Thursday, May 23, 2013

POPE FRANCIS "CHRISTIAN ORIGINALITY IS NOT A UNIFORMITY" AND LATEST FROM VATICAN

Vatican Radio REPORT: That Christians might spread the spiritual salt of faith, hope and charity: this was Pope Francis’ exhortation at Mass Thursday morning in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican. The Pope warned against the risk of becoming insipid, “Museum-piece Christians.”

In his homily, Pope Francis focused on the savour that Christians are called to give to their own lives and to others’. The Holy Father said that salt the Lord gives us is the salt of faith, hope and charity. But, he warned, we must be careful that this salt, which is given to us by the certainty that Jesus died and rose again to save us, “does not lose its flavour, does not lose its strength.” This salt, he continued, “is not for keeping, because if the salt is preserved in a bottle it does not do anything: it is good for nothing”:

Salt makes sense when you [use] it in order to make things more tasty. I also consider that salt stored in the bottle, with moisture, loses strength and is rendered useless. The salt that we have received is to be given out, to be given away, [in order] to spice things up: otherwise, it becomes bland and useless. We must ask the Lord not to [let us] become Christians with flavour-less salt, with salt that stays closed in the bottle. Salt also has another special feature: when salt is used well, one does not notice the taste of salt. The savour of salt - it cannot be perceived! What one tastes is the flavour of the food: salt helps improve the flavor of the meal.

“When we preach faith, with this salt,” said Pope Francis, “those who receive the proclamation, receive it each according to his peculiarity, as [happens when salt is used judiciously] on food.” So, “Each with his own peculiarities receives the salt and becomes better [for it].” The Holy Father went on to explain that the “originality” that Christian faith brings is therefore not something uniform:

The Christian originality is not a uniformity! It takes each one as he is, with his own personality, with his own characteristics, his culture – and leaves him with that, because it is a treasure. However, it gives one something more: it gives flavour! This Christian originality is so beautiful, because when we want to make a uniformity - all salted in the same way - things will be like when the woman throws in too much salt and one tastes only salt and not the meal. The Christian originality is this: each is as he is, with the gifts the Lord has given him.

“This,” the Pope continued, “is the salt that we have to give.” A salt that is “not to be kept, but to be given,” – and this, he said, “means a little [bit] of transcendence”: “To get out there with the message, to get out there with this richness that we have in salt, and give it to others.” On the other hand, he pointed out, there are two “ways out” for the salt to take, so that it does not spoil. First: to give the salt “in the service of meals, service to others, to serve the people.” Second: “transcendence toward the author of the salt, the creator.” The salt, he reiterated, "in order to keep its flavour, has need not only of being given through preaching,” but, “also needs the other transcendence, of prayer, of adoration”:

In this way is the salt conserved, [in this way it keeps] its flavor. With the worship of the Lord I go beyond myself to the Lord, and with the proclamation of the Gospel I go out of myself to give the message. If we do not do this, however - these two things, these two transcendences, to give the salt - the salt will remain in the bottle, and we will become ‘museum-piece Christians’. We can show the salt: this is my salt - and how lovely it is! This is the salt that I received in Baptism, this is what I received in Confirmation, this is what I received in catechesis - But look: museum-piece Christians! A salt without flavor, a salt that does nothing.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri concelebrated, The Mass was attended by a group of priests and lay collaborators from the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

SHARED RADIO VATICANA
POPE RECEIVES PRESIDENT OF EL SALVADOR: IMPORTANCE OF ARCHBISHOP OSCAR ROMERO'S WITNESS
Vatican City, 23 May 2013 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received in audience His excellency Mr. Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena, president of the Republic of El Salvador. President Funes then met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial talks, satisfaction was express for the good relations between the Holy See and the nation of El Salvador. In particular, Servant of God Archbishop Oscar Amulfo Romero y Galdamez of San Salvador was spoken of and the importance of his witness for the entire nation.
Appreciation was also expressed for the contribution that the Church offers for the reconciliation and consolidation of peace, as well as in the areas of charity, education, and the eradication of poverty and organized crime. Some ethical issues such as the defence of human life, marriage, and the family were also discussed.
 


