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Pope's Message to World Movement of Christian Workers

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 08:57
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to the International Meeting of the World Movement of Christian Workers which has been taking place in Ávila, Spain, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its foundation. 120 delegates representing the Movement, present today in 79 countries are attending the event. The theme of the meeting is, "Land, Home and Work for a Worthy Life". The message, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, stresses that "the dignity of the person is closely united to these three realities" that remind us that the fundamental experience of the human being "is to feel rooted in the world, in one Family, in a society. " "Land, home, and work - continues the Message - means fighting because every person lives in a manner consistent with his dignity and nobody is discarded. To this we encourage our faith in God, who sent his Son into the world because, sharing the story of his people, living in a family and working with his hands, he could redeem and save the human person with his Death and resurrection ". Finally, the Pope urges the Christian Workers Movement "to persevere with renewed impetus in the effort to bring the Gospel into the world of work". (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Pope Francis renews prayer for Venezuela

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 08:35
(Vatican Radio) The Pope during his Angelus  in St Peter's Square on Sunday once again addressed his thoughts to Venezuela. Greeting the Venezuelan Catholic community in Italy he renewed his prayer for what he called, this "beloved country".  Pope Francis' prayer comes on a crucial day for Venezuela: this Sunday marks the popular referendum promoted by the opposition to say no to the constituent assembly proposed by President Maduro. The country's bishops support the initiative, which is not recognized by the authorities, to counteract - they say - the attempt to establish a Marxist military dictatorship. Meanwhile, as the political crisis deepens, the humanitarian crisis worsens. Italian Caritas has published a report entitled which shows that over 11,000 children died in 2016 for lack of medicines and maternal mortality rose by almost 70%. Faced with the food, health and safety crisis, the Italian Bishops' Conference has also offered to contribute 500,000 euros. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Angelus: As the sower Jesus performs a spiritual radiography of our heart

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 08:27
(Vatican Radio) During his Angelus address on Sunday to the pilgrims and tourists who braved the heat in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis recalled the Gospel reading of the day, the famous parable of the sower.  Listen to our report: The Pope explained that the sower is Jesus, but the parable itself, the Pope went on to say concerns us, as it speaks of the soil and not the sower. The Holy Father noted that “Jesus performs, so to speak, a "spiritual radiography" of our heart”, which is the ground upon which the seed of the Word falls. Our heart, he added, "is like the soil, it can be good when the Word bears fruit, but it can also be hard, and waterproof." Pope Francis also described how in between these forms of soil, there are two types of land.  The first, he said, is a stony ground where the seed cannot put down deep roots. This, the Pope added, “is the superficial heart that welcomes the Lord, wants to pray, love and testify, but does not persevere..." The Holy Father continued, then “there is the thorny ground, full of rocks that suffocate the good plants." This form of soil, he said, was the world seduced by wealth and greed, adding that the rocks were the vices that inhabit a person’s heart. With the Lord’s help, underlined Pope Francis, we can reclaim the land in the form of confession and prayer that removes the stones and thorns and purifies our hearts. During his address the Holy Father remembered the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel, who is celebrated on July 16th.     (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Pope endorses campaign to put 'Laudato Sì' into action

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 08:59
(Vatican Radio) Following the 2nd anniversary of the publication of his encyclical “ Laudato Sì – On Care of our Common Home ”, Pope Francis has endorsed a pledge campaign that aims to mobilize at least 1 million people to directly engage in turning the encyclical’s message into action.  Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni : Organized and promoted by the Global Catholic Climate Movement , the pledge  calls on those who sign to answer the call of Laudato Sì by praying with and for creation, living more simply, and advocating to protect our common home. The "Laudato Sì Pledge campaign" has received support from Church leaders from around the globe including Cardinal Turkson, Cardinal Tagle, Cardinal Ribat, Cardinal Cupich and Cardinal Marx. It has also garnered the support of major environmental leaders. Tomás Insua, Executive Director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, said, "We are grateful and inspired by Pope Francis' endorsement of the Laudato Si' Pledge. With 1.2 billion Catholics around the world, we have a critical role to play in tackling climate change and the wider ecological crisis. Pope Francis has already changed the discussion around climate change and this pledge is inviting us to put the Church's teachings into action and answer the urgent call for strong political action and lifestyle change put forth in Laudato Si'." The Pope's endorsement adds to the momentum of recent Catholic climate action: Pope Francis requested that Angela Merkel uplift the Paris climate accord during the G20 summit, several Catholic organizations recently divested from fossil fuels, GCCM joined other Christian groups calling on governments to take strong action before the G7 last month and the Movement’s Executive Director joined other scientific, political and faith leaders in publishing a letter in Nature Magazine pushing the G20 to recognize the urgency of the climate crisis.  (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Congregation for Clergy hosts course on priestly formation

