Friday, June 14, 2019

Saint June 15 : St. Germaine Cousin the Patron of Abuse Victims, #Disabled , Ugly people, and those Abandoned

St. Germaine Cousin
MYSTIC

Born:
1579, Pibrac, France
Died:
1601, Pibrac, France
Canonized:
29 June 1867 by Pope Pius IX
Patron of:
abandoned people; abuse victims; against poverty; bodily ills; child abuse victims; disabled people; girls from rural areas; handicapped people; illness; impoverishment; loss of parents; peasant girls; physically challenged people; poverty; shepherdesses; sick people; sickness; unattractive people; victims of abuse; victims of child abuse; young country girls

Born in 1579 of humble parents at Pibrac, a village about ten miles from Toulouse; died in her native place in 1601. From her birth she seemed marked out for suffering; she came into the world with a deformed hand and the disease ofscrofula, and, while yet an infant, lost her mother. Her father soon married again, but his second wife treated Germaine with much cruelty. Under pretence of saving the other children from the contagion of scrofula she persuaded the father to keep Germaine away from the homestead, and thus the child was employed almost from infancy as a shepherdess. When she returned at night, her bed was in the stable or on a litter of vine branches in a garret. In this hard school Germaine learned early to practise humility and patience. She was gifted with a marvellous sense of the presence of God and of spiritual things, so that her lonely life became to her a source of light and blessing. To poverty, bodily infirmity, the rigours of the seasons, the lack of affection from those in her own home, she added voluntary mortifications and austerities, making bread and water her daily food. Her love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and for His Virgin Mother presaged the saint. She assisted daily at the Holy Sacrifice; when the bell rang, she fixed her sheep-hook or distaff in the ground, and left her flocks to the care of Providence while she heard Mass. Although the pasture was on the border of a forest infested with wolves, no harm ever came to her flocks.
She is said to have practised many austerities as a reparation for the sacrileges perpetrated by heretics in the neighbouring churches. She frequented the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, and it was observed that her piety increased on the approach of every feast of Our Lady. The Rosary was her only book, and her devotion to the Angelus was so great that she used to fall on her knees at the first sound of the bell, even though she heard it when crossing a stream. Whenever she could do so, she assembled the children of the village around her and sought to instil into their minds the love of Jesus and Mary. The villagers were inclined at first to treat her piety with mild derision, until certain signs of God's signal favour made her an object of reverence and awe. In repairing to the village church she had to cross a stream. The ford in winter, after heavy rains or the melting of snow, was at times impassable. On several occasions the swollen waters were seen to open and afford her a passage without wetting her garments.Notwithstanding her poverty she found means to help the poor by sharing with them her allowance of bread. Her father at last came to a sense of his duty, forbade her stepmother henceforth to treat her harshly, and wished to give her a place in the home with the other children, but she begged to be allowed to remain in thehumbler position. At this point, when men were beginning to realize the beauty of her life, God called her to Himself. One morning in the early summer of 1601, her father finding that she had not risen at the usual hour went to call her; he found her dead on her pallet of vine-twigs. She was then twenty-two years of age.

Her remains were buried in the parish church of Pibrac in front of the pulpit. In 1644, when the grave was opened to receive one of her relatives, the body of Germaine was discovered fresh and perfectly preserved, and miraculously raised almost to the level of the floor of the church. It was exposed for public view near the pulpit, until a noble lady, the wife of François de Beauregard, presented as a thanks-offering a casket of lead to hold the remains. She had been cured of a malignant and incurable ulcer in the breast, and her infant son whose life was despaired of was restored to health on her seeking the intercession of Germaine. This was the first of a long series of wonderful cures wrought at her relics. The leaden casket was placed in the sacristy, and in 1661 and 1700 the remains were viewed and found fresh and intact by the vicars-general of Toulouse, who have left testamentary depositions of the fact. Expert medical evidence deposed that the body had not been embalmed, and experimental tests showed that the preservation was not due to any property inherent in the soil. In 1700 a movement was begun to procure the beatification of Germaine, but it fell through owing to accidental causes. In 1793 the casket  was desecrated by a revolutionary tinsmith, named Toulza, who with three accomplices took out the remains and buried them in the sacristy, throwing quick-lime and water on them. After the Revolution, her body was found to be still intact save where the quick-lime had done its work.

The private veneration of Germaine had continued from the original finding of the body in 1644, supported and encouraged by numerous cures and miracles. The cause of beatification was resumed in 1850. The documents attested more than 400 miracles or extraordinary graces, and thirty postulatory letters from archbishops and bishops in France besought the beatification from the Holy See. The miracles attested were cures of every kind (of blindness, congenital and resulting from disease, of hip and spinal disease), besides the multiplication of food for the distressed community of the Good Shepherd at Bourges in 1845. On 7 May, 1854, Pius IX proclaimed her beatification, and on 29 June, 1867, placed her on the canon of virgin saints. Her feast is kept in the Diocese of Toulouse on 15 June. She is represented in art with a shepherd's crook or with a distaff; with a watchdog, or a sheep; or with flowers in her apron.
Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Death Toll in Sudan, Africa Rises to 100 people Killed - Please Pray for Peace


Sudan: death toll rises to 100, opposition rejects talks offer
Sudan’s opposition leaders reject the ruling military council’s invitation for a return to talks, as the death toll in a brutal crackdown on protesters shoots up to 100.
By Devin Watkins

The Sudan Doctors’ Committee announced Wednesday that at least 100 people have died this week in the military’s brutal crackdown on protesters.

