Saturday, March 28, 2015

News Vatican Information Service March 26-27, 2015


SUMMARY:

- Pope Expresses Solidarity with Families in Iraq and Nigeria
- Pope to Receive President of Italy and to Visit Prato and Florence
- Pope Meets 150 Homeless who Visited Sistine Chapel Yesterday
- Respect for Refugee Children: Legal Identity, Education
- Freedoms of Religion and Expression: Adopting an Ethics of Responsibility
- Slogan and Logo of Pope?s Trip to Sarajevo Presented
- Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Open to 150 Homeless Visitors
- Carmelite Communities around the World Pray for Peace
- Other Pontifical Acts
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Pope Expresses Solidarity with Families in Iraq and Nigeria

Vatican City, 27 March 2015 (VIS) Pope Francis has a constant concern for the situation of Christian families and other groups of victims who have been expelled from their homes and villages, particularly in the city of Mosul and the Nineveh plains, many of whom have taken refuge in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Pope prays for them and hopes they can return and resume their lives in the lands and places where they have lived and built good relationships for hundreds of years.

In this coming Holy Week, these families are sharing together with Christ the unjust violence of which they have been made victims, participating in the suffering of Christ himself.

In a desire to be close to these families, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is returning to Iraq as a sign of nearness, affection, and unity in prayer with them.

The families of the Diocese of Rome, united with their bishop in the feeling of nearness and solidarity with these families, through a special collection in the parishes, are sending the traditional Easter cakes in the shape of a dove (colomba cake) to share the joy of Easter and as a herald of good based on the faith in the Resurrection of Christ.

The Holy Father, moreover, makes himself present in a concrete way with a tangible sign of solidarity. Not wanting to forget the suffering of the families in northern Nigeria either, he has also sent a similar sign of solidarity through the local Bishops Conference.

Pope to Receive President of Italy and to Visit Prato and Florence

Vatican City, 27 March 2015 (VIS) On 18 April, Pope Francis will receive President of Italy Sergio Mattarella for the first time in an official visit to the Vatican. President Mattarella was elected 3 February of this year. The visit has been confirmed by the Holy See Press Office as well as the pastoral visits that the Holy Father will make to the Italian cities of Prato and Florence on 10 November on the occasion of the 5th National Ecclesial Congress of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) that will be held from 9-13 November. The Congress' theme is "A New Humanism through Jesus Christ".

Pope Meets 150 Homeless who Visited Sistine Chapel Yesterday

Vatican City, 27 March 2015 (VIS) Yesterday afternoon, shortly after 5:00pm, Pope Francis went to the Sistine Chapel to greet the 150 homeless persons who had been invited to visit the Vatican Museums through an initiative of the Office of Papal Charities. After shaking hands with those he met, he addressed the group saying: Welcome. This is the house of all; this is your house. The doors are always open to all.

Later, he thanked Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, Papal Almoner, for having organized the visit, which he called a ?small kindness for the guests. The Pope added: "Pray for me. I need the prayers of people like you. May the Lord protect you, accompany you on your life's path, and make you feel the Father's tender love. He then greeted each person present and chatted with them for about 20 minutes.

As we reported yesterday, after the visit, the guests were invited to dinner at the Vatican Museums restaurant and they left Vatican City through the Sant Uffizio Gate.

At the Pope's request, there was no official video or photo report of the event.

Respect for Refugee Children: Legal Identity, Education

Vatican City, 27 March 2015 (VIS) Respect for children, victims of war, was the subject of Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva Archbishop Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi?s, speech given at the 28th session of the Human Rights Council held 17 March of this year.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, the archbishop stated, recently reported that, since the start of the crisis, more than 10 million Syrians have fled their homes. This amounts to almost half of the country's population, now deprived of their basic rights? A variety of sources have provided evidence on how children suffer the brutal consequences of a persistent status of war in their country. Children are recruited, trained, and used in active combat roles, at times even as human shields in military attacks. The so-called Islamic State (ISIL) group has worsened the situation by training and using children as suicide bombers; killing children who belong to different religious and ethnic communities; selling children as slaves in markets; executing large numbers of boys; and committing other atrocities.

