Thursday, March 19, 2015

Latest #Vatican News Information and #PopeFrancis

18-03-2015 - Year XXV - Num. 055 

- General Audience: Children, Gift to Humanity, Remind Us that We Need Help, Love, and Forgiveness
- Promulgation of Decrees by Congregation for Causes of Saints
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Pope Expresses his Nearness to the Bishops and People of Nigeria
- Other Pontifical Acts
General Audience: Children, Gift to Humanity, Remind Us that We Need Help, Love, and Forgiveness
Vatican City, 18 March, 2015 (VIS) ? Having examined the various members of family life?mothers, fathers, children, siblings, grandparents?the Pope concluded this first section of catechesis on the family by talking about children. Today he focused on what a great gift children are for humanity, and next week he will speak about wounds that damage childhood.
Interrupted by the applause of the faithful gathered in St. Peter?s Square when he affirmed that ?children are a gift to humanity?, Pope Francis thanked them and exclaimed: ?but they are also a greatly excluded one because they are even not allowed to be born?a society can be judged, not only morally but also sociologically, on how it treats its children, if it is a free society or a slave society of international interests.?
Then, continuing with his catechesis he explained that ?firstly, children remind us that we all, in the first years of life, are totally dependent on the care and kindness of others. The Son of God,? he emphasized, ?was not spared this step. This is the mystery that we contemplate every year at Christmastime. The manger scene is the icon that communicates this reality in the most simple and direct way.?
?God,? he continued, ?has no difficulty in being understood by children and children have no trouble in understanding God. It isn?t by chance that in the Gospels Jesus speaks beautiful and strong words about the ?little ones?. This term indicates all persons who depend on the help of others, particularly children. ?Children, therefore, are a treasure for humanity and also for the Church because they constantly remind us of the necessary condition for entering into the Kingdom of God: that we must not consider ourselves self-sufficient, but in need of help, of love, and of forgiveness.?
Children also remind us that we are always children even when we become adults or if we become parents; beneath it all we keep our identity as a child. ?And this always leads us back to the fact that we are not given life, but that we have received it,? the Pope reminded. ?The great gift of life is the first gift we have received. Sometimes we risk forgetting about this, as if we were the masters of our existence while instead we are radically dependent. In fact, it is a source of great joy to hear that at every age in life, in every situation, in every social condition, we are and remain sons and daughters. This is the main message that children give us with their presence: with just their presence they remind us that each and every one of us is a child.?
Listing some of the other gifts that children bring to humanity the Pope highlighted their way of seeing reality, ?with a confident and pure gaze. Children have a spontaneous trust in mom and dad and they have a spontaneous trust in God, in Jesus, and in the Madonna. At the same time, their inner gaze is pure, not yet tainted by malice, duplicity, and the ?incrustation? of life that harden one?s heart. We know that even children have original sin, that they can be selfish, but they retain a purity and an inner simplicity. Children are not diplomats: they say what they feel, they say what they see, directly. And many times they make parents uncomfortable, saying in front of other people: ?I don?t like this because it?s ugly.? But children say what they see. They aren?t split persons; they still haven?t learned that science of duplicity that we adults have unfortunately learned.?
Children also bring with them ability to receive and to give affection. ?Tenderness is having a heart ?of flesh? and not ?of stone?, as the Bible says,? Pope Francis noted. ?Tenderness is also poetry. It is ?feeling? things and events, not treating them as mere objects only to use them because they they?re useful.?
The ability to smile and to cry is another gift that children bring, one which ?we grown-ups often ?block out?? Many times our smile becomes a cardboard one, something lifeless and cold or even an artificial, clown?s smile. Children smile and cry spontaneously. It always comes from the heart, and often our hearts are closed and we lose this ability to smile and to cry. Children, then, can teach us how to smile and how to cry again. ? This is why Jesus invites his disciples to ?become like children? because ?the kingdom of God belongs to such as these?.?
?Children bring life, joy, hope, even troubles. But life is like that. They certainly also bring worries and, at times, many problems. But a society with these worries and problems is a better one than a society that is sad and gray because it is childless! And when we see a society with a birthrate of just 1%,? he concluded, ?we can say that that is a sad and gray society because it is without children.?
On greeting pilgrims from English-speaking countries, the Pope was warmly hailed by students from The Catholic University of America and Loyola University Maryland who are studying in Rome for the semester
Promulgation of Decrees by Congregation for Causes of Saints
Vatican City, 18 March 2015 (VIS) ? This morning the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:
- a MIRACLE, attributable to the intercession of the married couple Louis Martin, layman and father, born 22 August, 1823 in Bordeaux, France, died 29 July 1894 in Arnieres-sur-Iton, France and Marie-Azelie Guérin Martin, laywoman and mother, born 23 December 1831 in Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, France, died 28 August 1877 in Alencon, France.
- Servant of God Francesco Gattola, diocesan priest and founder of the Daughters of the Most Holy Immaculate Virgin of Lourdes, born 19 September 1822 in Naples, Italy, died there 20 January 1899;
- Servant of God Petar Barbaric, Jesuit novice, born 19 May 1874 in Klobuk, Bosnia and Herzegovina, died 15 April 1897 Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- Servant of God Mary Aikenhead, founder of the Religious Sisters of Charity of Ireland, born 19 January 1787 in Cork, Ireland, died 22 July 1858 in Dublin, Ireland;
