Friday, April 19, 2013


(Vatican Radio/VIS) This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received in audience Mr. Rafael Correa Delgado, president of the Republic of Ecuador. President Correa then met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the talks, which were held in an atmosphere of cordiality, the Catholic Church's significant contribution in the various sectors of the country's social life and the importance of sincere and permanent dialogue between the Church and the State to address fundamental societal challenges were discussed.
Then, the centrality of social justice and the value of solidarity and subsidiarity in seeking the common good were emphasized. Finally, issues regarding current events in the region, respect for indigenous peoples and their culture, as well as environmental protection were treated. 

(Vatican Radio) The Word of God is to be welcomed with humility because it is the word of love: thus – and only thus – may it penetrate hearts and change lives. This was the essence of the remarks Pope Francis made at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel on Friday morning, in the presence of employees and staff members from the Vatican Typography – the printing press – and the L'Osservatore Romano newspaper.

The Conversion of St. Paul and the discourse of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum were the biblical readings of the day, and were at the centre of the Pope’s homily, which focused on Jesus as He speaks: speaking to Saul who had been persecuting Him; to Ananias, called to accept Saul; to the teachers of the law, saying that anyone who does not eat His flesh and drink His blood will not be saved. The Pope said Jesus’ voice, “passes through our mind and goes to the heart, for Jesus seeks our conversion.” Paul and Ananias respond with puzzlement, but with an open heart. The teachers of the law respond in another way, arguing among themselves and challenging the hard words of Jesus:

Paul and Ananias respond [after the manner of] the great [figures] in salvation history, like Jeremiah [and] Isaiah. Even Moses had his difficulties [as when he said]: ‘But, Lord, I do not know how to speak, how am I going to go to the Egyptians and [deliver your message]?’ And Mary, [who said]: ‘But, Lord, I'm not married!’. It is the response of humility, of one who welcomes the Word of God with one’s heart. Instead, the doctors answered only with their heads. They do not know that the Word of God goes to the heart, do not know of conversion.
The Pope explained who are the ones that respond only with the head:

They are the great ideologues. The Word of Jesus goes to the heart because it is the Word of love, it is a beautiful word and brings love, makes us to love. These ideologues cut off the road of love, and also that of beauty – and they began to argue sharply among themselves, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’. All a matter of intellect! And when ideology enters into the Church, when ideology enters into our understanding of the Gospel, no [authentic] comprehen[sion] is [possible].

They are the ones who walk only “on the path of duty”: theirs is the moralis[tic outlook] of those who pretend to understand the Gospel with their heads alone. They are not “on the road to conversion, that conversion to which Jesus calls us.”

And these, on the road of duty, load everything on the shoulders of the faithful. The ideologues falsify the gospel. Every ideological interpretation, wherever it comes from – from [whatever side] – is a falsification of the Gospel. And these ideologues – as we have seen in the history of the Church – end up being intellectuals without talent, ethicists without goodness – and let us not so much as mention beauty, of which they understand nothing.

"Rather,” said Pope Francis, “the path of love, the way of the Gospel, is simple: it is the road that the Saints understood”:

The saints are those who lead the Church forward! The road of conversion, the way of humility, of love, of the heart, the way of beauty ... Today let us pray to the Lord for the Church: that the Lord might free her from any ideological interpretation and open the heart of the Church, our Mother Church, to the simple Gospel, to that pure Gospel that speaks to us of love, which brings love, and is so beautiful! It also makes us beautiful, with the beauty of holiness. Today let us pray for the Church.

