Latest News from the Vatican Information Service - Pope Francis Appoints



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Vatican City, 11 June 2014 (VIS) – Tomorrow12 June, will be World Day Against Child Labour and, at the end of today's general audience, the Pope launched an appeal for the “tens of thousands of children who are forced to work in degrading conditions, exposed to forms of slavery and exploitation, as well as abuse, mistreatment and discrimination”.
“Listen well”, he emphasised: “Tens of thousands of children!” and he expressed his hope that the international community would “extend social protection for minors in order to weaken this scourge. Let us renew our commitment, in particular in families, to guarantee to every boy and girl the protection for his or her dignity and the possibility of healthy growth. A serene childhood enables us to look trustfully upon life and to the future”.
Vatican City, 11 June 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Cruz Alta, Brazil, presented by Bishop Friedrich Heimler, S.D.B., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
- appointed Fr. Gilberto Alfredo Vizcarra Mori, S.J., as apostolic vicar of Jaen (area 32,572, population 525,101, Catholics 409,000, priests 36, permanent deacons 1, religious 105), Peru. The bishop-elect was born in Lima, Peru in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He studied philosophy at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and theology in the Jesuit faculty in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and obtained a licentiate in Arabic in Cairo, Egypt and a licentiate from the Institute of Arabic Studies and Islam, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including priest in the parishes of “San Pedro y San Pablo” in Bitkine, Chad, and “San Ignacio”, Chad; superior of the community and founder and director of the “Fe y Alegria” project in Chad. He is currently vicar in the parish of “Santa Teresa del Nino Jesus” in Abeche, Chad. He succeeds Bishop Santiago Maria Garcia de la Rasilla Dominguez, S.J., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same apostolic vicariate, upon having reached the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.
Vatican City, 10 June 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy See Press Office has published the programme of the pastoral visit Pope Francis will make on Saturday, 21 June, to the diocese of Cassano all'Jonio in the province of Cosenza, in the Italian region of Calabria.
The Holy Father will leave the Vatican by helicopter at 7.25 a.m., and will land in the square in front of the “Rosetta Sisca” penitentiary of Castrovillari, where he will meet with detainees, prison staff, and their families. From there he will proceed to Cassano all'Jonio, again by helicopter, where he will land in the “Pietro Toscano” sports field. Following a brief welcome ceremony he will visit the “Giuseppe Moscati” centre for palliative care for the terminally ill.
At midday he will meet with the clergy of the diocese at the cathedral, and around 1 p.m.he will lunch in the John Paul I seminary with the poor assisted by the diocesan Caritas and with the young people in the “Mauro Rostagno” residential therapeutic rehabilitation centre. At 2.30 p.m. he will visit the elderly in the “Casa Serena” residence and at 4 p.m. he will celebrate Holy Mass at Piana di Sibari.
The Holy Father will leave at 6 p.m., leaving from the heliport at Marina di Sibari and arriving in the Vatican at 7.30 p.m.
Vatican City, 10 June 2014 (VIS) – The managing board of the Foundation “Populorum Progressio” for Latin America, which upon its institution in 1992 was entrusted by St. John Paul II to the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, will hold its annual meeting in the Vatican from10 to 14 July.
The members of the board are Cardinal Robert Sarah, president ex officio of the Foundation; Archbishop Edmundo Luis Flavio Abastoflor Montero of La Paz, Bolivia, president of the managing board; Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil, Ecuador, vice-president; Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, archbishop of Santo Domingo; and Archbishop Oscar Urbina Ortega of Villavicencio, Colombia; Archbishop Murilo Sebastiao Ramos Krieger of Sao Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; Archbishop Javier Augusto de Rio Alba of Arequipa, Peru, and Msgr. Segundo Tejada Munoz, representative of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”.
During the meeting the members of the managing board discussed the financing of projects to assist indigenous, mestizo, Afro-American and peasant populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. The meeting will offer an opportunity for reflection, taking as a starting point the directions given by the Holy Father, on the most effective ways of providing the service of charity of a “poor Church for the poor”, who fulfils her mission in the human and existential peripheries, and with particular attention to those most in need.
So far approximately four thousand projects have been carried out by the Foundation, funded by a total of more than 35 million dollars. They are all characterised by a participatory approach involving local communities and are directed at various sectors, including agriculture and animal husbandry, crafts and cottage industries, infrastructure for drinking water, training and provision for schools, health care, and construction.
Vatican City, 8 June 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday the participants in the 36th pilgrimage on foot between the Italian towns of Macerata and Loreto received a telephone call from Pope Francis, before celebrating the Eucharist, presided at by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, in the Helvia Recina stadium of Macerata.
