Friday, November 29, 2019

Pope Francis tells Theologians "..you are mediators between faith and cultures, and take part in this way in the essential mission of the Church: evangelization." Full Text


SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION

Hall of the Consistory
Friday, November 29, 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

I am pleased to meet you and I thank your President, Cardinal Ladaria, for the words he addressed to me on your behalf. You have reached the conclusion of the ninth five-year period of work, but above all an important anniversary, the fiftieth anniversary of the Commission: fifty years of service to the Church. I congratulate you on this Jubilee, which allows you to remember your story with gratitude.

As Benedict XVI recalled in his message, the Commission was inaugurated by St. Paul VI as a fruit of the Second Vatican Council, to create a new bridge between theology and the magisterium. From the beginning, prominent theologians have been members, contributing effectively to this purpose. The voluminous body of published documents bears witness to this: twenty-nine texts, points of reference for formation and for theological reflection. In the last five years you have developed two relevant texts. The first offers a theological clarification on synodality in the life and mission of the Church. You have shown how the practice of synodality, traditional but always to be renewed, is the implementation, in the history of the People of God on the way, of the Church as a mystery of communion, in the image of the Trinitarian communion. As you know, this theme is very close to my heart: synodality is a style, it is a walk together, and it is what the Lord expects from the Church of the third millennium. And on this I thank you for your document, because today we think that doing synodality means taking each other by hand and going on a walk, partying with the boys ..., or making an inquiry of opinions: "What do you think about the priesthood of women? ". Mostly it does so, doesn't it? Synodality is an ecclesial journey that has a soul that is the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit there is no synodality. And you did a good job to help with this. Thanks.

The second document proposes a discernment on the different interpretations of religious freedom today. If on the one hand there are those who still prevent or oppose it openly, depriving the human being of an incomparable right, on the other, as you have pointed out, the idea of ​​an "ethically neutral" State circulates, which, in a ambiguous liquidity, also risks leading to an unjust marginalization of religions from civil life to the detriment of the common good. This is still the legacy of the Enlightenment in the new edition. The sincere respect of religious freedom, cultivated in a fruitful dialogue between the State and religions, and between the religions themselves, is instead a great contribution to the good of all and to peace. In addition to these two areas, you reflected on sacramentality, as a constitutive structure of the encounter between God and man, highlighting the need to overcome various forms of dissociation between faith and sacramental life.

The work and the way it was done correspond to the intention that presided over the birth of the Commission fifty years ago. At the suggestion of the first assembly of the Synod of Bishops, St. Paul VI wanted to prolong the fruitful collaboration between the magisterium and theologians who had marked the conciliar sessions. He also wanted the diversity of cultures and ecclesial experiences to enrich the mission entrusted by the Holy See to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In fact, as theologians from various contexts and latitudes, you are mediators between faith and cultures, and take part in this way in the essential mission of the Church: evangelization. With regard to the Gospel, you have a generating mission: you are called to bring the Gospel to light. In fact, you listen to what the Spirit says today to the Churches in different cultures to bring to light ever new aspects of the inexhaustible mystery of Christ, in which "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden" (Col 2.3 ). And then help the first steps of the Gospel: prepare the ways for it, translating the faith for the man of today, so that everyone can feel it closer and feel embraced by the Church, taken by the hand where it is found, and accompanied to taste the sweetness of the kerygma and its timeless novelty. This is called theology: it is not a disquisition of cathedrals of life, but an embodiment of faith in life.
After fifty years of intense work there is still a long way to go, but in doing so the Commission will fulfill its vocation to also be a model and stimulus for those - lay people and clergy, men and women - who wish to dedicate themselves to theology. Because only a beautiful theology, which has the breath of the Gospel and is not content with being merely functional, attracts. And to make a good theology one must never forget two dimensions that are constitutive of it. The first is the spiritual life: only in humble and constant prayer, in the openness to the Spirit one can understand and translate the Word and do the will of the Father. Theology is born and grows on its knees! The second dimension is ecclesial life: feeling in the Church and with the Church, according to the formula of Saint Albert the Great: "In dulcedine societatis, quaerere veritatem" (in the sweetness of fraternity, seek the truth). We don't do theology as individuals, but in the community, at the service of all, to spread the good taste of the Gospel to the brothers and sisters of our time, always with sweetness and respect.