Vatican City, 19 April 2013 (VIS) – Beginning 3 May until the end of October (except during the month of August) the Vatican Museums will host 21 evenings of music. Every Friday the Museums will have special hours from 7:30pm until 11:00pm. During these special openings, the music of Brahms, Debussy, Beethoven, Respighi, Piazzolla, Mendelssohn, and others will be offered in the Rooms of Raphael, the Gregorian Museum, the terraces of the Pinacoteca, or the Courtyard of the Pinecone in concerts beginning at 8:30pm and lasting around an hour.
The musical series, entitled “Beauty to be Heard” is the result of a collaboration between the Vatican Museums, the Venaria Real (the Royal Palace of Turin, Italy, a Baroque masterpiece declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the Giuseppe Verdi National Conservatory of Turin. The initiative was born of the conviction that the Museums and the Venaria Real are not simply collections, architecture, history, or culture from the past, but the ideal meeting place for all those who want to transform art into a passion to be shared. In the "Room of the Signatura" of Raphael's Stanze, two winged cupids in the lunette above the Parnassus Wall—where Apollo, the god of Beauty and Poetry, surrounded by the Muses representing all the Arts, plays a lyre—bear signs reading “Numine afflatur”, inviting us to contemplate that Art, in all its manifestations, is inspired by divinity.
The beauty of music and the beauty of the figurative arts go hand in hand, Raphael says, portraying Apollo at the centre of his celestial court. This unity is what the youth of the Giuseppe Verdi National Conservatory wish to demonstrate in their Friday concerts at the Vatican Museums. The initiative also includes Saturday performances at the Venaria Reale during the summer months.
The Vatican Museums administration has also provided for a series of thematic guided visits on the musical iconography within the Museums. The complete schedule of “Il Bello da Sentire” (Beauty to be Heard) with the information regarding the places where the concerts will take place and details of the guided “musical” visits is available, in Italian, on the Vatican Museum website:
Vatican City, 19 April 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received:
- His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, Lebanon, and
- His Excellency Mr. Antun Sbutega, ambassador of the Republic of Montenegro, on his farewell visit.
Vatican City, 19 April 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father appointed Fr. Milan Lach, S.J., as auxiliary of the Archeparchy of Presov for Catholics of Byzantine rite (Catholics 123,373, priests 294, permanent deacons 2, religious 126), Slovak Republic. The bishop-elect was born in Kezmarok, Slovakia in 1973 and was ordained a priest in 2001. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral and academic roles, most recently as vice dean for Foreign Relations and Development in the Theology faculty of the University of Trnava, Slovakia. The Holy Father has assigned him the Titular See of Ostracine.


AN EXPLOSION in Central Texas on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 has killed 15 and injured over 160 people. In addition 50 homes were destroyed and an apartment complex. The explosion occurred at a fertilizer plant. Many were evacuated due to danger from the fumes of the chemicals. (Image share Google) 
The Church in West released the following prayer

Behold me, my beloved Jesus,
weighed down under the burden of my trials and sufferings,
I cast myself at Your feet,
that You may renew my strength and my courage,
while I rest here in Your Presence.
Permit me to lay down my cross in Your Sacred Heart,
for only Your infinite goodness can sustain me;
only Your love can help me bear my cross;
only Your powerful hand can lighten its weight.
O Divine King, Jesus,
whose heart is so compassionate to the afflicted,
I wish to live in You;
suffer and die in You.
During my life be to me my model and my support;
At the hour of my death,
be my hope and my refuge.
Pope Francis tweeted from  @Pontifex Twitter account,  "Please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families."


After graduating in Beijing, she had arrived in Boston last September. Together with two other friends, she had gone to see the marathon. Lu died, one of her friends was badly injured, and the third was unharmed.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The authorities announced that one of the people killed at Monday's Boston Marathon bombings was from China, Dorothy Lu Lingzi, a brilliant rising mathematician, who only arrived in the United States last year hoping to graduate in statistics from Boston University and land a job as a financial analyst. Her dream ended on the day of the race when she and two other students, Zhou Danling and Qian Tingting, went to watch the event. Lu was killed; Zhou was injured and is in the hospital, undergoing surgery; the third, Qian, was miraculously unharmed.
Friends and teachers remember Lu as a bright and lively young student, with leadership skills. On the morning of the marathon, she had posted a photograph on the Chinese social-media site Weibo of her meal of bread and vegetables in a ceramic bowl, calling it "my wonderful breakfast" (pictured). On her Facebookprofile, she said she loved very much the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Lu went to school in Shenyang (Liaoning), and then earned a degree in economics and international trade at Beijing Institute of Technology.
In 2010, she went to the University of California at Riverside for three months to boost her chances of getting a place in a graduate programme.
Last September, she was able to get into Boston University for a master in mathematics and statistics. She was one course short before completing her statistics programme.
Chinese students at Boston University were in front of the Marsh Chapel yesterday, gathering signatures and condolences from other students on a card to send to Lu's family.
Theology student Meghan Nelson left a pair of running shoes, flowers and a university key chain in front of a memorial to Martin Luther King as a tribute to the killed student.



John 6: 52 - 59

52The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
53So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
54he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
57As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.
58This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."
59This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper'na-um.


