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Oklahoma City, Okla., Sep 23, 2017 / 03:16 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Father Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma priest martyred in Guatemala, was beatified Saturday during a Mass in Oklahoma City attended by over 20,000 people. 17 hours 3 min
Vatican City, Sep 22, 2017 / 12:41 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- On Friday, Pope Francis said that the mass arrival of migrants and refugees may have its challenges, but also gives us the opportunity to be missionaries – even without leaving home. 1 day 7 hours
Washington D.C., Sep 22, 2017 / 12:08 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Leading U.S. bishops have applauded pro-life provisions in the newest GOP health care proposal, but said that substantial changes are needed in other areas to make the bill morally acceptable. 1 day 8 hours
Rome, Italy, Sep 22, 2017 / 11:55 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In a surprise visit on Friday, Pope Francis stopped by the Santa Lucia Foundation, a neuro-rehabilitation center in Rome. 1 day 8 hours
New York City, N.Y., Sep 22, 2017 / 09:02 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Nuclear weapons are a force for instability and any claims they promote peace are chasing illusions, the Holy See's Secretary for Relations with States told leading diplomats seeking a nuclear test ban treaty.

1 day 11 hours
New York City, N.Y., Sep 22, 2017 / 05:57 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- 1 day 14 hours
New York City, N.Y., Sep 22, 2017 / 01:47 am (EWTN News/CNA).- At a United Nations gathering in New York City, a Holy See official stressed the need for a multi-pronged approach in fighting human trafficking and aiding victims. 1 day 18 hours
Vatican City, Sep 21, 2017 / 09:16 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Thursday in a written speech Pope Francis reiterated the Catholic Church's commitment to the protection of minors from sexual abuse, stating that the Church will continue to take a "zero tolerance" stance against offenders. 2 days 11 hours
Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 21, 2017 / 09:02 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Some of the verbal attacks on Father James Martin, S.J. have been "inexcusably ugly," Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has said in response to reactions to the controversial priest. 2 days 11 hours
Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 21, 2017 / 07:28 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Sister Crucita has been a member of the Josephine Sisters in Mexico for 70 years. At nearly 100 years old, she says she is happy with her vocation and would not change her decision to give her life to God. 2 days 12 hours
Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 21, 2017 / 03:46 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- On Sept. 19, a family in Puebla, Mexico was attending the baptism of their daughter when a 7.1-magnitude earthquake shook the church, cracking the dome above them, which collapsed and fell on top of them. 2 days 16 hours
Vatican City, Sep 21, 2017 / 02:29 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- In a meeting with Italy's Anti-Mafia Parliamentary Commission on Thursday, Pope Francis said that dismantling the mafia begins with a political commitment to social justice and economic reform. 2 days 17 hours
Vatican City, Sep 21, 2017 / 01:26 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- There should be no opportunity for appealing canonical cases of sexual abuse against minors when allegations have been proven by evidence, Pope Francis said in spontaneous comments Thursday. 2 days 18 hours
Vatican City, Sep 21, 2017 / 01:03 am (EWTN News/CNA).- An upcoming world congress by the Catholic organization Apostleship of the Sea will focus on the plight of fishermen, who frequently face exploitation in carrying out their work, according to one Vatican official. 2 days 19 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The World Seen From Rome
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According to the Vatican, on September 22, 2017, the Holy Father Francis received in Audience in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the President of the Republic of Peru, H.E. Mr. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, accompanied by Rev. Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for Relations with States.

During the discussions, which took place in a cordial atmosphere, the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Peru were evoked, which will have a significant moment in Pope Francis’ upcoming Apostolic Trip to the country. In addition, some themes of common interest were considered, such as the education of the young, the protection of the environment, development and the fight against poverty. In this context, mention was made of the contribution the Church offers to Peruvian society.

During the conversation, attention turned to various regional and international situations.

The Peruvian president offered the pope an Inca stick with local colors that symbolizes the power of the indigenous leader in his community a few months before the Pope’s apostolic journey to Peru, scheduled for January 18-21, 2018, in the cities of Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo.

This gift as well as t, were handed over to the pope during the private audience in the library of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, which lasted a little more than 25 minutes.

The president also offered Pope Francis an image of the Virgin Mary unfastening the knots, executed by the Cusco School of Art, and a shirt of the Peruvian football team — noting that the Argentine Pope likely would not wear it.

 

After the meeting, the Peruvian president declared that the Pope’s trip was confirmed for the dates scheduled, but that “it is still necessary to define exactly where the great Mass of the Pope will take place, at the conclusion of the journey”. “Everything else is determined,” he said.

Mr. Kuczynski Godard also noted that “Peru is a successful country after the 27-year period of terrorism and hyperinflation”.

Regarding gender ideology in education, he said: “Men and women should have equal opportunities, they should not have an ideology in education, we are moderate which interests us is that all girls and boys have a good education to have after the life they choose. ”

Speaking of Venezuela, the Peruvian president said that he had “spoken” on this subject with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, but not with the Pope: “And basically what we have said, is that humanitarian aid must be provided to Venezuela because there are many people who are sick and there are no medicines. The current government, obviously for reasons of pride, is opposed to that. It is also necessary to seek a dialogue with a view to a “transition”.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard has been President of Peru since July 28, 2016. Three months after the election, on October 21, 2016, the Peruvian President consecrated his country “to the love and protection of God Almighty through the” intercession of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary “. He recited this prayer publicly during his participation in the “National Lunch of Prayer” in Lima.

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Migrants, Refugees:  Church Must Offer Maternal Love

A privileged occasion to proclaim Jesus Christ

Education is Intended for Inclusion

Must Accompany “the Process of Humanization.”

UN: Protect Religious Minorities in Conflicts

One of the Most Urgent Responsibilities of the International Community

Peru’s President Meets with Pope Francis

Advance Discussions for Upcoming Apostolic Visit

Holy See at UN: Protect the Rights of all Syrians

Address by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher

Catholic Education: “Educating to Fraternal Humanism”

For a “civilization of love” 50 years after Populorum Progressio

“I Appeal for Peace and Disarmament,” Writes Pope Francis

The UN’s International Day of Peace

Armenia: “No Alternative to Peace,” says Card. Sandri

25 Years of Diplomatic Relations with the Holy See

Bambino Gesu: 4th Hearing of Trial of Former Directors

Cross-Examination of Massimo Spina

Archbishop Follo: The 11th hour, God also loves the last ones

God’s reasons: in him justice and charity coincide

Alternate Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours

Options, Not Obligations

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Religious minorities must be protected during conflicts, said Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, Head of the Delegation of the Holy See to the Seventy-second Session of the United Nations General Assembly.  His remarks came  September 22, 2017 at the Side Event entitled “The Protection of Religious Minorities in Conflict,” sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the UN, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN, and the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy.

In his address, Archbishop Gallagher noted that war and conflict regularly provide the backdrop for religious minorities to be targeted for persecution, violence, enslavement, exile, murder, ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity. Because of how widespread attacks against religious minorities are, their protection, he said, must be one of the most urgent responsibilities of the international community and must extend to examining and eradicating the root causes of that persecution. He listed several essential elements needed to protect religious minorities: a need for action and not just words; equality before the law, regardless of religion, race or ethnicity, based on the principle of citizenship; mutual autonomy and positive collaboration between religious communities and the State; the condemnation of the abuse of religious belief to justify terrorism against believers of other religions; effective interreligious dialogue as an antidote to fundamentalism; education in general and solid religious education in particular; and blocking the flow of money and weapons to those intending to use them against religious minorities.

His statement follows.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Fellow Panellists, Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour to participate in this morning’s side event on the Protection of Religious Minorities in Conflict, sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Hungary in collaboration with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See and the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy.

The need to focus on safeguarding religious minorities in situations of war and conflict arises from the revolting reality that, as all of us have seen in the last several years in various blood-drenched parts of the world, war and conflict often provide the backdrop for religious minorities to be targeted for persecution, sexual and all forms of physical violence, subjugation, false detention, expropriation of property, enslavement, forced exile, murder, ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity.

Recent experience makes the protection of religious minorities one of the most urgent responsibilities of the international community. Such protection must extend beyond merely preventing the intended or actual annihilation of minorities, but must include examining and addressing the root causes of discrimination and persecution against them and spur the vigorous defence and protection of their human dignity, the rights to life and to freedom of conscience and religion.

When we survey the world situation, we see that persecution of religious minorities is not a phenomenon isolated to one region, like, for example, the barbarities committed by ISIS in the Middle East. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in its 2016 Annual Report said that there are severe systematic ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom happening in 27 different countries. The 2016 Religious Freedom in the World Report by Aid to the Church in Need said that 38 of the world’s 196 countries showed unmistakable evidence of significant religious freedom violations, with 23 amounting to outright persecution. The 2016 Interim Report of Mr. Heiner Bielefeldt, then Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on Freedom of Religion or Belief, described that violations of religious rights of minorities exceed the methodical, continuous and appalling violations committed by state and non-state actors such as terrorism, vigilantism, mass and individual killings, forcible deportations, ethnic cleansing, the rape and kidnapping of women and selling them into slavery, destruction and confiscation of property, attacks against converts and those who are alleged to have induced them, and encouraged or condoned violence against non-believers and persons belonging to religious minorities. They also include, he said, anti-apostasy and anti-blasphemy legislation, bureaucratic harassment and administrative burdens with regard to building houses of worship and schools, discriminatory structures in family law and education, and stigmatization of people as unbelievers or heretics.

In short, these three extensively researched reports of last year show that attacks against religious minorities are rather widespread. While almost every identifiable faith group experiences some degree of persecution somewhere in the world, Christians remain the most persecuted. Furthermore, there has been an upsurge of anti-Semitic attacks, notably in parts of Europe, and Muslims face serious persecution, often from fundamentalist groups who do not share the same interpretation of the tenets of their faith.

In this context, what is needed to protect religious minorities? I would like to mention briefly seven essential elements.

First, there is the need for action. The recent examples of savagery against religious minorities must shake the international community from any and all inertia. Those who are entrusted with safeguarding respect for fundamental human rights must fulfil their responsibility to protect those in danger of suffering atrocious crimes. We must raise awareness of humanitarian emergencies and respond generously. Similarly, with regard to the situation in the Middle East, the conditions for religious and ethnic minorities to return to their places of origin and live in dignity and safety, and with the basic social, economic and political frameworks necessary to ensure community cohesion, must be provided and ensured. It is not enough to rebuild homes, which is a crucial step, as is happening in various towns in the Nineveh Plain thanks to the generosity of governments like Hungary or charitable organizations like Aid to the Church in Need or the Knights of Columbus. What is also needed is to rebuild society by laying the foundations for peaceful coexistence.

Second, the rule of law and equality before the law based on the principle of citizenship, regardless of one’s religion, race or ethnicity are essential to establishing and maintaining harmonious and fruitful coexistence among individuals, communities and nations. The law must equally and unequivocally guarantee every citizen’s human rights, among which is the right to freedom of religion and conscience, which involves the right to change freely one’s religion without suffering discrimination or being marked out for death. Even in places where one religion is accorded special constitutional status, the right of all citizens and religious communities to freedom of religion, equality before the law, and appropriate means for recourse when their rights are violated, must be recognized and defended. A properly functioning State that works for the common good is a prerequisite for protecting religious minorities and ensuring their future.

Third, there should be both mutual autonomy and positive collaboration between religious communities and State. They, in their own fields, are autonomous and independent from each other. Yet both, under different titles, are devoted to the wellbeing of the same person who is both faithful and citizen. The more both foster sounder cooperation between themselves while respecting each other’s autonomy, the more effective will their service be for the good of all. When religious communities and State becomes confused or conflated, as Pope Francis said this April at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, “religion risks being absorbed into the administration of temporal affairs and tempted by the allure of worldly powers that in fact exploit it.”

Fourth, religious leaders have a grave and specific responsibility to confront and condemn the abuse of religious belief and sentiment to justify terrorism and violence against believers of other religions. They must constantly affirm that no one can justly kill the innocent in God’s name. As Pope Francis said in Egypt, and before that in Albania and in many other settings, there must be a “firm and clear ‘No!’ to every form of violence, vengeance and hatred carried out in the name of religion or in the name of God.” Social, political and economic issues that demagogues can exploit to incite violence must also be tackled.

Fifth, there is an urgent need for effective interreligious dialogue as an antidote to fundamentalism with the aim to overcome the cynical assumption that conflicts among religious believers are inevitable, and to challenge the narrow-minded interpretation of religious texts that demonize or dehumanize those of different beliefs. Effective interreligious dialogue can, ought and often does show the paradigm for political and interpersonal conversations necessary for social harmony.

Sixth, education a good education in general and a solid religious education in particular are key in preventing the radicalization that leads to extremism, persecution of religious minorities and terrorism. Society reaps what it sows. It is key that teaching in schools, in pulpits and through the internet do not foment intransigence and extremist radicalization but dialogue, respect for others and reconciliation. At Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Pope Francis underlined that an education in “respectful openness and sincere dialogue with others, recognizing their rights and basic freedoms, particularly religious freedom, represents the best way to build the future together, to be builders of civility. … The only alternative to the civility of encounter is the incivility of conflict. … To counter effectively the barbarity of those who foment hatred and violence, we need to accompany young people, helping them on the path to maturity and teaching them to respond to the incendiary logic of evil by patiently working for the growth of goodness. In this way, young people, like well-planted trees, can be firmly rooted in the soil of history, and, growing heavenward in one another’s company, can daily turn the polluted air of hatred into the oxygen of fraternity.”

Seventh and lastly, we must block the flow of money and weapons destined to those intending to use them to target religious minorities. As Pope Francis pointedly remarked at the end of his Al-Azhar address, “An end must be put to the proliferation of arms; if they are produced and sold, sooner or later they will be used.” Stopping atrocities not only involves addressing the hatred and cancers of the heart that spawn violence but also removing the instruments by which that hatred actually carries out that violence.

The protection of religious minorities in conflict is, indeed, one of the most urgent responsibilities of the international community today. I thank the Permanent Mission of Hungary, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, and all of you for coming today to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

Thank you for your attention.

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VATICAN CITY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 (Zenit.org).- One of the salient points of the new Document of the Congregation for Catholic Education, presented on September 22, 2017, in the Vatican, is that education is not intended for selection but for inclusion. Those in charge of the Dicastery explained that education must encompass “all” human “dimensions, it must accompany “the process of humanization.”

The Document “Educate to Solidary Humanism: To Build a ‘Civilization of Love,’ 50 Years after the Encyclical Populorum Progressio,” which contains “guidelines” for solidary humanism, will be sent to all Episcopal Conferences. Thus it will reach 215,000 Catholic schools — touching more than 60 million pupils of any faith and ethnicity – and 1,760 Catholic Universities in the different Continents.

Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, recalled that the Document was elaborated for the 50th anniversary of the Conciliar Declaration Gravissimum Educationis (1965-2015) on Christian education, and the 50th anniversary of Paul VI’s encyclical Populorum Progressio (1967-2017), “programmatic document of the mission of the Church in the era of globalization.”

The new Document highlights seven points: Present Scenarios, Humanize Education, Culture of Dialogue, Globalize Hope, For a Veritable Inclusion, Networks of Cooperation and Perspectives.

When UNICEF raised the alarm for the 60 million children who might be excluded from basic education over the next 15 years, the Vatican stressed that it’s “urgent and necessary to humanize education, by fostering a culture of encounter and dialogue.” It advocates an educational vision that is distinguished by “a living, courageous and perseverant testimony – in at times very difficult contexts, where the evangelical message cohabits with ways increasingly marked by secularism, relativism and fundamentalism.”

Not Selection but Inclusion

 Monsignor Angelo Vincenzo Zani, the Dicastery’s Secretary, stressed three points of the Document, beginning with the appeal to “humanize education”: namely, “to put the person at the center of education, in a framework of relations that constitute a living, interdependent community bound by a common destiny.” “Education must be at the service of a new humanism, to promote every man and the highest aims of humanity.”

To humanize education calls for “updating the educational pact between the generations,” for considering “the personal, moral and social habits of all the subjects taking part in the educational process: professors, students, institution of the territory, places and areas of encounter, for an education that isn’t selective but open to solidarity and sharing,” he continued.

The second point highlighted by Monsignor Zani: an education founded on the culture of dialogue, because “it’s in the nature of education to be able to build the foundations of a peaceful dialogue and to make possible the encounter between diversities to enhance the common good.”

Finally, the third point: “The principal and priority end “of education is not “the selection of ruling classes, but inclusion, which enables every citizen to feel actively participant in the building of solidary humanism.”

Process of Humanization

 Monsignor Zani also gave keys of reading for the Document, which addresses all persons engaged in different capacities in the area of formation”: it’s about promoting an education “that responds to the fundamental right of every person, beyond differences of age, sex, culture, religion and tradition” and, at the same time, “open to fraternal cohabitation” for unity and peace among peoples.

He explained that, for the Church, education must be “founded on an anthropology inspired in evangelical values” and must encompass “all” human “dimensions” and all stages of life: it must accompany “the process of humanization.”

The Dicastery’s Document pauses on the principal present challenges, namely, relativist identity and culture, dialogue in a social, multi-religious and multicultural context, economic and professional inequalities, humanitarian urgencies and marginalizations, as well as the ecology.

JF

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Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: I have questions about the Divine Office and the interpretation of its instructions. 1) On the daytime prayer psalms: On the feast of Blessed Virgin Mary, for example, in the breviary Volume IV (Ordinary Time weeks 18-34) on page 1646, on “Daytime Prayer,” it says, ” … in place of psalm 122, psalm 129, 1185 may be said, and in place of psalm 127, psalm 131 may be said.” The question: Is it liturgical law that we have to change the two psalms and flip the book back and forth? This confusion regarding the daytime prayer psalms also applies to the feast of the Virgin, the apostles, the dedication of a church, and the Psalter Week III (Monday-Wednesday). 2) On August 29, the memorial of the Beheading of John the Baptist, Martyr: Do we pray Office of Readings psalms from the weekday psalms or the Common of One Martyr? Do we have options for determining which psalms to pray? This type of memorial is confusing since it looks like a feast day. — M.I., California

A: Our reader’s page references are to the U.S. version of the Liturgy of the Hours. I will quote from the three-volume English and Irish edition.

To answer the first question we need to examine the structure of the daytime prayers. There are three sets of prayers traditionally called terce (midmorning), sext (midday) and none (afternoon). These short offices usually consist of three psalms, each one accompanied by an antiphon. The first of the three psalms is almost always a few strophes of Psalm 118, the longest of the psalms. The psalms are followed by a short reading, versicle and final prayer that are proper to the time of day. The office concludes with the acclamation: “Let us praise the Lord: Thanks be to God.”

During the major liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter, as well as on most solemnities, a single antiphon is used for all three psalms and is recited before the first and after the last psalm. The final prayer is the same as that of lauds but uses the short conclusion, “Through Christ our Lord.”

The Divine Office offers all three sets but those who have the obligation to recite the Liturgy of the Hours can pray just one of the three. This is the most common practice outside of situations such as contemplative monasteries. It is up to the individual or the community to choose the time of day, and hence the formula, that they will use.

If, however, an individual or a community decide to pray more than one of the daytime offices, then the breviary offers some complementary psalms so that the same psalms need not be repeated twice or thrice on the same day.

These complementary psalms are psalms 119, 120 and 121 for midmorning; 122, 123 and 124 for noon; and 125, 126 and 127 for the afternoon.

On some days it happens that one of these psalms is already in the breviary for some other office, and so the book offers options so as to avoid repeating the same psalm twice.

Thus, for example, in the common for the dedication of a church Psalm 121 is foreseen as part of vespers, or evening prayer. In this case the rubric for prayer during the day says, “If the complementary psalms are used, psalm 121 may be replaced by psalm 128.” A similar situation arises for the common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which Psalm 121 and Psalm 126 are used for vespers.

Again, this case would only arise if a community was celebrating more than one of the daytime prayers. In most cases these coincidences do not happen. In any case, since the expression says that they “may be replaced,” it means that these are options. And if nobody is bothered using the same psalm twice on the same day, it can be done.

Something analogous happens with the invitatory antiphon at the beginning of the office. The usual choice for invitatory is Psalm 94, but Psalms 99, 66 or 23 may also be used. Again, if one of these psalms comes up during the daily recitation, it can be replaced by Psalm 94.

With respect to the second question on the memorial of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist: We must remember that the Divine Office has developed over a long period of time and, as such, perfect logic in its distribution is not to be expected.

There are some celebrations whose offices do not correspond to their liturgical category but are more fully developed then even some feasts. This is the case of this memorial. Other examples are the memorial (recently elevated to feast) of Mary Magdalen (July 22) and the memorial of St. Martin of Tours (November 11). This latter saint was practically the first non-martyr to be celebrated liturgically, and his importance in the Middle Ages as patron of France has left us with a significant liturgical legacy in the Divine Office. He thus has proper antiphons for lauds and vespers, and it is obligatory to use the psalms from the Sunday of Week 1 of the psalter at lauds and the common of pastors at vespers. The same principle would apply to the memorial of the Beheading of St. John.

Apart from these exceptional historical cases the rule of thumb for the celebration of memorials is fairly straightforward. For an obligatory memorial only what is printed under the heading of the day is obligatory. This usually consists of the second reading and responsory of the office of readings. Occasionally, there is a proper antiphon for the Benedictus and Magnificat for lauds and vespers and the proper concluding prayer.

Everything else is usually optional; that is, one can pray the hymn, psalms intercessions and other elements of the day.

If one wishes, one can opt to go to the common offices of the corresponding saint. One can also choose to do so for just one office, for example, the office of readings, and follow the general rule for the others.

* * *

 Readers may send questions to zenit.liturgy@gmail.com. Please put the word “Liturgy” in the subject field. The text should include your initials, your city and your state, province or country. Father McNamara can only answer a small selection of the great number of questions that arrive.

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Pope Francis said September 22, 2017 that the Church must offer “maternal love” to migrants and refugees and that helping them was a “privileged occasion to proclaim Jesus Christ.”

His comments came in an address to the participants in the meeting promoted by the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) underway in Rome at the Bonus Pastor, from September 21-23, 2017.   The event was held in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace.

The Holy Father said the Church will remain true to its mission, as stated in his message for the 2015 World Day of Migrants and Refugees: “of loving Jesus Christ, adoring and loving Him, particularly in the poorest and most abandoned; included among them, certainly, are migrants and refugees” (Insegnamenti II, 2 [2014], 200).

