto Rosa, pastor of the St. James the Apostle parish, Trieste, Italy
Fr. Francois-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., Magnificent Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy
Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., editor of the journal "La Civilta Cattolica",Italy
Fr. Manuel Jes.%us Arroba Conde, C.M.F., Spain, head of the Faculty of utrusque
iure of the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome.
XII. UNDER-SECRETARY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
Bishop Fabio Fabene, Vatican City
B. LIST OF OTHER PARTICIPANTS ACCORDING TO TITLE OF PARTICIPATION
I. COLLABORATORS WITH THE SPECIAL SECRETARY
Fr. Mat0as Auge Benet, C.M.F., Consultor of the Congregation for Divine Worship
and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Spain
Professor Giacomo Bertolini, associate professor of canon and ecclesiastical law at the University of Padua, Treviso Section; visiting professor at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, Italy
Fr. Giuseppe Bonfrate, lecturer at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy
Msgr. Philippe Bordeyne, rector of the Institut Catholique de Paris, France
Msgr. Lluis Clavell, ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, Spain
From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Sat Sep 26 08:36:02 2015
however legitimate the latter may be. In wars and conflicts there are individual
persons, our brothers and sisters, men and women, young and old, boys and girls
who weep, suffer and die. Human beings who are easily discarded when our response is simply to draw up lists of problems, strategies and disagreements.
"As I wrote in my letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 9 August 2014, 'the most basic understanding of human dignity compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities' and to protect innocent peoples.
"Along the same lines I would mention another kind of conflict which is not always so open, yet is silently killing millions of people. Another kind of war
experienced by many of our societies as a result of the narcotics trade. A war which is taken for granted and poorly fought. Drug trafficking is by its very nature accompanied by trafficking in persons, money laundering, the arms trade,
child exploitation and other forms of corruption. A corruption which has penetrated to different levels of social, political, military, artistic and religious life, and, in many cases, has given rise to a parallel structure which
threatens the credibility of our institutions.
"I began this speech recalling the visits of my predecessors. I would hope that
my words will be taken above all as a continuation of the final words of the address of Pope Paul VI; although spoken almost exactly fifty years ago, they remain ever timely. I quote: 'The hour has come when a pause, a moment of recollection, reflection, even of prayer, is absolutely needed so that we may think back over our common origin, our history, our common destiny. The appeal to the moral conscience of man has never been as necessary as it is today. For the danger comes neither from progress nor from science; if these are used well,
they can help to solve a great number of the serious problems besetting mankind.
Among other things, human genius, well applied, will surely help to meet the grave challenges of ecological deterioration and of exclusion. As Paul VI said:
'The real danger comes from man, who has at his disposal ever more powerful instruments that are as well fitted to bring about ruin as they are to achieve lofty conquests'.
"The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations
of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness
of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic. This common home of all men and women must also be built on the understanding of
a certain sacredness of created nature.
"Such understanding and respect call for a higher degree of wisdom, one which accepts transcendence, self-transcendence, rejects the creation of an all-powerful elite, and recognises that the full meaning of individual and collective life is found in selfless service to others and in the sage and respectful use of creation for the common good. To repeat the words of Paul VI,
'the edifice of modern civilisation has to be built on spiritual principles, for
they are the only ones capable not only of supporting it, but of shedding light
"El Gaucho Martin Fierro, a classic of literature in my native land, says: 'Brothers should stand by each other, because this is the first law; keep a true
bond between you always, at every time - because if you fight among yourselves,
you'll be devoured by those outside'. The contemporary world, so apparently connected, is experiencing a growing and steady social fragmentation, which places at risk 'the foundations of social life' and consequently leads to 'battles over conflicting interests'.
"The present time invites us to give priority to actions which generate new processes in society, so as to bear fruit in significant and positive historical
events. We cannot permit ourselves to postpone 'certain agendas' for the future.
The future demands of us critical and global decisions in the face of world-wide
conflicts which increase the number of the excluded and those in need.
