|Vatican Radio REPORT: We
should not reduce the proclamation of Jesus to being a mere cultural ‘gloss’ or
‘veneer’, it must go ‘straight to the heart’ and change us. Moreover, following
Jesus ‘does not mean more power’, it is not a ‘career’ because His way is that
of the Cross. This was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at morning Mass Tuesday
in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta residence. What is our reward in following you? Pope Francis began with the question Peter puts to Jesus.
A question, he said, which in the end concerns the
life of every Christian. Jesus says that those who follow Him will have "many
good things" but "with persecution." The path of the Lord, he continued, "is a
road of humility, a road that ends in the Cross." That is why, he added, "there
will always be difficulties," "persecution." There will always be, "because He
travelled this road before" us. The Pope warned that "when a Christian has no
difficulties in life – when everything is fine, everything is beautiful -
something is wrong." It leads us to think that he or she is "a great friend of
the spirit of the world, of worldliness." The Pope noted this "is a temptation
particular to Christians":"Following Jesus, yes, but up to a certain
point: following Jesus because of culture: I am a Christian, I have this culture
... But without the necessity of true discipleship of Jesus, the necessity to
travel this His road. If you follow Jesus as a cultural proposal, then you are
using this road to get higher up, to have more power. And the history of the
Church is full of this, starting with some emperors and then many rulers and
many people, no? And even some - I will not say a lot, but some - priests,
bishops, no? Some say that there are many ... but they are those who think that
following Jesus is a career. "The Pope recalled that at one time,
"in the literature of two centuries ago," it would sometimes be stated that
someone "from the time he was a child wanted a career in the church." Here the
Pope reiterated that "many Christians, tempted by the spirit of the world, think
that following Jesus is good because it can become a career, they can get
ahead." But this "is not the spirit". Instead it is Peter’s attitude when he
speaks to Jesus about careers and Jesus answers: "Yes, I will give everything
with persecution." "You cannot remove the Cross from the path of Jesus, it is
always there." Yet, Pope Francis warned, this does not mean that Christians must
hurt themselves. The Christian "follows Jesus out of love and when you follow
Jesus out of love, the devil’s envy does many things." The "spirit of the world
will not tolerate this, does not tolerate this witness":"Think of
Mother Teresa: what does the spirit of the world say of Mother Teresa? 'Ah,
Blessed Teresa is a beautiful woman, she did a lot of good things for others
...'. The spirit of the world never says that the Blessed Teresa spent, every
day, many hours, in adoration ... Never! It reduces Christian activity to doing
social good. As if Christian life was a gloss, a veneer of Christianity. The
proclamation of Jesus is not a veneer: the proclamation of Jesus goes straight
to the bones, heart, goes deep within and change us. And the spirit of the world
does not tolerate it, will not tolerate it, and therefore, there is persecution.
"Pope Francis said those who leave their home, their family to
follow Jesus, receive a hundred times as much "already now in this age." A
hundred times together with persecution. And this should not be
"Following Jesus is just that: going with Him out of love, behind Him: on the same journey, the same path. And the spirit of the world will not tolerate this and what will make us suffer, but suffering as Jesus did. Let us ask for this grace: to follow Jesus in the way that He has revealed to us and that He has taught us. This is beautiful, because he never leaves us alone. Never! He is always with us. So be it".Mass was concelebrated by Archbishop Rino Fisichella and Msgr. José Octavio Ruiz Arenas, president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. It was attended by a group of priests from the Council and staff from the Vatican Power Station and Technical Laboratory of the Governorate of Vatican carpentry, accompanied by Engineer Pier Carlo Cuscianna, Director of Technical Services of the Governorate.
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION AND EVANGELIUM VITAE DAY: KEY YEAR OF FAITH EVENTS
Vatican City, 28 May 2013 VIS – This morning, in the Holy See Press Office, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, together with Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas and Msgr. Graham Bell, respectively secretary and undersecretary of the same dicastery, presented two major events of the Year of Faith: a worldwide Eucharistic Adoration and the Day Celebrating the Evangelium Vitae.
The first of these events, the Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration, will be broadcast from St. Peter’s Basilica next Sunday, 2 June from 5:00pm-6:00pm local time. Its theme is: “One Lord, One Faith”, which was chosen to testify to the deep unity that characterizes it. “It will be an event,” Archbishop Fisichella explained, “occurring for the first time in the history of the Church, which is why we can describe it as ‘historical’. The cathedrals of the world will be synchronized with Rome and will, for an hour, be in communion with the Pope in Eucharistic adoration. There has been an incredible response to this initiative, going beyond the cathedrals and involving episcopal conferences, parishes, lay associations, and religious congregations, especially cloistered ones.”
From the Cook Islands to Chile, Burkina Faso, Taiwan, Iraq, Bangladesh, the United States, and the Philippines, the dioceses will be synchronized with St. Peter’s and will pray for the intentions proposed by the Pope. The first is: “For the Church spread throughout the world and united today in the adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist as a sign of unity. May the Lord make her ever more obedient to hearing his Word in order to stand before the world ‘ever more beautiful, without stain or blemish, but holy and blameless.’ That through her faithful announcement, the Word that saves may still resonate as the bearer of mercy and may increase love to give full meaning to pain and suffering, giving back joy and serenity.”