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 08:38
(Vatican Radio) More than one hundred seminary rectors from throughout the English-speaking world gathered in Rome earlier this month under the guidance and sponsorship of the Congregation for Clergy to discuss the revised handbook of best practices for the formation of seminarians. Known as the Ratio fundamentalis institutionis sacerdotalis – ratio fundamentalis or just ratio for short – the latest edition of the document is titled, On the Gift of Priestly Vocation . The basic and animating idea of the Ratio is that of helping seminaries all around the world to succeed in their mission of forming men for the priesthood by first firmly grounding them in a self-conscious attitude of missionary discipleship, and then giving them the tools to live their lives as disciples to the fullest, in and through the ministerial priesthood to which God calls them through His Church. One of the participants, Msgr. David L. Toups , rector of  St. Vincent De Paul Regional Seminary  in Boynton Beach, Florida, told Vatican Radio this new document, which brings together the many disparate elements offered as teaching and formation tools by several different dicasteries in the thirty-odd years since the last Ratio was promulgated, and offers best practices to seminary rectors who work in vastly different cultural contexts in service of one mission, is more than welcome. “It’s highly significant for us in the seminary world,” he said. Msgr. Joseph Betchart , rector of Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon, also took part in the course, and told Vatican Radio he welcomes the holistic approach to formation, with the particular emphasis it puts on discipleship. Click below to hear our conversation with Msgr. Toups and Msgr. Betchart “In order to shepherd the People of God,” he said, “you have to – first of all – be a member of the People of God.” Msgr. Betchart explained that the view this document takes is comprehensive. “It is really focused on forming the man to be first and foremost a disciple of Jesus Christ,” he said, “because, as the axiom goes, ‘You can’t give what you don’t have.’” The course sponsored by the Congregation for Clergy on the fundamental principles of the new Ratio fundamentalis ran from June 26 th to July 7 th in Rome. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Pope to catechists: Be creative

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 08:33
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message to an International Catechetical Symposium which is taking place this week at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires, and has as its theme “blessed are those who believe”. Listen:  In the message to the symposium, the Holy Father points out that “being a catechist is a vocation of service in the Church, that has been received as a gift from the Lord and must in turn be transmitted.” He goes on to say that the catechist walks with Christ, therefore is not a person who starts from his own ideas and tastes. He or she  looks for the Lord and that searching makes their heart burn. Pope Francis also notes in his message that the role of the catechist is a creative one because this person seeks different ways and means to announce the good news of Christ. The Pope adds that “this quest to make Jesus known as supreme beauty leads us to find new signs and forms for the transmission of the faith.” The means may be different, the Holy Father underlines, “but the important thing is to keep in mind the style of Jesus, who adapted to the people around him in order to bring them the love of God.” The Pope continues that, it is necessary to know how to "change" and adapt, in order to transmit God’s message even though the message itself is always the same. Finally, Pope Francis encourages catechists taking part in the symposium to be joyful messengers, guardians of good and beauty who shine in the faithful life of the missionary disciple.”   (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Pope to beatify a bishop and a priest in Colombia

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 11:09
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will beatify two martyred Colombian clerics when he travels to visit their South American nation in September. The director of the Holy See Press office, Greg Burke, said that Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve of Arauca and Father Pedro Ramirez Ramos will be beatified on September 8th during an open-air Mass in the city of Villavicencio presided over by the Pope.   Linda Bordoni reports: It was thanks to Bishop Jaramillo’s work of evangelization and promotion of the local Church in a vast territory where contraband and drug trafficking were rampant that development was made possible. Jaramillo was taken hostage in 1989 by armed bandits some 800 kilometers east of Bogota, and found dead the following day, shot with four bullets to the head. Francis also recognized the martyrdom of Father Pedro Ramirez who was killed at the start of the Colombian civil war in 1948 when guerrilla factions set upon him as he sought refuge in his parish church. He refused to flee and abandon the people so the insurgents destroyed the door of the building, seized him and accused him of hiding weapons in the adjacent convent. They killed him on April 10 and impeded the faithful from giving a Christian burial to his mortal remains for some ten days. To this day, Father Pedro is known in Colombia as “the martyr of Armero.” Pope Francis is scheduled to make his first apostolic visit to Colombia from 6 to 11 September, visiting the cities of Bogotá, Villavicencio, Medellín and Cartagena. The journey is a pastoral one but is widely expected to further cement the peace accords signed by the government and the FARC rebel group aimed at putting an end to five decaded of civil conflict. The country’s second largest guerrilla group – the ELN – is also currently holding peace negotiations in neighboring Ecuador.   (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Pope names Card. Bertello special envoy for diocesan celebration in Italy