"The praiseworthy international juridical framework of the United Nations Organisation and of all its activities, like any other human endeavour, can be improved, yet it remains necessary; at the same time it can be the pledge of a secure and happy future for future generations. And so it will, if the representatives of the States can set aside partisan and ideological interests,
and sincerely strive to serve the common good. I pray to Almighty God that this
will be the case, and I assure you of my support and my prayers, and the support
and prayers of all the faithful of the Catholic Church, that this Institution, all its member States, and each of its officials, will always render an effective service to mankind, a service respectful of diversity and capable of bringing out, for sake of the common good, the best in each people and in every
individual. God bless you all".
Memorial at Ground Zero: life will always triumph over the prophets of destruction
Vatican City, 26 September 2015 (VIS) - The Memorial at Ground Zero, built at the site where on 11 September 2001 the Twin Towers collapsed after being struck
by two aircraft in a terrorist attack that caused 2,896 deaths, was the second stop of the Pope's visit to New York. The Memorial is now a park of almost 33,000 square metres with a grove of white oak trees and two artificial waterfalls that flow into two large pools where the Twin Towers were previously
located. These are surrounded by a low bronze wall on which there are engraved the names of all the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Centre on 26 February 1993 and 11 September 2001. Below ground, where the foundations of the
Twin Towers lay, there is a museum commemorating the tragic events.
Upon arrival Francis, accompanied by Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop
of New York, left a flower near the waterfall and at the Memorial building where
he was awaited by a rabbi and an imam of New York. He said a prayer for peace, which was followed by five meditations on peace (Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian and Muslim) and a Jewish prayer for the deceased, after which the Pope
pronounced a discourse.
"I feel many different emotions standing here at Ground Zero, where thousands of lives were taken in a senseless act of destruction. Here grief is palpable. The water we see flowing towards that empty pit reminds us of all those lives which fell prey to those who think that destruction, tearing down, is the only way to settle conflicts. It is the silent cry of those who were victims of a mindset which knows only violence, hatred and revenge. A mindset which can only
cause pain, suffering, destruction and tears. The flowing water is also a symbol
of our tears. Tears at so much devastation and ruin, past and present. This is place where we shed tears, we weep out of a sense of helplessness in the face of
injustice, murder, and the failure to settle conflicts through dialogue. Here we
mourn the wrongful and senseless loss of innocent lives because of the inability
to find solutions which respect the common good. This flowing water reminds us of yesterday's tears, but also of all the tears still being shed today".
He also recalled his meeting with some of the families of the fallen first responders, and emphasised that this "made me see once again how acts of destruction are never impersonal, abstract or merely material. They always have
a face, a concrete story, names. In those family members, we see the face of pain, a pain which still touches us and cries out to heaven". However, he added,
"those family members showed me the other face of this attack, the other face of
their grief: the power of love and remembrance. A remembrance that does not leave us empty and withdrawn. The name of so many loved ones are written around
the towers' footprints. We can see them, we can touch them, and we can never forget them".
Remembering the firefighters who, on 11 September entered the crumbling towers
shortly before they fell, without considering the risk to their own lives, he spoke about "the palpable sense of the heroic goodness which people are capable
of, those hidden reserves of strength from which we can draw". He added, "This place of death became a place of life too, a place of saved lives, a hymn to the
triumph of life over the prophets of destruction and death, to goodness over evil, to reconciliation and unity over hatred and division".
"It is a source of great hope that in this place of sorrow and remembrance I can join with leaders representing the many religious traditions which enrich the life of this great city. I trust that our presence together will be a powerful sign of our shared desire to be a force for reconciliation, peace and justice in this community and throughout the world. For all our differences and
disagreements, we can live in a world of peace. In opposing every attempt to create a rigid uniformity, we can and must build unity on the basis of our diversity of languages, cultures and religions, and lift our voices against everything which would stand in the way of such unity. Together we are called to
say 'no' to every attempt to impose uniformity and 'yes' to a diversity accepted
Francis invited all those present to pray in silence for peace: "Peace in our homes, our families, our schools and our communities. Peace in all those places
where war never seems to end. Peace for those faces which have known nothing but
"In this way", he concluded, "the lives of our dear ones will not be lives which will one day be forgotten. Instead, they will be present whenever we strive to be prophets not of tearing down but of building up, prophets of reconciliation, prophets of peace".