Pope Francis’ second intention is: “For those around the world who still suffer slavery and who are victims of war, human trafficking, drug running, and slave labour. For the children and women who are suffering from every type of violence. May their silent scream for help be heard by a vigilant Church so that, gazing upon the crucified Christ, she may not forget the many brothers and sisters who are left at the mercy of violence. Also, for all those who find themselves in economically precarious situations, above all for the unemployed, the elderly, migrants, the homeless, prisoners, and those who experience marginalization. That the Church’s prayer and its active nearness give them comfort and assistance in hope and strength and courage in defending human dignity.”
The Day Celebrating the Evangelium Vitae, entitled “Believing May They Have Life”, will take place from 15 to 16 June. ”We have given it this name to testify to the grand theme that revolves around the Church’s commitment to the promotion, respect, and dignity of human life,” said Archbishop Fisichella. “Pope Francis will preside at Sunday Mass at 10:30am with the entire ‘people of life’ to address his message and to show his care to them as well as to all the ill who will be present at the celebration. Like the other events, it will follow the traditional pattern of the Year of Faith: pilgrimages to St. Peter’s tomb will take place on Saturday afternoon, from 2:00pm until 5:00pm, while at the same time those who wish may go to confession and adore the Blessed Sacrament. There will also be catechesis for the various language groups in several churches around Rome on Saturday morning.”
In the evening of that same day, Saturday 15 June, starting at 8:30pm, “a silent, candle-lit procession will be held along Via della Conciliazione in order to call attention to the theme of human life and its intangible value. It will conclude in St. Peter’s Square where several meaningful testimonials will be given. … Already, groups from the United States, Germany, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Spain, France, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Britain, Belgium, Slovakia, Costa Rica, Portugal, and Australia have registered their participation. There will also be families, representatives from episcopal conferences, dioceses, parishes, religious orders, seminaries, humanitarian and health organizations like the Order of Malta, ecclesial movements, associations like Unitalsi and the Red Cross, and pro-life groups as well as many people interested in the promotion and defense of life who aren’t affiliated with a particular association or religion.”
|DEFENDING RIGHTS OF CHRISTIANS IN EUROPEAN SOCIETIES |
Vatican City, 28 May 2013 VIS – Bishop Mario Toso, S.D.B., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, delivered an address at the Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination (Including Human Rights Youth Education) in Tirana, Albania, on 21 May. The conference was organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The second plenary session dealt with the issue of combating intolerance and discrimination against Christians and members of other religions.
“At the last High-Level Conference on tolerance and non-discrimination, held three years ago in Astana,” the prelate said, “the participating States committed, among other things, to counter prejudice, discrimination, intolerance, and violence against Christians and members of other religions, including minority religions, which continue to be present in the OSCE region. They were also called to address the denial of rights, exclusion, and marginalization of Christians and members of other religions in our societies. Unfortunately, examples of intolerance and discrimination against Christians have not diminished but rather increased in various parts of the OSCE region despite a number of meetings and conferences on the subject organized also by the OSCE and Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).”
“It is regretful, therefore, to note that across the OSCE region a sharp dividing line has been drawn between religious belief and religious practice, so that Christians are frequently reminded in public discourse (and increasingly even in the courts), that they can believe whatever they like in their own homes or heads, and largely worship as they wish in their own private churches, but they simply cannot act on those beliefs in public. This is a only deliberate twisting and limiting of what religious freedom actually means, and it is not the freedom that was enshrined in international documents, including those of the OSCE beginning with the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, stretching through the 1989 Final Vienna Document and the 1990 Copenhagen Document, and including the 2010 Astana Summit Commemorative Declaration.”
“Participating OSCE States,” Bishop Toso emphasized, “must therefore guarantee that intolerance and discrimination against Christians is ended, enabling Christians to speak freely on issues that the government or others may find disagreeable and act on their consciences in the workplace and elsewhere. Discrimination against Christians – even where they are a majority – must be faced as a serious threat to the whole of society and therefore should be fought, as it is done, and rightly so, in the case of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
|OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS |
Vatican City, 28 May 2013 VIS – Today the Holy Father:
- appointed Bishop Rodolfo Cetoloni, O.F.M., as bishop of the Diocese of Grosseto (area 1,239, population 134,340, Catholics 124,936, priests 73, permanent deacons 5, religious 50), Italy. Bishop Cetoloni was previously bishop of Montepulciano-Chiusi-Pienza, Italy.
- appointed Fr. Jorge Estrada Solorzano as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Mexico (area 1,429, population 8,997,000, Catholics 8,038,000, priests 1,789, permanent deacons 146, religious 7,211), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Mexico City in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1995. Since 2008 he has been the director of the Assistance Centre for Priests. He was previously pastor of St. Peter the Apostle parish in the Archdiocese of Mexico.
- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Mexico presented by Bishop Francisco Clavel Gil, upon having reached the age limit.