“The Church’s maternal love for these brothers and sisters of ours calls for manifesting itself concretely in all the phases of the migratory experience, from the start of the trip, from the arrival to the return, so that all the ecclesial realities situated along the trajectory are protagonists of the one mission, each according to its possibilities,” Francis continued.

The Pope called the modern flow of migrants a new missionary “frontier.”  He concluded that this offers the Church a “to witness concretely the Christian faith in charity and in profound respect for other religious expressions. “

  

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Pope’s address to those present at the audience.

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I welcome you joyfully on the occasion of your meeting, and I thank the Cardinal President for his words on behalf of all. I want to thank you from my heart for the profuse commitment over these last years in favour of so many migrant and refugee brothers and sisters, who are knocking at Europe’s door in search of a safer place and a more fitting life.

In face of the massive complex and variegated migratory flows, which have put in crisis the migratory policies adopted so far and the instruments of protection sanctioned by international conventions, the Church intends to remain faithful to her mission: that “of loving Jesus Christ, adoring and loving Him, particularly in the poorest and most abandoned; included among them, certainly, are migrants and refugees” (Message for the 2015 World Day of Migrants and Refugees: Insegnamenti II, 2 [2014], 200).

The Church’s maternal love for these brothers and sisters of ours calls for manifesting itself concretely in all the phases of the migratory experience, from the start of the trip, from the arrival to the return, so that all the ecclesial realities situated along the trajectory are protagonists of the one mission, each according to its possibilities. To recognize and serve the Lord in these members of His “people on the way” is a responsibility that unites all the particular Churches in the profusion of a constant, coordinated and effective commitment.

Dear brothers and sisters, I don’t hide from you my concern in face of the signs of intolerance, discrimination and xenophobia that are found in different regions of Europe. They are often motivated by diffidence and fear of the other, of the different, of the foreigner. I’m even more concerned by the sad verification that our Catholic communities in Europe are not exempt from these reactions of defense and rejection, justified by a no better specified “moral duty” of preserving the original cultural and religious identity. The Church has spread in all the Continents thanks to the “migration” of missionaries, who were convinced of the universality of the Jesus Christ’s message of salvation, destined to the men and women of every culture. Temptations to exclusivity and cultural entrenchment have not been lacking in the history of the Church, but the Holy Spirit has always helped us to overcome them, guaranteeing a constant openness to the other, considered as a concrete possibility of growth and enrichment.

I’m sure that the Spirit helps us also today to keep an attitude of trusting openness, which enables us to surmount every barrier, to climb over every wall.

In my constant listening to the particular Churches in Europe, I’ve perceived a profound discomfort in face of the massive arrival of migrants and refugees. This discomfort is recognized and understood in the light of an historical moment marked by the economic crisis, which has left profound wounds. Moreover, this discomfort was aggravated by the rate and composition of migratory flows, by a substantial unpreparedness of the host society and by often inadequate national and communal policies. However, the discomfort is also indicative of the limitations of the European processes of unification, of the obstacles that the concrete implementation of the universality of human rights must face, of the walls against which integral humanism, which constitutes one of the most beautiful fruits of European civilization crashes.   And for Christians all this is interpreted, in addition to secular immanentism, in the logic of the centrality of the human person created by God, unique and unrepeatable.

From an exquisitely ecclesiological perspective, the arrival of so many brothers and sisters in the faith offers the Churches in Europe one more opportunity to realize fully their catholicity, constitutive element of the Church, which we confess every Sunday in the Creed. Moreover, in the last years, many particular Churches in Europe have been enriched by the presence of Catholic migrants, who have brought their devotions and their liturgical and apostolic enthusiasm.

From a missiological perspective, the contemporary migratory flows constitute a new missionary “frontier,” a privileged occasion to proclaim Jesus Christ and His Gospel without moving from one’s environment; to witness concretely the Christian faith in charity and in profound respect for other religious expressions. The encounter with migrants and refugees of other Confessions and religions is a fecund ground for the development of a sincere and enriching ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue.

In my Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees of next year, I have highlighted how the pastoral response to the contemporary migratory challenges should be articulated around four verbs: receive, protect, promote, and integrate. The verb receive is then translated into other verbs, such as extending the legal and safe ways of entry, offering first an appropriate and decorous systematization and assuring all personal security and access to basic services. The verb protect is specified in offering certain and certified information before the departure, in defend the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees regardless of their migratory status and in watching over the most vulnerable, who are the boys and girls. To promote means essentially to guarantee the conditions for the integral human development of all, migrants and natives. The verb integrate is translated into opening areas of inter-cultural encounter, fostering mutual enrichment and promoting a course of active citizenship.

In the same Message I referred to the importance of Global Pacts, which States are committed to draw up by the end of 2018. The Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development has prepared 20 points of actions that the local Churches are invited to use, complete and deepen in their pastoral care: these points are based on the “good practices” that characterize the tangible answer of the Church to needy migrants and refugees. The same points are useful for the dialogue that the different ecclesial institutions can have with the respective governments in view of the Global Pacts. I invite you, dear Directors, to know these points and to promote them in your Episcopal Conferences.

The same points of action also make up an articulated paradigm of the four verbs mentioned above, paradigm that could serve as a yardstick of study or of verification of the existing pastoral practices in the local Churches, in view of an ever opportune and enriching updating. May communion in reflection and action be your strength, because when one is alone, the obstacles seem much greater. May your voice be always timely and prophetic and, above all, may it be preceded by coherent action inspired in the principles of the Christian Doctrine.

Renewing to you my thanks for your great commitment in the ambit of such a complex migratory pastoral as well as its burning timeliness, I assure you of my prayer. And you also, please, don’t forget to pray for me. Thank you.

 

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

1 day 10 hours

The eleventh hour: God also loves the last ones

Roman Rite

XXV Sunday of Ordinary Time – September 24, 2017

Is 55, 6-9; Ps 145; Phil 1, 20-24.27; Mt 20.1-16?

 

1) God is not unjust. He is generous.

The first reading of today’s Mass are is taken from verses 6 to 9 of the last chapter of the book of Isaiah, the 55th. In these verses, the prophet is inspired by God who says: “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”(Is 55, 6-9). Today, Christ, to make us understand the thought of God, tells a magnificent parable that describes a humanly paradoxical way of thinking and acting.

In fact, the parable ends in this way “When it was evening, the master of the vineyard told his farmer “Call the workers and pay them, starting from the last to the first.” When those of the five o’clock in the afternoon came, they received one dinar each. When those of the first hour arrived, they thought that they would have received more but they too received one dinar each. Into receiving it, however, they murmured against the master. ”

This master has upset them because the last ones were paid first and for one hour work they received the full day pay. The generosity of the master towards the workers of the last hour had raised in the workers of the early hour the unjustified expectation of receiving a pay higher than the agreed amount. They complain, but the boss underlines to them that he has respected justice toward them. If he wants to be generous with others, it is his right to give what he wants.

God is not unjust, he is generous. He takes nothing away from the first ones. He generously gives to the others. He launches everyone into an unknown adventure: that of goodness. Goodness is not right, it is more, a lot of more. Human justice is to give each one his own, God’s justice is to give each one the best.

God is not only generous, he is loving and infinite goodness. He does not pay, he gives with free abundance. He is the God of goodness without limit, dizziness in normal thinking that transgresses all the rules of the economy and knows how to surprise us. No boss would do so. But God is not a master, not even the best of the masters. God is not the accountant of humanity and does not pay according to what is right in the distributive sense of the term. He is the Father who gives to his children according to what it is best for them. “Distributive justice” does not give to the human being all that is “his”. Man needs God as and more than bread,. Saint Augustine writes: “If justice is the virtue that distributes to everyone what is his … it is not human justice the one which steals man from the true God. (The City of God, 19, 21)

If he, the divine Master, acts as he does, it is not because he neglects those who have worked more, but because he likes the last ones too. It is not justice that is violated (the master gives to the first called the amount they had together agreed), but distributional proportionality. The space of God’s action is the wide one of goodness, not the narrow one of the “as much as”. The God of the Gospel is not without justice, but does not let himself be imprisoned in the restricted space of proportionality. To man distributional proportionality seems to be the most just possible application of a law, but this does not apply to God. If we want to enter God’s loving mystery, we must free ourselves from the method of rigid proportionality in our relationships.

This way of thinking and acting must be learned and practiced by us “for loyalty to the One who is never tired to go and go again into the squares of men until the eleventh hour to propose his invitation to love “(Pope Francis) and receive Christ as” money ” as reward for our work in the Father’s vineyard.

2) Justice and grace.

God’s righteousness comes from grace, because we are not the ones who heal us and who heal others. The fact that the “atonement” takes place in the “blood” of Jesus means that our sacrifices are not the ones that free us from the burden of guilt. In fact, it is the gesture of God’s love that opens itself up to the utmost, to the point to let enter into it the “the curse” that belongs to us, poor human beings, to send us, in exchange, the “blessing” that belongs to God (cf. Gal 3: 13-14).

The work we do in the Lord’s vineyard “earns” for us the reward not in the sense that God has to pay us, but in the sense that, with this humble and happy work, our mind and our hearts open to the grace that recreates itself in mercy.

If we would say that God is right if he pays us the agreed money, how could we say that justice is where the righteous dies for the guilty and the culprit receives in return the blessing that is for the just? Does not everyone get the opposite of what is right for him? In reality, divine justice is profoundly different from the human one. God in his Son paid for us the price of the ransom, a really disproportionate price.

The Justice of the Cross highlights that we are self-sufficient and autarchic, and that to be fully self we need Another.

This Other is the Father coming home at various times of the day to call us to work in his vineyard and give us happiness. These hours of the day – as St. Gregory the Great writes – are the different ages of human life “The first hours are the childhood of our intelligence. The third hour can be compared to adolescence, as the sun begins to rise, so to speak, in the sense that the ardor of youth begins to warm up. The sixth hour is the age of the maturity: the sun sets itself as a point of balance, since man has come to the fullness of strength. The ninth hour indicates seniority, where the sun goes down somehow from the heavens, because the passions of the ages cool down. Finally, the eleventh hour is the age defined old age … Since some lead an honest life from childhood, others do it in adolescence, others in mature age, others in seniority, and others in the old age, it is as if they were called to the vineyard at different times of the day. ”

Therefore, we have to look at our way of life and see if we started to act as the workers of God. Let us examine our conscience to see if we are working in the vineyard of the Lord happy to be his collaborators. And then, the Holy Pope continues: “The one who did not want to live for God until the last moment of life is like the worker remained idle up to the eleventh hour … “Why are you here idle all day?” It is as if to say clearly “If you did not want to live for God in youth and in the age of maturity, at least repent at the last time … Come at least on the ways of life “… Did the thief not come at the last hour? (Lk 23,39s) Not for old age, but for his condemnation he found himself in the evening of life. He has confessed God on the cross, and gave his last breath as the Lord gave him his judgment. And the Lord of the place, admitting the thief before Peter in the rest of paradise, has well distributed the wages beginning with the last “(St. Gregory the Great, Homilies on the Gospel, number 19).

An example of how to respond to the various moments of life to the summons of the Lord calling to work in his vineyard is given by the consecrated virgins. It is true that the specific of the “work” or ministry or service to which the Consecration Rite enables them, is to live virginity as the prophetic sign of Parousia, of Christ who comes definitely as bridegroom. But it is equally true that their service is to manifest the love of the bridal church towards “Christ”, “working” with prayer (let us not forget that liturgy means people for God and that the liturgy is also called Opus Dei, the work of God). But it must be kept in mind that “the consecrated virgins in the Church are those women who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, vow to chastity in order to love Christ more earnestly and to serve their brothers with more devotion… their job is to do works of penance and of mercy, apostolic activity and prayer “(RCV 2) as it is also indicated in the proposed homily for the Consecration Rite”…

Imitate the Mother of God; desire to be called and to be handmaids of the Lord. Preserve the fullness of your faith, the steadfastness of your hope, and the singleheartedness of your love. Be prudent and watch: keep the glory of your virginity uncorrupted by pride. Nourish your love of God by feeding on the body of Christ; strengthen it by self-denial; build it up by study of the Scriptures, by untiring prayer, by works of mercy. Let your thoughts be on the things of God. Let your life be hidden with Christ in God. Make it your concern to pray fervently for the spread of the Christian faith and for the unity of all Christians. Pray earnestly to God for the welfare of the married. Remember also those who have forgotten their Father’s goodness and have abandoned his love, so that God’s mercy may forgive where his justice must condemn. Never forget that you are given over entirely to the service of the Church and of all your brothers and sisters. You are apostles in the Church and in the world, in the things of the Spirit and in the things of the world. Let your light then shine before men and women, that your Father in heaven may be glorified, and his plan of making all things one in Christ come to perfection. Love everyone, especially those in need. Help the poor, care for the weak, teach the ignorant, protect the young, minister to the old, and bring strength and comfort to widows and all in adversity. You have renounced marriage for the sake of Christ. Your motherhood will be a motherhood of the spirit, as you do the will of your Father and work with others in a spirit of charity, so that a great family of children may be born, or reborn, to the life of grace. (CONSECRATION TO A LIFE OF VIRGINITY FOR WOMEN LIVING IN THE WORLD)

 

Patristic reading

                       Saint Augustin of Hippo (354 – 420)

                                           Sermo 87

Delivered on the Lord’s day, on that which is written in the gospel, Mt 20,1“The   kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that was a householder, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.”

1). Ye have heard out of the Holy Gospel a parable well suited to the present season, concerning the labourers in the vineyard. For now is the time of the material1 vintage. Now there is also a spiritual vintage, wherein God rejoiceth in the fruit of His vineyard. For we cultivate God, and God cultivateth us.2 But we do not so cultivate God as to make Him any better thereby. For our cultivation is the labour of the heart, not of the hands.3 He cultivateth us as the husbandman doth his field. In then that He cultivateth us, He maketh us better; because so doth the husbandman make his field better by cultivating it, and the very fruit He seeketh in us is, that we may cultivate Him.

The culture He exerciseth on us is, that He ceaseth not to root out by His Word the evil seeds from our hearts, to open our heart, as it were, by the plough of His Word, to plant the seed of His precepts, to wait for the fruit of piety. For when we have so received that culture into our heart, as to cultivate Him well, we are not ungrateful to our Husbandman, but render the fruit wherein He rejoiceth. And our fruit doth not make Him the richer, but us the happier. 2. See then; hear how, as I have said, “God cultivateth us.” For that we cultivate God, there is no need to be proved to you. For all men have this on their tongue, that men cultivate God, but the hearer feels a kind of awe, when he hears that God cultivates man; because it is not after the ordinary usage of men to say, that God cultivateth men, but that men cultivate God. We ought therefore to prove to you, that God also doth cultivate men; lest perchance we be thought to have spoken a word contrary to sound doctrine,4 and men dispute in their heart against us, and as not knowing our meaning, find fault with us.

I have determined therefore to show you, that God doth also cultivate us; but as I have said already, as a field, that He may make us better. Thus the Lord saith in the Gospel, “I am the Vine, ye are the branches, My Father is the Husbandman.”5 What doth the Husbandman do? I ask you who are husbandmen. I suppose he cultivates his field. If then God the Father be a Husbandman, He hath a field; and His field He cultivateth, and from it He expecteth fruit. 3. Again, He “planted a vineyard,” as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself saith, “and let it out to husbandmen, who should render Him the fruit in the proper season. And He sent His servants to them to ask for the hire of the vineyard. But they treated them despitefully, and killed some,”6 and contemptuously refused to render the fruits.

“He sent others also,” they suffered the like treatment. And then the Householder, the Cultivator of His field, and the Planter, and Letter out of His vineyard, said; “I will send Mine Only Son, it may be they will at least reverence Him.” And so He saith, “He sent His Own Son also. They said among themselves, This is the heir, come, let us kill Him, and the inheritance shall be ours. And they killed Him, and cast Him out of the vineyard. When the Lord of the vineyard cometh, what will He do to those wicked husbandmen? They answered, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out His vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render Him the fruits in their seasons.”

The vineyard was planted when the law was given in the hearts of the Jews. The Prophets were sent, seeking fruit, even their good life: the Prophets were treated despitefully by them, and were killed. Christ also was sent, the Only Son of the Householder; and they killed Him who was the Heir, and so lost the inheritance. Their evil counsel turned out contrary to their designs. They killed Him that they might possess the inheritance; and because they killed Him, they lost it. 4. Ye have just heard too the parable out of the Holy Gospel; that “the kingdom of heaven is like unto a householder, which went out to hire labourers into His vineyard. He went out in the morning,” and hired those whom he found, and agreed with them for a denarius as their hire. He “went out again at the third hour, and found others,” and brought them to the labour of the vineyard.

“And the sixth and ninth hour he did likewise. He went out also at the eleventh hour,” near the end of the day, “and found some idle and standing still, and he said to them, Why stand ye here?” Why do ye not work in the vineyard? They answered, “Because no man hath hired us.” “Go ye also,” said He, “and whatsoever is right I will give you.”7 His pleasure was to fix their hire at a denarius. How could they who had only to work one hour dare hope for a denarius? Yet they congratulated themselves in the hope that they should receive something. So then these were brought in even for one hour.

At the end of the day he ordered the hire to be paid to all, from the last to the first. Then he began to pay at those who had come in at the eleventh hour, and he commanded a denarius to be given them. When they who had come atthe first hour saw that the others had received adenarius, which he had agreed for with themselves “they honed that they should have received more:” and when their turn came, they also received a denarius. “They murmured against the good man of the house, saying, Behold, thou hast made us who have borne the burning and heat of the day, equal and like to those who have laboured but one hour in the vineyard.”

And “the good man,” returning a most just answer to one of them, said, “Friend, I do thee no wrong;” that is, “I have not defrauded thee, I have paid thee what I agreed for with thee. “I have done thee no wrong,” for I have paid thee what I agreed for. To this other it is my will not to render a payment, but to bestow a gift. “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” If I had taken from any one what did not belong to me, rightly I might be blamed, as fraudulent and unjust: if I had not paid any one his due, rightly might I be blamed as fraudulent, and as withholding what belonged to another; but when I pay what is due, and give besides to whom I will, neither can he to whom I owed find fault, and he to whom I gave ought to rejoice the more.”

They had nothing to answer; and all were made equal; “and the last became first, and the first last;” by equality8 of treatment, not by inverting their order. For what is the meaning of, “the last were first, and the first last”? That both the first and last received the same. 5. How is it that he began to pay at the last? Are not all, as we read, to receive together? For we read in another place of the Gospel, that He will say to those whom He shall set on the right hand, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.”9

If all then are to receive together, how do we understand in this place, that they received first who began to work at the eleventh hour, and they last who were hired at the first hour? If I shall be able so to speak, as to reach your understanding, God be thanked. For to Him ought ye to render thanks, who distributeth to you by me; for nought of my own do I distribute. If ye ask me, for example, which of the two has received first, he who has received after one hour, or he who after twelve hours; every man would answer that he who has received after one hour, has received before him who received after twelve hours.

So then though they all received at the same hour, yet because some received after one hour, others after twelve hours, they who received after so short a time are said to have received first. The first righteous men, as Abel, and Noe, called as it were at the first hour, will receive together with us the blessedness of the resurrection. Other righteous men after them, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all of their age, called as it were at the third hour, will receive together with us the blessedness of the resurrection. Other righteous men, as Moses, and Aaron, and whosoever with them were called as it were at the sixth hour, will receive together with us the blessedness of the resurrection. After them the Holy Prophets, called as it were at the ninth hour, will receive together with us the same blessedness.

In the end of the world all Christians, called as it were at the eleventh hour, will receive with the rest the blessedness of that resurrection. All will receive together; but consider those first men, after how long a time do they receive it? If then those first receive after a long time, we after a short time; though we all receive together, yet we seem to have received first, because our hire will not tarry long in coming. 6. In that hire then shall we be all equal, and the first as the last, and the last as the first; because that denarius is life eternal, and in the life eternal all will be equal. For although through diversity of attainments10 the saints will shine, some more, some less; yet as to this respect, the gift of eternal life, it will be equal to all. For that will not be longer to one, and shorter to another, which is alike everlasting; that which hath no end will have no end either for thee or me.

After one sort in that life will be wedded chastity, after another virgin purity; in one sort there will be the fruit of good works, in another sort the crown of martyrdom.11 One in one sort, and another in another; yet in respect. to the living for ever, this man will not live more; than that, nor that than this. For alike without end will they live, though each shall live in hisown brightness: and the denarius in the parable is that life eternal. Let not him then who has received after a long time murmur against him who has received after a short time. To the first, it is a payment; to the other, a free gift;yet the same thing is given alike to both. 7.

There is also something like this in this present life, and besides that solution of the parable, by which they who were called at the first hour are understood of Abel and the righteous men of his age, and they at the third, of Abraham and the righteous men of his age, and they at the sixth, of Moses and Aaron and the righteous men of their age, and they at the eleventh, as in the end of the world, of all Christians; besides this solution of the parable, the parable may be seen to have an explanation in respect even of this present life.

For they are as it were called at the first hour, who begin to be Christians fresh from their mother’s womb; boys are called as it were at the third, young men at the sixth, they who are verging toward old age, at the ninth hour, and they who are called as if at the eleventh hour, are they who are altogether decrepit; yet all these are to receive the one and the same denarius of eternal life. 8. But, Brethren, hearken ye and understand, lest any put off to come into the vineyard, because he is sure, that, come when he will, he shall receive this denarius. And sure indeed he is that the denarius is promised him; but this is no injunction to put off.

For did they who were hired into the vineyard, when the householder came out to them to hire whom he might find, at the third hour for instance, and did hire them, did they say to him, “Wait, we are not going thither till the sixth hour”? or they whom he found at the sixth hour, did they say, “We are not going till the ninth hour”? or they whom he found at the ninth hour, did they say, “We are not going till the eleventh? For he will give to all alike; why should we fatigue ourselves more than we need?” What He was to give, and what He was to do, was in the secret of His own counsel: do thou come when thou art called.

For an equal reward is promised to all; but as to this appointed hour of working, there is an important question. For if, for instance, they who are called at the sixth hour, at that age of life that is, in which as in the full heat of noon, is felt the glow of manhood’s years; if they, called thus in manhood, were to say, “Wait, for we have heard in the Gospel that all are to receive the same reward, we will come at the eleventh hour, when we shall have grown old, and shall still receive the same.

