Friday, February 28, 2014

News Vatican Information Service February 28, 2014


SUMMARY:

- THE POPE: THE CHURCH IN LATIN AMERICA MUST NOT SQUANDER THE TREASURE OF YOUTH
- POPE FRANCIS MEETS AN ARGENTINE INTERRELIGIOUS GROUP RETURNING FROM THE HOLY LAND
- POPE FRANCIS' PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR MARCH
- AUDIENCES
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
______________________________________

THE POPE: THE CHURCH IN LATIN AMERICA MUST NOT SQUANDER THE TREASURE OF YOUTH

Vatican City, 28 February 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received in audience the Commission for Latin America, which today concluded its plenary session. Pope Francis emphasised that the Commission has dedicated its work during these days to the millions of young people in Latin America and the Caribbean “who live in conditions of 'educational emergency' and for whom it is necessary to pose the fundamental question of the 'traditio' of faith and how the Church wishes to imitate Jesus in His approach to the young”.

It is worth following the example Jesus Christ gives us”, he repeated, “an example of commitment, of service, of selfless love, of the struggle for justice and truth. The Holy Mother Church is convinced that the best teacher for the young is Jesus Christ. She wishes to instil in them these same sentiments, showing them how beautiful it is to live as He did, banishing selfishness and allowing oneself to be drawn by the beauty of goodness. He who truly knows Jesus does not stay on the couch, but rather takes on His style of life, becoming a missionary disciple of His Gospel, bearing enthusiastic witness to faith, and sparing no sacrifice”.

The Pope recalled Jesus' encounter with the rich youth, and emphasised three aspects. First, welcome: Jesus' first gesture, and also ours, it precedes every form of instruction or apostolic mission. “Be close to the young in every area of life: in school, family, work. … Many young people experience serious problems. They face difficulties in school, unemployment, loneliness, the bitterness of disunited families. These are difficult moments, in which they experience frustration and helplessness; they become vulnerable to drug abuse, sex without love, violence ... we must not abandon the young, or leave them at the roadside; they have a great need to feel valued in their dignity, surrounded by affection, and understood”.

Secondly, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of frank and cordial dialogue, just as Jesus listened to the youth's worries and helped to clear them up. “Jesus listened, without condemning; he was without prejudice, he did not speak about the usual things. In the same way, the young want to feel at home in Church. Not only must the Church open her doors to them; she must actively seek them”.

Finally, the Pontiff underlined the invitation that Jesus makes to the youth to follow him, and emphasised the need for the young to hear this invitation. They must hear that Christ is not a character in a novel, but a living person, who wants to share their irrepressible desire for life, commitment, and dedication. If we content ourselves with offering them mere human comfort, we let them down. It is important to offer them the best we have: Jesus Christ, His Gospel, and with Him, a new horizon, which enables them to face life with coherence, honesty and high-mindedness. They see the evils of the world and do not keep quiet, they place their finger on the wound and ask for a better world, admitting no substitutes. They want to be in control of their present and builders of a future in which there is no place for lies, corruption and the lack of solidarity. … The Church in Latin America must not squander the treasure of youth”.

Before concluding, the Pope urged the Commission to face this challenge with resolve. “The young are waiting for us. We must not let them down”.

POPE FRANCIS MEETS AN ARGENTINE INTERRELIGIOUS GROUP RETURNING FROM THE HOLY LAND

Vatican City, 28 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office communicates that yesterday afternoon the Pope received in the Domus Sanctae Marthae an important Argentine interreligious group made up of 45 persons: fifteen Jews, fifteen Muslims and fifteen Catholics.

The group has recently returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, following a pilgrimage of several days, ahead of the Holy Father's visit. The group passed through the three countries he will visit – Jordan , Israel, and Palestine – meeting with political and religious leaders and visiting the holy sites of the three religions. Many members of the group, which includes several rabbis, imams and priests, knew the former Cardinal Bergoglio as archbishop of Buenos Aires, and had collaborated with him in joint initiatives, often of a social or charitable nature for persons or social groups in difficult situations, or in the field of interreligious dialogue.

Their friendship and spiritual closeness to the Pope were among the reasons for this initiative; the pilgrimage, therefore, concluded in Rome, with their meeting with the Holy Father. They expressed their best wishes for his ministry of peace and dialogue and for his forthcoming pilgrimage in the Holy Land. The meeting, which lasted around an hour, took place in a cordial atmosphere and was attended by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

POPE FRANCIS' PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR MARCH

Vatican City, 28 February 2014 (VIS) – The Pope's universal prayer intention for March is “that all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women”.

His prayer intention for evangelisation is “that many young people may accept the Lord's invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel”.

AUDIENCES

Vatican City, 28 February 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Thirteen prelates of the Spanish Episcopal Conference on their “ad limina” visit:

- Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, with his auxiliaries, Bishop Fidel Herraez Vegas, Bishop Cesar Augusto Franco Martinez, and Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino;

- Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla of Alcala de Henares;

- Bishop Joaquin Maria Lopez de Andujar y Canova del Castillo of Getafe, with his auxiliary, Bishop Jose Rico Paves;

- Bishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Valencia;

- Bishop Vicente Juan Segura of Ibiza;

- Bishop Javier Salines Vinals of Mallorca;

- Bishop Salvador Gimenez Valls of Menorca; and

- Bishop Jesus Murgui Soriano of Orihuela-Alicante; and Bishop Casimiro Lopez Llorente of Segorbe-Castellon de la Plana.

- Archbishop Mario Antonio Cargnelo of Salta, Argentina.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

Vatican City, 28 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the metropolitan archdiocese of Koln, Germany, presented by Cardinal Joachim Meisner, upon having reached the age limit.


