Monday, March 4, 2019

Pope Francis "... the Christian involved in political activity has an obligation to confess his faith." FULL Text + Video


ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS FATHER FRANCIS
TO A GROUP OF THE PONTIFICAL COMMISSION FOR LATIN AMERICA

Consistory Room
Monday, March 4, 2019

Dear friends:

I am grateful for the words of Cardinal Ouellet, and I began this intervention by telling them "dear friends", and not by a mere rhetorical resource, but because when thinking of the initiative they have undertaken, I think it may be appropriate to remember a line from chapter 15 of the Gospel of St. John , in which Jesus says to all: «From now on, I will no longer call you servants, because the servant does not know what his master does. From now on I will call them friends, because I have made known to them everything I heard from my Father "(Jn 15,15).

And Jesus founds the Church with the air of a friendship, as an act of love, as a gesture of compassion for our fragile and limited condition. And when incarnating, Jesus Christ embraces our humanity, embraces our "I", sometimes selfish, so often fearful, to give us his strength and show us that we are not alone in the path of life, that we have a friend who accompanies us. Thanks to this, each time we say "I" we can say "we", that is, we are a community with Him. We have a "friend" who sustains us, invites us to propose that same friendship to all others and expand the experience of "Church".

And this truth has many implications in different areas, but it is especially important for those who discover that they are called to be responsible for the promotion of the common good.

Being a Catholic in politics does not mean being a recruit from a group, an organization or a party, but living within a friendship, within a community. If you do not discover the need in your heart to belong to a community of truly ecclesial missionary discipleship, in which you can experience the experience of being loved by God, you run the risk of throwing yourself a little alone to the challenges of power, of strategies, of action, and end up in the best of cases with a good political position but only, sad and with the risk of being manipulated.

Jesus invites us to be his friends. If we open ourselves to this opportunity our fragility will not diminish. The circumstances in which we live will not change immediately. However, we can look at reality in a new way, we can live with renewed passion the challenges in the construction of the common good. Let's not forget that entering politics means betting on social friendship.

In Latin America we have a saint who knew well about these things. He knew how to live the faith as friendship and commitment to his people to give his life for him. He saw many lay people who wanted to change things but who often went astray with false ideological answers. With his mind and heart set on Jesus and guided by the Social Doctrine of the Church, Saint Arnold Romero said, and I quote:

"The Church can not be identified with any organization, even with those that qualify and feel Christian. The Church is not the organization, nor the organization is the Church. If the dimensions of the faith and the political vocation have grown in a Christian, the tasks of faith and a determined political task can not be simply identified, much less Church and organization can be identified. It can not be affirmed that only within a determined organization can the demand of faith be developed. Not every Christian has a political vocation, nor is the political channel the only one that leads to a task of justice. There are also other ways of translating faith into a work of justice and the common good. The Church or its ecclesial symbols can not be required to become mechanisms of political activity. To be a good politician you do not need to be a Christian, but the Christian involved in political activity has an obligation to confess his faith. And if a conflict between loyalty to their faith and loyalty to the organization arises in this field, the true Christian should prefer his faith and demonstrate that his struggle for justice is for the justice of the Kingdom of God, and not another. justice »[1]. Up to here Romero.
These words pronounced on August 6, 78, so that the lay faithful were free and not slaves, so they could rediscover the reasons why it is worth doing politics but from the gospel, overcoming ideologies. Politics is not the mere art of administering power, resources or crises. Politics is not a mere search for efficiency, strategy and organized action. Politics is a vocation for service, a lay diaconate that promotes social friendship for the generation of the common good. Only in this way does politics help the people to become protagonists of their history and thus avoid the so-called "ruling classes" believe that they are the ones who can settle everything. The famous exaggerated liberal adage, all for the people, but nothing with the people. Making politics can not be reduced to techniques and human resources and capacity for dialogue and persuasion; This does not work alone. The politician is in the midst of his people and collaborates with this means or others to make the people who are sovereign the protagonist of their history.

