Thursday, March 26, 2015

Latest News from #Vatican and #PopeFrancis


26-03-2015 - Year XXV - Num. 61 

Summary
- Slogan and Logo of Pope's Trip to Sarajevo Presented
- Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Open to 150 Homeless Visitors
- Carmelite Communities around the World Pray for Peace
- Other Pontifical Acts
- The Pope asks for prayers for the Synod on the family
- Bringing bread to the table is a matter of dignity
- Condolences following the air disaster in France
- Programme of the Holy Father's visit to Turin
- The exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin
- Members and substitutes for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- International vigil at St. Mary Major for the 20th anniversary of the encyclical Evangelium Vitae
- Pope's Second lottery for charity
- The Holy See: equality of access to education for girls
- Other Pontifical Acts
Slogan and Logo of Pope?s Trip to Sarajevo Presented
Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) ? This coming 6 June, Pope Francis will visit Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The slogan of the visit will be ?Peace Be With You? and the logo is a dove with an olive branch. Concretely, the dove with olive branch, symbol of peace, is flanking a cross, part of which is a stylized triangle symbolizing the country?s borders, with the colors of white, blue, yellow, and red representing both the country?s flag as well as the presence of Croats in the nation. It is the design of artists Miroslav Setka and Dragan Ivankovic.
At the presentation, Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Sarajevo, explained that the slogan and logo were inspired by the Pope?s words ?when he announced that the purpose of his visit would promote the peace process in Bosnia. Moreover, ?Peace Be With You? is the expression with which Jesus greeted the disciples when He appeared to them after the Resurrection. The times we live in,? the cardinal said, ?are times of uncertainty regarding the future and that is why everyone in this country, especially we Catholics, needs this encouragement.?
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Open to 150 Homeless Visitors
Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) ? One hundred and fifty homeless persons, generally found around St. Peter?s Square and Bernini?s Colonnade, will be guided around the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in an initiative undertaken by Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, almoner of the Office of Papal Charities.
The guests, divided into three groups, each with their own guides, will visit part of the Vatican City State, including the Domus Sanctae Marthae, St. Peter?s Basilica, the palace of the Mint, the gardens, and the Gate of St. Gregory. On arriving at the museums they will visit the Carriage Pavillion, the Galleries of the Chandeliers and Maps, and the Sistine Chapel. After the visit, the group will eat at the restaurant in the Vatican Museums.
Carmelite Communities around the World Pray for Peace
Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) ? Carmelite communities around the world today-26 March, the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila, foundress of the Discalced Carmelite Order-are celebrating in the way deemed most appropriate and suitable, with a day of prayer for peace.
?Prayer for peace,? the Carmelite Vicar General, Fr. Emilio Martinez said, ?is a gift that we offer to St. Teresa and what better than to do what she asked of us, which is to keep the concerns of the world at heart.?
During the prayer, the communities will especially keep in mind persecuted Christians and countries at war, praying for the cessation of all public and domestic violence. The organizers of the day of prayer ask that each house and convent join the initiative and light a candle. Participation on social networks can be marked #Prayday.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) ? Today the Holy Father:
- erected the eparchy of St. John Chrysostom of Gurgaon of the Syro-Malankars, India, appointing Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas Aerath, OIC, as its first eparchal bishop. Bishop Aerath was previously apostolic visitor for the Syro-Malankars extra-territorial missions in India. The new eparchy extends along the northern part of India, covering 22 of the 29 states. The district?s southern boundary is made up of the four central states of: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. In addition to these four states, the faithful are distributed throughout Punjab, Rajashtan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. The eparchy is headquarted in Gurgaon because that metropolitan area has the largest concentration of faithful in the nine parishes covered. The region has two colleges and ten schools administrated by the Syro-Malankar church. It has 15 priests, both regular and eparchal, and 30 religious carrying out its pastoral, educational, and charitable work.
- erected the apostolic exarchate of St. Ephrem of Khadki of the Syro-Malankars, India, appointing Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios Valiyavilayil as its first exarch. Bishop Valiyavilayil was previously curial bishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars, India. The new exarchate extends along the southern part of India, which previously did not have any ecclesial district of the Syro-Malankar church, and includes the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana together with parts of the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The extra-territorial mission of the Syro-Malankar church began in Poona in 1955 with the pastoral care of emigrants by Bethany Ashram, OIC. Today, the Syro-Malankar presence in the exarchate?s region includes 27 parishes and missions. There are 21 priests dedicated to pastoral care, 13 convents, and a dozen schools including a college of higher learning. The majority of the faithful are located around Mumbai and Poona, in the western state of Maharashtra.\
25-03-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 060 

The Pope asks for prayers for the Synod on the family
Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – On the solemnity of the Annunciation, during this Wednesday's general audience held in a rain-soaked St. Peter's Square, the Pope announced to the faithful that today would be a special catechesis, a pause for prayer during his path of reflections on the family.
