Friday, October 30, 2015

Latest #News of #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee


30-10-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 192 

Summary
- The Pope on Blessed Oscar Romero: his impact is still felt in our time
- To the Santa Marta Group: combating human trafficking is a moral imperative for States
- The Pope's 60th anniversary message to the Latin American Episcopal Council: love your people, open paths of greater equality, justice and peace
- Pope Francis' prayer intentions for November
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Notice
- Audience with the president of Lithuania: greater solidarity between nations
- Transmitting Christian hope: the Pope receives the participants in the 6th World Congress of Radio Maria
- Programme of Pope Francis' visit to Prato and Florence
- Message from Cardinal Tauran to the Religions for Peace European Assembly: from fear to trust
- Audiences
The Pope on Blessed Oscar Romero: his impact is still felt in our time
Vatican City, 30 October 2015 (VIS) – This morning five hundred pilgrims from El Salvador, in Rome to give thanks for the beatification of the bishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, met with the Holy Father in the Paul VI Hall. The Pope defined the Salvadoran bishop martyr as a “good pastor, full of love for God and close to his brothers who, living the dynamism of the Beatitudes, gave his life in a violent way while celebrating the Eucharist, the supreme sacrifice of love, sealing with his own blood the Gospel that he announced”.
“From the very beginning of the life of the Church, Christians have always believed that the blood of martyrs is a seed for Christians, as Tertullian said. Today too, in a dramatic way, the blood of a great number of Christian martyrs continues to be shed on the field of the world,with the certain hope that will bear fruit in a rich harvest of holiness, justice, reconciliation and love of God. But we must remember that one is not born a martyr. Archbishop Romero remarked, 'We must be willing to die for our faith, even if the Lord does not grant us this honour. ... Giving life does not only mean being assassinated; giving life, having the spirit of martyrdom, means offering it in silence, in prayer, in the honest fulfilment of one's duty; in this silence of everyday life, giving life a little at a time'”.
“Indeed, the martyr is not someone relegated to the past, a beautiful image that adorns our churches and which we recall with a certain nostalgia. No, the martyr is a brother, a sister, who continues to accompany us in the communion of saints and who, united with Christ, does not ignore our earthly pilgrimage, our sufferings, our anxieties. In the recent history of this beloved country, the witness of Msgr. Romero has joined that of the other brothers and sisters … who are a treasure and well-founded hope for the Church and for Salvadoran society. The impact of his commitment can still be felt in our times”.
Just a few weeks before the beginning of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the example of Msgr. Romero constitutes, for his beloved nation, a “stimulus to a renewed proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to announce it in a way that all people can understand, so that the merciful love of the Divine Saviour enters the heart and the history of this good people. The holy people of God in pilgrimage in El Salvador have a series of difficult tasks ahead of them, which require, as in the rest of the world, an evangelising announcement that allows witness, in the communion of Christ's one Church, of authentic Christian life”.
“On this occasion, I make my own the sentiments of the Blessed Msgr. Romero, who with the well-founded hope longed to see the happy time when the terrible suffering of many of our brothers, due to hate, violence and injustice, would disappear. May the Lord, with a shower of mercy and goodness and a torrent of grace convert all hearts, and may the beautiful homeland He has given you, that bears the name of the Divine Saviour, be transform into a country where all are redeemed and all are brothers, without differences, since we are all one in Christ our Lord”.
The Holy Father concluded with some unscripted remarks. “I wish to add something we are forgetting”, he said. “The martyrdom of Msgr. Romero was not fulfilled at the moment of his death – it was a martyrdom of witness, of prior suffering and prior persecution, up to his death. But even afterwards, following his death – I was a young priest and a witness to this – he was defamed, slandered, his memory despoiled, and his martyrdom continued also for his brethren in the priesthood and in the episcopate. This is not hearsay, but rather things I have heard. Or perhaps it is best to see it thus: a man who continues to be a martyr. After having given his life, he continues to give it by allowing himself to be assailed by all this misunderstanding and slander. This gives me strength. Only God knows the stories of those people who have given their lives, who have died, and continue to be stoned with the hardest stone that exists in the world: language”.
To the Santa Marta Group: combating human trafficking is a moral imperative for States
Vatican City, 30 October 2015 (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a message to the Santa Marta Group, an initiative launched by the Holy Father in the battle against human trafficking, involving the security forces of various countries, episcopates, social organisations and representatives of various religious confessions. The group is currently gathered at the San Lorenzo del Escorial in Spain, a meeting inaugurated this Friday by Queen Sofia and attended by cardinals, bishops, social activists and around fifty heads of police from around the world.
In the short time of its existence, writes Francis, this worthy group has made significant achievements and is called upon to play a decisive role in the eradication of human trafficking and modern slavery. He recalls that during the last year there have been important institutional changes that have without doubt supported its activity, starting with the meeting of mayors in Vatican City on 21 July, in which key figures signed a declaration expressing their commitment to eliminating the new forms of slavery that constitute a crime against humanity.