In Latin America and all over the world we are currently experiencing a true "change of epoch" [2] - said Aparecida - which requires us to renew our languages, symbols and methods. If we continue doing the same thing that was done a few decades ago, we will relapse into the same problems that we need to overcome in the social and political terrain. I do not mean here simply to improve some strategy of "marketing" but to follow the method that God himself chose to approach us: the Incarnation. Assume. Assuming all that is human - less sin - Jesus Christ announces to us the liberation that our hearts and our peoples long for. And then you as young Catholics dedicated to various political activities will be the vanguard in the way of accepting the languages ​​and signs, the concerns and hopes, of the most emblematic sectors of the change of the Latin American era. And they will have to look for the paths of the most appropriate political process to carry out.

Which are the most emblematic or significant sectors in the change of Latin American era? In my opinion there are three of them, plus they must have listened because Carriquiri is here, so I copied it to him. In my opinion there are three through which it is possible to reactivate the social energies of our region so that it is faithful to its identity and, at the same time, so that it builds a future project: women, young people and the poorest.

First, women. The Pontifical Commission for Latin America last year dedicated a plenary session precisely to women as a pillar in the building of the Church and society [3]. In addition, the bishops of CELAM in Bogotá in 2017 reminded them that "hope in Latin America has a feminine face" [4]. Secondly, young people, because they inhabit the dissatisfaction and rebelliousness that are necessary to promote true changes and not merely cosmetic. Jesus Christ, eternally young, is present in their sensitivity, in theirs, in their face and in their concerns. And third, the poorest and most marginalized. Because in the preferential option for them the Church manifests her fidelity as Christ's wife no less than on the field of orthodoxy [5].

Women, young people and the poor are, for various reasons, places of privileged encounter with the new emerging cultural sensitivity and with Jesus Christ. They are protagonists of the change of time and subjects of true hope. Their presence, their joys and, especially, their suffering are a strong wake-up call for those who are responsible for public life. In the response to their needs and demands, the true construction of the common good is played to a large extent. They constitute a place of verification of the authenticity of the Catholic commitment in politics. If we do not want to get lost in a sea of ​​empty words, let us always look at the faces of women, young people and the poor. Let's look at them as subjects of change and not as mere objects of assistance. The interpellation of their eyes will help us to correct the intention and to rediscover the method to act "inculturately" in our different contexts. To assume, and to assume in concrete, all this problematic means to be concrete and in politics when one deviates from the concrete being it also deviates from the political conduction.
A new presence of Catholics in politics is necessary in Latin America. A "new presence" that not only implies new faces in the electoral campaigns but, mainly, new methods that allow to forge alternatives that are simultaneously critical and constructive. Alternatives that always look for the possible good, even if it is modest. Flexible alternatives but with clear Christian social identity. And for that, it is necessary to value in a new way our people and the popular movements that express their vitality, their history and their most authentic struggles. Doing politics inspired by the gospel from the people in movement becomes a powerful way to clean up our fragile democracies and to open the space to reinvent new representative instances of popular origin.

Catholics know well that "in concrete situations, and taking into account the solidarity that each one lives, it is necessary to recognize a legitimate variety of possible options. The same Christian faith can lead to different commitments. "[6] Therefore, I invite you to live your faith with great freedom. Never believing that there is a single form of political commitment for Catholics. A Catholic party. Perhaps this was a first intuition in the awakening of the social doctrine of the Church that over the years was adjusted to what really has to be the vocation of the politician today in society, I say Christian. The Catholic party is no longer there. In politics it is better to have a polyphony in politics inspired by the same faith and built with multiple sounds and instruments, than a boring monochord melody apparently correct but homogenizing and neutralizing - and of yapa - quieta. No, it's not going.

I am glad that the Academy of Catholic Leaders was born and expanded in several Latin American countries. I am glad that you are simultaneously seeking faithfulness to the gospel, plurals in partisan terms and in communion with your Pastors.

Within a few years, in 2031, we will celebrate the V Centennial of the Guadalupano Event and, in 2033, the second millennium of the Redemption. May God from now on all of you can work in spreading the social doctrine of the Church in order to arrive at the celebration of these dates with real concrete lay fruits of missionary discipleship. I like to repeat that we have to always take care of cultural colonizations, no, ideological colonizations, there are economic ones because societies have a dimension of "colony"; that is, to be open to colonization. Then defend ourselves from everything. And in that respect I allow myself an intuition. You will have to adjust and correct or not, but it is an intuition that I leave to you, but if you want to make a mistake on the road to Latin America, the word is "miscegenation". Latin America was born mestizo, mestiza will be preserved, only mestiza will grow and that will be their destiny.

