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From: The World Seen From Rome
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A part of a comprehensive, international effort to incite action around the world to defeat religious persecution and repression….

U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Callista L. Gingrich, stressed this when speaking about the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See-hosted symposium on religious freedom on Monday, June 25, 2018, on “Defending International Religious Freedom: Partnership and Action” at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce.  It included opening remarks by the Ambassador and closing remarks by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Presented in partnership with Aid to the Church in Need and the Community of Sant’Egidio, the symposium will promote the universal right of religious freedom and raise awareness of religious persecution, particularly in the Middle East.

Symposium speakers included Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, Cardinal-designate Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi, Pakistan, Monsignor Khaled Akasheh, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Professor Marco Impagliazzo, President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, and Mark Von Riedemann, Director of Public Affairs at Aid to the Church in Need. Yazidi Community Activist Salwa Khalaf Rasho and the Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See, Omar Al-Barazanji, spoke, and Victoria Alvarado, Senior Advisor for International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State, and former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, served as moderator.

America’s 1st Freedom

Ambassador Gingrich stressed: “The right to worship freely is America’s first freedom, codified in the First Amendment to our Constitution. Safeguarding religious freedom is fundamental to the founding principles of the United States. It’s part of who we are as a people and a nation.”

“America’s Founders understood religious freedom not as the state’s creation, but as an inalienable right from God. Our commitment to this ideal remains steadfast.”

“As this year’s report shows – repression, violence, and discrimination are daily realities for millions of believers in every region of the world. In many cases, their human rights are limited or restricted entirely. Indeed, no religious community is immune from persecution.”

The Ambassador highlighted:

  • In Venezuela, President Maduro attacks leaders of the Catholic Church for exposing that
    people are starving and lack medical care.
  • Terrorist groups in parts of Africa kill scores of Christians and Muslims, and abduct
    schoolgirls.
  •  Christian pastors and Baha’i are jailed in Iran for exercising their right to worship freely.
  •  Anti-Semitism is on the rise globally.
  •  Russian authorities target and persecute peaceful religious groups at home and abroad.
  •  Minority groups like Ahmadi Muslims are persecuted in Pakistan.
  •  In China, Uighur Muslims are sent to re-education camps.
  •  Tibetan Buddhists are forbidden to organize — and their leaders are imprisoned.
  •  Rohingya Muslims face ethnic cleansing and displacement in Burma.
  •  Saudi Arabia prohibits non-Muslims from practicing their religion in public, and imprisons individuals for apostasy and blasphemy.
  • And Christians, Shia Muslims, and Yezidis in the Middle East continue to suffer from ISIS atrocities.

“What is most astonishing is that these examples represent just a small portion of religious persecution and repression around the world. As these facts illustrate, it’s a dangerous time to be a person of faith. We are at a critical moment. We can and must do more.”

Unmask Masquerades

Cardinal Parolin adamantly reminded: ‘No violence in the name of religion is acceptable.’

Moreover, the Vatican Secretary of State recalled the Holy Father’s words when he visited Egypt and addressed al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s highest institute of learning, on April 28, 2017: “Violence is the negation of every authentic religious expression,” he said. “As religious leaders, we are called, therefore, to unmask the violence that masquerades as purported sanctity and is based more on the ‘absolutizing’ of selfishness than on authentic openness to the absolute.”

Imperative

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri recalled the Holy Father’s Sept. 26, 2015, address at Philadelphia’s Independence Mall: “In a world where various forms of modern tyranny seek to suppress religious freedom, or, as I said earlier, to try to reduce it to a subculture without right to a voice in the public square, or to use religion as a pretext for hatred and brutality, it is imperative that the followers of the various religious traditions join their voices in calling for peace, tolerance and respect for the dignity and the rights of others.”

The Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches highlighted how important it is to preserve Lebanon as well as the need to help Iraq.

Misuse

Cardinal-designate Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi, Pakistan, expressed how there used to be religious freedom in his country, but over time the right has ‘gradually eroded.’  He stressed, however, that not only the Christians suffer this, but also Muslims are targeted and persecuted.

The Blasphemy Law, he noted, is very easily misused. Even if there is no proof, one can easily be misused, to accuse someone of having ‘broken the law.’ When that person cannot defend himself from that accusation, then they face death.

He stressed that the way this law is formulated is very problematic, as it includes no consideration of ‘intent.’

No Compulsion

The Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See gave a strong discourse. “One of the Human rights laws established by the United Nation, Article 1,2 and 18 of  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) consists of:  

‘Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.’

“Also the Islamic religion has given this liberty for fourteen centuries in its texts and verses, one is very specific and says: ‘There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.’

Must Change

Monsignor Khaled Akasheh, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, stressed that religion should only be used to help other religions, not for any other reasons. He also noted that for progress to be made, they need to focus on helping people, rather than converting them, and that what is most important is not just ‘talking,’ but ‘constructing.’ The attitudes of people, as well as governments, he highlighted, must change.

Professor Marco Impagliazzo, President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, stressed that aside from the early centuries of the Church, those starting from the 20th Century are those where Christians are being persecuted the most. He also stressed how Sant’Egidio has been helping these suffering, but how more has to be done.

Mark Von Riedemann, Director of Public Affairs at Aid to the Church in Need, called for action. He stressed the need ‘to get facts straight,’ warning how much misinformation is circulating. In order to remedy these problems and make those who have had to flee, return, he said it is essential to find ways to help people integrate, get jobs, and set up basic infrastructure, such as water and electricity.

Horror Continues

Yazidi Community Activist Salwa Khalaf Rasho, whose Yezidi community has been subject to 74 genocidal campaigns throughout history, said the Islamic State killed thousands of Yezidi men ‘in the most horrific ways.’

“As a result,” she said, “about 60 mass graves have been found in my town of Sinjar. More than 6000 women and girls were kidnapped, including me and many of my relatives. We have been subjected to all types of sexual and physical abuse and violence. We were sold in slave markets.”

Having been kidnapped by ISIS and held captive for eight months, Salwa observed: ‘During this period I was subjected to unthinkable practices. I finally had the chance to escape from their grip, but other women and girls did not. More than 3,000 of them are still missing, enduring a fate of daily rape and torture which has constituted their lives for the past four years.”

Must Protect

Rev. Luis Navarro,  rector of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, reminded: “After right to life, according to St. Pope John Paul II, religious freedom is the next important right. It must be protected.” He expressed his hope this conference helps to protect this fundamental right.

The symposium featured panel discussions on protecting religious minorities in the Middle East, and promoting religious freedom through interreligious dialogue.  Participants included Holy See-accredited diplomats, faith leaders, civil society representatives, academics, and others.

“Defending International Religious Freedom: Partnership and Action” was a precursor to the first-ever “Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom,” which will be convened by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C., July 25-26.

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2 hours 43 min

Pope Francis on June 25, 2018, received in audience in the Apostolic Palace the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussion, the themes of migration, at both global and regional levels, and climate change, were considered. Mention was also made of the role of the Church in Australian society, and the current discussion on the protection of minors and vulnerable people, reiterating the commitment of all members of the Church in this regard.