He also mentions the recent approval of the Agenda 2030, with the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which include the adoption of immediate and effective means for eradicating forced labour, putting an end to modern forms of slavery and human trafficking and ensuring the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including the recruitment and deployment of child soldiers, with a view to putting an end to all forms of child labour by 2025.
The Pope also refers to his address to the United Nations in New York on 25 September, in which he affirmed that the world demands of government leaders “a will which is effective, practical and constant, concrete steps and immediate measures for preserving and improving the natural environment and thus putting an end as quickly as possible to the phenomenon of social and economic exclusion, with its baneful consequences. … Such is the magnitude of these situations and their toll in innocent lives, that we must avoid every temptation to fall into a declarationist nominalism which would assuage our consciences”. “Today the 193 states of the United Nations have a new moral imperative to combat human trafficking, a true crime against humanity. Collaboration between bishops and the civil authorities, each in accordance with his own mission and character and with the aim of discovering best practice for the fulfilment of this delicate task, is a decisive step to ensuring that the will of governments reaches the victims in a direct, immediate, constant, effective and concrete way”.
“For my part, I pray that God Almighty grant you the grace of carrying forward the delicate, humanitarian and Christian mission of healing the open and painful wounds of humanity, which are also Christ's wounds. I assure you of all my support and my prayer, and the support and prayer of the faithful of the Catholic Church. With God's help, and your collaboration, the indispensable service of the Santa Marta Group will be able to free the victims of new forms of slavery, rehabilitate them, along with the imprisoned and the marginalised, unmasking the traffickers and those who create this market, and provide effective assistance to cities and nations; a service for the common good and the promotion of human dignity, able to bring out the best in every person and every citizen”.
The Pope's 60th anniversary message to the Latin American Episcopal Council: love your people, open paths of greater equality, justice and peace
Vatican City, 30 October 2015 (VIS) – To commemorate 60 years of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), the Pope has written a message to the president Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez in which he expresses his gratitude for all the good the Lord has gradually sown there, and that has borne fruit through the service of God's Church in Latin America.
“I hope that CELAM, making pastoral and missionary conversion its priority, may increasingly participate in, support and give momentum to this evangelising movement towards all environments and all frontiers. It is important that our communities are a 'home and school of communion', which attract by a surprising fraternity based on the recognition of the common father, and help always to keep alive in the Church in Latin America the passion for our peoples, the bearing of our sufferings and the capacity for Christian discernment of the vicissitudes of their recent history, to open up paths of greater equality, peace and justice”.
He also emphasises that the upcoming opening of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy “will be an event of grace in which CELAM must provide a fundamental service of inspiration, exchange and celebration”.
Finally, the Pope imparts his apostolic blessing to all members of CELAM, their collaborators, and the episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, placing all these intentions under the protection of the mantle of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of America, so that by her intercession “Our Lord Jesus Christ may inspire new and holier missionary disciples in our Churches, and more courageous builders of peace and justice in our nations”.
Pope Francis' prayer intentions for November
Vatican City, 30 October 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for November is: “That we may be open to personal encounter and dialogue with all, even those whose convictions differ from our own”.
His intention for evangelisation is: “That pastors of the Church, with profound love for their flocks, may accompany them and enliven their hope”.
Audiences
Vatican City, 30 October 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
- Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota, Colombia, president of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), with Bishop Carlos Maria Collazzi Irazabal of Mercedes, Uruguay, first deputy president; Archbishop Jose Belisario da Silva of Sao Luis do Maranhao, Brazil, second deputy president; Bishop Juan Espinoza Jimenez, auxiliary of Morelia, Mexico, secretary general; Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, bishop of David, Panama, president for economic affairs; and Fr. Leonidas Ortiz Losada, adjunct secretary general.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 30 October 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Bishop Fidel Herraez Vegas, auxiliary of Madrid, Spain, as archbishop of Burgos (area 13,850, population 374,970, Catholics 337,473, priests 519, religious 1,377), Spain. He succeeds Archbishop Francisco Gil Hellin, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Bishop Renauld de Dinechin, auxiliary of Paris, France, as bishop of Soissons (area 7,378, population 557,000, Catholics 403,000, priests 89, permanent deacons 22, religious 97), France.
Notice
Vatican City, 30 October 2015 (VIS) – We inform our readers that there will be no Vatican Information Service bulletin on Monday, 2 November, a holiday in the Vatican. Service will resume on Tuesday, 3 November.
29-10-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 191 
Audience with the president of Lithuania: greater solidarity between nations
Vatican City, 29 October 2015 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father Francis received in audience Dalia Grybauskaite, president of the Republic of Lithuania, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial discussions appreciation was expressed for the positive contribution of the Catholic Church to Lithuanian society. Attention then turned to a number of themes of common interest, such as European integration, the need for greater solidarity between nations to face various current challenges, the reception of migrants in Europe, peace and security at regional and international level, the conflict in Ukraine, and the situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to Syria and the Holy Land.