Pro-democracy protest organizers say 40 bodies were pulled from the Nile River on Wednesday, the same day that security forces killed at least 10 people in Khartoum and in Omdurman. Another 10 people were killed on Tuesday, according to the group.

Paramilitary force roaming streets
The violence began on Monday, when troops dispersed a sit-in protest outside the Defense Ministry in Khartoum.

Security forces killed around 40 demonstrators as they fled from live rounds of ammunition. The army put much of the Sudanese capital on lockdown, but protesters have barricaded parts of the suburbs with burning tires.

On Tuesday, reports said a feared paramilitary force entered Khartoum and started roaming the streets, attacking civilians.

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF), formerly known as the Janjaweed militia, made a notorious name for itself in the Darfur conflict in western Sudan in 2003.

Opposition rejects talks as ‘not serious’
On Wednesday, the head of Sudan’s ruling military council, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, said the military is ready to resume negotiations with the opposition.

The general had previously cut talks and called for a snap election within 9 months, despite a deal for a 3-year transition period to civilian rule.

Protest organizers quickly rejected the invitation, saying the military cannot be serious about negotiations while killing protesters at the same time.

UN draft statement blocked
Meanwhile, China and Russia have blocked a UN Security Council draft statement to condemn the violent crackdown on civilians.

Germany and Britain proposed the draft on Tuesday, urging Sudan’s military and protesters to “continue working together” towards a solution.

After the Security Council statement was blocked, the United States and 8 European nations issued a joint statement condemning the military council for putting peace in Sudan in jeopardy.
FULL TEXT Release by VaticanNews.va

Pope Francis explains "...it is the poor who suffer the worst impacts of the climate crisis." Full Text


ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO PARTICIPANTS AT THE MEETING PROMOTED BY THE
DICASTERY FOR PROMOTING INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
ON THE THEME: 
THE ENERGY TRANSITION & CARE OF OUR COMMON HOME
Casina Pio IV, Vatican City
Friday, 14 June 2019

Your Eminence,
Distinguished Executives, Investors and Experts,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I extend a warm welcome to all of you on the occasion of this Dialogue on the theme The Energy Transition and Care for our Common Home. Your return to Rome, after last year’s meeting, is a positive sign of your continued commitment to working together in a spirit of solidarity to promote concrete steps for the care of our planet. For this I thank you.
This second Dialogue is taking place at a critical moment. Today’s ecological crisis, especially climate change, threatens the very future of the human family. This is no exaggeration. For too long we have collectively failed to listen to the fruits of scientific analysis and “doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain” (Laudato Si’, 161). Any discussion of climate change and the energy transition must be rooted, then, in “the results of the best scientific research available today, letting them touch us deeply” (ibid., 15).
A significant development in this past year was the release of the “Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That Report clearly warns that effects on the climate will be catastrophic if we cross the threshold of 1.5ºC outlined in the Paris Agreement goal. The Report warns, moreover, that only one decade or so remains in order to achieve this confinement of global warming. Faced with a climate emergency, we must take action accordingly, in order to avoid perpetrating a brutal act of injustice towards the poor and future generations.
In effect, it is the poor who suffer the worst impacts of the climate crisis. As current situations demonstrate, the poor are those most vulnerable to hurricanes, droughts, floods and other extreme climatic events. Courage is surely required, therefore, in responding to “the increasingly desperate cries of the earth and its poor”.[1] At the same time, future generations stand to inherit a greatly spoiled world. Our children and grandchildren should not have to pay the cost of our generation’s irresponsibility. I beg your pardon, but I would like to emphasize this: they, our children and grandchildren should not have to pay – it is not right that they should pay – the price of our irresponsibility. Indeed, as is becoming increasingly clear, young people are calling for change (cf. Laudato Si’, 13). Today’s young people are saying, “The future is ours”, and they are right!
Your meeting has focused on three interrelated points: first, a just transition; second, carbon pricing; and third, transparency in reporting climate risk. These are three immensely complex issues and I commend you for taking them up and at your level, a serious and scientific level.
A just transition, as you know, is called for in the Preamble to the Paris Agreement. Such a transition involves managing the social and employment impact of the move to a low-carbon society. If managed well, this transition can generate new jobs, reduce inequality and improve the quality of life for those affected by climate change.
Second, carbon pricing is essential if humanity is to use the resources of creation wisely. The failure to deal with carbon emissions has incurred a vast debt that will now have to be repaid with interest by those coming after us. Our use of the world’s natural resources can only be considered ethical when the economic and social costs of using them are transparently recognized and are fully borne by those who incur them, rather than by other people or future generations (cf. Laudato Si’, 195).
The third issue, transparency in reporting climate risk, is essential because economic resources must be deployed where they can do the most good. Open, transparent, science-based and standardized reporting is in the common interests of all, enabling financial capital to move to those areas that support “the fullest possibilities to human ingenuity to create and innovate, while at the same time protecting the environment and creating more sources of employment” (Laudato Si’, 192).
Dear friends, time is running out! Deliberations must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done, and concentrate on what needs to be done, starting today. We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward, or of prioritizing short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires “our decisive action, here and now” (Laudato Si’, 161) and the Church is fully committed to playing her part.
In our meeting last year, I expressed the concern that “civilization requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilization!”[2]Today a radical energy transition is needed to save our common home. There is still hope and there remains time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, provided there is prompt and resolute action, for we know that “human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start” (Laudato Si’, 205).
I thank you once again for responding generously to the invitation of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. I assure you of my prayers for your deliberations, and upon you and your families I cordially invoke the Lord’s blessings. Thank you.



