- POPE RECEIVES CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, ANNOUNCES POSSIBILITY OF PLACING COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION OF MINORS UNDER ITS RESPONSIBILITY
- TO AUSTRIAN BISHOPS: CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT IS NOT PHILANTHROPY
- PRESENTATION OF YEAR FOR CONSECRATED LIFE: AWAKEN THE WORLD WITH PROPHETIC WITNESS THAT RECALLS THE WITNESS OF YOUR FOUNDERS
- IMPLEMENTATION OF DUE DILIGENCE TO IMPROVE MANAGEMENT FOR BAMBINO GESU CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AND CASA SOLLIEVO DELLA SOFFERENZA FOUNDATION
- HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE BULLETIN ANNOUNCED ON TWITTER
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
POPE RECEIVES CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, ANNOUNCES POSSIBILITY OF PLACING COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION OF MINORS UNDER ITS RESPONSIBILITY
Vatican City, 31 January 2014 (VIS) – “To promote and safeguard the doctrine on faith and morals in the whole Catholic world” is the duty that John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution “Pastor bonus” assigns to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This morning, at the end of their plenary session, Pope Francis received in audience the members of the dicastery.
The Holy Father emphasized that, “from the earliest days of the Church, there has been a temptation to understand doctrine in an ideological sense or to reduce it to a set of abstract and fossilized theories. In fact, doctrine has the sole purpose of serving the life of the People of God and seeks to ensure a firm foundation to our faith. Great indeed is the temptation to commandeer the gifts of salvation that come from God, to acclimate them—maybe even with the best intention—to the world's viewpoints and spirit.”
The task of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith should “also always seek to keep in mind the needs of constructive, respectful, and patient dialogue with the authors. If truth demands precision, this always grows in charity and fraternal assistance for those called to deepen or clarify their beliefs.” Likewise, the Pope noted that the Congregation's method of working is distinguished “by its practice of collegiality and dialogue. Effectively, the Church is a place of communion and, at all levels, each of us is called to cultivate and promote communion, each one with the responsibility assigned to us by the Lord.”
Then, mentioning their plenary session that was dedicated to the relationship between faith and marriage, he stated that “it is a reflection of great importance. It arises in the wake of the invitation already formulated by Benedict XVI regarding the need to question more deeply the relationship between personal faith and the celebration of the sacrament of marriage, especially in the changed cultural context.”
“On this occasion, I would also like to thank you for your efforts in dealing with sensitive issues regarding the most serious crimes, in particular, the cases of the sexual abuse of minors by clerics. Think of the welfare of children and the young, who in the Christian community must always be protected and supported in their human and spiritual growth. In this sense, the possibility is being looked into of connecting the specific Commission for the Protection of Minors, which I have established, to your dicastery. I hope it will be an example for all those who wish to promote the welfare of children.”
TO AUSTRIAN BISHOPS: CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT IS NOT PHILANTHROPY
Vatican City, 31 January 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday, Pope Francis received prelates of the Austrian Bishops' Conference at the end of their "ad limina" visit, delivering the speech that the extracts below are taken from. In his speech the Holy Father recalled the kindness of the Austrian Church for the Successor of Peter that was concretely expressed in the cordial reception given to Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to the Shrine of Mariazell in 2007, despite the difficult years for the Church in following years, a difficulty marked, among other factors, by the decline in the number of Catholics. He writes, however, that this trend “should not find us inactive, but should encourage our efforts for the new evangelization that is always needed.”
Pope Francis affirmed that being the Church “doesn't mean administration, but going out, being missionaries, bringing people the light of faith and the joy of the Gospel. Let us not forget that the momentum of our commitment as Christians in the world is not a philanthropic idea, not a vague humanism, but a gift from God, that is, the gift of being sons and daughters that we have received in Baptism. This gift is, at the same time, a task. God's children do not hide; rather they bring their joy as children of God to the world.”
“The Church,” the Pope continued, quoting the Second Vatican Council, “'embraces in its bosom sinners'. But the council says in the same passage that we should not resign ourselves to sin, that is … the holy Church is always in need of being purified. That means that we must always be committed to our purification, in the sacrament of Reconciliation. … As pastors of the Church we want to assist the faithful with tenderness and understanding in this wonderful sacrament, to make them feel the Good Shepherd's love precisely in this gift. I ask you, therefore, not to tire of inviting people to encounter Christ in the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.”