You can find more information at: www.visnews.org
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City


Thursday, February 27, 2014

News Vatican Information Service February 27, 2014


SUMMARY:

- THE POPE DEFINES THE MISSION OF THE CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE APOSTLES' SUCCESSORS
- CHURCH, HOME AND SCHOOL OF COMMUNION
- LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS PRESIDED BY POPE FRANCIS: MARCH-APRIL 2014
- THE HOLY SEE WILL PARTICIPATE WITH A PAVILION AT EXPO MILAN 2015
- AUDIENCES
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
______________________________________

THE POPE DEFINES THE MISSION OF THE CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE APOSTLES' SUCCESSORS

Vatican City, 27 February 2014 (VIS) – This morning, in the Sala Bologna of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis presided over a meeting of the Congregation for Bishops, whose prefect is Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., and gave an address to those present regarding the mission of this congregation and the criteria that should determine the selection of a bishop, as well as the characteristics he should embody and his task in relation to the faithful entrusted to him. The Holy Father concluded by urging greater attention in scouring the fields in search of suitable pastors for this ministry, with the certainty that Christ never abandons His Church.

Extensive extracts are published below:

1. The essential mission of the Congregation

"In celebration of the ordination of a bishop the Church gathered together, after the invocation of the Holy Spirit, asks for the presented candidate to be ordained. He who presides then asks, “Do you have the mandate?”. ... This Congregation exists tohelp write this mandate, which then resonates in many Churches and brings joy and hope to the Holy People of God. This Congregation exists to ensure that the name chosen has first of all been pronounced by the Lord. ... The Holy People of God continues to speak: ...we need someone who looks upon us with the breadth of heart of God; we do not need a manager, a company administrator. ... We need someone who knows how to raise himself to the height of God's gaze above us in order to guide us towards Him. ... We must not lose sight of the needs of the particular Churches, for whom we must always provide. There does not exist a standard Pastor for all Churches. ... Our challenge is to enter into Christ's view, taking into account the singularity of the particular Churches”.

2. God's horizon determines the mission of the Congregation

"To choose such ministers we too need to elevate ourselves, to rise to the 'upper level'. We must rise above and overcome any eventual preferences, sympathies, provenances or tendencies to arrive at God's broad horizon. ... We do not need men conditioned by fear from below, but Pastors endowed with parresia, capable of ensuring that in the world there is a sacrament of unity, and therefore humanity is not destined to abandonment and helplessness. ... In approving the appointment of each bishop I would like to be able to feel the authority of your discernment and the greatness of the horizons according to which you arrive at your counsel. Therefore, the spirit that presides over your work cannot be other than that humble, silent and laborious process carried out by the light that comes from above. Professionalism, service and holiness of life: if we turn away from these three virtues we fall from the greatness to which we are called”.

3. The Apostolic Church as a wellspring

"The height of the Church is always found in the depths of its foundations. ... The future of the Church always lives in its origins. ... We know that the College of Bishops, which the bishops enter by the Sacrament, succeeds the Apostolic College. The world needs to be aware that this sequence is uninterrupted. ... People already know through suffering the experience of many ruptures: they need to find that there remains in the Church the grace of her origins".

4. The bishop as a witness to the Risen Christ

"Let us consider ... the moment at which the Apostolic Church must recompose the College of the Twelve after the betrayal of Judas. Without the Twelve the fullness of the Spirit can not descend. We must find a successor among those who have followed from the beginning the journey of Jesus and who now can be,'along with the Twelve' a 'witness of the resurrection". We must choose from the followers of Jesus those who will be witnesses of the Risen Christ. ... Also for us, this is the unifying criterion: the bishop is he who is able to make current all that befell Jesus and above all, who knows, along with the Church, how to bear witness to His Resurrection. ... Not an isolated witness, but together with the Church. ... I would like to emphasise that renouncement and sacrifice is inherent to the episcopal mission. The episcopate is not for oneself, it is for the Church ... for others , especially for those who according to the world should be excluded. ... Therefore, to identify a bishop, it is not necessary to list his human, intellectual cultural or even pastoral skills. ... Certainly, there is a need for someone who excels; whose human integrity ensures a capacity for healthy relationships ... so as not to project his shortcomings onto others and to become a destabilising factor ... his cultural preparation must enable him to enter into dialogue with men and their cultures; his orthodoxy and faithfulness to the complete Truth held by the Church makes him a pillar and a point of reference ... his transparency and detachment when managing community assets must confer authority and merit the esteem of all”.

All these indispensable skills must be, however, in support of his central witness to the Risen Christ, and must be subordinate to this central commitment.

5. The sovereignty of God, responsible for the decision.

"Let us return to the apostolic text. After the tiring task of discernment, the Apostles pray ... We cannot elude that 'Show us, Lord.' The decisions can not be conditioned by our claims, for any groups, cliques or hegemonies. To guarantee this sovereignty two attitudes are fundamental: conscience before God, and collegiality ... Not discretion, but the discernment of all. No one can have everything on hand, each person must humbly and honestly add his tile to a mosaic which belongs to God”.

6. “Kerygmatic” bishops

"Since faith comes from proclamation we need kerygmatic bishops. ... Men who are guardians of doctrine, not so as as to measure how far the world is from doctrinal truth, but in order to fascinate the world ... with the beauty of love, with the freedom offered by the Gospel. The Church does not need apologists for her causes or crusaders for her battles, but humble and trusting sowers of the truth, who know that it is always given to them anew and trust in its power. Men who are patient men as they know that the weeds will never fill the field".

7. Praying bishops

"I have spoken of kerygmatic bishops; now I will move on to the other trait typical of the bishop: he must be a man of prayer. The same parresia he must have in the proclamation of the Word, must be present in his prayer, in speaking with God our Lord of the good of his people, the salvation of his people. ... A man who does not have the courage to argue with God on behalf of his people can not be a bishop, nor can he who is not able to assume the mission of guiding the people of God to where He, the Lord, indicates. ... And this also applies to apostolic patience ... the bishop must be able to 'go with patience' before God ... finding and letting himself be found".

