|(Vatican Radio IMAGE SHARE)|
UNITED NATION'S ROLE IN RESOLVING INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS BY PEACEFUL MEANS, KEY THEME OF POPE'S AUDIENCE WITH PRESIDENT FOR 67TH SESSION OF UN'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Vatican City, 31 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president for the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Vuk Jeremic, who then went on to meet with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the course of the cordial conversations, some issues of mutual interest were discussed, in particular, the resolution of international conflicts through peaceful means, with specific reference to the Middle East and the serious humanitarian emergencies those conflicts have caused. In this context, the importance of reconciliation between the communities that make up the various societies and respect for the rights of ethnic and religious minorities were emphasized. Attention was also given to the problem of human trafficking and the plight of refugees and migrants. Regarding the present global economic crisis, mention was made of the role that the General Assembly of the United Nations could undertake in its programs—that would be environmentally friendly and, at the same time, capable of reducing the distance between the rich and the poor—for an agenda of sustainable development after 2015.
Today’s meeting confirmed the Holy See’s appreciation for the United Nation’s central role in seeking the common good of humanity. Also, the Catholic Church’s contribution, with the means proper to her and respectful of her identity, in promoting the complete dignity of the human person as well as peace and a culture of encounter was not overlooked, with the hopes that such values might always inspire the General Assembly’s debates and deliberations.
|CORPUS CHRISTI: GOD'S SOLIDARITY NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE US |
Vatican City, 31 May 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. He then led, on foot, the Eucharistic procession that wound along Rome's Via Merulana, until reaching the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. Following are ample extracts from the Holy Father's homily, which focused on the Gospel story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.
FOR VIDEO OF CORPUS CHRISTI MASS WITH POPE
“In the Gospel we have just heard, there is an expression of Jesus that always strikes me: 'Give them some food yourselves'. ... who are the ones whom we should feed? ... the crowd, the multitude. Jesus is in the midst of the people. He welcomes them; talks to them; heals them. He shows them God's mercy. In their midst, He chooses the twelve Apostles to be with him and, like him, to immerse themselves in the concrete situations of the world. The people follow him and listen to him because Jesus speaks and acts in a new way, with the authority of someone who is authentic and consistent; someone who speaks and acts truthfully; someone who gives the hope that comes from God; one who is revelation of the face of the God who is love. And the people joyfully bless God.”
“This evening we are that crowd in the Gospel. We also strive to follow Jesus to listen to him, to enter into communion with him in the Eucharist, to accompany him, so that He might accompany us. Let us ask ourselves: how do I follow Jesus? Jesus speaks in silence, in the Mystery of the Eucharist, and every time He reminds us that following him means going out of ourselves and making our lives not our possession, but a gift to him and to others.”
“The invitation that Jesus extends to his disciples to feed the multitude themselves is born of two elements: most of all from the crowd that, having followed Jesus, now finds itself outside, far from inhabited areas, as evening falls, and then, from the disciples' concern, who asked Jesus to dismiss the crowd so that they might seek food and lodging in the nearby towns. Faced with the crowd's needs, the disciples' solution is for everyone to take care of themselves. ... How many times do we Christians have this temptation! We do not care for the needs of others, dismissing them with a pitiful, 'May God help you'. … But Jesus’ solution goes in another direction … He asks the disciples to seat the people in communities of fifty persons. He raises his eyes to heaven, recites the blessing, breaks the loaves, and gives them to the disciples to distribute.”
“It is a moment of profound communion. The crowd, whose thirst has been quenched by the word of the Lord, is now nourished by his bread of life. … This evening, we too are gathered around the Lord’s table ... It is in listening to his Word, in nourishing ourselves with his Body and his Blood, that He makes us transforms us from a multitude into a community, from anonymity to communion. The Eucharist is the sacrament of communion, which brings us out from our selfishness to live together our journey in his footsteps, our faith in him. We all ought, therefore, to ask ourselves before the Lord: How do I live the Eucharist? Do I live it anonymously or as a moment of true communion with the Lord and also with the many brothers and sisters who share this same table?”
