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Vatican City, Oct 23, 2017 / 05:25 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Meeting with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem on Monday, Pope Francis said that the different religions in Jerusalem must live together in peace, preserving dignity and rights so that suffering and violence can end. 1 hour 12 min
Vatican City, Oct 22, 2017 / 06:18 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On Sunday Pope Francis spoke on the importance of both fulfilling our earthly duties and making God a priority, stressing that the two are never in opposition, but are complementary, with the primacy of God giving direction to our daily activities. 1 day 19 min
Vatican City, Oct 22, 2017 / 01:43 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- In a letter responding to questions raised by Cardinal Robert Sarah on the new process of translating liturgical texts from Latin into vernacular languages, Pope Francis offered several points of clarification. 1 day 4 hours

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From: Reliable world news and analysis from a Catholic perspective.
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3 hours 26 min
1,300 Mongolians have been baptized in the last 25 years, and the 1st native-born priest was ordained last year. 3 hours 26 min
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The 92-year-old cross honors those who died in World War I. 3 hours 26 min
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The Chinese prelate, who died on 9/25, “suffered greatly for the Church during his lifetime, and despite the trials, he persevered in the faith and in fidelity to the Pope” (p. 2). Click here for an AsiaNews profile of the bishop. 4 hours 26 min
Ed Daccarett is responsible for over 1,000 pro-life ads, including 300 billboards, nearly 600 bus ads, and nearly 150 ads on taxis and train platforms. 4 hours 26 min
Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the 10/21 beatification Mass in Sagrada Família Basilica. The 109 martyrs were slain during the Spanish Civil War. 4 hours 26 min
“I think the immigration policy of most countries of the EU is very shortsighted and in the long run it may bring disastrous results for European identity,” Metropolitan Hilarion said in an interview. “I also believe Europe, which denies its own Christian identity and Christian roots, will be destined to annihilation.” 4 hours 26 min
“Indubitably, every state has the sovereign right and responsibility to regulate the movement of people and should do so with a clear system of migration laws,” Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic said at a UN meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Nonetheless, “states should avoid the criminalization of irregular migrants” (p. 7). 4 hours 27 min
Pope Francis made his remarks to participants in a conference on catechesis and persons with disabilities. The Pope also decried “the eugenic tendency to suppress unborn children when they are shown to have some form of imperfection.” 5 hours 26 min
Scroll down for an English translation of the Pope’s letter. Recalling that 2019 is the 100th anniversary of Maximum Illud, Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic letter on the propagation of the faith, Pope Francis called for a renewed missionary commitment in the Church. 5 hours 26 min
Recalling the 300th anniversary of the finding of the statue of Our Lady of Aparecida, the Pope commented on the spiritual, academic, human, and pastoral dimensions of the priesthood. He also said that amid corruption scandals in civil society, “Brazil needs her priests to be a sign of hope.” 5 hours 26 min
The Pope appointed a member and a consultor of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and an office head of the Vatican Apostolic Library. 5 hours 26 min

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From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
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By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican is not to “impose” a specific liturgical translation on bishops’ conferences, but rather is called to recognize the bishops’ authority and expertise in determining the best way to faithfully translate Latin texts into their local languages, Pope Francis said in a letter to Cardinal Robert Sarah.

In the letter, released by the Vatican Oct. 22, Pope Francis said he wanted to correct several points made in a “commentary,” which Cardinal Sarah sent him and which was published on several websites in a variety of languages.

Cardinal Sarah is prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The pope’s letter noted that most of the websites “erroneously” cited Cardinal Sarah as the author of the commentary.

The commentary looked at changes Pope Francis made to the Code of Canon Law in the process for approving liturgical translations. The changes were ordered in the pope’s document, “Magnum Principium” (“The Great Principle”), which was published Sept. 9 and went into effect Oct. 1.

Pope Francis, saying he wanted to “avoid any misunderstanding,” insisted the commentary could give an erroneous impression that the level of involvement of the congregation remained unchanged.

However, while in the past “the judgment regarding the fidelity to the Latin and the eventual corrections necessary was the task of the congregation,” the pope said, “now the norm concedes to episcopal conferences the faculty of judging the worth and coherence of one or another term in translations from the original, even if in dialogue with the Holy See.”

The commentary attributed to Cardinal Sarah insisted on the ongoing validity of the norms for translation contained in “Liturgiam Authenticam,” the congregation’s 2001 instruction on translations.

But Pope Francis, in his letter, said the changes to canon law take precedence, and “one can no longer hold that translations must conform in every point to the norms of ‘Liturgiam Authenticam’ as was done in the past.”

The texts for Mass and other liturgies must receive a confirmation from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, the pope said, but this “no longer supposes a detailed, word by word examination, except in obviously cases that can be presented to the bishops for further reflection.”

Pope Francis also wrote to the cardinal that the “fidelity” called for in translations has three layers: “first, to the original text; to the particular language into which it is being translated; and, finally, to the intelligibility of the text” by the people.

The new process, the pope said, should not lead “to a spirit of ‘imposition’ on the episcopal conferences of a translation done by the congregation,” but should promote cooperation and dialogue.

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Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

16 hours 35 min

Franciscan Community Garden feeds the hungry

By Erin Schurenburg

“The beginning of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis was, as is usual in the exceptional works of God, small, inconspicuous, and secluded, and remindful of the tiny mustard seed in the Gospel,” (from “Short Account on the Origin of the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis”).

What began in Aachen, Germany, on Pentecost Sunday, 1845, when Sister Gertrude Frank approached the soon-to-be foundress of the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis, Blessed Frances Schervier, spread to the United States in 1858. And, what was referred to figuratively as the planting of a mustard seed, now includes a literal community garden on the grounds of St. Clare Convent in Cincinnati. It’s all part of Franciscan Ministries’ endeavor to continue the early commitment of St. Francis of Assisi to minister to the marginalized of society. Though this one-acre plot is not large on a farm scale, the Franciscan Community Garden serves 84 individual gardeners or families, seven community gardens and one educational garden.

Marci Peebles, the director for the Community Garden, as well as director for Franciscans for the Poor, said that even more than the large number of allocated garden plots, the Franciscan Community Garden helps refugees grow healthy food.

“We partner with an organization called Heartfelt Tidbits, a grass-roots, local organization that helps the refugee community, primarily from Bhutan, but also some refugees from Nepal, organize around and overcome the challenges they face as citizens in a new land,” she explained. “Growing one’s own food increases food security especially in terms of access to healthy food.”

Community partner, Turner Farm, who oversees the educational garden, has also provided gardening and composting education to interested gardening participants. Turner Farm also shares excess produce grown on their education plot. In fact, the Garden regularly donates more than 1,000 pounds of produce a season.

“The majority of this comes from the Community Crop Plots and Turner Farm Community Garden Program educational plots, although the individual gardeners are welcome to contribute,” Peebles said.

In turn, this donated produce is given to St. Clare Convent, area soup kitchens or food pantries, and an independent living facility for low income seniors. Just as the Native American process, nicknamed the “three sisters,” is a mutually beneficial process of growing corn, beans and squash together, so too do the participants of the Franciscan Community Garden work cooperatively and harmoniously. As part of the agreement to which the gardeners commit, they promise to “work for good; to keep the Garden a happy, secure and enjoyable place where all participants can garden and socialize peacefully in a neighborly manner…and to be good stewards of the land and resources made available to [them.]”

The Franciscan Community Garden program is organized using signed agreements that detail the rules, terms and conditions for participation. Each gardener pays a one-time $25 deposit for participation and then a modest annual fee for the use of their plot. The plot size starts at 10′ x 20′ for the new gardener, with the largest plot at the site being 40′ x 20′. The gardener is expected to volunteer at least 12 hours per year. If a gardener is assigned a plot, the person promises to cultivate and plant by June 1 and to put the plot to bed by Nov. 1, although some gardeners do choose to plant a winter garden on their plot.

Cincinnati is home to 34,000 refugees who have resettled in the United States since 2008, according to statistics from Heartfelt Tidbits. This number keeps growing each week as secondary migrants (relocating refugees) move here from other cities. While Heartfelt Tidbits has many more interested gardeners in the program at St. Clare, the space set aside for the garden program is currently at capacity.

Heartfelt Tidbits was founded by Sheryl Rajbhandari whose philosophy, “even if you can only give a tidbit of your time, it’s better than nothing,” shaped the name of the group. Volunteer efforts began in 2008 when the first Bhutanese refugee family arrived. Within the first year, 156 people arrived. These new arrivals needed help with all manner of acclimating to a new land, language and customs. By the end of 2015, Heartfelt Tidbits was helping more than 12,000 people.

“Growth is an understatement,” Rajbhandari said.

After the hardships that the refugees endured, having spent years in difficult, dangerous living conditions, Rajbhandari wants the new arrivals to feel welcomed and supported. “This support could be English, citizenship, acculturation support, art, sewing, driving lessons, gardening, hospital visits, wedding celebrations, school assistance, referrals to partner organizations for services, or just a friendly phone call,” she said.

At the same time that Heartfelt Tidbits was mushrooming, Franciscan Ministries was reorganizing its separate programs under one umbrella. What started as a garden program in 2009 organized under Centennial Barn on the grounds of St. Clare, is now its own program under the Franciscan Ministries umbrella along with The Centennial Barn, Our Lady of the Woods, Franciscans for the Poor, Tamar’s Place, and Haircuts from the Heart.

22 hours 21 min


“A glance at her too long tonight. But everything I am saying’s right in your ears.”

The kid on stage seemed no older than 15. Alone on a small stage with his guitar and a mic, each word oozing with cadence, confidence and authority, he said the right things at the right times, paused his words at just the right moments, and ended with a free-flowing prayer most of us knew by heart. I walked away wanting a shower.