In camps throughout the Middle East, children constitute approximately half of the refugee population and they are the most vulnerable demographic group in times of conflict and displacement. Beyond the specific conditions faced by internally displaced children and those in the refugee camps of the region and beyond the enormous tragedies affecting them, it seems important to envision their future, by focusing on three particular areas of concern.

First, he asserted, the world must deal with the situation of millions of stateless children, who as such according to the law, were never born. The United Nations estimates that approximately 30,000 of these children can be found in Lebanon alone. Moreover, due to the Middle Eastern conflicts and massive uprooting of families, several thousand unregistered children are scattered in camps and other asylum countries. Stateless children cross international borders alone and find themselves completely abandoned. While all face grave difficulties, those fleeing Syria face challenges that are even more dramatic: a child below eleven years of age and without documents has no access even to the most basic services. These children obviously cannot go to school and they are likely to be adopted illegally, recruited in an armed group, abused, exploited, or forced into prostitution. Every child has the right to be registered at birth and thus to be recognized as a person before the law. The implementation of this right opens the way for access to the enjoyment of other rights and benefits that affect the future of these children. Simplifying mechanisms and requirements for registration, waving fees, and advocating for refugee inclusive registration legislation, represent steps to solve the plight of stateless children.

Second, another key component that shapes the future of uprooted children is education. Both in Syria and in refugee camps in the region, provision of education has become extremely problematic. Some 5,000 schools have been destroyed in Syria where more than one million and half students no longer receive an education and where attacks against school buildings continue. The international community as a whole seems to have misjudged the extent of the Syrian crisis. It was thought by many that the Syrian refugee flow was temporary and such refugees would leave their countries of asylum in a matter of months. Now, after four years of conflict, it appears likely that these refugees will remain and the locals have to learn to live side by side with them. In the camps, there are only 40 teachers for more than 1,000 students, aged 6 to 17. For different reasons, whether in their home countries or in the refugee camps, children find an inadequate education system that jeopardizes their future. Everywhere there is an urgent need for an education system that could absorb these children and bring some normalcy to their lives.

Third, another disruptive consequence of the continuing violence that torments the Middle East is the separation of family members, which forces many minors to fend for themselves. To prevent the further exploitation of children and to protect them properly, an additional effort should be made to facilitate the reunification of minors with their respective families.

The right to a legal identity, to an adequate education, and to a family, the archbishop concluded, are key elements and specific requirements in a comprehensive system of protection for children. Such measures require the close collaboration of all stakeholders. Access to quality education and psycho-social care, together with other basic services, is extremely important. However, children cannot benefit from such services unless they are registered at birth and their families and communities are supported to protect them better. If the violence does not stop and the normal pace of education and development is not resumed, these children are at risk of becoming a lost generation.

Freedoms of Religion and Expression: Adopting an Ethics of Responsibility

Vatican City, 27 March 2015 (VIS) On 10 March, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, spoke at the 28th meeting of the Council for Human Rights. His speech, the majority of which is presented here below, emphasized the fundamental importance of religious freedom as well as the freedom of expression.

The International Community is now confronted with a delicate, complex, and urgent challenge with regard to respect for religious sensibilities and the need for peaceful coexistence in an ever more pluralistic world: namely, that of establishing a fair relationship between freedom of expression and freedom of religion. The relationship between these fundamental human rights has proven difficult to manage and to address on either a normative or institutional level. On the other hand, it should be recognized that the open, constructive, and respectful debate of ideas, as well as interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the local, national, and international levels, can play a positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement, and violence. Failure in this effort is evident when an excessive and irresponsible use of freedom of expression results in intimidation, threats, and verbal abuse and these infringe upon freedom of religion and can sadly lead to intolerance and violence. Likewise, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion has focused on the violence committed ?in the name of religion, and on its root causes.