Full Text Shared from Vatican.va - Image source: Vatican.va - Official Translation

Wow Canadian Raptors win NBA for 1st time with help of Player who studied for Priesthood - Pascal Siakam


The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division

Third-year Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is one of their best players; you can see him making the sign of the cross during the games.
According to Business Insider and ESPN, Siakam once studied to be a priest in Cameroon 10 years ago and playing organized basketball for the first time at 17, to breaking out after being the 27th pick in the draft.
 Pascal Siakam stepped up to help the Toronto Raptors win Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
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Siakam, 25, has only been playing organized basketball since he was 17. He grew up in Cameroon and was "hand-picked to embody his family's Catholicism" by his father, according to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan. While Siakam's three older brothers also played basketball. Siakam studied in a seminary until around 15, then was no longer interested in becoming a priest.
Siakam earned a scholarship to New Mexico State, and after three years in college, was taken with the 27th pick in the 2016 NBA draft by the Raptors.

Faithwire reports that another Raptors' player, named Kawhi Leonard, had been doing a lot of praying himself. “I prayed every day,” he said
 ‘Yeah. Last year was a very down year for me. Was going through a lot, with everything that was going on,” Kawhi explained, referencing the injury and team change. “You know, God is good. I prayed every day, ended up getting healthy and now I’m playing basketball. You can see what He does for you.”

US Bishops' Conference assembled in Baltimore Votes in Favor of 3rd Party Abuse Reporting System - Full Text

U.S. Bishops’ Vote in Favor of Moving Forward on Third-Party System for Reporting Abuse Allegations Against Bishops

 
June 13, 2019
BALTIMORE—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have taken three separate votes that will lead to the establishment of a third-party reporting system designed to receive confidentially, by phone or online, reports of possible violations by bishops per Pope Francis’s Vos estis lux mundi.

The bishops voted overwhelmingly in favor of each of the elements necessary to establish a third-party reporting system yesterday.

By a vote of 205 to 16 with 3 abstentions, the General Assembly voted to authorize the design of a third-party system for receiving confidentially, by phone or online, reports of possible violations by bishops of Vos estis lux mundi.

By a vote of 200 to 21 with 2 abstentions, the bishops voted to authorize the Executive Committee to develop a more detailed proposal for a third-party reporting system, including financial, structural, and other necessary adjustments to account for Vos estis lux mundi, for review and approval by the Conference’s Administrative Committee at its September and November 2019 meetings.

Additionally, the bishops voted in favor of committing to activate the third-party reporting system by no later than May 31, 2020 by a 220 to 4 vote with 1 abstention. 

Vos estis lux mundi, allows until May 31, 2020 for the development of local systems to receive such reports. Accordingly, May 31, 2020 is the earliest date the body can safety commit to activation of the system without interfering with the varying schedules of the Metropolitans and senior suffragans in developing local capacity to receive and process complaints from that system.

It is important to note that anyone who has suffered sexual abuse by clergy should not wait for this national reporting system to be in place before reporting abuse. Individuals who may have been abused should contact local civil authorities to file a report as soon as possible, and may also report to Church authorities by existing means, such as Victims’ Assistance Coordinators. After reporting to civil authorities, individuals can also register a complaint with the metropolitan for issues related to sexual abuse or an abuse of power.
Full Text Release by USCCB

1st African-American Priest soon to be declared a Saint - a Brief look into the Life of Ven. Augustus Tolton


