-Francis receives the participants in the International Conference “The culture of salus and welcome in the service of man and the planet”
-Statistics of the Catholic Church in Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic
-General audience: the Holy Door is the door of God's mercy
-Protecting children is a duty
-Holy Father's calendar for December 2015 and January 2016
-“Recognitio” of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica for the Jubilee of Mercy
-Other Pontifical Acts
Francis receives the participants in the International Conference “The culture of salus and welcome in the service of man and the planet”
Vatican City, 19 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the international conference “The culture of salus and welcome in the service of man and the planet”, organised by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (for Health Pastoral Care), currently being held in the Vatican, which coincides with the thirtieth anniversary of the dicastery and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of St. John Paul II's encyclical letter “Evangelium vitae”.
In this document, said the Holy Father, we find “the constitutive elements of the 'culture of salus': hospitality, compassion, understanding and forgiveness. They are Jesus' habitual attitudes towards the many people in need He encounters every day: people suffering sicknesses of every type, public sinners, the possessed, the marginalised, the poor and outsiders. … These attitudes are those that the encyclical calls the 'positive requirements' of the commandment regarding the inviolability of life, which with Jesus are revealed in all their breadth and depth, and today can, or indeed must characterise pastoral care in relation to health: 'they range from caring for the life of one's brother (whether a blood brother, someone belonging to the same people, or a foreigner living in the land of Israel) to showing concern for the stranger, even to the point of loving one's enemy'”.
“This closeness to the other, to the point of feeling that he is someone who belongs to me, overcomes every barrier of nationality, social extraction and religion … as the good Samaritan of the Gospel parable teaches us. It also overcomes that culture in a negative sense in which, both in rich and poor countries, human beings are accepted or refused according to utilitarian criteria, especially in terms of social or economic utility. This mentality is the parent of the so-called 'medicine of desires': an increasingly widespread custom in rich countries, characterised by the search for physical perfection at all costs, in the illusion of eternal youth; a custom that leads indeed to the rejection and marginalisation of all that is not 'efficient', that is seen as a burden or a hindrance, or is simply ugly”.
Similarly, being a neighbour to others, as Francis mentions in his encyclical “Laudato si'”, means also taking on binding responsibilities towards creation and our common home, which belongs to all and is entrusted to the care of all, also for generations to come. … This conversion … to the 'Gospel of creation” requires us to “make our own and become interpreters of the cry for human dignity, raised above all by by poorest and the excluded, as those who are sick and who suffer so often are”.
“I hope that in these days of study and debate, in which you also consider the environmental aspect in its aspects most closely linked to physical, mental, spiritual and social health of the person, you may contribute to a new development of the culture of salus, understood in its fullest sense. I encourage you, in this regard, always to keep in mind, in your work, the real situations faced by those populations who suffer as a result of the damages caused by environmental degradation, whose impact on health is often serious and permanent”, concluded the Pope.
Statistics of the Catholic Church in Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic
Vatican City, 19 November 2015 (VIS) – In view of Pope Francis' upcoming trip to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic (25-30 November), the Central Church Statistics Office has published the statistics relating to the Catholic Church in the three countries, current as of 31 December 2014.
Kenya has a surface area of 580,367 km2 and a population of 42,961 .000 inhabitants, of whom 13,862,000 are Catholics, equivalent to 32.3% of the population. There are 26 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 925 parishes and 6,542 pastoral centres. There are currently 38 bishops, 2,744 priests, 6303 religious (798 male and 5,505 female), and 11,343 catechists. There are 5,501 seminarians. The Church has 12,195 centres for Catholic education, from pre-school to university level. With regard to charitable and social centres belonging to the Church or directed by ecclesiastics or religious, in Kenya there are 513 hospitals and clinics, 21 leper colonies, 117 homes for the elderly, sick or disabled, 1,173 orphanages and nurseries, 110 family advisory centres, 11 special centres for social education or rehabilitation and 203 institutions of other types.
Uganda has a surface area of 241,038 km2 and a population of 36,497,000 inhabitants, of whom 17,148,000 are Catholics, equivalent to 47% of the population. There are 20 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 540 parishes and 6.900 pastoral centres. There are currently 32 bishops, 2180 priests, 4,266 religious (567 male and 3,699 female), and 15,864 catechists. There are 6.984 seminarians. The Church has 7,050 centres for Catholic education, from pre-school to university level. With regard to charitable and social centres belonging to the Church or directed by ecclesiastics or religious, in Uganda there are 298 hospitals and clinics, one leper colony, 16 homes for the elderly, sick or disabled, 62 orphanages and nurseries, 130 family advisory centres and other centres for the protection of life, 8 special centres for social education or rehabilitation and 56 institutions of other types.
The Central African Republic has a surface area of 622,984 km2 and a population of 4.621.000 inhabitants, of whom 1,724,000 are Catholics, equivalent to 37.3% of the population. There are 9 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 119 parishes and 2,017 pastoral centres. There are currently 16 bishops, 350 priests, 387 religious (44 male and 343 female), and 6,279 catechists. There are 379 seminarians. The Church has 305 centres for Catholic education, from pre-school to secondary level. With regard to charitable and social centres belonging to the Church or directed by ecclesiastics or religious, in the Central African Republic there are 52 hospitals and clinics, 10 leper colonies, 11 homes for the elderly, sick or disabled, 18 orphanages and nurseries, 8 family advisory centres, 2 special centres for social education or rehabilitation and 17 institutions of other types.
Vatican City, 19 November 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience prelates from the Episcopal Conference of the Federal Republic of Germany, on their “ad Limina” visit:
- Bishop Herwig Gossl, auxiliary of Bamberg;
- Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke, O.S.B., of Eichstatt;
- Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann of Speyer, with his auxiliary, Bishop Otto Georgens;
- Bishop Friedhelm Hofmann of Wurzburg, with his auxiliary Bishop Ulrich Boom;
- Bishop Matthias Konig and Bishop Hubert Berenbrinker, auxiliaries of Paderborn;
- Bishop Ulrich Neymeyr of Erfurt, with his auxiliary, Bishop Reinhard Hauke;
- Bishop Heinz Josef Algermissen of Fulda, with his auxiliary, Bishop Karl Heinz Diez;
- Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg;
- Archbishop Stephan Burger of Freiburg im Breisgau, with his auxiliaries Bishop Bernt Joachim Uhl and Bishop Michael Gerber;
- Cardinal Karl Lehmann, bishop of Mainz, with his auxiliary Bishop Udo Bentz;
- Bishop Gebhard Furst of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, with his auxiliaries Bishop Johannes Kreidler and Bishop Thomas Maria Renz;
- Bishop Manfred Grothe, apostolic administrator of Limburg;
- Archbishop Stefan Hesse of Hamburg, with his auxiliary, Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke;
- Bishop Norbert Trelle of Hildesheim, with his auxiliaries Bishop Nikolaus Schwerdtfeger and Bishop Heinz-Gunter Bongartz;
- Bishop Franz-Josef Hermann Bode of Osnabruck, with his auxiliary, Bishop Johannes Wubbe;
- Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munchen und Freising, with his auxiliaries Bishop Bernhard Hasslberger and Bishop Wolfgang Bischof;
- Bishop Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg, with his auxiliaries Bishop Anton Losinger and Bishop Florian Worner;
- Bishop Stefan Oster, S.D.B., of Passau;
- Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg;
- Archbishop Heiner Koch, archbishop of Berlin, with his auxiliary Bishop Matthias Heinrich; and
- Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt of Gorlitz;
- Msgr. Andreas Kutschke, diocesan administrator of Dresden.