Why should we add to our labour?” it would be answered them thus, “Art not thou willing to labour now, who dost not know whether thou shalt live to old age? Thou art called at the sixth hour; come. The Householder hath it is true promised thee a denarius, if thou come at the eleventh hour, but whether thou shalt live even to the seventh, no one hath promised thee. I say not to the eleventh, but even to the seventh hour. Why then dost thou put off him that calleth thee, certain as thou art of the reward, but uncertain of the day? Take heed then lest peradventure what he is to give thee by promise, thou take from thyself by delay.” Now if this may rightly be said of infants as belonging to the first hour, if it may be rightly said of boys as belonging to the third, if it may be rightly said of men in the vigour of life, as in the full-day heat of the sixth hour; how much more rightly may it be said of the decrepit?

Lo, already is it the eleventh hour, and dost thou yet stand still, and art thou yet slow to come? 9. But perhaps the Householder hath not gone out to call thee? If he hath not gone out, what mean our addresses to you? For we are servants of his household, we are sent to hire labourers. Why standest thou still then? Thou hast now ended the number of thy years; hasten after the denarius. For this is the “going out” of the Householder, the making himself known; forasmuch as he that is in the house is hidden, he is not seen by those who are without; but when he “goeth out” of the house, he is seen by those without. So Christ is in secret, as long as He is not known and acknowledged; but when He is acknowledged, He hath gone out to hire labourers.

For now He hath come forth from a hidden place, to be known of men: everywhere Christ is known, Christ is preached; all places whatsoever under the heaven proclaim aloud the glory of Christ. He was in a manner the object of derision and contempt among the Jews, He appeared in low estate and was despised. For He hid His Majesty, and manifested His infirmity. That in Him which was manifested was despised, and that which was hidden was not known. “For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”12 But is He still to be despised now that He sitteth in heaven, if He were despised when He was hanging on the tree? They who crucified Him wagged their head, and standing before His Cross, as though they had attained the fruit of their cruel rage, they said in mockery, “If He be the Son of God, let Him come down from the Cross. He saved others, Himself He cannot save.”13

He came not down, because He lay hid. For with far greater ease could He have come down from the Cross, who had power to rise again from the grave. He showed forth an example of patience for our instruction. He delayed His power, and was not acknowledged. For He had not then gone out to hire labourers He had gone out, He had not made Himself known. On the third day He rose again, He showed Himself to His disciples, ascended into heaven, and sent the Holy Ghost on the fiftieth day after the resurrection, the tenth after the ascension. The Holy Ghost who was sent filled all who were in one room, one hundred and twenty men.14

They “were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with the tongues of all nations;”15 now was the calling manifest, now He went out to hire. For now the power of truth began to be made known to all. For then even one man having received the Holy Ghost, spake by himself with the tongues of all nations. But now in the Church oneness itself, as one man speaks in the tongues of all nations. For what tongue has not the Christian religion reached? to what limits does it not extend? Now is there no one “who hideth himself from the heat thereof;”16 and delay is still ventured by him who stands still at the eleventh hour. 10. It is plain then, my Brethren, it is plain to all, do ye hold it fast, and be sure of it, that whensoever any one turns himself to the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, from a useless17 or abandoned way of life, all that is past is forgiven him, and as though all his debts were cancelled, a new account is entered into with him.

All is entirely forgiven. Let no one be anxious in the thought that there remains anything which is not forgiven him. But on the other hand, let no one rest in a perverse security. For these two things are the death of souls, despair, and perverse hope. For as a good and right hope saveth, so cloth a perverse hope deceive. First, consider how despair deceiveth. There are men, who when they begin to reflect on the evils they have done, think they cannot be forgiven; and whilst they think they cannot be forgiven, forthwith they give up their souls to ruin, and perish through despair, saying in their thoughts, “Now there is no hope for us; for such great sins as we have committed cannot be remitted or pardoned us; why then should we not satisfy our lusts? Let us at least fill up the pleasure of the time present, seeing we have no reward in that which is to come; Let us do what we list,though it be not lawful; that we may at least have a temporal enjoyment, because we cannot18 attain to the receiving an eternal.” In saying such things they perish through despair, either before they believe at all, or when Christians already, they have fallen by evil living into any sins and wickednesses.

The Lord of the vineyard goeth forth to them, and by the Prophet Ezekial knocketh, and calleth to them in their despair, and as they turn their backs to Him that calleth them. “In whatsoever day a man shall turn from his most wicked way, I will forget all his iniquities.”19

If they hear and believe this voice, they are recovered from despair, and rise up again from that very deep and bottomless gulf, wherein they had been sunk. 11. But these must fear, lest they fall into another gulf, and they die through a perverse hope, who could not die through despair. For they change their thoughts, which are far different indeed from what they were before, but not less pernicious, and begin again to say in their hearts, “If in whatever day I turn from my most evil way, the merciful God, as He truly promiseth by the Prophet, will forget all my iniquities, why should I turn to-day and not to-morrow?

Let this day pass as yesterday, in excess of guilty pleasure, in the full flow of licentiousness, let it wallow in deadly delights; to-morrow I shall ‘turn myself,’ and there will be an end to it.” One may answer thee, An end of what? Of mine iniquities, thou wilt say. Well, rejoice indeed, that to-morrow there will be an end of thine iniquities. But what if before to-morrow thine own end shall be? So then thou dost well indeed to rejoice that God hath promised thee forgiveness for thine iniquities, if thou art converted; but no one has promised thee to-morrow.

Or if perchance some astrologer hath promised it, it is a far different thing from God’s promise. Many have these astrologers deceived, in that they have promised themselves advantages, and have found only losses. Therefore for the sake of these again whose hope is wrong, doth the Householder go forth. As He went forth to those who had despaired wrongly, and were lost in their despair, and called them back to hope; so doth He go forth to these also who would perish through an evil hope; and by another book He saith to them, “Make no tarrying to turn to the Lord.”20

As He had said to the others, “In whatsoever day a man shall turn from his most wicked way, I will forget all his iniquities,” and took despair away from them, because they had now given up their soul to perdition, despairing of forgiveness by any means; so doth He go forth to these also who have a mind to perish through hope and delay; and speaketh to them, and chideth them, “Make no tarrying to turn to the Lord, and put not off from day to day; for suddenly shall the wrath of the Lord come forth, and in the day of vengeance He will destroy thee.”

Therefore put not off, shut not against thyself what now is open. Lo, the Giver of forgiveness openeth the door to thee; why dost thou delay? Thou oughtest to rejoice, were He to open after ever so long a time to thy knocking; thou hast not knocked, yet doth He open, and dost thou remain outside? Put not off then. Scripture saith in a certain place, as touching works of mercy, “Say not, Go, and come again, and to-morrow I will give;21 when thou canst do the kindness at once; for thou knowest not what may happen on the morrow.” Here then is a precept of not putting off being merciful to another, and wilt thou by putting off be cruel against thine own self?

Thou oughtest not to put off to give bread, and wilt thou put off to receive forgiveness? If thou dost not put off in showing pity towards another, “pity thine own soul also in pleasing God.”22 Give alms to thine own soul also. Nay I donot say, give to it, but thrust not back His Hand that would give to thee. 12. But men continually injure themselves exceedingly in their fear to offend others. For good friends have much influence for good, andevil friends for evil. Therefore it was not the Lord’s will to choose first senators, but fishermen, to teach us for our own salvation to disregard the friendship of the powerful.

O signal mercy of the Creator! For He knew that had He chosen the senator, he would say, “My rank has been chosen.” If He had first made choice of the rich man, he would say, “My wealth has been chosen.” If He had first made choice of an emperor, he would say,” My power has been chosen.” If the orator he would say, “My eloquence has been chosen.” If of the philosopher, he would say, “My wisdom has been chosen.” Meanwhile He says, let these proud ones be put off awhile, they swell too much. Now there is much difference between substantial size and swelling; both indeed are large, but both are not alike sound. Let them then, He says, be put off, these proud ones, they must be cured by something solid.

First give Me, He says, this fisherman. “Come, thou poor one, follow Me; thou hast nothing, thou knowest nothing, follow Me. Thou poor and ignorant23 one, follow Me. There is nothing in thee to inspire awe, but there is much in thee to be filled.” To so copious a fountain an empty vessel should be brought. So the fisherman left his nets, the fisherman received grace, and became a divine orator. See what the Lord did, of whom the Apostle says, “God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things of the world hath God chosen, yea and things which are not, as if they were, that those things which are may be brought to nought.”24

And so now the fishermen’s words are read, and the necks of orators are brought down. Let all empty winds then be taken away, let the smoke be taken away which vanishes as it mounts; let them be utterly despised when the question is of this salvation. 13. If any one in a city had some bodily sickness, and there was in that place some very skillful physician who was an enemy to the sick man’s powerful friends; if any one, I say, in a city were labouring under some dangerous bodily sickness; and there was in the same city a very skillful physician, an enemy as I said, of the sick man’s powerful friends, and they were to say to their friend, “Do not call him in, he knows nothing;” and they were to say this not from any judgment of their mind, but through dislike of him; would he not for his own safety’s sake remove from him the groundless assertions25 of his powerful friends, and with whatever offense to them, in order that he might live but a few days longer, call that physician in, whom common report had given out as most skillful to drive away the disease of his body?

Well, the whole race of mankind is sick, not with diseases of the body, but with sin. There lies one great patient from East to West throughout the world. To cure this great patient came the Almighty Physician down. He humbled Himself even to mortal flesh, as it were to the sick man’s bed.

Precepts of health He gives, and is despised; they who do observe them are delivered. He is despised, when powerful friends say, “He knows nothing.” If He knew nothing, His power would not fill the nations. If He knew nothing, He would not have been, before He was with us. If He knew nothing, He would not have sent the Prophets before Him. Are not those things which were foretold of old, fulfilled now? Does not this Physician prove the power of His art by the accomplishment of His promises? Are not deadly errors overturned throughout the whole world; and by the threshing of the world lusts subdued?

Let no one say, “The world was better aforetime than now; ever since that Physician began to exercise His art, many dreadful things we witness here.” Marvel not at this? Before that any were in course of healing, the Physician’s residence26 seemed clean of blood; but now rather as seeing what thou dost, shake off all vain delights, and come to the Physician, it is the time of healing, not of pleasure. 14. Let us then think, Brethren, of being cured. If we do not yet know the Physician, yet let us not like frenzied men be violent against Him, or as men in a lethargy turn away from Him.

For many through this violence have perished, and many have perished through sleep. The frenzied are they who are made mad for want of sleep. The lethargic are they who are weighed down by excessive sleep. Men are to be found of both these kinds. Against this Physician it is the will of some to be violent, and forasmuch as He is Himself sitting in heaven, they persecute His faithful ones on earth. Yet even such as these He cureth. Many of them having been converted from enemies have become friends, from persecutors have become preachers. S

uch as these were the Jews, whom, though violent as men in frenzy against Him while He was here, He healed, and prayed for them as He hung upon the Cross. For He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”27 Yet many of them when their fury was calmed, their frenzy as it were got under, came to know God, and Christ. When the Holy Ghost was sent after the Ascension, they were converted to Him whom they crucified, and as believers drunk in the Sacrament His Blood, which in their violence they shed. 15. Of this we have examples. Saul persecuted the members of Jesus Christ, who is now sitting in heaven; grievously did he persecute them in his frenzy, in the loss of his reason, in the transport of his madness.

But He with one word, calling to him out of heaven, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?”28 struck down the frantic one, raised him up whole, killed the persecutor, quickened the preacher. And so again many lethargic ones are healed. For to such are they like, who are not violent against Christ, nor malicious against Christians, but who in their delay are only dull and heavy with drowsy words, are slow to open their eyes to the light, and are annoyed with those who would arouse them.

“Get away from me,” says the heavy, lethargic man,” I pray thee, get away from me. Why? “I wish to sleep.” But you will die in consequence. He through love of sleep will answer, “I wish to die.” And Love from above calls out “I do not wish it.” Often does the son exhibit this loving affection to an aged father, though he must needs die in a few days; and is now in extreme old age. If he sees that he is lethargic, and knows from the physician that he is oppressed with a lethargic complaint, who tells him “Arouse your father, do not let him sleep, if you would save his life”!

Then will the son come to the old man, and beat, and squeeze, or pinch, or prick him, or give him any uneasiness, and all through his dutiful affection to him; and will not allow him to die at once, die though he soon must from very age; and if his life is thus saved, the son rejoices that he has now to live some few days more with him who must soon depart to make way for him. With how much greater affection then ought we to be importunate29 with our friends, with whom we may live not a few days in this world, but in God’s presence for ever!

Let them then love us, and do what they hear us say, and worship Him, whom we also worship, that they may receive what we also hope for. “Let us turn to the Lord,” etc.

***

1 Corporalis.

2 Colit nos Deus et colimus Deum). Conf. B. 13,1.

3 Colimus enim eum adorando non arando.

4 Indisciplinatum.

5 (Jn 15,1 Jn 15,5.

6 (Mt 21,33 etc).

7 (Mt 20,1 etc.

8 Aequando non praeposterando.

9 (Mt 25,34).

10 Meritorum.

11 Passionis).

12 (1Co 2,8

13 (Mt 27,40 Mt 27,42.

14 (Ac 1,15

15 (Ac 2,4

16 (Ps 19,6

17 Superflua.

18 Meremur.

19 (Ez 18,21).

20 (Si 5,7

21 (Pr 3,28

22 (Si 30,23 Vulgate.

23 Idiota.

24 (1Co 1,27-28.

25 Fabulas).

26 Statio.

27 (Lc 23,34

28 (Ac 9,4

29 Molesti

1 day 11 hours

“There is no alternative to peace, and it’s time to put an end to all the pain and suffering, especially when it affects the civilian population,” said Cardinal Leonardo Sandri.

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches reaffirmed the appeal for peace made in 2016 by Pope Francis and Armenian Catholicos Karekin II, during a Mass on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Armenia, in the Roman church of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, of the Pontifical Armenian College, reported L’Osservatore Romano.

Cardinal Sandri recalled the symbolic image that sealed Pope Francis’ trip to the Caucasus country in 2016: the release of doves near Mount Ararat in Armenia. The Pontiff and Catholicos Karekin II released together two doves, in sign of peace and in remembrance of Noah’s dove.

“Ideally, we dream and desire “ that these doves pass “through the profundity of divisions, of hatreds and of wars . . . and return bringing in their beak a branch of peace for all peoples of the Caucasus and of Anatolia,” said the Cardinal.

In his homily, Cardinal Sandri also retraced with “gratitude” the numerous stages that have marked the bonds between the Holy See and the Republic of Armenia.

Among them, the Apostolic Journeys of Popes John Paul II, in 2001, and Francis, in 2016; the visits of Armenian Presidents to the Vatican; the great celebration of 2015, on the occasion of the centenary of the Armenian genocide, and the proclamation of Saint Gregory of Narek (around 950-1005) as Doctor of the universal Church.

They are “pages of friendship” between Armenia and the Holy See, stressed the Cardinal. They constitute “a veritable gift of God” and are founded on the “common patrimony” which is faith in Christ. The faith that was witnessed for centuries “by the martyrs, sons of the nation and of the Armenian Church.”

1 day 12 hours

The criminal trial for misappropriation of funds of the Bambino Gesu Foundation, held its fourth hearing at the Vatican on the afternoon of September 21, 2017, indicated a Holy See press release, published at the end of the day.

The two accused, Giuseppe Profiti and Massimo Spina, former President and Treasurer of the Bambino Gesu Foundation – hospital property of the Holy See – accused of misappropriation of funds — in the matter of Cardinal Bertone’s apartment –, were present. They were accompanied by their appointed lawyers: Antonello Blasi for Giuseppe Profiti and Alfredo Ottaviani for Massimo Spina.

The hearing, which ended at 8:30 pm, was dedicated entirely to the cross-examination of Massimo Spina by the judges and lawyers.

The College of Judges is made up of the President, Master Paolo Papanti-Pelletier and two Judges, Master Venerando Marano and Mastder Carlo Bonzano. The Office of the Promoter of Justice was represented by Deputy Promoter, Master Roberto Zannotti.

Marco Bargellini and Gianantonio Bandera were the witnesses present.

The next hearing is scheduled for September 22.

1 day 12 hours

“I appeal for peace and disarmament,” wrote Pope Francis in a Tweet posted on September 21, 2017, on his Twitter account @Pontifex.

“I appeal for peace and disarmament: in this world wounded by violence, we need fraternity among peoples,” wrote the Holy Father in nine languages to more than 30 million subscribers.

On January 1, 2017 (50th anniversary of the Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace), the Pontiff published a message on the theme: “Non-Violence: Style of a Politics for Peace.”

The UN’s International Day of Peace, scheduled for September 21 every year, had as its theme in 2017 : “Together for Peace: Respect, Dignity and Security for All.”

This theme was chosen to promote the United Nations global initiative “Together,” which works to ensure security, dignity and respect for refugees and migrants.

This International Day aims to bring to light the organizations and citizens engaged in favour of those that flee their country in search of peace and security.

1 day 12 hours

A press conference was held September 22, 2017 in the Holy See Press Office to present the Pontifical Foundation Gravissimum educationis, instituted by chirograph of the Pope Francis on October 28, 2015, and the document “Educating to fraternal humanism. Building a ‘civilization of love’ 50 years after Populorum progressio”, which contains the guidelines for education in fraternal humanism.

The document will be sent to all the episcopal conferences, to be transmitted to the 215,000 Catholic schools and 1,760 Catholic universities in the different continents.

The speakers were: His Eminence Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; H.E. Msgr. Angelo Vincenzo Zani, secretary of the same dicastery; and Msgr. Guy-Réal Thivierge, secretary general of the Foundation Gravissimum educationis.

 

Building a “civilization of love”
50 years after Populorum progressio

Guidelines

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

  1. Current scenarios
    2.         Humanizing education
    3.         A culture of dialogue
    4.         Globalizing hope
    5.         For a true inclusion
    6.         Cooperation networks
    7.         Outlook

 

Introduction

  1. Fifty years ago, in the encyclical letterPopulorum Progressio, the Church announced to men and women of good will the global nature assumed by the social question[1]. The announcement did not merely suggest a broader look, able to embrace larger portions of humanity, but offered a new socio-ethical model. One had to work for peace, justice and solidarity, with a vision able to grasp the global horizon of social choices. The conditions of this new ethical vision had emerged a few years earlier, during the Second Vatican Council, with the formulation of the principle of global interdependence and the common destiny of all peoples on Earth[2]. In the following years, the value of such principles was confirmed several times. Modern man has repeatedly experienced that what happens in one part of the world can affect others, and that no one maya priori feel secure in a world in which there is suffering or misery. If, back then, one hinted at the need to look after the good of others as if it were one’s own, that same recommendation now becomes a clear priority for the political agenda of our civil systems[3].
  2. In this sense, the encyclical letterPopulorum Progressiocan be considered the policy document for the Church’s mission in the era of globalization[4]. The wisdom that emanates from its teachings is still guiding today the thought and action of those who want to build the civilization of “global humanism”[5],  offering – on the basis of subsidiarity – “feasible models of social integration” that arise from the fruitful encounter between “individuals” and “groups”[6]. This integration express the aims of the “Church that goes forth”, which “bridges distances [and] is willing to abase itself if necessary …, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be”[7]. The contents of such humanism need to be experienced and witnessed, formulated and conveyed[8] in a world marked by many cultural differences, permeated by diverse visions of goodness and of life, and characterized by the coexistence of different beliefs. To realize this process – as Pope Francis says in his Encyclical Laudato Si’ – “we need to realize that certain mindsets really do influence our behaviour. Our efforts at education will be inadequate and ineffectual unless we strive to promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society and our relationship with nature”[9]. This document of the Congregation for Catholic Education aims to describe the main elements of an education to fraternal humanism.

 

  1. Current Scenarios
  2. The contemporary world, multifaceted and ever changing, is hit by multiple crises of different kind: economic, financial, labour; political crises including within participatory democracy; environmental and natural crises; demographic and migratory crises, etc. The phenomena triggered by these crises reveal their dramatic character every day. Peace is constantly threatened and, alongside traditional wars fought by regular armies, the insecurity generated by international terrorism is widespread, leading to feelings of mutual distrust and hatred and promoting the development of populist, demagogic sentiments, which are likely to exacerbate problems, thereby radicalizing the clash between different cultures. Wars, conflicts and terrorism are sometimes the cause, sometimes the effect of economic inequality and of the unjust distribution of the goods of creation.
  3. From these inequities, poverty, unemployment and exploitation are generated. The statistics provided by international organizations provide a snapshot of the humanitarian emergency underway, which will also affect the future, if we measure the effects of underdevelopment and migration on young people. Neither are developed societies exempt from these dangers, since even there marginalization and exclusion have increased[10]. Worth mentioning is the complex phenomenon of migration, affecting the whole world, leading to both encounters and clashes of civilizations, both fraternal hospitality and intolerant, rigid populism. We are faced with a process which has been properly described as an epoch-making change[11]. It highlights a decadent humanism, often based on the paradigm of indifference.
  4. The list of problems could be longer, but we must not overlook the encouraging opportunities that the world of today presents. The globalization of relations is also the globalization of solidarity. We have seen many examples of this on occasion of the great humanitarian tragedies caused by war or natural disasters: solidarity, as well as initiatives of support and charity, have involved citizens from all corners of the world. Similarly, in recent years, social initiatives, movements and associations have arisen in favour of a more equitable globalization, which is attentive to the requirements of people in need. Many of these initiatives are often taken, and supported, by citizens of well-off countries, who could enjoy the benefits of inequalities, but often prefer fighting for the principles of social justice with generosity and determination.
  5. It is ironic that modern man has achieved important goals in knowing the forces of nature, science and technology and, at the same time, is lacking in ideas for adequate coexistence within society so as to give everyone an acceptable and dignified existence. What perhaps has been missing so far is the joint development of civic opportunities with an educational plan that promotes the reasons for cooperation in a united world. The social question, asBenedict XVIsaid, is now an anthropological question[12], which involves an educational component that can no longer be deferred. For this reason, one needs to have “a new trajectory of thinking in order to arrive at a better understanding of the implications of our being one family; interaction among the peoples of the world calls us to embark upon this new trajectory, so that integration can signify solidarity rather than marginalization”[13].