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 10:44
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Governorate of Vatican City State, as his Special Envoy for the bicentennial celebrations of the founding of the Diocese of Cuneo in Italy. Celebrations will be held on 16 July in the Cathedral, St. Mary of the Woods. Cardinal Bertello is to be accompanied by Msgr. Giovanni Battista Riberi, Vicar General of the diocese, and Msgr. Don Roberto Mondino, Secretary of the Presbiteral Council. Pope Francis sent the following letter to Cardinal Bertello for the occasion. Venerabili Fratri Nostro IOSEPHO S.R.E. Cardinali BERTELLO Praesidi Praefecturae Civitatis Vaticanae Cuneensis dioecesis, quam Decessor Noster Pius VII rec. mem., pastorales necessitates attente considerans, die XVII mensis Iulii anno MDCCCXVII bulla "Beati Petri Apostolorum Principis" condidit, laetanter ducentesimam celebrat anniversariam suae fundationis memoriam. Dilecti quidem fideles Cuneenses, actuoso Pastore et sacerdotibus moderantibus, hunc eventum recolentes, Domini vocem diligenter exaudire cupiunt atque spiritale iter studiose sequi. Quaedam etenim adimplentur pastoralia incepta, quae Venerabilis Frater Petrus Delbosco, Episcopus Cuneensis et Fossanensis, suis proposuit fidelibus, ut in huius gregis historia Domini misericordiam et largitatem clare admirari possent atque incitamentum experiri ad renovatam vitam sub Christi lumine assidue sequendam. Novimus insuper die XVI proximi mensis Iulii, in memoria videlicet Beatae Mariae Virginis de Monte Carmelo, sollemnem Eucharistiam celebratum iri, veluti anniversariae memoriae praecipuum eventum. Hanc ob rem memoratus sacer Praesul humanissime Nos rogavit ut aliquem eminentem Virum mitteremus, qui Nostras vices Cunei gereret Nostramque erga istum gregem dilpctionem manifestaret. Ad Te autem, Venerabilis Frater Noster, qui, Italiae insignis Filius, pergrave munus exerces Praesidis Praefecturae Civitatis Vaticanae, mentem Nostrarn vertimus Teque hisce Litteris MISSUM EXTRAORDINARIUM NOSTRUM nominamus ad dictam celebrationem, quae memorato die XVI proximi mensis Iulii prope cathedrale templum Cuneense, Sanctae Mariae a Silva dicatum, perficietur. Sollemni ergo praesidebis Eucharistiae atque Episcopum Cuneensem et Fossanensem aliosque sacros Praesules, sacerdotes, religiosos viros mulieresque, publicas auctoritates atque universos christifideles Nostro salutabis nomine. Omnes adstantes sermone tuo ad diligentiorem usque Christi vitae imitationem hortaberis. Optamus denique ut cuncti, venustam historiam dioecesis Cuneensis recolentes, novis viribus novaque caritatis diligentia peculiarem dilectionem erga Christi Ecclesiam et Evangelium demonstrent atque spirituali assiduitate in cotidiana vita emineant. Nos autem Te, Venerabilis Frater Noster, in tua missione implenda precibus comitabimur. Denique Benedictionem Nostram Apostolicam libentes Tibi impertimur, signum Nostrae erga Te benevolentiae et caelestium donorum pignus, quam omnibus celebrationis participibus rite transmittes. Ex Aedibus Vaticanis, die XVI mensis lunii, anno MMXVII, Pontificatus Nostri quinto. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Pope Francis creates new category for beatification: oblatio vitae