Transmitting Christian hope: the Pope receives the participants in the 6th World Congress of Radio Maria
Vatican City, 29 October 2015 (VIS) – This morning the Pope received in the Sala Clementina the participants in the Radio Maria 6th World Congress, taking place in the shrine of Collevallenza, Italy from 25 to 30 October and attended by the presidents and priests who direct the 75 Radio Maria broadcasters throughout the world and the further six who will shortly become active. Thousands of volunteers contribute to the running of Radio Maria, which has around 30 million listeners worldwide.
Pope Francis began his address by commenting that ever since its creation the aim of Radio Maria has been to help the Church in her task of evangelising, and to do so in its own special way, “with closeness to the concerns and problems of the people, with words of consolation and hope, the fruit of faith and commitment to solidarity. … The spread of Radio Maria in many environments, very diverse in terms of culture, language and tradition, is good news for all as it shows that, when we have the courage to propose high profile content from a clearly Christian position, the initiative is well-received, beyond our best predictions, and at times by those who thereby perhaps come into contact with the message of the Gospel for the first time”.
The Pope invited the members of Radio Maria to continue their work, trusting in Providence that has always enabled them to find the means to respond to their daily needs regarding the modernisation of technologies and the development of the radio station, which has spread rapidly and organically. “In this respect, the challenge is to maintain your style of sobriety, while continuing to seek suitable tools”.
The work of Radio Maria has become “a true mission”, which must be carried out “with fidelity to the Gospel and to the Magisterium of the Church, and listening to society and to the people, especially the poorest and most marginalised, so as to be a point of reference and a support to all your listeners. … All those who listen to your radio programmes recognise you as a broadcaster that offers ample space to prayer, demonstrating that when one opens up to prayer, one opens the door … to the Lord. Your model in this is Our Lady. It is therefore necessary to love Mary with your heart to live and feel in harmony with the Church”.
The Pope concluded by urging the directors “always to cultivate the inner garden of prayer, of listening to the Word of God”, and to seek out “good readings, so as to deepen your faith. In other words, always be aware that you give something great and unique: Christian hope, which is far more than a mere spiritual consolation, since it is based on the power of the Resurrection, witnessed with faith and works of charity”.
Programme of Pope Francis' visit to Prato and Florence
Vatican City, 29 October 2015 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today made public the programme of the Holy Father's visit to Prato and Florence, Italy on 10 November for the Fifth National Congress of the Italian Church.
The Pope will depart at 7 a.m. from the Vatican heliport and will arrive an hour later at the municipal sports camp in Prato. From there he will transfer to the cathedral and will address workers from the square. At 9 a.m. he will travel by helicopter from Prato to Florence where, after arrival at the Luigi Ridolfi stadium, he will visit the baptistery and will meet with the representatives of the National Congress of the Italian Church in Piazza Santa Maria del Fiore. At midday he will pray the Angelus and greet the sick in the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, after which he will lunch with the poor who attend the San Francesco Poverino refectory. After celebrating Holy Mass in the Artemio Franchi municipal stadium, the Holy Father will greet the authorities and depart for Rome at 5 p.m., where he is due to arrive around 6 p.m.
Message from Cardinal Tauran to the Religions for Peace European Assembly: from fear to trust
Vatican City, 29 October 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has sent a message to the participants in the Religions for Peace European Assembly, currently gathered in Castel Gandolfo to discuss the theme “Welcoming Each Other in Europe: from Fear to Trust”.
The cardinal mentioned the Assembly's concept paper, which underlines the multiple challenges of today's Europe: fear of losing one's identity leading to radicalism and fundamentalism, tendency to withdraw into oneself, xenophobia, rising intolerance towards different religions and minorities and increasing tides of forced migration due to wars, dictatorial regimes and ecological crisis.
“How can we change fear into trust, discrimination into respect, enmity into amity, polarisation into solidarity, a selfish lifestyle into a selfless one, a throwaway culture into a caring culture, and confrontation into encounter and dialogue? The true mission of religion is peace because religion and peace go together. No true religious leader can ignore the culture of dehumanisation and violence or preach and support it. We all agree that peace or violence and trust or fear come from the human heart. Prayer, spiritual practices, and actions for justice and peace can awaken our hearts to overcome the polarised vision of seeing our neighbour as another separate person. As religious leaders our urgent challenge today, is to transform distrust , suspicion, intolerance into a new culture based on respect, mutual understanding, non-violence, solidarity and peaceful conflict resolution. Since our spiritual patrimony is so great, let us work together to remedy these social and cultural ills through dialogue and cooperation”.
Audiences
Vatican City, 29 October 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime;
- Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

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