 - American priest Augustus Tolton (1854-1897), the first African American Catholic priest, and the lay religious of PIME Felice Tantardini (1898-1991), a missionary in Myanmar, are among the new venerable servants of God of whom the Church has recognized the heroic virtues. On 11 June the Holy Father authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the relevant decrees.
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Agostino Tolton was born in Bush Creek, Missouri USA on April 1, 1854. The mother, in order to escape from slavery, moved to Quincy, Illinois, together with her children, while her husband died in hospital after fighting for the freedom of the Negroes in the 1861 civil war. The Toltons had been baptized in the Catholic faith by decision of the Elliott family, a white Catholic family. In Quincy, Agostino was looked upon with suspicion, offense and threatened, both by his companions and by their parents, and this is why he was sent away from various schools. Thanks to the help of some priests and nuns, he was able to continue his studies, until he entered Quincy College, as well as doing his First Communion and Confirmation. He excelled at school, and he collaborated in the religious education of the little ones. After being rejected by all the diocesan and religious seminaries, in 1880 he was finally welcomed in Rome, in the College of Propaganda Fide, he was 26 years old. On 24 April 1886 he was ordained a priest in the Basilica of St. Giovanni in Laterano in Rome.
He thought he was going to be a missionary in Africa, but the day before his ordination he was told he would return to the United States. On 18 July 1886 he returned to Quincy, but racial prejudice and envy prevented him from carrying out his ministry, although he was loved for his goodness and simplicity by both whites and blacks. Then he moved to Chicago, in 1889, to serve the local black Catholic community, in a basement. In 1891 the construction of a proper church was necessary. Father Gus, as he was called, became a familiar figure in the streets of the black ghetto, where he brought hope and comfort to the poor lands of the slums of the southern part of the city. Father Tolton died at the age of 43, in Chicago, on July 9, 1897, due to a heatstroke that had hit the city causing many victims, while returning from a retreat of priests. Thousands of people attended his funeral, including his mother and sister.
Excerpt from Agenzia Fides report

BREAKING US Bishops Approve revision to Catechism on Death Penalty - Full Text Release

U.S Bishops Approve the Revised Passage on the Death Penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults
June 13, 2019
BALTIMORE— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the revised passage on the death penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults.

The full body of bishops approved the revised passage by a vote of 194 to 8 with 3 abstentions at their Spring General Assembly taking place in Baltimore, June 11-14.

On August 2, 2018, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released the Holy Father’s revision to the teaching on the death penalty in the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2267). In response, the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the USCCB prepared a new section on the death penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA).

Following collaboration with the Committee on Doctrine, they placed the revised statement on the death penalty for the USCCA before the body of Bishops for approval by two thirds of the members, with subsequent recognitio from the Holy See.

The revised statement on the death penalty would replace the current text in the USCCA (pp. 394-395).

FULL TEXT release by USCCB
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Catholic News Service reported:
Bishop Robert Barron reiterated that the bishops were not debating the change to the universal catechism itself or even the overall issue of capital punishment, but simply deciding if the added revision to the adult catechism adequately reflects recent catechism revisions.
He said the passage provides context and justification for the development of this teaching on the death penalty that highlights the dignity of the human person. It also emphasizes the continuity of Catholic teaching on this topic by citing St. John Paul II's encyclical, "The Gospel of Life," and previous statements of U.S. bishops.
The bishop noted that the universal catechism change has not yet been published and if the U.S. bishops made a similar change to the U.S. adult catechism, they would not issue the revised version until the universal catechism change is published.
Last year, the pope ordered a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to reflect that "the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person" and that the church is committed to working toward the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
The catechism's paragraph on capital punishment already had been updated by St. John Paul II in 1997 to strengthen its skepticism about the need to use the death penalty in the modern world and, particularly, to affirm the importance of protecting all human life.
The U.S. bishops' passage about the death penalty states that "today it is no longer just nor reasonable to apply the death penalty," stressing that it is not needed to protect society and its application is "inequitable and flawed."

The new passage also says the death penalty does not promote a culture of life and, quoting the universal catechism, adds that it is "inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person" and the church will work "with determination for its abolition worldwide."
Excerpt from CNS

Over 1 Million protest in Hong Kong over Forced Extradition to China with subsequent Government intervention


Apparent calm returns to Hong Kong after clashes and tear gas
by Paul Wang
The government has decided to again postpone the debate on the controversial extradition law today. Last night, the most violent episode in the territory in recent decades. At least 72 people, aged 15 to 66, were injured; two of them are in serious condition. In a video message, Carrie Lam, head of the executive, defends her position and accuses the youth of organizing a "revolt". Card Zen and Msgr. Joseph Ha in support of young people and for peace. Global condemnation and China’s response: "China's internal affair".
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - This morning, the central districts of the island appear calm after yesterday's clashes and violence between police and protesters. The tens of thousands of demonstrators who surrounded the parliament building (Legco) until last night have gradually dissolved over the night. Some government offices are still closed today, as are shopping centers near the Legco and the Admiralty metro station. The government has decided to again postpone the discussion of the controversial extradition law.

Yesterday's demonstrations, which were attended by tens of thousands of people, mostly young people, wanted to put pressure on the Legco to cancel the extradition law, discussed for yesterday, which would allow the transfer to China (Taiwan and Macao) of fugitives and criminal suspects.

Students, lawyers, entrepreneurs fear that the law does not guarantee those accused basic human rights, given the dependence of Chinese courts on the Party. In addition, they fear that this law will curb the rights of speech and assembly in Hong Kong, given that Beijing could demand the transfer of dissidents and non-aligned people.