 

  1. Humanizing education
  2. “An expert in humanity”, as pointed out fifty years ago in thePopulorum Progressio[14], the Church has both the mission and the experience to work out educational programmes adapted to current challenges. Her educational vision is at the service of the achievement of the highest goals of humanity. These goals were anticipated in the Council’s DeclarationGravissimum educationis: the harmonious development of physical, moral and intellectual abilities, aimed at the gradual maturation of a sense of responsibility; the conquest of true freedom; and positive and prudent sex education[15]. Within this perspective, it became clear that education should be at the service of a new humanism, in which the social person was willing to talk and work for the realization of the common good[16].
  3. The requirements set out inGravissimum educationisare still relevant today. Even though the anthropological notions based on materialism, idealism, individualism and collectivism are going through a declining phase, they still exert a certain cultural influence. They often understand education as an individual path of formation for civic life, in which different ideological currents interact and compete for cultural hegemony. In this context, the formation of the individual responds to other needs: the affirmation of consumer culture, conflict ideology, relativistic thinking, etc. One needs, therefore, to humanize education, that is, to make it a process in which each person can develop his or her own deep-rooted attitudes and vocation, and thus contribute to his or her vocation within the community. “Humanizing education”[17] means putting the person at the centre of education, in a framework of relationships that make up a living community, which is interdependent and bound to a common destiny. This is fraternal humanism.
  4. Humanizing education also means to realize that we need to modernize the educational pact between generations. The Church always affirms that “good family education is the backbone of humanism”[18], and from there unfold the various implications of education at the service of the society, based on mutual trust and reciprocity of duties[19]. For these reasons, educational and academic institutions wishing to place the person at the centre of their mission are called to respect the family as the first natural society, and to put themselves at its side, in line with a correct understanding of subsidiarity.
  5. A humanized education, therefore, does not just provide an educational service, but deals with its results in the overall context of the personal, moral and social abilities of those who participate in the educational process. It does not simply ask the teacher to teach and students to learn, but urges everyone to live, study and act in accordance with the reasons of fraternal humanism. It does not aim to create division and divergence, but rather offers places for meeting and discussion to create valid educational projects. It is an education – at the same time – that is sound and open, that pulls down the walls of exclusivity, promoting the richness and diversity of individual talents and extending the classroom to embrace every corner of social experience in which education can generate solidarity, sharing and communion[20].

 

  1. A culture of dialogue
  2. Vocation to solidarity calls people of the 21stcentury to confront the challenges of multicultural coexistence. In global societies, citizens of different traditions, cultures, religions and world views coexist every day, often resulting in misunderstandings and conflicts. In such circumstances, religions are often seen as monolithic and uncompromising structures of principles and values, incapable of guiding humanity towards the global society. The Catholic Church, on the contrary, “rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions”, and it is her duty to “proclaim the cross of Christ as the sign of God as the source of all grace”[21]. She is also convinced that such difficulties are often the result of a lacking education to fraternal humanism, based on the development of a culture of dialogue.
  3. A culture of dialogue does not simply suggest an exchange of views, to know one another so as to mitigate the alienating effect of the encounter between citizens of different cultures. True dialogue takes place within an ethical framework of requirements and attitudes for formation, as well as social objectives. The ethical requirements for dialogue are freedom and equality: the participants in the dialogue must be free from their contingent interests and must be prepared to recognize the dignity of all parties. These attitudes are supported by the consistency with one’s own specific universe of values. This results in the general intention to match actions with words, in other words, to link the ethical principles we proclaim (e.g. peace, fairness, respect, democracy, etc.) with social and civic choices. It is a “grammar of dialogue,” as pointed out by Pope Francis, able to “build bridges and … to find answers to the challenges of our time”[22].
  4. In ethical and religious pluralism, therefore, religions can help coexistence within society, rather than hinder it. Starting from their positive values of love, hope and salvation, in an efficient and consistent context of relations, religions can significantly contribute to achieving the social objectives of peace and justice. In this perspective, the culture of dialogue supports a proactive design of civic relations. Instead of limiting religiosity to the private and confidential sphere of the individual, compelling citizens to live publicly only the ethical and legal norms of the state, it reverses the terms of the relationship and calls on religious beliefs to profess their positive ethical values in public.
  5. Education to fraternal humanism has the weighty responsibility of providing a formation of citizens so as to imbue them with an appropriate culture of dialogue. Moreover, the intercultural dimension is frequently experienced in classrooms of all levels, as well as in universities, so it is from there that we must start to spread the culture of dialogue. The framework of values in which a citizen properly formed to dialogue lives, thinks and acts is supported by relational principles (spontaneity, freedom, equality, consistency, peace and the common good), which beneficially and decisively become part of educational and formation programmes of those institutions and agencies that nurture fraternal humanism.
  6. The nature of education lies precisely being able to lay the foundations for peaceful dialogue and allow the encounter between differences with the primary objective of building a better world. It is, first and foremost, an educational process where the search for a peaceful and enriching coexistence is rooted in the broader concept of the human being – in his or her psychological, cultural and spiritual aspects – free from any form of egocentrism and ethnocentrism, but rather in accordance with a notion of integral and transcendent development both of the person and of society[23].

 

  1. Globalizing Hope
  2. “Development is the new name for peace,” is howPopulorum Progressioends[24]. That statement has found support and confirmation in the following decades, with clarifications about how to proceed with  sustainable development from the economic, social and environmental standpoints. Development and progress, however, are still process descriptions, and do not say much about the ultimate ends of the socio-historical evolution. Far from exalting the myth of progress immanent to reason and freedom, the Catholic Church connects development to the announcement of Christian redemption, which is not an indefinite and futuristic utopia, but is already the “substance of reality”, in the sense that “the things we hoped for: everything, a true life, are already present in us”[25].
  3. One needs, therefore, through the hope of salvation, to be living signs of the same. How can the message of salvation in Jesus Christ be spread in a globalized world? “It is not science that redeems man. Man is redeemed by love”[26]. Christian charity proposes universalizing and inclusive social grammars. Such charity informs knowledge that, so imbued, it will accompany man in the search for meaning and truth in creation. Hence, the education to fraternal humanism must start from the certainty of the message of hope contained in the truth of Jesus Christ. It is up to education, then, to offer this hope to the peoples of the world, as a message conveyed by reason and active life.
  4. Globalizing hope is the specific mission of education to fraternal humanism. A mission that is fulfilled through establishing educational and pedagogical relationships that form to Christian love, that create groups based on solidarity, in which the common good is connected virtuously to the good of each of their components, transforming the contents of knowledge in line with the full realization of the person and his or her belonging to humanity. It is precisely Christian education that can perform this most important task, because itgives birth, it makes grow, it is part of the dynamics of giving life. And the origin of life is the most gushing spring of hope”[27].
  5. Globalizing hope also means supporting the hopes of globalization. On the one hand, in fact, globalization has multiplied the opportunities for growth and opened up new social relations and new possibilities. On the other, in addition to some benefits, it has caused inequality, exploitation and, in a perverse way, has led some people to suffer a forceful exclusion from the flow of prosperity. A globalization without vision, without hope, i.e. without a message that is both proclamation and actual life, is bound to produce conflict and to generate suffering and misery.

 

  1. For a true inclusion
  2. To fulfil their purpose, formation programmes geared towards education to fraternal humanism aim at some fundamental objectives. First, the main purpose is to allow every citizen to feel actively involved in building fraternal humanism. The instruments used should encourage pluralism, establishing a dialogue aimed at elaborating ethical issues and regulations. Education to fraternal humanism must make sure that learning knowledge means becoming aware of an ethical universe in which the person acts. In particular, this correct notion of the ethical universe must open up progressively wider horizons of the common good, so as to embrace the entire human family.
  3. This inclusive process goes beyond the category of people living now on earth. Intellectual and technological progress has shown in recent years that the choices made in the present are able to influence the lifestyles, and in some cases the very existence of future citizens. “The notion of the common good also extends to future generations”[28]. The citizens of today, in fact, should be fraternal with their peers wherever they are, but also with the future citizens of the planet. Since “the problem is that we still lack the culture needed to confront this crisis … and we need leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations”[29], the specific task that education to fraternal humanism can perform is to contribute to building such a culture based on intergenerational ethics.
  4. This means education extending the classical scope of its action. If, until now, the school has been considered as the institution forming the citizens of tomorrow, if the formative agencies responsible for lifelong learning deal with the citizens of the present, through education to fraternal humanism the humanity of the future – posterity – is taken care of, towards whom one must be fraternal by making responsible choices. This is even more true with respect to academic education, because it is by means of the same that one imparts the skills needed to make key choices for the natural balance of human-social, natural, environmental systems, etc.[30]. The themes developed in university courses, to that effect, should be focused on a key criterion for quality assessment: sustainability with respect to the needs of future generations.
  5. To be truly inclusive, one must goes further: establish a relationship of solidarity with the generations that came before us. Unfortunately, the consolidation of the technocratic paradigm has, in some cases, downplayed historical, intellectual and humanistic knowledge – with its literary and artistic heritage – whereas a correct view of history, along with the spirit with which our ancestors faced and overcame their challenges, can help man in the complex adventure of the present-day. Human societies, communities, peoples and nations are the result of chapters of history, by means of which a specific, ever-changing identity is revealed. Understanding the fruitful link between a community’s historical development and its vocation both to the common good and to accomplishing fraternal humanism implies the formation of a historical awareness, based on the indissoluble unity that brings ancestors, contemporaries and posterity to surmount their degrees of kinship, so that all are equally recognized as being children of the Father and thus in a relationship of universal solidarity[31].

 

  1. Cooperation networks
  2. As the encyclical letterPopulorum Progressiorecommended working out “concerted programmes”[32], so today there is an obvious need to harmonize educational and research initiatives with the goals of fraternal humanism, recognizing that “they cannot be scattered and isolated, let alone opposing each other for reasons of prestige or power”[33]. Building cooperation networks, from the educational, didactic and academic points of view, means enabling inclusive dynamics, constantly looking for new opportunities to integrate different people in one’s teaching and learning circle, especially those for whom it is difficult to find a formation programme appropriate to their needs. Considering, in fact, that education is still a scarce resource in the world, and that there are people who still endure a lack of suitable development institutions to rely on, the first commitment of education to fraternal humanism consists in self-socialization through the organization of cooperation networks.
  3. Education to fraternal humanism develops cooperation networks in the various fields of education, especially within academic education. Firstly, it calls for educators to take a reasonable approach to collaboration. In particular, one must prefer joint efforts of the teaching staff in preparing their formation programmes, as well as cooperation among students as regards learning methods and formation scenarios. Moreover, as living cells of fraternal humanism, interconnected by an educational pact and intergenerational ethics, solidarity between teachers and learners must be ever more inclusive, plural and democratic.
  4. The university should be the main breeding ground for forming people to cooperate in academic research, so that – within the framework of fraternal humanism – there is a preference for establishing joint research in all areas of knowledge, the results of which can be confirmed by academic objectivity in the application of suitable logic, methods and techniques, but also by the researchers’ own experience of solidarity. It is a question of encouraging the formation of integrated research groups among teachers, young researchers and students, which also calls for cooperation among academic institutions operating internationally. Cooperation networks should be established between educational subjects and subjects of other kinds, for example from the professions as well as from the arts, commerce, business and all the organizations within society where fraternal humanism needs to be advanced.
  5. There is widespread call for education to overcome the pitfalls of cultural standardization processes, which produce the harmful effects of homogenization, and, at the same time, consumer manipulation. The establishment of cooperation networks, within the framework of an education to fraternal humanism, can help to overcome these challenges, because it offers decentralization and specialization. In a perspective of educational subsidiarity, on both national and international levels, one must promote the sharing of responsibility and of experiences, which is essential for optimizing resources and avoiding risks. In this way, one establishes a network not only of research, but especially of service, where people help each other and share new discoveries, “exchanging teachers for certain periods and developing those initiatives that enhance their cooperation”[34].

 

  1. OUTLOOK
  2. Education and school and university education were always at the centre of the contribution of the Catholic Church to civic life. She defended the freedom of education when, in secular and secularist cultures, the space for forming people to religious values seemed to be shrinking. Through education, she continued to support the principles and values of public coexistence when modern societies, deluded by scientific and technological (as well as legal and cultural) achievements, believed the Catholic culture to be meaningless. Today, as in every age, the Catholic Church still has the responsibility to contribute, with her heritage of truths and values, to building a fraternal humanism for a world ready to accomplish what was foreseen in the encyclical letterPopulorum Progressio.
  3. To give a soul to our ever-changing global world, the Congregation for Catholic Education gives new impetus to the priority of building a “civilization of love”[35], and urges all those who, by profession and vocation, are engaged in educational processes, at all levels, to live their experience with dedication and wisdom, in the name of the above-mentioned principles and values. This Dicastery – following the World Congress“Educating today and tomorrow. A renewing passion”(Rome-Castel Gandolfo, November 18-21, 2015) – therefore reinforces the reflections and challenges described by teachers, learners and parents, as well as by representatives of particular Churches, religious congregations and associations working in the vast domain of education.
  4. We present these guidelines to all those whose daily challenge is to renew, with passion, the educational mission of the Church in the various continents. We also aim to provide a useful tool for engaging in constructive dialogue with civic society and with international organizations. Moreover, Pope Francis has established the Foundation “Gravissimum educationis”[36]with the aim of pursuing “scientific and cultural ends, intended to promote Catholic education in the world”[37].
  5. In conclusion, the themes and horizons to be explored – starting from the culture of dialogue, globalizing hope, inclusion and cooperation networks – offer stimulus both for the educational experience and teaching as well as for studies and research. It will be necessary, therefore, to circulate information about these experiences and research results, so as to allow everyone involved in providing fraternal humanism to view their own experiences from the perspective of the total process of building a world based on the values of Christian solidarity.

Rome, on the feast of the Resurrection, April 16, 2017

 

Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect

Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, Secretary

[1] PAUL VI, Encyclical letter Populorum Progressio (March 26, 1967), 3.
[2] Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes on the Church in the Modern World (October 28, 1965), 4-5.
[3] Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (2004), 167.
[4] For this reason, among others, Populorum Progressio has often been compared, in the importance of its message for social questions, to Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII: cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (December 30, 1987), 2-3; Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (June 29, 2009), 8.
[5] Populorum Progressio, n. 42.
[6] Cf. Pope Francis, Address to the participants in the conference organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, marking the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Populorum Progressio, April 4,2017.
[7] Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (November 24, 2013), 24.
[8]“Love in truth — caritas in veritate — is a great challenge for the Church in a world that is becoming progressively and pervasively globalized. The risk for our time is that the de facto interdependence of people and nations is not matched by ethical interaction of consciences and minds that would give rise to truly human development”, BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical letter Caritas in Veritate (June 29, 2009), 9.
[9] Pope Francis, Encyclical letter Laudato Si’ , on Care for Our Common Home (May 24, 2015), 215.
[10] See UNICEF, Rapporto sulla condizione dell’infanzia nel mondo 2016, Unicef, Firenze 2016; UNICEF, Figli della recessione. L’impatto della crisi economica sul benessere dei bambini nei paesi ricchi, Unicef-Office of Research Innocenti, Firenze 2014.
[11] See INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION, World Migration Report 2015 – Migrants and Cities: New Partnerships to Manage Mobility, IOM, Geneva 2015.
[12] BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical letter Caritas in Veritate (June 29, 2009), 75.
[13] Ibid, 53

[14] Populorum Progressio, 13; See PAUL VI, Speech to the United Nations Organization, October 4, 1965.
[15] Cf. Second Vatican Council, Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis (October 28, 1965), 1 B
[16] Ibid. , 1.
[17] Pope Francis, Address to the Plenary Session of the Congregation for Catholic Education, February 9, 2017.
[18] See Pope Francis, Catechesis of May 20, 2015 on family and education.
[19] Ibid.
[20]Pope Francis, Address to the attendants of the Global Congress “Educating today and tomorrow. A renewing passion” promoted by the Congregation for Catholic Education, Rome, November 21, 2015.
[21] Second Vatican Council, Declaration of the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions Nostra Aetate (October 28, 1965), 2, 4.
[22] Pope Francis, Address to the Plenary Session of the Congregation for Catholic Education, February 9, 2017.
[23] See Congregation For Catholic Education, Educating to Intercultural Dialogue in Catholic Schools. Living in Harmony for a Civilization of Love, Vatican City 2013, 45.
[24] Populorum Progressio, 87.
[25] Benedict XVI, Encyclical letter Spe Salvi (November 30, 2007), 7.
[26] Ibid, 26.
[27] Pope Francis, Address to the Plenary Session of the Congregation for Catholic Education, February 9, 2017.
[28] Pope Francis, Encyclical letter Laudato si’, on Care for our Common Home (June 18, 2015), 159.
[29] Ibid., 53.
[30] See John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae (August 15, 1990), 34.
[31] Populorum Progressio, 17.
[32] Ibid., 50.
[33] Ibid.
[34] Second Vatican Council, Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum educationis, 12
[35] The phrase “civilization of love” was used for the first time by Paul VI on May 17, 1970, in his address for Pentecost Sunday (Magisterial writings, VIII/1970, 506) and used several times more during his pontificate.
[36] Pope Francis, Chirograph of his Holiness for the Establishment of the “Gravissimum Educationis” Foundation (October 28, 2015).
[37] Ibid.

1 day 14 hours

The Holy See calls “for the protection of the rights of all Syrians”. On September 21, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and Head of Delegation to the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, gave a statement at the High-level Meeting on the Syrian crisis organization by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States.

In his address, Archbishop Gallagher, on behalf of Pope Francis, praised and thanked all those who are working for a political solution and to care for the victims of the Syrian conflict.

He said that a credible, mutually agreed, intra-Syrian political solution supported by the international community is essential to a durable peace and insisted on humanitarian workers’ having rapid, safe and unhindered access to care for the millions of people deprived of essential goods and services.

He noted that in 2016-7, the Holy See and the Catholic Church have provided $200 million of humanitarian assistance to more than 4.6 million Syrians, regardless of ethnic or religious identity, and called for increased funding for refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt.

He also called for the protection of the rights of all Syrians on the basis of the principle of citizenship.

His statement follows.

Address by H. E. Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher
Secretary for Relations with States
Head of the Delegation of the Holy See to the
Seventy-second Session of the United Nations General Assembly
at the High-level Meeting on the Syrian crisis
Organized by the European Union Delegation to the United Nations
United Nations Headquarters, New York, 21 September 2017

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like, at the very outset, to convey the deep appreciation of Pope Francis to all who tirelessly toil to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria and to assist in every way the victims of the senseless war. He encourages every effort toward the pursuit of the political process to end the conflict.

Since the beginning of the crisis, the Holy See has always remained deeply concerned about the tremendous human suffering, affecting millions of innocent children and other civilians who remain deprived of essential goods and services. In the overall effort to limit the immense suffering the conflict has been inflicting on the population, humanitarian workers must have rapid, safe and unhindered access wherever there are people in need. The Holy See urges that international humanitarian law be fully respected, particularly with regard to the protection of civilian populations and infrastructure. Furthermore, the Holy See also expresses its concern for the conditions and treatment of prisoners and detainees.

The Holy See, through the various charitable agencies of the Catholic Church, has been responding to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the region from the very beginning. In 2016, the Holy See and the Catholic Church contributed to providing USD 200 million of humanitarian assistance of direct benefit to more than 4.6 million people in Syria and the surrounding region. In distributing aid, Catholic agencies and entities make no distinction regarding the religious or ethnic identity of those requiring assistance and give priority to the most vulnerable and in most need.

Given the continuing overwhelming humanitarian needs, the Holy See continues to join its voice to the appeals for increased funding to help refugees and impacted host countries, in particular Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. I wish to give assurances of the commitment of the Catholic Church to continue its humanitarian assistance in the coming year.

The rights of all Syrians must be protected. The rule of law, including respect for religious freedom and equality before the law based on the principle of citizenship regardless of one’s race, ethnic origin or religion, is fundamental for the achievement and maintenance of the peaceful and fruitful coexistence among individuals and communities in Syria and beyond.  A credible, mutually agreed, intra-Syrian political solution to the on-going conflict, with the constructive support of the international community, is fundamental for the achievement of a durable peace in Syria and of a harmonious co-existence among all its ethnic and religious communities. As we move toward the peaceful resolution of the conflict, let us not diminish our solicitude and commitment for Syria and its beloved people.

I thank you.

Copyright © 2017 Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, All rights reserved.

1 day 19 hours

“The door to meet Jesus is to recognize ourselves as we are, the truth. Sinners. Pope Francis stressed this during the morning mass at the Santa Marta in the Vatican on September 21, 2017. He reminded those who know doctrine well not to forget “the first commandment of love “.

In his homily quoted by Radio Vatican in Italian, the Pope meditated on the conversion of the apostle St. Matthew – celebrated today – with the scripture passage that is dear to him and commented on the famous painting of Matthew’s calling by Caravaggio:  Matthew has “one eye on God” and the other “on money.” But Jesus “looked at him with so much love” that the resistance “falls”. “It is the struggle between mercy and sin”.

The Pope’s love – he heard his call to the priesthood on the evangelist’s feast day in 1953 – was able to enter his heart because he “knew he was sinner “, he knew “that he was not loved by anyone” and “his sinfulness opens the door to the mercy of Jesus”

Just as “the first condition to be saved” is to “feel in danger”, “the first condition to be healed” is to “feel sick, so feeling sinful is the first condition to receive this look of mercy “. “The door to meet Jesus is to recognize ourselves as we are, the truth. Sinners. ”

“Let us think in the eyes of Jesus, so beautiful, so good, so merciful,” encouraged the Pope. “And we too, when we pray, feel this look on us; it is the look of love, the look of mercy, the look that saves us. Do not be afraid. ”

“A scandal always begins with this sentence: ‘but how is it?’ The Pope remarked: ‘When you hear this sentence, it smells scorched.”

These Pharisees knew “doctrine” very well, they knew “better than everyone else how to do”, but “they had forgotten the first commandment of love.” They believed that salvation came from themselves: “No! Pope Francis insisted. It is God who saves. It is Jesus Christ who saves. ”

The Pope denounced “what is it” that we have so often heard among the Catholic faithful when they saw works of mercy. How are they? … There are many, many … they say: ‘No, it is not possible, everything is clear, no, no … they are sinners, we must remove them’. So many saints have also been persecuted or suspected. Let us think of Saint Joan of Arc, sent to the stake, because they thought she was a witch … think of Saint Teresa suspected of heresy.”

For the Pope, Jesus’ answer is clear: “Go and learn what it means: I want mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. If you want to be called by Jesus, recognize yourself as a sinner. ”

It is a question of recognizing oneself as a sinner, not in the abstract but with “concrete sins,” he concluded: “each of us needs it.” “Let us look at Jesus with that merciful gaze full of love … It is so beautiful to meet Jesus!”