The Holy Father urged the pilgrims to pray for the intercession of the Madonna of Loreto for a good outcome to the prayer encounter for peace in the Holy Land and Middle East convoked in the Vatican, and added that they should not be afraid of a dreaming of a more just world; of asking, seeking and deepening. Faith, he said, “is not an inheritance that we receive from others, faith is not a product that we purchase, but rather an answer of love that we give freely and build daily with patience, through successes and failures. Do not be afraid to throw yourselves into God's arms. God will ask you nothing, if not to bless it and give it back to you a hundred times over! Do not allow yourself to be discouraged by losers or the fearful who would take your dream away, who want to imprison you in their dark mentalities instead of letting you fly in the light of hope! Please, do not fall into mediocrity, that mediocrity that diminishes and makes everything grey. Life is not grey, life is for putting at stake for great ideas and great things!”

Vatican City, 7 June 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial discussions, the Parties focused on various aspects of the life of the country including numerous recent reforms, in particular the constitutional amendments regarding religious freedom. Attention then turned to other matters of common interest, such as migration, the struggle against poverty and unemployment, and initiatives for combating violence and drug trafficking.
Finally, there was an exchange of opinions on themes relating to current regional and international affairs.
Vatican City, 7 June 2014 (VIS) – On 30 May Pope Francis sent a message to the participants in the 19th Congress of the International Criminal Law Association and the 3rd Congress of the Latin American Association for Penal Law and Criminology, held last week in Buenos Aires, in which he shares with them some ideas which “form part of the Scriptures and the millennial experience of the People of God” and, in which “in spite of historical changes, three elements have been constant: the satisfaction or reparation of damage caused; confession, by which a man expresses his inner conversion; and contrition, to lead to the encounter with God's merciful and healing love”.
With reference to the first, satisfaction, Francis observes that “the Lord has gradually taught his people that there is a necessary asymmetry between crime and punishment, that an eye or a broken tooth cannot be restored by taking or breaking another. It is a matter of bringing justice to the victim, not punishing the aggressor”, and “in our societies we tend to think that crimes are solved when we capture and sentence the criminal, largely avoiding the damage caused or without paying sufficient attention to the situation in which the victims find themselves. However, it would be a mistake to identify reparation solely with punishment, to confuse justice and vengeance, which can only contribute to increasing violence, even if this latter is institutionalised. Experience teaches us that the increase and hardening of penalties often neither solves social problems, nor reduces crime rates. And, furthermore, this may give rise to serious social problems, such as overcrowding of prisons or prisoners detained without trial”.
“In this regard”, he continues, “means of communication … play a very important role and hold great responsibility: we depend on them to give accurate information and not to contribute to creating alarm or social panic when they provide news of criminal activities. The life and dignity of people is at stake, and these must be turned into media events, subject to attention often of an unhealthy nature, condemning the suspects to social disparagement before being judged or forcing victims, for sensationalist purposes, to publicly relive their suffering”.
The second aspect, confession, is “the attitude of those who recognise and admit their guilt. If the criminal is not sufficiently helped, he or she is not offered the chance to be able to convert, and ends up as a victim of the system. … It is necessary to move forward and to do everything possible to correct, improve and educate the person so that he is able tomature in respects, so he is not discouraged and faces the damage caused, rethinking his life without being crushed by the weight of his miseries. ... And we must ask ourselves why some fall and others do not, in spite of being in the same condition. Not infrequently criminality is rooted in economic and social inequality, in networks of corruption and organised crime, that seek accomplices among the poorest and victims among the most vulnerable. To prevent this scourge, it is not enough to have just laws: it is necessary to construct responsible people able to put them into practice. A society that is governed solely by market laws and creates false expectations and superfluous necessities, discards those who are not at the top and prevents the slow, the weak or the less gifted from taking an open road in life”.
Finally, contrition is “the gateway to repentance, the privileged path to the heart of God, Who welcomes us and always offers us another chance if we open ourselves up to the truth of penance and allow ourselves to be transformed by His mercy. ... The attitude of God, Who goes before the sinner to offer him His forgiveness, is shown in this way to be a higher justice, both equanimous and compassionate, with no contradiction between these two aspects. Forgiveness, in effect, neither eliminates nor diminishes the need for rectification required by justice, nor does it ignore the need for personal conversion, but instead goes beyond this, seeking to restore relationships and to reintegrate people into society”.
“I think that here is the great challenge that we must all face”, concludes the Pope, “so that the measures taken against evil are not limited to suppressing, discouraging and isolating those who cause it, but instead help them to rehabilitate, to re-embark upon the path of good, to be authentic people who move on from their miseries to become merciful themselves. Therefore, the Church proposes a form of justice that is humanising, genuinely reconciliatory, a justice that leads the wrongdoer, through an educative path of encouraged penance, to rehabilitation and total reinsertion in the community. How important and good it would be to take on this challenge, so as not to let it fall into oblivion. How good it would be to take the necessary steps to ensure that forgiveness does nto remain exclusively in the private sphere, but instead attains a real political and institutional dimension to create harmonious relations of coexistence.