Unfortunately, violence abounds today. If genocide means any act committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such, then the International Community as a whole is certainly witnessing a sort of genocide in some regions of the world, where the enslavement and sale of women and children, the killing of young men, the burning, beheading and the forcing into exile of people continue. In this context, the Delegation of the Holy See would like to submit to the joint reflection of the Human Rights Council that these and other unspeakable crimes are being committed against people belonging to ancient communities simply because their belief, social system, and culture are different from the fundamentalist combatants of the so-called ?Islamic State? group. The appeal to religion in order to murder people and destroy the evidence of human creativity developed in the course of history makes the on-going atrocities even more revulsive and damnable. An adequate response from the International Community, which should finally put aside sectarian interests and save lives, is a moral imperative.

Violence, however, does not stem from religion but from its false interpretation or its transformation into ideology. In addition, the same violence can derive from the idolatry of State or of the economy, and it can be an effect of secularization. All these phenomena tend to eliminate individual freedom and responsibility towards others. But, violence is always an individual's act and a decision that implies personal responsibility. It is in fact by adopting an ethics of responsibility that the way toward the future can become fruitful, preventing violence and breaking the impasse between extreme positions: one that upholds any form of freedom of expression and the other that rejects any criticism of a religion.

Freedom of expression that is misused to wound the dignity of persons by offending their deepest convictions sows the seeds of violence. Of course, freedom of expression is a fundamental human right that is always to be upheld and protected; in fact, it also implies the obligation to say in a responsible way what a person thinks in view of the common good. It does not, however, justify relegating religion to a subculture of insignificant weight or to an acceptable easy target of ridicule and discrimination. Antireligious arguments even in the form of irony can surely be accepted, as it is acceptable to use irony about secularism or atheism. Criticism of religious thinking can even help dismantle various extremisms. But what can justify gratuitous insults and spiteful derision of the religious feelings and convictions of others who are, after all, equal in dignity? Can we make fun of the cultural identity of a person, of the colour of his skin, of the belief of his heart? A right to offend does not exist.

Several mutually interdependent issues like freedom of religion, freedom of expression, religious intolerance, and violence in the name of religion come together in the concrete situations the world faces today. The way forward seems to be the adoption of a comprehensive approach that would consider these issues together in domestic legislation and deal with them in such a way that they may facilitate a peaceful coexistence based on the respect of the inherent human dignity and rights of every person. While opting to be on the side of freedom, the consequences of its exercise cannot be ignored and they should respect this dignity and, thus, build a more humane and more brotherly global society.

Slogan and Logo of Pope's Trip to Sarajevo Presented

Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) This coming 6 June, Pope Francis will visit Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The slogan of the visit will be "Peace Be With You" and the logo is a dove with an olive branch. Concretely, the dove with olive branch, symbol of peace, is flanking a cross, part of which is a stylized triangle symbolizing the country's borders, with the colors of white, blue, yellow, and red representing both the country's flag as well as the presence of Croats in the nation. It is the design of artists Miroslav Setka and Dragan Ivankovic.

At the presentation, Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Sarajevo, explained that the slogan and logo were inspired by the Pope's words when he announced that the purpose of his visit would promote the peace process in Bosnia. Moreover, "Peace Be With You" is the expression with which Jesus greeted the disciples when He appeared to them after the Resurrection. The times we live in, the cardinal said, are times of uncertainty regarding the future and that is why everyone in this country, especially we Catholics, needs this encouragement.

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Open to 150 Homeless Visitors

Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) One hundred and fifty homeless persons, generally found around St. Peter's Square and Bernini's Colonnade, will be guided around the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in an initiative undertaken by Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, almoner of the Office of Papal Charities.

The guests, divided into three groups, each with their own guides, will visit part of the Vatican City State, including the Domus Sanctae Marthae, St. Peter's Basilica, the palace of the Mint, the gardens, and the Gate of St. Gregory. On arriving at the museums they will visit the Carriage Pavillion, the Galleries of the Chandeliers and Maps, and the Sistine Chapel. After the visit, the group will eat at the restaurant in the Vatican Museums.