2 days 6 hours
Pope’s Address to Anti-Mafia Commission of Italian Parliament

Oppose in Every Way the Grave Problem of Corruption

Pope to Members of Pontifical Commission – Protection of Minors

“Profound Pain I feel in My Soul for the Situation of Abused Children”

Pope Francis’ Vocation at 16 on September 21, 1953

“I Don’t Know What Happened”

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons signed by the Holy See

And Vatican City State

UN: True, transparent and frank Dialogue must include the Indigenous Communities, by Archbishop Jurkovic

UN Session of the Human Rights Council (Geneva) on “Indigenous Peoples”

Nuclear arms give a false sense of security: archbishop Gallagher Statement at the UN

Conference to Facilitate the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Forced to Flee from War and Poverty, 27 Million Children Are Without School

Migrant children face “an exceptional risk”

Opening of the Cause of Beatification of Father Primo Mazzolari

A Time of Prayer and Invocation, says the Postulator

“So that the Word of God Can Be Heard,” by Cardinal Parolin

800 Years of the Cistercian Abbey of Casamari

Santa Marta: “The door to meet Jesus”

“The door to meet Jesus is to recognize ourselves as we are, the truth. Sinners.”

2 days 6 hours

“The material building of the Church exists so that the word of God can be heard, explained and understood,” and so that the Church “can act effectively as a force of truth and justice,” said the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

The Cardinal voiced this while presiding over a Mass, as the Pope’s Special Envoy, for the eighth centenary of the consecration of the Basilica of the Cistercian Abbey at Casamari, in Latium, on September 15, 2017, reported L’Osservatore Romano.

The Cardinal Secretary of State explained that Pope Francis decided to send his special representative, because he “wished once again to be with us in a special way, appointing a representative that brings to all, and especially to the Cistercian monks, his greetings, inviting to an ever more applied imitation of Christ’s life, to an ever more profound adherence to the Church and to the Gospel, and to daily growth in faith, hope and charity.”

“The Word of God and the edification of the city are closely linked,” stressed the Cardinal, so that the former “doesn’t remain only in words, but leads to edify. It is source of initiative, of concrete action and without it, there is neither city nor community.”

“The material building” of the Church” exists so that in the interior the eschatological feast can begin to which God wants humanity to take part in now.”

Basing himself on the First Reading taken from the Book of the prophet Nehemiah, who recounts the reconstitution of the people of Israel and of Jerusalem after their return from exile, the Cardinal explained that “It’s the word of God, proclaimed and explained solemnly, who convokes and reconstructs the people of the Old Covenant.”

It “inaugurates a new era of the history of Israel: all are sent to the solemn banquet and exhorted to generosity towards the indigent, so that each one can participate in the joy,” he specified.

Cardinal Parolin stressed that “we also, like them, are invited to recollect ourselves for the banquet in the course of which the Lord offers Himself, so that we can, in turn, offer ourselves to our neighbour in his material needs, in his thirst for truth, for life, to listen and to lead to Christ.”

In his reflections on the First Letter of Peter and the evangelical passage in which the Apostle confesses his faith in the Son of God, Cardinal Parolin explained that “to come close to Christ, living stone, means to share His destiny, in the measure to which He is and remains the stone rejected by men, but chosen and precious before God.” “Stone is usually associated to characteristics of materiality and heaviness, whereas here the stone is said to be ‘living’, as if to hold together the two aspects of the Paschal Mystery: Death and Resurrection,” he added.

“Peter makes this pressing appeal to come close to Christ, the corner stone, so that the building of an immaterial edifice will grow, a new temple, a spiritual edifice.” In fact, “by a mysterious action, in each stone and above all on the whole, the Spirit will constitute a spiritual ‘family,’ a holy nation, a chosen nation,” continued the Cardinal.

“The holy and universal Church is not a sacred building but a community of believers that profess the living and attesting God, as Peter, that Christ is the Redeemer of the world,” concluded cardinal Parolin.

 

JF

 

2 days 6 hours

“I wish to share with you the profound pain I feel in my soul for the situation of abused children,” Pope Francis wrote in a text provided to members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors at its meeting September 21, 2017 in the Apostolic Vatican Palace.

“The scandal of sexual abuse is truly a terrible ruin for the whole of humanity, and which affects so many vulnerable children, young people and adults in all countries and in all societies,” according to the Holy Father. He went on to state that abuse has been “a very painful experience for the Church,” noting that “We feel shame for the abuses committed by sacred ministers, who should be the most worthy of trust”

The Holy Father stressed the theme of mercy, noting that the Church “is called to be a place of mercy and compassion, especially for those who have suffered.”  He reiterated that, “For all of us, the Catholic Church continues to be a field hospital that accompanies us in our spiritual itinerary.”

 

The Holy Father’s Text

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I give you a warm welcome at the beginning of this Plenary Assembly. In particular, I would like to thank Cardinal O’Malley for his kind greeting while expressing to you at the same time my sincere appreciation for the reflections that in your name, Mr Hermengild Makoro and Mr. Bill Kilgallon have presented. They have expressed very well the role I thought for the Commission when I formed it three years ago, a service that I hope will continue to be of great help in the coming years for the Pope, the Holy See, the Bishops and the Major Superiors of the whole world.

Gathered here today, I wish to share with you the profound pain I feel in my soul for the situation of abused children, as I have already had the occasion to do recently on several occasions. The scandal of sexual abuse is truly a terrible ruin for the whole of humanity, and which affects so many vulnerable children, young people and adults in all countries and in all societies. It has also been a very painful experience for the Church.  We feel shame for the abuses committed by sacred ministers, who should be the most worthy of trust, but we have also experienced a call, which we are sure comes directly from Our Lord Jesus Christ, to take up the mission of the Church for the protection of all vulnerable minors and adults.

Permit me to say with all clarity that sexual abuse is a horrible sin, completely opposed and in contradiction to what Christ and the Church teach us. I have had the privilege, here in Rome, to listen to the stories that victims and survivors of abuses have wished to share. In those meetings, they shared openly the effects that sexual abuse has caused in their lives and in that of their families. I know that you have also had the blessed occasion to take part in similar meetings, and that <such meetings> continue to nourish your personal commitment to do everything possible to combat this evil and to eliminate this ruin from among us.

Therefore, I reiterate once again today that the Church will respond, at all levels, with the implementation of the firmest measures to all those that have betrayed their calling and have abused God’s children. The disciplinary measures that the particular Churches have adopted must be applied to all those that work in the Church’s institutions. However, the primordial responsibility is that of the Bishops, priests and Religious, of those who received from the Lord the vocation to offer their lives to service, including the vigilant protection of all vulnerable children, young people and adults.  For this reason, the Church will apply irrevocably at all levels the principle of “zero tolerance” for the sexual abuse of minors.

The Motu Proprio As Loving Mother, promulgated on the basis of a proposal of your Commission and in reference to the principle of responsibility in the Church, addresses the cases of diocesan Bishops, Eparchs and Major Superiors of Religious Institutes that, due to negligence, have engaged in or omitted acts that were able to cause grave harm to others, whether it is physical persons or a community as a whole (Cf. Article 1).

Over the last three years, the Commission has emphasized constantly the most important principles that guide the Church’s efforts to protect all vulnerable minors and adults. Thus it has fulfilled the mission that I entrusted to it as “consultative function at the service of the Holy Father,” offering its experience “in order to promote the responsibility of the particular Churches in the protection of all vulnerable minors and adults” (Statute, Article 1).

I was filled with joy to learn that many particular Churches have adopted your recommendation for a Day of Prayer, and for dialogue with the victims and survivors of abuses, as well as with representatives of the victims’ organizations. They shared with us how these meetings have been a profound experience of grace worldwide, and I sincerely hope that all the particular Churches will benefit from them.

It is also encouraging to know how many Episcopal Conferences and Conferences of Major Superiors have sought your advice in regard to the Guidelines for the protection of vulnerable minors and adults. Your collaboration in sharing the best practices is truly valuable, especially for those Churches that have fewer resources for this crucial work of protection. I would like to encourage you to continue your collaboration in this work with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, so that these practices are enculturated in the different Churches worldwide.

Finally, I would like to praise with special emphasis the numerous opportunities of apprenticeship, education and formation that you have offered in so many particular Churches worldwide and also here in Rome, in the different Dicasteries of the Holy See, in the course for new Bishops and in various international congresses. I’m pleased with the news that the presentation that Cardinal O’Malley and Mrs Marie Collins — one of your founding members –, made last week to the new Bishops was received so favourably. These educational programs offer the type of resources that will enable the Dioceses, Religious Institutes and all Catholic institutions, to adopt and implement the most effective materials for this work.

The Church is called to be a place of mercy and compassion, especially for those who have suffered. For all of us, the Catholic Church continues to be a field hospital that accompanies us in our spiritual itinerary. It’s the place where we can sit with others, listen to them and share with them our struggles and our faith in the Good News of Jesus Christ. I am fully confident that the Commission will continue to be a place where we can listen with interest to the voices of the victims and the survivors, because we have much to learn form them and from their personal stories of courage and perseverance.

Permit me to thank you once again for your efforts and advice over these three years. I entrust you to the Most Holy Virgin Mary, the Mother who remains close to us throughout our lives. I give you all and our dear ones the Apostolic Blessing, and I ask you to continue praying for me.

 

[Original text: Spanish]  [Zenit’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

 

 

2 days 7 hours

Pope Francis said “it becomes decisive to oppose in every way the grave problem of corruption that, in contempt for the general interest, is the fertile ground in which the mafias take root and develop.”

His comments came in an address September 21, 2017 to the members of the Anti-Mafia Italian Parliamentary Commission with their families. The event took place in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace.

“To fight against the mafias means not only to repress,” the Holy Father explained. “It also means to reclaim, to transform, to build.”

The Pope recommended that mafias be addressed in two manners.  First, on the political front, “through greater social justice, because the mafias have an easy game in proposing as an alternative system on their own territory, where rights and opportunities are lacking, work, house, education, health care. “

The second area he proposed is economic, “through the correction and cancellation of those mechanisms that generate inequality and poverty everywhere.”

He concluded by noting the need to help those who want to leave the corrupt live: “A way must be found that will enable a clean person, but belonging to mafia families or contexts, to come out without suffering vendettas and retaliations.”

 

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Pope’s address to those present at the audience

  

The Holy Father’s Address

 Honourable Deputies and Senators, I’m happy to receive you and I thank the President of the Commission, The Honourable Bindi, for his courteous words.

First of all, my thought goes to all those persons who in Italy paid with their life for their fight against the mafias. In particular, I remember three Magistrates: the Servant of God Rosario Livatino, killed on September 21, 1990; Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, killed 25 years ago together with all those that escorted them.

While I was preparing this meeting, there passed through my mind evangelical scenes, in which it won’t be difficult for us to recognize the signs of that moral crisis that persons and institutions are going through today. The truth of Jesus’ words is always timely” “What comes out of man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile man” (Mark 7:20-23).

The point of departure is always man’s heart, his relationships <and> his attachments. We will never keep sufficient watch over this abyss, where the person is exposed to temptations of opportunism, of deceit and of fraud, made more dangerous by the refusal to question oneself. When we shut ourselves in self-sufficiency we arrive easily at self-complacency and at the pretension of making ourselves the norm of everything and everyone. It is also the sign of a deviant politics bent on party interests and non-limpid agreements. One succeeds then in suffocating the appeal of the conscience, in trivializing evil, in confusing truth with lies and in benefitting from the role of public responsibility that one has.

Genuine politics, which we recognize as an eminent form of charity, works instead to ensure a future of hope and to promote the dignity of each. Precisely because of this, it regards the fight against mafias as its priority, in as much as they rob the common good, taking away hope and the dignity of persons.

In this connection, it becomes decisive to oppose in every way the grave problem of corruption that, in contempt for the general interest, is the fertile ground in which the mafias take root and develop. Corruption always finds the way to justify itself, presenting itself as the “normal” condition, the solution of one who is “sly,” the way to follow to obtain one’s objectives. It has a contagious and parasitical nature, because it is not nourished on the good that it produces, but on what subtracts and robs. It is a poisonous root that alters healthy competition and deters investments. At bottom, corruption is a habitus built on the idolatry of money and the commercialization of human dignity, for which it is combatted with no less incisive measures than those foreseen in the fight against the mafias.

To fight against the mafias means not only to repress. It also means to reclaim, to transform, to build, and this entails a commitment at two levels. The first is the political, through greater social justice, because the mafias have an easy game in proposing as an alternative system on their own territory, where rights and opportunities are lacking, work, house, education, health care.

The second level of commitment is economic, through the correction and cancellation of those mechanisms that generate inequality and poverty everywhere. Today we can no longer speak of the fight against the mafias without raising the enormous problem of a finance now sovereign over democratic rules, thanks to which the criminal realities invest and multiply the already massive profits obtained from their traffics: drugs, weapons, trafficking of persons, disposal of toxic waste, conditionings of the contracts for large works, gambling, racketeering.

This twofold level, political and economic, presupposes another no less essential, which is the building of a new civil conscience, the only one that can lead to a true liberation of the mafias. It is truly useful to educate and to educate oneself to constant vigilance of oneself and of the context in which one lives, increasing a more acute perception of the phenomena of corruption and working for a new way of being citizens that includes care and responsibility for others and for the common good.

Italy can be proud of having put in the field against the mafia a legislation that involves the State and citizens, Administrations and Associations, the secular and the Catholic and religious world in a broad sense.  The goods confiscated from the mafias and reconverted to social use represent, in this connection, genuine gymnasiums of life.  In these realities, young people study, they learn knowledge and responsibility, find work and fulfilment. In them also many elderly, poor or disadvantaged persons find hospitality, service and dignity.

Finally, it can’t be forgotten that the fight against the mafias passes through the protection and promotion of witnesses of justice, persons who expose themselves to grave risks by choosing to denounce the violence of which they were witnesses. A way must be found that will enable a clean person, but belonging to mafia families or contexts, to come out without suffering vendettas and retaliations. There are many women, especially mothers, who are seeking to do so, by rejecting criminal logics in the desire to guarantee their children a different future. One must succeed in helping them, in respect, certainly, of courses of justice, but also of their dignity as persons that choose goodness and life.

Exhorting you, dear brothers and sisters, to take forward with dedication and a sense of duty the task entrusted to you for the good of all, I invoke upon you God’s blessing. May you be comforted by the certainty of being accompanied by Him who is rich in mercy, and by the awareness that He who doesn’t tolerate violence and abuse may render you tireless workers of justice. Thank you.

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

 

 

2 days 7 hours

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, signed for the Holy See, also in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted on July 7, 2017, at the end of the United Nations Conference geared to negotiating a binding legal instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.

The signing was held in the course of the high-level ceremony for the opening of the signing of the Treaty, yesterday, September 20, 2017, at the United Nations Palace in New York.

Monsignor Gallagher delivered contextually the instrument of ratification.

According to Article 15, paragraph 1 of the Treaty, it will enter into force for the Holy See and for Vatican City State 90 days after the deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval and adherence.

Translation from Italian by Virginia M. Forrester

2 days 13 hours

“I don’t know what happened.” Young Mario Bergoglio was 16 on Saint Matthew’s feast in 1953, when he had a decisive experience that changed the course of his life. Today Pope Francis transmits to young people the experience of his youth with discretion and modesty.

On the eve of the feast of the Apostle and Evangelist Saint Matthew, the Holy Father greeted young people as usual at the end of the General Audience of September 20, 2017.

“May his conversion be an example, dear young people, to live your life with the criteria of the faith,” he exhorted.

The Pontiff has never forgotten that Confession that changed his life, on the day of Saint Matthew in 1953, in Buenos Aires. Born in 1936, he would be 17 the following December 17. Father Carlos B. Duarte Ibarra was there, at Flores: “I had no doubts that I should be a priest,” he added.

Austen Ivereigh recounts it in his biography of Pope Francis (“Francis the Great Reformer”): “God passed before him” on September 21, 1953. Walking down Rivadavia Avenue, he passed in front of Saint Joseph’s Basilica, which he knew well. He then felt a strange need to enter it. “I went in, I felt it was necessary that I enter — those things you feel in you without knowing what it is,” he explained to Father Juan Isasmendi at the parish.

And the author quotes all this passage: “I looked, it was dark, it was a morning in September, perhaps 9 o’clock, and I saw a priest walking, I didn’t know him, he was not part of the priests of the parish. And he sat down in one of the Confessionals, the last one on the left when one looks at the altar. I don’t know at all what happened next. I had the impression that someone pushed me to enter the Confessional. Of course I told him certain things, I went to Confession — but I don’t know what happened.

When I finished my Confession, I asked the priest where he was from, because I didn’t know him, and he said: “I come from Corrientes and I live very close to here, at home. I come to celebrate Mass here every now and then.” He had cancer – leukemia – and died the following year.

I knew there that I would become a priest. I was sure and certain of it. Instead of going out with the others, I returned to the house because I was submerged. Afterwards, I pursued my studies and all the rest, but I now knew where I was going.”

“In a letter of 1990, to describe this experience, he explains that it was as if he had been thrown from his horse,” continues Ivereigh.

However, for more than a year Jorge Bergoglio said nothing at home. His ideas were clear. He confided to Oscar Crespo, of the chemistry laboratory where he worked: “I’m going to finish the Technical College with you, the lads. However, I won’t be a chemist. I’ll be a priest, but not a priest in a Basilica. I will be a Jesuit because I want to go out to the districts, to the villas, to be with the people.”

The fundamental words of Bergoglio’s mission were already there: “go out” “with the people.”

He recounted how he had an “experience of divine mercy,” and that he felt “called,” at the urging of Saint Matthew and Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

The Gospel of the feast of Saint Matthew recalls Jesus’ call in his regard: “Jesus left Capernaum and saw, in passing, a man named Matthew sitting at his desk of tax collector. He said to him: “Follow Me.” The man got up and followed him.” The Pope is fascinated by Christ’s gaze that settles on Levi, on himself, on each one. He often invites to let oneself by looked at by Christ, to act under Christ’s gaze.

His episcopal and papal motto is explained thus: “Eligendo atque miserando,” the election, Christ’s call, which is mercy, so that His disciple will do the same.

And when he came to Rome and lodged in the Clergy’s House on Via della Scrofa, near Saint Louis of the French, he loved to come to contemplate the canvas of Caravaggio (1571-1610) “The Vocation of Saint Matthew,” painted between 1599 and 1600 for the Contarelli Chapel of the church of Saint Louis of France where it is kept up to today.

Translated from French by Virginia M. Forrester

JF

 

2 days 13 hours

 

ROME, SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 (Zenit.org).- On September 18, 2017, a celebration was held in the Cathedral of Cremona, Lombardy (Italy) for the launching of the diocesan phase of the Cause of Beatification of Italian priest Father Primo Mazzolari (1890-1959), known as “the friend of poor people,” reported the Vatican agency SIR.

“A Cause of Beatification isn’t a battle to come to a victory. It’s a course of recognition of the value of a person’s evangelical witness. That’s why this phase doesn’t call for being for or against, but for prayer,” said Father Bruno Bignami, President of the Mazzolari Foundation and Postulator of the Cause.

“The beginning of the Cause doesn’t have the tone of a feast but of a prayer and an invocation, nor is it a purely juridical event. It’s an ecclesial event,” he added.

“The Church of Cremona prays to the Lord to enlighten her to recognize the signs of His presence in the life of saints. The coming months will be dedicated to listening to witnesses who were able to know, meet and receive graces from the Servant of God Father Primo Mazzolari. It’s a time of memory,” said as well Father Bruno Bignami.

On June 20, 2017, Pope Francis recollected himself before the tomb of Father Primo Mazzolari at Bozzolo, in the province of Mantua. “Father Mazzolari was a parish priest who was convinced that ‘the destinies of the world mature in the periphery’ and he made of his humanity an instrument of God’s mercy,” said the Pontiff. “He also thought of an outgoing Church,” he specified, quoting Father Mazzolari: “To walk, it’s necessary to go out of the house and of the Church, if the people of God no longer come there.”

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

2 days 14 hours

ROME, SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 (Zenit.org).- “Twenty-seven million children have left school in 24 countries involved in conflicts. This is the alarming picture traced by a UNICEF Report published yesterday, on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly”: L’Osservatore Romano in Italian, September 21 2017 daily issue, laments this situation of children refugees in this article we translate about UNICEF Report.

***

According to the study, migrant children and young people, with low levels of education, “run an ever greater risk of exploitation.”

Moreover, the data of a survey carried out among minors, who move on the route that connects the Mediterranean with Central Europe, reveals that 90% of adolescents without education said they suffered exploitation, compared with 77% of children with primary education and 75% with secondary education.

According to the UNICEF Report, refugees have a five times greater probability of not attending school compared to other children. In fact, only 50% of them are enrolled in primary school and less than 25% in secondary school.

Migrant children then face “an exceptional risk” : a greater number in fact have the probability of becoming victims of sexual violence and gender-based violence,” adds the UNICEF Report.

The same picture applies to countries involved in conflicts, where girls have a 2.5 times greater probability of not going to school compared to boys.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

2 days 14 hours

“A true, transparent and frank dialogue must be established among all stakeholders, particularly including the affected indigenous communities”, declared Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic at the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council on “Indigenous Peoples”, delivered yesterday, 20 September 2017, in Geneva (Switzerland).

“The Holy See maintains, he said, that the problematic relation between some transnational companies and indigenous groups, especially in the area of extractive industries, needs to be addressed. A true, transparent and frank dialogue must be established among all stakeholders, particularly including the affected indigenous communities, in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent concerning any measure that might have a substantial impact on their way of life and their culture.”

Archbishop Jurkovic Statement

Mr. President,

The tenth anniversary of the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is being observed at an opportune moment when the International Community is striving to fulfil the “Seventeen Goals to Transform the World”, delineated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As we know, the 2030 Agenda recognizes, inter alia, the need to strengthen international cooperation within a global partnership, with the aim of facilitating an intensive global engagement in support of the implementation of the Goals and targets, included therein.1

A true, fair and effective implementation of the Seventeen Goals is based on the vision that all persons will become “dignified agents of their own destiny, taking into consideration that integral human development and the full exercise of human dignity cannot be imposed, but rather allowed to unfold for each individual, for every family, in relation to others, and in a right relationship with those areas in which human social life develops.”2

Therefore, in the words of Pope Francis, “there is a need to respect the rights of peoples and cultures and to appreciate that the development of a social group presupposes a historical process which takes place within a cultural context and demands the constant and active involvement of local people from within their proper culture. Nor can the notion of the quality of life be imposed from without, for quality of life must be understood with the world of symbols and customs proper to each human group.”3

Moreover, in an increasingly interconnected world, which experiences both the profits and the losses of the globalization processes, the traditional indigenous vision of development focuses on human development in its entirety and helps us all to understand that the earth and the environment are precious and good for our use; these gifts, needed for human existence, should not be abused.4

Protection and promotion of the cultural, social, and economic life of indigenous peoples, therefore, must be recognized by all as a service being rendered to the human family of tomorrow. This is fulfilled by sharing the rich human values and set of knowledge to generations to come, but it also benefits the members of the human family in the present era since it facilitates dialogue with indigenous peoples and creates partnership with them.