“On 25 March, the Church solemnly celebrates the Annunciation, the beginning of the mystery of the Incarnation. The Archangel Gabriel visits the humble girl from Nazareth and announces that she will conceive and give birth to the Son of God. By this announcement the Lord illuminates and strengthens Mary's faith, as He will also do for her spouse Giuseppe, so that Jesus may be born in a human family. This is beautiful: it shows us how deeply the mystery of the Incarnation, as God wished it to be, includes not only conception in the womb of the mother, but also the fact of being welcomed into a true family. Today I would like to contemplate with you the beauty of this bond, of this, God's condescension, and we can do so reciting together the Hail Mary, which in its first part includes the words the Angel addressed to the Virgin”.
After praying the Hail Mary with all those present, Francis commented that today in many countries is the Day for Life, and that twenty years ago on this date St. John Paul II signed his encyclical “Evangelium Vitae”, in which the family “occupies a central role, inasmuch as it is the womb of human life”.
“The word of my venerated predecessor reminds us that the human couple has been blessed by God since the beginning to form a community of love and life, to whom the mission of procreation has been entrusted. Christian couples, by celebrating the sacrament of Marriage, indicate they are willing to honour this blessing, with the grace of Christ, for all their life. The Church, for her part, solemnly commits to caring for the family that is thus born, as a gift from God for her own life, in good times and bad: the bond between the Church and the family is sacred and inviolable. The Church, as a mother, never abandons her family, even when it is debased, hurt and humiliated in many ways. Not even when it gives in to sin or drifts away from the Church; she will always do everything to seek to cure and heal it, to invite it to convert and be reconciled with the Lord”.
If this is her task, the Pontiff observed, then it appears clear how much prayer the Church needs in order to be able to carry out this mission. “A prayer full of love for the family and for life. A prayer that knows how to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to suffer with those who suffer”. The Holy Father explained that he and his collaborators had decided to propose a renewal of the prayer for the Synod of Bishops on the family, and asked all present to continue to recite it until October, when the Synod assembly dedicated to the family is due to take place.
“I would like this prayer, like the entire Synod path, to be inspired by the Good Shepherd's compassion for his flock, especially for those people and families who for various reasons are 'harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd'. In this way, supported and inspired by the grace of God, the Church will be able to be even more committed, and even more united, in her witness of the truth of God's love and His mercy for the world's families, without exception, both inside and outside the fold”.
“I ask you, please, to ensure that your prayer is not lacking. All of us – the Pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, men and women religious – we must all pray for the Synod. We need this, not chatter! I encourage even those who feel distant to pray too, and those who are not used to doing so. This prayer for the Synod on the family is for the good of all of us. I know that this morning an image has been given to you, which you now hold in your hands. I invite you to keep it and carry it with you always, so that over the coming months you can recite the prayer often, with holy insistence, as Jesus asked us. Now, let us pray together:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
In you we contemplate
The splendour of true love,
We turn to you with confidence.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
Make our families, also,
Places of communion and cenacles of prayer,
Authentic schools of the Gospel,
And little domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth
May our families never more experience
Violence, isolation, and division:
May anyone who was wounded or scandalised
Rapidly experience consolation and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
May the upcoming Synod of Bishops
Re-awaken in all an awareness
Of the sacred character and inviolability of the family,
Its beauty in the project of God.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Hear and answer our prayer. Amen”.
Bringing bread to the table is a matter of dignity
Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, the Pope greeted those present in various languages. In Italian he addressed a group of workers from the province of Vibo Valentia, in the Calabria region, which is currently experiencing a situation of economic crisis.
“I express my concern and closeness to your persistent problems. I make a heartfelt appeal that the logic of profit may not prevail over that of solidarity and justice. At the centre of every issue, especially in relation to work, there must always be the human person and his or her dignity. Being unable to bring bread to the table means losing one's dignity. This is the crisis of our time, especially for the young who, without work, have no prospects for the future and may become easy prey to criminal organisations”.