KERMIT GOSNELL(Image share Facebook) practiced abortions from 1972 - 2011 in Philadelphia and areas in the USA. He is currently on trial for 1st and 3rd degree murder and numerous other related charges. He and some of  his staff were arrested in 2011 on counts of murder of a woman undergoing an abortion and murder of 7 babies who were born alive after abortion attempts.
His co-workers pleaded guilty and admitted to "snipping" the spines of 100s of babies.
The trial began on March 18, 2013.
There has been a large media campaign to reveal the atrocities committed at this abortion house which was named "house of horrors". (For more info: )



Tribute to former COMECE General Secretary

COMECE is sad to announce the death on Monday 15 April of Fr Paul Huot-Pleuroux, who was the first General Secretary of COMECE at its foundation in 1980. He occupied this position until 1989.

unknownPriest of the diocese of Besançon (France), Fr Huot-Pleuroux had first been General Secretary of the French Bishops Conference (1971-1977), then Joint Secretary of the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE, Saint Gallen, Switzerland) (1977-1980), before assuming in Brussels the position of General Secretary of the Commission of the Bishops Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) from 1980 to 1989.

Paul Huot-Pleuroux belonged to the pioneering generation of Church representation to the European Institutions. He launched COMECE, established its working methods as well as the initial contacts with European institutions.

After the end of his mandate, he continued his work of communicating the message on Europe through daily radio slots between 1998 and 2010 on the European news broadcast by Christian Radio RCF (France). The transcription of these 270 bulletins which featured on RCF radio over this period have been published in 2 volumes by COMECE under the Title “L’Europe qui se construit”.

COMECE, its President Cardinal Marx, the member bishops and the COMECE Secretariat wish to pay tribute to Fr Paul Huot-Pleuroux and they proudly follow in his footsteps.

A Mass in his memory will be celebrated this Friday 19 April at 12:00
At the Chapelle de la résurrection
rue Van Maerlantstraat 22-24, in Brussels



Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
19 Apr 2013
Truth, Justice and Healing Council CEO, Francis Sullivan
The Truth Justice and Healing Council held its first meeting in Sydney this week with discussions ranging across document procurement for the Royal Commission, systematic issues related to the protection of children and future communications about the Council's work and the Commission's progress.
Mr Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Council, said it was pleasing to take the first official step as a group and to get down to work.
"We are fortunate to have an extremely experienced and diverse group of men and women on the Council to guide our work," Mr Sullivan said.
"Through our 13 members we have expertise in child sexual abuse and its impact, including trauma, mental illness and suicide."
After initial introductions the Council focused on how the Catholic Church achieves its aim of working with the Royal Commission in a spirit of openness, transparency and compassion.
The Council heard a detailed presentation on the complex document procurement process of the Royal Commission. It also discussed the best way to continually communicate, engage and inform the Catholic and Australian community on its work and the progress of the Commission.
"While there is a lot of difficult work ahead of us the Council members are committed to helping the church approach the Royal Commission with openness, courage and humility to enable reconciliation and lasting healing to take place," Mr Sullivan said.
The Truth Justice and Healing Council has been established by the Catholic Church to help the Church response to the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Its role is to oversee the Church's engagement with the Commission, to develop new policies to protect young people and to ensure the Church responds to any future complaints appropriately with justice, putting the needs of victims first. 