Meeting with the children and families of immigrants in Harlem
Vatican City,26 September 2015 (VIS) - The School of Our Lady Queen of Angels in Harlem has 282 pupils aged from 5 to 14, of whom 69 per cent study as a result of a scholarship. The children are from low income families, so-called
From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Sep 28 08:24:02 2015
for the sake of all the families of the world, and thus overcome the scandal of
a narrow, petty love, closed in on itself, impatient of others".
"How beautiful it would be if everywhere, even beyond our borders, we could appreciate and encourage this prophecy and this miracle", concluded the Holy Father. "May God grant to all of us, as the Lord's disciples, the grace to be worthy of this purity of heart which is not scandalised by the Gospel".
Following the Eucharist, Pope Francis gave the Gospel of St. Luke to five families representing the five continents, from, respectively, Kinshasa (Africa), Havana (America), Hanoi (Asia), Syney (Australia) and Marseilles (Europe).
Francis leaves the United States: I thank the Lord that I was able to witness the faith of God's people in this country
Vatican City, 28 September 2015 (VIS) - Following Holy Mass at Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Pope travelled by car to the airport in Philadelphia where
he embarked on his return flight to Rome. He was welcomed at the airport by five
hundred people, mostly members of the Organising Committee and volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, as well as the vice president of the United States, Joe Biden. The Holy Father expressed his gratitude to them and to the families who had shared their witness during the Meeting.
"It is not so easy to speak openly of one's life journey! But their honesty and
humility before the Lord and each of us showed the beauty of family life in all
its richness and diversity. I pray that our days of prayer and reflection on the
importance of the family for a healthy society will inspire families to continue
to strive for holiness and to see the Church as their constant companion, whatever the challenges they may face".
The Pope thanked all those who had prepared for his stay in the archdioceses of
Washington, New York and Philadelphia. "It was particularly moving for me to canonise St. Junipero Serra, who reminds us all of our call to be missionary disciples, and I was also very moved to stand with my brothers and sisters of other religions at Ground Zero, that place which speaks so powerfully of the mystery of evil. Yet we know with certainty that evil never has the last word, and that, in God's merciful plan, love and peace triumph over all".
He asked the vice president, Joe Biden, to renew his gratitude to President Obama and to the Members of Congress, together with the assurance of his prayers
for the American people. "This land has been blessed with tremendous gifts and opportunities", he remarked. "I pray that you may all be good and generous stewards of the human and material resources entrusted to you".
"I thank the Lord that I was able to witness the faith of God's people in this
country, as manifested in our moments of prayer together and evidenced in so many works of charity. Jesus says in the Scriptures: 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me'. Your care for me and your generous welcome are a sign of your love for Jesus and your
faithfulness to Him. So too is your care for the poor, the sick, the homeless and the immigrant, your defence of life at every stage, and your concern for family life. In all of this, you recognise that Jesus is in your midst and that
your care for one another is care for Jesus Himself.
"As I leave, I ask all of you, especially the volunteers and benefactors who assisted with the World Meeting of Families: do not let your enthusiasm for Jesus, His Church, our families, and the broader family of society run dry. May
our days together bear fruit that will last, generosity and care for others that
will endure. Just as we have received so much from God -gifts freely given us, and not of our own making - so let us freely give to others in return".
"Dear friends, I embrace all of you in the Lord and I entrust you to the maternal care of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the United States. I will pray for you and your families, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. May God bless
you all. God bless America!" concluded Francis.
At 8 p.m. local time (2 a.m., 28 September in Rome), the aircraft carrying the
Holy Father departed from Rome, where it landed this morning at 9.58 a.m. On the
way back to the Vatican he paused at the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray before the image of the Salus Populi Romani and to thank the Virgin for the fruits of this apostolic trip.