Condolences following the air disaster in France
Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram of condolences to Bishop Jean-Philippe Nault, France, on behalf of the Holy Father following the air crash that occurred in the area yesterday, in which all 150 passengers and crew were killed.
“Upon learning of the tragic air accident that occurred in the region of Digne, claiming numerous victims, including many schoolchildren, His Holiness Pope Francis participates in the suffering of the families, expressing his closeness in prayer. He prays for the eternal repose of the departed, commending them to God's mercy, so that He might welcome them into his house of peace and light. He expresses his profound sympathy for all those affected by the tragedy, and for the rescuers who have to intervene in such difficult conditions. The Holy Father asks the Lord to bring strength and consolation to all and, as a pledge of solace, invokes divine blessings in abundance”.
Programme of the Holy Father's visit to Turin
Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – On Sunday 21 June the Pope will visit Turin. Francis will arrive in the Italian city at 8 a.m. and, half an hour later, will meet with representatives of the world of work in the Piazzetta Reale. From there, he will move on to the Cathedral where he will pray before the Holy Shroud and before the altar of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. At10.45 a.m. he will celebrate the Eucharist in Piazza Vittorio and will recite the SundayAngelus prayer.
Following Mass, the Pope will proceed to the Archbishop's residence to lunch with young detainees from the “Ferrante Aporti” penitentiary for minors, several immigrants and homeless people, and a Rom family.
At 2.40 p.m. he will visit the Sanctuary of the Consolata, where he will withdraw for a few minutes in private prayer. At 3 p.m., in the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, where he will meet with Salesians and the Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians. An hour later, in the Church of Cottolengo, he will meet with the sick and disabled.
Back in Piazza Vittorio, at 6 p.m., he will meet with young people of the city, after which he will retire to the archbishop's residence.
On Monday 22, at 9 a.m., he will visit the Valdese Temple. Upon returning to the archbishop's residence, where he will meet privately with some of his relatives. He will celebrate a Holy Mass with them in the Chapel and will lunch with them. Before his departure from “Torino Caselle” airport, he will pay a short visit to the members of the Committee of the Shroud, the organisers and supporters of his visit.
The exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin
Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the upcoming exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin (Turin, 19 April – 24 June 2015), on the occasion of the second centenary of the birth of St. John Bosco, which will be specially dedicated to the young and to those who suffer. The Pope will also make a pilgrimage to Turin from 21 to 22 June.
The speakers at the conference were the archbishop of Turin, Cesare Nosaglia, papal guardian of the Shroud; Elide Tisi, mayor of the city; Roberto Gottardo, president of the diocesan commission for the Shroud; and Rev. Luca Ramello, director of youth pastoral ministry for the diocese.
Archbishop Nosaglia explained that the Shroud represents, for the Universal Church, a point of reference of the first order for the life of the faith of many people and communities, who in this image recognise the signs of the Lord's passion, of Jesus who “inspires our lives and challenges us to fully realise our deepest vocation. Therefore”, he added “the theme I have chosen for the next exhibition is 'The Greatest Love': the gift of salvation which is made visible in our response, the worship of God and service to our brothers”.
“The Pope's trip, like the exhibition as a whole, is also intended to give thanks for 'the Saint of youth', and for the service that the Salesian family carries out in Turin and throughout the world in the fields of education, mission, sport and communication. … The world of youth is particularly involved in the Salesian mission, and during the Pope's visit there will be a sort of mini Youth Day, a series of meetings, encounters, prayer, moments of celebration that help resume contact with the young. An extraordinary sign will be the presence of the Word Youth Day Cross, which will make a stop in Turin during its journey to Krakow”.
Another peculiarity of this exhibition is attention to the world of those who suffer, and therefore this year sick or disabled pilgrims and those who accompany them will be able to benefit from new hospitality structures based on the model of the “Accueil” in Lourdes. It is also hoped that the Pilgrimage to the Shroud will offer an opportunity to partake in the sacrament of Reconciliation, as a “concrete sign of forgiveness” and, as on previous occasions, “in various places priests will hear the confessions of the faithful in all the world's major languages”.
The prelate emphasised that the 2015 exhibition has been organised according to the criterion of austerity, in a period of severe economic and social crisis throughout the area, and he thanked those entities that have offered their cooperation to help limit costs as far as possible. He also announced that during the display of the Shroud, Beato Angelico's celebrated “Lamentation over the Dead Christ” will be exhibited in the diocesan museum, on loan for the occasion from the city of Florence.