8. Bishop-Pastors

"May bishops be shepherds, close to the people; 'fathers and brothers, may they be gentle, patient and merciful; may they love poverty, interior poverty, as freedom for the Lord, and exterior poverty, as well as simplicity and a modest lifestyle; may they not have the mindset of “princes”'. Be careful that they are not ambitious, that they are not in quest of the episcopate', that they are espoused to the Church, without constantly seeking another; this is called adultery. May they be overseers of the flock that has been entrusted to them, to take care of everything that is needed to keep it united. ... I wish to emphasise again that the Church needs genuine Pastors ... look at the testament of the Apostle Paul. ... He speaks directly to us. He commits the pastors of the Church 'to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance'. Therefore, not masters of the Word, but committed to it, servants of the Word. Only in this way is it possible to edify and obtain the inheritance of the saints. To those who are plagued with questions about their legacy: 'What is the legacy of a bishop, gold or silver?', Paul answers, 'Holiness'. The Church remains when God's holiness spreads to her members. ... Vatican Council II states that the 'pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted” completely to bishops. In our times, regularity and the everyday are often associated with routine and boredom. Therefore we often try to escape to a permanent 'elsewhere'. Unfortunately even in the Church we are not exempt from this risk. I think that in this time of meetings and congresses the decree of the Council of Trent is very current, and it would be good for the Congregation for Bishops to write something about this. ... The flock needs to find a place in the heart of its Pastor. If this is not solidly anchored in itself, in Christ and His Church, the bishop will continually be at the mercy of the waves, in search of ephemeral compensations, and will offer no shelter to his flock".

Conclusion

"At the end of these words, I wonder: where can we find such men? ... It is not easy. ... I think of the prophet Samuel in search of Saul's successor, who, knowing that little David was outside in the field grazing the sheep, demands 'Send for him'. We too must search among the fields of the Church for men to present to the Lord, in order that he say 'Rise and anoint him; this is the one'. I am sure that they are there, since the Lord does not abandon his Church. Perhaps we are not seeking well enought in the fields. Perhaps we need to heed Samuel 's warning: 'We will not sit down until he arrives'. I would like this Congregation to live in this state of this holy restlessness”.

CHURCH, HOME AND SCHOOL OF COMMUNION

Vatican City, 27 February 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Sala Clementina of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received in audience the bishops who are friends of the Focolare Movement, who have held a meeting during recent days on the theme of “Mutual love among Christ's disciples”. The Pope stated that as bishops, they are “called upon to bring to these meetings the broad range of the Church, and to ensure that all they receive is put to the benefit of the entire Church”.

Today's society has a great need for the testimony of a style of life, from which their transpires the novelty offered to us by Lord Jesus: brothers who care for each other in spite of their differences of character, origins, or age”, he continued. “This testimony gives rise to the wish to be involved in the great trajectory of communion that is the Church”.

In conclusion, Pope Francis recalled the words of John Paul II in the Apostolic Letter “Novo Millennio Ineunte”: “'To make the Church the home and the school of communion' is truly fundamental for the efficacy of every commitment to evangelisation, inasmuch as it reveals the deepest yearning of the Father: that all His sons live as brothers; and it reveals the will of Christ, that 'that all of them may be one'; and it reveals the dynamism of the Holy Spirit, its free and liberating force of attraction. Cultivating the spirituality of communion also contributes to making us more able to walk the path of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue”.

LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS PRESIDED BY POPE FRANCIS: MARCH-APRIL 2014

Vatican City, 27 February 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has made public the calendar of celebrations that are due to be presided over by the Holy Father Francis in March and April 2014:

MARCH

- Wednesday 5, Ash Wednesday. At 4:30 p.m. in the Basilica of Sant'Anselmo: "statio" and penitential procession. At 5:00 p.m. in the Basilica of Santa Sabina: blessing and imposition of ashes.

- Sunday 9, first Sunday of Lent. Ariccia: beginning of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.

- Friday 14, conclusion of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.

- Sunday 16, 4 p.m., pastoral visit to the Roman parish of “Santa Maria dell'Orazione.

- Friday 28, 17 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica: penitential liturgy.

APRIL

- Sunday 6, 4 p.m., pastoral visit to a Roman parish.

- Sunday 13, Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. At 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square: blessing of palms, procession, and Mass in the Papal Chapel.

- Sunday 17, Holy Thursday. At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica: Chrism Mass.

- Friday 18, Good Friday. At 5:00 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica: celebration of the Lord's Passion. At 9:15pm at the Colosseum: Via Crucis.

- Saturday, 19, Holy Saturday. At 8:30 p.m. in the Papal Chapel of the Vatican Basilica: Easter vigil.

- Sunday 20, Easter Sunday. At 10:15am in St. Peter's Square, Papal Chapel: Mass. At midday, from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica: "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.

- Sunday 27, second Sunday of Easter (or Divine Mercy Sunday). At 10 a.m., St. Peter's Square, Papal Chapel: Mass and canonisation of Blesseds Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

The Pope will preside over the “in Coena Domini” Mass on the afternoon of Holy Thursday but, like last year and in previous years in Buenos Aires, he will select a situation of a special nature from a pastoral point of view, which will be communicated when appropriate. There will not, therefore, be a celebration in a Basilica or the possibility of participation by a large number of faithful; the Prefecture of the Papal Household will not distribute tickets for any such celebration.

THE HOLY SEE WILL PARTICIPATE WITH A PAVILION AT EXPO MILAN 2015

Vatican City, 27 February 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office the protocol was presented for the participation of the Holy See at Expo Milan 2015. The general theme of the event will be “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, Commissioner General for the Holy See for Expo Milan 2015, and Giuseppe Sala, Sole Commissioner Delegate of the Italian Government for Expo Milan 2015, signed the Protocol this morning in the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, and spoke at the press conference.

Expo Milan 2015 will begin on 1 May 2015 and will continue until 31 October; 140 countries will participate with their respective pavilions. The theme of the Holy See's pavilion will be “Not by bread alone”, and aims to “highlight, above all, the inner, religious and cultural dimension that affects both the person and his relationships at all levels. Inner nourishment is just as necessary as that which responds to more immediate needs”.