And I would like to reiterate in the end something that I told you: the theologian must go on, must study about what goes further; he must also face things that are not clear and risk in the discussion. This, however, among theologians. But the people of God must be given the solid "meal" of faith, not feeding the people of God with disputed questions. The dimension of relativism, so to speak, which will always be in the discussion, remains among the theologians - it is your vocation -, but never bring this to the people, because then the people lose orientation and lose faith. To the people, always the solid meal that feeds the faith.

Fifty years: I renew my gratitude for what you do and how you do it, and I wish you, with the help of Our Lady, seat of wisdom, to continue your mission with joy. I give you my blessing and ask you to continue praying for me. Thanks.
Source: Full Text + Image : Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Quote to SHARE by St. Therese “The Rosary is a long chain that links heaven and earth. One end of it is in our hands and the other end is in the hands ..."


“The Rosary is a long chain that links heaven and earth. One end of it is in our hands and the other end is in the hands of the Holy Virgin…The Rosary prayer rises like incense to the feet of the Almighty. Mary responds at once like a beneficial dew, bringing new life to human hearts.” -
by St. Therese of Lisieux

Pope Francis says "...the natural virtue of justice requires to be exercised with wisdom and humility, always bearing in mind the "transcendent dignity of man" - Full Text


SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE "ROSARIO LIVATINO" STUDY CENTER

(A group of Italian lawyers, judges, notaries and law professors and academics who are members of the Centro Studio Rosario Livatino. The group is named after an Italian judge who was assassinated by the mafia in 1990 and whose cause of beatification and canonization is proceeding.)

Sala Clementina
Friday, November 29, 2019

Dear brothers and sisters,

I welcome you and welcome you, and I thank the President for his kind words. On May 9, 1993, my predecessor Saint John Paul II, shortly before turning to the "men of the mafia" the memorable and peremptory invitation to convert in the Valley of the Temples, in Agrigento, had met the parents of a magistrate, Rosario Angelo Livatino, who on September 21, 1990, at the age of 38, he was killed while on his way to work in the Court. On that occasion the Pope called him "martyr to justice and indirectly to faith".

I am pleased to meet today the members of the Study Center who chose his name and who holds the annual national conference. Livatino - for which the diocesan beatification process has been successfully concluded - continues to be an example, above all for those who carry out the demanding and complicated job of a judge. Hardly anyone knew him when Rosario was killed. He worked in a suburban court: he took care of seizures and confiscations of illicitly acquired assets acquired by the mafia. He did so unassailable, respecting the guarantees of the accused, with great professionalism and with concrete results: for this reason the mafia decided to eliminate him.

Livatino is an example not only for magistrates, but for all those who work in the field of law: for the coherence between his faith and his work commitment, and for the actuality of his reflections. In a conference, referring to the question of euthanasia, and taking up the concerns that a secular parliamentarian of the time had for the introduction of an alleged right to euthanasia, he made this remark: "If the believer's opposition to this law becomes founded on the conviction that human life [...] is a divine gift that is not permissible for man to stifle or interrupt, just as the opposition of the non-believer is founded on the conviction that life is protected by natural law, that no right positive can violate or contradict, since it belongs to the sphere of "unavailable" goods, which neither individuals nor the community can attack "(Canicattì, April 30, 1986, in Faith and law, by Postulation).

These considerations seem distant from the judgments that in terms of the right to life are sometimes pronounced in the classrooms of justice, in Italy and in many democratic systems. Entries for which the main interest of a disabled or elderly person would be to die and not be treated; or that - according to a jurisprudence that calls itself "creative" - ​​invent a "right to die" devoid of any juridical foundation, and in this way weaken the efforts to relieve the pain and not to abandon to itself the person who is going to conclude one's existence.

In another conference, Rosario Livatino describes the moral status of those called to administer justice: "He is nothing other than an employee of the State entrusted with the very special task of applying the laws, which that society is given through their own institutions ». However, a different interpretation of the role of the magistrate has been increasingly affirmed, according to which the latter, «while the letter of the norm remains the same, can use the one of its meanings that best fits the contingent moment» ( Canicattì, 7 April 1984, in The Role of the Judge in the Changing Society, by the Postulation).

Even in this case, the topicality of Rosario Livatino is surprising, because it captures the signs of what would have emerged most clearly in the following decades, not only in Italy, that is the justification of the encroachment of the judge in areas not his own, especially in the so-called "New rights", with sentences that seem to be concerned with fulfilling ever new desires, detached from any objective limit.