Message for World Youth Day in Krakow, 2016: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy"
Vatican City, 28 September 2015 (VIS) - The following is the full text of the Pope's message for the 31st World Youth Day, to be held in Krakow, Poland in July 2016.
"Dear Young People,
We have come to the last stretch of our pilgrimage to Krakow, the place where we will celebrate the 31st World Youth Day next year in the month of July. We are being guided on this long and challenging path by Jesus' words taken from the Sermon on the Mount. We began this journey in 2014 by meditating together on
the first Beatitude: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom
of heaven' (Mt 5:3). The theme for 2015 was: 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for
they shall see God' (Mt 5:8). During the year ahead, let us allow ourselves to be inspired by the words: 'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy'.
1. The Jubilee of Mercy
With this theme, the Krakow 2016 WYD forms part of the Holy Year of Mercy and so becomes a Youth Jubilee at world level. It is not the first time that an international youth gathering has coincided with a Jubilee Year. Indeed, it was
during the Holy Year of the Redemption (1983/1984) that St. John Paul II first called on young people from around the world to come together on Palm Sunday. Then, during the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, over two million young people from around 165 countries gathered in Rome for the 15th World Youth Day. I am sure that the Youth Jubilee in Krakow will be, as on those two previous occasions, one of the high points of this Holy Year!
Perhaps some of you are asking: what is this Jubilee Year that is celebrated in
the Church? The scriptural text of Leviticus can help us to understand the meaning of a 'jubilee' for the people of Israel. Every fifty years they heard the sounding of a trumpet (jobel) calling them (jobil) to celebrate a holy year
as a time of reconciliation (jobal) for everyone. During that time they had to renew their good relations with God, with their neighbours and with creation, all in a spirit of gratuitousness. This fostered, among other things, debt forgiveness, special help for those who had fallen into poverty, an improvement
in interpersonal relations and the freeing of slaves.
Jesus Christ came to proclaim and bring about the Lord's everlasting time of grace. He brought good news to the poor, freedom to prisoners, sight to the blind and freedom to the oppressed. In Jesus, and particularly in his Paschal Mystery, the deeper meaning of the jubilee is fully realised. When the Church proclaims a jubilee in the name of Christ, we are all invited to experience a wonderful time of grace. The Church must offer abundant signs of God's presence
and closeness, and reawaken in people's hearts the ability to look to the essentials. In particular, this Holy Year of Mercy is 'a time for the Church to
rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of
Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father's mercy'.
2. Merciful like the Father
The motto for this Extraordinary Jubilee is 'Merciful like the Father'. This fits in with the theme of the next WYD, so let us try to better understand the meaning of divine mercy.
The Old Testament uses various terms when it speaks about mercy. The most meaningful of these are hesed and rahamim. The first, when applied to God, expresses God's unfailing fidelity to the Covenant with his people whom he loves
and forgives forever. The second, rahamim, which literally means 'entrails', can
be translated as 'heartfelt mercy'. This particularly brings to mind the maternal womb and helps us understand that God's love for his people is like that of a mother for her child. That is how it is presented by the prophet Isaiah: 'Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of
her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you'. Love of this kind involves making space for others within ourselves and being able to sympathise,
suffer and rejoice with our neighbours.
The biblical concept of mercy also includes the tangible presence of love that
is faithful, freely given and able to forgive. In the following passage from Hosea, we have a beautiful example of God's love, which the prophet compares to
that of a father for his child: 'When Israel was a child I loved him; out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the farther they went from me...
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks... I stooped to feed my child'. Despite the child's wrong attitude that deserves punishment, a father's love is faithful. He always forgives his repentant children. We see here how forgiveness is always included
in mercy. It is 'not an abstract idea, but a concrete reality with which he reveals his love as of that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child. It gushes forth from the depths naturally, full of
tenderness and compassion, indulgence and mercy.