From the universal value of sharing and solidarity to the protection of the Earth's resources that must not be squandered or plundered, the Holy See's pavilion will promote profound reflection on the concept of “nourishment”, and will do so by presenting four areas.

The first is a garden to preserve, which relates to the protection of Creation, with all its resources, a gift given by the Creator to all humanity, and a patrimony that must not be wasted, plundered or destroyed. The second will be food to share; the Gospel account of the multiplication of bread will provide the guiding image and will underline the universal value of sharing and solidarity, expressed in the Christian context of the many institutions that have implemented this commandment of brotherly love. The third is a meal that educates, and emphasizes that education is fundamental for forming young generations in the context of a culture of human relations focused on the essentials and not on consumerist waste (of both goods and human beings); and the fourth is bread that makes God present in the world, based on the typically religious and Christian dimension of the Eucharist, the Word and Bread of life, the source and culmination of all Christian existence.

AUDIENCES

Vatican City, 27 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father today received in audience twelve prelates from the Spanish Episcopal Conference, on their “ad limina” visit:

- Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid;

- Bishop Jesus Garcia Burillo of Avila;

- Bishop Cecilio Raul Berzosa Martinez of Cuidad Rodrigo;

- Bishop Carlos Lopez Hernandez of Salamanca;

- Bishop Angel Rubio Castro of Segovia;

- Bishop Gregorio Martinez Sacristan of Zamora;

- Archbishop Manuel Urena Pastor of Zaragoza;

- Bishop Alfonso Milian Sorribas of Barbastro-Monzon;

- Bishop Julian Ruiz Martorell of Huesca;

- Bishop Eusebio Hernandez Sola of Tarazona;

- Bishop Carlos Manuel Escribano Subias of Teruel y Albarracin; and

- Bishop Jose Sanchez Gonzalez, emeritus of Siguenza-Guadalajara.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

Vatican City, 27 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Msgr. Marco Arnolfo as metropolitan archbishop of Vercelli (area 1,658, population 183,680, Catholics 178,160, priests 101, permanent deacons 13, religious 301), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Cavallermaggiore, Italy in 1952 and was ordained a priest in 1978. He holds a degree in physics. and specialised in pastoral theology at the Pontifical Salesian University, Turin, Italy. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including vicar in the parishes of “Santa Maria della Scala di Chieri” and “Santi Pietro e Paolo a Santena” in Turin, rector of the minor seminary of Turin, and priest of the parish of “San Giovanni Battista ad Orbassano”, Turin. He is currently territorial episcopal vicar of the West District of the same city, and member of the presbyteral council. In 2010 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness. He succeeds Archbishop Enrico Masseroni, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, upon having reached the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Msgr. Rosario Gisana as bishop of Piazza Armerina (area 2,003, population 223,200, Catholics 215,200, priests 134, permanent deacons 9, religious 183), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Modica, Italy in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a licentiate in biblical sciences from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and a licentiate in theology and patristic sciences and a doctorate in patristics from the "Augustinianum" Patristic Institute in Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including rector of the bishop's seminary of Noto, Italy, and member of the diocesan presbyiteral council, canon of the Cathedral chapter, lecturer in biblical sciences at the “San Paolo” Theological Study of Catania and the “G. Blandini” Institute of Religious Sciences in Noto, and member of the college of consultors and the commission for the clergy. He is currently episcopal vicar for pastoral ministry, director of the diocesan catechistic office and vice rector of the Cathedral Church of San Nicolo di Noto. He is also a lecturer in biblical exegesis and patristics and vice principal of the “San Paolo” Theological Study of Catania.


You can find more information at: www.visnews.org
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

News Vatican Information Service February 26, 2014


SUMMARY:

- ANOINTING OF THE SICK: SACRAMENT OF GOD'S COMPASSION TOWARDS HUMAN SUFFERING
- APPEAL FOR AN END TO THE VIOLENCE IN VENEZUELA
- ST. GABRIEL OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS, AN INSPIRING EXAMPLE
- HIGH PERCENTAGE OF EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES RESPOND TO THE SYNOD QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE FAMILY
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
______________________________________

ANOINTING OF THE SICK: SACRAMENT OF GOD'S COMPASSION TOWARDS HUMAN SUFFERING

Vatican City, 26 February 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Sacraments by speaking today about the anointing of the sick, “which allows us to touch with our hands God's compassion for mankind”. He explained that in the past it was referred to as “extreme unction” as it was intended as spiritual consolation when death was imminent. “Speaking of the anointing of the sick helps us to broaden our view of the experience of illness and suffering, in the horizon of God's mercy”.

The parable of the Good Samaritan clearly expresses the mystery that is celebrated by this Sacrament. “The Samaritan consoles the man who suffers at the side of the road, tending to his wounds with oil and wine. The oil recalls that which is blessed by the Bishop every year, in the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, precisely for the anointing of the sick. The wine, instead, is a sign of Christ's love and grace, which flow from His gift of His life for us. The Pope explained that the sick person is finally entrusted to “the Church, the Christian community”, to whom “every day the Lord Jesus entrusts those who are afflicted, in body and spirit, so that we may continue to lavish upon them, without measure, all His love and His salvation”.

This mandate is confirmed explicitly and precisely in the Epistle of St. James, in which he says, 'Is any among you sick? Let him call upon the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord'”, continued the Holy Father. “It is therefore a practice that was already in evidence at the time of the Apostles. Indeed, Jesus had taught his disciples to have His same predilection for the sick and the suffering, and transmitted to them the capacity and the task of continuing to give consolation and peace in His name … through the special grace of this Sacrament. However, this must not lead us to search obsessively for miracles or allow us the presumption of always being able to be healed; it gives us the assurance of Jesus' closeness to the sick and the elderly – as all those above the age of 65 are able to receive this Sacrament – as it is Jesus Himself Who comes towards them”.