Yesterday's demonstrations followed on from one held Sunday, June 9, which was attended by over a million people. Despite this mass demonstration, the government had decided to continue the discussion in parliament to approve the law. The head of the executive, Carrie Lam is determined to reach a result. Yesterday, in a video message she defended her position and accused the youth of having organized a "revolt".

In reality, most of yesterday's (and 9 June) protesters were peaceful. But they were willing to start a indefinite new sit-in, like in 2014 with Occupy Central, equipping themselves with food, glasses, umbrellas, drinking water to defend themselves from tear gas and water cannons of the police. But there were also groups that accumulated bricks and stones.

In the evening some groups tried to join the Legco and the police tried to stop them with sticks and tear gas, often fired into the melee.

At least 72 people, aged 15 to 66, were injured; two of them are in serious condition. According to some observers, last night's episode is the most violent episode in the territory in recent decades.

Yesterday evening, the diocese of Hong Kong issued another statement – following one from the previous day - in which it asks the government and protesters to "exercise moderation" and find solutions through "peaceful and rational channels".

Card Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, and Msgr. Joseph Ha, auxiliary bishop, celebrated Mass, the first at noon, the second in the evening, supporting the requests of the young and praying for peace in the territory.

Criticisms of police violence came from Amnesty International, Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen, British parliamentarians and Nancy Pelosi, head of the US Democrats.

Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated " China strongly opposes the irresponsible and wrong remarks made by certain individuals in the US " on the extradition law. He responded that no country, organisation or person had the right to interfere with China’s domestic affairs.
Full Text Source: AsiaNewsIT
See also: https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/08/asia/hong-kong-extradition-bill-protest-intl/index.html

Pope Francis tells Nuncios " It is dangerous to fall into the timidity or tepidity of political or diplomatic calculations, or even into the "politically correct" - Full Text


MEETING WITH THE APOSTOLIC NUNCIOS

SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

Sala Clementina
Thursday, 13 June 2019

Speech prepared by the Holy Father and delivered to those present

Dear Confreres,

I am pleased to meet you again to see with you and to examine the life of the Church with the eyes of a pastor, and to reflect on your delicate and important mission. I thank each one of you for his presence and for his service. This is our third meeting of this kind, in which I also treasure the reflections aroused by the meetings with all of you, here in the Vatican, as well as in some Nunciatures, on the occasion of the recent Travels. I think that in the future we will try to invite the collaborators with a certain regularity, because these moments will also have a formative character.

I thought of sharing some simple and elementary precepts with you today, which you certainly know well, but remembering them will be good for everyone and will help you to live your mission better with the same enthusiasm of the first term and with the same fervent availability with which you your service started.

It is a kind of "decalogue" which, in reality, is addressed through you also to your Co-workers and, indeed, to all the bishops, priests and consecrated persons you meet in every part of the world.

1 - The Nuncio is a man of God

Being a "man of God" means following God in everything and for everything; obey his commandments with joy; to live for the things of God and not for those of the world; to freely devote all his resources to him by accepting with a generous spirit the sufferings that come as a result of his faith in him. The man of God does not deceive or deceive his neighbor; he does not let himself go into gossip and slander; it preserves the pure mind and heart, preserving eyes and ears from the filth of the world. He does not let himself be deceived by worldly values, but looks to the Word of God to judge what is wise and good. The man of God seriously tries to be "holy and blameless before him" (see Ephesians 1: 4). The man of God knows how to walk humbly with his Lord, knowing that he must rely only on Him to be able to live fully and endure to the end, keeping the heart open to the disadvantaged and the rejected by society and listening to people's problems without judging them. The man of God is he who practices justice, love, clemency, piety and mercy.

The Nuncio who forgets that he is a man of God ruins himself and others; he goes off the track and also damages the Church, to which he has dedicated his life.

2 - The Nuncio is a man of the Church

Being the Nuncio Papal Representative, he does not represent himself but the Church and in particular the Successor of Peter. Christ warns us of the temptation of the wicked servant: "If this wicked servant said in his heart: My master is slow in coming, and he began to beat his companions and to drink and eat with the drunkards, the master will come when the servant does not he waits and in the hour he does not know, he will punish him with rigor and inflict on him the fate that the hypocrites deserve "(Mt 24.48-51).

The Nuncio ceases to be a "man of the Church" when he begins to treat his collaborators, staff, nuns and the nunciature community badly as a bad master and not as a father and pastor. It is sad to see some Nunzi afflicting their collaborators with the same sorrows that they themselves received from other Nuncios when they were collaborators. Instead the Secretaries and Councilors have been entrusted to the experience of the Nuncio so that they can be formed and flourish as diplomats and, if God wants, in the future as Nunzi.

It is bad to see a Nuncio looking for luxury, clothes and objects "signed" among people without the necessary. It is a counter-witness. The greatest honor for a man of the Church is to be "servant of all".

Being a man of the Church also requires the humility of representing the face, teachings and positions of the Church, that is, putting aside personal convictions.