The New Testament speaks to us of divine mercy (eleos) as a synthesis of the work that Jesus came to accomplish in the world in the name of the Father. Our Lord's mercy can be seen especially when he bends down to human misery and shows
his compassion for those in need of understanding, healing and forgiveness. Everything in Jesus speaks of mercy. Indeed, he himself is mercy.
In Chapter 15 of Luke's Gospel we find the three parables of mercy: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the parable of the prodigal son. In these three parables we are struck by God's joy, the joy that God feels when he finds and forgives a sinner. Yes, it is God's joy to forgive! This sums up the whole of the Gospel. 'Each of us, each one of us, is that little lost lamb, the coin that
was mislaid; each one of us is that son who has squandered his freedom on false
idols, illusions of happiness, and has lost everything. But God does not forget
us; the Father never abandons us. He is a patient Father, always waiting for us!
He respects our freedom, but He remains faithful forever. And when we come back
to him, He welcomes us like children into His house, for He never ceases, not for one instant, to wait for us with love. And His heart rejoices over every child who returns. He is celebrating because He is joy. God has this joy, when one of us sinners goes to Him and asks his forgiveness'.
God's mercy is very real and we are all called to experience it firsthand. When
I was seventeen years old, it happened one day that, as I was about to go out with friends, I decided to stop into a church first. I met a priest there who inspired great confidence, and I felt the desire to open my heart in Confession.
That meeting changed my life! I discovered that when we open our hearts with humility and transparency, we can contemplate God's mercy in a very concrete way. I felt certain that, in the person of that priest, God was already waiting
for me even before I took the step of entering that church. We keep looking for
God, but God is there before us, always looking for us, and He finds us first. Maybe one of you feels something weighing on your heart. You are thinking: I did
this, I did that. Do not be afraid! God is waiting for you! God is a Father and
He is always waiting for us! It is so wonderful to feel the merciful embrace of
the Father in the sacrament of Reconciliation, to discover that the confessional
is a place of mercy, and to allow ourselves to be touched by the merciful love of the Lord Who always forgives us.
You, dear young man, dear young woman, have you ever felt the gaze of everlasting love upon you, a gaze that looks beyond your sins, limitations and failings, and continues to have faith in you and to look upon your life with hope? Do you realise how precious you are to God, who has given you everything out of love? St. Paul tells us that 'God proves His love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us'. Do we really understand the power of
I know how much the WYD cross means to all of you. It was a gift from St. John
Paul II and has been with you at all your World Meetings since 1984. So many
The Pope visits Cardinal Roger Etchegaray
Vatican City, 26 October 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father made
a private visit to Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who was admitted to the Agostino Gemelli Hospital following a fall at the end of the celebration in the Vatican Basilica, causing a fracture of the left femur. His overall condition is good, but he will need to undergo an operation to repair the fracture.
The Pope spoke cordially with the cardinal for around a quarter of an hour, and
gave him his blessing. Cardinal Etchegaray thanked Pope Francis, especially for
the Synod which has just come to a close.
Francis receives the Synod of the Chaldean Church: I pray that Christians will
not be forced to abandon Iraq and the Middle East
Vatican City, 26 October 2015 (VIS) - This morning Pope Francis received in audience the members of the Synod of the Chaldean Church, led by His Beatitude Patriarch Raphael I Louis Sako, to whom he expressed his solidarity will all the
inhabitants of Iraq and Syria, asking that God's mercy heal the wounds of a war
that has afflicted the hearts of communities, so that "no one may feel discouragement in this time when the outcry of violence seems to drown out our heartfelt prayers for peace".
The bishop of Rome remarked that the current situation in their lands of origin
"is gravely compromised by the fanatical hatred sown by terrorism, which continues to cause a great haemorrhage of faithful who leave the lands of their
fathers, where they grew up firmly rooted in the furrow of tradition. This state
of affairs clearly undermines the vital Christian presence in that land which witnessed the beginning of the journey of the Patriarch Abraham, heard the voice
of the Prophets who called Israel to hope during the Exile, and saw the foundation of the first Churches upon the blood of many martyrs. There too Christians bore witness to the fullness of the Gospel, made their specific contribution to the growth of society over centuries of peaceful coexistence with our Islamic brothers and sisters. Sadly, these are times which are instead
marked by countless examples of persecution, and even martyrdom".