“An important area of our work as shepherds,” the Pope noted, “is the family. It is located at the heart of the evangelizing Church. … The foundation upon which you can develop harmonious family life is mainly marital fidelity. Unfortunately, in our times we see that the family and marriage, in countries in the Western world, have suffered an profound interior crisis. … Globalization and post-modern individualism promote a lifestyle that makes the development and stability of interpersonal relationships much more difficult and that is not conducive to promoting a culture of the family. Here a new missionary area is opened to the Church, for example, in family groups that create space for relationships between persons and with God where true communion, which welcomes each equally without confining them in elite groups, can grow.”
“The Church's concern for the family begins with good preparation and proper accompaniment of the bride and groom, as well as a faithful and clear presentation of Church doctrine on marriage and the family. As a sacrament, Marriage is a gift from God and, at the same time, a commitment.”
From the family, the Pope moved on to the parish, “the large field that the Lord has entrusted to us to make fruitful with our pastoral work. Priests, pastors should always be aware that their task of governing is a deeply spiritual service. It is always the pastor who leads the parish community, relying on the help and valuable contribution of the various co-workers and of all the faithful laity. … Each is called; each is sent out. It is not a given, however, that the place of the call be just the parish centre … God's call can reach us … in the places of our everyday lives.”
“Speaking about God,” he concluded, “bringing people the message of God's love and salvation in Jesus Christ, [a message] for all people, is the duty of every baptized person. This duty includes not only speaking with words, but with our whole way of acting and doing. … It is precisely in our time, when we seem to become the 'little flock', that we car called, as disciples of the Lord, to live as a community that is 'salt of the earth' and 'light of the world'.”
PRESENTATION OF YEAR FOR CONSECRATED LIFE: AWAKEN THE WORLD WITH PROPHETIC WITNESS THAT RECALLS THE WITNESS OF YOUR FOUNDERS
Vatican City, 31 January 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Press Office of the Holy See, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, O.F.M., secretary of the same congregation, presented the Year for Consecrated Life 2015. It was called for by Pope Francis at the end of his meeting with 120 superior generals of male institutes, at the suggestion of the heads of the aforementioned congregation on having heard from many of the consecrated.
“First of all,” Cardinal Braz de Aviz said, “this Year dedicated to consecrated life has been prepared in the context of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and, more specifically, on the 50th anniversary of the publication of the conciliar decree on the renewal of consecrated life 'Perfectae caritatis'. … Because we recognize these 50 years that separate us from the Council as a moment of grace for consecrated life, as marked by the presence of the Spirit that leads us to live even our weaknesses and infidelities as an experience of God's mercy and love, we want this Year to be an occasion for 'gratefully remembering' this recent past. This is the first objective of the Year for Consecrated Life.”
“With a positive look at this time of grace between the Council and today, we want the second objective to be 'embracing the future with hope'. We are well aware that the present moment is 'difficult and delicate' … and that the crisis facing society and the Church herself fully touches upon the consecrated life. But we want to take this crisis not as an antechamber of death but as … an opportunity to grow in depth, and thus in hope, motivated by the certainty that the consecrated life will never disappear from the Church because 'it was desired by Jesus himself as an irremovable part of his Church'.”
“This hope,” he concluded, “doesn't spare us—and the consecrated are well aware of this—from 'living the present passionately', and this is the third objective for the Year. … It will be an important moment for 'evangelizing' our vocation and for bearing witness to the beauty of the 'sequela Christi' in the many ways in which our lives are expressed. The consecrated take up the witness that has been left them by their respective founders and foundresses. … They want to 'awaken the world' with their prophetic witness, particularly with their presence at the existential margins of poverty and thought, as Pope Francis asked their superior generals.”
For his part, Archbishop Rodriguez Carballo explained the initiatives and events that will take place during the Year for Consecrated Life, which will begin this October to coincide with the anniversary of the promulgation of the conciliar constitution “Lumen Gentium”.
The Year's official inauguration is planned with a solemn celebration in St. Peter's Basilica, possibly presided by the Holy Father, which could take place on 21 November, the World Day 'Pro orantibus'. Still this November, it would be followed by a plenary assembly of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the theme of which would be “The 'Novum' in Consecrated Life beginning from Vatican II”.
Various international events are also planned for Rome, among which would include a meeting of young religious and novices, those who have professed temporary or final vows for less than ten years, a meeting for spiritual directors, an international theological conference on consecrated life dedicated to “Renewal of the Consecrated Life in Light of the Council and Perspectives for the Future”, and an international exhibit on “Consecrated Life: The Gospel in Human History”.