San Juan Diego, poor and excluded indigenous, was precisely the small and humble instrument that Santa María de Guadalupe chose for a great mission that would give origin to the pluriform face of the great Latin American nation. We entrust ourselves to his intercession so that when the forces are lacking in the struggle for our people, let us remember that it is precisely in the weakness that the strength of God can do his best work (cf. 2 Co 12,9). And may the Morenita del Tepeyac never forget our beloved "Patria Grande", that is Latin America, a great Homeland in gestation, that never forget our families and those who suffer the most. And please do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.

[1] S. Óscar Arnulfo Romero, Homily, August 6, 1978.

[2] Cf. V General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate, Aparecida, 44.

[3] Cf. Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Woman pillar of the edification of the Church and society in Latin America, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City 2018.

[4] Francisco, Address to the Steering Committee of CELAM, September 7, 2017.

[5] Cf. S. John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 49.

[6] S. Paul VI, Octogesima adveniens, 50.
FULL TEXT and Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Catholic Sister who Died in Earthquake Inspires in Movie : "All or Nothing" Sr. Clare Crockett -

On Saturday April 16, 2016, Sr. Clare Crockett passed away with five young aspirants to the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother. She was 33 years old when she died in the collapse of the Holy Family School’s main building, as a result of an earthquake in Playa Prieta in Manabi, Ecuador.
The community of Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother began to publish memories, short letters, and thank-you notes that arrived. Her family, childhood friends, witnesses of her conversion, and people who shared so many moments with her throughout her 33 years of life were interviewed. This Religious Sister's life was an inspiration to many!
  

Pope Francis on opening Secret Archives of Pope Pius XII - FULL Text + Video


ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO OFFICIALS OF THE VATICAN SECRET ARCHIVE
Clementine Hall
Monday, 4 March 2019

Dear brothers and sisters,
I welcome you, and am pleased to receive you. I thank Msgr. José Tolentino de Mendonça for the kind words of greeting he addressed to me on behalf of you all. I greet Msgr. Sergio Pagano, Professor Paolo Vian, the new vice-prefect, and you archivists, writers, assistants and employees of the Vatican Secret Archive, as well as the professors of the Vatican School of Paleography, Diplomatics and Archives.
The occasion of this visit – so shortly after my meeting with you and with the Apostolic Library, on 4 December last – is the happy anniversary, just the day before yesterday, of the eighty years that have passed since the election as Supreme Pontiff, on 2 March 1939, of the Servant of God Pius XII, of venerated memory.
The figure of that Pontiff, who found himself guiding the Barque of Peter at one of the saddest and darkest moments of the twentieth century, agitated and lacerated by the last world war, with the consequent period of reorganization of the nations and post-war reconstruction, has already been investigated and studied in many aspects, sometimes discussed and even criticized (it could be said with some prejudice or exaggeration). Today he has been appropriately re-evaluated and indeed placed in the correct light for his many qualities: pastoral, above all, but also theological, ascetic, and diplomatic.
At the behest of Pope Benedict XVI, since 2006 you Superiors and Officials of the Vatican Secret Archive, as well as of the Historical Archives of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State, have been working on a common project for the cataloguing and preparation of the substantial documentation produced during the pontificate of Pius XII, part of which was already rendered consultable by my venerable Predecessors Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II.
I therefore thank you, and through you also the other Vatican archivists, for the patient and scrupulous work you have done over the past twelve years, and which you are still partly carrying out, to complete this aforementioned preparation.
Yours is a job that takes place in silence and far from clamour; it cultivates memory and in a sense it seems to me that it can be compared to the cultivation of a majestic tree, whose branches reach towards the sky but whose roots are solidly anchored in the earth. If we compare this tree to the Church, we see that it is reaching our towards Heaven, our homeland and final horizon, but the roots sink into the soil of the same Incarnation of the Word, in history, over time. You archivists, with your patient effort, work on these roots and help keep them alive, so that even the greenest and youngest branches can receive good sap for their future growth.
This constant and significant effort, on your part and on that of your colleagues, enables me today, in memory of that significant anniversary, to announce my decision to open to researchers the archival documentation related to the pontificate of Pius XII, up to his death at Castel Gandolfo on 9 October 1958.
I have decided that the opening of the Vatican Archives for the Pontificate of Pius XII will take place on 2 March 2020, exactly one year after the eightieth anniversary of the election to the See of Peter of Eugenio Pacelli.
I have assumed this decision after hearing the opinion of my closest collaborators, with a serene and confident mind, sure that serious and objective historical research will be able to evaluate, in the proper light and with appropriate criticism, the praiseworthy moments of the Pontiff and, without any doubt, also moments of serious difficulties, of tormented decisions, of human and Christian prudence, which to some might have seemed to be reticence, and which instead were attempts, humanly also very hard-fought, to keep the flame of humanitarian initiatives lit during periods of more intense darkness and cruelty, of hidden but active diplomacy, of hope in possible good openings of hearts.
The Church is not afraid of history; rather, she loves it, and would like to love it more and better, as God does! So, with the same trust of my predecessors, I open and entrust to researchers this documentary heritage.
While I thank you again for the work accomplished, I wish you continued efforts to provide assistance to researchers – scientific and material assistance – and also in the publication of the Pacellian sources that will be considered important, as you have been doing for some years.
With these sentiments, I warmly impart my Apostolic Blessing to you and ask you, please, to pray for me.


*Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 4 March 2018
FULL TEXT and Image Source: Vatican.va - official Translation

Pope Francis at Mass gives "2 medicines" against Criticizing "First of all, prayer...pray for him...ask the Lord to solve that problem....secondly, there is another medicine... you bite your tongue." Full Text Homily


Pope Francis' Full Text Homily during the Eucharistic celebration

We have heard in the Gospel how Jesus explains to people the Christian wisdom, with parables. For example, a blind man can not drive another blind man; then, the disciple is not greater than the Master; then, there is not a good tree that produces a bad fruit. And so, with these parables, he teaches people.

I would like to focus on one, which I have not repeated. Now I say it [law]: "Why do you look at the straw that is in your brother's eye and you do not notice the beam in your eye? How can you tell your brother, "Brother, let me take off the straw that is in your eye," while you yourself do not see the beam in your eye? Hypocritical. First remove the beam from your eye and then you will see well, to remove the speck from your brother's eye ». And with this, the Lord wants to teach us not to go criticizing others, not to look at the defects of others: look first yours, your faults. "But, Father, I do not have any!" - Ah, congratulations! I assure you that if you do not realize you have it here, you will find it in Purgatory! Better to see them here.

We all have flaws, everyone. But we are used to it, partly by inertia, partly by the force of gravity of selfishness, by looking at the defects of others: we are specialists, everyone, in this. Immediately we find the faults of others. And we'll talk about it. Because to talk about others seems sweet, we like it. No, in this parish perhaps it does not happen [laugh], but from other parts it is very common. It always happens like this: "Ah, how are you?" - "Well, well, with this time, all right ..." - "But you saw that ...?". And immediately [we fall into this].

I do not know if you've heard these things, but it's a bad thing. And it is not a new thing: from the time of Jesus this was done. It is something that, with the original sin we have, leads us to condemn others, to condemn. And immediately we are specialists in finding the bad things of others, without seeing our own. And Jesus says: "You condemn this for a little thing, and you have so many bigger things, but you do not see them". And this is true: our malice is not so much, because we are used to not seeing our limits, not to see our faults, but we are specialists in seeing the faults of others.