Carmelite Communities around the World Pray for Peace

Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) Carmelite communities around the world today-26 March, the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila, foundress of the Discalced Carmelite Order-are celebrating in the way deemed most appropriate and suitable, with a day of prayer for peace.

"Prayer for peace," the Carmelite Vicar General, Fr. Emilio Martinez said, "is a gift that we offer to St. Teresa and what better than to do what she asked of us, which is to keep the concerns of the world at heart."

During the prayer, the communities will especially keep in mind persecuted Christians and countries at war, praying for the cessation of all public and domestic violence. The organizers of the day of prayer ask that each house and convent join the initiative and light a candle. Participation on social networks can be marked #Prayday.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) Today the Holy Father:

- erected the eparchy of St. John Chrysostom of Gurgaon of the Syro-Malankars, India, appointing Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas Aerath, OIC, as its first eparchal bishop. Bishop Aerath was previously apostolic visitor for the Syro-Malankars extra-territorial missions in India. The new eparchy extends along the northern part of India, covering 22 of the 29 states. The district?s southern boundary is made up of the four central states of: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. In addition to these four states, the faithful are distributed throughout Punjab, Rajashtan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. The eparchy is headquarted in Gurgaon because that metropolitan area has the largest concentration of faithful in the nine parishes covered. The region has two colleges and ten schools administrated by the Syro-Malankar church. It has 15 priests, both regular and eparchal, and 30 religious carrying out its pastoral, educational, and charitable work.

- erected the apostolic exarchate of St. Ephrem of Khadki of the Syro-Malankars, India, appointing Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios Valiyavilayil as its first exarch. Bishop Valiyavilayil was previously curial bishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars, India. The new exarchate extends along the southern part of India, which previously did not have any ecclesial district of the Syro-Malankar church, and includes the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana together with parts of the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The extra-territorial mission of the Syro-Malankar church began in Poona in 1955 with the pastoral care of emigrants by Bethany Ashram, OIC. Today, the Syro-Malankar presence in the exarchate?s region includes 27 parishes and missions. There are 21 priests dedicated to pastoral care, 13 convents, and a dozen schools including a college of higher learning. The majority of the faithful are located around Mumbai and Poona, in the western state of Maharashtra.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

News Vatican Information Service March 25, 2015



SUMMARY:

- The Pope asks for prayers for the Synod on the family
- Bringing bread to the table is a matter of dignity
- Condolences following the air disaster in France
- Programme of the Holy Father's visit to Turin
- The exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin
- Members and substitutes for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
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The Pope asks for prayers for the Synod on the family

Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – On the solemnity of the Annunciation, during this Wednesday's general audience held in a rain-soaked St. Peter's Square, the Pope announced to the faithful that today would be a special catechesis, a pause for prayer during his path of reflections on the family.

On 25 March, the Church solemnly celebrates the Annunciation, the beginning of the mystery of the Incarnation. The Archangel Gabriel visits the humble girl from Nazareth and announces that she will conceive and give birth to the Son of God. By this announcement the Lord illuminates and strengthens Mary's faith, as He will also do for her spouse Giuseppe, so that Jesus may be born in a human family. This is beautiful: it shows us how deeply the mystery of the Incarnation, as God wished it to be, includes not only conception in the womb of the mother, but also the fact of being welcomed into a true family. Today I would like to contemplate with you the beauty of this bond, of this, God's condescension, and we can do so reciting together the Hail Mary, which in its first part includes the words the Angel addressed to the Virgin”.

After praying the Hail Mary with all those present, Francis commented that today in many countries is the Day for Life, and that twenty years ago on this date St. John Paul II signed his encyclical “Evangelium Vitae”, in which the family “occupies a central role, inasmuch as it is the womb of human life”.

The word of my venerated predecessor reminds us that the human couple has been blessed by God since the beginning to form a community of love and life, to whom the mission of procreation has been entrusted. Christian couples, by celebrating the sacrament of Marriage, indicate they are willing to honour this blessing, with the grace of Christ, for all their life. The Church, for her part, solemnly commits to caring for the family that is thus born, as a gift from God for her own life, in good times and bad: the bond between the Church and the family is sacred and inviolable. The Church, as a mother, never abandons her family, even when it is debased, hurt and humiliated in many ways. Not even when it gives in to sin or drifts away from the Church; she will always do everything to seek to cure and heal it, to invite it to convert and be reconciled with the Lord”.