For the conclusion of the Year for Consecrated Life another concelebration presided by Pope Francis is planned, probably for 21 November 2015, 50 years after the decree “Perfecta caritatis”. Every four months throughout the year, the dicastery will publish a newsletter on themes related to consecrated life, the first of which will come out on 2 February of next year, entitled “Be Glad” and dedicated to the Magisterium of the Holy Father on consecrated life. In response to the Pope's wishes, the Antonianum Pontifical University in Rome will host a symposium on the management of economic goods and capital by religious from 8 to 9 March. There will be a series of initiatives planned particularly for contemplative religious, including a world Chain of Prayer among monasteries.
Archbishop Rodriguez Carballo also spoke of several documents that the dicastery is preparing. To that end, in close collaboration with the Congregation for Bishops and following a mandate by the Holy Father, the document “Mutuae relationes” on the relations between bishops and religious in the Church is being drawn up. Also, always on the mandate of the Pope, the instruction “Verbi Sponsa”, which deals with the autonomy and cloistering of entirely contemplative religious, is being revised. Another document in preparation will deal with the life and the mission of religious while a fourth one will touch on the question of how consecrated manage goods in order to offer some guidelines and direction in the complex situations that arise in that area.
Finally, during the Year of Consecrated Life, it is hoped that the Holy Father will promulgate a new apostolic constitution on contemplative life in place of “Sponsa Christi”, which was promulgated by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
IMPLEMENTATION OF DUE DILIGENCE TO IMPROVE MANAGEMENT FOR BAMBINO GESU CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AND CASA SOLLIEVO DELLA SOFFERENZA FOUNDATION
Vatican City, 31 January 2014 (VIS) – The Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Study and Guidance of the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See, in collaboration with the Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital and the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza Foundation, have mandated the institution of a “due diligence” of economic, administrative, and management processes of the two hospitals for the purpose of being able to correctly complete the overall picture of financial data and organizational aspects of the entities that refer to the Holy See.
The Commission will use the data obtained to propose appropriate recommendations for improving the models of management and ensuring transparency and efficiency in fulfilling the noble mandate of protecting and safeguarding human health and life.
A bidding process was announced for the “due diligence”, which resulted in the task being assigned to PWC for Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital and to Deloitte for Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza Foundation
HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE BULLETIN ANNOUNCED ON TWITTER
Vatican City, 31 January 2014 (VIS) – The Press Office of the Holy See has announced the launch of a new Twitter account, @HolySeePress, to give notice when the Bulletin—which gives information in the various official languages of the Holy See on the important events occurring in the Vatican—is published daily. The notifications will also have a link to the Bulletin's webpage on the Vatican site.
Vatican City, 31 January 2014 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain, with Dr. Javier Maria Prades Lopez, rector of the San Damaso Ecclesiastical University in Madrid,
- Archbishop Bruno Musaro, titular of Abari and apostolic nuncio to Cuba,
- Archbishop Vincent Gerard Nichols of Westminster, England,
- Fr. Ferdinando Neri of the Nomadelfia Community, and
- Dr. Franco Miano, national president of Italian Catholic Action.
This afternoon he is scheduled to meet with Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 31 January 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father:
- appointed Msgr. Stefano Manetti, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy, as bishop of the Diocese of Montepulciano-Chiusi-Pienza (area 1,068, population 73,177, Catholics 69,508, priests 61, permanent deacons 3, religious 19), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Florence, Italy in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1984. Since ordination he has served in various pastoral and diocesan roles, most recently as coordinator of the Presbyteral Council. He has been a member of the College of Consultors since 2009.
- appointed Fr. Antonio Mura, of the clergy of the Diocese of Alghero-Bosa, Italy, as bishop of the Diocese of Lanusei (area 2,349, population 68,713, Catholics 67,954, priests 51, permanent deacons 8, religious 23), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Bortigali, Italy in 1952 and was ordained a priest in 1979. Since ordination he has served in various pastoral and diocesan roles, most recently as director of the diocesan weekly and regional director of the Cultural Project for the Italian Bishops' Conference. He succeeds Bishop Antioco Piseddu, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- appointed Archbishop Franco Coppola, previously apostolic nuncio to Burundi, as apostolic nuncio to Central African Republic.
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