shared from Archdiocese of Sydney


St. Leo IX
Feast: April 19

Feast Day:April 19
Born:21 June 1002 at Egisheim, Alsace
Died:19 April 1054 in Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
(1049-54), b. at Egisheim, near Colmar, on the borders of Alsace, 21 June, 1002; d. 19 April, 1054. He belonged to a noble family which had given or was to give saints to the Church and rulers to the Empire. He was named Bruno. His father Hugh was first cousin to Emperor Conrad, and both Hugh and his wife Heilewide were remarkable for their piety and learning. As a sign of the tender conscience which soon began to manifest itself in the saintly child, we are told that, though he had given abundant proofs of a bright mind, on one occasion he could not study out of an exceptionally beautiful book which his mother had bought and given to him. At length it transpired that the book had been stolen from the Abbey of St. Hubert in the Ardennes. When Heilewide had restored the volume to its rightful owners, the little Bruno's studies proceeded unchecked. When five years of age, he was committed to the care of the energetic Berthold, Bishop of Toul, who had a school for the sons of the nobility. Intelligent, graceful in body, and gracious in disposition, Bruno was a favourite with his schoolfellows. Whilst still a youth and at home for his holidays, he was attacked when asleep by some animal, and so much injured that for some time he lay between life and death. In that condition he saw, as he used afterwards to tell his friends, a vision of St. Benedict, who cured him by touching his wounds with a cross. This we are told by Leo's principal biographer, Wibert, who was his intimate friend when the saint was Bishop of Toul.
Bruno became a canon of St. Stephen's at Toul (1017), and though still quite young exerted a soothing influence on Herimann, the choleric successor of Bishop Berthold. When, in 1024, Conrad, Bruno's cousin, succeeded the Emperor Henry I, the saint's relatives sent him to the new king's court "to serve in his chapel". His virtue soon made itself felt, and his companions, to distinguish him from others who bore the same name, always spoke of him as "the good Bruno". In 1026 Conrad set out for Italy to make his authority respected in that portion of his dominions, and as Herimann, Bishop of Toul, was too old to lead his contingent into the peninsula, he entrusted the command of it to Bruno, then a deacon. There is reason to believe that this novel occupation was not altogether uncongenial to him, for soldiers seem always to have had an attraction for him. While he was thus in the midst of arms, Bishop Herimann died and Bruno was at once elected to succeed him. Conrad, who destined him for  higher things, was loath to allow him to accept that insignificant see. But Bruno, who was wholly disinclined for the higher things, and wished to live in as much obscurity as possible, induced his sovereign to permit him to take the see. Consecrated in 1027, Bruno administered the Diocese of Toul for over twenty years, in a season of stress and trouble of all kinds. He had to contend not merely with famine, but also with war, to which as a frontier town Toul was much exposed. Bruno, however, was equal to his position. He knew how to make peace, and, if necessary, to wield the sword in self-defence. Sent by Conrad to Robert the Pious, he established so firm a peace between France and the empire that it was not again broken even during the reigns of the sons of both Conrad and Robert. On the other hand, he held his episcopal city against Eudes, Count of Blois, a rebel against Conrad, and "by his wisdom and exertions" added Burgundy to the empire. It was whilst he was bishop that he was saddened by the death not merely of his father and mother, but also of two of his brothers. Amid his trials Bruno found some consolation in music, in which he proved himself very efficient.
The German Pope Damasus II died in 1048, and the Romans sent to ask Henry III, Conrad's successor, to let them have as the new pope either Halinard, Archbishop of Lyons, or Bruno. Both of them were favourably known to the Romans by what they had seen of them when they came to Rome on pilgrimage. Henry at once fixed upon Bruno, who did all he could to avoid the honour which his sovereign wished to impose upon him. When at length he was overcome by the combined importunities of the emperor, the Germans, and the Romans, he agreed to go to Rome, and to accept the papacy if freely elected thereto by the Roman people. He wished, at least, to rescue the See of Peter from its servitude to the German emperors. When, in company with Hildebrand he reached Rome, and presented himself to its people clad in pilgrim's guise and barefooted, but still tall, and fair to look upon, they cried out with one voice that him and no other would they have as pope. Assuming the name of Leo, he was solemnly enthroned 12 February, 1049. Before Leo could do anything in the matter of the reform of the Church on which his heart was set, he had first to put down another attempt on the part of the ex-Pope Benedict IX to seize the papal throne. He had then to attent to money matters, as the papal finances were in a deplorable condition. To better them he put them in the hands of Hildebrand, a man capable of improving anything.
He then began the work of reform which was to give the next  hundred years a character of their own, and which his great successor Gregory VII was to carry so far forward. In April, 1049, he held a synod at which he condemned the two notorious evils of the day, simony and clerical incontinence. Then he commenced those journeys throughout Europe in the cause of a reformation of manners which gave him a pre- eminent right to be styled Peregrinus Apostolicus. Leaving Rome in May, he held a council of reform at Pavia, and pushed on through Germany to Cologne, where he joined the Emperor Henry III. In union with him he brought about peace in Lorraine by excommunicating the rebel Godfrey the Bearded. Despite the jealous efforts of King Henry I to prevent him from coming to France, Leo next proceeded to Reims, where he held an important synod, at which both bishops and abbots from England assisted. There also assembled in the city to see the famous pope an enormous number of enthusiastic people, "Spaniards, Bretons, Franks, Irish, and English". Besides excommunicating the Archbishop of Compostela (because he had ventured to assume the title of Apostolicus, reserved to the pope alone), and forbidding marriage between William (afterwards called the Conqueror) and Matilda of Flanders, the assembly issued many decrees of reform. On his way back to Rome Leo held another synod at Mainz, everywhere rousing public opinion against the great evils of the time as he went along, and everywhere being received with unbounded enthusiasm. It is apparently in connexion with this return journey that we have the first mention of the Golden Rose. The Abbess of Woffenheim, in return for certain privileges bestowed by the pope, had to send to Rome "a golden rose" before Lætare Sunday, on which day, says Leo, the popes are wont to carry it. Also before he returned to Rome, he discussed with Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen, the formation of all the Scandinavian countries, including Iceland and Greenland, into a patriarchate, of which the see was to be Bremen. The scheme was never accomplished, but meanwhile Leo authorized the consecration by Adalbert of the first native bishop for Iceland.