But when someone is sick and we say, 'Let's call the priest to come', it makes us think that it may bring bad luck, or perhaps the patient will be afraid”, he continued, speaking off the cuff. “There is perhaps the idea that when one is sick and the priest arrives, he will be followed by the undertaker. But this is not true! The priest comes to help the sick or the elderly, which is why the visit is so important. It is necessary to call the priest to the home of the sick and to say: 'come, anoint him, bless him'. It is Jesus Himself Who arrives to console the sick, to give him strength, to give him hope, to help him; also to forgive his sins. And this is beautiful! And we must not think of this as a taboo, because it is always good to know that in moments of pain or sickness we are not alone; the priest and those who are present during the anointing of the sick represent, indeed, the entire Christian community who, as a single body, gathers around those who suffer and their relatives, encouraging their faith and hope, and supporting them with prayer and brotherly warmth. But the greatest comfort derives from the fact that it is the Lord Jesus Himself who is made present in the Sacrament; He takes us by the hand and reminds us that we now belong to Him and that nothing – not even sickness or death – can ever separate us from Him”.

Are we afraid of the habit of calling the priest to give this Sacrament to the sick – I don't mean in the case of influenza that lasts three or four days, but rather a serious illness – and to the elderly, so that they can find the strength from Jesus to go on?” asked the Pope, and concluded by urging those present: “Let's do this”.

APPEAL FOR AN END TO THE VIOLENCE IN VENEZUELA

Vatican City, 26 February 2014 (VIS) – Following today's catechesis the Pope commented on the events of recent days in Venezuela, and made an appeal for the cessation of violence and hostilities. He expressed his hope that “that the entire Venezuelan population, beginning with political and institutional leaders, will take steps to ensure national reconciliation, through mutual forgiveness and sincere dialogue, respecting truth and justice, and able to face real issues for the common good”.

The Holy Father gave the assurance of his prayers, in particular for those who have lost their lives in the clashes, and their families, and invited the faithful to raise prayers to God for the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Coromoto so that the country might once more find peace and harmony.

ST. GABRIEL OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS, AN INSPIRING EXAMPLE

Vatican City, 26 February 2014 (VIS) – In his greetings in various languages, the Pope mentioned that in two days' time the World Rare Diseases Day will be celebrated, and he addressed the participants in the congress that is to take place on the day. “I hope that patients and their families will be adequately supported on their difficult journey, at both a medical and a legislative level”.

Pope Francis greeted, among others, participants in the SIGNIS World Congress, the directors of the Polish radio who are meeting in Rome during these days for their spiritual exercises, pilgrims from Iraq and Lebanon, and the Legionaries of Christ who have completed their General Chapter.

Before concluding, he commented that tomorrow is the liturgical memory of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, “whose example helps you, dear young people, to be enthusiastic disciples of Jesus, who inspires you, dear sick people, to offer your suffering in union with those of Christ; and stimulates you, dear newly-weds, to make the Gospel the fundamental rule of your married life”.

HIGH PERCENTAGE OF EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES RESPOND TO THE SYNOD QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE FAMILY

Vatican City, 26 February 2014 (VIS) – The Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met on 24 and 25 February to discuss the results of the enquiry opened in November 2013 with the distribution of a questionnaire on themes relating to the family to episcopal conferences around the world. There has been a very high percentage of responses, and observations from individuals and groups from all over the world have been added.

On the afternoon of 24 February the Council was presided over by the Holy Father Francis, who also emphasised in this way the importance he attributes to both the Synod structure as an expression of episcopal collegiality and the theme that will be considered by the upcoming Extraordinary Assembly of 2014 and the Ordinary Assembly of 2015.

The draft synthesis of the answers received was unanimously appreciated. It enables the voice of the Church to be heard in all her components and in a variety of contexts and situations, both with regard to the urgency of proclaiming the Gospel of the family with renewed zeal, and in relation to the challenges and difficulties connected with family life and the crises it may face.

The observations made during the discussion will be considered in the drafting of the Instrumentum laboris from which the work of the Synod will proceed. The unitary character of the two stages expected for synodal reflection on the family, so that at the end of the Ordinary Synod proposals will be presented to the Holy Father, on the basis of which he will prepare his Apostolic Exhortation.

The Ordinary Council was attended by the relator general, Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, and the special secretary, Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto.

During the meeting the Holy Father blessed the new wing of the seat of the Secretariat General along with the Chapel and new offices.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

Vatican City, 26 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Jose Carlos de Souza Campos as bishop of Divinopolis (area 8,824, population 780,000, Catholics 668,000, priests 101, religious 117), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Itauna, Brazil in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a licentiate in fundamental theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and has held a number of pastoral roles, including priest of the parishes of “Senhor Bom Jesus” in Pedra do Indaia, “Nossa Senhora Aparecida” in Divinopolis, “Nossa Senhora de Fatima” in Itauna and “Sant'Ana” in Itauna; professor of philosophy in the “Sao Jose” diocesan seminary, administrator of the “Sao Judas Tadeu” parish in Divinopolis, and vicar general of the diocese of Divinopolis. He has also served as representative of priests, and member of the council of formators, the presbyteral council and the college of consultors, and professor of religious anthropology and fundamental theology in various study centres. He is currently administrator of the diocese of Divinopolis and priest of the Cathedral.


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The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

News Vatican Information Service February 25, 2014


SUMMARY:

- THE POPE WRITES A LETTER TO FAMILIES ASKING THEM TO PRAY FOR THE NEXT SYNOD
- ARCHBISHOP PAGLIA: FAMILIES ARE A MAJORITY IN THE CHURCH
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
______________________________________

THE POPE WRITES A LETTER TO FAMILIES ASKING THEM TO PRAY FOR THE NEXT SYNOD

Vatican City, 25 February 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis has written a letter to families asking them to pray for the next Synod of Bishops, which will be celebrated in the Vatican in October, and the theme of which will be “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”. The letter, dated 2 February, Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, is published in full below:

Dear families,

With this letter, I wish, as it were, to come into your homes to speak about an event which will take place at the Vatican this coming October. It is the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is being convened to discuss the theme of “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization”. Indeed, in our day the Church is called to proclaim the Gospel by confronting the new and urgent pastoral needs facing the family.