The multiplication of the loaves [is born of] Jesus' invitation to his disciples: 'Feed them yourselves', 'give', share. What do the disciples share? What little they have: five loaves and two fishes. But it is precisely those loaves and fishes that, in God’s hands, feed the whole crowd. And it is precisely the disciples, bewildered by the inability of their means, by the poverty of what they have at their disposal, who invite the people to sit down and— trusting Jesus' word of—distribute the loaves and fishes that feed the crowd. This tells us that in the Church, but also in society, a keyword that we need not fear is 'solidarity', that is, knowing how to place what we have at God’s disposal, our humble abilities, because only in sharing them, in giving them, that our lives will be fruitful, will bear fruit. Solidarity: a word upon which the spirit of the world looks unkindly!”
“Tonight, once again, the Lord gives us the bread which is his body. He makes a gift of himself. We also experiencing “God's solidarity” with humanity, ... a solidarity that never ceases to amaze us. God draws near to us. In the sacrifice of the Cross He lowers himself, entering into the darkness of death in order to give us his life, which conquers evil, selfishness, and death. This evening too, Jesus gives himself to us in the Eucharist. He shares our journey, or rather, He becomes food, real food that sustains our lives even at the times when the going is rough, when obstacles slow our steps. In the Eucharist, the Lord makes us follow his path, the path of service, sharing, and giving—and what little we have, what little we are, if shared, becomes wealth, because the power of God, which is love, descends into our poverty to transform it.”
“Discipleship, communion, and sharing. Let us pray that our participation in the Eucharist may always inspire us: to follow the Lord every day, to be instruments of communion, to share what we are with Him and with our neighbour. Then our lives will be truly fruitful.”
Pope Francis: Long faces cannot proclaim Jesus
Vatican Radio REPORT: The Holy Spirit is the "author" of Christian joy and to proclaim the Gospel we need to have joy in our hearts gifted us by the Spirit of God. There is a certain understanding of Christian life that is marked by sadness, but long faces cannot proclaim Jesus. Joy alone and praise of God are the only way to advance the Gospel. This was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta.
Pope Francis began by commenting on the daily readings. The first reading, from the prophet Zephaniah, contains the exclamation "Rejoice! Cries of joy, the Lord is in your midst. " The second, from the Gospel, tells the story of Elizabeth and her son that "rejoices" in the womb on hearing the words of Mary. The Pope noted, "it all speaks of joy, the joy that is celebration." Yet, he continues, "we Christians are not so accustomed to speak of joy, of happiness", "I think often we prefer to complain". Instead, it is "the Holy Spirit that gives us joy":"It’s the Spirit that guides us: He is the author of joy, the Creator of joy. And this joy in the Holy Spirit gives us true Christian freedom. Without joy, we Christians cannot become free, we become slaves to our sorrows. The great Paul VI said that you cannot advance the Gospel with sad, hopeless, discouraged Christians. You cannot. A certain mournful behavior, no? Often Christians behave as if they were going to a funeral procession rather than to praise God, no? And this joy comes from praise, Mary’s praise, this praise that Zephaniah speaks of, Simeon and Anna’s praise: this praise of God! "
And how do we praise God? We praise Him by coming out of ourselves, we praise Him "freely, like the grace that He gives us is free," said Pope Francis. This pushes us to an examination of conscience on how to pray to God, said Pope Francis, who then turned to those present with a question:
"You here at Mass, do you give praise to God or do you only petition God and thank God? Do you praise God? '. This is something new, new in our new spiritual life. Giving praise to God, coming out of ourselves to give praise; spending a little bit of time giving praise. But ‘this Mass is so long!’ If you do not praise God, you will never know the gratuity of spending time praising God, the Mass is long. But if you go with this attitude of joy, of praise to God, that is beautiful! This is what eternity will be: giving praise to God! And that will not be boring: it will be beautiful! This joy makes us free. "
The model of this praise, and this joy, is once again the Mother of Jesus "The Church – recalled Pope Francis – calls her the" cause of our joy, "Cause Nostrae Letitiae. Why? Because she brings the greatest joy that is Jesus ":
"We need to pray to Our Lady, so that bringing Jesus give us the grace of joy, the joy of freedom. That it give us the grace to praise, to praise with a prayer of gratuitous praise, because He is worthy of praise, always. Pray to Our Lady and say to her what the Church says: Veni, Precelsa Domina, Maria, tu nos visita, Lady, thou who art so great, visit us and give us joy. "
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA
FR. LOMBARDI'S NOTE ON POPE'S MORNING MASSES AT DOMUS SANCTAE MARTHAE
Vatican City, 31 May 2013 (VIS) – The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., clarified a few points relative to the broadcast and publication of the daily Mass that Pope Francis celebrates in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae as well as the homilies that he gives.
