Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Vatican Radio REPORT  Below a Vatican Radio translation of Pope Francis’ General Audience catechesis, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. [Original text Italian]:

Dear brothers and sisters, good day!

in the Creed, after having professed faith in the Holy Spirit, we say: "We believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church." There is a deep connection between these two realities of faith: the Holy Spirit gives life to the Church, guides Her steps. Without the presence and the incessant action of the Holy Spirit, the Church could not live and could not accomplish the task that the Risen Jesus has entrusted her; to go and make disciples of all nations (cf. Mt 28:18). Evangelization is the mission of the Church, not just of a few, but my, your, our mission. The Apostle Paul exclaimed: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel" (1 Cor 9:16). Everyone must be evangelizers, especially through with their life! Paul VI pointed out that "... evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize,"(Apostolic Exhortation. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14).

Who is the real engine of evangelization in our lives and in the Church? Paul VI wrote with clarity: "It is the Holy Spirit who, today just as at the beginning of the Church, acts in every evangelizer who allows himself to be possessed and led by Him. The Holy Spirit places on his lips the words which he could not find by himself, and at the same time the Holy Spirit predisposes the soul of the hearer to be open and receptive to the Good News and to the kingdom being proclaimed."(ibid., 75). To evangelize, then, we must be open to the action of the Spirit of God, without fear of what He asks us or where He leads us. Let us entrust ourselves to Him! He enables us to live and bear witness to our faith, and enlighten the hearts of those we meet. This was the Pentecost experience of the Apostles gathered with Mary in the Upper Room, " Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim"(Acts 2:3-4). The Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles, compels them to leave the room in which they had locked themselves in fear, makes them come out of themselves, and turns them into heralds and witnesses of the "mighty works of God" (v. 11). And this transformation wrought by the Holy Spirit is reflected in the crowd that rushed to the scene and which came "from every nation under heaven" (v. 5), so that everyone hears the words of the Apostles as if they were spoken in their own language (v. 6 ).

Here is a first important effect of the Holy Spirit that guides and inspires the proclamation of the Gospel: unity, communion. At Babel, according to the Bible, the dispersion of peoples and the confusion of tongues began, the result of man’s act of arrogance and pride in wanting to build on his own strength, and without God, "a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven "(Gen 11:4). At Pentecost, these divisions are overcome. There is no longer more pride toward God, nor closure towards one another, but there is openness to God, to going out to announce His Word: a new language, that of love that the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5), a language that everyone can understand and which, when welcomed, can be expressed in every life and in every culture. The language of the Spirit, the language of the Gospel is the language of communion, which invites us to overcome closure and indifference, division and conflict. We should all ask ourselves: how do I let myself be guided by the Holy Spirit so that my witness of faith is one of unity and communion? Do I bring the message of reconciliation and love that is the Gospel to the places where I live? Sometimes it seems that what happened at Babel is repeated today; divisions, the inability to understand each other, rivalry, envy, selfishness. What do I do with my life? Do I bring unity? Or do I divide with gossip and envy? Let us ask ourselves this. Bringing the Gospel means we in the first place must live reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, unity, love that the Holy Spirit gives us. Let us remember the words of Jesus: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35).

A second element: on the day of Pentecost, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stands up "with the eleven" and "raided his voice" (Acts 2:14); "proclaimed" (v. 29) the good news of Jesus, who gave His life for our salvation and who God raised from the dead. Here is another effect of the Holy Spirit: Courage! the courage to proclaim the newness of the Gospel of Jesus to all, with self-confidence (parrhesia), in a loud voice, in every time and in every place. And this happens even today for the Church and for each of us: from the fire of Pentecost, from the action of the Holy Spirit, ever new missionary energies are released, new ways in which to proclaim the message of salvation, new courage to evangelize. Never be closed to this action! May we live the Gospel with humility and courage! May we witness the novelty, the hope, the joy that the Lord brings to life. Let us feel within us "the delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing" (Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation. Ap. Evangelii nuntiandi, 80) Because evangelizing, announcing Jesus, evangelizing brings us joy! It energizes us. Being closed up within ourselves brings bitterness. Proclaiming the joy and hope that the Lord brings to world lifts us up!

I will only mention a third element, but it is particularly important: a new evangelization, a Church that evangelizes must always start from prayer, from asking, like the Apostles in the Upper Room, for the fire of the Holy Spirit. Only a faithful and intense relationship with God allows us to leave our enclosures and announce the Gospel with parrhesia. Without prayer our actions become empty and our proclamation soulless, it is not animated by the Spirit.

Dear friends, as said Benedict XVI, the Church today " especially feels the wind of the Holy Spirit that helps us, shows us the right path, and so, with new enthusiasm, we are on our journey and we thank the Lord" (Address to Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, October 27, 2012). Let us renew our trust in the Holy Spirit every day. The trust that He enacts in us, He is in us, He gives us courage, confidence and peace! Let us be guided by Him, men and women of prayer, witnessing the Gospel with courage, becoming instruments in our world of God’s unity and communion.