"The Chaldean Church, which suffers from the war, is also conscious of the needs of the faithful in the diaspora, who are desirous to maintaining their solid roots while becoming part of new situations. So I confirm, today more than
ever, the complete support and solidarity of the Apostolic See in favour of the
common good of the entire Chaldean Church. I pray that Christians will not be forced to abandon Iraq and the Middle East - I think especially of the sons and
daughters of your Church, and their rich traditions. I urge you to work tirelessly as builders of unity in all the provinces of Iraq, fostering dialogue
and cooperation among all those engaged in public life, and contributing to healing existing divisions while preventing new ones from arising".
The visit of the Synod of the Chaldean Church offers the opportunity, said the
Pope "to renew my heartfelt appeal to the international community to adopt every
useful strategy aimed at bringing peace to countries terribly devastated by hatred, so that the life-giving breeze of love will once more be felt in places
which have always been a crossroads for peoples, cultures and nations. May the peace for which we all hope arise on the horizon of history, so that the grievous tragedies caused by violence may yield to a climate of mutual coexistence".
"The Synod which you are celebrating these days in Urbe, is a 'journeying together', a favourable moment of exchange amid the diversities which enrich your fraternal communion under the gaze of Christ, the Good Shepherd ... who is
concerned for the salvation of his sheep, and is especially concerned for those
who have strayed. May you imitate him: zealous in seeking the salus animarum of
priests as well as laity, realising full well that the exercise of communion sometimes demands a genuine kenosis, a self-basement and self-spoliation".
"In doing so", he concluded, "you will bridge distances and discern the response to be given to the pressing needs of the Chaldean Church today, in your
native lands and in the diaspora. In this way the reflections which emerge from
your discussions will be able to provide fruitful solutions to your current needs and points of convergence for resolving liturgical and more general issues".
To military chaplains: offer a consoling and fraternal presence to returning servicemen
Vatican City, 26 October 2015 (VIS) - "You have come from different countries to reflect together on some of the current challenges of international humanitarian law, relating to the protection of human dignity during non-international armed conflicts and the so-called 'new' armed conflicts. This
is, unfortunately, a theme of great current relevance, especially if we think of
the intensification of violence and the multiplication of theatres of war in various areas around the world, such as Africa, Europe and the Middle East", said the Pope today as he received in audience the participants in the fourth training course in international humanitarian law for military chaplains, organised by the Congregation for Bishops, the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace" and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
Francis highlighted that war ruptures relationships between brothers and nations. "It also disfigures those who are witnesses to such atrocities. Many soldiers return after military action or from peacemaking missions with very real inner wounds. War can leave an indelible mark on them. Indeed, war always leaves an indelible mark".
"It is therefore necessary to ask what the best ways are to cure the spiritual
wounds of servicemen who, having experienced war, have witnessed atrocious crimes. These people and their families require a specific form of pastoral attention, a care that enables them to feel the maternal closeness of the Church. The role of the military chaplain is that of accompanying them and supporting them on their journey, always offering a consoling and fraternal presence".
"International humanitarian law seeks to safeguard the essential principles of
humanity in the context of war, which is in itself dehumanising. It aims to protect those who do not participate in the conflict, such as the civil population or healthcare and religious workers, and those who no longer participate actively, such as the wounded and prisoners. ... In order to fulfil
its aim of humanising the effects of armed conflict, humanitarian law deserves to be better known and promoted among all soldiers and armed forces, including non-state forces, such as security personnel and police. In addition, it needs to be developed further so as to face the new realities of war which today, unfortunately, involve the use of increasingly deadly weapons".
