Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Latest News from #Vatican and #PopeFrancis - Prayers for Niger - Questions on Plane - Thanks to God for Trip

21-01-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 015 

- The Pope recounts his pastoral trip in Asia
- Appeal for Niger
- Inter-Christian collaboration in view of interreligious dialogue
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Questions and answers on the Manila-Rome flight
- The Pope thanks the Virgin for the fruits of his apostolic trip
- Other Pontifical Acts
The Pope recounts his pastoral trip in Asia
Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – Before proceeding to the Paul VI Hall for this morning's Wednesday general audience, the Holy Father, following a centuries-long tradition, blessed two lambs in the hall of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, whose wool will be used to weave the pallia imposed on the new archbishops on 29 June, on the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
During today's audience, Pope Francis gave an account of his apostolic trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. “I will always keep in my heart the recollection of the joyful welcome I received from the crowds”, he confessed. The culmination of his stay in Sri Lanka, he said, was the canonisation of St. Joseph Vaz. “His example of holiness and love for his neighbour continues to inspire the Church in Sri Lanka in her apostolate of charity and education”, he said, adding that the new saint represented “a model for all Christians, who are called upon today to offer the salvific truth of the Gospel in a multi-religious context. With regard to the meeting with the governmental authorities, he emphasised the importance of dialogue, respect for human dignity and efforts to involve all in finding suitable solutions for reconciliation and the common good.
He also spoke about his encounter with religious leaders, which confirmed the good relations that exist between the various communities. “In this context, I wanted to encourage the cooperation that has already been initiated between the followers of different religious traditions, also in order to heal with the balsam of forgiveness those who are still afflicted by the sufferings of recent years”.
In the Philippines, he noted “the constant fruitfulness of the Gospel and its capacity to inspire a society worthy of mankind, in which there is a place for the dignity of each person and the aspirations of the Filipino population”. He explained that the main aim of his visit was to express his closeness to those brothers and sisters who had suffered as a result of the devastation wrought by typhoon Yolanda. “The power of God's love, revealed in the mystery of the Cross, was made evident in the spirit of solidarity shown by the many acts of charity and sacrifice that marked those days of darkness”. He also mentioned the young volunteer Kristel, killed following his visit to Tacloban by collapsing scaffolding due to extreme weather conditions.
Francis went on to speak about his encounter with families in Manila. “I have heard it said that families with many children and high birth rates are among the causes of poverty. It seems to me a simplistic opinion. I can say that the main cause of poverty is an economic system that has removed the person from the centre and replaced him with the god of money; an economic system that excludes and creates the throwaway culture in which we live. … It is necessary to protect families, which face various threats, so that they can bear witness to the beauty of the family in God's plan”.
Finally, he spokes about his meeting with the young. “I wanted to offer them my encouragement for their efforts in contributing to the renewal of society, especially through their service to the poor and the protection of the natural environment. Care for the poor is an essential element of our Christian life and witness – because corruption steals from the poor – and requires a culture of honesty”, he concluded.
Appeal for Niger
Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – The Pope launched an appeal for prayer for “the victims of the events of recent days in beloved Niger”, adding, “Let us invoke from the Lord the gift of reconciliation and peace, so that religious feeling is not transformed into a cause of violence, oppression and destruction. I hope that a climate of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence may be reinstated as soon as possible, for the good of all”.
Inter-Christian collaboration in view of interreligious dialogue
Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday the annual meeting took place between the officials of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCDI) and the staff of the Office for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation (IRDC) of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The event enabled information to be exchanged regarding activities carried out during 2014.
The meeting also offered the opportunity to reflect on future partnerships between the two institutions, which have collaborated for some years now, in order to exchange information and with a view to joint initiatives for the examination of various issues.
The most recent initiatives include the presentation, in 2011, of the document “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct”, by the PCDI, the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- the following members of the College for the review of appeals to the Ordinary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, instituted by the Rescriptum ex Audientia SS.mi of 3 November 2014:
President: Bishop Charles J. Scicluna, auxiliary of Malta;
Members: Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA) and the Financial Information Authority (AIF); Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; Archbishop Jose Luis Mollaghan, emeritus of Rosario, Argentina; and Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;
Supplementary members: Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, president of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See and of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia.
-Rev. Fr. Daniel Elias Garcia as auxiliary of Austin (area 57,424, population 2,902,992, Catholics 536,183, priests 218, permanent deacons 207, religious 201), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Cameron, Texas, U.S.A. in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy, a Master of Divinity from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas, and a Master's degree in liturgical studies from St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of the “St. Vincent de Paul” parish in Austin and dean of the “Austin North Deanery”. He is currently a member of the presbyteral council, diocesan consultor, member of the Priests' Personnel Board, and vicar general and moderator of the Curia.
- confirmed the appointment by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin of Dr. Tommaso Di Ruzza as director of the Financial Information Authority (AIF). Dr. Di Ruzza is currently “ad interim” deputy director of the same institution.
20-01-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 014 