If this is her task, the Pontiff observed, then it appears clear how much prayer the Church needs in order to be able to carry out this mission. “A prayer full of love for the family and for life. A prayer that knows how to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to suffer with those who suffer”. The Holy Father explained that he and his collaborators had decided to propose a renewal of the prayer for the Synod of Bishops on the family, and asked all present to continue to recite it until October, when the Synod assembly dedicated to the family is due to take place.

I would like this prayer, like the entire Synod path, to be inspired by the Good Shepherd's compassion for his flock, especially for those people and families who for various reasons are 'harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd'. In this way, supported and inspired by the grace of God, the Church will be able to be even more committed, and even more united, in her witness of the truth of God's love and His mercy for the world's families, without exception, both inside and outside the fold”.

I ask you, please, to ensure that your prayer is not lacking. All of us – the Pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, men and women religious – we must all pray for the Synod. We need this, not chatter! I encourage even those who feel distant to pray too, and those who are not used to doing so. This prayer for the Synod on the family is for the good of all of us. I know that this morning an image has been given to you, which you now hold in your hands. I invite you to keep it and carry it with you always, so that over the coming months you can recite the prayer often, with holy insistence, as Jesus asked us. Now, let us pray together:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

In you we contemplate

The splendour of true love,

We turn to you with confidence.

Holy Family of Nazareth,

Make our families, also,

Places of communion and cenacles of prayer,

Authentic schools of the Gospel,

And little domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth

May our families never more experience

Violence, isolation, and division:

May anyone who was wounded or scandalised

Rapidly experience consolation and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,

May the upcoming Synod of Bishops

Re-awaken in all an awareness

Of the sacred character and inviolability of the family,

Its beauty in the project of God.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Hear and answer our prayer. Amen”.

Bringing bread to the table is a matter of dignity

Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, the Pope greeted those present in various languages. In Italian he addressed a group of workers from the province of Vibo Valentia, in the Calabria region, which is currently experiencing a situation of economic crisis.

I express my concern and closeness to your persistent problems. I make a heartfelt appeal that the logic of profit may not prevail over that of solidarity and justice. At the centre of every issue, especially in relation to work, there must always be the human person and his or her dignity. Being unable to bring bread to the table means losing one's dignity. This is the crisis of our time, especially for the young who, without work, have no prospects for the future and may become easy prey to criminal organisations”.

Condolences following the air disaster in France

Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram of condolences to Bishop Jean-Philippe Nault, France, on behalf of the Holy Father following the air crash that occurred in the area yesterday, in which all 150 passengers and crew were killed.

Upon learning of the tragic air accident that occurred in the region of Digne, claiming numerous victims, including many schoolchildren, His Holiness Pope Francis participates in the suffering of the families, expressing his closeness in prayer. He prays for the eternal repose of the departed, commending them to God's mercy, so that He might welcome them into his house of peace and light. He expresses his profound sympathy for all those affected by the tragedy, and for the rescuers who have to intervene in such difficult conditions. The Holy Father asks the Lord to bring strength and consolation to all and, as a pledge of solace, invokes divine blessings in abundance”.

Programme of the Holy Father's visit to Turin

Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – On Sunday 21 June the Pope will visit Turin. Francis will arrive in the Italian city at 8 a.m. and, half an hour later, will meet with representatives of the world of work in the Piazzetta Reale. From there, he will move on to the Cathedral where he will pray before the Holy Shroud and before the altar of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. At 10.45 a.m. he will celebrate the Eucharist in Piazza Vittorio and will recite the Sunday Angelus prayer.

Following Mass, the Pope will proceed to the Archbishop's residence to lunch with young detainees from the “Ferrante Aporti” penitentiary for minors, several immigrants and homeless people, and a Rom family.