“But this just isn’t how I imagined it would be. With these random people just asking the most personal things.”

If you enjoy Christian rock, odds are you owe something to Mark Solomon. Lead singer of the bands The Crucified and Stavesacre, Mark fostered America’s first underground Christian rock music scene in 1980s and 1990s. While on tour with Stavesacre, a teenager approached Mark after a show. The teen said God wanted Mark to know that his sick nephew was going to be healed. Mark’s nephew died a few weeks later.

“Here is my hand, not words said desperately.”

Those words etched themselves into my brain. They tugged at my soul as I drove a Pennsylvania highway. I was a fraud. I was the prince of orthodoxy. But I could not tell you the last time I tithed.

“(What about God?) To see if it’s right or wrong (What about God?) to listen to this song.”

The four quotes above come from “Listening to Freddie Mercury,” a song by the band Emery. The song speaks to common unrealistic and harmful expectations within the Christian music industry. You see, in this industry, the image your present, the blatant theological message of your song, and the words you must preach from stage are what’s important. Nothing else matters. Not beauty. Not goodness. Just the truth.

The stories above are all true. The kid on stage was from the opening band at a concert in 2002. I witnessed that scenario countless times in high school. At 19, I reached a point where I didn’t want to hear a freshman in high school preaching during the middle of a rock concert. The story about Mark Solomon is from his book, “Simplicity”. My lack of shock when first reading that story still makes me feel sick.

So. What does any of this have to do with good Catholic content? Sound moral doctrine is important. Heresy is bad. But when our desire for our beliefs to be affirmed becomes more important than the beautiful, the good and the true, content becomes mere propaganda. Can a blog post just be a blog post? Can a podcast episode just be a podcast episode? Must everything we do fit into some figurative tent revival?

Sound orthodoxy should be the starting point, not the goal. When was the last time Catholic content made you feel more uncomfortable than affirmed? I can’t imagine Jesus being okay with this. When we consume content to feel safe, we create an echo chamber for ourselves. Echo chambers reaffirm ourselves and have nothing to do with God.

The Catholic content train is just getting started. More and more will be thrown at all of us soon. We must look to some the mistakes our protestant brothers and sisters made. What we consume is just as important as how we consume it.

“The radio is preaching the candy-coated goo, the record companies and the TV too. No one rocks the boat, terrified of trouble, can’t tamper with the walls of their sterile Christian bubble. It was never your point to get people saved, you pad yourself with fluff just because you’re afraid. I’m not afraid to point the finger now, the choirs so used to the preaching anyhow.”
¬-Five Iron Frenzy, ‘Four-Fifty One’

1 day 23 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/Mike Blake, Reuters

By Carol Zimmermann

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Affordable Care Act — on the examination table since President Donald Trump came into office — has been poked, prodded and even pronounced dead while the fight to keep it alive keeps going.

President Trump told Cabinet members Oct. 16: “Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. … There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore,” but that is not how those who want health care reform, including Catholic leaders, see it, and it’s not the general public’s view either, according to a recent poll.

The Kaiser Family Foundation poll said seven in 10 Americans think it is more important for Trump to help the current health care law work than cause it to fail. Sixty-six percent of Americans want Trump and Congress to work on legislation to bolster the health insurance marketplaces rather than continuing their efforts to repeal and replace the ACA.

The poll, conducted by the Washington-based group that examines key health policy issues, was released Oct. 13, the day after Trump announced some changes to the current health care law. 

By executive order, he directed federal agencies to make regulatory changes to the ACA to allow consumers to buy health insurance through association health plans across state lines and lifting limits on short-term health care plans. He also announced that he was ending federal subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out-of-pocket health care costs for those with low incomes.

The Obama administration had authorized the subsidies, but in 2016, Republicans filed a lawsuit, saying they were illegal because Congress had not authorized the payments.

The president’s plan to end the subsidy payments prompted swift criticism from Democrats, U.S. health care groups and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said the bishops “will closely monitor the implementation and impacts of this executive order by the relevant administrative agencies.”

He said flexible options for people to obtain health coverage are important strategies, but he also cautioned that “great care must be taken to avoid risk of additional harm to those who now receive health care coverage through exchanges formed under the Affordable Care Act.”

A possible fix to Trump’s cuts that would continue federal subsidies to insurance companies through 2019 was offered in a bipartisan Senate proposal by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Patty Murray, D- Washington, which Trump initially appeared to support but then backed down from a day later. 

When the Obama administration authorized the subsidies, Republicans filed suit, saying they were illegal because Congress had not authorized the payments.

By Oct. 20, there was no word on when the bill — which also aims to provide states flexibility to skirt some requirements of the health care law — might come to the Senate floor for a vote. Several senators have said they are waiting to see more details in the bill’s text. Support from the House doesn’t seem likely since House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, has said he opposes it.

Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity and president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, a leadership organization of more than 2,000 Catholic hospitals and health care facilities, has been keeping a close eye on the president’s action on health care and the response by Congress.

“Working out a deal to keep the subsidies for a longer-term plan is something that is very important and critical to the future, particularly for the most vulnerable among us,” she said.

Sister Keehan, who also is a nurse, told Catholic News Service Oct. 18 that she encourages the House and Senate to take immediate action to stabilize the insurance markets and delivery and “allow time for us to have a national conversation” about improving the health care law without letting those now covered with health insurance lost it or for “premiums to go out of sight.”

So far, she has only seen parts of the Senate bill, but she said the Catholic Health Association is “willing to do what we can to craft a compromise that will work in the short term until we have a longer-term solution.”

The Alexander-Murray bill is not the only text that needs a closer read to understand the future of the country’s health care system. The new rules that will be written by federal agencies, per Trump’s executive order, will also need a close look. These changes could appear within weeks but are unlikely to take effect before the end of the year.

Dr. Steven White, a pulmonary specialist in Ormond Beach, Florida, who is chairman of the Catholic Medical Association Health Care Policy Committee, said he is awaiting to see how new rules and regulations are written but is hopeful that some changes will be a move in the right direction.

White said his association sees less federal control and more patient control as a good thing and also would like the health law to offer more options, freedom and flexibility.

He told CNS Oct. 18 that pouring more money into health care isn’t the solution, but he also echoed Bishop Dewane’s concern that changes shouldn’t be made on the backs of those with low incomes. He said if Congress backs legislation that supports subsidies, they need to balance that with the realization that such a plan “can’t last forever.”

“Something has to be done,” he said a few times during the interview.

But just what will happen still remains a mystery.

Another finding of the Oct. 13 Kaiser poll showed that despite Americans’ support for a bipartisan approach to health care, their confidence that Trump and Congress can work together to make this happen remains low.

Seven in 10 Americans said they are either not too confident or not at all confident that cooperation can happen.

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Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim.

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Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 11 hours

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Sister Kathleen Schipani found out she was usually the very first person to teach deaf children to pray, she decided there had to be an app to fix that.

Learning to pray usually happens in the family, when a parent or relative recites the words for grace before meals, asks for blessings or requests guidance or protection, the Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary told Catholic News Service in Rome.

But when a child is born deaf into a hearing family, those kids shouldn’t have to miss out on learning Catholic prayers or religious terms as they learn American Sign Language, she said Oct. 20.

Sister Schipani, who is director of the office for persons with disabilities and the deaf apostolate at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was in Rome as part of a conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization. The gathering Oct. 20-22 was dedicated to sharing best practices in engaging and catechizing persons living with disabilities.

Lots of apps exist for learning ASL, she said, but there is nothing dedicated to religious terms, daily devotions or prayers of blessing, love, thanks and praise. The app meant to fill that gap is called, “Religious Signs for Families,” and was to be available from the iTunes App Store and Google Play in early November.

“The locus of learning your faith starts in the family, so this app is really to provide families with the ability” to foster prayer in the home and bond with each other and with God as they pray in ASL, she said. It also will help teachers who want to teach elementary school students how to pray using sign language.

“Deaf people have deep experiences of prayer,” she said, particularly because it involves praying with “their whole body” with signing and visualization.

“Deaf people have never heard the language that we speak so they are not hearing the little voice in their head like we are,” she said. Instead some people say they pray visually with beautiful imagery or with seeing hands signing in their head.

While sacred music does not have the same ability to draw deaf individuals to prayer, sacred or beautiful art does, she said.

“A lot of deaf people have not been catechized because there was no one to sign to them, and that really is what the sad thing is — when there is no opportunity for deaf people to know religious language and have an experience of someone teaching them,” she said.

Sister Schipani said the beautiful thing about sign language is the signs are often “iconic,” reflecting what the thing is and, therefore, they can convey the theology behind the concept.

For example, she said, the sign for “heaven” in the Jewish faith is moving both hands in a way that suggests a semi-circular dome — the heavens — overhead.

In the Christian faith, she said, the sign conveys the canopy of heaven, but with the other hand going through and up, “because we believe that Jesus, our savior, has come and we’re saved so we can have the possibility of entering heaven.”

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Editor’s Note: The app has captions and voiceover in English and Spanish. More information can be found at http://deafcatholicphilly.org/religious-sign-app/.

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Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 16 hours

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians are holy not because of their good works but because they recognize their sins before God and receive his forgiveness, Pope Francis said.

In his homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae Oct. 20, the pope said that good deeds are “the answer to the freely given love of God, who justifies us and forgives us always.”

“It is the Lord; he is the one who has forgiven our original sin and who forgives us every time we go to him,” the pope said. “We cannot forgive our own sins with our works, only he can forgive. We can respond to this forgiveness with our works.”