To be a man of the Church means to courageously defend the Church before the forces of evil that are always trying to discredit it, to defame it or to slander it.
Being a man of the Church requires being friends with bishops, priests, religious and the faithful, with confidence and human warmth, carrying out their mission alongside them and always having an ecclesial outlook, that is, of a man who feels responsible for salvation of others. We always remember that the salus animarum is the supreme law of the Church and is the basis of all ecclesial action. [1] This identity of the Nuncio also leads him to distinguish himself from the other Ambassadors in the great feasts, Christmas and Easter: when those are absent to reach the families, the Nuncio remains in place to celebrate the feast with the people of God in the country because, being man of the Church, this is his Family.
3 - The Nuncio is a man of apostolic zeal

The Nuncio is the announcer of the Good News and being an apostle of the Gospel has the task of illuminating the world with the light of the Risen One, of bringing Christ to the ends of the earth. He is a man on a journey who sows the good seed of faith in the hearts of those he meets. And those who meet the Nuncio should feel questioned in some way.

We recall the great figure of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe who, consummated by ardent zeal for the glory of God, wrote in one of his letters: "In our times we see, not without sadness, the spread of" indifferentism ". An almost epidemic disease that is spreading in various forms not only in the generality of the faithful, but also among the members of religious institutes. God is worthy of infinite glory. Our first and foremost concern must be to give him praise to the extent of our weak strengths, aware that we cannot glorify him as he deserves. The glory of God shines above all in the salvation of the souls that Christ has redeemed with his blood. It follows that the primary commitment of our apostolic mission will be to procure the salvation and sanctification of the greatest number of souls ". [2]

We also remember the words of Saint Paul: "For me it is not a source of pride to preach the gospel; it is a duty for me: woe to me if I do not preach the gospel "(1 Cor 9:16). It is dangerous to fall into the timidity or tepidity of political or diplomatic calculations, or even into the "politically correct", giving up the announcement.

Apostolic zeal is that force that keeps us upright and protects us from the cancer of disillusionment.

4 - The Nuncio is a man of reconciliation

It is an important part of the work of every Nuncio to be a man of mediation, communion, dialogue and reconciliation. The Nuncio must always try to remain impartial and objective, so that all parties find in him the right arbitrator who sincerely seeks to defend and protect only justice and peace, without ever allowing himself to be negatively involved. [3]

Being a man of communication, "the activity of the Pontifical Representative brings first of all a precious service to the Bishops, to the Priests, to the Religious and to all the local Catholics, who find in him support and protection, as he represents a Higher Authority, which is for everyone's benefit. Its mission does not overlap with the exercise of the powers of the Bishops, nor does it replace or obstruct it, but respects it and, indeed, favors it and supports it with fraternal and discreet advice ". [4]

If a Nuncio closes himself in the Nunciature and avoids meeting people, he would betray his mission and instead of being a factor of communion and reconciliation it would become an obstacle and impediment. You must never forget that you represent the face of catholicity and the universality of the Church in the local Churches scattered throughout the world and in the Governments.

5 - The Nuncio is a man of the Pope

As a Pontifical Representative, the Nuncio does not represent himself but the Successor of Peter and acts on his behalf with the Church and the Governments, that is, he concretizes, implements and symbolizes the presence of the Pope among the faithful and the populations. It is nice that in several countries the Nunciature is called "Casa del Papa".

Certainly every person could have reservations, likes and dislikes, but a good Nuncio cannot be hypocritical because the Representative is a link, or better, a bridge of connection between the Vicar of Christ and the people to whom he was sent, in a certain area, for which he was appointed and sent by the Roman Pontiff himself.

Your mission, therefore, is very demanding because it requires availability and flexibility, humility, impeccable professionalism, communication and negotiation skills; it requires frequent car journeys and long journeys, that is, living with the suitcase always ready (in our first meeting I told you: yours is a nomadic life).
Being sent by the Pope and the Church, the Nuncio must be prepared for human relationships, have a natural inclination for interpersonal relationships, that is, be close to the faithful, priests, local bishops, and even other diplomats and rulers.

The service of the Representative is also to visit the communities where the Pope is unable to go, assuring them of the closeness of Christ and of the Church. Thus St. Paul VI wrote: "It is, in fact, evident that the movement towards the center and the heart of the Church must be matched by another movement, which from the center spreads to the periphery and leads in a certain way to all the individual local Churches, to all and individual pastors and the faithful the presence and witness of that treasure of truth and grace, of which Christ the Lord and Redeemer has made us sharers, depositories and dispensers. Through Our Representatives, who reside in the various Nations, we make ourselves participants in the very life of Our children and almost inserting ourselves into it we come to know, in a more expedited and sure way, their needs and aspirations together ". [5]

Being "Representative", the Nuncio must continually keep up to date and study, in order to know well the thoughts and instructions of those who represent. He also has the duty to continually update and inform the Pope about the different situations and ecclesiastical and socio-political changes in the country to which he is sent. For this reason it is essential to have a good knowledge of his customs and possibly of the language, keeping the door of the Nunciature and that of his heart always open to everyone.

It is therefore irreconcilable to be a Pontifical Representative criticizing the Pope from behind, having blogs or even joining groups hostile to him, the Curia and the Church of Rome.

