Monday, November 11, 2013


Vatican City, 11 November 2013 (VIS) - Pope Francis has sent the following telegram of condolence to the family of Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, who died today at 96 years of age.
“Upon receiving the news of the death of the venerated Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, I wish to express to the foundation that bears his name, to his family and his Florentine diocesan community my most heartfelt condolences. I recall affectionately this dear and highly esteemed priest, an illustrious composer and musician, who exercised his long and intense ministry, especially through religious music, born of and expressing faith. I also remember with great gratitude his fruitful work as director of the Sistine Chapel Choir and his wise … of the precious gift of polyphony, intended to elevate the heart in praise of God. I raise fervent prayers to the Lord that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, He may welcome his generous servant and distinguished man of the Church in spiritual joy and eternal peace, and impart the comfort of an apostolic blessing to those who mourn his loss”.
Cardinal Bartolucci's funeral will be celebrated on 13 November at 3.30 p.m. at the altar of the Chair of St. Peter in the Vatican Basilica, by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, along with the cardinals, archbishops and bishops. At the end of the Eucharistic Celebration, the Holy Father will administer the rites of “Ultima Commendatio” and “Valedictio”.


Vatican City, 11 November 2013 (VIS) – Pope Francis, through the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” has decided to send an aid contribution of 150,000 dollars to assist the population of the Philippines, devastated by the passage of the typhoon Haiyan which violently struck the country this weekend, in particular affecting the islands of Leyte and Samar and causing, according to unconfirmed estimates, more than ten thousand deaths.
This sum, which will be distributed by the local Church in the regions most affected by the disaster, will be used to support aid work for the assistance of displaced persons from the flooded areas, and it is intended as a first and concrete expression of spiritual nearness and paternal encouragement on the part of the Supreme Pontiff in relation to the people and territories devastated by the floods.


(Vatican Radio) Those who don’t truly repent and only pretend to be Christian are damaging the Church. These were the words of Pope Francis at Mass on Monday morning in the Vatican’s Santa Marta. 

Pope Francis focused his homily on the Lord’s exhortation to forgive our brothers and sisters who have sinned. Jesus, he said, never tired of forgiving, and neither should we. As the Gospel says, if our brother wrongs us seven times in one day, and repents every time, we should forgive him. 

However, Pope Francis warned, there is difference between being a sinner and being corrupt. Those who sin and repent, who ask for forgiveness, are humble before the Lord. But those who continue to sin, while pretending to be Christian, lead a double life, they are corrupt. A Christian who is a benefactor, Pope Francis said, who gives to the Church with one hand, but steals with the other hand from the country, from the poor, is unjust. And Jesus says: “It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea”. This is because, the Pope explained, that person is deceitful, and “where there is deceit, the Spirit of God cannot be”. 

“We should all call ourselves sinners”, Pope Francis said, but those who are corrupt do not understand humility. Jesus called them whitewashed tombs: they appear beautiful, from the outside, but inside they are full of dead bones and putrefaction. And a Christian who boasts about being Christian, but does not lead a Christian life, is corrupt. 

We all know such people, Pope Francis said, and they damage the Church because they don’t live in the spirit of the Gospel, but in the spirit of worldliness. St Paul in his letter to the Romans clearly urges them not to enter into the framework, into the mentality of worldliness, because it leads to this double life.

The corrupt life is a “varnished putrefaction”, Pope Francis said. Jesus did not say that those who are corrupt are sinners, but he said they’re hypocrites. Let us ask the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis concluded, for the grace to admit that we are sinners, but not corrupt.



Fr. Giovanni Re says authorities have reopened some airports and some main roads: "Now they will try to move aid by land". Minor damage in Cebu, where the archdiocese has initiated a program of mutual assistance between the parishes still intact and those affected. A sign of hope: A baby girl is born in Tacloban , the worst hit city.

Cebu (AsiaNews) - News coming from areas affected bytyphoon Haiyan "is not good. The more the hours pass, the more people on the ground to provide relief to discover newer and graver situations", Fr. Giovanni Re, regional superior of the PIME (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions ) in the Philippines tells AsiaNews. According to the priest, "we have to wait a few days to get a clearer idea of the devastation caused by this super typhoon", which, according to the provisional toll, has already caused at least 10 thousand deaths on the island of Leyte, the area hardest hit by the disaster.
"Some local airports have been reopened since yesterday" says Fr. Re. "Mostly military transport planes have been reactivated, I am not aware that civilian airlines have already resumed flights . Inland, especially in big cities like Letye and Dacloma, rescuers have cleared major roads. Maybe now they will be able to move aid like food, medicine and clothing by land. That would be good news . "
The super-typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines at a speed of 350 km / h . The island of Letye took the worst hit, but also other parts of the country were affected by the fury of the storm. Mgr . Achilles Dakay , Media Liaison Officer of the Archdiocese explains to AsiaNews that in Cebu " 20 parishes north of the city were damaged. Altogether, we counted 10 victims. Our bishop, Msgr. Jose Palma, has already organized a program of mutual aid : the other parishes in the city ​​will provide aid and relief to the affected areas.  The priority now is to distribute food, water and materials to start immediately upon reconstruction of houses".

In the midst of the devastation, there is at least one sign of hope : this morning in Tacloban a young woman, Emily Sagalis , gave birth to a girl . The baby was born in the remains of an airport, with the help of an army doctor whom her relatives met while seeking help. Emily, 21, has decided to call the baby Bea Joy, in honor of her mother, Beatriz , who died during the typhoon.

Fr. Fernando Milani, vice regional superior of the PIME and a missionary in Antique , points out: "Perhaps only after a few months we will know the actual number of the dead, and I would not be surprised by the actual devastation caused by the typhoon. This time the government has done everything possible, even sending around a car equipped with megaphones to alert people. However, if you live in a straw house there is little you can do, you just have to prepare to have the house destroyed". Haiyan also passed through his province, but caused only 14 victims , nearly two for every parish in the northern part of the diocese.