Attention then turned to the social situation of the country, and to the question of peace and stability in the entire region of the Pacific and of Asia.

Cosgrove and wife Lynne also presented the Holy Father with an Australian World Cup jersey. The Vatican has no comment on whether this would alter the Pope’s loyalties in the global soccer event.

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3 hours 23 min

Pope Francis has shown himself to be a Pontiff of surprises, not more heart-warming than those surprise visits to people on the peripheries.

Sunday, June 24, 2018, he made an unexpected visit to the cooperative for the disabled on the outskirts of Rome, Durante e Dopo di Noi. Casa OSA. The center is part of the  “Dopo di Noi” foundation that provides assistance to the disabled and their families. The organization serves some 50,000 people across Italy.

The Holy Father not only spoke to the gathering of 200 disabled persons but greeted each one personally. There are reports of much joyful laughter and many hugs.

 

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3 hours 41 min

Pope Francis on June 25, 2018, had advice for educators, none more important than not to lose hope.

His remarks came in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace, in a talk to the members of the Gravissimum Educationis Foundation. Pope Francis founded the Foundation in 2015, to support innovative and impactful projects, invest in quality, promote scientific studies and foster networking between educational institutions.

The Holy Father gave three suggestions to improve educations:

  1. Networking, connecting various educational institutions as well as different academic disciplines.
  2. Maintaining hope: “We are called not to lose hope because we must offer hope to the global world of today.”
  3. Implement projects that identify with the mission of the Church, are of high quality, and serve the common good.

“To fulfill your mission, therefore, you must lay its foundations in a way consistent with our Christian identity; establish means appropriate for the quality of study and research, and pursue goals in harmony with service to the common good” concluded the Holy Father. “A plan of thought and action based on these solid pillars will be able to contribute, through education, to building a future in which the dignity of the person and universal fraternity are global resources upon which every citizen of the world can draw.”

Address of the Holy Father

I offer a cordial welcome to those taking part in the Conference “To Educate is to Transform” promoted by the Gravissimum Educationis Foundation. I thank Cardinal Versaldi for his words of introduction and I am grateful to each of you for bringing the richness of your experiences in various sectors related to your personal and professional activities.

As you know, I established this Foundation on 28 October 2015, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, at the request of the Congregation for Catholic Education. By this foundation, the Church renews her commitment to Catholic education in step with the historical transformations of our time. The Foundation is, in fact, a response to the appeal made by the conciliar Declaration, which suggested that schools and universities cooperate so as better to face today’s challenges (cf. no. 12). This recommendation of the Council has developed over time, and can also be found in the recent Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium on Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties, which speaks of “the urgent need for ‘networking’ between those institutions worldwide that cultivate and promote ecclesiastical studies” (Foreword, 4d) and, more broadly, among Catholic educational institutions.

Only by changing education can we change the world.  To this end, I should like to offer you some suggestions:

  1. First, it is important to “network”. Networking means uniting schools and universities for the sake of improving the work education and research, drawing upon everyone’s strong points for greater effectiveness on the intellectual and cultural levels.

Networking also means uniting the various branches of knowledge, the sciences, and fields of study, in order to face complex challenges with an inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary approach, as recommended by Veritatis Gaudium (cf. no. 4c).

Networking means creating spaces for encounter and dialogue within educational institutions, and encouraging similar spaces outside our institutions, with people of other cultures, other traditions, and different religions, so that a Christian humanism can consider the overall reality of humanity today.

Networking also means making the school an educating community where teachers and students are brought together not only by the teaching curriculum but also by a curriculum of life and experience that can educate the different generations to mutual sharing. This is so important so as not to lose our roots!

Moreover, the challenges facing our human family today are global, in a more wide-ranging sense than is often thought. Catholic education is not limited to forming minds to a broader outlook, capable of embracing distant realities. It also recognized that mankind’s moral responsibility today does not just extend through space, but also through time and that present choices have repercussions for future generations.

  1. Another challenge facing education today is one that I pointed out in my Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “we must not allow ourselves to be robbed of hope!” (no. 86). With this appeal, I meant to encourage the men and women of our time to face social change optimistically, so that they can immerse themselves in reality with the light that radiates from the promise of Christian salvation.

We are called not to lose hope because we must offer hope to the global world of today. “Globalizing hope” and “supporting the hopes of globalization” are basic commitments in the mission of Catholic education, as stated in the recent document of the Congregation for Catholic Education Educating to Fraternal Humanism (cf. nn. 18-19). A globalization bereft of hope or vision can easily be conditioned by economic interests, which are often far removed from a correct understanding of the common good, and which easily give rise to social tensions, economic conflicts and abuses of power. We need to give a soul to the global world through an intellectual and moral formation that can support the good things that globalization brings and correct the harmful ones.

These are important goals that can be attained by the growth of scientific research carried out by universities and present, too, in the mission of the Gravissimum Educationis Foundation Quality research, which looks to a horizon rich in challenges. Some of these challenges, as I noted in my Encyclical Laudato Si’, have to do with processes of global interdependence. The latter is, on the one hand, a beneficial historical force since it marks a greater cohesion among human beings; on the other, it gives rise to injustices and brings out the close relationship between grave forms of human poverty and the ecological crises of our world. The response is to be sought in developing and researching an integral ecology. Again, I should like to emphasize the economic challenge, based on researching better models of development corresponding to a more authentic understanding of human fulfillment and capable of correcting some of the perverse mechanisms of consumption and production. Then too, there is the political challenge: the power of technology is constantly expanding. One of its effects is to spread a throw-away culture that engulfs objects and persons without distinction. It entails a vision of man as a predator and the world in which we live as a resource to be despoiled at will.

Certainly, there is no shortage of work for academics and researchers engaged with the Gravissimum Educationis Foundation!

  1. The work before you, with the support you give to innovative educational projects, must respect three essential criteria in order to be effective:

First, identity. This calls for consistency and continuity with the mission of schools, universities and research centers founded, promoted or accompanied by the Church and open to all. Those values are essential for following the way marked out by Christian civilization and by the Church’s mission of evangelization. In this way, you can help to indicate what paths to take, in order to give up-to-date answers to today’s problems, with a preferential regard for those who are most needy.

Another essential point is quality. This is the sure beacon that must shed light on every enterprise of study, research, and education. It is necessary for achieving those “outstanding interdisciplinary centers” recommended by the Constitution Veritatis Gaudium (cf. n. 5) and which the Foundation Gravissimum Educationis aspires to support.

Then too, your work cannot overlook the goal of the common good. The common good is difficult to define in our societies characterized by the coexistence of citizens, groups, and peoples belonging to different cultures, traditions, and faiths. We must broaden the horizons of the common good, educating everyone to understand that we belong to one human family.

To fulfill your mission, therefore, you must lay its foundations in a way consistent with our Christian identity; establish means appropriate for the quality of study and research; and pursue goals in harmony with service to the common good.

A plan of thought and action based on these solid pillars will be able to contribute, through education, to building a future in which the dignity of the person and universal fraternity are global resources upon which every citizen of the world can draw.