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 08:51
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio on Tuesday, by which he created a new category, distinct from martyrdom, under which a Servant of God may be declared Blessed: oblatio vitae , or “the free offering (i.e. “oblation”) of [one’s] life”. The Letter, Maiorem hac dilectionem , takes its title from the words of Our Lord as recorded in the Holy Gospel according to St. John, “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends, (Jn 15:13)”. The Letter creates a new category - a facti species  in technical language - called,  oblatio vitae , and distinguishes it from the facti species  of martyrdom, by five (5) criteria: The free and voluntary offering of one’s life, and heroic acceptance propter caritatem of a certain and soon-to-come death; A nexus – i.e. close relation – between the offering of one’s life and the premature death of the one who offers it; The exercise, at least in ordinary degree, of the Christian virtues before the subject’s offering of his or her life and, afterward, perseverance in those virtues unto death; The existence of fama sanctitatis – i.e. the reputation for holiness – on the part of the subject, and of signs [in confirmation thereof], at least after death; The necessity, for beatification, of a miracle, one that occurred after the death of the Servant of God, and by said Servant’s intercession. The oblatio vitae of the Servant of God, in order that it be valid and efficacious for beatification, must respond to all of the aforementioned criteria. The positio prepared by the diocesan inquest into the Cause of the Servant of God must respond to the following question: An constet de heroica oblatione vitae usque ad mortem propter caritatem necnon de virtutibus christianis, saltem in gradu ordinario, in casu et ad effectum de quo agitur , which is, “Does [the case of the Servant of God] consist of [an] heroic offering of his/her life up to death for the sake of supernatural love of God ( propter caritatem ) and also of the Christian virtues, at least in the ordinary degree, on the occasion and to the effect for which [the subject’s offering of his/her life] was made?” Below, please find the full text of the Apostolic Letter motu proprio, Maiorem hac dilectionem, in the original Latin… *******************************      LITTERAE APOSTOLICAE MOTU PROPRIO DATAE DE OBLATIONE VITAE « Maiorem hac dilectionem nemo habet, ut animam suam quis ponat pro amicis suis» (Io 15,13). Singulari existimatione et honore digni sunt illi christifideles, qui Iesu Christi vestigia ac placita proxime sequentes, vitam suam pro aliis voluntarie ac libere praebuerunt et hoc in proposito usque ad mortem perseveraverunt. Omnibus compertum habetur heroicam vitae oblationem, caritate monitam ac fultam, Christi veram, plenam ac praestantissimam imitationem exprimere, quapropter ea digna est illa admiratione, quae fidelium communitas reservare illis solet, qui voluntarie vitam immolaverunt sanguinis martyrio occumbentes vel heroico in gradu christianas virtutes exercuerunt. Faventi consilio a Congregatione de Causis Sanctorum edito, quae Plenaria in Sessione diei 27 mensis Septembris anno 2016 diligenter perscrutata est an huiusmodi christifideles beatificationis sint digni, has quae sequuntur statuimus normas servandas: ARTICULUS I Vitae oblatio nova facti species est itineris ad beatificationem et canonizationem, quae a specie super martyrio et super heroicitatem virtutum differt. ARTICULUS II Vitae oblatio, ut sit apta atque efficax ad Servi Dei beatificationem haec requirit: a)   libera ac voluntaria sui vitae oblatio et heroica propter caritatem certae ac tempore proximae mortis acceptio; b)   nexus inter vitae oblationem et praematuram mortem; c)   exercitium, saltem ordinario gradu, christianarum virtutum ante vitae oblationem et, deinceps, usque ad mortem; d)   exsistentia famae sanctitatis et signorum saltem post mortem; e)   necessitas miraculi, beatificationis intuitu, quod post Servi Dei mortem et per eiusdem intercessionem eveniat. ARTICULUS III Dioecesanae vel Eparchialis Inquisitionis celebratio una cum pertinenti Positione ad normam Apostolicae Constitutionis Divinus perfectionis Magister diei 25 mensis Ianuarii anno 1983 in Actis Apostolicae Sedis, volumine 75 (1983), 349-355 editae, et secundum Normas Servandas in inquisitionibus ab Episcopis faciendis in Causis Sanctorum diei 7 mensis Februarii eiusdem anni promulgatas in Actis Apostolicae Sedis, volumine 75 (1983), 396-403 editas, praeter sequentia, temperata est. ARTICULUS IV Positio super oblatione vitae ad dubium respondeat “ An constet de heroica oblatione vitae usque ad mortem propter caritatem necnon de virtutibus christianis, saltem in gradu ordinario, in casu et ad effectum de quo agitur ”. ARTICULUS V In articulis subscriptae Apostolicae Constitutionis haec sequentia innoventur:         Ad art. 1: « Episcopis dioecesanis vel Hierarchis ceterisque in iure aequiparatis, intra fines suae iurisdictionis, sive ex officio, sive ad instantiam singulorum fidelium vel legitimorum coetuum eorumque procuratorum, ius competit inquirendi circa vitam, virtutes, vitae oblationem vel martyrium ac famam sanctitatis vel vitae oblationis vel martyrii, asserta miracula, necnon, si casus ferat, antiquum cultum Servi Dei, cuius canonizatio petitur ». Ad art. 2,5: « Inquisitio de assertis miraculis ab inquisitione de virtutibus vel de vitae oblatione vel de martyrio separatim fiat ». Ad art. 7,1: « Una cum externis cooperatoribus causis sibi commissis studere atque Positiones super virtutibus vel super vitae oblatione vel super martyrio parare».   Ad art. 13,2: « Si Congressus iudicaverit causam instructam fuisse ad legis normas, statuet cuinam ex Relatoribus committenda sit; Relator vero una cum cooperatore externo Positionem super virtutibus vel super vitae oblatione vel super martyrio conficiet iuxta regulas artis criticae in hagiographia servandas ». ARTICULUS VI In articulis supradictarum Normarum servandarum in inquisitionibus ab Episcopis faciendis in Causis Sanctorum haec innoventur: Ad art. 7: « Causa potest esse recentior aut antiqua; recentior dicitur, si martyrium vel virtutes vel vitae oblatio Servi Dei per orales depositiones testium de visu probari possunt; antiqua vero, cum probationes de martyrio vel de virtutibus vel de vitae oblatione dumtaxat ex fontibus scriptis erui possunt ». Ad art. 10,1°: « In causis tam recentioribus quam antiquis, biographiam alicuius historici momenti de Servo Dei, si extat, vel, ea deficiente, accuratam relationem chronologice digestam de vita et gestis ipsius Servi Dei, de eius virtutibus vel vitae oblatione vel martyrio, de sanctitatis et signorum fama, non omissis iis quae ipsi causae contraria vel minus favorabilia videntur ». Ad art. 10,3°:         « In causis recentioribus tantum, elenchum personarum quae ad eruendam veritatem circa virtutes vel vitae oblationem vel martyrium Servi Dei, necnon circa sanctitatis vel signorum famam conferre possunt vel adversari ». Ad art. 15,a: « Relatione accepta, Episcopus omnia usque ad illud tempus acquisita promotori iustitiae vel alii viro perito tradat, ut interrogatoria conficiat quae apta sint ad verum indagandum et inveniendum de Servi Dei vita, virtutibus vel vitae oblatione vel martyrio, fama sanctitatis vel vitae oblationis vel martyrii ». Ad art. 15,b: « In causis antiquis vero interrogatoria dumtaxat famam sanctitatis vel vitae oblationis vel martyrii adhuc vigentem necnon, si casus ferat, cultum recentioribus temporibus Servo Dei praestitum respiciant ». Ad art. 19: « Ad probandum martyrium vel virtutum exercitium vel vitae oblationem et signorum famam Servi Dei qui pertinuerit ad aliquod Institutum vitae consecratae, notabilis pars testium inductorum debent esse extranei, nisi, ob peculiarem Servi Dei vitam, id impossibile evadat ». Ad art. 32: « Inquisitio super miraculis separatim instruenda est ab inquisitione super virtutibus vel vitae oblatione vel martyrio et fiat iuxta normas quae sequuntur ». Ad art. 36: « De Servis Dei, quorum sanctitas vitae adhuc legitimo examini subiecta est, quaelibet sollemnia vel panegyricae orationes in ecclesiis prohibentur. Sed etiam extra ecclesiam abstinendum est ab iis actis quibus fideles induci possint ad falso putandum inquisitionem ab Episcopo factam de Servi Dei vita et virtutibus vel vitae oblatione vel martyrio certitudinem secum ferre futurae eiusdem Servi Dei canonizationis » Haec omnia, quae his Apostolicis Litteris motu proprio statuimus, mandamus ut rite funditusque serventur, contrariis quibuscumque etiam speciali mentione dignis minime obstantibus et publici iuris fiant per editionem super actis diurnis scilicet “ L’Osservatore Romano ” et ab hoc ipso die vigere incipiant et deinceps in Actis Apostolicae Sedis referri mandamus. Datum apud Sanctum Petrum, die XI mensis Iulii, anno Domini MMXVII, Pontificatus Nostri quinto. (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Pope at Angelus: Find true rest in the Lord