At 2.40 p.m. he will visit the Sanctuary of the Consolata, where he will withdraw for a few minutes in private prayer. At 3 p.m., in the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, where he will meet with Salesians and the Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians. An hour later, in the Church of Cottolengo, he will meet with the sick and disabled.

Back in Piazza Vittorio, at 6 p.m., he will meet with young people of the city, after which he will retire to the archbishop's residence.

On Monday 22, at 9 a.m., he will visit the Valdese Temple. Upon returning to the archbishop's residence, where he will meet privately with some of his relatives. He will celebrate a Holy Mass with them in the Chapel and will lunch with them. Before his departure from “Torino Caselle” airport, he will pay a short visit to the members of the Committee of the Shroud, the organisers and supporters of his visit.

The exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin

Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the upcoming exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin (Turin, 19 April – 24 June 2015), on the occasion of the second centenary of the birth of St. John Bosco, which will be specially dedicated to the young and to those who suffer. The Pope will also make a pilgrimage to Turin from 21 to 22 June.

The speakers at the conference were the archbishop of Turin, Cesare Nosaglia, papal guardian of the Shroud; Elide Tisi, mayor of the city; Roberto Gottardo, president of the diocesan commission for the Shroud; and Rev. Luca Ramello, director of youth pastoral ministry for the diocese.

Archbishop Nosaglia explained that the Shroud represents, for the Universal Church, a point of reference of the first order for the life of the faith of many people and communities, who in this image recognise the signs of the Lord's passion, of Jesus who “inspires our lives and challenges us to fully realise our deepest vocation. Therefore”, he added “the theme I have chosen for the next exhibition is 'The Greatest Love': the gift of salvation which is made visible in our response, the worship of God and service to our brothers”.

The Pope's trip, like the exhibition as a whole, is also intended to give thanks for 'the Saint of youth', and for the service that the Salesian family carries out in Turin and throughout the world in the fields of education, mission, sport and communication. … The world of youth is particularly involved in the Salesian mission, and during the Pope's visit there will be a sort of mini Youth Day, a series of meetings, encounters, prayer, moments of celebration that help resume contact with the young. An extraordinary sign will be the presence of the Word Youth Day Cross, which will make a stop in Turin during its journey to Krakow”.

Another peculiarity of this exhibition is attention to the world of those who suffer, and therefore this year sick or disabled pilgrims and those who accompany them will be able to benefit from new hospitality structures based on the model of the “Accueil” in Lourdes. It is also hoped that the Pilgrimage to the Shroud will offer an opportunity to partake in the sacrament of Reconciliation, as a “concrete sign of forgiveness” and, as on previous occasions, “in various places priests will hear the confessions of the faithful in all the world's major languages”.

The prelate emphasised that the 2015 exhibition has been organised according to the criterion of austerity, in a period of severe economic and social crisis throughout the area, and he thanked those entities that have offered their cooperation to help limit costs as far as possible. He also announced that during the display of the Shroud, Beato Angelico's celebrated “Lamentation over the Dead Christ” will be exhibited in the diocesan museum, on loan for the occasion from the city of Florence.

As you are aware, visiting the Shroud is completely free. Traditionally many pilgrims at the leave a simple offering at the end of their journey, deposited with full discretion at the exit of the Cathedral and in the places of confession. On this occasion all the offerings will be given to the Pope when he is with us in Turin on 21 June. We will ask him to use them, naturally with full freedom, for a work, or a project to assist the poorest or neediest”.

Members and substitutes for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – The following is a list of the members and substitutes appointed by the competent entities and ratified by the Holy Father on 17 March.

A) Episcopal Conferences

NORTH AFRICA (C.E.R.N.A.)