I thank you for all that you can do with your support for the Foundation, and I encourage you to continue in this worthy and beneficial mission.  Upon you, your colleagues and families, I cordially invoke the Lord’s abundant blessings. And I ask you, please, to remember to pray for me. Thank you.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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4 hours 8 min

“We have been given a great and exciting responsibility which calls for the active commitment of women and men of science, culture and the Church,” said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for life, on June 25, 2018. “The specification of being ‘for Life’ places us at the service of the lives of the men and women of our time and none of these lives, starting with those of the poorest and most defenseless, can be lost, discarded or wasted.”

His comments came during a press conference held for the presentation of the 24th General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL) on the theme “Equal beginnings. But then? A global responsibility”, which is taking place in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall from 25 to 27 June 2018.

Intervention by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia

The months between the 2017 Assembly and the one we are inaugurating today – the 24th edition – have been particularly full for all of us and for the entire Academy.

A great responsibility

We have been given a great and exciting responsibility which calls for the active commitment of women and men of science, culture and the Church. The specification of being “for Life” places us at the service of the lives of the men and women of our time and none of these lives, starting with those of the poorest and most defenseless, can be lost, discarded or wasted.

In order for this service to be effective and concrete, we must face themes that demand a deep scientific understanding and a great knowledge of the human being: it is of little use to know in minute detail every aspect of living organisms without understanding the meaning of life and human existence.

In recent months the Academy has emphasized some of these serious and urgent subjects, such as the influence of technology in the different ages of people’s lives (it was the theme of the last Assembly, the valuable proceedings of which you have in your folder), as well as the complex and often painful issues related to the final moments of human existence, the frontiers of genetics, neurosciences, artificial intelligences and robotics. The close and unavoidable connection between the questions of the ethics of human life and the social and economic context designed by a promising and apparently ungovernable globalization is the horizon that will be explored in the workshop held today and tomorrow. The list, although long, captures only some of the major issues we have before us and which we must face. Our Academy, through the work of everyone and the service of all, must offer a repositioning of the question of the life of men capable, if not of restoring its overall meaning, at least of making the question re-emerge, to let the human question emerge that each inhabitant of this earth, with his concrete life, poses inexorably. We owe it to everyone, without exclusion, and above all to those who live disfigured by illness, poverty, unbearable injustice.

The Pope has called us to this responsibility within the ambit of the broader mission of the Church so that the Good News of that Life “that was the light of mankind and [that] darkness has not overcome” (cf. Jn 1: 4-5) may reach all over the world. Pope Francis, whom we will listen to this morning, has emphasized several times that the proclamation of the Gospel is sterile when it is limited to a cold re-offering of doctrine:

We should not think, however, that the Gospel message must always be communicated by fixed formulations learned by heart or by specific words which express an absolutely invariable content. … The ultimate aim should be that the Gospel, as preached in categories proper to each culture, will create a new synthesis with that particular culture. This is always a slow process and at times we can be overly fearful. But if we allow doubts and fears to dampen our courage, instead of being creative we will remain comfortable and make no progress whatsoever. In this case, we will not take an active part in historical processes, but become mere onlookers as the Church gradually stagnates” (Evangelii Gaudium, 129).

Our Pontifical Academy is called to be one of those places where dialogue with science and contemporary cultures must produce precious fruits. Returning to the Gospel parable of the talents, I wish to liken our Academy to those talents that the Pope has entrusted to us so that we can make them profit, so we can multiply them. And the way is that of “living” contemporary cultures, exchanging with each other, frequenting the fields of science and knowledge. We can not be like that servant who puts his talent on the ground, out of fear, out of laziness, out of indifference. It would be gravely wrong. I do not simply talk about the talents entrusted to each of us. Here I mean that unique talent that is our Academy, with all its members, ordinaries, correspondents and young researchers, belonging to the Catholic Church and other Christian confessions, to other religions and non-believers. All united in dealing in the talent that is our Academy so that Life is guarded, defended and promoted, everywhere.

Gratitude and wonder

The great issues that have occupied us in recent months have generated a surprising network of relationships and collaborations that – I must admit –at the beginning of my term I would not have imagined to be so wide-ranging. In these few months, the Academy has collaborated with the World Medical Association and numerous Catholic and non-Catholic medical associations, in India, Australia, United States, Italy; we have signed formal collaborative relationships with Georgetown University in Washington, with the Catholic University of Milan, with the UCAM in Murcia, with the Methodist Research Center in Houston, with the Catholic Health Association of India; we worked side by side with the French bishops on the occasion of the General States on the bioethics of that country; and we have engaged with several NGOs accredited to the United Nations.

The frank and sincere dialogue that characterizes an outgoing Church at every level brings surprising results.

That is why today I want to thank you all. What I have tried to summarize in a few lines is the result of your personal work and that of the many collaborators who work alongside you every day: thank them on my behalf, and on behalf of the Pope. It is also the result of the work of the staff of the central office of the Academy, which has faced with passion and diligence this new, tiring and exciting, phase of work. A special thanks goes to Monsignor Renzo Pegoraro, our chancellor, recently reconfirmed in office for the coming five years.

Thank you.

 

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4 hours 34 min

Pope Francis on June 25, 2018, stressed the need for an “integral ecology” and taking a “holistic view of the human person”.

His remarks came in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, where he received the participants in the 24th General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) on the theme “Equal beginnings. But then? A global responsibility”, which is taking place in the Vatican, in the New Synod Hall, from 25 to 27 June 2018.

“The wisdom that should inspire our attitude towards “human ecology” is encouraged to consider the ethical and spiritual quality of life in all its phases,” the Pope said, drawing heavily on his Encyclical Laudato Si. In particular, he made the connection between damage to the earth and the negative impact on those people most in need.

“When we deliver children to deprivation, the poor to hunger, the persecuted to war, the old to abandonment, do not we ourselves, instead, do the ‘dirty’ work of death,” contended the Holy Father. “Where does the dirty work of death come from? It comes from sin. Evil tries to persuade us that death is the end of everything, that we have come to the world by chance and we are destined to end up in nothingness.”

Instead, Pope Francis proposed a “global vision of bioethics” and an “integral ecology” that recognizes the connection between the fragility of the planet and the poor. And an important element is the valuing of the human body as a gift from God.

“It is, therefore, necessary to proceed with a careful discernment of the complex fundamental differences of human life: of man and woman, of fatherhood and motherhood, of filiation and fraternity, of sociality and also of all the different ages of life,” Francis said. “And also, all the difficult conditions and all the delicate or dangerous passages that require special ethical wisdom and courageous moral resistance: sexuality and generation, sickness and old age, insufficiency and disability, deprivation and exclusion, violence and war.”

He concluded by emphasizing the need to reflect on the “serious question” of life’s ultimate destiny:

“This means highlighting with greater clarity what directs the existence of man towards a horizon that surpasses him: every person is gratuitously called ‘to commune with God and share in His happiness. [The Church] further teaches that a hope related to the end of time does not diminish the importance of intervening duties but rather undergirds the acquittal of them with fresh incentives’ (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 21). We need to reflect more deeply on the ultimate destination of life, capable of restoring dignity and meaning to the mystery of its deepest and most sacred affections. The life of man, enchantingly beautiful and fragile to die, refers beyond itself: we are infinitely more than what we can do for ourselves.”