The Holy See promotes and sponsors such partnership in different ways, for example, by building centers of indigenous languages, overseeing the compilation of grammar books and the commissioning of hundreds of translations into those languages, which often are threatened to the point of extinction. A wide range of such collections are available for research in different Pontifical Universities and institutes of higher education.5

Mr. President,

My Delegation welcomes the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as illustrated in the last report “on the rights of indigenous peoples” (A/HRC/36/22), by which said Office has reached out to indigenous communities around the world and offered assistance in defending their political, economic cultural and social rights. Particularly noteworthy is the effort of the OHCHR to provide “technical assistance to Member States, indigenous peoples, civil society and United Nations bodies” to reform and implement “legal frameworks, policies, strategies and national action plans” to foster the protection and the participation of the indigenous communities within national and international fora.

Moreover, the new mandate assigned to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as envisaged in Human Rights Council Resolution 33/25, represents a timely opportunity for the International Community to intensify its commitment to protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Mr. President,

By recognizing that “respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment”,6 the International Community can understand better that truly sustainable development requires “greater attention to local cultures when studying environmental problems.”7

Particular emphasis should be given “to reconcile the right to development, both social and cultural, with the protection of the particular characteristics of indigenous peoples and their territories.” 8 Indigenous communities “are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners when large projects affecting their ancestral lands are proposed.”9

The Holy See maintains that the problematic relation between some transnational companies and indigenous groups, especially in the area of extractive industries, needs to be addressed. A true, transparent and frank dialogue must be established among all stakeholders, particularly including the affected indigenous communities, in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent concerning any measure that might have a substantial impact on their way of life and their culture.

In conclusion, Mr. President, it is essential that the voice of these peoples is heard and protected at the level of national and international debates. Such actions will constitute a formidable tool to acquire a more profound and broad understanding of authentic and integral human development.

Thank you, Mr. President.

***

1Cfr. A/RES/70/1, n. 60.

2 Letter from the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, dated 25 September 2016, A/71/430, n. 7.

3 Pope Francis, Laudato si’, n. 144.

4 Statement of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, New York, 20 April 2010.

5 Ibid.

6 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, PP11.

7 Pope Francis, Laudato si’, n. 143.

8 Pope Francis, Address to Participants of The III Global Meeting of The Indigenous Peoples’ Forum of the International Fund For Agricultural Development, 15 February 2017.

9 Pope Francis, Laudato si’, n. 146.

2 days 14 hours

“Nuclear arms give a false sense of security”: on September 20, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and Head of Delegation to the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, gave a statement during the Tenth Conference to Facilitate the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

In his intervention, Archbishop Gallagher said that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a cornerstone of the necessary juridical structures to control the threat of nuclear weapons and lead to their abolition. The Holy See ratified the CTBT as an expression of its conviction of the importance of a nuclear test ban and nuclear nonproliferation and as a critical complement to broad nuclear disarmament efforts.

He lamented that the CTBT has not yet entered into force and urged those States that have not yet ratified it to exercise wisdom and courage in doing so. He said that the CTBT’s entry into force is particularly urgent considering rising tensions over North Korea’s growing nuclear program and the new modernization programs happening in nuclear states.

The response to the situation in North Korea, he said, must be revived in negotiations, and must not happen through threats or the use of military force or nuclear weapons.  Nuclear arms, he said, give a false sense of security. The threat of mutually assured destruction cannot create a stable and secure world. It fosters at most a precarious and false peace based on a culture of fear and mistrust. That culture must be replaced with an ethic of responsibility and a climate of trust and cooperation, something that the entry into force of the CTBT will help to achieve.

His statement follows.

Statement of H. E. Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher
Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States
Statement of the Holy See On the Occasion of the Tenth Conference to
Facilitate the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
New York, 20 September 2017

Mr. President,

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is one of the cornerstones of the juridical structures painstakingly put in place to control the global threat posed by nuclear weapons and to move progressively toward a world free of nuclear weapons. The Holy See ratified and adheres to the CTBT as an expression of its longstanding conviction that a nuclear test ban, nuclear nonproliferation, and nuclear disarmament “are closely linked and must be achieved as quickly as possible under effective international control.”[1]

The Holy See is, therefore, troubled by the continued lack of progress in achieving the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Two decades without the Treaty’s entry into force have been two decades lost in our common goal of a world without nuclear weapons. At the same time, the Holy See is pleased to take part in this Conference, joining other States who have ratified the CTBT in repeating our appeal to the remaining States whose ratification is necessary for the Treaty to enter into force. In ratifying this treaty, these States have an opportunity to demonstrate wisdom, courageous leadership, and a commitment to peace and the common good of all.

The entry into force of the CTBT is all the more urgent when one considers contemporary threats to peace, from the continuing challenges of nuclear proliferation to the major new modernization programs of some of the nuclear weapons states. Both nuclear proliferation and new modernization programs are contrary to the purposes of the CTBT, and, more importantly, they undermine international security. The rising tensions over North Korea’s growing nuclear program are of special urgency. The international community must respond by seeking to revive negotiations. The threat or use of military force have no place in countering proliferation, and the threat or use of nuclear weapons in countering nuclear proliferation are deplorable. We must put behind us the nuclear threats, fear, military superiority, ideology, and unilateralism that drive proliferation and modernization efforts and are so reminiscent of the logic of the Cold War.

Mr. President,

On this day, when the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is opened for signature, I want to focus especially on CTBT as a critical complement to broader nuclear disarmament efforts. On September 25, 2015, Pope Francis urged the UN General Assembly “to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons.” Pope Francis added, “An ethics and a law based on the threat of mutual destruction – and possibly the destruction of all mankind – are self-contradictory and an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations, which would end up as ‘nations united by fear and distrust.’” In his letter to Her Excellency Elayne Whyte Gómez, President of the UN conference on a nuclear ban, he urged the international community to “go beyond nuclear deterrence… [and] to adopt forward-looking strategies to promote the goal of peace and stability and to
avoid short-sighted approaches to the problems surrounding national and international security.”[2]

While having no illusions about the challenges involved in achieving a world free of nuclear weapons, the challenges posed by the status quo ante of growing tensions, continuing proliferation, and new modernization programs are far more daunting. Nuclear arms offer a false sense of security. The uneasy peace promised by nuclear deterrence has time and time again proved a tragic illusion. Nuclear weapons cannot create a stable and secure world. Peace and international stability cannot be founded on mutually assured destruction or on the threat of annihilation.

Mr. President,

The peace-of-a-sort that is based on a balance of power, with threats and counter-threats, and ultimately fear, is an unstable and false peace. In order to respond adequately to the challenges of the twenty-first century, it is essential to replace a logic of fear and mistrust with an ethic of responsibility, and so foster a climate of trust which values multilateral dialogue through consistent and responsible cooperation between all the members of the international community. The norms embodied in the UN Charter, humanitarian law, arms control conventions, and other elements of international law represent an indispensable commitment to cooperative security and a juridical embodiment of this global ethic of responsibility.

Entry into force of the CTBT would be one important manifestation of a commitment to this ethic of responsibility. Two decades is too long to wait to demonstrate this commitment.

Thank you, Mr. President.

**
————————————————————
1. Declaration of the Holy See attached to the Instrument of adhesion to the CTBT, 24 September 1996.
2. Letter of Pope Francis to Her Excellency Elayne Whyte Gómez, President of the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination. 23 March 2017.

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2 days 17 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Posted
People walk in a flooded street Sept. 21 in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. (CNS photo/Thais Llorca, EPA) People walk in a flooded street Sept. 21 in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. (CNS photo/Thais Llorca, EPA)

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the impact of Hurricane Maria. The storm has devastated Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dominica. Now downgraded to Category-3 winds, the storm is expected to bring more heavy rain and flash floods as it makes landfall later today in the Turks and Caicos.

Full statement follows:

“Just as we begin to assess the material and emotional damage of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the devastation of yet another storm, Hurricane Maria, has struck the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dominica, and has battered Puerto Rico with catastrophic effects unprecedented in the island’s modern history. I exhort the faithful to solidarity in this time of great need for our brothers and sisters in harm’s way—many of whom have been hit repeatedly by the successive hurricanes.

“Casting aside any temptation to despair, and full of hope in the loving Providence of God, we pray that our Father may receive unto his loving presence those who have lost their lives, may he comfort the grieving, and may he fortify the courage and resilience of those whose lives have been uprooted by these disasters. May he extend the might of his right hand and bid the sea be ‘quiet’ and ‘still’ (Mark 4:39).”

1 day 6 hours

By Julie Asher

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The latest version of a Republican measure in the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act must be amended to protect poor and vulnerable Americans, said the chairmen of four U.S. bishops’ committees.

“As you consider the Graham-Cassidy legislation as a possible replacement for the Affordable Care Act, we urge you to think of the harm that will be caused to poor and vulnerable people and amend the legislation while retaining its positive features,” the bishops said in a letter to all senators released Sept. 22.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana have co-sponsored the legislation.

“Without significant improvement, this bill does not meet the moral criteria for health care reform outlined in our previous letters and must be changed,” they said. That criteria includes respect for life and dignity; honoring conscience rights; access for all; and a high-quality plan that is affordable and comprehensive.

The bishops criticized the measure’s Medicaid “per capita cap” because it puts an “insufferable burden” on poor and vulnerable Americans. They did praise the bill for correcting “a serious flaw” in the ACA by ensuring “no federal funds are used for abortion or go to plans that cover it.” They called on senators to amend the bill to address it flaws but retain the pro-life provisions.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would repeal the ACA and replace it with block grants for the states to spend as they see fit. The block grants’ size, though, would shrink over time and disappear altogether in 2027. The Senate is working under a Sept. 30 deadline to pass the bill.

The letter was signed by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty; Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; and Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the Committee on Migration.

“The Graham-Cassidy bill includes a Medicaid ‘per capita cap’ that was part of previous bills, which have been rejected,” the bishops wrote. “The Medicaid caps will fundamentally restructure this vital program, which supports the medical needs of those most in need. Over time, these modifications will result in deep funding cuts and lost coverage for millions of people.

“The Senate should only proceed with a full report concerning just how many people will be impacted,” they said. “Our nation must not attempt to address its fiscal concerns by placing an insufferable health care burden on the backs of the poor.”

The bishops said the proposal does “correct a serious flaw” flaw in the ACA by making sure “no federal funds are used for abortion or go to plans that cover it.”

“This improvement is praiseworthy, and it is essential that any improved final bill retain these key provisions which would finally address grave moral problems in our current health care system,” they said. “We also applaud that Graham-Cassidy redirects funds from organizations that provide abortion.”

But they took the bill to task for giving block grants to states “in place of premium tax credits, cost-sharing subsidies and the Medicaid expansion,” saying that arrangement will only harm the poor.

“While flexibility can be good at times, these block grants will result in billions of dollars in reductions for those in health care poverty,” they said. “States already face significant deficits each budget cycle, and these block grants mean dollars intended for low income individuals and families will suddenly face competition from many other state priorities.”

The country “can ill afford to put access to health care for those most in need in jeopardy this way” because, the bishops continued, “the costs to our communities, including public and private organizations at all levels, will be too high.”

“Decisions about the health of our citizens — a concern fundamental to each of us — should not be made in haste simply because an artificial deadline looms,” they said.

“The far-reaching implications of Congress’ actions are too significant for that kind of governance,” the committee chairmen said.

They told senators that “the common good should call you to come together in a bi-partisan way to pass thoughtful legislation that addresses the life, conscience, immigrant access, market stability and affordability problems that now exist.”

“Your constituents, especially those with no voice of their own in this process, deserve no less,” they concluded.

Earlier this year, as Senate Republicans drafted and debated an ACA repeal measure, the U.S. bishops in letters and statements repeatedly urged Congress to craft a bill meeting the moral criteria of respect for life and dignity; honoring conscience rights; access for all; and a high-quality plan that is affordable and comprehensive.

When the Senate failed to get enough votes to pass what was being called a “skinny” repeal to remove parts of the Affordable Care Act in the early hours of July 28, Bishop Dewane in a statement said the “task of reforming the health care system still remains.”

The nation’s health care system under the ACA “is not financially sustainable” and “lacks full Hyde protections and conscience rights,” he said at the time. He also noted the health care system “is inaccessible to many immigrants,” he said in a statement.

The U.S. bishops have advocated for universal and affordable health care for decades and they supported the general goal of the Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010, but the bishops ultimately opposed the law because it expanded the federal role in abortion and failed to expand health care protections to immigrants.

– – –

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1 day 7 hours

Respect Life Weekend is September 30th through October 1st. To learn more:

For more information or to donate to the Respect Life Fund, click here

1 day 10 hours

Jacob Waggoner could not stop smiling, and why not?

The Badin High School senior has been named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, one of less than 1 percent of American high school students to earn that prestigious designation.
“I’m excited,” said Waggoner, the son of Brad and Paula Waggoner of Hamilton and a graduate of St. Joseph School. “This was definitely a goal of mine and I’m glad that it came to fulfillment.”

Waggoner was among 1.6 million juniors who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in the fall of 2016 in order to be eligible for the 2018 National Merit Scholarship program.

There are approximately 16,000 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists throughout the country. Some 90 percent of those will be named finalists in the spring, and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation will award some 7,500 scholarships worth more than $32 million.

“That’s a great accomplishment for Jacob and we’re very proud of his success,” Badin High Principal Brian Pendergest said. “Jacob is a well-rounded young man who values education and it certainly shows in his performance.”

Waggoner runs cross country and track and went to state with Badin’s cross country team as a junior.

“You can’t just study the books – you have to live your education,” Waggoner said.

Waggoner plans to study economics or business in college, perhaps MIS (Management Information Systems). He said his college list is changing all the time, but top choices include Duke, the University of Alabama and the University of Arizona.

What does it take to be a National Merit semifinalist?

“A lot of hard work,” Waggoner said. “You’ve got to make the time commitment. It’s taken a lot of late nights to study and understand what I’m doing in school.”
Waggoner has a broad range of interests at Badin, from math classes by Mr. Mark Merz … to technology classes from Mr. Dave Gretz that put him “on the front edge” … to marketing education classes from Mr. Joe DeAngelo and Mr. Tim McCabe “that helped me find my passion for business.”

“I’m really glad that I got involved in Badin,” Waggoner said. “I think that’s an important message for anyone to help them succeed in school.”
Waggoner is the fifth National Merit semifinalist in the last three years at Badin High School. The school has had seven National Merit “Commended” students in that time, and hopes to add to that total this year as well. That announcement will come next month.

The National Merit Scholarship program was established in 1955 with the goal of “honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.”

1 day 13 hours

By Maria Wiering

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) — Retired Archbishop Harry J. Flynn was rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, when he got a call in 1979 from an old friend from the seminary, asking if he could visit for a week.

That friend was Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and a missionary in a rural part of Guatemala.

He picked up Father Rother from Dulles International Airport near Washington and was appalled by the horrific situation the priest described in Guatemala. Members of his congregation had disappeared and were presumed dead, victims of a civil war between the government and guerrilla groups.

“If they asked for a few more cents for picking coffee beans, they were considered communists, and a truck would come into the village that night, stop at the home of the man or woman who asked for a few more cents, take them out to the country, torture them, kill them, and then throw their bodies into a well to poison that well,” said Archbishop Flynn, who headed the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1995 to 2008.

Father Rother described the situation “with a passion,” Archbishop Flynn recalled. “It was haunting him. He said, ‘If I speak, they’ll kill me, but if keep silent, what kind of a shepherd would I be?'”

The friends shared meals together that week, but Father Rother spent his days praying at the seminary’s historic Lourdes grotto, a place he had loved while he and Archbishop Flynn were seminarians at “the Mount.” At the end of the week, he told then-Father Flynn, “I know what I must do. I must go back and speak.”

“But,” Archbishop Flynn recalled, “he also said this: ‘They’re not going to take me out and kill me somewhere in the country and then throw my body into a well.’ He said, ‘I’ll put up a fight like they’ve never seen before.'”

Archbishop Flynn took Father Rother to the airport and said goodbye. He knew it would be the last time he would see him alive. Two years later, in 1981, Archbishop Flynn opened a newspaper to read that an American priest had been killed in Guatemala. He didn’t have to read further to know it was Father Rother.

Archbishop Flynn was to be among others who knew the priest gathering in Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center Sept. 23 for Father Rother’s beatification. In December 2016, Pope Francis officially recognized Father Rother as a martyr, making him the first U.S.-born martyr recognized by the Catholic Church. Also attending will be members of the Rother family, including distant cousins from Minnesota.

Father Rother grew up on a farm near Okarche, Oklahoma. He was a farm boy with a knack for fixing things. After high school, he left home for seminary in Texas, but he was asked to leave after struggling with Latin. Undeterred, he transferred to the Emmitsburg seminary, where he met Archbishop Flynn, who was three classes ahead of him. Archbishop Flynn noted his friend’s deep prayer life.

“We could be downstairs in recreation, laughing and carrying on, and then the bell would ring to go up to chapel for night prayer and Stanley seemed to me to go right into prayer, which I found enviable,” Archbishop Flynn recalled in a recent interview with The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Minnesota archdiocese.

The two were in the seminary around the time that Pope John XXIII encouraged U.S. bishops to form partnerships between their dioceses and those in Latin America. The then-Diocese of Oklahoma City-Tulsa paired with the Diocese of Solola, Guatemala. In 1968, Father Rother was asked to minister there in Santiago Atitlan, a mission established by Franciscans. The Mayan people there had been without a priest for nearly a century.

People who knew Father Rother weren’t surprised that he returned again and again to Guatemala after the violence began, even with many opportunities to stay in the U.S. The Christmas before he died, he famously wrote to his archbishop, “A shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.”

On July 28, 1981, three men burst into the parish rectory, demanding Father Rother. He was hiding, but when the men threatened the life of one of his protectors, he emerged. He was ultimately gunned down in his rectory, his knuckles raw from the fight, his spattered blood staining the wall. The Guatemalans left the stains, and to this day, visitors — many of them pilgrims — can see the aftermath of what the gunmen did to their priest. The fatal bullet remains lodged in the wall.

In 1999, Archbishop Flynn traveled to Father Rother’s church in Santiago Atitlan, visited the room where he was shot to death and celebrated Mass in the parish church. Father Rother’s body returned to Oklahoma, but the missionary’s heart was left behind with the Guatemalans, who have since enshrined it as a relic.

Archbishop Flynn also prays for his friend’s intercession, keeping his photograph on his altar for Mass. He feels that he had a graced opportunity to be with Father Rother that summer while he was discerning his impending death.

“I’ll always remember sitting in the room where he was martyred, and sitting there and looking at his blood all over the wall, splattered, and experiencing anger in my heart with the people who did that to him — this gentle, gentle shepherd,” he said, “and then realizing what he would have said — something that Christ said, ‘They don’t even know what they’re doing,’ and they probably didn’t. … They killed a man, but they created a saint.”

– – –

Wiering is editor of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

1 day 23 hours
Ghanaian members of the congregation present the Gifts during the 50th Anniversary Mass of St. Matthias the Apostle Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard)Ghanaian members of the congregation present the Gifts during the 50th Anniversary Mass of St. Matthias the Apostle Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard)

St. Matthias the Apostle parish celebrates growth, change

As a young wife and expectant mother Judie Mohr moved to Forest Park in 1967 with her husband, Charlie, where the couple became charter members of St. Matthias Parish. They are still active parishioners today, and, said Mohr, the past 50 years have been “a real journey.”

That journey of faith was celebrated Aug. 6 with a Mass marking the parish’s 50th anniversary. Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr presided

“The celebration was lovely,” said Mohr, who chaired the reception that followed Mass. “People came back that we haven’t seen in a long time. It was a reminder that our faith has always been strong and is still growing.”

St. Matthias Parish began in June 1967 with the purchase of 10 acres of land and Father Jesse Lonsway’s appointment as founding pastor. Eight hundred people attended the first four Masses celebrated at Cameron Park. After numerous meetings and much planning, Sunday Masses started in the new St. Matthias Center on Palm Sunday 1969.

The parish grew rapidly. A three-year fund drive in the early 1980s allowed the parish to build a new church and chapel, and expand the parish center. Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk dedicated the completed complex on March 14, 1985.

“We have a beautiful faith community here,” said Dick Neyer, charter member and current Parish Council president. “We have a lot of volunteers and a spirit of working together that has kept the parish going.”

“One thing that always impressed me about the parish was the diversity,” said Deacon Ray George, who served at St. Matthias for 23 years, noting the presence of the parish’s Ghanaian community. “The people there don’t see color, and that pleases me more than anything else. I’m so proud of those people and that church.”

“For me, the diversity of the parish has been very important,” said Marcia Schulte, who joined St. Matthias in 1979. “It’s helped to me grow in my faith and as a person. Our pastor always said we’re small, but mighty. I think it means a lot to the parish to have the sense of history and know that it’s taken a lot of work and faith to keep it strong.”

Since 2013, St. Matthias has been part of a Pastoral Region with St. James of the Valley and Our Lady of the Rosary parishes. Father Chris Coleman was installed as pastor of the new Winton Wyoming Pastoral Region (WWPR) on July 1, 2014. The region is still reeling from his death in a car accident this July. “We miss Father Chris terribly,” Mohr said. “He was a priest who loved being with his people.”

Father Mike Pucke has been named pastoral administrator for the WWPR for a period of six months. Father Lambert Ulinzwenimana, a diocesan priest from the Gikongoro Diocese in Rwanda, currently serves as parochial vicar. He thanked the founding members in an anniversary reflection posted on the WWPR website, saying, “As we celebrate the parish anniversary, we also celebrate your faith that, day by day, you hand on to your family members and share with St. Matthias’ entire community.

“Let our community thank God for all the priests and deacons who have served St. Matthias and other parishes in the past years,” he added. “For those who have gone before us, we offer prayers, and to those who are still among us, we appreciate your ministry. Thank you all who helped in many ways at the preparation to the milestone celebration of St. Matthias. May the Almighty God richly bless you all and your families. Stay Golden.”

St. Matthias the Apostle Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard)St. Matthias the Apostle Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard) A young boy stands on his parent’s lap during the 50th Anniversary Mass of St. Matthias the Apostle Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard)A young boy stands on his parent’s lap during the 50th Anniversary Mass of St. Matthias the Apostle Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard) (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard.)
2 days 3 hours

Pope Francis’s prayer intentions for October: Workers and the Unemployed

That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.