This important meeting will involve all the People of God – bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful of the particular Churches of the entire world – all of whom are actively participating in preparations for the meeting through practical suggestions and the crucial support of prayer. Such support on your part, dear families, is especially significant and more necessary than ever. This Synodal Assembly is dedicated in a special way to you, to your vocation and mission in the Church and in society; to the challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the life of the Church. I ask you, therefore, to pray intensely to the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit may illumine the Synodal Fathers and guide them in their important task. As you know, this Extraordinary Synodal Assembly will be followed a year later by the Ordinary Assembly, which will also have the family as its theme. In that context, there will also be the World Meeting of Families due to take place in Philadelphia in September 2015. May we all, then, pray together so that through these events the Church will undertake a true journey of discernment and adopt the necessary pastoral means to help families face their present challenges with the light and strength that comes from the Gospel.

I am writing this letter to you on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. The evangelist Luke tells us that the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph, in keeping with the Law of Moses, took the Baby Jesus to the temple to offer him to the Lord, and that an elderly man and woman, Simeon and Anna, moved by the Holy Spirit, went to meet them and acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah. Simeon took him in his arms and thanked God that he had finally 'seen' salvation. Anna, despite her advanced age, found new vigour and began to speak to everyone about the Baby. It is a beautiful image: two young parents and two elderly people, brought together by Jesus. He is the one who brings together and unites generations! He is the inexhaustible font of that love which overcomes every occasion of self-absorption, solitude, and sadness. In your journey as a family, you share so many beautiful moments: meals, rest, housework, leisure, prayer, trips and pilgrimages, and times of mutual support… Nevertheless, if there is no love then there is no joy, and authentic love comes to us from Jesus. He offers us his word, which illuminates our path; he gives us the Bread of life which sustains us on our journey.

Dear families, your prayer for the Synod of Bishops will be a precious treasure which enriches the Church. I thank you, and I ask you to pray also for me, so that I may serve the People of God in truth and in love. May the protection of the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph always accompany all of you and help you to walk united in love and in caring for one another. I willingly invoke on every family the blessing of the Lord.”

ARCHBISHOP PAGLIA: FAMILIES ARE A MAJORITY IN THE CHURCH

Vatican City, 25 February 2014 (VIS) – Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, commented in his presentation of the Pope's letter to families that during these months the family has been, more than ever before, in the mind and the heart of the Church. He gave examples including the pilgrimage of families for the Year of Faith, the Holy Father's encounter with engaged couples on 14 February, last week's extraordinary Consistory in the Vatican, the next Synod which will take place in October, and the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, U.S.A., scheduled for September 2015.

Pope Francis, with this letter to the 'dear families' of the world, wishes to involve them in the Synod path”, explained the Archbishop. … Prayer is the first form of participation in this joint path. Families – and this is the Pope's intention – are not simply the object of attention, but are also the subjects of this pilgrimage, given that they form a majority within the Church, and are marked by the Sacrament of Marriage”.

One must not forget that that spread of early Christianity occurred through a network of families”, he added. “It is an important lesson for our times, in which we invoke a new missionary season for evangelical preaching. … The Pope asks Christian families to be aware of the responsibility of their mission in times of confusion and restlessness. He asks for their help. In addition, if there is a theme of Christian life, for which the support of the family is indispensable both to the Pope and to the Church, then this is it. If there were no families, then Jesus' Word – the word of the Church, the word of the Pope – on the married love which is able to open us up to God's unconditional love for all, would appear abstract, unrealistic and ineffectual”.

But families, thanks to God, exist and have a living presence”, concluded the prelate. “Therefore, it is important for Pastors and families to live 'in harmony in prayer' in this time, as if in a spiritual Cenacle that gathers the whole world together, waiting for the Spirit to evoke a renewed Pentecost”.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

Vatican City, 25 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Bishop Donal McKeown, auxiliary of the diocese of Down and Connor, as bishop of Derry (area 2,500, population 327,000, Catholics 245,700, priests 116, religious 107), Ireland.

- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Poznan, Poland, presented by Bishop Zdzislaw Fortuniak, upon having reached the age limit.


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The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City


Monday, February 24, 2014

News Vatican Information Service February 23-24, 2014


SUMMARY:

- MOTU PROPRIO “FIDELIS ET DISPENSATOR PRUDENS” FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMIC ASSETS OF THE HOLY SEE
- NEW COORDINATION STRUCTURE FOR THE ECONOMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE AFFAIRS OF THE HOLY SEE AND VATICAN CITY STATE
- RECONSTRUCTION AND RECONCILIATION: KEY THEMES OF THE AUDIENCE WITH THE PRESIDENT OF HAITI
- THE POPE TO NEW CARDINALS: BE BRINGERS OF CHARITY, YOU ARE ENTERING THE CHURCH OF ROME, NOT A COURT
- POPE FRANCIS: PRAY FOR THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH TO BE GOOD SERVANTS, NOT GOOD MASTERS
- AUDIENCES
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
______________________________________

MOTU PROPRIO “FIDELIS ET DISPENSATOR PRUDENS” FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMIC ASSETS OF THE HOLY SEE

Vatican City, 24 February 2014 (VIS) – We publish below the full text of Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter issued Motu proprio, “Fidelis et dispensator Prudens”, and dated today, 24 February.

Like a faithful and prudent manager who has the task of carefully looking after what has been entrusted to him, the Church is aware of her responsibility to protect and manage her assets, in the light of her mission of evangelisation and with particular care for those in need. In a special way, the management of the economic and financial sectors of the Holy See is intimately linked to its specific mission, not only in the service of the universal ministry of the Holy Father, but also in relation to the common good, with a view to the full development of the human person.