And Jesus tells us a very ugly word, very ugly: "If you go this way, you are hypocrites". It is bad to say hypocritical: Jesus told the Pharisees, the lawyers, who said one thing and did another. Hypocritical. Hypocrite means one who has a double thought, a double judgment: one says it openly, and another secretly, with whom he condemns others. It is having a double way of thinking, a double way of being seen. They show themselves as good, perfect people, and below they condemn. This is why Jesus escapes from this hypocrisy and advises us: "It is more beautiful that you look at your faults and let others live in peace. Do not put yourself in another's life: look at yours ".
And this is something that does not end there: the chatter does not end in the chatter; the chatter goes further, sows discord, sows enmity, sows evil. Listen to this, I do not exaggerate: with the language wars begin. You, by talking about others, start a war. A step towards war, a destruction. Because it is the same to destroy the other with the language as with an atomic bomb, it is the same. You destroy. And the language has the power to destroy like an atomic bomb. It is very powerful. And I do not say so, says the Apostle James in his Letter. Take the Bible and look at this. It is very powerful! It is capable of destroying. And with the insults, with the misbehaving of others begin so many wars: domestic wars - you begin to shout - wars in the neighborhood, in the workplace, in the school, in the parish ... This is why Jesus says: "Before talking about others, take a mirror and look at yourself; look at your faults and be ashamed of having them. And so you will become silent on the faults of others ". "No, Father, it is that so many times there are bad people, who have so many faults ...". But, all right, be brave, be brave, and say it in your face: "You are bad, you are bad, because you are doing this and this". Tell it in the face, not behind it, not from behind. Tell him in the face. "But he does not want to listen to me". Then tell those who can remedy this, who can correct, but do not say in the chatter, because the chatter does not solve anything, indeed. It makes things worse and leads you to war.

[Shortly] we will begin Lent: it would be so nice that each of us, in this Lent, reflect on this. How do I behave with people? How is my heart in front of people? I'm a hypocrite, I smile and then I criticize and destroy with my tongue? And if we at the end of Lent would have been able to correct this a little, and not always criticize others from behind, I assure you that the Resurrection of Jesus will be seen more beautiful, greater among us. "Eh, Father, it is very difficult, because I come to criticize others" - some of us can say, because it is a habit that the devil puts in us. It's true, it's not easy. But there are two medicines that help a lot. First of all, prayer. If you come to "peel" another, criticize another, pray for him, pray for her, and ask the Lord to solve that problem, and to you, to close your mouth. First remedy: prayer. Without prayer we can not do anything. And secondly, there is another medicine, which is also practical like prayer: when you feel the desire to talk about someone, you bite your tongue. Strong! Because this will swell the language and you will not be able to speak. [laugh] It's a practical medicine, it's very practical.

Think seriously about this that Jesus says: "Why do you look at the faults of others and do not look at yours, who are bigger?". Think well. Do you think that this ugly habit is the beginning of so many disunions, of so many domestic wars, wars in the neighborhood, wars in the workplace, of so many enmities. Think about it. And pray to the Lord, pray that he may give us the grace not to speak ill of others. And every day keep your dentures ready to make the second medicine!

The Lord bless you!

Short final greeting

Thank you so much for your welcome!

Wednesday begins Lent, I wish you a good Lent. Prayer, prayer for the Church, for each other, even for me, yes, I need it, thank you! Praying and forward, always looking at the Lord who gives us the strength to go forward. Now I invite you to pray together with Our Lady and then the blessing.

[recital of the Ave Maria and blessing]

Good evening!
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday, March 4, 2019 - #Eucharist


Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 347

Reading 1SIR 17:20-24

To the penitent God provides a way back,
he encourages those who are losing hope
and has chosen for them the lot of truth.
Return to him and give up sin,
pray to the LORD and make your offenses few.
Turn again to the Most High and away from your sin,
hate intensely what he loathes,
and know the justice and judgments of God,
Stand firm in the way set before you,
in prayer to the Most High God.

Who in the nether world can glorify the Most High
in place of the living who offer their praise?
Dwell no longer in the error of the ungodly,
but offer your praise before death.
No more can the dead give praise 
than those who have never lived;
You who are alive and well 
shall praise and glorify God in his mercies.
How great the mercy of the LORD,
his forgiveness of those who return to him!

Responsorial PsalmPS 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

R. (11a)  Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, 
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, 
my guilt I covered not.
I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD,"
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
For this shall every faithful man pray to you 
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.

Alleluia2 COR 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
"Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother."

He replied and said to him,
"Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth."
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
"You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
At that statement, his face fell,  
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
"How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!"
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
"Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”