2 days 3 hours

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Celebrating the feast of St. Matthew, the anniversary of the day when as a 17-year-old he said he was overwhelmed by God’s mercy, Pope Francis said it was interesting how many Catholics today seem to be scandalized when God shows mercy to someone.

In his homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae Sept. 21, Pope Francis looked in depth at the day’s short Gospel story of the calling of St. Matthew.

The story, the pope said, has three parts: “the encounter, the celebration and the scandal.”

Jesus sees Matthew, a tax collector — “one of those who made the people of Israel pay taxes to give to the Romans, a traitor to his country” — and calls him to follow. Jesus looks at him “lovingly, mercifully” and “the resistance of that man who wanted money, who was a slave to money, falls.”

“That man knew he was a sinner,” the pope said. “He was liked by no one and even despised.” But it was “precisely that awareness of being a sinner that opened the door to Jesus’ mercy. He left everything and followed.”

“The first condition for being saved is knowing you are in danger,” he said. “The first condition for being healed is feeling sick.”

In the Gospel story, Matthew celebrates by inviting Jesus for a meal. Pope Francis said it reminded him of what Jesus said in the Gospel of St. Luke, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who have no need of repentance.”

But, the pope said, the Pharisees saw Jesus with Matthew and were scandalized that he would eat with tax collectors and sinners.

The Pharisees were people who continually repeated, “The law says this, doctrine says that,” the pope said. “But they forgot the first commandment of love and were closed in a cage of sacrifices, (saying), ‘We make our sacrifices to God, we keep the Sabbath, we do all we should and so we’ll be saved.'”

But, the pope said, “God saves us, Jesus Christ saves us and these men did not understand. They felt secure; they thought salvation came from them.”

In the same way today, he said, “we often hear faithful Catholics who see mercy at work and ask, ‘Why?'”

There are “many, many, always, even in the church today,” the pope said. “They say, ‘No, no you can’t, it’s all clear, they are sinners, we must send them away.'”

But, Pope Francis said, Jesus himself answered them when he said, “I have come not to call the just, but sinners.” So, “if you want to be called by Jesus, recognize you are a sinner.”

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 4 hours


Mark your calendar for Thursday Nights for Theology on Tap in Dayton. It all takes place at Oregon Express, 336 E 5th St. in Dayton. For a map, click here

Fellowship begins at 7:00 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. the evening talk will begin.

This Fall’s Theme: Made for More, a look at Modern Sainthood.

The Schedule

Thursday September 28th: Father Greg Konerman discusses Active Waiting

Thursday October 5th: Trevor Gundlach on Learning how to Celebrate!

Thursday October 12th: Nealy Mechly looks at Grace and Graciousness

Thursday October 19th: Kathleen Murphy guides you on Discernment: Acquiring the Heart of God

Thursday October 26th: Chris Komoroski on The Power of Silence in a Noisy World.

Theology on Tap is a six-week series for young adults to meet other young adults in the area ages 20-39.

Theology on Tap is sponsored by Renew, International

 

2 days 5 hours
Stephen T. Badin High School (Courtesy Photo)Stephen T. Badin High School (Courtesy Photo)

The Badin High School Hall of Honor, continuing to be one of the most prestigious recognitions the school can bestow, will induct its fourth class at the annual dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Hamilton.

“It’s great to see how enthusiastic our constituents have become about this annual event,” said Kim Graham ’96, the alumni director at Badin High School. “It’s a pleasure to be able to recognize people and groups who have made such a difference here and in the four corners of the world around us.”

Hall of Honor inductees for 2017 include:

• Sally Kocher, the Father Francis J. Miller Award for Distinguished Faculty/Staff
• Cleo Becker Ketay ’43, the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award (posthumously)
• John Goldrick ’58, the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
• Peggy Weisbrodt LaPorte ’68, the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
• Hugh Anderson ’05, the Distinguished Young Alumni Achievement Award
• Walt Bonner ’37, the Heart of Badin Award (posthumously)
• Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the Stephen T. Badin Legacy Award

The Badin Hall of Honor is dedicated to honoring the outstanding achievements of graduates, faculty, staff, and members of the Badin community and its predecessor schools, Hamilton Catholic (all boys) and Notre Dame (all girls), which came together in the fall of 1966 to form Badin.
Members of the Hall of Honor represent the mission of Badin High School – to inspire young men and women to achieve their personal best, live their faith, and lead the future. They make a difference in the world around us through their actions, both large and small.

Among their accomplishments:

Sally Kocher was a 40-year member of the Badin faculty and left a lasting legacy. She was the first female athletic director in the state of Ohio and guided Badin into the Catholic athletic leagues of Greater Cincinnati.

The late Cleo Becker Ketay ’43 is being honored for tireless volunteer work for the residents of Butler County through the Sheriff’s Office, Pyramid Hill, and many other civic organizations.

John Goldrick ’58 served multiple tours in the Peace Corps and subsequently worked in student affairs at the University of Notre Dame and University of Portland.

Peggy Weisbrodt LaPorte ’68 founded the non-profit organization Fusion in Federal Way, Washington. Fusion provides transitional housing for families facing homelessness. In 2015, Peggy was named the “Washingtonian of the Year.”

Hugh Anderson ’05 is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a jet fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. Capt. Anderson was the 2017 recipient of the Alfred A. Cunningham Award as the Marine Corps Aviator of the Year.

The late Walt Bonner ’37 was a volunteer at Badin for more than four decades. He overcame a serious speech impediment to be known far and wide for his love of the school and his deep knowledge and support of the sporting activities of the Rams.

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur were responsible for the creation and running of Notre Dame High School in Hamilton from 1886 to 1966. They then moved to Badin High in 1967 to continue educating the youth of Hamilton.

The Hall of Honor event serves as a kickoff to Homecoming festivities. After Wednesday night’s dinner, the honorees will be recognized at a morning assembly at Badin on Thursday, Sept. 28, be part of the Homecoming parade Friday night, Sept. 29, and then introduced at halftime of the Rams’ football game with Fenwick at Virgil Schwarm Stadium.

The Hall of Honor dinner begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and appetizers, followed by the meal and ceremony at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $75 and there will be a cash bar. All proceeds from the Hall of Honor event benefit the students of Badin High School.

For tickets, contact Graham at Badin, (513) 863-3993, ext. 128, or purchase them through the Badin website — badinhs.org – under the Alumni tab.

2 days 6 hours

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The shouts of joy and cries of despair that greeted Pope Francis’ recent changes to canon law regarding liturgical texts appear to be exaggerated.

The changes can be read as part of Pope Francis’ efforts to promote a “healthy decentralization” of church structures, said Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai. “It makes clear the responsibility of the (bishops’) conferences” in preparing faithful translations. “But this is, more or less, the procedure we have been following.”

“Just a few words have been changed” in canon law, so “we will have to see how it goes in the concrete,” said the cardinal, who is a member of the international Council of Cardinals advising the pope on church governance and is a former member of Vox Clara, the committee that advises the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments on liturgical translations in English.

The document, “Magnum Principium” (“The Great Principle”), was released by the Vatican Sept. 9. It changes two clauses in canon 838 of the Code of Canon Law: from “reviewing” translations, the Holy See now is asked to “recognize adaptations approved by the episcopal conference”; and bishops’ conferences, rather than being called “to prepare and publish” translations, are now called to prepare them “faithfully” and then to approve and publish them “after the confirmation of the Apostolic See.”

In a note published with the text, Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the worship congregation, said under the new rules, the Vatican’s “confirmatio” of a translation is “ordinarily granted based on trust and confidence” and “supposes a positive evaluation of the faithfulness and congruence of the texts produced with respect to the typical Latin text.”

Reactions varied widely. Steve Skojec, publisher and director of the blog OnePeterFive.com, called it “a ticking time bomb” and said, “When it comes to the liturgy of the universal church, episcopal conferences are quite simply out of their depth.”

Father Michael G. Ryan, the pastor of the cathedral in Seattle, who had led a campaign to delay implementation of the current English translation, asked in America magazine, “Will our bishops respond to this invitation and take a hard look at the woefully inadequate translation we are currently using? We can only hope and pray that their pastoral concern and commitment to liturgical celebrations that are both beautiful and intelligible will prompt them to walk through the door that Pope Francis has opened.”

Neither Cardinal Gracias nor Msgr. Markus Graulich, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, expect a change anytime soon in the English translation of the Mass.

Pope Francis’ document, however, could have a more immediate impact on what German- and French-speaking Catholics hear at Mass. The German bishops shelved their translation in 2013; they will discuss the new document at their general assembly in late September. A new French translation of the Mass already was under discussion by the Vatican and French-speaking bishops’ conferences, but it has not yet been approved by the conferences and formally submitted to the Vatican.

The new document “gives a little endorsement now to (bishops’) conferences and, in that sense, it’s certainly in the direction of what the Holy Father wants: that conferences take more responsibility and healthy decentralization,” Cardinal Gracias told Catholic News Service Sept. 19.

“The word ‘fidelity’ added (to canon law) is from ‘Liturgiam Authenticam,'” he said, referring to the 2001 instruction on translations, which was issued by the worship congregation.The pope’s changes to canon law confirm its teaching, although “minor modifications” are possible now.

“I have a feeling this will open the door” to small national or regional changes, for example in the English text in Africa versus India or North America, the cardinal said. “My personal opinion is that it is very convenient to have one translation for the whole world, but if there are such serious difficulties, I don’t think we should force them” to accept a unified translation. He, like Msgr. Graulich, cited the example of bishops in Africa who said that having the people respond to the priest, “And with your spirit” creates difficulties in societies still influenced by animism or belief in witchcraft.

“The door is slightly ajar now for some variety,” Cardinal Gracias said.

The idea, though, that any English-speaking bishop would propose starting the English translation over again is “absolutely ridiculous,” he said. The current Missal is “a great improvement” over what existed before, and “nobody has an appetite for big changes now.”

From a canon law point of view, the document “does not really strengthen episcopal conferences, but it tries to put on a better base the collaboration between the Holy See and the bishops’ conferences, because there have been some problems in the last few years,” Msgr. Graulich said. “It’s a question whether the Holy See can really evaluate, as bishops’ conferences can do, what is a proper translation.”

But, inserting the Latin word “fideliter” into canon law means the translation has to be done in accordance with “Liturgiam Authenticam,” he said. “You are not free to make a translation that ‘more or less’ reports the text, but you have to do a translation that is as true as possible to the Latin original.”

At the same time, Msgr. Graulich said, the new law encourages collaboration between bishops and the Vatican in judging what constitutes a faithful translation into a specific language.

The German translation that has been stalled since 2013 was “a very literal translation,” he said. “If I as a celebrant don’t understand what I read the first time, how will people in the pews understand it if they only hear it?”

“You have structures of language in Latin — and Italian and Spanish — that we don’t have in German,” he said, referring to grammar and, especially, verb tenses.

The obligation, which Pope Francis formally added to canon law, that translations be “faithful” to the Latin is the responsibility of the bishops’ conference doing the translation, he said, “but then, as the Holy See has to confirm that, it is a second check. It’s more check and balance” than shifting power.

– – –

Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 7 hours
Heavy wind caused by Hurricane Irma is seen in Miami Sept. 10. (CNS Heavy wind caused by Hurricane Irma is seen in Miami Sept. 10. (CNS photo/Carlos Barria)

Neighbor helping neighbor. Father Enrique Camacho, executive director of Caritas Puerto Rico, took to the air via a National Guard of Puerto Rico helicopter and delivered food, water, solar lamps, batteries and other supplies to the main office of Catholic Charities of the U.S. Virgin Islands (CCVI) on St. Thomas. Andrea Shillingford, executive director of CCVI, received the supplies gratefully on behalf of the people. She said that they do not feel alone because of the big and wonderful family they have in Catholic Charities.

CCUSA has deployed its Mobile Response Center (MRC) vehicle to Texas. It is currently in Houston, Texas, assisting with response efforts.

Donations to CCUSA’s Disaster Relief will be used to support Catholic Charities agencies’ efforts to assist families and individuals with shelter, food, and other necessities.

Our agencies provide essential support before, during and after disasters hit. In fact, long-term recovery is an integral part of Catholic Charities’ holistic approach and we work tirelessly to ensure individuals can live their lives with the dignity we all deserve. This service is provided to the community regardless of religion, social or economic background.

To give to Hurricane Response of both Harvey, Irma, and Maria go to https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/CCUSADISASTER

Editor’s Note: Since this article, Hurricane Maria has pummeled Dominica, some of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

 

2 days 7 hours

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has endorsed an approach of “zero tolerance” toward all members of the church guilty of sexually abusing minors or vulnerable adults.

Having listened to abuse survivors and having made what he described as a mistake in approving a more lenient set of sanctions against an Italian priest abuser, the pope said he has decided whoever has been proven guilty of abuse has no right to an appeal, and he will never grant a papal pardon.

“Why? Simply because the person who does this (sexually abuses minors) is sick. It is a sickness,” he told his advisory commission on child protection during an audience at the Vatican Sept. 21. Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, including its president — Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston — were meeting in Rome Sept. 21-23 for their plenary assembly.

Setting aside his prepared text, the pope said he wanted to speak more informally to the members, who include lay and religious experts in the fields of psychology, sociology, theology and law in relation to abuse and protection.

The Catholic Church has been “late” in facing and, therefore, properly addressing the sin of sexual abuse by its members, the pope said, and the commission, which he established in 2014, has had to “swim against the tide” because of a lack of awareness or understanding of the seriousness of the problem.

“When consciousness comes late, the means for resolving the problem comes late,” he said. “I am aware of this difficulty. But it is the reality: We have arrived late.”

“Perhaps,” he said, “the old practice of moving people” from one place to another and not fully facing the problem “lulled consciences to sleep.”

But, he said, “prophets in the church,” including Cardinal O’Malley, have, with the help of God, come forward to shine light on the problem of abuse and to urge the church to face it.

Typically when the church has had to deal with new or newly emerging problems, it has turned to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to address the issue, he said. And then, only when the problem has been dealt with adequately does the process for dealing with future cases get handed over to another dicastery, he added.

Because the problem of cases and allegations of abuse are “grave” — and because it also is grave that some have not adequately taken stock of the problem — it is important the doctrinal congregation continue to handle the cases, rather than turning them over directly to Vatican tribunals, as some have suggested.

However, he said, the doctrinal congregation will need more personnel to work on cases of abuse in order to expedite the “many cases that do not proceed” with the backlog.

Pope Francis told commission members he wants to better balance the membership of the doctrinal team dealing with appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse. He said the majority of members are canon lawyers, and he would like to balance out their more legalistic approach with more members who are diocesan bishops and have had to deal with abuse in their diocese.

He also said proof that an ordained minister has abused a minor “is sufficient (reason) to receive no recourse” for an appeal. “If there is proof. End of story,” the pope said; the sentence “is definitive.”

And, he added, he has never and would never grant a papal pardon to a proven perpetrator.

The reasoning has nothing to do with being mean-spirited, but because an abuser is sick and is suffering from “a sickness.”

The pope told the commission he has been learning “on the job” better ways to handle priests found guilty of abuse, and he recounted a decision he has now come to regret: that of agreeing to a more lenient sanction against an Italian priest, rather than laicizing him as the doctrinal team recommended.

Two years later the priest abused again, and Pope Francis said he has since learned “it’s a terrible sickness” that requires a different approach.

– – –

Follow Glatz on Twitter: @CarolGlatz.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 8 hours

Week 4 Schedule

Archbishop Alter Knights (3-1) 42 vs. Carroll Patriots (1-3) 19
Bishop Fenwick Falcons (1-3) 2  at Chaminade Julienne Eagles (2-2) 14
Carroll Patriots (1-3) 19 at Archbishop Alter Knights (3-1) 42
Catholic Central Irish (2-2) 7 vs. West Liberty Salem (4-0) 44
Chaminade Julienne Eagles (2-2) 14 vs. Bishop Fenwick Falcons (1-3) 2
Elder Panthers (3-1) 7 at St. Edward (Cleveland) (4-0) 40
LaSalle Lancers (4-0) 28 vs. Scott County KY (3-2), 14
Lehman Cavaliers (3-1) 62 at Ridgemont (0-4) 8
Moeller Fighting Crusaders (3-1) 55 vs. Lafayette (Lexington KY) (1-4) 6
McNicholas Rockets (3-1) 31 at Roger Bacon Spartans (2-2) 14
Purcell Marian Cavaliers (1-3) 12 vs. Stephen T. Badin Rams (3-1) 42
Roger Bacon Spartans (2-2) 14 vs. McNicholas Rockets (2-1) 31
Saint Xavier Bombers (4-0) 31 vs. Cathedral (Indianapolis IN) (1-4) 7
Stephen T. Badin Rams (3-1) 42  at Purcell Marian Cavaliers (1-2) 12
Summit Country Day Silver Knights (3-1) 56 vs. Clark Montessori (3-0) 7

Week # 5

Archbishop Alter Knights (3-1) at Bishop Fenwick Falcons (1-2), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Bishop Fenwick Falcons (1-3) vs. Archbishop Alter Knights (3-1), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Carroll Patriots (1-3) vs. Chaminade Julienne Eagles (2-2), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Catholic Central Irish (2-2) at West Jefferson (4-0), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Chaminade Julienne Eagles (2-2) at Carroll Patriots (1-3), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Elder Panthers (3-1) vs. St. Ignatius (Cleveland) (4-0), Saturday, September 23rd at 2:00 p.m.
LaSalle Lancers (4-0) vs. Winton Woods (4-0), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Lehman Cavaliers (3-1) vs. Elgin (Marion) (3-1), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Moeller Fighting Crusaders (3-1) vs. Saint Xavier Bombers (4-0), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
McNicholas Rockets (3-1) at Purcell Marian Cavaliers (1-3), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Purcell Marian Cavaliers (1-3) vs. McNicholas Rockets (3-1), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Roger Bacon Spartans (2-2) at Stephen T. Badin Rams (3-1), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Saint Xavier Bombers (4-0) at Moeller Fighting Crusaders (3-1), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Stephen T. Badin Rams (3-1) vs. Roger Bacon Spartans (2-2), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Summit Country Day Silver Knights (3-1) vs. St. Bernard Elmwood Place (3-1), Friday September 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

Archdiocese of Cincinnati Standings*

Saint Xavier Bombers (4-0) Ohio Ranking # 1, National Ranking #22
LaSalle
Lancers (4-0) Ohio Ranking # 4, National Ranking # 51
Moeller Fighting Crusaders (3-1) Ohio Ranking #12, National Ranking # 150
Elder Panthers (3-1) Ohio Ranking #24, National Ranking # 338
Archbishop Alter Knights (3-1) Ohio Ranking # 90, National Ranking #1,387
McNicholas Rockets (3-1) Ohio Ranking #129, National Ranking #2,048
Lehman Cavaliers (3-1) Ohio Ranking # 217, National Ranking # 3,529
Stephen T. Badin Rams (3-1) Ohio Ranking # 243, National Ranking # 3,893
Summit Country Day Silver Knights (3-1) Ohio Ranking at #481; National Ranking #8,804
Chaminade Julienne Eagles (2-2) Ohio Ranking #141, National Ranking # 2,202
Roger Bacon Spartans (2-2) Ohio Ranking # 361, National Ranking #6,233
Catholic Central Irish (2-2) Ohio Ranking # 543, National Ranking #10,234
Bishop Fenwick Falcons (1-3) Ohio Ranking # 224, National Ranking 1, #3,608
Carroll Patriots (1-3) Ohio Ranking #398, National Raking # 6,893
Purcell Marian Cavaliers (1-3) Ohio Ranking # 515, National Ranking # 9,535
*Rankings at MaxPreps.com

 

2 days 12 hours

Only elementary school in the Montgomery County

Dayton, September 10, 2017 – Bishop Leibold School has received exciting news that the school has been selected by the Ohio Academy of Science to receive the Governor’s Thomas Edison Awards for Excellence in STEM Education and Student Research for the seventh year in a row ! “These schools and teachers push the boundaries of the traditional classroom by advising and mentoring student originated research and other hands-on experiences”, said Michael E. Woytek, the Academy’s CEO.

Bishop Leibold School is:
● One of just 58 elementary and high schools statewide to receive the award
● The only public or private elementary school in Montgomery County to receive the award
● One of two Catholic elementary schools (among 90) in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to receive the award

Some highlights surrounding the Bishop Leibold School STEM program based on the award criteria include:

1. 24 Bishop Leibold junior high students who represent all three of our parishes, St. Henry, Our Lady of Good
Hope, and St. Mary of the Assumption, advanced to the Montgomery County Science Day.
2. 9 Bishop Leibold 7th and 8th-grade students advanced to the State Science Day. Students included:
○ Katie Cool
○ Cassie Eckert
○ Camille Fultz
○ Ashley Gebhardt
○ John Gilbert
○ Arpita Gulati
○ Owen Major
○ Molly Noga
3. 14 Bishop Leibold teachers were among the 509 teachers recognized statewide
4. Over 100 students participated in our STEMpm after school program last year.

“This award speaks to the strong Science and Math programs that are established at our school” says Beth Allaire,
STEM Coordinator for Bishop Leibold. “this was a team effort, and our STEM program fosters the skills needed to
engage in scientific investigation.”