 

Address of the Holy Father

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am glad to address my greeting to you all, starting from the President, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, whom I thank for introducing me to this General Assembly, in which the theme of human life will be situated in the broad context of the globalized world in which we live today. And also, I wish to greet to Cardinal Sgreccia, ninety years old but enthusiastic and young, in his commitment in favor of life. Thank you, Your Eminence, for what you have done in this field and for what you are doing. Thank you.

The wisdom that should inspire our attitude towards “human ecology” is encouraged to consider the ethical and spiritual quality of life in all its phases. There exists a conceived human life, a life in gestation, a life that has come to light, a child’s life, a teenage life, an adult life, an aged and consumed life – and there exists an eternal life. There is a life that is family and community, a life that is invocation and hope. Just as there is fragile and sick human life, wounded, offended, dejected, marginalized, discarded life. It is always human life. It is the life of human persons, who inhabit the earth created by God and share the common home with all living creatures. Certainly, in the biology laboratories, life is studied with the tools that allow exploring its physical, chemical and mechanical aspects. A very important and indispensable study, but one which must be integrated with a broader and deeper perspective, which calls for attention to the truly human life, which erupts on the world scene with the prodigy of the word and of thought, affections and spirit. What recognition does the human wisdom of life receive today from the natural sciences? And what political culture inspires the promotion and protection of real human life? The “beautiful” work of life is the generation of a new person, the education of his spiritual and creative qualities, the initiation to the love of family and community, the care of his vulnerabilities and his wounds; as well as initiation into the life of children of God, in Jesus Christ.

When we deliver children to deprivation, the poor to hunger, the persecuted to war, the old to abandonment, do not we ourselves, instead, do the “dirty” work of death? Where does the dirty work of death come from? It comes from sin. Evil tries to persuade us that death is the end of everything, that we have come to the world by chance and we are destined to end up in nothingness. Excluding the other from our horizon, life folds back on itself and becomes a consumer good. Narcissus, the character of ancient mythology, who loves himself and ignores the good of others, is naive and does not even realize it. Meanwhile, however, it spreads a very contagious spiritual virus, which condemns us to become mirror-men and mirror-women, who see only themselves and nothing else. It is like becoming blind to life and its dynamic, as a gift received from others and asking to be placed responsibly in circulation for others.

The global vision of bioethics, which you are preparing to relaunch in the field of social ethics and of planetary humanism, strengthened by Christian inspiration, will engage with more seriousness and rigor to defuse this complicity with the dirty work of death, supported by sin. In this way, I may restore to us the reasons and practices of the covenant with the grace destined by God for the life of each one of us. This bioethics will not take illness and death as a starting point in deciding the meaning of life or defining the value of the person. It will rather start from the profound conviction of the irrevocable dignity of the human person, as God loves him, the dignity of every person, in every phase and condition of his existence, in the search for the forms of love and care that must be addressed to his vulnerability and fragility.

So, in the first place, this global bioethics will be a specific way of developing the perspective of integral ecology that is proper to the Encyclical Laudato si’, in which I have insisted on these strong points: “the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet, the conviction that everything in the world is connected, the critique of new paradigms and the forms of power derived from technology, the call to seek other ways of understanding the economy and progress, the value proper to each creature, the human meaning of ecology, the need for forthright and honest debate, the serious responsibility of international and local policy, the throwaway culture and the proposal of a new lifestyle” (no. 16).

Secondly, in a holistic view of the person, it is necessary to articulate with ever greater clarity all the concrete connections and differences in which the universal human condition dwells and which involve us, starting from our body. Indeed “our body itself establishes us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. The acceptance of our body as a gift from God is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy a absolute power over creation. Learning to accept your body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different” (Laudato si’, 155).

It is, therefore, necessary to proceed with a careful discernment of the complex fundamental differences of human life: of man and woman, of fatherhood and motherhood, of filiation and fraternity, of sociality and also of all the different ages of life. And also, all the difficult conditions and all the delicate or dangerous passages that require special ethical wisdom and courageous moral resistance: sexuality and generation, sickness and old age, insufficiency and disability, deprivation and exclusion. , violence and war. “Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection” (Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, 101).

In the texts and teachings of Christian and ecclesiastical formation, these themes of the ethics of human life will have to find an appropriate place in the context of a global anthropology, and not be confined to the limit-questions of morality and law. I hope that a conversion to today’s centrality of the integral human ecology, or rather a harmonious and complete comprehension of the human condition, will I hope find valid support and propositional tone in your intellectual, civil and religious effort.

Global bioethics thus urges us towards the wisdom of a profound and objective discernment of the value of personal and community life, which must be preserved and promoted even in the most difficult conditions. We must also strongly state that, without the adequate support of a responsible human closeness, no purely juridical regulation and no technical aid can, on their own, guarantee conditions and relational contexts that correspond to the dignity of the person. The prospect of a globalization that, left only to its spontaneous dynamics, tends to increase and deepen inequalities, urges an ethical response in favor of justice. The attention to the social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that determine health is part of this commitment, and becomes a concrete way to realize “the right of every people to its own identity, independence and security, as well as the right to share, on a basis of equality and solidarity, in the goods intended for all” (John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo rei socialis, 21).

Finally, the culture of life must take a more serious look at the “serious question” of its ultimate destination. This means highlighting with greater clarity what directs the existence of man towards a horizon that surpasses him: every person is gratuitously called “to commune with God and share in His happiness. [The Church] further teaches that a hope related to the end of time does not diminish the importance of intervening duties but rather undergirds the acquittal of them with fresh incentives” (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 21 ). We need to reflect more deeply on the ultimate destination of life, capable of restoring dignity and meaning to the mystery of its deepest and most sacred affections. The life of man, enchantingly beautiful and fragile to die, refers beyond itself: we are infinitely more than what we can do for ourselves. But human life is also incredibly tenacious, certainly for a mysterious grace that comes from above, in the audacity of its invocation of a justice and a definitive victory of love. And it is even capable – hoping against all hope – to sacrifice itself for it, unto the end. Recognizing and appreciating this fidelity and dedication to life arouses gratitude and responsibility in us, and encourages us to generously offer our knowledge and our experience to the whole human community. Christian wisdom must reopen with passion and boldness the thought of the destination of the human race to the life of God, which has promised to open to the love of life, beyond death, the infinite horizon of loving bodies of light, no longer with tears. And to amaze them eternally with the ever new enchantment of all things, “visible and invisible”, concealed in the womb of the Creator. Thank you.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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4 hours 50 min

The Vatican Secretariat for Communication will hereafter be named the “Dicastery for Communication.”

This was announced in a June 23, 2018, bulletin of the Holy Press Office which stated the following:

***

In the audience granted to the undersigned Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State on 27 February 2018, the Supreme Pontiff Francis, Having heard the opinion of the Council of Cardinals, has decided that the Secretariat for Communication hereafter be named the “Dicastery for Communication”.