After having carefully consulted the results of the work of the Commission for Reference on the the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (cf. Chirograph of 18 July 2013), and after consultation with the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus' and with the Council of Cardinals for the study of economic and administrative problems of the Holy See, by this Apostolic Letter issued Motu proprio, I adopt the following measures:

COUNCIL FOR THE ECONOMY

1. The Council for the Economy is hereby instituted, with the task of offering guidance on economic management and supervising the structures and the administrative and financial activities of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, of the Institutions connected to the Holy See, and of Vatican City State.

2. The Council for the Economy is composed of fifteen members, eight of whom are nominated from among the Cardinals and Bishops in order to reflect the universality of the Church, and seven of whom are lay experts of various nationalities, with recognised professional financial competences.

3. The Council for the Economy shall be presided over by a Cardinal coordinator.

SECRETARIAT FOR THE ECONOMY

4. The Secretariat for the Economy is hereby instituted, as a Dicastery of the Roman Curia in accordance with the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus'.

5. Notwithstanding the provisions for the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat will report directly to the Holy Father and will undertake the economic audit and supervision of the Bodies indicated in point 1 above, along with the policies and procedures regarding procurement and the allocation of human resources, respecting the competences of each Body. The competence of the Secretariat will extend to all matters that in any way fall within this area.

6. The Secretariat for the Economy shall be presided over by a Cardinal Prefect, who shall collaborate with the Secretary of State. A Prelate Secretary General will assist the Cardinal Prefect.

AUDITOR GENERAL

7. The Auditor-General shall be appointed by the Holy Father and shall prepare the audit of the accounts of the Bodies referred to in point 1.

THE STATUTES

8. The Cardinal Prefect shall be responsible for drawing up the definitive Statues of the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat for the Economy, and the Office of the Auditor-General. The Statutes shall be presented quam primum for approval by the Holy Father.

I dispose that all that is established herein have immediate, full and permanent value, abrogating any incompatible measures, and that the present Apostolic Letter issued Motu proprio be published in the Osservatore Romano of 24 February 2014 and subsequently in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given in Rome, St. Peter's, on 24 February of the year 2014, the first of my Pontificate.”

NEW COORDINATION STRUCTURE FOR THE ECONOMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE AFFAIRS OF THE HOLY SEE AND VATICAN CITY STATE

Vatican City, 24 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has decided to establish a new structure for the coordination of the economic and administrative matters of the Holy See and Vatican City State, according to a communique issued today by the Holy See Press Office, the full text of which is published below:

The Holy Father today announced a new coordination structure for economic and administrative affairs of the Holy See and the Vatican State.

Today's announcement comes after the recommendations of the rigorous review conducted by the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic- Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA) were considered and endorsed by both the Council of 8 Cardinals established to advise the Holy Father on governance and the Committee of 15 Cardinals which oversees the financial affairs of the Holy See.

COSEA recommended changes to simplify and consolidate existing management structures and improve coordination and oversight across the Holy See and Vatican City State. COSEA also recommended more formal commitment to adopting accounting standards and generally accepted financial management and reporting practices as well as enhanced internal controls, transparency and governance.

The changes will enable more formal involvement of senior and experienced experts in financial administration, planning and reporting and will ensure better use of resources, improving the support available for various programs, particularly our works with the poor and marginalized.

The changes announced by the Holy Father include:

1. Establishment of a new Secretariat for the Economy which will have authority over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and the Vatican City State. The Secretariat will be responsible, among other things, for preparing an annual budget for the Holy See and Vatican City State as well as financial planning and various support functions such as human resources and procurement. The Secretariat will also be required to prepare detailed financial statements of the Holy See and Vatican State.

2. The Secretariat for the Economy will implement policies determined by a new Council for the Economy - a 15 member Council composed of 8 Cardinals or Bishops, reflecting various parts of the world and seven lay experts of different nationalities with strong professional financial experience. The Council will meet on a regular basis and to consider policies and practices and to prepare and analyse reports on the economic-administrative activities of the Holy See.

3. The Secretariat for the Economy will be headed by a Cardinal Prefect reporting to the Council for the Economy. He will be supported by a Secretary-General in the management of day to day activities.

4. The Holy Father has appointed Cardinal Pell, the current archbishop of Sydney, Australia, to the role of Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. Details of Cardinal Pell are attached.

5. New arrangements also include the appointment of an Auditor-General, appointed by the Holy Father who will be empowered to conduct audits of any agency of the Holy See and Vatican City State at any time.

6. The changes will confirm the role of APSA as the central bank of the Vatican with all the obligations and responsibilities of similar institutions around the world.

7. The AIF will continue to undertake its current and critical role of prudential supervision and regulation of activities within the Holy See and Vatican City State.

The Prefect of the new Secretariat for the Economy has been asked to start work as soon as possible. He will prepare the final statutes and other related matters with the assistance of any necessary advisers and will work with COSEA to complete the implementation of these changes approved by the Holy Father.”

RECONSTRUCTION AND RECONCILIATION: KEY THEMES OF THE AUDIENCE WITH THE PRESIDENT OF HAITI

Vatican City, 24 February 2014 (VIS) – This morning, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the president of the Republic of Haiti, Michael Joseph Martelly, was received in audience by Pope Francis. He subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed for the good relations between Haiti and the Holy See, and the Parties focused in particular on the precious contribution made by the Church in the country, especially in the fields of education and healthcare, as well as in charitable sectors.

Mention was also made of the importance of continuing efforts for the rebuilding of the country, and for promoting sincere dialogue between various institutions for reconciliation and the common good, both domestically and at an international level.

THE POPE TO NEW CARDINALS: BE BRINGERS OF CHARITY, YOU ARE ENTERING THE CHURCH OF ROME, NOT A COURT

Vatican City, 23 February 2014 (VIS) – “By his creative and renewing power, the Spirit always sustains the hope of God’s People as we make our pilgrim way through history, and ... he always supports the witness of Christians”, said Pope Francis to the cardinals created in yesterday's consistory, who concelebrated Holy Mass with him in St. Peter's Basilica this morning.