Member: Bishop Jean-Paul Vesco, O.P., of Oran, Algeria

Substitute: Archbishop Santiago Agrelo Martinez, O.F.M., of Tangier, Morocco

BOTSWANA, SOUTH AFRICA and SWAZILAND

Members: Archbishop Stephen Brislin, of Cape Town, Kaapstad, president of the Episcopal Conference, South Africa

Bishop Zolile Peter Mpambani, S.C.I., of Kokstad, South Africa

Substitutes: Bishop Dabula Anton Mpako of Queenstown, South Africa

Bishop Jan De Groef, M. Afr., of Bethlehem, South Africa

BURKINA FASO and NIGER

Member: Bishop Joseph Sama of Nouna, Burkina Faso

Substitute: Archbishop Djalwana Laurent Lompo of Niamey, Niger

CHAD

Member: Bishop Henri Coudray, S.J., apostolic vicar of Mongo

Substitute: Bishop Joachim Kouraleyo Tarounga of Moundou

CONGO (Democratic Republic)

Members: Bishop Nicolas Djomo Lola of Tshumbe, president of the Episcopal Conference

Bishop Philibert Tembo Nlandu, C.I.C.M., of Budjala

Substitute: Bishop Joseph Banga Bane of Buta

GUINEA

Member: Archbishop Vincent Coulibaly of Conakry

Substitute: Bishop Raphael Balla Guilavogui of N'Zerekore

LESOTHO

Member: Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lerotholi, O.M.I., of Maseru, president of the Episcopal Conference

Substitute: Bishop Augustinus Tumaole Bane, O.M.I., of Leribe

LIBERIA

Member: Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga

Substitute: Bishop Andrew Jagaye Karnley of Cape Palmas

MALI

Member: Bishop Jonas Dembele of Kayes

Substitute: Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako

MOZAMBIQUE

Member: Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, O.F.M. Cap., of Maputo

Substitute: Bishop Adriano Langa, O.F.M., of Inhambane

NAMIBIA

Member: Bishop Philipp Pollitzer, O.M.I., of Keetmanshoop

Substitute: Bishop Joseph Shipandeni Shikongo, O.M.I., apostolic vicar of Rundu

NIGERIA

Members: Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso of Kaduna

Bishop Camillus Raymond Umoh of Ikot Ekpene

Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade of Ondo

Substitutes: Bishop Hilary Paul Odili Okeke of Nnewi

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, president of the Episcopal Conference

TOGO

Member: Bishop Jacques Danka Longa of Kara

Substitute: Bishop Benoit Comlan Messan Alowonou of Kpalime

UGANDA

Members: Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu, president of the Episcopal Conference

Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa of Kiyinda-Mityana, Vice president of the Episcopal Conference

Substitutes: Bishop Lambert Bainomugisha, auxiliary of Mbarara

Bishop Sanctus Lino WANOK of Nebbi

AMERICA

ANTILLES

Member: Bishop Francis Alleyne, O.S.B., of Georgetown, Co-operative Republic of Guiana

Substitute: Bishop Emmanuel Lafont of Cayenne, French Guiana

BOLIVIA

Members: Bishop Braulio Saez Garcia, O.C.D., auxiliary of Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Bishop Krzysztof Janusz Bialasik Wawrowska, S.V.D., of Oruro

Substitute: Bishop Aurelio Pesoa Ribera, O.F.M., auxiliary La Paz

GUATEMALA

Member: Bishop Rodolfo Valenzuela Nunez of Vera Paz, Coban, president of the Episcopal Conference

Substitute: Bishop Gonzalo De Villa y Vasquez, S.J., of Solola-Chimaltenango

HAITI

Member: Bishop Yves-Marie Pean, C.S.C., of Les Gonaives

Substitute: Archbishop Max Leroy Mesidor of Cap-Haitien

NICARAGUA

Member: Bishop Cesar Bosco Vivas Robelo of Leon en Nicaragua

Substitute: Bishop Juan Abelardo Mata Guevara, S.D.B., of Esteli

PANAMA

Member: Bishop Aníbal Saldana Santamaria, O.A.R., prelate of Bocas del Toro

Substitute: Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R., bishop of David, president of the Episcopal Conference

PERU

Members: Archbishop Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon of Ayacucho, president of the Episcopal Conference

Archbishop Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, O.F.M., of Trujillo

Substitute: Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi, S.C.V., of Piura

VENEZUELA

Members: Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas

Archbishop Diego Rafael Padron Sanchez of Cumana, president of the Episcopal Conference