The day’s Gospel reading from St. Luke, in which Christ warns his disciples about the dangers of hypocrisy, speaks of people trying to appear holy to others, while remaining “all dirty” within, the pope said.

“These people put makeup on their soul, they live off makeup, holiness is makeup for them,” he said. “Jesus always asks us to be truthful, but truthful in our hearts.”

Jesus, the pope continued, offers a different path than the hypocrites, who are nothing more than “soap bubbles” — here today and gone tomorrow.

Pope Francis said Christ’s warning on the danger of hypocrisy is a call for all men and women to “be consistent in our life, consistent in what we do and what we live,” which brings with it the joy of God’s forgiveness.

“Truth always in front of God. Always! And this truth in front of God is what makes room so that the Lord forgives us,” the pope said.

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 17 hours
Visitors from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Soledad with locals in the Diocese of Puerto Escondido, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. (Courtesy Photo)Visitors from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Soledad with locals in the Diocese of Puerto Escondido, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. (Courtesy Photo)

For more than 55 years, Precious Blood Sister Carmelita Monnin joyfully served in Santiago, Chili. Her ministry inspired her niece and goddaughter Jane Pierron, pastoral associate for RCIA and adult programs at Immaculate Conception, Holy Family, and St. Denis parishes.

“I just felt like I needed to live out her missionary vision in a meaningful way,” Pierron said.

The opportunity arose in 2009, when Pierron and other representatives from the archdiocese visited the Diocese of Puerto Escondido with Mike Gable, director of the archdiocesan Office of Mission and the Pontifical Mission Societies, to explore the possibility of a twinning relationship. Located in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, along the Pacific coastline, the diocese was formed in 2004. Many people in Oaxaca live in poverty, cannot read or write, and have little or no access to healthcare. Travel into the remote mountain areas is difficult, and most priests serve multiple municipalities and 20 to 40 villages.

“We fell in love with the people and the community there,” Pierron said. “They see no strangers and welcomed us. The way they celebrate their faith is amazing.”

Over the years, the relationship has become one of mutual prayer, spiritual growth ,and support. Most twinning partnerships are parish to parish, so “it’s unique to have several parishes twinning with a diocese,” Pierron said, noting that St. Patrick in Troy also twins with Puerto Escondido.

Visits to the area have included joining the people in worship, enjoying meals with them, and learning more about their culture. The parishes here have raised funds to purchase a bus for the Mexican diocese’s minor seminary and for an LCD projector and laptop computer for parish religious education. In addition, the youth group at St. Patrick is beginning to work with the youth at our Lady of Soledad to assist in their music ministry.

While assisting the Puerto Escondido diocese with its needs is important, at the heart of their relationship, said Pierron, is the shared spiritual support and the “love and respect we have for one another.”

Twinning relationships are significant “because we are a global community and these partnerships bring us closer together,” she said. “We’re impacted by what happens to each other. We’re called to be brothers and sisters, no matter our skin color, no matter what our language is. We need to understand that the church is broader than our local community. “

Lizeth Rojas Ruiz, a member of the Puerto Escondido diocese’s core group, spoke of how the faith community there has benefitted from the twinning relationship. “We are growing together in faith with different activities like courses online about spirituality and learning more about the Bible,” she said. “We have had some cultural exchanges, which have been very enriching for everyone because we have lived with people from other countries. Even with the Mexican migrant community in the United States, it’s very motivating for us to see how you all help us in spite of race, culture, color and many other things. We share a mutual feeling in our faith, practicing the same Catholic religion that motivates us with the same desire to achieve salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

A trip to Puerto Escondido is planned for January, Pierron said. If there is enough interest, the parishes will sponsor a second trip especially for high school students will be sponsored in June.

2 days 19 hours

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From:
Posted
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, on occasion of the 2017 iteration of World Mission Sunday. In the letter, the Holy Father reflects on the upcoming centenary of the great missionary charter of the 20th century, the Apostolic Letter Maximum illud  of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XV, promulgated on November 30th, 1919. Below, please find the full text of the letter in its official English translation ******************************************************** To my Venerable Brother Cardinal Fernando Filoni Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples On 30 November 2019, we will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud , with which Pope Benedict XV sought to give new impetus to the missionary task of proclaiming the Gospel.  In 1919, in the wake of a tragic global conflict that he himself called a “useless slaughter,” [1] the Pope recognized the need for a more evangelical approach to missionary work in the world, so that it would be purified of any colonial overtones and kept far away from the nationalistic and expansionistic aims that had proved so disastrous.  “The Church of God is universal; she is not alien to any people,” [2] he wrote, firmly calling for the rejection of any form of particular interest, inasmuch as the proclamation and the love of the Lord Jesus, spread by holiness of one’s life and good works, are the sole purpose of missionary activity.  Benedict XV thus laid special emphasis on the missio ad gentes , employing the concepts and language of the time, in an effort to revive, particularly among the clergy, a sense of duty towards the missions. That duty is a response to Jesus’ perennial command to “go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” ( Mk 16:15).  Obeying this mandate of the Lord is not an option for the Church: in the words of the Second Vatican Council, it is her “essential task,” [3] for the Church is “missionary by nature.” [4]  “Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity; she exists in order to evangelize.” [5]  The Council went on to say that, if the Church is to remain faithful to herself and to preach Jesus crucified and risen for all, the living and merciful Saviour, then “prompted by the Holy Spirit, she must walk the same path Christ walked: a path of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice.” [6]  In this way, she will effectively proclaim the Lord, “model of that redeemed humanity, imbued with brotherly love, sincerity and a peaceful spirit, to which all aspire.” [7]  What Pope Benedict XV so greatly desired almost a century ago, and the Council reiterated some fifty years ago, remains timely.  Even now, as in the past, “the Church, sent by Christ to reveal and to communicate the love of God to all men and nations, is aware that there still remains an enormous missionary task for her to accomplish.” [8]  In this regard, Saint John Paul II noted that “the mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion,” and indeed, “an overall view of the human race shows that this mission is still only beginning and that we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service.” [9]   As a result, in words that I would now draw once more to everyone’s attention, Saint John Paul exhorted the Church to undertake a “renewed missionary commitment” , in the conviction that missionary activity “renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive.   Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!  It is in commitment to the Church’s universal mission that the new evangelization of Christian peoples will find inspiration and support.” [10] In my Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium , drawing from the proceedings of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which met to reflect on the new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith , I once more set this urgent summons before the whole Church.  There I wrote, “John Paul II asked us to recognize that ‘there must be no lessening of the impetus to preach the Gospel’ to those who are far from Christ, ‘because this is the first task of the Church.’  Indeed, ‘today missionary activity still represents the greatest challenge for the Church’ and ‘the missionary task must remain foremost.’ What would happen if we were to take these words seriously?  We would realize that missionary outreach is paradigmatic for all the Church’s activity .” [11]   I am convinced that this challenge remains as urgent as ever. “[It] has a programmatic significance and important consequences.  I hope that all communities will devote the necessary effort to advancing along the path of a pastoral and missionary conversion that cannot leave things as they presently are.  ‘Mere administration’ can no longer be enough.  Throughout the world, let us be ‘permanently in a state of mission.’” [12]  Let us not fear to undertake, with trust in God and great courage, “a missionary option capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.  The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral workers a constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself.  As John Paul II told the Bishops of Oceania, ‘All renewal in the Church must have mission as its goal if it is not to fall prey to a kind of ecclesial introversion.’” [13] The Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud called for transcending national boundaries and bearing witness, with prophetic spirit and evangelical boldness, to God’s saving will through the Church’s universal mission.  May the approaching centenary of that Letter serve as an incentive to combat the recurring temptation lurking beneath every form of ecclesial introversion, self-referential retreat into comfort zones, pastoral pessimism and sterile nostalgia for the past.  Instead, may we be open to the joyful newness of the Gospel.  In these, our troubled times, rent by the tragedies of war and menaced by the baneful tendency to accentuate differences and to incite conflict, may the Good News that in Jesus forgiveness triumphs over sin, life defeats death and love conquers fear, be proclaimed to the world with renewed fervour, and instil trust and hope in everyone. In the light of this, accepting the proposal of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, I hereby call for an Extraordinary Missionary Month to be celebrated in October 2019, with the aim of fostering an increased awareness of the missio ad gentes and taking up again with renewed fervour the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity.  The Missionary Month of October 2018 can serve as a good preparation for this celebration by enabling all the faithful to take to heart the proclamation of the Gospel and to help their communities grow in missionary and evangelizing zeal.  May the love for the Church’s mission, which is “a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people,” [14] grow ever stronger! I entrust you, venerable Brother, the Congregation which you head, and the Pontifical Missionary Societies with the work of preparing for this event, especially by raising awareness among the particular Churches, the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and among associations, movements, communities and other ecclesial bodies.  May the Extraordinary Missionary Month prove an intense and fruitful occasion of grace, and promote initiatives and above all prayer, the soul of all missionary activity.  May it likewise advance the preaching of the Gospel, biblical and theological reflection on the Church’s mission, works of Christian charity, and practical works of cooperation and solidarity between Churches, so that missionary zeal may revive and never be wanting among us. [15] From the Vatican, 22 October 2017 XXIX Sunday of Ordinary Time Memorial of Saint John Paul II World Mission Sunday [1] Letter to the Leaders of the Warring Peoples , 1 August 1917: AAS IX (1917), 421-423. [2] Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud , 30 November 1919: AAS 11 (1919), 445. [3] Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes , 7 December 1965, 7: AAS 58 (1966), 955. [4] Ibid. , 2: AAS 58 (1966), 948. [5] Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi , 8 December 1975, 14: AAS 68 (1976), 13. [6] Decree Ad Gentes , 5: AAS 58 (1966), 952. [7] Ibid. , 8: AAS 58 (1966), 956-957. [8] Ibid. , 10: AAS 58 (1966), 959. [9] Encyclical Letter  Redemptoris Missio, 7 December 1990, 1:  AAS  83 (1991), 249. [10] Ibid. , 2: AAS  83 (1991), 250-251. [11] Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium 15: AAS 105 (2013), 1026. [12] Ibid. , 25: AAS 105 (2013), 1030. [13] Ibid ., 27: AAS 105 (2013), 1031. [14] Ibid ., 268: AAS 105 (2013), 1128. [15] Ibid. , 80: AAS 105 (2013), 1053. (from Vatican Radio)... 19 hours 11 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday. Addressing them ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, Pope Francis shared a reflection on the Reading from the Sunday Gospel , which this week came from St. Matthew and contains the maxim, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar ’s, and render unto God what is God ’s.” Pope Francis explained that the episode teaches us both the legitimacy of earthly authority and the primacy of God in human affairs and over all the universe. “The Christian is called to be concretely committed in human and social realities,” said Pope Francis , “without putting God and ‘Caesar’ in contraposition.” He said that counterposing God and Caesar would be, “a fundamentalist attitude.” “The Christian ,” Pope Francis continued, “is called upon to engage concretely in earthly realities, but enlightening them with the light that comes from God . Entrusting oneself to God in the first, and placing one’s hope in Him, do not require us to escape from reality, but rather to work diligently to render unto Him, all that it His. That is why the believer looks to future reality, to that of God : that he might live his earthly life in fullness, and respond with courage to its challenges.” (from Vatican Radio)... 19 hours 44 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has proclaimed October, 2019 an “Extraordinary Missionary Month” to be marked and celebrated in the whole Church throughout the world, and entrusted the mission of the Church in the world especially to Pope St. John Paul II . The Holy Father recalled his intention to celebrate the Extraordinary Missionary Month on Sunday – World Mission Sunday – during the course of remarks to pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square beneath the window of the Papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, to pray the traditional Angelus with him at noon. “Today,” said Pope Francis , “ World Mission Day is celebrated, on the theme: Mission at the heart of the Christian faith . I urge everyone to live the joy of mission by witnessing the Gospel in the environs where each one lives and works.” The Holy Father went on to say, “At the same time, we are called upon to support with affection, concrete help, and prayer, the missionaries who have gone out to proclaim Christ to those who still do not know Him.” “I also recall,” he continued, “that I intend to promote an Extraordinary Missionary Month in October 2019 , in order to nourish the ardor of the evangelizing activity of the Church ad gentes . On the day of the liturgical memory of Saint John Paul II , missionary Pope, we entrust to his intercession the mission of the Church in the world.” (from Vatican Radio)... 20 hours 57 min