More information about the STEM program at Bishop Leibold School can be found online at www.bishopleibold.org

2 days 12 hours

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From:
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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday made a surprise visit to a Rome rehabilitation centre for patients with neurological diseases. A statement from the Holy See press office said the afternoon visit was a continuation of the ‘Fridays of Mercy’ initiative that he inaugurated during the recent Jubilee Year to encourage practical gestures of solidarity with those most in need. The Santa Lucia Foundation, located to the south of Rome’s city centre, is well known for its quality care of patients affected by physical or mental disabilities resulting from strokes, bone marrow diseases, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Pope Francis was welcomed by the director and staff of the centre, as well as by the patients and their family members. The Holy Father spent time talking and laughing with many of the young children, watching with particular interest as he was shown some of the exercises which help them to regain their mobility. He also met with older patients, aged between 15 and 25, many of whom suffer from severe disabilities as a result of car accidents. Before leaving the centre, the pope visited a gym providing rehabilitation for the elderly and then spent a few minutes in prayer in a chapel located on the premises. (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 7 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday urged Churches in Europe to step up efforts to combat intolerance, discrimination and xenophobia against migrants and refugees. The pope’s words came in a meeting with national migration directors under the auspices of the Council of European Bishops Conferences or CCEE. He said he was saddened to see that Catholic communities in Europe were also defensive and unwelcoming towards migrants, justifying their attitudes on grounds of conserving their cultural and religious identity. Listen:  Pope Francis said we must recognize and understand this sense of unease, in light of the economic crisis which has left deep wounds in society. Furthermore, he said, governments and communities have been ill prepared to cope with large influxes of migrants, highlighting the limits of the European unification process. Churches become more 'catholic' But from an ecclesiological perspective , the pope said, the arrival of so many Christian brothers and sisters offers the Church in Europe an opportunity to become ever more ‘catholic’. He noted how many migrants and refugees have already enriched parishes in their host countries. Ecumenical and interreligious dialogue From a missionary perspective , he said, ministering to migrants offers new frontiers to announce the Gospel and to witness to our Christian faith, while showing profound respect for other faith traditions. These encounters are fertile ground for developing sincere ecumenical and interreligious relations, he said. Welcome, protect, promote, integrate Pope Francis also noted that in his message for next year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees , he speaks in detail about the need to welcome, protect, promote and integrate all people on the move.  On the basis of these four verbs, he said, the Vatican office for migrants and refugees has published a 20 point action plan for local Churches seeking to promote best practices. Constructive dialogue with governments This action plan, he added, should be shared with all  European bishops conferences, helping to promote constructive dialogue with governments ahead of the Global Compact for Migration , due to be draw up and approved at a United Nations conference in 2018. (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 11 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has given money to the earthquake relief effort in Mexico to help survivors and victims’ families in the worst hit areas of the country. The Vatican said on Thursday that an initial contribution of 150.000 dollars would be sent through the Dicastery for Integral Human Development . The money will be divided between emergency relief efforts in the dioceses worst hit by the earthquake . The 7.1 quake on Tuesday caused at least 250 deaths and widespread damage in the capital and surrounding areas. The donation, which is intended to show the pope’s solidarity and spiritual closeness to those affected by the disaster, is a small part of the financial support being sent to Mexico through many bishops conferences and Caritas organisations . (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 8 hours
(Vatican Radio) Father Stanley Rother, the first American-born martyr in the history of the Church is being beatified in Oklahoma City on September 23rd. The U.S. priest was gunned down in Guatamala in 1981 shortly after taking the heroic decision to return to his mission parish in the Central American nation despite knowing his name was on a death list there. Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda is the author of a biography about this American martyr, entitled, ‘The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run.’ She spoke to Susy Hodges about Father Stanley’s life, his mission and why it made such an impact on her. Listen to this interview by Maria Scaperlanda:  A U.S. Catholic writer and blogger, Scaperlanda was involved in collecting documentation for Father Stanley’s beatification cause.  She described how the priest grew up in a farming family and was used to being very “hands-on” when it came to tilling the land and fixing whatever was broken and he used those same skills to help the people in his mission parish in a remote area of Guatamala. “Heart wrenching” decision Asked about Father Stanley’s decision to return to his parish in Guatamala following a stay with his family in his native U.S. despite the death threats made against him Scaperlanda said it must have been “really really difficult ..... and heart wrenching” for him.  She likened it to Jesus’ mental torment in the Garden of Gethsamene shortly before his arrest and crucifixion. “The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run” Scaperlanda explained how the title for her book about Father Stanley “The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run” was taken from the priest’s words in a letter he wrote shortly before his return to Guatamala where he wrote that “a shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.” “A great model for all Americans” By choosing “to stand with his people” Father Stanley is “a model of faithful discipleship,” she said. He was an “ordinary man” who did “an amazing thing” and as such “can teach us to live holy lives.” This first U.S.-born martyr is “a great model for all Americans,” she said.  (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 10 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Mass on Thursday – the Feast of St. Matthew , Apostle and Evangelist – in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. In remarks following the Readings of the Day, which included St. Matthew’s own account of his conversion and calling into discipleship, the Holy Father focused on the three stages of the episode: calling, feasting, and scandal. Jesus had just healed a paralytic, when He met Matthew – a tax-collector, hence a figure despised by Jewish authorities and considered a traitor to his land and people – sitting at the customs desk. Jesus looked at him and said, “Follow me,” and Matthew got up and followed Him Recalling Caravaggio’s famous depiction of the scene, Pope Francis spoke of Matthew’s “sidelong look” with one eye on Our Savior and the other on his purse: a look that was even stand-offish, if not outright aggressive. Then, there was the merciful gaze of Jesus, which communicated such overwhelming love that the resistance of the man who wanted the money, “fails”: Matthew got up and followed Him. Click below to hear our report “It is the struggle between mercy and sin,” Pope Francis said Jesus’ love was able to enter into the heart of that man, Matthew, because he “knew he was a sinner,” he knew “he was not loved by anyone,” and was even despised. It was precisely “that sinful conscience, which opened the door to the mercy of Jesus.” So, “[Matthew] left everything” and went on a new journey with Our Lord. This is the encounter between the sinner and Jesus: “This is the first condition of salvation: feeling oneself in danger. It is the first condition of healing: feeling sick. Feeling sinful is the first condition of receiving this gaze of mercy. But let us think of the look of Jesus, so beautiful, so good, so merciful. And we, too, when we pray, we feel this look upon us; it is the look of love, the gaze of mercy, the gaze that saves us. Do not be afraid.” Matthew – like Zaccheus – feeling happy, invited Jesus to come home to eat. The second stage is indeed “the party” – one of festivity. Matthew invited friends, “those of the same trade,” sinners and publicans. The Pope said this recalls the words of Jesus in Chapter XV of Luke’s Gospel: “There will be more feasting in Heaven for a sinner who converts than for one hundred just men who will remain just.” This is the feast of the Father's meeting, the feast of mercy. Pope Francis said that Jesus is profligate with mercy, mercy for all. Then comes the third moment: that of scandal The Pharisees saw that publicans and sinners were at table with Jesus, and said to His disciples, “How is your Master eating with publicans and sinners?” Thus, Pope Francis noted, “Always a scandal begins with this phrase: ‘But how come?’” He went on to say, “When you hear this sentence, it smells,” and “scandal follows.” They were, in essence, scandalized by “the impurity of not following the law.” They knew “the Doctrine” very well, knew how to go “on the way of the Kingdom of God,” knew “better than anyone how things ought to have been done,” but “had forgotten the first commandment, of love.” Then, "”hey were locked in the cage of sacrifices,” perhaps thinking, “But let's make a sacrifice to God, let us do all we have to do, “so we are saved.” In summary, they believed that salvation came from themselves, they felt safe. “"No,” said Pope  Francis. “God saves us, saves us Jesus Christ”: “That ‘how come?’, which we’ve heard so many times from Catholics when they saw works of mercy. How come? Jesus is clear, He is very clear: ‘Go and learn.’ He sent them to learn, right? ‘Go and learn what mercy means. [That’s what] I want, and not sacrifices, for I did not come to call the righteous but the sinners.’ If you want to be called by Jesus, recognize yourself a sinner.” If you would receive mercy, recognize yourselves as sinners Francis exhorted us, therefore, to recognize ourselves as sinners, not guilty of “sin” in the abstract but guilty of “concrete sins”: so many “we all have committed them,” he said. “Let us look on Jesus with that merciful glance full of love,” he continued. While still dwelling on the scandal, he noted that there are so many: “There are so many, many – and always, even in the Church today. They say, ‘No, you cannot, it’s all clear, it’s all, no, no – those are sinners, we have to turn them away.’ Many saints have also been persecuted or suspected. We think of St. Joan of Arc, sent to the stake, because they thought she was a witch, and condemned her. A saint! Think of Saint Teresa, suspected of heresy, think of Bl. [Antonio] Rosmini. ‘Mercy I desire, and not sacrifices.’ And the door to meet Jesus is recognizing ourselves as we are: the truth [about orselves], [that we are] Sinners. And he comes, and we meet. It is very beautiful to meet Jesus.” (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 11 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has reiterated his pledge to combat the evil of clerical sex abuse affirming that at all levels, the Church will continue to respond applying the firmest of measures to “all those who have betrayed their call and abused God's children. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni : He was addressing members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors gathered for their Plenary Assembly. The Commission is an institution that was established by the Pope to propose initiatives that ensure that crimes that have occurred are no longer repeated in the Church.    In prepared remarks and after having listened to the greetings of Commission President, Cardinal O’Malley and other members of the Commission, Pope Francis said “I wish to share with you the profound pain I feel in my soul for the situation of abused children, as I have had occasion to do recently several times”.  Painful experience for the Church Describing the sex abuse scandal as a terrible evil for the whole of humanity, the Pope said it has also been a very painful experience for the Church: “We are ashamed of the abuses committed by holy ministers, who should be the most trustworthy”.  “Let me say quite clearly that sexual abuse is a horrible sin, completely opposite and in contradiction to what Christ and the Church teach us” he said.  Recalling the fact that he has had the privilege of listening to the stories that victims and survivors of abuses have wanted to share, Pope Francis observed that meetings such as these continue to nourish the personal commitment of all involved in the Commission to do everything possible to combat this evil and eliminate it.  The Church to respond at all levels with the firmest measures  “That is why, I reiterate today once again that the Church, at all levels, will respond with the application of the firmest measures against all those who have betrayed their call and abused the children of God” he said.  The Pope stressed that the disciplinary measures must apply to all those who work in the institutions of the Church, but he pointed out that “the primary responsibility lies with Bishops, priests and religious”: those who have received from the Lord the vocation to offer their lives to serving the Church and this includes “the vigilant protection of all vulnerable children, young people and adults”.  “For this reason, the Church irrevocably and at all levels seeks to apply the principle of "zero tolerance" against sexual abuse of minors” he said. The Pope recalled his Motu Proprio entitled “As a Loving Mother” that was promulgated on the basis of a proposal by the Commission and in reference to the principle of responsibility in the Church. He said it addresses the cases of Diocesan Bishops, Eparches and Superior Generals of religious institutes who, through negligence, have carried out or omitted acts that may have caused serious harm to others, whether individuals or a community as a whole (see Article 1). He said that over the last three years, since its establishment the Commission has consistently emphasized the most important principles guiding the Church's efforts to protect all vulnerable children and adults, thus fulfilling the mission entrusted to it as a "consultative function in the service of the Holy Father", offering its experience "in order to promote the responsibility of particular Churches in the protection of all minors and vulnerable adults" (Statute, Article 1). Pope Francis said he was delighted to learn that many particular Churches have adopted the Commission’s recommendation for a Day of Prayer, and for dialogue with victims and survivors of abuses, as well as with representatives of victim organizations.  “It is also encouraging to know how many Episcopal Conferences and Conferences of Superior Generals have sought your advice regarding the Guidelines for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults” he said.  Value of sharing best practices He emphasized the value of sharing best practices - especially for those Churches that have fewer resources for this crucial work of protection – and encouraged the Commission to continue its collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples “so that these practices may be inculturated in the different Churches around the world”. Lastly, Pope Francis praised the many initiatives that offer opportunities for learning, education and training promoted by the Commission as well as the fact that a presentation made last week to new bishops has been so favorably received. “These educational programs offer the kind of resources that will enable Dioceses, Religious Institutes and all Catholic institutions to adopt and implement the most effective materials for this work”. The Church: a place of piety and compassion  The Pope concluded his address highlighting the fact that the Church is called to be a place of piety and compassion, especially for those who have suffered.  “For all of us, the Catholic Church remains a field hospital that accompanies us on our spiritual journey. It is the place where we can sit with others, listen to them and share with them our struggles and our faith in the good news of Jesus Christ. I am fully confident that the Commission will continue to be a place where we can listen with interest to the voices of the victims and the survivors. Because we have much to learn from them and their personal stories of courage and perseverance” he said. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 12 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with the Italian Antimafia Parliamentary Commission  in the Vatican. In his prepared remarks to the group, the Holy Father began by recalling 3 high profile figures killed by the mafia, Magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who were killed 25 years ago and Servant of God, Rosario Livatino, killed on September 21, 1990. Corruption The Pope, during his address underlined how “corruption always finds a way to justify itself, presenting itself as the "normal" condition, the solution for those who are "shrewd", the way to reach ones goals.” The Pope went on to say that, “it has a contagious and parasitic nature, because it does not nourish what good produces, but how it subtracts and robs.” Authentic Politics Authentic politics, said Pope Francis, “the one we recognize as an important form of charity, works instead to ensure a future of hope and to promote the dignity of each person. It is precisely because of this, he added, that it sees the struggle against mafias as a priority, since they steal the common good, taking away peoples hope and dignity. Fighting mafias, the Holy Father continued, means not only repressing them. “It also means reclaiming, transforming, building, and this entails two levels of commitment.” The first is the political one, through greater social justice, because mafias, he said,  put themselves forward as an alternative system in the area where rights and opportunities are lacking: work, home, education, and health care. Economic commitment The second level of commitment, said the Pope is the economic one, through the correction or removal of those mechanisms that generate inequality and poverty everywhere. This dual level, political and economic, noted Pope Francis, presupposes another no less essential element, that is the construction of a new civil consciousness, the only one that can lead to true liberation from mafias.   (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 12 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Latest News Releases from USCCB
Posted

WASHINGTON— Bishop Frank J. Dewane and Bishop Oscar Cantú voiced their support for the Climate Solutions Commission Act of 2017, a bill that would establish a bipartisan National Climate Solutions Commission.

"This bill has the potential to inspire positive and concrete solutions towards protecting our common home," said Bishops Dewane and Cantú. They urged legislators to support H.R. 2326, a bill introduced by Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) who is a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.

Bishop Dewane is the Bishop of Venice, Florida and chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Bishop Cantú is the Bishop of Las Cruces, and chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the USCCB.

The chairmen, in a joint letter of support to each of the sponsors, noted that this would be "an important bipartisan step for protecting the environment and mitigating the harmful effects of climate change." There is a need, said the bishops, for "courageous actions and strategies aimed at promoting an integral ecology that considers together the protection of nature, the need for equitable economic development and the promotion of human dignity, especially that of the poor."

The full letter can be found at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/environment/letter-to-congress-on-climate-solutions-commission-act-2017-09-15.cfm.

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Keywords:  Bishop Oscar Cantú, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Bishop Frank Dewane, Venice, Florida, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Pope Francis, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, climate change, creation, environment, Laudato Si'.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

1 day 8 hours

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the impact of Hurricane Maria. The storm has devastated Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dominica. Now downgraded to Category-3 winds, the storm is expected to bring more heavy rain and flash floods as it makes landfall later today in the Turks and Caicos.

Full statement follows:

"Just as we begin to assess the material and emotional damage of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the devastation of yet another storm, Hurricane Maria, has struck the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dominica, and has battered Puerto Rico with catastrophic effects unprecedented in the island's modern history. I exhort the faithful to solidarity in this time of great need for our brothers and sisters in harm's way—many of whom have been hit repeatedly by the successive hurricanes.

"Casting aside any temptation to despair, and full of hope in the loving Providence of God, we pray that our Father may receive unto his loving presence those who have lost their lives, may he comfort the grieving, and may he fortify the courage and resilience of those whose lives have been uprooted by these disasters. May he extend the might of his right hand and bid the sea be 'quiet' and 'still' (Mark 4:39)."

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, Turks and Caicos Islands, solidarity.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

1 day 14 hours

WASHINGTON—On September 21, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin called on the U.S. Senate to "think of the harm that will be caused to poor and vulnerable people" by provisions contained in the "Graham-Cassidy" health care legislation. They urged Senators to "amend the legislation while retaining its positive features."

"The Graham-Cassidy bill includes a Medicaid 'per capita cap' that was part of previous bills which have been rejected," said the Bishops. "The Medicaid caps will fundamentally restructure this vital program which supports the medical needs of those most in need. Over time, these modifications will result in deep funding cuts and lost coverage for millions of people," the chairmen cautioned. "Our nation must not attempt to address its fiscal concerns by placing an insufferable health care burden on the backs of the poor."

The Bishop-chairmen called on the Senate to keep protections found in Graham-Cassidy that ensure that no federal funds are used for abortion or go to plans that cover it. "This improvement is praiseworthy, and it is essential that any improved final bill retain these key provisions which would finally address grave moral problems in our current health care system," they said. "We also applaud that Graham-Cassidy redirects funds from organizations that provide abortion."

Cardinal Dolan is chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Lori chairs the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Dewane heads the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Vásquez is the USCCB chairman of the Committee on Migration.

The Bishops urged the Senate to work together to address looming health care problems for the good of all. "Decisions about the health of our citizens—a concern fundamental to each of us—should not be made in haste simply because an artificial deadline looms. The far-reaching implications of Congress' actions are too significant for that kind of governance," they said. "Instead, the common good should call you to come together in a bi-partisan way to pass thoughtful legislation that addresses the life, conscience, immigrant access, market stability and affordability problems that now exist."

The full letter can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/upload/Senate-Cassidy-Graham-Letter-multiple-chairman-2017-09-21.pdf



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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Graham-Cassidy, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop William E. Lori, Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, USCCB Committee on Migration, Affordable Care Act, respect for life, human dignity, health care, affordability, abortion, poverty, immigration, conscience.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

1 day 17 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Reliable world news and analysis from a Catholic perspective.
Posted
1 day 15 hours

L’Osservatore Romano has published a front-page article by Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, the president of the newly refounded John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences.

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Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, praised the work of Father Max Seckler on his 90th birthday. Seckler is professor emeritus of fundamental theology at University of Tübingen and thus a colleague of Father Ratzinger in 1960s. When Ratzinger was elected Pope in 2005, Seckler recalled with sadness the verbal abuse Father Ratzinger experienced from students. 1 day 16 hours
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The head of the World Muslim League, Muhammad Al-Issa, also met with Pope Francis. 1 day 17 hours
The Focolare movement was founded in 1943 by the Servant of God Chiara Lubich (1920-2008). 1 day 17 hours
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Click here for background on the case. 1 day 17 hours
“Fighting against the mafias means not only repressing,” the Pontiff told members of the commission—the 4th since 1963. “It also means reclaiming, transforming, and building, and this involves commitment at two levels,” political and economic. 1 day 17 hours
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An apostolic vicariate is typically established in a missionary territory; it is governed by an apostolic vicar in the Roman Pontiff’s name (Canon 371). A diocese, on the other hand, is typically governed by its own bishop. 1 day 18 hours
Pope Francis received in separate audiences the new Lithuanian ambassador, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the apostolic nuncio to Belgium, the members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and the members of Italy’s Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission. 1 day 18 hours
Massimo Spina, who was the treasurer of the Bambino Gesu Hospital foundation, told a Vatican tribunal that he had been assured that the foundation was authorized to spend €400,000 on renovations of the apartment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Spina said that his immediate superior “told me there were no problems because Cardinal Bertone had clarified the situation with the Holy Father in person.” 1 day 23 hours
After Pope Francis acknowledged that Church leaders were late to recognize the problem of clerical abuse, Francis Rocca of the Wall Street Journal observes that the Vatican recently recalled an official at the apostolic nunciature in Washington, DC, who was suspected of involvement in child pornography. Some American bishops would have preferred to have the priest face prosecution in the US. 1 day 23 hours
Speaking on September 22 to a conference of European Church officials focused on migration, Pope Francis said that the worldwide surge in migration offers the Church a “new missionary frontier.”

The Pope said that he is troubled by opposition among Catholics to the acceptance of refugees and migrants. He rejected an argument for restricting immigration “justified by an unspecified ‘moral duty’ to preserve the original cultural and religious identity.”
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The Ashling Hotel in Dublin told Human Life International that it was concerned for the safety of participants and guests, after receiving threats from abortion supporters. 1 day 23 hours
Speaking to a UN session on the conflict in in Syria, Archbishop Richard Gallagher emphasized the “tremendous suffering, affecting millions of innocent children and other civilians” in that country. He insisted that “humanitarian workers must have rapid, safe, and unhindered access wherever there are people in need.”

Archbishop Gallagher also called upon international leaders to increase support for the countries that have accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria; he named Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt.
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Speaking at a UN session on the protection of religious minorities during armed conflict, Archbishop Richard Gallagher observed that “war and conflict often provide the backdrop for religious minorities to be targeted for persecution, sexual and all forms of physical violence, subjugation, false detention, expropriation of property, enslavement, forced exile, murder, ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity.” The archbishop specifically cited as an example the “barbarities committed by ISIS.”

The Vatican’s top foreign-policy official asked world leader to take action, recognize equality before the law, foster education, and “block the flow of money and weapons destined to those intending to use them to target religious minorities.” He added that religious leaders have an obligation to promote dialogue and discourage extremism.
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“The West had three master narratives which we have held since the 17th or 18th century,” writes the former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. “Today, they have all broken down.” 2 days 16 hours
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“From the glory, grace and truth brought by Christ, the people of Japan cannot be excluded,” said Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. “God has not stopped at the doors of this country, which although noble and cultured, awaits the Kingdom of God.” 2 days 17 hours
In a front-page opinion piece in its 9/21 edition, L’Osservatore Romano’s vice editor took President Donald Trump to task for failing to discuss climate change in his UN speech. Giuseppe Fiorentino also said that Trump’s “America first” philosophy runs counter to the need for a multilateral response to climate change and the North Korean threat. 2 days 17 hours
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“Freedom of belief and religion is not truly considered a human right” in Vietnam, the bishops’ conference said in a recent statement. “The authorities spend God knows how much money, resources and personnel to acquire information, conduct discreet inquiries, control religious activities.” 2 days 17 hours
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Pope Francis repeated his assurance that the Church would “respond with the application of the firmest measures” against sexual abuse of children, in his prepared remarks to a September 21 audience with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

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Vatican police have begun removing homeless people who sleep in St. Peter’s Square during the day, in response to disturbances. The homeless are allowed to sleep in the square at night. 2 days 18 hours
On September 20, Pope Francis received the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, which tweeted a video clip of the encounter. 2 days 18 hours
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Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, said that the Holy See is “troubled by the continued lack of progress in achieving the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, in a September 20 address at UN headquarters in New York. The archbishop argued that the ban “is more urgent when one considers contemporary threats to peace.”

The archbishop added: “Nuclear arms offer a false sense of security. The uneasy peace promised by nuclear deterrence has time and time again proved a tragic failure.”

During his visit to the UN, Archbishop Gallagher signed, on behalf of the Vatican, a Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, which will enter into force if and when it is ratified by 50 nations.
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The Society of Jesus has historically played a key role in the Vatican’s offices of public communications, particularly Vatican Radio. The agreement anticipates that the Jesuits will continue to contribute to the work of the new consolidated Secretariat. 2 days 18 hours
Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two Brazilian prelates because of age (both are 75) and named their successors. 2 days 18 hours