Sun, 07/09/2017 - 08:06
(Vatican Radio) “Come to me, all you who are weary and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” This passage, from the day’s Gospel reading, was the starting point for Pope Francis’ reflections ahead of the Sunday Angelus. Jesus, the Pope said, addresses this invitation to everyone, without exception, who feels weary or burdened by life. “Jesus knows how hard life can be,” he said. He knows how many things can cause our hearts to grow weary. In the face of all these burdens of life, the first word of Jesus’ invitation is “Come.” When things are going badly, Pope Francis said, it is a mistake to remain where we are. Although this might seem evident, he continued, it is natural in moments of darkness to turn in on ourselves, to brood on the injustices of life, the ingratitude of others, or the wickedness of the world. But Jesus wants to pull us out of this “quicksand.” The way out is in the relationship, in reaching out our hand and lifting our gaze toward the one Who truly loves us. But going out of ourselves is only the first step, the Pope said: we must also know where to go. In life, many of our goals can be deceptive, promising us rest and distracting us for a while, but ultimately leaving us as alone as when we started. They are like fireworks. And this is why Jesus says, “Come to me.” We often turn to others in times of difficulty – we must not forget to turn to Jesus, to open ourselves up to Him, and to entrust our difficulties to Him. The Lord is waiting for us in order to help us, but this does not mean He will magically take away our difficulties. “Jesus does not take the Cross from us,” the Holy Father said; rather “He carries it with us.” When we come to Jesus, we receive peace, a peace that remains even in trials and difficulty. The Lord Himself promises this to us, repeating again at the end of the day’s Gospel reading, “Learn from me… and you will find rest for your life.” “Let us learn to go to Jesus,” Pope Francis said in conclusion. “And while, in these summer months, we seek some respite from those things that weary the body, let us not forget to find true rest in the Lord.” (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Telegram of condolence for apartment block tragedy

Sun, 07/09/2017 - 06:37
(Vatican Radio) Through a telegram from Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis has sent his “ profound condolences ” to victims of a collapsed apartment block in Torre Annunziata outside of Naples. The building collapsed on Friday, leaving eight people dead, including two children. In the telegram, addressed to the Archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe , Cardinal Parolin assured those affected by the tragedy of the Pope’s “fervent prayers of suffrage” for those who died. The telegram said that Pope Francis was praying to the “God of mercy” that he might bring comfort to those who were injured and to all those who are suffering as a result of having lost loved ones. It concludes by noting that the Holy Father has sent his Apostolic Blessing as a sign of his “spiritual closeness.”  (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Pope’s message to Philippine bishops’ plenary assembly ‎