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From: The World Seen From Rome
Posted

Pope Francis on October 22, 2017, offered a special prayer intention for Kenya, in comments following the Sunday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square:

“I ask you to unite yourselves to my prayer for peace in the world. In these days I follow with special attention Kenya, which I visited in 2015, and for which I pray so that the whole country is able to address the present difficulties in an atmosphere of constructive dialogue, having at heart the quest for the common good.”

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

 

JF

19 hours 47 min

Pope Francis on October 22, 2017 – World Mission Sunday – noted the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, with which Pope Benedict XV sought to give new impetus to the missionary task of proclaiming the Gospel.

The Holy Father sent a letter to Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, noting “What Pope Benedict XV so greatly desired almost a century ago, and the Council reiterated some fifty years ago, remains timely.”

In that light, the Pope called for an “Extraordinary Missionary Month to be celebrated in October 2019, with the aim of fostering an increased awareness of the missio ad gentes and taking up again with renewed fervor the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity.”

 

Here is the Holy Father’s Letter:

To my Venerable Brother
Cardinal Fernando Filoni
Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

On 30 November 2019, we will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, with which Pope Benedict XV sought to give new impetus to the missionary task of proclaiming the Gospel.  In 1919, in the wake of a tragic global conflict that he himself called a “useless slaughter,”[1] the Pope recognized the need for a more evangelical approach to missionary work in the world, so that it would be purified of any colonial overtones and kept far away from the nationalistic and expansionistic aims that had proved so disastrous.  “The Church of God is universal; she is not alien to any people,”[2] he wrote, firmly calling for the rejection of any form of particular interest, inasmuch as the proclamation and the love of the Lord Jesus, spread by holiness of one’s life and good works, are the sole purpose of missionary activity.  Benedict XV thus laid special emphasis on the missio ad gentes, employing the concepts and language of the time, in an effort to revive, particularly among the clergy, a sense of duty towards the missions.

That duty is a response to Jesus’ perennial command to “go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” (Mk16:15).  Obeying this mandate of the Lord is not an option for the Church: in the words of the Second Vatican Council, it is her “essential task,[3] for the Church is “missionary by nature.”[4]  “Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity; she exists in order to evangelize.”[5]  The Council went on to say that, if the Church is to remain faithful to herself and to preach Jesus crucified and risen for all, the living and merciful Savior, then “prompted by the Holy Spirit, she must walk the same path Christ walked: a path of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice.”[6]  In this way, she will effectively proclaim the Lord, “model of that redeemed humanity, imbued with brotherly love, sincerity and a peaceful spirit, to which all aspire.”[7]

Even now, as in the past, “the Church, sent by Christ to reveal and to communicate the love of God to all men and nations, is aware that there still remains an enormous missionary task for her to accomplish.”[8]  In this regard, Saint John Paul II noted that “the mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion,” and indeed, “an overall view of the human race shows that this mission is still only beginning and that we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service.”[9]  As a result, in words that I would now draw once more to everyone’s attention, Saint John Paul exhorted the Church to undertake a “renewed missionary commitment”, in the conviction that missionary activity “renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive.  Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!  It is in commitment to the Church’s universal mission that the new evangelization of Christian peoples will find inspiration and support.”[10]

In my Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, drawing from the proceedings of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which met to reflect on the new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith, I once more set this urgent summons before the whole Church.  There I wrote, “John Paul II asked us to recognize that ‘there must be no lessening of the impetus to preach the Gospel’ to those who are far from Christ, ‘because this is the first task of the Church.’  Indeed, ‘today missionary activity still represents the greatest challenge for the Church’ and ‘the missionary task must remain foremost.’ What would happen if we were to take these words seriously?  We would realize that missionary outreach is paradigmatic for all the Church’s activity.”[11]

I am convinced that this challenge remains as urgent as ever. “[It] has a programmatic significance and important consequences.  I hope that all communities will devote the necessary effort to advancing along the path of a pastoral and missionary conversion that cannot leave things as they presently are.  ‘Mere administration’ can no longer be enough.  Throughout the world, let us be ‘permanently in a state of mission.’”[12]  Let us not fear to undertake, with trust in God and great courage, “a missionary option capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.  The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral workers a constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself.  As John Paul II told the Bishops of Oceania, ‘all renewal in the Church must have mission as its goal if it is not to fall prey to a kind of ecclesial introversion.’”[13]

The Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud called for transcending national boundaries and bearing witness, with prophetic spirit and evangelical boldness, to God’s saving will through the Church’s universal mission.  May the approaching centenary of that Letter serve as an incentive to combat the recurring temptation lurking beneath every form of ecclesial introversion, self-referential retreat into comfort zones, pastoral pessimism and sterile nostalgia for the past.  Instead, may we be open to the joyful newness of the Gospel.  In these, our troubled times, rent by the tragedies of war and menaced by the baneful tendency to accentuate differences and to incite conflict, may the Good News that in Jesus forgiveness triumphs over sin, life defeats death and love conquers fear, be proclaimed to the world with renewed fervor, and instill trust and hope in everyone.

In the light of this, accepting the proposal of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, I hereby call for an Extraordinary Missionary Month to be celebrated in October 2019, with the aim of fostering an increased awareness of the missio ad gentes and taking up again with renewed fervor the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity.  The Missionary Month of October 2018 can serve as a good preparation for this celebration by enabling all the faithful to take to heart the proclamation of the Gospel and to help their communities grow in missionary and evangelizing zeal.  May the love for the Church’s mission, which is “a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people,[14] grow ever stronger!

I entrust you, venerable Brother, the Congregation which you head, and the Pontifical Missionary Societies with the work of preparing for this event, especially by raising awareness among the particular Churches, the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and among associations, movements, communities and other ecclesial bodies.  May the Extraordinary Missionary Month prove an intense and fruitful occasion of grace, and promote initiatives and above all prayer, the soul of all missionary activity.  May it likewise advance the preaching of the Gospel, biblical and theological reflection on the Church’s mission, works of Christian charity, and practical works of cooperation and solidarity between Churches, so that missionary zeal may revive and never be wanting among us.[15]

From the Vatican, 22 October 2017

XXIX Sunday of Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint John Paul II
World Mission Sunday

Francis

[1] Letter to the Leaders of the Warring Peoples, 1 August 1917: AAS IX (1917), 421-423.

[2] Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, 30 November 1919: AAS 11 (1919), 445.

[3] Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes, 7 December 1965, 7: AAS 58 (1966), 955.

[4] Ibid., 2: AAS 58 (1966), 948.

[5] Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 8 December 1975, 14: AAS 68 (1976), 13.

[6] Decree Ad Gentes, 5: AAS 58 (1966), 952.

[7] Ibid., 8: AAS 58 (1966), 956-957.

[8] Ibid., 10: AAS 58 (1966), 959.

[9] Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio7 December 1990, 1: AAS 83 (1991), 249.

[10] Ibid., 2: AAS 83 (1991), 250-251.

[11] Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium 15: AAS 105 (2013), 1026.