The theme you have chosen for today's conference is part of this path, and calls into question a crisis in the judiciary that is not superficial but has deep roots. Also on this side, Livatino witnessed how the natural virtue of justice requires to be exercised with wisdom and humility, always bearing in mind the "transcendent dignity of man", which refers to "his nature, his innate ability to distinguish the good from evil, to that "compass" inscribed in our hearts and that God has impressed in the created universe "(Address to the European Parliament: Teachings of Francis, vol. II, 2 [2014], 626).
I find myself very much in another reflection by Rosario Livatino, when he states: "Deciding is choosing [...]; and choosing is one of the most difficult things man is called to do. [...] And it is precisely in this choice to decide, decide to order, that the believing magistrate can find a relationship with God. A direct relationship, because rendering justice is self-realization, it is prayer, it is self-dedication to God. An indirect relationship, through love towards the person judged. [...] And this task will be all the lighter the more the magistrate will humbly feel his weaknesses, the more he will present himself to the society willing and inclined to understand man who has before him and to judge him without superman attitude, but rather with constructive contrition ».

In this way, with these convictions, Rosario Livatino left us all a shining example of how faith can be fully expressed in the service to the civil community and its laws; and how obedience to the Church can be combined with obedience to the State, in particular with the delicate and important ministry of enforcing and enforcing the law.

Dear friends, concord is the link between the free men that make up civil society. With your commitment as jurists, you are called to contribute to the construction of this harmony, deepening the reasons for the coherence between the anthropological roots, the elaboration of the principles and the lines of application in everyday life.

After the death of Livatino, more than one of his notes was found on the sidelines an annotation, which at the beginning sounded mysterious: "S.T.D.". Soon it was discovered that it was the acronym that attested to the act of total entrusting that Rosario frequently did with the will of God: S.T.D. are the initials of sub protection Dei. I wish you to continue in your footsteps, in this school of life and thought. I bless you and please do not forget to pray for me.
Source: Full Text + Image : Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation

Pope Francis says pray to God saying “Lord, prepare my heart to die well, to die in peace, to die with hope.”


Vatican News Report: Pope at Mass: 'look to your moment of death with hope and trust in the Lord'
Pope Francis reflects on our mortal end, speaking of death as a moment of encounter with the Lord, a moment for which we must be prepared.
By Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis celebrated morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Friday recalling that in this last week of the liturgical year the Church invites us to reflect on the end: the end of the world and the end of each of us.

This theme, he said, is echoed in the Gospel reading in which Luke repeats Jesus’s words: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Human vulnerability
The Pope centered his homily on how “everything will end” but “He will remain” and he invited the faithful to reflect on the moment of their death.

None of us knows exactly when it will happen; indeed, he noted, we tend to put off that thought believing ourselves eternal, but it is not so.

“We all have this weakness, this vulnerability,” the Pope said and he mentioning an article just published in the Jesuit publication Civiltà Cattolica highlighting the fact that vulnerability is something we all have in common.

We are all equal in vulnerability, he said, and pointing out that at a certain point this vulnerability leads us to death, he commented on how we turn to doctors or to psychologists in search of healing for our bodies or for our minds.

Hope in the Lord
The Pope told those present that in his own country, people would pay for their own funerals in advance in the illusion of saving money for the family. But when it came to light that some funeral companies were scamming people, the trend ended.

“How many times are we cheated by an illusion?” the Pope said, like the illusion of being eternal.

The certainty of death, he said, is written in the Bible and in the Gospel, but the Lord always presents it to us as an “encounter with Him” and accompanies it with the word “hope.”

“The Lord tells us to be prepared for the encounter, death is an encounter: it is He who comes to visit us, it is He who comes to take us by the hand and take us with Him,” he said.

 The Lord, he said, will knock on each or our doors one day.

Therefore, the Pope said, it is necessary to prepare well for that moment.

“My invitation,” he concluded, is to be ready for it: “think about your death, (…) pray for one another and, in order to be able to open the door with trust and confidence when the moment comes,” pray to God saying  “Lord, prepare my heart to die well, to die in peace, to die with hope.”
Source: VaticanNews.va

#BreakingNews at least 45 Killed in Arson Attack on Iranian Consulate in Iraq

Iraq, a day of blood follows arson attack on Iranian consulate: at least 45 dead
About 29 dead in Nassiriya, four victims in Baghdad and 12 in Najaf, a Shiite holy city. In Nassiriya thousands of people defy the curfew to pay homage to the dead. Paramilitary forces ready to thwart attacks on Shiite religious offices. The protesters intend to continue in the struggle.


Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The latest toll from the violent repression carried out yesterday throughout the country by the police and security forces, in response to the assault of the Iranian consulate in Najaf set on fire by protesters is now 45 dead.

In Najaf clashes there were 12 victims added to the 29 dead - dozens injured - in the southern port city of Nassiriya, where troops opened fire on demonstrators who had blocked two strategic bridges. Four deaths in Baghdad.

In Iraq, the escalation of violence linked to anti-government demonstrations has not stopped, which since October 1st have been shaking the country and are being repressed with increasing force by police and security departments.

In Nassiriya thousands of people, challenging the curfew, took to the streets to pay tribute to the victims of the violence of these last hours. According to analysts and experts the turning point of the crisis could be the assault on the diplomatic representation of Tehran, a power that supports the current government accused by the population of corruption and incapacity, with images of the consulate in flames and ruined.

Overnight Tehran closed the border point of Mehran. Meanwhile, the commander of the People's Mobilization Forces (Pmf), an Iraqi paramilitary group close to Iran, says that the violence in Najaf is an attempt to attack the Shiite clergy who live in the city. The militias are ready to use force against anyone who intends to threaten the highest local position, the great ayatollah Ali a-Sistani, and the other prominent religious. "We will cut off the hands of anyone who tries to get close to al-Sistani," threatened Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

In these hours the populist leader Moqtada al-Sadr has also intervened, asking for the executive to resign en bloc. He was also highly critical of those who set fire to the Iranian consulate, who risk provoking a harsh repression of the authorities. However, Najaf protesters are resolute: for Ali, one of those who participated in the protest, the fire is a "courageous gesture and a reaction of the Iraqi people. We don't want the Iranians ". "There will be revenge - he adds - from Iran, I'm sure. They are here and the security forces are ready to shoot us".
FULL TEXT Source: AsiaNewsIT

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday, November 30, 2019 - #Eucharist


Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 507

Reading 1DN 7:2-14

In a vision I, Daniel, saw during the night,
the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea,
from which emerged four immense beasts,
each different from the others.
The first was like a lion, but with eagle’s wings.
While I watched, the wings were plucked;
it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet
like a man, and given a human mind.
The second was like a bear; it was raised up on one side,
and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks.
It was given the order, “Up, devour much flesh.”
After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard;
on its back were four wings like those of a bird,
and it had four heads.
To this beast dominion was given.
After this, in the visions of the night I saw the fourth beast,
different from all the others,
terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength;
it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed,
and what was left it trampled with its feet.
I was considering the ten horns it had,
when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst,
and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it.
This horn had eyes like a man,
and a mouth that spoke arrogantly.
As I watched,

Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was snow bright,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
His throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.

The court was convened, and the books were opened.
I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words
which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain
and its body thrown into the fire to be burnt up.
The other beasts, which also lost their dominion,
were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw

One like a son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Responsorial PsalmDANIEL 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81

R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!”
“You springs, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Seas and rivers, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!

AlleluiaLK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.”

Saint November 29 : St. Saturninus : Missionary and Martyr

MISSIONARY AND MARTYR Feast: November 29
Born:
third century, Patras, Greece
Died:
257, Toulouse, France
Canonized:
Basilique St-Sernin, Toulouse
Patron of:
Toulouse, France

St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there were already Christians in the town or his preaching made numerous conversions, he soon had a little church. To reach it he had to pass before the capitol where there was a a temple, and according to the Acts, the pagan priests ascribed to his frequent passings the silence of their oracles. One day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the idols they condemned him be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke. Two Christian women piously gathered up the remains and buried them in a deep ditch, that they might not be profaned by the pagans. His successors, Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, gave him more honourable burial. A church was erected where the bull stopped. It still exists, and is called the church of the Taur (the bull). The body of the saint was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus), one of the most ancient and beautiful of Southern France. His feast was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology for 29 November; his cult spread abroad. The account of his Acts was embellished with several details, and legends linked his name with the beginning of the churches of Eauze, Auch, Pamplona, and Amiens, but these are without historic foundations.
source The Catholic Encyclopedia