The Holy Father commented in his homily that this Sunday's readings in which Jesus calls for holiness are addressed to all of us, but in particular to the new cardinals: “Imitating the holiness and perfection of God might seem an unattainable goal. Yet, the first reading and the Gospel offer us concrete examples which enable God’s way of acting to become the norm for our own. … In the Gospel Jesus also speaks to us of holiness, and explains to us the new law, his law. He does this by contrasting the imperfect justice of the scribes and Pharisees with the higher justice of the Kingdom of God. The first contrast of today’s passage refers to revenge. 'You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. But I say to you … if anyone should strike you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also'. We are required not only to avoid repaying others the evil they have done to us, but also to seek generously to do good to them”.

The second contrast refers to our enemies: 'You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy”. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you'. Jesus asks those who would follow him to love those who do not deserve it, without expecting anything in return, and in this way to fill the emptiness present in human hearts, relationships, families, communities and in the entire world. My brother Cardinals, Jesus did not come to teach us good manners, how to behave well at the table! To do that, he would not have had to come down from heaven and die on the Cross. Christ came to save us, to show us the way, the only way out of the quicksand of sin, and this way of holiness is mercy, that mercy which he has shown, and daily continues to show, to us. To be a saint is not a luxury. It is necessary for the salvation of the world. This is what the Lord is asking of us”.

Dear brother Cardinals”, continued the Pope, “the Lord Jesus and mother Church ask us to witness with greater zeal and ardour to these ways of being holy. It is exactly in this greater self-gift, freely offered, that the holiness of a Cardinal consists. We love, therefore, those who are hostile to us; we bless those who speak ill of us ... We do not aim to assert ourselves; we oppose arrogance with meekness; we forget the humiliations that we have endured. May we always allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit of Christ, who sacrificed himself on the Cross so that we could be 'channels' through which his charity might flow. This is the attitude of a Cardinal, this must be how he acts. A Cardinal – I say this especially to you – enters the Church of Rome, my brothers, not a royal court. May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favouritism and partiality. May our language be that of the Gospel: 'yes when we mean yes; no when we mean no'; may our attitudes be those of the Beatitudes, and our way be that of holiness. Let US pray once more: “Merciful Father, by your help, may we be ever attentive to the voice of the Spirit”.

The Holy Spirit also speaks to us today through the words of Saint Paul: 'You are God’s temple … God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are'. ... This temple of ours is defiled if we neglect our duties towards our neighbour. Whenever the least of our brothers and sisters finds a place in our hearts, it is God himself who finds a place there. ... A heart without love is like a deconsecrated church, a building withdrawn from God’s service and given over to another use”.

Pope Francis concluded his homily by asking the cardinals to remain close to him “with your prayers, your advice and your help … in order to serve the Gospel and to help the Church radiate Christ’s love in our world”.

POPE FRANCIS: PRAY FOR THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH TO BE GOOD SERVANTS, NOT GOOD MASTERS

Vatican City, 23 February 2014 (VIS) – At midday, after celebrating Holy Mass with the new cardinals in the Vatican basilica, the Pope appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The Bishop of Rome commented on the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, a community divided into various groups who referred to different preachers, whom they considered their chiefs. Paul explained that this way of thinking was mistaken, as the community did not belong to the apostles, but rather they, the apostles, belonged to the entire community of Christ.

From this origin, derive all Christian communities”, continued Pope Francis:”dioceses, parishes, associations, movements ... the differences cannot contradict the fact that everyone, by Baptism, has the same dignity: in Jesus Christ we are all children of God. … Those who have received the ministry of guiding, of preaching, of administering the Sacraments, must not consider themselves as having special powers, as masters, but must place themselves at the service of the community, helping it to walk the path of holiness with joy”.

"The Church today entrusts the witness of this style of pastoral life to the new cardinals, with whom I have celebrated the Holy Mass this morning. Yesterday's consistory and today's Eucharistic celebration have given us a valuable opportunity to experience Catholicity, the Church's universality, well represented by the varied backgrounds of the members of the College of Cardinals gathered in close communion around Peter's Successor. May the Lord give us the grace to work for the unity of the Church, and to build this unity, for unity is more important than conflicts. Unity is Christ's; conflicts are problems that are not always Christ's”.

I invite you to support these pastors and to help them with prayer … How in need of your prayers are the Pope, cardinals, and bishops, to help the People of God advance along their path. I say 'to help', or rather to serve the People, for this is the true vocation of the bishop, the cardinal and the Pope: to be servants, to serve in Christ's name. Pray for us, so that we might be good servants, not good masters. All together, bishops, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful; we must all offer the witness of a Church faithful to Christ, inspired by the wish to serve our brothers and ready to meet with prophetic courage the expectations and the spiritual needs of the men and women of our time. May Our Lady accompany us and protect us in this journey”.

AUDIENCES

Vatican City, 24 February 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience ten prelates of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, on their “ad limina” visit:

- Archbishop Francisco Gil Hellin of Burgos;

- Bishop Mario Iceta Gavicagogeascoa of Bilbao;

- Bishop Gerardo Melgar Viciosa of Osma-Soria;

- Bishop Esteban Escudero Torres of Palencia;

- Bishop Miguel Jose Asurmendi Aramendia, S.D.B., of Vitoria;

- Archbishop Francisco Perez Gonzalez of Pamplona y Tudela, with his auxiliary, Bishop Juan Antonio Aznarez Cobo;

- Bishop Juan Jose Omella Omella of Calahorra y la Calzada-Logrono;

- Bishop Julian Ruiz Martorell of Jaca;

- Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla Aguirre of San Sebastian.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

Vatican City, 24 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Reynaldo B. Getalado, M.S.P., as ecclesiastical Superior of the “Missio sui iuris” of Funafuti (area 26, population 9, 359, Catholics 117, priests 1, religious 1), Tuvalu. Fr. Getalado was born in Muntinlupa City, Philippines in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He has served as a missionary in Daru-Kiunga, Papua New Guinea, and Auckland, New Zealand, and as vicar of the parish of Mandaluyong City, in the Philippines. He is currently a missionary in the diocese of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea.


You can find more information at: www.visnews.org
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City