[12] Ibid., 25: AAS 105 (2013), 1030.

[13] Ibid., 27: AAS 105 (2013), 1031.

[14] Ibid., 268: AAS 105 (2013), 1128.

[15] Ibid., 80: AAS 105 (2013), 1053.

© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

 

 

20 hours 5 min

VATICAN CITY, OCTOBER 22, 2017 (Zenit.org).- Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

* * *

Before the Angelus: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

This Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 22:15-21) presents to us a new face to face between Jesus and His opponents. The subject addressed is that of tribute to Caesar – a “thorny” question, about the lawfulness or not of paying taxes to the Emperor of Rome, to whom Palestine was subject in Jesus’ time. The positions were different; hence the question addressed to Him by the Pharisees: “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” (v. 17) a trap set for the Teacher. In fact, according to how He responded He would have been accused of being for or against Rome.

However, in this case Jesus also answers calmly and takes advantage of the malicious question to give an important teaching, rising above the controversy and the opposing sides. He says to the Pharisees” “Show Me the money for the tax?” And they brought Him a coin and, looking at the coin. Jesus asked them:”Whose likeness and inscription is this?” The Pharisees could only answer: “Caesar’s.” Then Jesus concludes: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Cf. vv. 19-21). On one hand, intimating to restore to the Emperor what belonged to him, Jesus said that to pay the tax was not an act of idolatry, but an act owed to the earthly authority; on the other – and it’s here that Jesus gives the “coup” – recalling God’s primacy, He asks that He be given what is due to Him as Lord of man’s life and of history.

The reference to Caesar’s image, engraved in the coin, says that it’s right to feel oneself fully — with rights and duties – citizens of the State, but, symbolically, He makes one think of the other image that is imprinted in every man: the image of God. He is the Lord of all and we, who have been created “in His image,” belong first of all to Him. From the questions posed to him by the Pharisees, Jesus draws a more radical and vital question for each one of us, a question that we can ask ourselves: to whom do I belong? To the family, to the city, to friends, to the school, to work, to politics, to the State” Yes, certainly, but first of all, Jesus reminds us, <we> belong to God. This is <our> fundamental belonging. It is He who has given <us> all that <we> are and that <we> have. And, therefore, day after day we can and must live our life in the acknowledgement of this, our fundamental belonging, and in our heart the acknowledgement of our Father, who created each one of us individually, unrepeatable, but always in keeping with the image of His beloved Son Jesus. It’s a stupendous mystery.

A Christian is called to commit himself concretely to human and social realities without opposing “God” and “Caesar”; to oppose God and Caesar would be a fundamentalist attitude. A Christian is called to commit himself concretely to earthly realities, but illuminating them with the Light that comes from God. The priority entrustment to God and hope in Him do not imply a fleeing from reality but rather rendering diligently to God what belongs to Him. It’s because of this that the believer looks at the future reality, that of God, in order to live his earthly life in fullness and to respond courageously to its challenges.

May the Virgin Mary help us to live always in conformity with the image of God that we bear within us, also making our contribution to the building of the earthly city.

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

  

After the Angelus

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Beatified yesterday in Barcelona were Blesseds Matteo Casals, Teofilo Casajus, Fernando Saperas and 106 martyr companions belonging to the Religious Congregation of the Claretians, and killed out of hatred for the faith during the Spanish Civil War. May their heroic example and their intercession support Christians who also in our days – and so many – suffer discrimination and persecutions in different parts of the world.

Observed today is World Mission Sunday on the theme “Mission at the Heart of the Church.” I exhort all to live the joy of the mission, witnessing the Gospel in the environments in which each one lives and operates. We are called, at the same time, to support with affection, concrete help and prayer the missionaries who have gone out to proclaim Christ to all those who still don’t know Him. I remind also that it’s my intention to promote an Extraordinary Missionary Month in October 2019, in order to fuel the ardour of the evangelizing activity of the Church ad gentes. On the day of the liturgical memorial of Saint John Paul II, missionary Pope, we entrust to his intercession the mission of the Church in the world.

I ask you to unite yourselves to my prayer for peace in the world. In these days I follow with special attention Kenya, which I visited in 2015, and for which I pray so that the whole country is able to address the present difficulties in an atmosphere of constructive dialogue, having at heart the quest for the common good.

And now I greet all of you, pilgrims from Italy and from various countries. In particular, the faithful of Luxembourg and those of Ibiza, the Family Movement of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Brazil, <and> the Sisters of the Most Holy Mother Addolorata. I greet and bless affectionately the Peruvian community of Rome, gathered here with the sacred image of the Senor de los Milagros [Lord of Miracles].

I greet the groups of faithful of many Italian parishes, and I encourage them to continue with joy their journey of faith.

And I wish all a good Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

 

JF

20 hours 39 min

“Throughout his pastoral visit, Pope Francis delivered passionate speeches, allocutions and homilies addressed to the whole Colombian people, with which he enunciated essential elements needed for the country to take the first and further steps together in the transformation from violence to fraternity, fear to trust, ultimately death to life,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

His remarks came October 20, 2017, at the United Nations in New York, at an event sponsored by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, together with the Permanent Mission of Colombia, Caritas Internationalis, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies of the University of Notre Dame, the Catholic Peacebuilding Network and Grace Initiative, sponsored an event entitled “Reconciliation and Peace in Colombia: The Impact of the Visit of Pope Francis.”

Archbishop Auza listed five elements for peace in Colombia:

  1. Courage
  2. Forgiveness
  3. Reconciliation
  4. Truth and Justice
  5. A culture of encounter

The Archbishop’s Statement

Archbishop Bernardito C. Auza
“Reconciliation and Peace in Colombia:
The Impact of the Visit of Pope Francis”
UN Headquarters, New York, October 20, 2017

Your Excellency Mme Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations,
Mme Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children in Armed Conflict,
Excellencies, Distinguished Panelists and Dear Friends,

I warmly welcome you this afternoon to this event on the ongoing efforts for reconciliation and peace in Colombia, which the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See is very pleased to be hosting together with the Permanent Mission of Colombia, Caritas Internationalis, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies of the University of Notre Dame, The Catholic Peacebuilding Network, and Grace Initiative.

Last month, from September 6-11, Pope Francis traveled to Colombia to do what we could, through his words, his example, his prayer, and simply his presence, to encourage everyone to do his or her part to bring good out of the evil the country has endured over the last half-century. He chose for the motto of the pastoral visit, “Demos el primer paso,” “Let’s take the first step,” which he said in a video message prior to his trip, he selected because he wanted to help each Colombian take the initiative to “be the first to love, to build bridges, to create fraternity, … to go out to meet the other, to reach out our hand and to exchange a sign of peace.” He wanted to exhort each person to take responsibility for making the first move.

When he met Colombian leaders in front of the Presidential Palace in Bogotà, he acknowledged that over the previous year many first steps and much progress had been made in ending the armed violence and forging paths of reconciliation. He had come, he said, to encourage Colombians to persevere in that journey. The Church, he said, felt a particular duty and desire to accompany the country on that path, by promoting and facilitating reconciliation, and helping to form and strengthen “counselors of peace and dialogue.” “I have wanted to come here,” he summarized, “to tell you that you are not alone, that there are many of us who accompany you in taking this step.”

Throughout his pastoral visit, Pope Francis delivered passionate speeches, allocutions and homilies addressed to the whole Colombian people, with which he enunciated essential elements needed for the country to take the first and further steps together in the transformation from violence to fraternity, fear to trust, ultimately death to life.

I would like briefly to mention five of these essential conditions.

The first is courage. “It is easier to begin a war than to end one,” he said, quoting Gabriel García Marquez, the 1982 Colombian winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. The pursuit of peace requires a “distinct kind of moral courage” that forces us to rise above ourselves, our fears, our painful memories, our past failed attempts, and our pessimism about whether new attempts will succeed. On multiple occasions he focused on those heroes from Colombia’s past and present whom he called “artisans of peace,” many of whom gave their lives, to bring about reconciliation. In doing so, he was encouraging Colombians today, like them, to take the risk to move forward. He said in Villavicencio, “What is needed is for some courageously to take the first step … without waiting for others to do so.  We need only one good person to have hope!  And each of us can be that person!”

The second is forgiveness. Pope Francis acknowledged how hard it is to resist the “temptation to vengeance,” especially after decades of distrust and bloodshed. It’s easier, he said, to want to “expel” others rather than “integrate” them. Wounds of the heart, he added, “are deeper and more difficult to heal than those of the body.” Taking a determined first step toward peace, however, involves, he underlined, “renounc[ing] our claim to be forgiven without showing forgiveness, to be loved without showing love.” He affirmed the words of a survivor of violence who said that it is not possible to live with resentment and declared that only if we help to “untie the knots of violence” and resentment in our hearts “will we unravel the complex threads of disagreements.” Through forgiveness we begin to heal each other’s wounds, he said, because all Colombians, in one way or another, from one side or another, are victims and have suffered the loss of humanity flowing from so much
violence and death. Those who were wrong should be rescued, not destroyed, healed, not eliminated. And in one of the most direct appeals of his journey, he implored, “Dear people of Colombia: do not be afraid of asking for forgiveness and offering it.  … Now is the time to heal wounds, to build bridges, to overcome differences.”

The third is reconciliation. When forgiveness is mutually offered, there is the chance for reconciliation. Pope Francis said that we cannot treat reconciliation as an abstract term. Reconciliation involves, he said, “opening a door to every person who has experienced the tragic reality of conflict,” when people together “overcome the temptation to egoism and … renounce the attempts of pseudo-justice.” Without a sincere commitment to reconciliation, he said, “every effort at peace … is always destined to fail.”