The present Rescriptum shall be promulgated by publication in “L’Osservatore Romano”, entering into force on the same day, and thereafter published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
From the Vatican, 27 February 2018-06-23

+ Angelo Becciu

Substitute

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21 hours 2 min
‘In Generating Children, Parents Are Collaborators of God,’ Says Pope

Says This Is a Truly Sublime Mission Which Makes Families Sanctuaries of Life

ANGELUS ADDRESS: On Feast of St John the Baptist’s Birth, Pope Reminds ‘Nothing Is Impossible for God’

‘In the generating of a child, parents act as collaborators of God’

Former Holy See Diplomat Convicted of Child Pornography

Served as Councilor at Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC

Former Holy See Diplomat Convicted of Child Pornography

Served as Councilor at Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC

Holy Father: Interreligious Dialogue Built on Openness

“You show that dialogue between believers of different religions is a necessary condition for contributing to peace in the world.”

The post Parents and God appeared first on ZENIT - English.

23 hours 58 min

In generating children, parents are collaborators of God.

Pope Francis stressed this during his Angelus address today at noon to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, as he recalled that today marks the Feast Day of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

St. John’s birth, the Jesuit Pope reminded, is the event that illuminates the lives of his parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, which they never expected and assumed had become impossible, due to their advanced age.

“These elderly parents had dreamed and even prepared that day, but now they no longer expected it: they felt excluded, humiliated, disappointed: they had no children,” Francis said.

“But God does not depend on our logic and our limited human capacities,” the Pope continued, urging: “We must learn to trust and to be silent in the face of the mystery of God and to contemplate in humility and silence his work, which is revealed in history and which so often exceeds our imagination.”

With their baby’s birth, Elizabeth and Zechariah experience that “nothing is impossible to God” and are overjoyed. The Pontiff called on faithful to remember those who discussed joyously this miraculous birth of John, and they did so with joy, happily, with a sense of amazement, surprise and gratitude.

Looking at this, the Pope called on all faithful to ask themselves some questions: “how is my faith? Is it a joyful faith, or is it always the same faith, a “flat” faith? I have a sense of amazement when I see the works of the Lord, when I hear about the evangelization or the life of a saint, or when I see many good people: do I feel grace inside, or is there nothing moving in my heart? Can I feel the consolations of the Spirit or am I closed?”

“Let us ask each of us, in an examination of conscience: How is my faith? Is it joyous? Is it open to God’s surprises? Because God is the God of surprises.

The Holy Father prayed that the Blessed Virgin Mary help us to understand that in every human person there is the imprint of God, the source of life.

“She, Mother of God and our Mother, makes us more and more aware that in generating a child, parents act as collaborators of God, a truly sublime mission that makes each family a sanctuary of life and awakens – every birth of a child – joy, amazement, gratitude.”

***

Zenit’s Translation: https://zenit.org/articles/angelus-address-on-feast-of-st-john-the-baptists-birth-francis-reminds-nothing-is-impossible-for-god/

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1 day 6 hours

In having children, parents are collaborators of God.

Pope Francis stressed this during his Angelus address today at noon to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, as he recalled that today marks the Feast Day of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

St. John’s birth, the Jesuit Pope reminded, is the event that illuminates the lives of his parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, which they never expected and assumed had become impossible, due to their advanced age.

“These elderly parents had dreamed and even prepared that day, but now they no longer expected it: they felt excluded, humiliated, disappointed: they had no children,” Francis said.

“But God does not depend on our logic and our limited human capacities,” the Pope continued, urging: “We must learn to trust and to be silent in the face of the mystery of God and to contemplate in humility and silence his work, which is revealed in history and which so often exceeds our imagination.”

With their baby’s birth, Elizabeth and Zechariah experience that “nothing is impossible to God” and are overjoyed. The Pontiff called on faithful to remember those who discussed joyously this miraculous birth of John, and they did so with joy, happily, with a sense of amazement, surprise and gratitude.

Looking at this, the Pope called on all faithful to ask themselves some questions: “how is my faith? Is it a joyful faith, or is it always the same faith, a “flat” faith? I have a sense of amazement when I see the works of the Lord, when I hear about the evangelization or the life of a saint, or when I see many good people: do I feel grace inside, or is there nothing moving in my heart? Can I feel the consolations of the Spirit or am I closed?”

“Let us ask each of us, in an examination of conscience: How is my faith? Is it joyous? Is it open to God’s surprises? Because God is the God of surprises.

The Holy Father prayed that the Blessed Virgin Mary help us to understand that in every human person there is the imprint of God, the source of life.

“She, Mother of God and our Mother, makes us more and more aware that in generating a child, parents act as collaborators of God. A truly sublime mission that makes each family a sanctuary of life and awakens – every birth of a child – joy, amazement, gratitude.”

***

Zenit’s Translation: https://zenit.org/articles/angelus-address-on-feast-of-st-john-the-baptists-birth-francis-reminds-nothing-is-impossible-for-god/

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1 day 6 hours

Below is a ZENIT translation of Pope Francis’ Angelus address today at noon to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square:

****

Before the Angelus:

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today the Liturgy invites us to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. His birth is the event that illuminates the lives of his parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, and involves, in its joy and amazement, relatives and neighbors. These elderly parents had dreamed and even prepared that day, but now they no longer expected it: they felt excluded, humiliated, disappointed: they had no children. Faced with the announcement of the birth of a child (Lk 1:13), Zechariah could not believe it, because the laws of nature did not allow it: they were old, they were elderly; as a result, the Lord made him speechless and unable to talk for the whole term of the pregnancy (see v. 20). It is a sign. But God does not depend on our logic and our limited human capacities. We must learn to trust and to be silent in the face of the mystery of God and to contemplate in humility and silence his work, which is revealed in history and which so often exceeds our imagination.

And now that the event takes place, now that Elizabeth and Zechariah experience that “nothing is impossible to God” ( Lk 1:37), their joy is great. Today’s Gospel page ( Lk 1:57-66.80) announces the birth and then focuses on the imposition of the name on the child. Elizabeth chooses a name foreign to the family tradition and says: “He will be called John” (v. 60), a gratuitous and by now unexpected gift, because John (‘Giovanni’) means “God has been gracious.” And this child will be a herald, witness of God’s grace for the poor who wait with humble faith for His salvation. Zechariah unexpectedly confirms the choice of that name, writing it on a tablet – because he couldn’t speak – and “at once his mouth opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.” (v. 64)

The whole event of the birth of John the Baptist is surrounded by a joyful sense of amazement, surprise and gratitude. Amazement, surprise, gratitude. People are gripped by a holy fear of God “and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea” (v. 65). Brothers and sisters, the faithful people realized that even if in a humble and hidden way, something great happened, and ask: “What, then, will this child be?” (V. 66). The faithful people of God are able to live the faith with joy, with a sense of amazement, surprise and gratitude. We look at those people who discussed this wonderful event, about this miracle of the birth of John, and they did so with joy, happily, with a sense of amazement, surprise and gratitude.