- Servant of God Elisa Baldo Foresti, widow, founder of the Holy Home of St. Joseph in Gavardo, and cofounder of the Humble Servants of the Lord, born 29 October 1862 in Gavardo, Italy, died 5 July in Brescia, Italy;
- Servant of God Vincenta of the Passion of the Lord (nee Jadwiga Jaroszewska), founder of the Benedictine Samaritan Sisters of the Cross of Christ, born 7 March 1900 in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland, died 10 November in Warsaw, Poland).
- Servant of God Juana of the Cross (nee Juana Vazquez Gutierrez) professed religious of the Franciscan Nuns of the Third Order Regular and Abbess of the Santa Maria de la Cruz convent in Cubas, born 3 May 1481 in Villa de Azana (today?s Numancia de la Sagra), Spain, died 3 May 1534 in Cubas de la Sagra, Spain;
- Servant of God Maria Orsola Bussone, young layperson of the Focolare Movement, born 2 October 1954 in Vallo Torinese, Italy, died 10 July 1970 in Ca' Savio, Italy.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 18 March, 2015 (VIS) ? Today the Holy Father:
- appointed Archbishop Esmeraldo Barreto de Farias as auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Sao Luis do Maranhao (area 13,112, population 1,378,000, Catholics 992,000, priests 75, religious 307), Brazil. He previously served as archbishop of Porto Velho, Brazil.
- accepted the resignation of Dom Joseph Roduit, C.R., from the office of ordinary abbot of the territorial abbey of Saint-Maurice,Switzerland.
17-03-2015 - Year XXV - Num. 54 
Pope Expresses his Nearness to the Bishops and People of Nigeria
Vatican City, 17 March, 2015 (VIS) - Pope Francis has written a letter to the Bishops of Nigeria ensuring them of his nearness to all those in that country. Although Nigeria has one of the strongest economies in all of Africa, it is facing new and violent forms of extremism and fundamentalism that tragically affect the society as a whole. The letter, published today, is dated 2 March, 2015. Following is the full text of the letter:
While we walk this Lenten journey towards the Resurrection of the Lord united with the whole Church, I wish to extend to you, dear Archbishops and Bishops of Nigeria, a fraternal greeting, which I extend to the beloved Christian communities entrusted to your pastoral care. I would also like to share some thoughts with you on the current situation in your country.
Nigeria, known as the ''African giant'', with its more than 160 million inhabitants, is set to play a primary role, not only in Africa but in the world at large. In recent years, it has experienced robust growth in the economic sphere and has again reasserted itself on the world stage as an attractive market, on account of its natural resources as well as its commercial potential. It is now considered officially the single largest African economy. It has also distinguished itself as a political player widely committed to the resolution of crisis situations in the continent.
At the same time, your nation has had to confront considerable problems, among them new and violent forms of extremism and fundamentalism on ethnic, social and religious grounds. Many Nigerians have been killed, wounded or mutilated, kidnapped and deprived of everything: their loved ones, their land, their means of subsistence, their dignity and their rights. Many have not been able to return to their homes. Believers, both Christian and Muslim, have experienced a common tragic outcome, at the hands of people who claim to be religious, but who instead abuse religion, to make of it an ideology for their own distorted interests of exploitation and murder.
I would like to assure you and all who suffer of my closeness. Every day I remember you in my prayers and I repeat here, for your encouragement and comfort, the consoling words of the Lord Jesus, which must always resound in our hearts: ''Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you''.
Peace ? as you know so well ? is not only the absence of conflict or the result of political compromise or fatalistic resignation. Peace is for us a gift which comes from on high; it is Jesus Christ himself, the Prince of Peace, who has made of two peoples one (cf. Eph 2:14). And only the man or woman who treasures the peace of Christ as a guiding light and way of life can become a peacemaker (cf. Mt 5:9).
At the same time, peace is a daily endeavour, a courageous and authentic effort to favour reconciliation, to promote experiences of sharing, to extend bridges of dialogue, to serve the weakest and the excluded. In a word, peace consists in building up a ''culture of encounter''.
And so I wish here to express my heartfelt thanks to you, because in the midst of so many trials and sufferings the Church in Nigeria does not cease to witness to hospitality, mercy and forgiveness. How can we fail to remember the priests, religious men and women, missionaries and catechists who, despite untold sacrifices, never abandoned their flock, but remained at their service as good and faithful heralds of the Gospel? To them, most particularly, I would like to express my solidarity, and to say: do not grow tired of doing what is right!
We give thanks to the Lord for them, as for so many men and women of every social, cultural and religious background, who with great willingness stand up in concrete ways to every form of violence, and whose efforts are directed at favouring a more secure and just future for all. They offer us moving testimonies, which, as Pope Benedict XVI recalled at the end of the Synod for Africa, show ''the power of the Spirit to transform the hearts of victims and their persecutors and thus to re-establish fraternity'' .
Dear Brother Bishops, in perseverance and without becoming discouraged, go forward on the way of peace . Accompany the victims! Come to the aid of the poor! Teach the youth! Become promoters of a more just and fraternal society!
I gladly impart to you my Apostolic Blessing, which I ask you to extend to priests, religious, missionaries, catechists, lay faithful and above all to those suffering members of the Body of Christ.
May the Resurrection of the Lord bring conversion, reconciliation and peace to all the people of Nigeria! I commend you to Mary, Queen of Africa, and I ask you also to pray for me.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 17 March 2015 (VIS).-The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, apostolic nuncio to Irak and Jordan, as apostolic nuncio to Cuba.

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