Sat, 07/08/2017 - 09:46
Pope Francis has expressed his “prayerful solidarity” with the Catholic bishops of the Philippines as they began their plenary assembly in the capital Manila on Saturday, CBCP News reported.‎  Members of the Catholics Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) are holding their ‎115th  plenary meeting at the ‎Pope Piux XII Center, 8-10 July, to discuss some of the challenges facing the Church and the nation.  Pope Francis hoped the plenary assembly “ may bear spiritual fruit and that you yourselves may grow ‎in deeper faith, hope and charity ”.‎    ‎“ In this way, together with your priests, you will encourage all young Filipinos to become ‘joyful ‎messengers of challenging proposals [and] guardians of the goodness and beauty which shine forth in a ‎life of fidelity to the Gospel,’ ” the Holy Father added.  CBCP News said the Pope’s message was relayed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin to ‎CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who has stepped down at the end of 2 terms as conference leader.  Succeeding him is Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, who was elected CBCP president at the start of the assembly,  on 8 July.   ‎Among the issues up for discussion during the 3-day meeting are the new priestly formation programme ‎and the challenges faced by the young people in preparation for next year’s Synod of Bishops in Rome.‎   Among the challenges facing the cardinals and bishops are issues such as extrajudicial killings in the war on drugs, the Islamist terrorism in the south, revival of the death penalty, the need for ‎ethical standards in social media and political engagement. Pope Francis is not new to the Philippines.  During his weeklong  visit to the country in January, 2015, he celebrated Mass under driving rain in Tacloban ,  during which he told the faithful his main purpose to visit their land was to show his closness and solidarity with the people of Visayas who were devastated by the typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.   (Source: CBCP News) (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Pope: 'Let us give Jesus our sins'

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 12:59
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday celebrated Mass for the maintenance staff of Vatican City State, reminding them that our joy and our salvation lies in the fact that Jesus came so that we can all be forgiven our sins. Speaking to a group of Vatican employees who take care of maintenance and general services, the Pope reflected on the Gospel reading of the day which speaks of how Jesus invited Matthew, a tax collector, to dine with him at his house. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni : He illustrated his words recalling a Caravaggio painting “The Calling of St. Matthew” which he said, he used to like going to see when he could walk the streets of Rome freely,before becoming Pope, and he described the scene that features Matthew counting his money, and Jesus pointing at him with his finger as he chooses him to dine at his table.   “When the Pharisees saw this – the Pope said - they said to his disciples ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ the answer they received was ‘Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do”. “This, the Pope said, is an immense consolation because it means that Jesus came for me”. “We are all sinners” he continued, “We all have a degree in sin.”  The Pharisees, Francis explained, considered themselves just and criticized Jesus for spending time in bad company, but the Lord said ‘I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.’ Each of us, Pope Francis said, must recognize our strengths, our weaknesses, our sins. He pointed out that Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they were arrogant, vain and considered themselves to be superior to others. But Jesus, he said, comes to us because we are sinners, and those who acknowledge this also know that Jesus “always forgives, always heals our souls. “And when you are afraid of being weak and of falling, Jesus will help you back to your feet, he will heal you. This is our consolation. (…) Do not be afraid. In bad times, in moments in which we feel weighed down from things we may have done, during the many slippery slopes of life… remember: Jesus love me because this is who I am” he said.     Pope Francis then recalled the figure of Saint Jerome who offered the Lord his work of many years to which Jesus replied “No. Jerome. That is not what I want most.” Finally Jerome asked Jesus to tell him what would give him the most joy, and Jesus replied “Give me your sins…” “Today, he concluded, let us give Jesus our sins, let us think of His merciful heart. May it be our joy.” (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Pope Francis approves decrees for miracles, martyrdom

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 10:00
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Friday authorized the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to promulgate several decrees, after meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Congregation’s Prefect. The Holy Father approved the following decrees: - the miracle, attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Anna Chrzanowska, Lay woman; who was born on October 7, 1902 in Warsaw (Poland) and died on April 29, 1973 in Krakow (Poland); - the martyrdom of the Servant of God Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve, of the Institute for the Foreign Missions of Yarumal, Bishop of Arauca; who was killed in hatred of the Faith in 1989 near Fortul (Colombia); - the martyrdom of the Servant of God Peter Ramírez Ramos, diocesan priest; who was killed in hatred of the Faith on April 10, 1948 in Armero (Colombia); - the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Ismael Perdomo, Archbishop of Bogotá; born February 22, 1872 in El Gigante (Colombia) and died on June 3, 1950 in Bogotá (Colombia); - the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Luigi Kosiba (born Peter), Lay professor of the Order of Friars Minor; born on June 29, 1855 in Libusza (Poland) and died on January 4, 1939 in Wieliczka (Poland); - the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Paola of Jesus Gil Cano, Foundress of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Most Pure Conception; born February 2, 1849 in Vera (Spain) and died on January 18, 1913 in Murcia (Spain); - the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Mary Elizabeth Mazza, Foundress of the Institute of the Little Apostle Sisters of Christian Schools; born January 21, 1886 in Martinengo (Italy) and died August 29, 1950 in Bergamo (Italy); - the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Mary Crucified of Divine Love (born Maria Gargani), Foundress of the Congregation of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart; born December 23, 1892 in Morra Irpino (today Morra De Sanctis, Italy) and died on 23 May 1973 in Naples (Italy). (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis to Merkel, G20 leaders: put people at centre