6 - The Nuncio is a man of initiative

It is necessary to have and develop the ability and the agility to promote or adopt a conduct appropriate to the needs of the moment without ever falling into mental, spiritual and human rigidity, or into hypocritical and chameleon-like flexibility. It is not a question of being opportunistic, but of knowing how to move from ideation to implementation with the common good in mind and loyalty to the mandate. Archbishop Giancarlo Maria Bregantini says that "without spiritual motivation and without an evangelical foundation, all initiatives gradually collapse, even on the cooperative, economic and organizational level". [6]

The man of initiative is a positively curious person, full of dynamism and initiative; a creative and courageous person who does not let himself be overcome by panic in unpredictable situations, but knows, with serenity, intuition and imagination, to try to turn them over and manage them positively.

The man of initiative is a master who knows how to teach others how to approach reality to try not to be overwhelmed by the small and big surprises that he has in store for us. He is a person who reassures those who go through the storms of life with his positivity.

Being first and foremost a bishop, a pastor who, while living among the vicissitudes of the world, is called daily to show power and to want "to be in the world but not of the world" (see Jn 17:14), the Nuncio, in a manner intuitive, he must know how to reorganize the overall information and find the right words to help the people who come to him to find advice, with the simplicity of doves and the cunning of snakes (see Mt 16.16).

It should be pointed out that these abilities are acquired by following Jesus, following the model of the Apostles and the first disciples, who received the call with particular attention and adherence to the conduct of Jesus Christ.
7 - The Nuncio is a man of obedience
The virtue of obedience is inseparable from freedom, because only in freedom can we truly obey, and only by obeying the Gospel can we enter the fullness of freedom. [7] The call of the Christian and, in this context, of the Nuncio to obedience remains the call to follow the lifestyle of Jesus of Nazareth. The life of Jesus, marked by openness and obedience to God, whom he calls Father. [8] Here we can understand and live the great commandment of liberating obedience: "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). Obedience to God is not separated from obedience to the Church and to superiors.

Here again St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe helps us. In that same letter he wrote: "Obedience, and it alone, is that which manifests the divine will with certainty. It is true that the superior can err, but the one who obeys does not make mistakes. [...] Through the way of obedience we overcome the limits of our littleness and we conform to the divine will that guides us to act righteously with his infinite wisdom and prudence. By adhering to this divine will, which no creature can resist, we become stronger than all. This is the path of wisdom and prudence, the only way in which we can make the greatest glory to God. [...] Let us therefore love, brothers, with all our strength the heavenly Father full of love for us; and the proof of our perfect charity is obedience, to be exercised especially when it asks us to sacrifice our will. In fact we know of no other book more sublime than Jesus Christ crucified, to progress in the love of God ". [9]

Saint Augustine attributes so much importance to obedience, not less than that of love, humility and wisdom, which are fundamental, to the point that there can be no true love, sincere humility, authentic wisdom except in the sphere of obedience. [10]

A Nuncio who does not live the virtue of obedience - even when it is difficult and contrary to his personal vision - is like a traveler who loses his compass, thus risking to fail the objective. We always remember the saying "Medice, cura te ipsum". It is counter-witness to call others to obedience and to disobey.

8 - The Nuncio is a man of prayer

Here it seems to me important to remind you once again of the insuperable words with which St. John the Baptist Montini, as Deputy Secretary of the State, described the figure of the Pontifical Representative: "It is that of one who truly has the conscience to bring Christ with him" (25 April 1951), as the precious asset to communicate, to announce, to represent. The goods, the prospects of this world end up disappointing, pushing them to never be satisfied; the Lord is the good that does not disappoint, the only one that does not disappoint. And this requires a detachment from oneself that can only be achieved with a constant relationship with the Lord and the unification of life around Christ. And this is called familiarity with Jesus. Familiarity with Jesus Christ must be the daily food of the Pontifical Representative, because it is the food that comes from the memory of the first encounter with Him and because it also constitutes the daily expression of fidelity to his call. Familiarity with Jesus Christ in prayer, in the Eucharistic celebration - never to be overlooked - in the service of charity. [11]

Let us remember the Apostles and Peter who said: "It is not right that we neglect the word of God for the service of the tables. Look for, brothers, among you seven men of good reputation, full of Spirit and wisdom, to whom we will entrust this task. Instead, we will dedicate ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word "(Acts 6: 1-6). The first task of each Bishop is therefore to dedicate himself to prayer and to the ministry of the word.

The Nuncio - and all of us - without a life of prayer, risks failing to meet all the aforementioned requirements. Without prayer we become mere officials, always unhappy and frustrated. The life of prayer is that light that illuminates everything else and all the work of the Nuncio and his mission.

9 - The Nuncio is a man of active charity
It should be stressed here that "prayer, the journey of discipleship and conversion find in the charity that sharing is made the verification of their evangelical authenticity. And from this way of life derives joy and serenity of mind, because one touches the flesh of Christ. If we really want to meet Christ, we need to touch his body in the wounded one of the poor, as a confirmation of that sacramental communion received in the Eucharist. The Body of Christ, broken in the sacred liturgy, lets itself be rediscovered by the charity shared in the faces and persons of the weaker brothers and sisters ". [12] Because "faith becomes active through love" (Gal 5: 6).