The fourth is the need for truth and justice. The focus on forgiveness and reconciliation cannot eliminate the need for truth and justice. “Truth,” Pope Francis said in Villavicencio, “is an inseparable companion of justice and mercy.  All three together are essential to building peace; each prevents the other from being altered and transformed into instruments of revenge against the weakest.” He said that truth “means telling families torn apart by pain what happened to their missing relatives.  Truth means confessing what happened to minors recruited by violent people.  Truth means recognizing the pain of women who are victims of violence and abuse.”

Justice, he said, is similarly essential to make peace possible. It cannot be a “law of the most powerful,” but must flow from just laws, approved by all, that can help overcome the conflicts that have torn Colombia apart. Such just laws must, he said, confront the “darkness of injustice and social inequality; the corrupting darkness of personal and group interests that consume in a selfish and uncontrolled way what is destined for the good of all; the darkness of disrespect for human life that daily destroys the life of many innocents; the darkness of thirst for vengeance and the hatred which stains the hands of those who would right wrongs on their own authority; the darkness of those who become numb to the pain of so many victims.”

Part of the darkness that needs to be boldly confronted, he specified, is the scourge of drug abuse and the domination of unscrupulous drug lords, who, he says, “reap profits in contempt of moral and civil laws.” In firmly condemning the drug trade that “only sows death everywhere, uproots so many hopes and destroys so many families,” he stressed that “lives of our brothers and sisters cannot be played with, nor their dignity instrumentalized.” He called on the bishops of Colombia in particular to be “fearless in clearly and calmly reminding everyone that a society under the spell of drugs suffers a moral metastasis that peddles hellfire, sows rampant corruption and creates fiscal paradises.” There will be no peace, he suggested, in that earthly hellfire.

Fifth is the need for a culture of encounter. In contrast to that culture of violence and social disintegration that flows from drugs and violence, Pope Francis stressed that there needs to be a culture of encounter. While obviously supporting the Peace Accords, Pope Francis said at the same time, “Peace is not achieved by normative frameworks and institutional arrangements between well-intentioned political or economic groups.” What’s needed, rather, is a “personal encounter between the parties,” one that includes those who “have often been overlooked.” Nothing, he said, “can replace that healing encounter; no collective process excuses us from the [personal] challenge of meeting, clarifying, forgiving.” While leaders have their own work to do from the top down, he was stressing that there is also a need to generate change “from below” through culture, replacing, he said, “the culture of death and violence with the culture of life and encounter.” He prophetically challenged
every Colombian, and in a particular way every Colombian Christian, to ask how much he or she has worked for peace by working for this encounter.

To take the first step, with determination, involves these five elements: courage, forgiveness, reconciliation, truth and justice, and encounter.

Pope Francis asked the Colombians to take this first step together, and in the common direction that leads to peace that he tried to sketch. He added, however, in what he called his “last word” immediately before departing Cartagena to return to Rome, “Let us not be content with [just] ‘taking the first step.’  Instead, let us continue our journey anew each day, going forth to encounter others and to encourage concord and fraternity. We cannot just stand still.” Rather than waiting for others to make the first move, he called everyone to “go out to meet” others, bringing them an embrace of peace free of all violence. That’s the embrace he himself sought to extend to the whole nation. That’s the embrace he’s trying to encourage the whole world to extend toward Colombia and toward each other, so that together we will help bring about a more inclusive and peaceful world.

Thank you once again for coming today and I forward to your active participation in the discussion after the presentations.
Copyright © 2017 Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, All rights reserved.

 

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1 day 9 hours

Pope Francis on October 21, 2017, stressed the importance of maintain proper balance among the four pillars of a priest’s life: the spiritual dimension, the academic dimension, the human dimension and the pastoral dimension.”

His remarks came in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace, when he received the Community of the Pontifical Pio Brazilian College, Rome, for the 300th anniversary of the rediscovery of the venerated Image of Our Lady of Aparecida.

“Neglect of these dimensions opens the door to several ‘diseases’ that can assail the student priest, such as ‘academicism’ and the temptation to turn studies simply into a means of personal affirmation,” the Holy Father said.  He continued: “Do not forget, please, that before being teachers and doctors, you are and must remain priests, pastors of the people of God!”

Address of the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters,

I welcome you today, three hundred years after the rediscovery of the venerated Image of Our Lady of Aparecida. I thank Cardinal Sérgio da Rocha for the words he addressed to me on behalf of all the priestly community of the Pontifical Pio Brazilian College, as well as the women religious and employees who collaborate in making this house “a little piece of Brazil in Rome”.

How important it is to feel that you are in a welcoming environment, every whenever we find ourselves far from our homeland and gripped by nostalgia (saudades)! An environment of this type helps also in overcoming the difficulties of adapting to a situation in which pastoral activity is not the center of the day. You are no longer parish priests or parish vicars, but student priests. And this new condition carries the danger of generating an imbalance among the four pillars that support the life of a priest: the spiritual dimension, the academic dimension, the human dimension and the pastoral dimension.

Naturally, in this particular period of your life, the academic dimension prevails. However this does not imply neglect of the other dimensions. It is necessary to care for your spiritual life: Mass every day, daily prayer, the lectio divina, the personal encounter with the Lord, the recital of the Rosary. The pastoral dimension too must be cared for: where possible, it is healthy and advisable to carry out some form of apostolic activity. And with regard to the human dimension, it is necessary above all to avoid, when faced with a certain emptiness generated by solitude – because now you enjoy the consolation of the People of God less than when you were in your diocese – losing the ecclesial and missionary perspective of your studies.

Neglect of these dimensions opens the door to several “diseases” that can assail the student priest, such as “academicism” and the temptation to turn studies simply into a means of personal affirmation. In both cases on ends up suffocating the faith which must instead be safeguarded, as Saint Paul asked Timothy: “Guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’, for by professing it some have swerved from the faith” (1 Tm 6: 20-21). Do not forget, please, that before being teachers and doctors, you are and must remain priests, pastors of the people of God!

But how is it possible then to maintain balance between these four fundamental pillars of priestly life? I would say that the most effective remedy against the risk of imbalance is priestly fraternity. This was not written, but it comes to me to say it now, because Paul [in the passage cited above] spoke about gossip: what most destroys priestly fraternity is gossip. Gossip is a “terrorist act”, because with gossip you throw a bomb, you destroy the other, and walk away calmly! Therefore, it is necessary to safeguard priestly fraternity. Please, no gossip. It would be good to put a sign at the doorway: “No gossip”. Here [in the Apostolic Palace], there is the image of Our Lady of Silence, at the first floor lift; Our Lady who says, “No gossip”. This is the message for the Curia. Do something similar for yourselves.

Indeed, the new Ratio Fundamentalis for priestly formation, in facing the theme of permanent formation, affirms that “Priestly fraternity is the first setting in which ongoing formation takes place” (no. 82). This is therefore in a certain way the cornerstone of ongoing formation. And this is based on the fact that, through priestly ordination, we participate in the sole priesthood of Christ and form a true family. The grace of the sacrament assumes and elevates our human, psychological and emotional relations, and “grows ever greater and finds expression in the most varied forms of mutual assistance, spiritual and material as well” (Saint John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis, 74).

In practice, this means knowing that the first objective of our pastoral charity must be our brother in the priesthood, the first neighbor we have – “Bear one another’s burdens”, the Apostle urges us, “and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal 6: 2). Pray together, share the joys and challenges of academic life; celebrate, drink a cachacinha… all this is good, it is good to help those who suffer most from the nostalgia; go out together for a walk; live like a family, like brothers, without excluding anyone, including those who are in crisis or perhaps have had lamentable attitudes, because “priestly fraternity excludes no-one” (Pastores dabo vobis, 74).

Dear priests, the people of God love to see and need to see that their priests care for each other and live as a family; and this is even more true when considering Brazil and the challenges, both religious and social, that await you upon your return. Indeed, in this difficult moment in her national history, when many people seem to have lost hope in a better future due to enormous social problems and scandalous corruption, Brazil needs her priests to be a sign of hope. Brazilians need to see a united, fraternal and integral clergy, in which priests find themselves facing obstacles together, without giving in to the temptation of attention-seeking and careerism. Beware of this! I am sure that Brazil will overcome her crisis and I trust that you will be protagonists in this.

To this end, always count on a special help: the help of our Mother in Heaven, whom you Brazilians call Our Lady of Aparecida. The beautiful words of a hymn with which you greet her come to mind: “Holy Virgin, beautiful Virgin; loving Mother, dear Mother; keep us, help us, O Our Lady of Aparecida” (“Virgem santa, Virgem bela; Mãe amável, mãe querida; Amparai-nos, socorrei-nos; Ó Senhora Aparecida”). May these words find confirmation in the life of each one of you. May the Virgin Mary, with her support and help, help you to live in priestly fraternity, ensuring that your period of studies in Rome produces abundant fruits, aside from your academic qualification.

May the Queen of the Pio Brazilian College help make this community a school of fraternity, making every one of you leaven of unity within your respective dioceses, since the diocesanity of the secular priest feeds directly from the experience of fraternity among priests. To confirm these hopes, I heartily impart to the directorate, the students, the women religious and employees, to everyone, as well as your families, my Apostolic Blessing; and I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me. Thank you!

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

 

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1 day 15 hours

While there has been growth in the awareness of the “dignity of every person,” Pope Francis said on October 21, 2017, that “at cultural level there persist expressions that harm the dignity of these people through the prevalence of a false concept of life.”

The Holy Fathers remarks came in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, and were made to the participants in the Conference Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities: A Necessary Engagement in the Daily Pastoral Life of the Church, organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, taking place at the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome, from October 20 – 22, 2017.