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 09:25
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to the heads of the Group of 20 nations, who are gathered in Hamburg, Germany from July 7-8. Addressed directly to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Message details four principles of action, which the Holy Father offers as guides for the building of fraternal, just and peaceful societies:  time is greater than space; unity prevails over conflict; realities are more important than ideas;  and  the whole is greater than the part . Pope Francis expresses the hope that those four principles – drawn from his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii gaudium – might also serve as an aid to reflection for the Hamburg meeting and for the assessment of its outcome. Click below to hear our full report The Holy Father’s reflections touch on several pressing issues, including the ongoing migration crisis. “In the minds and hearts of government leaders, and at every phase of the enactment of political measures, there is a need to give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, the suffering, evacuees and the excluded, without distinction of nation, race, religion or culture, and to reject armed conflicts,” Pope Francis writes. The Holy Father also addresses the situation in South Sudan, the Lake Chad basin, the Horn of Africa and Yemen, where thirty million people are lacking the food and water needed to survive, writing, “A commitment to meet these situations with urgency and to provide immediate support to those peoples will be a sign of the seriousness and sincerity of the mid-term commitment to reforming the world economy and a guarantee of its sound development.” Writing on the ever-present threat and reality of conflict in the world, the Holy Father recalls the upcoming hundredth anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Letter  to the Leaders of the Warring Peoples , asking that the world put an end to all these  “useless slaughters . [Emphasis in original] ” “War,” Pope Francis writes, “is never a solution.” Pope Francis goes on to write of the urgent need to overcome ideological divides. “The fateful ideologies of the first half of the twentieth century have been replaced by new ideologies of absolute market autonomy and financial speculation,” he writes.  Calling for a recovery of, “a sound and prudent pragmatism, guided by the primacy of the human being and the attempt to integrate and coordinate diverse and at times opposed realities, on the basis of respect for each and every citizen,” which was the hallmark of, “the significant political and economic achievements of the past century,” the Holy Father prays that the Hamburg Summit may be illumined by the example of those European and world leaders who consistently gave pride of place to dialogue and the quest of common solutions, especially Schuman, De Gasperi, Adenauer, and Monnet. “Problems, Pope Francis goes on to write, “need to be resolved concretely and with due attention to their specificity, but such solutions, to be lasting, cannot neglect a broader vision.  They must likewise consider eventual repercussions on all countries and their citizens, while respecting the views and opinions of the latter.” He then repeats the warning that Benedict XVI addressed to the G20 London Summit in 2009, to the effect that the states and individuals whose voices are weakest on the world political scene, are precisely the ones who suffer most from the harmful effects of economic crises for which they bear little or no responsibility, and that this  great majority, which in economic terms counts for only 10% of the whole, is the portion of humanity that has the greatest potential to contribute to the progress of everyone.  “Consequently,” he writes, “there is need to make constant reference to the United Nations, its programmes and associated agencies, and regional organizations, to respect and honour international treaties, and to continue promoting a multilateral approach, so that solutions can be truly universal and lasting, for the benefit of all.” (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis blesses work of new Argentine radio station

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 05:45
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent an audio message to a new Argentinian radio station, which began broadcasting to Buenos Aires on Sunday, 2 July. “Cristo de los villeros” Radio was founded by Fr. José María (“Pepe”) Di Paola, a friend and collaborator of Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. To those who labored to establish the Radio, Pope Francis offered his gratitude and support. “Thanks for all the work you do; thanks for putting yourselves in play for good things, for communicating yourselves, and for building bridges instead of putting up walls. Thanks for not destroying yourselves with gossip but rather offering an outstretched hand. May you continue in this way”. He went on to say that “this is how one builds a society of brothers and sisters”. The Pope concluded his transmission by offering his blessing. “May the Lord bless you, and please pray for me. I will pray for you, and I will do it from the heart. Go forward with enthusiasm!” (from Vatican Radio)...
Categories: Catholic News