"However, as Christians we remain profoundly convinced that the final aim, worthy of humanity and of the human community, is the abolition of war. Therefore, we must always make efforts to build bridges that unite rather than walls that separate; we must always help to look for a glimmer of hope for mediation and reconciliation. ... In this period, in which we are living a piecemeal third world war, you are called upon to nurture in soldiers and their
families the spiritual and ethical dimension so that it may help them face the difficulties and often devastating questions inherent in the special service they carry out for their homeland and for humanity".
To the Gypsy population: the time has come to eradicate prejudice
Vatican City, 26 October 2015 (VIS) - This morning, in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the World Pilgrimage
of Gypsy People, which gathered together Rom, Sinti and other itinerant peoples,
organised by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples in collaboration with the "Migrantes" Foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference and the "Migrantes" Office of the diocese of Rome and the Sant'Egidio Community. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Blessed Paul VI's visit to the nomad camp of Pomezia, Italy, on 26 September 1965.
Francis mentioned the great changes that have taken place in the Gypsy community since that historic visit, both in the field of evangelisation and in
that of human, social and cultural development. "A strong sign of faith and spiritual growth in your ethnic groups is the increasing number of vocations to
priestly life, the diaconate and consecrated life", he said. He described the latter as "a bridge between two cultures" and remarked that they are therefore "called upon always to be witnesses of evangelical transparency to favour the birth, growth and nurturing of new vocations. You must know how to be companions
not only on a spiritual journey, but also in everyday life, with its hardships,
joys and worries".
He acknowledged the difficulties faced by these peoples, and commented that he
had seen the precarious conditions in which they live during his pastoral visits, emphasising that this situation is in contrast with the right of every person to a dignified life, dignified work, education and healthcare. "I would like to see the beginning of a new history for your people. The time has come to
eradicate the deep-rooted prejudices, preconceptions and mutual distrust that are often at the basis of discrimination, racism and xenophobia. No-one should feel isolated, and no-one should be authorised to trample the dignity and rights
of others. ... Let us therefore allow the Gospel to awaken our consciences and to
open our hearts and hands to the neediest and most marginalised, starting from those closest to us".
Francis encouraged them to be the first to make efforts to construct more human
peripheries and to build bonds of fraternity and exchange. "You can do this if you are, first and foremost, good Christians, avoiding all that which is unworthy of the name: falseness, fraud, cheating and quarrels", and encouraged them to follow the example of blessed Ceferino Gimenez Malla. The Pope urged them not to give the media or public opinion the opportunity to speak badly of them. "You are the agents of your own present and future. Like all citizens, you
can contribute to the well-being and the progress of society by respecting the law, fulfilling your duties and integrating also through the emancipation of the
With regard to children and the young, "your most valuable treasure", he stated
that "education is without doubt the foundation for the healthy development of the person. It is well known that the limited scholastic level of many of your young people currently represents the main obstacle to access to the world of work. Your children have the right to go to school: do not prevent them from doing so!". He also commented on the need for effort on the part of civil institutions in "guaranteeing adequate education for young gypsies, also offering families who live in the most disadvantaged conditions the opportunity
to benefit from adequate integration in schools and in work".
The Pope concluded by echoing the words of Blessed Paul VI fifty years ago, when he affirmed that itinerant populations were not at the margins of the Church, but rather, in some respects, at her very heart.
Telegram for the death of Cardinal Korec, tireless defender of the Christian faith and human rights
Vatican City, 26 October 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to the Archbishop of Bratislava and the president of the Episcopal Conference of Slovakia, Stanislav Zvolensky, for the death last Saturday of Cardinal Jan Chryzostom Korec, at the age of 91.
The Pope remembers with profound emotion the archbishop emeritus of Nitra, a committed and generous pastor who throughout his long episcopal ministry was a "fearless witness of the Gospel and a tireless defender of the Christian faith and the rights of the person".
The cardinal, who was imprisoned for several years and prevented from freely exercising his episcopal mission, "did not let himself be intimidated, always giving a luminous example of strength and trust in divine providence, as well as