“As you are aware, visiting the Shroud is completely free. Traditionally many pilgrims at the leave a simple offering at the end of their journey, deposited with full discretion at the exit of the Cathedral and in the places of confession. On this occasion all the offerings will be given to the Pope when he is with us in Turin on 21 June. We will ask him to use them, naturally with full freedom, for a work, or a project to assist the poorest or neediest”.
Members and substitutes for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
Vatican City, 25 March 2015 (VIS) – The following is a list of the members and substitutes appointed by the competent entities and ratified by the Holy Father on 17 March.
A) Episcopal Conferences
NORTH AFRICA (C.E.R.N.A.)
Member: Bishop Jean-Paul Vesco, O.P., of Oran, Algeria
Substitute: Archbishop Santiago Agrelo Martinez, O.F.M., of Tangier, Morocco
BOTSWANA, SOUTH AFRICA and SWAZILAND
Members: Archbishop Stephen Brislin, of Cape Town, Kaapstad, president of the Episcopal Conference, South Africa
Bishop Zolile Peter Mpambani, S.C.I., of Kokstad, South Africa
Substitutes: Bishop Dabula Anton Mpako of Queenstown, South Africa
Bishop Jan De Groef, M. Afr., of Bethlehem, South Africa
BURKINA FASO and NIGER
Member: Bishop Joseph Sama of Nouna, Burkina Faso
Substitute: Archbishop Djalwana Laurent Lompo of Niamey, Niger
CHAD
Member: Bishop Henri Coudray, S.J., apostolic vicar of Mongo
Substitute: Bishop Joachim Kouraleyo Tarounga of Moundou
CONGO (Democratic Republic)
Members: Bishop Nicolas Djomo Lola of Tshumbe, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Philibert Tembo Nlandu, C.I.C.M., of Budjala
Substitute: Bishop Joseph Banga Bane of Buta
GUINEA
Member: Archbishop Vincent Coulibaly of Conakry
Substitute: Bishop Raphael Balla Guilavogui of N'Zerekore
LESOTHO
Member: Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lerotholi, O.M.I., of Maseru, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Augustinus Tumaole Bane, O.M.I., of Leribe
LIBERIA
Member: Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga
Substitute: Bishop Andrew Jagaye Karnley of Cape Palmas
MALI
Member: Bishop Jonas Dembele of Kayes
Substitute: Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako
MOZAMBIQUE
Member: Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, O.F.M. Cap., of Maputo
Substitute: Bishop Adriano Langa, O.F.M., of Inhambane
NAMIBIA
Member: Bishop Philipp Pollitzer, O.M.I., of Keetmanshoop
Substitute: Bishop Joseph Shipandeni Shikongo, O.M.I., apostolic vicar of Rundu
NIGERIA
Members: Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso of Kaduna
Bishop Camillus Raymond Umoh of Ikot Ekpene
Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade of Ondo
Substitutes: Bishop Hilary Paul Odili Okeke of Nnewi
Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, president of the Episcopal Conference
TOGO
Member: Bishop Jacques Danka Longa of Kara
Substitute: Bishop Benoit Comlan Messan Alowonou of Kpalime
UGANDA
Members: Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa of Kiyinda-Mityana, Vice president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitutes: Bishop Lambert Bainomugisha, auxiliary of Mbarara
Bishop Sanctus Lino WANOK of Nebbi
AMERICA
ANTILLES
Member: Bishop Francis Alleyne, O.S.B., of Georgetown, Co-operative Republic of Guiana
Substitute: Bishop Emmanuel Lafont of Cayenne, French Guiana
BOLIVIA
Members: Bishop Braulio Saez Garcia, O.C.D., auxiliary of Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Bishop Krzysztof Janusz Bialasik Wawrowska, S.V.D., of Oruro
Substitute: Bishop Aurelio Pesoa Ribera, O.F.M., auxiliary La Paz
GUATEMALA
Member: Bishop Rodolfo Valenzuela Nunez of Vera Paz, Coban, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Gonzalo De Villa y Vasquez, S.J., of Solola-Chimaltenango
HAITI
Member: Bishop Yves-Marie Pean, C.S.C., of Les Gonaives
Substitute: Archbishop Max Leroy Mesidor of Cap-Haitien
NICARAGUA
Member: Bishop Cesar Bosco Vivas Robelo of Leon en Nicaragua
Substitute: Bishop Juan Abelardo Mata Guevara, S.D.B., of Esteli
PANAMA
Member: Bishop Aníbal Saldana Santamaria, O.A.R., prelate of Bocas del Toro
Substitute: Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R., bishop of David, president of the Episcopal Conference
PERU
Members: Archbishop Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon of Ayacucho, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, O.F.M., of Trujillo
Substitute: Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi, S.C.V., of Piura
VENEZUELA
Members: Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas
Archbishop Diego Rafael Padron Sanchez of Cumana, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitutes: Bishop Fernando Jose Castro Aguayo, auxiliary of Caracas, Santiago de Venezuela
Bishop Rafael Ramon Conde Alfonzo of Maracay
ASIA
CHINA
Member: Bishop John Baptist Lee Keh-Mien of Hsinchu
Substitute: Bishop Thomas Chung An-Zu of Kiayi
PHILIPPINES
Members: Archbishop Romulo G. Valles of Davao
Archbishop Jose S. Palma of Cebu
Bishop Gilbert A. Garcera of Daet
Substitutes: Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David, auxiliary of San Fernando
Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, S.J., of Cagayan de Oro
INDONESIA
Members: Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, president of the Episcopal Conference, military ordinary for Indonesia
Bishop Fransiskus Kopong Kung of Larantuka
Substitute: Bishop Leo Laba Ladjar, O.F.M., of Jayapura
KAZAKHSTAN
Member: Archbishop Tomash Bernard Peta, of Mary Most Holy in Astana, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Athanasius Schneider, O.R.C., auxiliary of Mary Most Holy in Astana
LAOS and CAMBODIA
Member: Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, apostolic vicar of Pakse, Laos
Substitute: Olivier Michel Marie Schmitthaeusler, M.E.P., apostolic vicar of Phnom-Penh, Cambodia, president of the Episcopal Conference
MALAYSIA - SINGAPORE - BRUNEI
Member: Archbishop John Wong Soo Kau of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Substitute: Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang, Malaysia
MYANMAR
Member: Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., archbishop of Yangon
Substitute: Bishop Felix Lian Khen Thang of Kalay
ARAB STATES (C.E.L.R.A.)
Member: His Beatitude Fouad TWAL, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Archbishop Maroun Elias Lahham, auxiliary and patriarchal vicar for Jerusalem of the Latins for Jordan
EUROPE
BELARUS
Member: Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk-Mohilev
Substitute: Bishop Antoni Dziemianko of Pinsk
CROATIA
Member: Bishop Valter Zupan, emeritus of Krk, president of the Council of the Croation Episcopal Conference for the Family and Life
Substitute: Bishop Antun Skvorcevic of Pozega
RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Member: Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, F.S.C.B., of Mother of God in Moscow, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Joseph Werth, S.J., of Transfiguration in Novosibirsk
GERMANY
Members: Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munchen und Freising
Bishop Heiner Koch of Dresden-Meissen
Bishop Franz-Josef Hermann Bode of Osnabruck
Substitutes: Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann of Speyer
Bishop Wilfried Theising, auxiliary of Munster
GREAT BRITAIN (SCOTLAND)
Member: Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, president of the Episcopal Conference of Scotland
Substitute: Bishop John Keenan of Paisley
PORTUGAL
Members: Cardinal Manuel Jose Macario Do Nascimento Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Antonino Eugenio Fernandes Dias of Portalegre-Castelo Branco, president of the Episcopal Commission for the Laity and the Family
Substitute: Bishop Antonio Augusto Dos Santos Marto of Leiria-Fatima, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
CZECH REPUBLIC
Member: Bishop Jan Vokal of Hradec Kralove
Substitute: Bishop Ladislav Hucko, apostolic exarch for Catholic of Byznantine rite in the Czech Republic
SWITZERLAND
Member: Bishop Jean-Marie Lovey, C.R.B., of Sion, Sitten
Substitute: Bishop Valerio Lazzeri of Lugano
B) “Sui Iuris” Oriental Catholic Churches
Synod of the Syro-Malabar Churches
Members:Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of Palai of the Syro-Malabars, India
Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur of the Syro-Malabars, India
Substitutes: Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad of the Syro-Malabars, India
Bishop Thomas Elavanal, M.C.B.S., of Kalyan of the Syro-Malabars, India
24-03-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 059 

International vigil at St. Mary Major for the 20th anniversary of the encyclical Evangelium Vitae
Vatican City, 24 March 2015 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for the Family has organised an international vigil to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the publication of St. John Paul II's encyclical “Evangelium Vitae”. According to a press release from the dicastery, the event is a form of thanksgiving for the fruits of the pastoral care of life, and will also serve to spread the benefits of prayer for life as well as to recall eternal life, the destiny of every human being.