The Nuncio having the task of interpreting "the solicitude of the Roman Pontiff for the good of the country in which he exercises his mission; in particular, it must zealously take an interest in the problems of peace, progress and collaboration of peoples, in view of the spiritual, moral and material good of the entire human family ". [13] The work of the Nuncio must never be limited to the performance of practices, which, although important, can never make his mission fruitful and fruitful; for this reason the Nuncio must spend himself in charitable works, especially towards the poor and the marginalized: only in this way will he be able to fully realize his mission and his being a father and pastor.

Charity is also gratuitousness, and this is why I would like to speak of a permanent danger, that is the danger of the gifts, here. The Bible defines iniquitous the man who "accepts gifts from under his cloak, to divert the course of justice" (Pr 17,23-24) and also the Psalm asks: "Lord, who will dwell in your tent?" And replies: who "does not accept gifts against the innocent" (15,1.5). The active charity must lead us to be cautious in accepting the gifts that are offered to obfuscate our objectivity and in some cases unfortunately to buy our freedom.

No gift of any value should ever enslave us! Refuse gifts that are too expensive and often useless or send them to charity, and remember that receiving an expensive gift never justifies its use.
10- The Nuncio is a man of humility

I would like to conclude this handbook with the virtue of humility, citing the "Litany of humility" of the Servant of God Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val (1865-1930), Secretary of State and collaborator of Saint Pius X, one of your former colleagues:

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me!
From the desire to be esteemed - Free me, Jesus.
From the desire to be loved - Free me, Jesus.
From the desire to be praised - Release me, Jesus.
From the desire to be honored - Free me, Jesus.
From the desire to be praised - Free me, Jesus.
From the desire to be preferred to others - Free me, Jesus.
From the desire to be consulted - Free me, Jesus.
From the desire to be approved - Free me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated - Free me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised - Release me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering repulse - Free me, Jesus.
From the fear of being slandered - Release me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten - Free me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed - Free me, Jesus.
From the fear of being abused - Release me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected - Free me Jesus.
May others be loved more than me - Jesus, give me the grace to desire it!
May others be valued more than I - Jesus, give me the grace to desire it!
May others grow in the opinion of the world and may I diminish - Jesus, give me the grace to desire it!
May others be employed and I put aside - Jesus, give me the grace to desire it!
May others be praised and I not treated - Jesus, give me the grace to desire it!
May others be preferred to me in everything - Jesus, give me the grace to desire it!
May others be holier than me, as long as I become a saint as much as I can - Jesus give me the grace to desire it! [14]

Full Text Shared from Vatican.va - Image source: Vatican News va - Unofficial Translation

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[1] "In relation to the Bishops, to whom the care of souls in individual dioceses is entrusted by divine mandate, the Pontifical Representative has the duty to help, advise and lend his prompt and generous work, with a spirit of fraternal collaboration, always respecting the exercise of jurisdiction proper to Pastors "(St. Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum: AAS 61 [1969], 476).

[2] See the writings of Massimiliano M. Kolbe, vol. I, Florence 1975, 44-46; 113-114.

[3] The Nuncio also has "the duty to protect in concerted action with the Bishops, with the civil authorities of the territory in which he exercises his office, the mission of the Church and of the Holy See. [...] In his capacity as envoy of the Supreme Pastor of Souls, the Pontifical Representative will promote [...] appropriate contacts between the Catholic Church and other Christian communities, and will encourage cordial relations with non-Christian religions "(St. Paul VI, Lett ap. Sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum: AAS 61 [1969], 476).

[4] Ibid.
[5] Lett. ap. Sollicitudo omnium EcclesiarumAAS 61 (1969), 476.
[6] Non possiamo tacere. Le parole e la bellezza per vincere la mafia, Piemme 2011, 136.
[7] Cfr ENZO BIANCHI, Le parole della spiritualità, Rizzoli 1999, 149-152.
[8] Cfr F. J. MOLONEY, Discepoli e profeti, 186.
[9] Scritti di Massimiliano M. Kolbe, vol. I, Firenze 1975, 44-46; 113-114.
[10] Cfr Patrologia, III, Marietti 2000, 432-434; B. Borghini, L’obbedienza secondo S. Agostino, in “Vita crist.”, 23 (1954), 460-478.
[13] S. Paolo VI, Lett. ap. Sollicitudo omnium EcclesiarumAAS 61 (1969), 476.
[14] https://www.corrispondenzaromana.it/lumilta-insegnata-dal-cardinal-merry-del-val/



Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday, June 14, 2019 - #Eucharist


Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 363

Reading 12 COR 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke,"
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Responsorial PsalmPS 116:10-11, 15-16, 17-18

R.(17a) To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I believed, even when I said,
"I am greatly afflicted";
I said in my alarm,
"No man is dependable."
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
or:
R. Alleluia.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaPHIL 2:15D, 16A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:27-32

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

"It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."