PONTIFICAL LATERAN UNIVERSITY DEDICATES CHAIR TO CARDINAL BERNARDIN GANTIN
Vatican City, 23 May 2013 (VIS) – Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, native of Benin and first African-born prelate to be prefect of a Vatican dicastery (of the Congregation for Bishops), will be memorialised by the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome with a Chair bearing his name and dedicated to “Political Socialization in Africa”. The news was made public this morning in the press office of the Holy See, at a conference participated in by Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”; His excellency Dr. Thomas Yayi Boni, president of the Republic of Benin; Msgr. Patrick Valdrini, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University; and Dr. Martin Nkafu Nkemnkia, director of the Department of Human and Social Sciences – African Studies at the Pontifical Lateran University.
Cardinal Gantin was born in 1922 in Toffo, Benin, and studied at the seminary of Ouidah. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1951 and left Benin two years later to pursue studies in Rome. He received a license in Theology and Canon Law from the Pontifical Lateran University. In 1956, he was ordained a bishop and in 1960 was named metropolitan archbishop of Cotonou. As president of the Episcopal Conference of Benin, he participated in three sessions of Vatican Council II and in the first World Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1967). In 1971 he was named adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and resigned the pastoral care of his diocese. In 1976, he was named president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He was created a cardinal by Paul VI in 1977. In 1984, he was named prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Nine years later, in 1993, he was elected dean of the College of Cardinals. When he turned 80, no longer a cardinal elector, he resigned his post as dean and returned to his country. He died in Paris, where he had travelled for health reasons, in 2008 and was buried in Ouidah. Benedict XVI, during his trip to Benin in 2011, visited his tomb.
“Today, 23 May 2013,” Cardinal Sarah said, “the Pontifical Lateran University dedicates a Chair in his name to recall what his life meant for the people of Benin, for the Church in Africa, and for the universal Church … as well as for the contribution that he made, both on a pastoral level and his invitation to the Christian world to participate in culture and politics as the main form of service to the betterment of society and the spiritual well-being of humanity. … I hope that this Chair in his name—on “Socialization Policy in Africa”—will initiate reflection on politics in the African context and prepare future leaders of African society who are guided by the Church's Social Doctrine.”
For his part, Dr. Nkafu Nkemnkia explained that the Chair will be articulated as courses and seminars, will promote conferences and workshops, and will seek collaboration with institutions and structures in order to increase and give value to African political culture. “The contribution of the Chair will be a renewal, but above all a formation of leaders, motivated by deep-rooted ethical principles, to overcome the difficult situation of crisis and corruption, both in politicians as well as in civil society itself, through a just economic vision and a more balanced form of the service that politics should offer.”
 
POPE FRANCIS CONFIRMS CARDINAL VALLINI AS VICAR OF ROME
Vatican City, 23 May 2013 (VIS) – Today was published a letter, written in Latin and dated 18 May of this year, in which Pope Francis confirms Cardinal Agostino Vallini as vicar general for the Diocese of Rome. Cardinal Vallini was appointed to that position on 27 June 2008 by Benedict XVI, a role that also entails the positions of Archpriest of St. John Lateran Basilica and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Lateran University.
 
AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 23 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received:
five members of the presidency of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE):
  - Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich, Germany, president;
  - Bishop Gianni Ambrosio of Piacenza-Bobbio, Italy, vice president;
  - Bishop Virgil Bercea of Oradea Mareof the Romanians, Romania, vice president;
  - Bishop Jean Kockerols, auxiliary of Malines-Brussels, Belgium, and titular of Ypres, vice president; and
  - Fr. Patrick Daly, general secretary.
Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy.

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