May the Blessed Virgin help us to understand that in every human person there is the imprint of God, the source of life. She, Mother of God and our Mother, makes us more and more aware that in the generating of a child the parents act as collaborators of God. This is a truly sublime mission that makes each family a sanctuary of life and awakens – every birth of a child – joy, amazement, gratitude.

[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

After the Angelus:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Yesterday, in Asunción (Paraguay), Blessed Maria Felicia of the Blessed Sacrament was proclaimed, Maria Felicia Guggiari Echeverría, a sister of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, called by her father, and also today by the Paraguayan people, the “Chiquitunga”. Having lived in the first half of the 20th Century, she enthusiastically joined the Catholic Action and took care of the elderly, sick and prisoners. This fruitful experience of apostolate, supported by the daily Eucharist, resulted in consecration to the Lord. She died at age 34, accepting the disease with serenity. The testimony of this young Blessed is an invitation for all young people, especially Paraguayans, to live life with generosity, meekness and joy. We salute Chiquitunga with applause, and all the Paraguayan people!

I address my greeting to all of you, Romans and pilgrims! In particular, those from Hannover and Osnabrück, Germany, and those from Slovakia.

I greet the Romanian community in Italy; the faithful of Enna, Paternò, Rosolini and San Cataldo; and the Sesto San Giovanni group of cyclists.

I wish you all a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!

[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

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1 day 7 hours

Pope Francis on June 23, 2018, stressed the importance of openness in interreligious dialogue.

His comments came in an audience at the Vatican with a delegation of the Emouna Fraternité Alumni Association.

“You also witness, in a spirit of openness, the ability of religions to take part in public debate in a secularized society,” the Holy Father said. “You know, in fact, that true fraternity cannot be lived other than with this attitude of openness to others, which never seeks a conciliatory syncretism; on the contrary, it always seeks sincerely to enrich itself with differences, with the will to understand them in order to respect them better, because the good of each resides in the good of all.”

Address of the Holy Father

Dear friends,

I welcome you with joy on the occasion of your trip to Rome. I thank the Co-Presidents for the presentation of the Association and I extend my cordial greeting to all of its members, as well as to the people of different religions and spiritualities with whom you are in relation.

I give thanks to God for the existence of your Association, which was established within the context of the “Emouna – L’Amphi des religions” programme, proposed and initiated by the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, with the participation of the great religions present in France. Indeed, I rejoice in the shared aspiration within your Association, which aims to strengthen the bonds of fraternity among the members of different religions, by furthering research work. In fact, within your course of study, whose initiators and participants I greet with gratitude, you demonstrate the possibility of living a healthy pluralism, respectful of the differences and values each of you brings.

You also witness, in a spirit of openness, the ability of religions to take part in public debate in a secularized society (see Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 183; 255). And, moreover, thanks to the fraternal bonds established between you, you show that dialogue between believers of different religions is a necessary condition for contributing to peace in the world. I, therefore, encourage you to persevere on your path, taking care to combine three fundamental attitudes to foster dialogue: the duty of identity, the courage of otherness and the sincerity of intentions (cf. Address to participants in the International Peace Conference, Cairo, 28 April 2017).

You know, in fact, that true fraternity cannot be lived other than with this attitude of openness to others, which never seeks a conciliatory syncretism; on the contrary, it always seeks sincerely to enrich itself with differences, with the will to understand them in order to respect them better, because the good of each resides in the good of all. I invite you, therefore, to demonstrate with the quality of your relationships that “religion is not a problem but part of the solution: […] it reminds us that it is necessary to raise the soul on High to learn to build the city of men” (Ibid.).

Thus, you can support each other to be like well-planted trees, rooted in the terrain of history and of your respective traditions; and, by doing so, contribute, with men and women of good will, to transform “every day the air polluted by hatred in the oxygen of fraternity” (ibid.). I encourage you to nurture a culture of meeting and dialogue, to promote peace and to defend, with gentleness and respect, the sacredness of every human life against any form of physical, social, educational or psychological violence. Urging you to pray for one another, I ask God for the gift of peace for each one of you. And I invoke the Father of all men to help you to walk as brothers on the path of encounter, dialogue, and harmony in a spirit of collaboration and friendship.

With this hope, I invoke divine blessings on each of you and on the members of the “Emouna Fraternité Alumni” Association, as well as on all those participating in the “Emouna – L’Amphi des religions” programme. And do not forget, please, to pray for me too. Thank you.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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2 days 50 min

Pope Francis on June 23, 2018, encouraged representatives of the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) during an audience at the Vatican.

The OAIC represents 60 million members of various Christian denominations in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“A particular task of Christians in African societies is that of fostering the coexistence of differing ethnic groups, traditions, languages, and religions, a task that often meets with obstacles due to grave mutual antagonisms,” the Holy Father said. “For this reason too, I would like to encourage greater encounter and ecumenical dialogue between ourselves and with all the other Churches. May the Holy Spirit shed his light upon us, so that we may succeed in discovering how best to promote cooperation between all – Christians, traditional religions, Muslims – for the sake of a better future for Africa.”

The Holy Father’s Address:

Dear friends,

I greet you warmly in the peace of Christ! I am pleased to welcome, for the first time, a delegation of the Organization of African Instituted Churches. I thank you for your visit and for your willingness to seek closer ties to the Catholic Church.

Your communities, in their relatively short history, have been marked by the struggle for independence on the African continent, and by subsequent efforts to shape societies of justice and peace, capable of defending the dignity of the great variety of African peoples. Sad to say, the promise of progress and justice held out in that process of liberation was not always fulfilled; many countries are still far from peace and from an overall economic, social and political development that can ensure suitable living conditions and opportunities for all their citizens. You are well aware of the challenges that Africa as a whole faces, as well as those faced by the different Churches in carrying out their mission of evangelization, reconciliation and humanitarian assistance. In particular, you are conscious of the enormous challenge of providing stability, education and employment opportunities to the young people who form such an important part of African societies.

Africa today has been compared to the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers who stripped him, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead (cf. Lk 10:30-37). The basic question facing us is how the Christian message is good news for the people of Africa. As a response to the desperation of the poor, the frustration of young people and the cry of pain of the elderly and the suffering, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, passed on and lived out, translates into experiences of hope, peace, joy, harmony, love, and unity.

If we are truly convinced that Africa’s problems can be more easily resolved by drawing upon the continent’s human, cultural and material resources, it is clear that our Christian duty is to accompany every effort to favor a wise and ethical use of those resources. In particular, what is urgently demanded is a shared commitment to promoting peace processes in the various areas of conflict, as well as to concrete forms of solidarity towards those in need. It is the duty of church leaders to help individuals to pool their energies and put them at the service of the common good while defending the dignity, freedom, and rights of all. More than ever, all Christians need to learn to work together for the common good. Although significant disagreements may exist between us on theological and ecclesiological issues, there are many areas where the leaders and members of the various communities of the Christian family can set common goals and work together for the benefit of all. Especially for the most underprivileged and vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.