Substitutes: Bishop Fernando Jose Castro Aguayo, auxiliary of Caracas, Santiago de Venezuela

Bishop Rafael Ramon Conde Alfonzo of Maracay

ASIA

CHINA

Member: Bishop John Baptist Lee Keh-Mien of Hsinchu

Substitute: Bishop Thomas Chung An-Zu of Kiayi

PHILIPPINES

Members: Archbishop Romulo G. Valles of Davao

Archbishop Jose S. Palma of Cebu

Bishop Gilbert A. Garcera of Daet

Substitutes: Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David, auxiliary of San Fernando

Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, S.J., of Cagayan de Oro

INDONESIA

Members: Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, president of the Episcopal Conference, military ordinary for Indonesia

Bishop Fransiskus Kopong Kung of Larantuka

Substitute: Bishop Leo Laba Ladjar, O.F.M., of Jayapura

KAZAKHSTAN

Member: Archbishop Tomash Bernard Peta, of Mary Most Holy in Astana, president of the Episcopal Conference

Substitute: Athanasius Schneider, O.R.C., auxiliary of Mary Most Holy in Astana

LAOS and CAMBODIA

Member: Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, apostolic vicar of Pakse, Laos

Substitute: Olivier Michel Marie Schmitthaeusler, M.E.P., apostolic vicar of Phnom-Penh, Cambodia, president of the Episcopal Conference

MALAYSIA - SINGAPORE - BRUNEI

Member: Archbishop John Wong Soo Kau of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Substitute: Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang, Malaysia

MYANMAR

Member: Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., archbishop of Yangon

Substitute: Bishop Felix Lian Khen Thang of Kalay

ARAB STATES (C.E.L.R.A.)

Member: His Beatitude Fouad TWAL, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins, president of the Episcopal Conference

Substitute: Archbishop Maroun Elias Lahham, auxiliary and patriarchal vicar for Jerusalem of the Latins for Jordan

EUROPE

BELARUS

Member: Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk-Mohilev

Substitute: Bishop Antoni Dziemianko of Pinsk

CROATIA

Member: Bishop Valter Zupan, emeritus of Krk, president of the Council of the Croation Episcopal Conference for the Family and Life

Substitute: Bishop Antun Skvorcevic of Pozega

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Member: Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, F.S.C.B., of Mother of God in Moscow, president of the Episcopal Conference

Substitute: Bishop Joseph Werth, S.J., of Transfiguration in Novosibirsk

GERMANY

Members: Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munchen und Freising

Bishop Heiner Koch of Dresden-Meissen

Bishop Franz-Josef Hermann Bode of Osnabruck

Substitutes: Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann of Speyer

Bishop Wilfried Theising, auxiliary of Munster

GREAT BRITAIN (SCOTLAND)

Member: Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, president of the Episcopal Conference of Scotland

Substitute: Bishop John Keenan of Paisley

PORTUGAL

Members: Cardinal Manuel Jose Macario Do Nascimento Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon, president of the Episcopal Conference

Bishop Antonino Eugenio Fernandes Dias of Portalegre-Castelo Branco, president of the Episcopal Commission for the Laity and the Family

Substitute: Bishop Antonio Augusto Dos Santos Marto of Leiria-Fatima, vice president of the Episcopal Conference

CZECH REPUBLIC

Member: Bishop Jan Vokal of Hradec Kralove

Substitute: Bishop Ladislav Hucko, apostolic exarch for Catholic of Byznantine rite in the Czech Republic

SWITZERLAND

Member: Bishop Jean-Marie Lovey, C.R.B., of Sion, Sitten

Substitute: Bishop Valerio Lazzeri of Lugano

B) “Sui Iuris” Oriental Catholic Churches

Synod of the Syro-Malabar Churches

Members:Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of Palai of the Syro-Malabars, India

Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur of the Syro-Malabars, India

Substitutes: Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad of the Syro-Malabars, India

Bishop Thomas Elavanal, M.C.B.S., of Kalyan of the Syro-Malabars, India


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