Tuesday, May 21, 2013

POPE FRANCIS "REAL POWER IS SERVICE" - "MEANS HUMBLING OURSELVES" AND LATEST FROM VATICAN

Vatican Radio REPORT: For a Christian, true progress lies in humbling ourselves as Jesus did. This was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta. The Pope also reiterated that true power is in service and that there is no room for power struggles within the Church. During the prayers of the faithful Pope Francis also prayed for the victims of the Oklahoma tornado tragedy.

In the readings of the day, the source of the Holy Father’s reflections, Jesus speaks of his passion. However his disciples, begin arguing about who is the greatest among them. Commenting on this ‘bitter episode’ the Pope noted: "The struggle for power in the Church nothing new", in fact "it began then with Jesus”. The Pope said: "In the Gospel of Jesus, the struggle for power in the Church must not exist" because true power, that which the Lord "by his example has taught us," is "the power of service".
"Real power is service. As He did, He who came not to be served but to serve, and His service was the service of the Cross. He humbled Himself unto death, even death on a cross for us, to serve us, to save us. And there is no other way in the Church to move forward. For the Christian, getting ahead, progress, means humbling oneself. If we do not learn this Christian rule, we will never, ever be able to understand Jesus’ true message on power. "The Pope said that progress "means humbling ourselves", it means "always being of service” to others. In the Church, he added, "the greatest is the one who serves most, the one who is at the service of others." "This is the rule." Yet, noted Pope Francis, from the beginning until now there have been "power struggles in the Church," even "in our manner of speech":"When a person is given a job, one that the eyes of the world is a superior role, they say: 'Ah, this woman has been promoted to president of that association, or this man was promoted ...'. This verb, to promote: yes, it is a nice verb and one we must use in the Church. Yes, He was promoted to the Cross, He was promoted to humiliation. That is true promotion [advancement], that which makes us seem more like Jesus! " The Pope then recalled that St. Ignatius of Loyola who, in his Spiritual Exercises, asked the Crucified Lord for "the grace of humiliation." This, he reiterated, is "the true power of the service of the Church." This is the true path of Jesus, true and not worldly advancement:"The path of the Lord is being in His service: as He carried out His service, we must follow Him, on the path of service. That is the real power in the Church. I would like today to pray for all of us, so that the Lord give us the grace to understand that: that real power in the Church is service. And also to understand the golden rule that He taught us by His example: for a Christian, progress, advancement, means being humble. We ask for this grace. " Staff from Vatican Radio and the Office of the Governatorate were present at Mass Tuesday morning. Also present were the director of Civiltà Cattolica, Father Antonio Spadaro S.J., and Maria Voce and Giancarlo Faletti, president and vice-president of the Focolare Movement.
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA
POPE PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF OKLAHOMA TORNADO
Vatican City, 21 May 2013 (VIS) – “Let us pray for the victims and those who are missing, especially children, affected by the violent tornado that hit Oklahoma City yesterday. Hear us, O Lord,” said Pope Francis this morning during daily Mass celebrated in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel.
Subsequently, Pope Francis launched a tweet from his @Pontifex account: “I am close to the families of all who died in the Oklahoma tornado, especially those who lost young children. Join me in praying for them.”
The tornado that struck the state of Oklahoma, USA, yesterday has caused 91 deaths, 20 of whom were children, and destroyed over 7,000 buildings. Entire neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Oklahoma City were destroyed. There are over a hundred wounded and still missing persons.
 
FR. LOMBARDI ON ALLEGED EXORCISM PERFORMED BY POPE
Vatican City, 21 May 2013 (VIS) – In response to questions from reporters about an alleged exorcism performed by the Holy Father Francis in St. Peter’s Square after last Sunday’s Mass, the Director of the Holy See Press Office Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., said: “The Holy Father had no intention to perform any exorcism. Instead, as he frequently does for the sick and suffering persons who approach him, he simply meant to pray for a suffering person who was presented to him.”
 