“A vision that is often narcissistic and utilitarian unfortunately leads many to consider as marginal people with disabilities, without recognizing in them the multiform human and spiritual wealth,” the Pope explained.  He continued: “An attitude of denying this condition, as if it prevented happiness and the realization of the self, is still too strong in the common mentality. This is shown by the eugenic tendency to suppress unborn children when they are shown to have some form of imperfection.”

 

Address of the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters,

I rejoice at meeting you, especially because in these days you have considered a theme of great importance for the life of the Church in her work of evangelization and Christian formation: Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities. I thank H.E. Msgr. Fisichella for his introduction, the dicastery over which he presides for its service, and all of you for your work in this field.

We know the great development that throughout recent decades has taken place in relation to disability. The growth in awareness of the dignity of every person, especially the weakest, has led to courageous positions being taken for the inclusion of those who live with various forms of handicap, so that no-one need feel like an outsider in their own home. However, at cultural level there persist expressions that harm the dignity of these people through the prevalence of a false concept of life. A vision that is often narcissistic and utilitarian unfortunately leads many to consider as marginal people with disabilities, without recognizing in them the multiform human and spiritual wealth. An attitude of denying this condition, as if it prevented happiness and the realization of the self, is still too strong in the common mentality. This is shown by the eugenic tendency to suppress unborn children when they are shown to have some form of imperfection. In reality, we all know many people who, with their fragility, even in serious cases, have found the path of a good life rich in meaning, if with some hardship. Just as, on the other hand, we know people who are apparently perfect and desperate! Besides, it is a dangerous deceit to think we are invulnerable. Just as a girl I met on my recent trip to Colombia said to me, vulnerability is part of the essence of man.

The answer is love: not the false kind, overly sentimental and pietistic, but the true kind, concrete and respectful. To the extent in which we are welcomed and loved, included in the community and accompanied to look to the future with trust, the true path of life is developed and we experience lasting happiness. This, we know, is valid to all, but the most fragile are the proof. Faith is a great life companion when it permits us to touch with our hand the presence of a Father who never leaves His creatures alone, in no condition of their life. The Church cannot be aphonic or tone-deaf in the defense and promotion of people with disability. Her closeness to families helps her overcome the solitude in which they often risk closing themselves up due to a lack of attention and support. This is even more valid for the responsibility she possesses in the generation and formation of Christian life. There can be no lack in communities of the words and, above all, the gestures to encounter and welcome people with disabilities. The Sunday liturgy in particular must be able to include, so that the encounter with the Risen Lord and with the same community can be a source of hope and courage in the not always easy path of life.

Catechesis, in a special way, is called to discover and experiment with coherent forms so that every person, with his or her gifts, limits and disabilities, even serious, may encounter Jesus on the way and abandon himself to Him with faith. No physical or psychic limit may ever be an obstacle to this encounter, because the face of Christ shines in the intimacy of every person. In addition, let us be careful, especially us, as ministers in Christ’s grace, not to fall into the neo-Pelagian trap of not recognizing the need for the strength of the grace that comes from the Sacraments of Christian initiation. Let us learn to overcome discomfort and fear that at times can be felt with regard to people with disabilities. Let us learn to seek and also to “invent”, with intelligence, suitable tools so that no-one lacks the support of grace. Let us form – first of all by example! – catechists who are increasingly capable of accompanying these people so that they may grow in faith and make their genuine and original contribution to the life of the Church. Finally, I hope that in communities, people with disabilities may too be catechists, also by their witness, to transmit faith in a more effective way.

I thank you for your work in these days, and for your service in the Church. May Our Lady accompany you. I heartily bless you and I ask you, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

 

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1 day 16 hours
Angelus Address: “On Rendering to Caesar the Things that Are Caesar’s, and to God the Things that Are God’s”

“A Christian Is Called to Commit Himself to Concretely to Human and Social Realities, without Opposing ‘God’ and “Caesar’”

Maximum Illud: Pope Anticipates Centenary

Call for Extraordinary Mission Month, Oct. 2019

Pope Asks Prayers for Kenya

Violence and Election Turmoil Plague Nation

Colombia: 5 Conditions for Peace

Archbishop Auza Recalls Pope’s September Messages

Pope: Evangelization Includes Disabled

Growth in Awareness of the Dignity of Every Person

Brazilian College Audience with Pope Francis

Keep Balance of Four Pillars of Priest’s Life

1 day 18 hours
Fides: Catholic Population Growing to 1.3 Billion

Schools, Hospitals, Social Agencies Serve World

Pope: Market, State, Society Should Cooperate

Address to Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

Malta: L’Osservatore Romano Deplores Murder of Journalist

Daphne Caruana Galizia Killed by Car Bomb

Pope Offers Condolences for Slain Journalist

Critic of Corruption Killed in Car Bombing

Santa Marta: “Jesus Asks Us for Coherence of Life”

Homily in the Morning Mass of Friday, October 20, 2017

Arch Jurkovic: IP Promotes Innovation

Intellectual Property System must balance interests of innovators, public

Archbishop Follo: God’s Coin

XXIX Sunday of Ordinary Time – October 22, 2017

2 days 16 hours

The number of Catholics in the world is increasing: almost 1.3 billion, 17.7 percent of the world’s population, reported Agenzia Fides on October 20, 2017.  Agenzia Fides is the information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

According to figures from the Church’s Book of Statistics (data related to 2015) and elaborated by Agenzia Fides, the baptized are 12.5 million more than the previous year (2014). This is one of the data in the Dossier published by Agenzia Fides on the occasion of the 91st World Mission Day, which is celebrated on Sunday, October 22, 2017.

The Dossier offers a wealth of statistical information about the Catholic Church around the world.

DOSSIER FIDES STATISTICS 2017 ENG

Click here to see video highlights

A few statistics of interest:

  • Africa has 222 million Catholics, 19.42 percent of the population.
  • The Americas have 635 million Catholics, 63.6 percent of the population.
  • Europe has 285 million Catholics, 39.87 percent of the population.
  • Asia has 141 million Catholic, 3.24 percent of the population.
  • The Catholic Church runs 216,548 schools in the world, attended by more than 60 million pupils.
  • There are about 118,000 Catholic social and charitable institutes (hospitals, care homes for people with leprosy, orphanages, homes for the elderly) scattered throughout the world.

 

2 days 17 hours

Pope Francis said there is “a need of great current relevance, such as that of developing new models of cooperation between the market, the State and civil society, in relation to the challenges of our time.”

His comments came October 20, 2017, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, where he received the participants in the meeting organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

The Holy Father focused on two key points:

  • The endemic and systemic increase of inequality and the exploitation of the planet, which is greater than the increase in income and wealth.
  • The other cause of exclusion is work that is not worthy of the human person.

 

Address of the Holy Father

Illustrious Ladies and Gentlemen,

I cordially greet the Members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and those who are participating in these study days, as well as the institutions that support the initiative. This draws attention to a need of great current relevance, such as that of developing new models of cooperation between the market, the State and civil society, in relation to the challenges of our time. In this occasion, I would like to focus briefly on two specific causes that increase exclusion and the existence of existential peripheries.

The first is the endemic and systemic increase of inequality and the exploitation of the planet, which is greater than the increase in income and wealth. However inequality and exploitation are not inevitable, nor are they an historic constant. They are not inevitable because they depend not only on different individual forms of behavior, but also the economic rules that a society decides to adopt. We can think of energy production, the job market, the banking system, welfare, the tax system, the schools sector. According to how these sectors are planned, there are different consequences on the way in which income and wealth are distributed among those who have participated in their production. If the aim of profit prevails, democracy tends to become a plutocracy in which inequalities grow, as does the exploitation of the planet. I repeat: this is not a necessity; there are periods in which, in some countries, inequalities diminish and the environment is better protected.

The other cause of exclusion is work that is not worthy of the human person. Yesteryear, in the age of Rerum novarum (1891), …. Today, beyond this sacrosanct demand, we also ask ourselves why we still have not succeeded in putting into practice the content of the Constitution Gaudium et spes: “The entire process of productive work … must be adapted to the needs of the person and to his way of life” (no. 67) and, we can add with the Encyclical Laudato si’, with respect for creation, our common home.

The creation of new work needs, especially in this time, people who are open and enterprising, fraternal relations, and research and investment in the development of clean energy to face the challenges of climate change. This is concretely possible today. It is necessary to divest ourselves of the pressures of public and private lobbies which defend sectorial interests, and also to overcome forms of spiritual sloth. It is necessary for political action to be placed truly at the service of the human person, of the common good and of respect for nature.

The challenge to meet is therefore that of endeavoring courageously to go beyond the model of social order currently prevalent, transforming it from within. We must ask the market not only to be efficient in the production of wealth and in ensuring sustainable growth, but also of placing itself in the service of integral human development. We cannot sacrifice the “golden calf” of our times – fundamental values such as democracy, justice, freedom, the family, creation – on the altar of efficiency. Substantially, we must aim at “civilizing” the market, with a view to an ethics that is friendly to man and his environment.

A similar issue is the rethinking of the figure and role of the nation-State in a new context such as that of globalization, which has profoundly altered the previous international order. The State cannot be conceived of as the only and exclusive holder of the common good, without permitting intermediary bodies in civil society to freely express all their potential. This would be a violation of the principle of subsidiarity which, combined with that of solidarity, constitutes a fundamental pillar of the social doctrine of the Church. Here the challenge is how to reconcile individual rights with the common good.

In this sense, the specific role of civil society may be compared to that which Charles Péguy attributed to the virtue of hope: like a younger sister in the middle of another two virtues – faith and charity – holding them by the hand and pulling them ahead. This is how the position of civil society seems to me: “pulling” ahead the State and the market so that they rethink their reason for being and their way of working.