In January, 1050, Leo returned to Rome, only to leave it again almost immediately for Southern Italy, whither the sufferings of its people called him. They were being heavily oppressed by the Normans. To the expostulations of Leo the wily Normans replied with promises, and when the pope, after holding a council at Spoleto, returned to Rome, they continued their oppressions as before. At the usual paschal synod which Leo was in the habit of holding at Rome, the heresy of Berengarius of Tours was condemned&#mdash;a condemnation repeated by the pope a few months later at Vercelli. Before the year 1050 had come to a close, Leo had begun his second transalpine journey. He went first to Toul, in order solemnly to translate the relics of Gerard, bishop of that city, whom he had just canonized, and then to Germany to interview the Emperor Henry the Black. One of the results of this meeting was that Hunfrid, Archbishop of Ravenna, was compelled by the emperor to cease acting as though he were the independent ruler of Ravenna and its district, and to submit to the pope. Returning to Rome, Leo held another of his paschal synods in April, 1051, and in July went to take possession of Benevento. Harassed by their enemies, the Beneventans concluded that their only hope of peace was to submit themselves to the authority of the pope. This they did, and received Leo into their city with the greatest honour. While in this vicinity, Leo again made further efforts to lessen the excesses of the Normans, but they were crippled by the native Lombards, who with as much folly as wickedness massacred a number of the Normans in Apulia. Realizing that nothing could then be done with the irate Norman survivors, Leo retraced his steps to Rome (1051).
The Norman question was henceforth ever present to the pope's mind. Constantly oppressed by the Normans, the people of Southern Italy ceased not to implore the pope to come and help them. The Greeks, fearful of being expelled from the peninsula altogether, begged Leo to co-operate with them against the common foe. Thus urged, Leo sought assistance on all sides. Failing to obtain it, he again tried the effect of personal mediation (1052). But again failure attended his efforts. He began to be convinced that appeal would have to be made to the sword. At this juncture an embassy arrived from the Hungarians, entreating him to come and make peace between them and the emperor. Again Leo crossed the Alps, but, thinking he was sure of success, Henry would not accept the terms proposed by the pope, with the result that his expedition against the Hungarians proved a failure. And though he at first undertook to let Leo have a German force to act against the Normans, he afterwards withdrew his promise, and the pope had to return to Italy with only a few German troops raised by his relatives (1053). In March, 1053, Leo was back in Rome. Finding the state of affairs in Southern Italy worse than ever, he raised what forces he could among the Italian princes, and, declaring war on the Normans, tried to effect a junction with the Greek general. But the Normans defeated first the Greeks and then the pope at Civitella (June, 1053). After the battle Leo gave himself up to his conquerors, who treated him with the utmost respect and consideration, and professed themselves his soldiers.
Though he gained more by defeat than he could have gained by victory, Leo betook himself to Benevento, a broken-hearted man. The slain at Civitella were ever before him, and he was profoundly troubled by the attitude of Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople. That ambitious prelate was determined, if possible, to have no superior in either Church or State. As early as 1042, he had struck the pope's name off the sacred diptychs, and soon proceeded, first in private and then in public, to attack the Latin Church because it used unfermented bread (azymes) in the Sacrifice of the Mass. At length, and that, too, in a most barbarous manner, he closed the Latin churches in Constantinople. In reply to this violence, Leo addressed a strong letter to Michael (Sept., 1053), and began to study Greek in order the better to understand the matters in dispute. However, if Michael had taken advantage of the pope's difficulties with the Normans to push his plans, the Greek Emperor, seeing that his hold on Southern Italy was endangered by the Norman success, put pressure on the patriarch to make him more respectful to the pope. To the conciliatory letters which Constantine and Cærularius now dispatched to Rome,  Leo sent suitable replies (Jan., 1054), blaming the arrogance of the patriarch. His letters were conveyed by two distinguished cardinals, Humbert and Frederick, but he had departed this life before the momentous issue of his embassy was known in Rome. On 16 July, 1054, the two cardinals excommunicated Cærularius, and the East was finally cut off from the body of the Church.
The annals of England show that Leo had many relations with that country, and its saintly King Edward. He dispensed the king from a vow which he had taken to make a pilgrimage to Rome, on condition that he give alms to the poor, and endow a monastery in honour of St. Peter. Leo also authorized the translation of the See of Crediton to Exeter, and forbade the consecration of the unworthy Abbot of Abingdon (Spearhafor) as Bishop of London. Throughout the troubles which Robert of Jumièges, Archbishop of Canterbury, had with the family of Earl Godwin, he received the support of the pope, who sent him the pallium and condemned Stigand, the usurper of his see (1053?). King Macbeth, the supposed murderer of Duncan, whom Shakespeare has immortalized, is believed to have visited Rome during Leo's pontificate, and may be thought to have exposed the needs of his soul to that tender father. After the battle of Civitella Leo never recovered his spirits. Seized at length with a mortal illness, he caused himself to be carried to Rome (March, 1054), where he died a most edifying death. He was buried in St. Peter's, was a worker of miracles both in life and in death, and found a place in the Roman Martyrology.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)