Remembering Joaquín Navarro-Valls

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 05:38
(Vatican Radio) The former Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Joaquín Navarro-Valls, passed away on Wednesday, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old. Navarro trained as a medical doctor with a specialization in psychiatry, as well as in journalism, moving to Rome in the early 1970’s, becoming a foreign correspondent and eventually being elected president of the foreign press association in the city. In 1984, he accepted an offer from Pope St. John Paul II to become the new head of the Press Office of the Holy See, a position he held until 2006.   A statement on the website of Opus Dei, of which Navarro was a member, informs that a vigil is scheduled for Thursday, July 6, starting at 4pm in the sacristy of the basilica of the church of St. Eugene (Viale delle Belle Arti 10, Rome), and that Msgr. Mariano Fazio, Vicar General of the Prelature of Opus Dei, will celebrate a funeral Mass for him on Friday, July 7 at 11am Rome Time. Click below to hear our conversation with Joaquín Navarro-Valls’ successor in the directorship of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ, who remembers his predecessor as a multi-faceted man of many talents, highly professional, and capable of great warmth in his personal relations, who was also a man of deep faith and devotion to the Church… (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope: 'openness is necessary for a culture of encounter'

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 14:20
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a video message to the Congress of the Scholas Occurentes which concludes on Wednesday in Jerusalem. The Congress focused on the theme “ Between the University and the School, building peace through the culture of encounter .” Christopher Wells reports on the Pope’s message:  In his message, Pope Francis encouraged the participants, young and old, who had come from Israel, the Palestinian territories, and from other countries from across the globe. “I want to celebrate these days lived out there in Jerusalem,” he said, “because you yourselves, beginning from your differences, have achieved unity.” The Holy Father praised them for seeing one another without prejudice; an attitude, he said, that is essential “because it produces an encounter.” This encounter, he said, gives our lives meaning and purpose.   And it is precisely because our lives have meaning that we feel the need to celebrate. Even more, this meaning leads us to a feeling, a sentiment, of gratitude. And it is this sentiment, the Pope said, that the Scholas has perceived to be of the essence of education, which opens us to the unknown, which frees us from prejudices that keep us from dreaming and seeking new paths. It is for this reason, he continued, “that we adults cannot take from our children and young people the capacity to dream, or to play—which is, in a certain sense, a waking dream.” Pope Francis said the Congress in Jerusalem teaches us that we have a duty to hear young people, and to give them a context of hope so that their dreams might grow and be shared. Shared dreams can produce a “utopia” to strive after; and the utopia of the Scholas is to create a culture of encounter that allows people to arrive, not at uniformity, but at harmony.   The Pope concluded his address by thanking the adults for not closing themselves up in themselves; and for putting their learning at the service of listening. And he thanked the young people for committing themselves “to dreaming, to seeking meaning, to creating, to being grateful, to celebrating, to offering their minds, their hands, and their hearts in order to transform the culture of encounter into reality.”         (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis sends telegramme on death of Cardinal Meisner

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 11:02
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a telegramme upon the death of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne, who died on Wednesday at the age of 83. “With profound emotion I learned that, suddenly and unexpectedly, Cardinal Joachim Meisner was called from this earth by the God of mercy,” the Pope wrote. The Pope addressed his telegramme to Cardinal Rainer Woelki, current Archbishop of Cologne. He said Cardinal Meisner was “dedicated to the proclamation of the Good News” with “profound faith and sincere love for the Church”. “May Christ the Lord reward him for his faithful and intrepid efforts in favour of the good of people of East and West.” Pope Francis closed the telegramme by imparting his Apostolic Blessing on all who “commemorate the late Pastor with prayers and sacrifices”. With the death of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the College of Cardinals stands at 224, 121 of whom are Cardinal electors. (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis sends letter in support of migration info portal

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 05:38
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a letter to the Italian news agency ANSA (Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata), expressing his approval and support for the new InfoMigrants news portal aimed at providing migrants with accurate information. InfoMigrants.net was launched in March by ANSA, in coordination with France’s Media Monde and Germany’s Deutsche Welle, and publishes content in English, Arabic, and French. Pope: 'Project promotes integration' In the letter to ANSA’s Editor-in-Chief, Luigi Contu, Pope Francis said he learned “with pleasure” about the “important project”. The service seeks to provide migrants and prospective migrants with information regarding all aspects of the journey to Europe and life there once they have arrived. “I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the important project, and I hope, on the one hand, that it promotes the integration of these persons with all due respect for the laws of the countries which welcome them and, on the other, that it elicit within society a renewed commitment to an authentic culture of welcome and solidarity,” the Pope wrote. Opportunity for human growth He went on to describe the phenomenon of migration as an “opportunity for human growth”. "The presence of so many brothers and sisters who experience the tragedy of immigration is an opportunity for human growth, encounter, and dialogue between cultures in view of the promotion of peace and fraternity among peoples." Pope Francis assured those involved in the project his prayers and invoked the protection of God, “Father of all, that He may accompany all who are constrained to leave their homelands because of armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, famine, and oppressive regimes.” Finally, the Pope said he hoped migrants encounter “brothers and sisters under every sky, who share with them bread and hope along our common journey.” (from Vatican Radio)...
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