Questions and answers on the Manila-Rome flight
Vatican City, 20 January 2015 (VIS) – At the end of his seventh apostolic trip, on return flight from Manila to Rome, the Pope again answered questions from the journalists who accompanied him on the flight. He confessed that he had been most impressed and moved by the gestures of the Filipino people, gestures which expressed “faith, love, family, hopes, the future. … True enthusiasm,joy, happiness, able to celebrate even in the rain”. On the other hand, he also noted the resignation of the Filipinos, who “know suffering”.
The Pontiff spoke about the possibility of an apostolic trip to Central Africa or Uganda at the end of the year, and confirmed that he will travel to Philadelphia to attend the World Meeting of Families, to New York, where he will visit the United Nations, and Washington. He commented that he would like to travel to California for the canonisation of Junipero Serra, but time restrictions make this unlikely. With regard to South America, he said that there were proposals for trips to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay over the coming year.
A summary of the Pope's answers is given below.
- On the question about religious freedom and freedom of expression, posed on the flight from Colombo to Manila, and the confusion it generated
“In theory, it may be said that the Gospel says we must turn the other cheek. In theory, we can say that we have the freedom to express ourselves, and this is important. In theory we are all in agreement, but we are human, and so there is prudence, which is a virtue in human coexistence. I cannot continually provoke or insult someone, because I would risk angering them, I risk receiving a reaction that is not right, not right. But it is human. Therefore, I say that the freedom of expression must take into consideration the reality of humanity, and for this reason I say that we must be prudent. This means we must be polite and prudent, as prudence is the virtue that regulates human relations”.
- On corruption throughout the world and in the Church
“In today's world, corruption is the order of the day and corrupt attitudes easily establish themselves in institutions, since an institution has many components here and there, it has many heads and deputies, and so is very easy for corruption to take root there. Any institution can fall prey to this. Corruption means taking from the population. A corrupt person, who makes corrupt deals, or who governs in a corrupt fashion, or who associates with others to make corrupt deals, steals from the people. They are the victims. … Today it is a worldwide problem. … And with regard to corruption in ecclesiastical institutions … when I speak about the Church, I like to speak about the faithful, the baptised, all the Church. And in this case it is better to speak about sinners. We are all sinners, aren't we? But when we speak about corruption, we speak about corrupt people, or Church institutions that have fallen prey to corruption, and there are cases. … It is easy for corruption to take root, but let's remember this: sinners yes, corrupt no! We must never be corrupt. We must ask for forgiveness for those Catholics, those Christians, who scandalise with their corruption. It is a wound in the Church; but there are many saints, and sinners who are holy but not corrupt”.
- On responsible parenthood
“I think that three is the number of children per family that the experts say is correct to maintain the population, three per couple. When there are fewer than this, there is the other extreme, which we see in Italy where I have heard – I do not know if it is true – that from 2024 there will not be the money to pay pensioners. The key phrase to answer this question is the one that the Church has always used: responsible parenthood. How does one do this? Through dialogue. Every person, accompanied by their pastor, must find out how to achieve responsible parenthood. … Some believe that – excuse the expression – to be good Catholics we must be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood. This is clear, and for this reason in the Church here are matrimonial groups, experts in this. I know of many, many legitimate ways to achieve this. … On the other hand, for the poorest people, a child is a treasure. It is true, we must also be careful here. But for them, a child is a treasure. God knows how to help them. Perhaps some are not careful in this respect, it is true. Parenthood must be responsible. But look also at the generosity of those fathers and mothers who see every child as a treasure”.
- On the Pope's remark that the world needs to weep
“One of the things that is lost when there is too much comfort, or values are not well-understood, or we get used to injustice, to this throwaway culture, is the capacity to weep. It is a grace that we must ask for. … We Christians must ask for the grace to weep, especially those Christians who are well-off; to weep about injustice and sin. Weeping opens you to the understanding of new realities or new dimensions of reality”.
The Pope thanks the Virgin for the fruits of his apostolic trip
Vatican City, 20 January 2015 (VIS) – After landing at Rome's Ciampino military airport at5.30 p.m. local time, and before returning to the Vatican, Pope Francis stopped at the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray to the Virgin “Salus populi romani”, and to give thanks for the positive outcome of his apostolic trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 20 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Msgr. Jorge Giovanny Pazmino Abril, O.P., as bishop of Ambato (area 3,844, population 538,800, Catholics 499,000, priests 98, permanent deacons 3, religious 216), Ecuador. The bishop-elect was born in Banos, Ecuador in 1965, and was ordained a priest in 1995. He studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and holds a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including professor in pastoral theology and philosophy at the School of Religious Sciences of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, vocational promoter of the Dominican vicariate general of Ecuador, president of the Ecuadorian Conference of Religious, parish priest, professor in the major seminary of Guayaquil and general secretary of the Interprovincial Conference of Dominicans of Latin America and the Caribbean. He is currently vicar general of the vicariate general of “Santa Catalina de Siena” of Ecuador and head of contemplative life in the archdiocese of Quito.
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Ispahan of the Latins, Iran, presented by Bishop Ignazio Bedini, S.D.B., in accordance with canon 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

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