Vatican Radio REPORT: Faith is a gift that begins in our encounter with Jesus, a real, tangible person and not an intangible essence, ‘mist’ or 'spray'. Our real encounter with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was the focus of Pope Francis Thursday morning celebrated with the Italian State Police who serve the Vatican area. 

The Pope drew inspiration for his homily from the Gospel of John in which Jesus tells the crowd that "he who believes has eternal life". He says the passage is an opportunity for us to examine our conscience. He noted that very often people say they generally believe in God. "But who is this God you believe in?" asked Pope Francis confronting the evanescence of certain beliefs with the reality of a true faith:

"An ‘all over the place - god, a 'god-spray' so to speak, who is a little bit everywhere but who no-one really knows anything about. We believe in God who is Father, who is Son, who is Holy Spirit. We believe in Persons, and when we talk to God we talk to Persons: or I speak with the Father, or I speak with the Son, or I speak with the Holy Spirit. And this is the faith. "

In the Gospel passage, Jesus also says that no one can come to him "unless drawn by the Father who sent me." Pope Francis said that these words show that "to go to Jesus, to find Jesus, to know Jesus, is a gift" that God bestows on us. 

The Pope said we see an example of this in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, where Christ sends Philip to explain the Old Testament in the light of the Resurrection to an officer of the court of the Queen of Egypt. That officer - observed Pope Francis - was not a "common man" but a royal treasurer and because of this, “we may think he was a bit attached to the money", "a careerist." Yet, said the Pope, when this individual listens to Philip speak to him of Jesus "he hears that it is good news", "he feels joy," to the point of being baptized in the first place they find water:

"Those who have faith have eternal life, they have life. But faith is a gift, it is the Father who gifts it. We must continue on this path. But if we travel this path, it is always with our own baggage - because we are all sinners and we all always have things that are wrong. But the Lord will forgive us if we ask for forgiveness, and so we should always press onwards, without being discouraged - but on that path what happened to the royal treasurer will happen to us too”.

Pope Francis, what is described in the Acts of the Apostles, after the officer discovers the faith we also happen to us: "And he went on his way rejoicing":

"It is the joy of faith, the joy of having encountered Jesus, the joy that only Jesus gives us, the joy that gives peace: not what the world gives, but what gives Jesus. This is our faith. We ask the Lord to help us grow in this faith, this faith that makes us strong, that makes us joyful, this faith that always begins with our encounter with Jesus and always continues throughout our lives in our small daily encounters with Jesus. " 

Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) - “The Holy Father shares your sorrow, and that of the many mothers and families who have and are suffering the tragic loss of their loved ones at this moment in Argentina's history.” These are the words that the Pope addressed to Hebe de Bonafini, president of the Association of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, in a letter dated 10 April and signed by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States.
The Bishop of Rome thus responded to the letter that Hebe de Bonafini sent to him this past 21 March, gladdened by Cardinal Bergoglio's commitment in the “slums” of Buenos Aires and asking him to join with “all those in this unjust world who are fighting for an end to poverty.”
The Pope, writes Msgr. Camilleri, expresses his gratitude for the letter and responds to “your kindness, asking God for the strength for the fight, in the ministry that he has just accepted, for the eradication of poverty in the world, so that the suffering of so many who are in need might cease. His Holiness appreciates and highly esteems those who are close to the most disadvantaged and who make the effort to assist them, understand them, and meet their aspirations. In his prayers, he also asks that those responsible for the common good be enlightened so that they might fight the scourge of poverty with effective, equable, and caring means.”
The letter concludes with the Pope's blessing “as a sign of hope and support, at the same time asking the favour that they pray for and have prayers said for him.”
The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo is an association of Argentinian mothers created in 1977 to denounce the disappearance of their children during the time of the Military Junta that controlled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Since 1977 they have assembled every Thursday in the Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada (the “Pink House”, seat of the Argentinian government) to protest for the crimes committed during that era and to keep alive the memory of the desaparecidos.
Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) – The German multinational financial services company Allianz Group, present in over 70 countries and with over 78 million clients worldwide, has awarded the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., as their Communicator of the Year.
The prize was awarded this morning during a meeting of the company's communications directors who meet once a year in a European capital to analyse themes and strategies tied to the world of communications with the assistance of experts in the field.
Among the reasons for this year's award, Allianz notes that Fr. Lombardi “represents the key to understanding and interpreting the Holy See with great refinement and experience, without seeking to make himself the protagonist.” The text of the award adds that the Press Office Director has always been “at the service of information, from both the side of the one who has it as well as that of the one who seeks it.”
Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received:
- His Excellency Antonio Carlos Carvalho de Almeida Ribeiro, the new ambassador of Portugal to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters,
- His Beatitude Gregorios III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites, Syria,
eight prelates of the Triveneto region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Luigi Bressan of Trento,
- Archbishop Andrea Bruno Mazzocato of Udine,
- Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, bishop of Trieste,
- Archbishop Carlo Roberto Maria Redaelli of Gorizia,
- Archbishop Gianfranco Agostino Gardin, O.F.M. Conv., bishop of Treviso,
- Bishop Corrado Pizziolo of Vittorio Veneto,
- Bishop Giuseppe Pellegrini of Concordia-Pordenone, and
- Bishop Ivo Muser of Bolzano-Bressanone.
Vatican City, 18 April 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed:
- Bishop Djuro Hranic as metropolitan archbishop of Dakovo-Osijek (area 7,752, population 643,892, Catholics 548,137, priests 250, permanent deacons 1, religious 423), Croatia. Bishop Hranic, previously auxiliary of the same ecclesiastic circumscription, was born in Vinkovci, Croatia in 1961, was ordained to the priesthood in 1986, and received episcopal ordination in 2001, being assigned the See of Gaudiaba. The archbishop-elect succeeds Archbishop Marin Srakic, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Fr. David J. Walkowiak as bishop of Grand Rapids (area 17,592, population 1,318,000, Catholics 179,500, priests 141, permanent deacons 40, religious 67), Michigan, USA. Fr. Walkowiak, of the clergy of the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, USA, was born in Cleveland in 1953, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1979. Holding a doctorate in Canon Law, he serves as an associate judge of the appellate tribunal for the Province of Cincinnati as well as the pastor of St. Joan of Arc parish in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA. The bishop-elect succeeds Bishop Walter Allison Hurley, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.


Head of Vatican press office wins major prize | Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Holy See Press Office,  Communicator of the Year,Allianz Group,

Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ,

Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Holy See Press Office, has been named Communicator of the Year, by the German multinational financial services company Allianz Group, present in over 70 countries and with over 78 million clients worldwide, 
The prize was awarded on Thursday morning during a meeting of the company's communications directors, who meet once a year in a European capital to analyse themes and strategies tied to the world of communications with the assistance of experts in the field.

Among the reasons for this year's award, Allianz noted that Fr Lombardi “represents the key to understanding and interpreting the Holy See with great refinement and experience, without seeking to make himself the protagonist.” The text of the award adds that the Press Office Director has always been “at the service of information, from both the side of the one who has it as well as that of the one who seeks it.”
Source: VIS