The vigil will be divided into three stages: it will begin at 5 p.m. in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major, with an explanation of various artistic elements of the basilica relating to the theme of life. At 6 p.m. an original rosary will be prayed, focusing on the contemplation of the Gospel passages linked to the theme of life, interspersed with experiences related by the faithful. This will be followed, at 7 p.m., by a Eucharistic celebration presided by Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, who comments that “the anniversary of the Encyclical and this vigil that commemorates it, on the eve of the Annunciation, is particularly meaningful as it makes manifest the intimate connection between the mystery of life and the experience of the family, made up of affection and social relationships. Defending life means participating in the alliance between God, man and woman”.
The international character of the vigil is accentuated by the participation of the shrines of Fatima, Lourdes and Guadalupe, where rosaries will be recited, dedicated to life, as part of the initiative “A rosary embraces the world”.
The Italian television channel Telepace will transmit live the events of the vigil from 5.15 p.m., while English-, French- and Italian-speaking viewers will be able to take part in the Holy Rosaries of Lourdes, according to the following schedule: at 2.30 p.m. (local time) the Rosary will be broadcast by the main American Catholic television channels; at 3.30 p.m. by the French Catholic channel KTO, and at 6 p.m. in Italy, by the broadcaster TV2000.
Pope's Second lottery for charity
Vatican City, 24 March 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has expressed his gratitude for the proceeds raised by the lottery in support of his works of charity, which took place in January. The entire sum has been consigned to Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, almoner of His Holiness. In view of the widespread participation and generosity of many people, Pope Francis has made more prizes available to enable the initiative to be repeated.
The second lottery draw will take place on the solemnity of the Saints Peter and Paul, patrons of Rome, and the lucky numbers draw (each ticket costs 10 euros) is scheduled for30 July, in the presence of a commission to guarantee the correct procedures. Prizes can be claimed during the following thirty days in the Department of Events Coordination of the Governorate of Vatican City State. Also on this occasion, like the first lottery, the proceeds will go directly to the Pope.
Tickets will be available from the Vatican Pharmacy, the Post Office, the Vatican supermarket, the “Station” warehouse, the sales outlets of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office, and the Vatican Museums bookshop.
The Holy See: equality of access to education for girls
Vatican City, 24 March 2015 (VIS) – Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York, spoke on 13 March at the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which analysed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, with a view also to advancing women’s empowerment and equality in a post-2015 development agenda.
“There has been considerable progress for the cause of women in many countries, especially in the areas of education, political representation, and economic participation”, said the nuncio. “In spite of the admirable efforts and significant advances, however, still too many women continue to face discrimination and many forms of violence just for being women”.
“The goal of eradicating poverty, in particular extreme poverty, is at the heart of the Holy See’s concerns. The Catholic Church has nearly unparalleled experience of the needs of the poor through its bimillennial experience and through hundreds of thousands of programs and institutions serving poor women and men the world over”, he continued. “The promotion of inclusive and equitable economies has a profound impact in advancing the status of women. Indeed, women are experiencing unique economic distress linked to unfair employment policies, unequal pay for equal work, the denial of access to credit and property, and victimisation in situations of conflicts and migration. Notwithstanding the fact that women constitute the majority of the poor and are affected by the burden of poverty in very specific ways, they are nevertheless courageously at the forefront in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty. From this perspective, the fight for the advancement of women must also mean assuring them equal access to resources, capital and technology”.
The archbishop underlined that “studies have demonstrated that fragile family structures and the decline of marriage among the poor are very closely linked to poverty among women. Single mothers are left alone to raise children. Many mothers in situations of distress fail to send their children to school, thus entangling them in the vicious circle of poverty and marginalisation. … Numerous reports by the Secretary-General have highlighted the centrality of the family for poverty eradication and sustainable development”.
The Holy See takes note of the report by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the problems and attacks girls continue to suffer in accessing education. “My delegation is convinced that the fight for equal access to education for girls, especially quality education, is an indispensable component in the fight for the advancement of women … and reiterates Pope Francis' readiness of to work with all those who are seeking each day to build a world that concretely treats women as equals, in the diversity of gifts and strengths, toward the greater common good of all”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 24 March 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Bertram Victor Wick Enzler, auxiliary of Guayaquil, Ecuador, as bishop of Santo Domingo en Ecuador (area 8,500, population 801,000, Catholics 685,000, priests 82, permanent deacons 2, religious 135), Ecuador.

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