The African peoples possess a profound religiosity, a sense of the existence of a Creator God and a spiritual world, the importance of the family, love for life, children as God’s gift, respect for elders, duties towards others, near and far… Do these religious values and these principles of life not belong to all of us as Christians? On the basis of them, then, let us express our solidarity in interpersonal and social relationships.

A particular task of Christians in African societies is that of fostering the coexistence of differing ethnic groups, traditions, languages, and religions, a task that often meets with obstacles due to grave mutual antagonisms. For this reason, too, I would like to encourage greater encounter and ecumenical dialogue between ourselves and with all the other Churches. May the Holy Spirit shed his light upon us, so that we may succeed in discovering how best to promote cooperation between all – Christians, traditional religions, Muslims – for the sake of a better future for Africa.

Dear friends, I thank you once more for your visit. It is my prayerful hope that these days spent in Rome, the city of the martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul, will help strengthen your conviction of the firm will of the Catholic Church to do everything possible, together with her ecumenical partners, to promote the Kingdom of justice, peace and fraternity that God desires for all humanity. May he look with love upon you, your families and your nations. I ask you too, please, to pray for me, for I have great need of it. Thank you!

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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2 days 1 hour

Monsignor Carlo Capella who served as a councilor at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, US, was sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined €5,000 by the Vatican tribunal on June 23, 2018, reported Vatican News.

He was convicted of the tribunal for the “possession and distribution of child pornography with the aggravating circumstance of its large quantity,” in what is the first trial of its kind inside the Vatican.

Italian Monsignor Capella admitted to viewing the images during what he called a period of “fragility” and interior crisis.

Msgr. Capella, 50, was ordained a priest of Milan Archdiocese in 1993. He will serve the sentence in the Vatican barracks, where he has been held since his arrest on April 7 after his recall from Washington. Capella’s trial was the first known enforcement of a 2013 Vatican City law that specifically criminalized possession and distribution of child pornography, punishing it with up to a maximum of five years in prison and a €50,000 fine.

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2 days 1 hour
SPECIAL FEATURE: Pope Francis Speaks to ZENIT – An Inside Look Into Pope’s Landmark Trip to Geneva

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Includes a Revision that Implements Modifications Regarding Collaborating with Non-Catholic Partners.

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2 days 23 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Live Catholic Headlines
Posted
Washington D.C., Jun 25, 2018 / 09:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday vacated a Washington state ruling against local florist Barronelle Stutzman, who in 2013 declined to make flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding. 5 hours 39 min
Knoxville, Tenn., Jun 25, 2018 / 04:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The April day nearly 100 workers were taken into custody in the country's largest worksite immigration raid in a decade, St. Patrick's parish center in Morristown, Tenn. opened to the community and donations started pouring in. 10 hours 39 min
Easton, Massachusetts, Jun 24, 2018 / 07:38 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Nearly three decades after his death, Father Patrick Peyton still receives fan mail. 1 day 7 hours
Vatican City, Jun 24, 2018 / 05:57 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis has said Christians should model the amazement, surprise and gratitude of Elizabeth and Zechariah - and their community - at the birth of their son, John. 1 day 8 hours
Vatican City, Jun 23, 2018 / 07:20 am (EWTN News/CNA).- At the close of his civil trial in the Vatican, former Holy See diplomat Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella was found guilty of possessing and distributing child pornography and given a five-year prison sentence. 2 days 7 hours
Manila, Philippines, Jun 23, 2018 / 07:04 am (EWTN News/CNA).- After three priests were murdered during the last six months, Philippine officials say they have received gun carry permit applications from nearly 250 religious workers, including 188 Catholic priests – but some of the country's bishops have raised concerns about a priest carrying a weapon. 2 days 7 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Reliable world news and analysis from a Catholic perspective.
Posted
“The Middle East suffers, it weeps,” the Pope added in his off-the-cuff remarks to the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Eastern Churches (ROACO). “The world powers look at it not with much concern for their culture, their faith, the life of those people, but they look at it to get a piece and have greater dominance.” (The Vatican Press Office released the text of the Pope’s prepared remarks.) 8 hours 34 min
The Pope devoted his Sunday Angelus address (video) on June 24 to the Gospel reading for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. 8 hours 34 min
Known as “la Chiquitunga,” Blessed María Guggiari Echeverría, OCD, “enthusiastically joined Catholic Action and took care of the elderly, sick, and imprisoned,” Pope Francis said on June 24. “She died at the age of 34, accepting her illness with serenity. The witness of this young Blessed is an invitation to all young people, especially Paraguayans, to live life with generosity, gentleness and joy.” 8 hours 34 min
An “attitude of openness to others,” the Pope said to members of a French interreligious association, “never seeks a conciliatory syncretism; on the contrary, it always seeks sincerely to enrich itself with differences, with the will to understand them in order to respect them better.” 8 hours 34 min
Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella, who worked at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, was sentenced to five years in prison. The Vatican Press Office stated that the priest was charged with “the possession and distribution of child pornography with the aggravating circumstance of its large quantity.” 8 hours 34 min
Pope Francis created the Secretariat for Communication in 2015; on February 27, he decided to rename it the Dicastery for Communication. The Vatican announced the change on June 23. 8 hours 34 min
On June 22, Pope Francis received Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, who became the 80th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta earlier this year. 9 hours 34 min
Describing President Rodrigo Duterte as “a psychological freak, a psychopath [with] an abnormal mind,” Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon asked the faithful to “fervently pray to the Lord that such blasphemous utterances and dictatorial tendencies of this madman will cease.” The nation of 104 million is 83% Catholic, 5% Protestant, and 5% Muslim. 9 hours 34 min
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, discusses Religious Freedom Week, which began on June 22. 9 hours 34 min
This article summarizes the data in a recent new report by the Center for Migration Studies. 9 hours 34 min
The bishop’ conference came to the defense of Father Alphonse Aind, a priest accused of abetting the abduction and rape of five women in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. 10 hours 34 min
Bishop Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il of the Military Ordinariate presided at the groundbreaking ceremony. “The construction of the new chapel,” he said, “is a gift showing God’s grace.” 10 hours 34 min
Geng Shuan, spokesman for the Communist regime’s foreign ministry, addressed a question about Pope Francis’s recent interview with Reuters. “China and the Vatican have been in effective contacts,” Shuan stated. “China is always sincere about improving its ties with the Vatican and has been making unremitting efforts to that end.” 10 hours 34 min
The latest edition of Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, approved at the US bishops’ June meeting, is available here. 10 hours 34 min
Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, 72, was installed as Hong Kong’s bishop in August 2017. In Rome for an ad limina visit, he asked the Pope to accept his resignation before the customary age of 75 so that he can devote himself to ministry to the poor. Commenting on Vatican negotiations with China, the prelate said, “We want to pray for [the Pope], for the Church in China, and for all those who have sacrificed their lives for the faith in China, so that we too can be ready to sacrifice our lives for the Gospel.” 10 hours 34 min
Bob Kuhn, the author of this opinion piece, is president of Trinity Western University, a Christian university in British Columbia. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops criticized a Supreme Court decision upholding denial of accreditation to the university’s law school. LGBT activists had complained that the university’s covenant, in which students pledge to refrain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman,” is discriminatory. 10 hours 34 min
Pope Francis addressed a delegation from the Organization of African Instituted Churches, a group founded in 1978. 11 hours 34 min

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Posted

IMAGE: CNS photo/Vatican Media

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A Vatican court found Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella, a former staff member at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, guilty of possessing and distributing child pornography.