Thank you.

English summary:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the Creed, we now pass from the article on the Holy Spirit to that on the Church, “one, holy, catholic and apostolic”. The Holy Spirit and the Church are in fact inseparable. The Spirit enlivens and guides the Church, and each of us within the Church, to carry out Christ’s mandate to make disciples of all peoples. He opens minds and hearts to the beauty and truth of the Gospel. The Spirit overcomes selfishness and division, creating unity, communion, reconciliation and love. The Spirit also instils the strength needed to bear courageous witness to the Risen Christ; he is the spirit of mission and evangelization. The fire of the Holy Spirit was sent down upon the Apostles at Pentecost in answer to their fervent prayer; ardent prayer in the Spirit must always be the soul of new evangelization and the heart of our lives as Christians. Let us renew each day our trust in the working of the Holy Spirit, open our hearts to his inspiration and gifts, and strive to be signs of unity and communion with God in the midst of our human family.

Greetings in English:

I invite all of you to pray with me for the victims, especially the children, of the disaster in Oklahoma. May the Lord himself console everyone, in particular parents who have lost a child in such a tragic way. I offer a cordial welcome to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Ireland, India, Canada and the United States. My special greeting goes to the pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Alumni Association of the Catholic University of America. In these days when the Church celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, I invoke upon you and your families his gifts of wisdom and peace. God bless you all!



Vatican Radio REPORT “Doing good” is a principle that unites all humanity, beyond the diversity of ideologies and religions, and creates the “culture of encounter” that is the foundation of peace: this is what Pope said at Mass this morning at the Domus Santae Martae, in the presence of employees of the Governorate of Vatican City. Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, concelebrated at the Mass.

Wednesday’s Gospel speaks to us about the disciples who prevented a person from outside their group from doing good. “They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”:

"The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must.
Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”
“Instead,” the Pope continued, “the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”:

"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists.
Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
“Doing good” the Pope explained, is not a matter of faith: “It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because He has made us in His image and likeness. And He does good, always.”

This was the final prayer of Pope Francis:

"Today is [the feast of] Santa Rita, Patron Saint of impossible things – but this seems impossible: let us ask of her this grace, this grace that all, all, all people would do good and that we would encounter one another in this work, which is a work of creation, like the creation of the Father. A work of the family, because we are all children of God, all of us, all of us! And God loves us, all of us! May Santa Rita grant us this grace, which seems almost impossible. Amen.”