Dear friends, I thank you for your attention to these reflections. I invoke the Lord’s blessing upon you, your loved ones and your work.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

 

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2 days 17 hours

Pope Francis on October 20, 2017, send his condolences for the death of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. A telegram was sent on behalf of the Holy Father by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to the Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta.

Galizia, a critic of corruption in her country, died when a bomb exploded in her car after leaving her home at Bidnija, in the North of the Island, on October 16, 2017. Known for her influencing blog Running Commentary, she collaborated with several Maltese journalists.

Telegram

The Most Reverend Charles J. Scicluna
Archbishop of Malta

Saddened by the tragic death of Daphne Caruana Galizia, His Holiness Pope Francis offers prayers for her eternal rest, and asks you kindly to convey his condolences to her family. The Holy Father also assures you of his spiritual closeness to the Maltese people at this difficult moment, and implores God’s blessings upon the nation.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

 

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2 days 18 hours

ROME OCTOBER 18, 2017 (Zenit.org). – In its Italian edition of October 18, 2017, L’Osservatore Romano deplored the murder of a journalist in Malta and echoed the condemnation of the Archbishop of Malta, Monsignor Charles Scicluna.

Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, a critic of corruption in her country, died when a bomb exploded in her car after leaving her home at Bidnija, in the North of the Island. Known for her influencing blog Running Commentary, she collaborated with several Maltese journalists.

Monsignor Scicluna condemned “with the greatest firmness” the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, which happened last Monday, October 16, 2017, stressed L’Osservatore Romano.

The daily reported that the Archbishop called for the banning of all controversies: “It’s not the moment to start wars between us, or to accuse one another,” but to “defend each one’s dignity, eliminate anger among us and defend the great value of democracy,” he said.

The investigative journalist and blogger Matthew Caruana Galizia, son of the murdered journalist, accused the Maltese Authorities of being “accomplices” of his mother’s murder, noted in addition L’Ossevatore Romano. He addressed the Authorities on Facebook, saying: “You are accomplices and responsible for what happened.”

The Vatican daily also quoted the words of Maltese Prime Minster Joseph Muscat, who denied any involvement of his government. “She was probably my main adversary,” he said in an interview with the Italian daily “La Repubblica.” “She attacked me after I became head of the coalition, but it was her job,” he acknowledged. Rejecting all allegations of corruption, he said that “justice would” soon “be made.” Now, specified the Prime Minister, it’s necessary to “find the agents and executers of a crime that is not ours,” reported the same source.

L’Osservatore Romano also reported the reaction of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, and of the Commissioner of the Rights of Man, Nils Muiznieks, who called for an in depth investigation to identify those responsible for the crime.

According to the same source, the Maltese Minister of the Interior called the FBI and the European Scientific Police to lead the investigations.

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2 days 18 hours

VATICAN CITY, OCTOBER 20, 2017 (Zenit.org).- “Jesus asks us for coherence of life, coherence between what we do and what we live within,” stressed Pope Francis, reflecting on today’s Readings, during the morning Mass of Friday, October 20, 2017 at Saint Martha’s.

“Falsehood does so much harm, hypocrisy does so much harm, it’s a way of living,” observed the Pontiff, whose words were reported by Vatican Radio.

For today’s meditation, Francis was inspired by the First Reading — a passage of the Letter to the Romans (4:1-8), and by Luke’s Gospel (12:1-7), in which Jesus recommends to His disciples to watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees.”

Beginning with the Apostle Paul’s words, the Pontiff reminded that “true forgiveness” doesn’t come from “our works,” but is “free,” because it comes from “His grace,” “from His Will.”

“Our works are the response to God’s free love, who has justified us and forgives us always. And our holiness is in fact to receive this forgiveness always,” explained the Holy Father who, quoting today’s Psalm, added: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven” (Psalm 32 (31), v. 2).

It’s the Lord “who has forgiven us original sin and who forgives us every time we go to Him,” continued Francis, reminding that “we can’t forgive ourselves with our works. He alone forgives.” “We can respond with our works to this forgiveness,” he explained.

The Pope warned against that “other way of seeking justification — that of “appearances.” There are those that pull the “holy card face,” as if they were saints.”

However, they are “hypocrites.” They “make up the soul; they live of makeup; holiness is makeup for them, but in their heart “there is no substance,” rather everything is filthy.”

They lead a “hypocritical life” and their justification is that “of appearance.” In sum, they are “soap bubbles.”

Instead, Jesus “asks us to be truthful, but truthful in our heart,” continued Francis. Therefore, He gives us this advice: “when you pray, do it secretly; when you fast, then yes you can use some makeup, so that no one sees in your face the weakness of fasting; and when you give alms, let your left hand not know what your right hand is doing; do it secretly.”

Therefore, the Holy Father exhorted those present to live “the truth always before God, always.” Because “this truth before God is what makes room for the Lord to forgive us.”

One must pray for “the wisdom to accuse oneself,” concluded Francis, who again quoted the Psalmist: “I acknowledged my sin to Thee, and I did not hide my iniquity. I said: “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; then Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32 (31), v. 5).

ZENIT translation by Virginia M. Forrester

 

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2 days 18 hours

“Intellectual Property (IP) benefits public interest by providing incentives for innovation,” said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva.

His comments came on October 19, 2017, at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) Council Geneva, Item 13: Intellectual Property and the public interest: follow-up on compulsory licensing.

“An efficient intellectual property system can help all countries realize intellectual property’s potential as a catalyst for economic development and social and cultural well-being,” Archbishop Jurkovic continued. “The IP system helps strike a balance between the interests of innovators and the public interest, providing an environment in which creativity and invention can flourish for the benefit of all.”

He noted that “an equitable IP system,” results from “a delicate balancing act”. It requires “flexible policy space” that will “allow each Member to develop and adapt more adequately the set of IP regulations for their particular needs and to ensure predictability and mutual confidence”.

The archbishop stressed the needs of developing counties: “Access to knowledge goods, both to enrich human resources and facilitate economic growth, is an indispensable requirement for the international system.”

 

Here is the archbishop ‘statement:

 

Mr. President,

Since this is the first time my Delegation is taking the floor during the current session of the TRIPs Council, allow me to begin by congratulating you on your election as Chair and by assuring you of the full support of the Holy See Delegation.

Intellectual Property (IP) benefits public interest by providing incentives for innovation. An efficient intellectual property system can help all countries realize intellectual property’s potential as a catalyst for economic development and social and cultural well-being. The IP system helps strike a balance between the interests of innovators and the public interest, providing an environment in which creativity and invention can flourish for the benefit of all. An equitable IP system, by definition, results from a delicate balancing act. As recalled by the WIPO Copyright Convention of 1996, there is “the need to maintain a balance between the rights of authors and the larger public interest, particularly education, research and access to information”. A flexible policy space, within the boundaries of the internationally agreed objectives, principles and standards, is necessary to allow each Member to develop and adapt more adequately the set of IP regulations for their particular needs and to ensure predictability and mutual confidence.

Intellectual property, as foreseen by Article 7 of the TRIPs Agreement, should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of users and producers of technological knowledge, in a manner conducive to social 2 and economic welfare and to balance rights and obligations. The search for a balance between the need, on the one hand, to protect IPRs and to provide incentives for Research and Development and the need, on the other hand, to address concerns about the potential impact of such protection on the health sector, in particular its effects on prices, has been continuously stated by the Holy See at this Council and other fora.

In line with the objectives and principles of the TRIPS as enshrined in Articles 7 and 8, a number of flexibilities have developed into an integral part of the TRIPS framework and they can be used to pursue public health objectives. However, to implement these flexibilities, action is needed at the domestic level by incorporating them into national IP regimes, keeping in mind each country’s specific needs and policy objectives. WTO Members have the flexibility to interpret and implement TRIPS provisions in a manner supportive of their right to protect public health. The United Nations High Level Panel on Access to Medicine, in its report to the Secretary General, highlighted the importance of TRIPS flexibilities and, addressing the hoped for achievement of 3 Sustainable Development Goals which they regard, recommended their use.

The Delegation of the Holy See recognizes that the acceleration of the search for solutions to problems in the world to which intellectual property rights protection may respond, has been accompanied by an acceleration in the influence of investment capital to transform IP from an economic asset and compensation for individual innovators into a capital asset or production factor for industry.

In an era of digitization and globalization, the needs of developing countries are even more critical. Access to knowledge goods, both to enrich human resources and facilitate economic growth, is an indispensable requirement for the international system. Developing countries have a role to play by actively implementing limitations and exceptions in a manner that best suits their domestic needs, especially the need to stimulate local creativity. In this sense, the efforts of developing countries to make greater use of flexibilities, limitations and exceptions to intellectual property to advance public policy objectives in areas such as health, education, agriculture, food, 3 and technology transfer could represent a tremendous step forward. The role of limitations and exceptions in promoting public welfare is a matter of importance not only for users of knowledge goods, but for creators as well. Without the appropriate balance between protection and access, the international IP system not only impoverishes the global public but, ultimately, it undermines its own ability to sustain and reward the creative enterprise for the long-term future.

In conclusion, Mr. President,

Respect for the exercise of intellectual property rights is clearly subordinated to the common good. It serves as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. The knowledge economy is increasingly evolving into a driving force in the global economy. Thus, there is a need to protect intellectual property rights as an incentive for innovation and technology creation, yet it is also important to ensure broad access to technology and knowledge especially for low-income countries. The new goods derived from progress in science and technology are key to world trade integration and the use of the flexibilities by the less-developed countries could help them catch up and gain international trade competitiveness.

Thank you, Mr. President.

 

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