Judge Giuseppe Della Torre, head of the tribunal of the Vatican City State, delivered the verdict June 23, and sentenced Msgr. Capella to five years in prison and fined him 5,000 euro ($5,833).

The Vatican press office said he would serve his sentence in a Vatican cell located in the building of the Gendarme Corps of Vatican City State, as the Vatican police force is formally known.

It is presumed to be the same cell prepared for Paolo Gabriele, the former papal butler who leaked reserved papal correspondence in 2012, and Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, former secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, who was found guilty of leaking confidential documents about the Vatican’s financial reform in 2016.

Both Gabriele and Vallejo Balda were pardoned after serving a few months of their sentences.

Msgr. Capella was accused of having and exchanging with others “a large quantity” of child pornography; the quantity is such that the charges are considered “aggravated” by the Vatican City court.

Prior to verdict, the judges presiding over the case listened to Vatican prosecutor Roberto Zanotti who recommended the court sentence the Italian prelate to five years and nine months and fine him 10,000 euro ($11,668).

Roberto Borgogno, Msgr. Capella’s lawyer, pleaded with the court to give the monsignor a reduced sentence and referred to his client’s crimes as “a problem” that required intense therapy and not a heavy sentence.

Before adjourning in the morning, Msgr. Capella addressed the court, saying that the “mistakes I have made are evident as well as this period of weakness. I am sorry that my weakness has hurt the church, the Holy See and my diocese. I also hurt my family and I am repentant.”

Referring to his possession and distribution of child pornography as “a bump in the road in my priestly life,” the former Vatican diplomat said that he wants to continue receiving “psychological support.”

The Vatican press office said a decision regarding Msgr. Capella by the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith would be made at a later date. The congregation’s investigations of clerical sexual abuse cases is separate from how those cases are handled by criminal courts.

The U.S. State Department notified the Holy See Aug. 21 of Msgr. Capella’s possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images. The 50-year-old Italian monsignor had been working in Washington just over a year when he was recalled to the Vatican.

On Sept. 28, police in Canada issued a nationwide arrest warrant for Msgr. Capella on charges of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography.

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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Copyright © 2018 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.

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Archbishop of Cincinnati Dennis M. Schnurr (CT Photo/John Stegeman)

Dear Friends in Christ,

At times throughout our nation’s history, certain events take place that animate the public and force us to ask who we are as an American people. As a community of believers in Christ Jesus, who commanded us to build His Kingdom of love on Earth as it exists in Heaven, we are called to turn to our Catholic values in such moments and play an active role in shaping our culture and civic life. We do so tirelessly on such social concerns as abortion, racism, poverty, religious freedom and more.

Events of this past week provided a galvanizing moment for Catholic Social Teaching. I echo my brother bishops, and Pope Francis himself, in condemning the practices of family separation that were taking place at an unprecedented rate on our nation’s southern border. The human family is the most fundamental building block of society. The bonds between parents and children are God’s gift for how we begin to experience love itself and God’s very presence within humanity. In fact, the family is where we first learn to be human. This is a universal truth that applies to families who have U.S. citizenship, those who were born in other places, and even those who have crossed our borders without permission. Governments at any level exist to serve the structure of the family, not the other way around.

These recent events tested our Catholic Social Teaching on the dignity of the human family and each human person. Thank you for your recent prayers and actions in defense of this principle. We still have grave concerns about what happened and what still may take place. But the public outcry, which included the voices of so many of the Catholic faithful, seems to have halted the immediate crisis of the separation of these families. I am grateful for the strong, united witness of our Catholic faith.

Moving forward, I reiterate the call, one which the U.S. Catholic bishops have proclaimed for decades, for a comprehensive reform of our immigration laws. There is undeniably a need for a greater balance among national security, legal means of entry and humane enforcement of our laws. Congress is currently debating legislation now which the U.S. Catholic bishops oppose, as it would further encumber our immigration system rather than improve it. I encourage all the faithful to urge Congress to fix these problems once and for all through a bipartisan effort of fundamental immigration reform. To learn more, please visit the U.S. bishops’ website, www.justiceforimmigrants.org. Direct assistance can be offered through our Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio at www.ccswoh.org.

May we continue to respond to God’s call to protect human life, dignity and families everywhere.

Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr

Archbishop of Cincinnati

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IMAGE: CNS

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A former staff member at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, accused of possessing and distributing child pornography, admitted his guilt to a Vatican court and said he had never engaged in such behavior before his assignment in the U.S. capital.

“This kind of morbidness was never a part of my priestly life,” Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella told a courtroom June 22.

Vatican City State’s criminal court issued an indictment June 9 against the prelate, who has been held in a jail cell in the Vatican police barracks since April 9.

Msgr. Capella is accused of having and exchanging with others “a large quantity” of child pornography; the quantity is such that the charges are considered “aggravated” by the Vatican City court.

The U.S. State Department notified the Holy See Aug. 21 of Msgr. Capella’s possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images. The 50-year-old Italian monsignor had been working in Washington just over a year when he was recalled to the Vatican.

On Sept. 28, police in Canada issued a nationwide arrest warrant for Msgr. Capella on charges of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography.

Recounting his diplomatic career at the Vatican, the Italian prelate told the court that after several years in India, Hong Kong and the Vatican Secretariat of State, he was unhappy about his assignment to the nunciature in Washington.

He said that “out of respect to the hierarchy, out of sense of duty and to not create problems, instead of making my discomfort known to them, I thanked them for the transfer.”

The monsignor told the court that he felt “empty” and “useless” in his first four months at the Washington nunciature and initially used the internet for news and funny images.

In April 2016, Msgr. Capella started using the social microblogging site Tumblr to search for images when he started to see pornographic images. He said this led to conversations on the site’s chat feature to engage in lewd conversations and exchange more perverse child pornographic images.

Gianluca Gauzzi, deputy commissioner of the Vatican police and a computer engineer, later testified that 40-55 photos, videos and Japanese comics depicting adult-child relationships were found or recovered from cellphones, USB drives and hard drives belonging to Msgr. Capella.

One video uncovered from the prelate’s cellphone, Gauzzi told the courtroom, depicted sexual acts between a child and an adult.

Tommaso Parisi, a psychiatrist, told the courtroom he began treating Msgr. Capella in October and that the prelate has been cooperative and responded well to treatment twice a week.

Msgr. Capella was born in Carpi, Italy, and ordained to the priesthood in 1993 for the Archdiocese of Milan. After studying at the Vatican diplomatic academy in Rome, he entered the Vatican diplomatic service in 2004. He was assigned to the Washington nunciature in the summer of 2016.

Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president of the tribunal of Vatican City State, announced that the trial will continue June 23.

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju

 

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Copyright © 2018 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 19 hours