Vatican City, 22 May 2013 (VIS) – At the end of this morning's general audience, the Holy Father—noting that this Friday, 24 May, is the day dedicated to the liturgical memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the National Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai, China—launched an appeal, inviting “Catholics around the world to join in prayer with our brothers and sisters in China; to implore of God the grace to proclaim Christ, dead and risen, with humility and joy; to be faithful to his Church and the Successor of Peter; and to live their everyday lives in service to their country and their fellow citizens in a manner consistent with the faith they profess.”
The Pope offered these words to be said in order to call upon Mary's intercession: “Our Lady of Sheshan, in their everyday struggles, sustain the commitment of all those in China, so that they may continue to believe, to hope, to love, and so they may never fear to speak of Jesus to the world and of the world to Jesus.”
“Mary, Virgin most faithful, support Chinese Catholics. Make their commitments, which are not easy, ever more precious in the eyes of the Lord and help the affection and the participation of the Church in China to grow in the path of the universal Church.”
Vatican City, 22 May 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon in the Press Office of the Holy See, Rene Brulhart, director of the Vatican Financial Information Authority (L’Autorit√† di Informazione Finanziara, AIF), presented the AIF's first annual report, which examines their activities and statistics from 2012. The AIF is the competent authority of the Holy See and the Vatican City State for financial intelligence and for supervision and regulation in the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism. It was established in 2010 and became operational in April of 2011.
“Over the course of the year,” reads a press release accompanying the conference, “AIF reported the submission of six Suspicious Transaction Reports, up from only one in the previous year. AIF itself forwarded two Suspicious Transaction Reports to the Vatican Promoter of Justice for further investigation.”
"The statistics and trends from 2012 are encouraging and indicates that the system is consistently improving," said Dr. Brulhart. In 2012, AIF also initiated the systematic screening and analysis of Cash Transaction Reports submitted by the obliged entities.
“In our efforts to actively tackle any potential abuse of the financial system,” continued Director Brulhart, “we initiated a close and constructive interaction with the Secretariat of State, the Gendarmeria, the Promoter of Justice and the institutions under our oversight in order to improve awareness and safety and ensure a coordinated internal cooperation in AML/CFT matters.”
A further important element of the report is the progress made in international cooperation that builds on the clear commitment of the Holy See to be a credible partner in the international fight against money laundering. 2012 saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with relevant authorities in Belgium and Spain. Dr. Brulhart stated that “it will continue to be our policy in 2013 to further strengthening international cooperation by signing several more Memorandum of Understanding with our partners in other relevant countries and jurisdictions.”
The outlook for 2013 foresees a further strengthening of the AML/CFT system including the implementation of Moneyval Recommendations through appropriate new or amended legislation and a continuation of the awareness enhancing process across all relevant authorities and institutions.
The full-year report is available at:
Vatican Radio REPORT Pope Francis visited the "Gift of Mary" soup kitchen and women’s shelter run by the Missionaries of Charity on Tuesday evening, to mark the 25th anniversary of the facility's opening in the Vatican. In remarks to staff and guests, the Holy Father praised the work of the sisters, noting the many mouths they have fed, and the wounds both spiritual and bodily, that they have helped to heal. “In these years,” said Pope Francis, “like the good Samaritan, you have so many times bent low to [serve] those in need."
The facility is inside the walls of Vatican city, situated in the vicinity of the building that houses the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The house feeds roughly 60 people every day, and offers accommodation to 25 women.
  “My presence here this afternoon represents, first of all, a heartfelt 'thank you' to the Missionaries of Charity founded by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who have worked here for 25 years, with many volunteers, for the many people who are in need of assistance. Thank you! All of you make the Church's love for the poor visible … and with your daily service you are—as the Psalm says—'You open wide your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing'. … How many people have you fed in these years; how many wounded, above all wounded spiritually, have you cared for!”
With these words Pope Francis addressed the missionaries, volunteers, and residents in the Gift of Mary Hospitality House located within Vatican City, just outside St. Peter's Square. He visited the community yesterday, Tuesday 21 May, at around 5:30pm in the afternoon, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Blessed John Paul II's placing the house under the care of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The Pope was welcomed by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City, and the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Sr. Mary Prema Pierick, M.C., and the sisters placed a garland of flowers around the pontiff's neck, in a gesture from Hindu tradition.
In his brief speech to the community, the Pope focused on three words: house, gift, and Mary.
“This structure, built and inaugurated by Blessed John Paul II,” he said, “… is a 'home'. And when we say 'home', we mean a place of welcome … where you can feel good, re-find yourself, feel part of … a community. Even more profoundly, 'home' is a word with a typically familial flavour that recalls the warmth, affection, and love that can be felt in a family. A 'home' thus represents the most precious human wealth, that of encounter, that of the relationships between persons of different ages, cultures, and histories, but who live together and who, together, help one another to grow. … And that is what this house has sought to be for 25 years! At the border between the Vatican and Italy, it is a powerful reminder to all of us—to the Church, to the city of Rome—to always be more of a family, a 'home' in which we are open to welcome, to attention, and to fraternity.”
“Then there is a second very important word, 'gift', which qualifies this house and defines it typical identity. … I mean that this house gives welcome, material and spiritual support to you, dear guests, coming from various parts of the world. But you also are a gift for this house and for the Church. You tell us that loving God and our neighbour is not something abstract but profoundly concrete. It means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to serve and serving him concretely. … Here is lived a an open hospitality, regardless of one's nationality or religion, according to Jesus' teaching: 'Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.' We must recover the entire sense of gift, of gratuity and solidarity. A savage capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost, give in order to get, exploitation without looking at persons …. and we see the results in the crisis we are living through! This house is a place that teaches charity, a 'school' of charity, that teaches us to go out to every person, not for profit, but out of love.”
“Finally, there is one more feature of this house: it is qualified as a gift 'of Mary'. … Mary is an example and an inspiration for those who live in this house, and for all of us, to live charity towards our neighbour, not out of a type of social duty, but starting from God's love, from God's charity. … Mary is the one who leads us to Jesus and who teaches us how to go out from Jesus … For us Christians, love for one's neighbour is born from the love of God and is the clearest expression of it. Here you seek to love your neighbour, but also to let yourselves be loved by them. These two attitudes go hand in hand. There cannot be one without the other.”

Vatican City, 22 May 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, the Holy Father sent a message, through Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., to Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, for the tornado that devastated the city and suburbs, causing numerous victims and wounded on Monday, 20 May.
“The Holy Father,” reads the text, “has followed with deep concern the aftermath of the devastating tornado which has struck Oklahoma and he asks you convey to the entire community the assurance of his solidarity and closeness in prayer. Conscious of the tragic loss of life and the immensity of the work of rebuilding that lies ahead, he asks Almighty God to grant eternal rest to the departed, comfort to the afflicted, and strength and hope to the homeless and the injured. In a particular way he commends to the Father of mercies the many young children among the victims and their grieving families. Upon the local civil and religious leaders, and upon all involved in the relief efforts, His Holiness invokes the Risen Lord’s gifts of consolation, strength, and perseverance in every good.”
Vatican City, 22 May 2013 (VIS) – After this morning's general audience, the Holy Father received the President of the Republic of Benin, Dr. Thomas Yayi Boni, in the study adjoining the Paul VI Audience Hall.

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