MICHELANGELO'S PIETA 40 YEARS AFTER RESTORATION
Vatican City, 21 May 2013 (VIS) – On 21 May 1972, Michelangelo's Pieta, exhibited to the public in St. Peter's Basilica, was attacked by a hammer-wielding tourist who had managed to elude the sanctuary's guards. Hungarian-born Australian geologist Laszlo Toth, who suffered from sever mental problems, threw himself at the sculpture shouting, “I am Jesus Christ, risen from the dead!” and he struck the Pieta 15 times destroying the Madonna's nose, breaking off her left forearm, and smashing that arm's elbow into over 50 pieces.
Today, 41 years later, the Vatican Museums are dedicating a study day to the sculpture's reconstruction entitled: “Michelangelo's Pieta: In Memory of 21 May 1972 – A Restoration Story”. During the course of the day's planned events, the complex and delicate task of restoration that took place between 1972 and 1973 in the Vatican Museums under the care of then-director, the Brazilian Deoclecio Redig de Campos, will be analysed. Thanks to the existence of numerous casts, the skill of several specialists, and reusing original fragments as well as a paste made of glue and marble dust, it was possible to faithfully restore the work.
The Pieta is considered Michelangelo's first masterpiece—he was little more than twenty when he sculpted it—and it is the only one he signed. The sash running across the Virgin's chest reads: “MICHAEL.A[N]GELVS BONAROTVS FLORENT[INVS] FACIEBAT”. The study day will reveal, among other things and thanks to documents conserved by the Office of the Fabric of St. Peter's, the various places the statue resided before its placement, in 1779, in the first chapel on the right of the nave of St. Peter's Basilica where it is visible today, but protected after the attack, by bullet-proof glass that separates it from the visitors to the basilica. The only time that the Pieta has left Vatican territory was in 1964 when it travelled to the Universal Expo in New York to be admired by over 21 million people. On that occasion, the photographer Robert Hupka immortalized it in a book entitled “An Act of Love”. Another little-known fact about the work regards the crowns that have adorned the Virgin's head throughout the centuries, which will be discussed by the archaeologist Pietro Zander.
The study day will also have the exclusive viewing of the documentary “Violence and the Pieta”, restored in colour and digital format by the recently deceased Brando Giordani in collaboration with RAI's Department of Culture, that narrates the entire process of the statue's reconstruction. The documentary was filmed by the express will of Pope Paul VI who compared the shattered statue with an image of the Church in tears, attacked by evil.
Another of Michelangelo's celebrated statues, the David, which is found in Florence's Accademia Art Gallery, was also attacked by a mentally unsound person with a hammer in 1991. The toe's of the statue's left foot were broken off. That restoration process, undertaken by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (workshop of semi-precious stones) in Florence, will be presented in the afternoon, serving to introduce one of the Vatican Museum's latest initiatives: the creation of a virtual gipsoteca (plaster cast gallery) with 3D models and “clones” of the collections' most irreplaceable works.
 
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 21 May 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father appointed:
   - Fr. Rafael Valdez Torres as bishop of Ensenada (area 52,646, population 557,000, Catholics 439,000, priests 53, religious 106), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Santiago Tangamandapio, Michoacan, Mexico in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1985. Since ordination he has served in several parochial and diocesan level roles, most recently as pastor and rector of the Shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles in San Juan Nuevo and, since 2008, as bursar of the diocesan Mutual Sacerdotal.
   - Fr. Luzizla Kiala as bishop of Sumbe (area 60,000, population 1,191,000, Catholics 369,969, priests 47, religious 59), Angola. The bishop-elect was born in Damba, Uige Province, Angola and was ordained a priest in 1992. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral, administrative, and diocesan roles, most recently as vicar general of the Diocese of Uije and pastor of the cathedral.
   - Bishop Claude Jean Narcisse Rault, M. Afr., of Laghouat, Algeria, as a member of the Special Council for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

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