“First of all,” said Fr. Lombardi, “it is necessary to keep in mind the character that the Holy Father himself attributes to the morning celebration of Mass at St. Martha's. It is a Mass attended by a, not small, group of faithful (usually over 50 persons), but the Pope wants to maintain its familiar atmosphere. That is why, notwithstanding the requests that have been received, he has specifically requested that the live video and audio not be broadcast.”
“Regarding his homilies, they are not given from a written text but spontaneously and in Italian, a language that the Pope knows well but which isn't his mother tongue. A 'complete' publication, therefore, would necessarily entail a transcription and a reworking of the text at various points, given that the written form is different from the spoken one, which in this case is the original form chosen intentionally by the Holy Father. In short, it would entail editing by the Holy Father himself, but the result would clearly be 'something else', which isn't what the Holy Father intends to do [with his daily homily] each morning.”
The Director of the Holy See Press Office stated that careful consideration was given to how to make the wealth of the Pope's homilies available without changing their nature. The Vatican's newspaper, “L'Osservatore Romano” as well as Vatican Radio offer a summary of the Pope's words and Vatican Television broadcasts a brief video that corresponds to the paragraphs chosen by Vatican Radio. He also noted that the difference between the Pope's public and private activities must be recognized. In the former, Pope Francis' complete texts are released, while in the latter it is necessary to “respect the particular character of the situation, the spontaneity and familiarity of the Holy Father's expressions. The solution that was chosen respects, above all, the Pope's wishes and the nature of the morning celebrations while, at the same time, allowing a wide public to have access to the main messages that the Holy Father offers the faithful in those circumstances.”
Vatican City, 31 May 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received:
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and
- Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and titular of Tibica.
|OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS |
Vatican City, 31 May 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father:
- appointed Bishop Sergio Osvaldo Buenanueva as bishop of the Diocese of San Francisco (area 19,611, population 222,000, Catholics 217,000, priests 40, religious 34), Argentina. Bishop Buenanueva was previously auxiliary of Mendoza, Argentina, and titular of Rusubbicari. On the Argentine Episcopal Conference he currently serves as president of the Commission for Ministers.
- appointed Fr. Jean-Pierre Delville as bishop of Liege (area 3,862, population 1,044,000, Catholics 213,987, priests 33, religious 94), Belgium. The bishop-elect, of the clergy of the same diocese, was born in Liege in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1980. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral and academic roles, most recently as vicar of the parish of Saint-Lambert in Liege and tenured professor in the Theology Faculty of the Universite catholique of Louvain in Louvain-le-Neuve, Belgium. He succeeds Bishop Aloysius Jousten, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- appointed Fr. Peter Brown, C.Ss.R., as bishop of Samoa-Pago Pago (area 197, population 68,000, Catholics 14,000, priests 18, permanent deacons 27, religious 9), American Samoa. Bishop-elect Brown was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1947 and was ordained a priest in 1981. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral, missionary, and institutional roles, most recently as regional superior of the Redemptorist Fathers in New Zealand. He succeeds Bishop John Quinn Weitzel, M.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Cochabamba, Bolivia, presented by Bishop Angel Gelmi Bertocchi, titular of Forum Clodii, upon having reached the age limit.
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Motherwell, Scotland, presented by Bishop Joseph Devine, upon having reached the age limit.