Vatican City, 9 June 2014 (VIS) – The Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences has organised a study day dedicated to St. Pius X (1914-2014) to be held on 12 June , the centenary of his death. The theme of the day is “St. Pius X, a reforming pope facing the challenges of the new century”, and it was presented this morning in the Holy See Press Office by Fr. Bernard Ardura O. Praem., president of the aforementioned Committee and by Professor Alejandro Mario Dieguez of the Vatican Secret Archive.
“During this day”, said Fr. Ardura, “we intend to highlight the principles and pastoral directions of St. Pius X who, throughout all his ministry, was essentially a pastor of souls. … All his efforts in the ecclesial and social fields were dictated by a pastoral realism, oriented towards the renewal of the Christian life of people and communities”.
Diguez commented that the event “will offer an overview of new historical information on this intense and crucial pontificate. … This has been possible thanks to the publication of archive sources (with four volumes edited by the Vatican Archive), of profound and systematic research (not only on modernism but also on apostolic visits, codification and the reform of the curia), and study conferences (six over the last twenty-five years). It has therefore been possible to recover the historical Pius X and not that of myth, the Pius X of ecclesiastical governance and reform, and not that of popular piety, recomposing the complex and fascinating personality of this pontiff”.
Vatican City, 7 June 2014 (VIS) – The Autorità Informazione Finanziaria (AIF), the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Holy See and Vatican City State, has formalised its bilateral cooperation with the U.K., France and four other countries with Memoranda of Understanding signed during the plenary meeting of the Egmont Group held in Peru.
The Memoranda were signed with the Financial Intelligence Units of the U.K., France, Malta, Romania, Poland and Peru by the Director of the AIF, Rene Bruelhart.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is standard practice and formalises the cooperation and exchange of financial information to fight money laundering and combat terrorist financing across borders between the competent authorities of both countries. It is based on the model Memorandum of Understanding prepared by the Egmont Group, the global organisation of national Financial Intelligence Units, and contains clauses on reciprocity, permitted uses of information and confidentiality.
“Becoming a member of the Egmont Group last year was a major step toward strengthening the international cooperation of the Holy See and supporting the global efforts to fight Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism”, said Bruelhart. “The signing of these latest MOUs shows that we are continuously expanding our network of cooperation, and will further facilitate our joint efforts”.
AIF became a member of the Egmont Group in July of 2013, and has already signed MOUs with the Financial Intelligence Units of Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the United States.
AIF is the competent authority of the Holy See/Vatican City State to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It was established in 2010.
Vatican City, 7 June 2014 (VIS) – Today a letter was published, written in Latin and dated 28 May, by which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Ferdinand Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as his special envoy to the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the diocese of Funchal (Madeira, Portugal), which will take place from 13 to 16 June. The pontifical mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Msgr. Jose Fiel de Sousa, vicar general, and the Rev. Canon Joao Duarte Pita de Andrade, president of the cathedral chapter.
Vatican City, 9 June 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.
- Francis Gurry, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
-Br. Enzo Bianchi, prior of the Monastery of Bose.
- Reinhard Schweppe, ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, on his farewell visit.
- Alicia Castro, ambassador of the Republic of Argentina to the United Kingdom.
On Saturday, 7 June, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
- Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome.
Vatican City, 9 June 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- erected the new diocese of Izcalli (area 533, population 966,836, Catholics 821,351, priests 64, religious 64), Mexico, with territory taken from the diocese of Cuautitlan, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Tlalnepantla. He appointed Msgr. Francisco Gonzalez Ramos as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Pueblo Nuevo, Mexico in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1982. He holds a degree in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has held a number of pastoral and educative roles, including prefect of discipline in the minor seminary of Leon, and professor in the major seminary of Leon, and priest of the parish of “Espiritu Santo”.
- appointed the following members of the Congregation for the Clergy: Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence, Italy; Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Berlin, Germany; and Archbishop Gintaras Grusas of Vilnius, Lithuania.
- confirmed the following as members of the Congregation for the Clergy: Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Cardinal Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, Cardinal Angelo Scola, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, Cardinal John Njue, Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, Archbishop Tomash Bernard Peta, Bishop Fernando Antonio Figueiredo O.F.M., Bishop Klaus Kung, and Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff.
On Saturday, 7 June, the Holy Father:
- appointed Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen, apostolic nuncio in Sudan, as apostolic nuncio in Eritrea.
- appointed Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as special envoy to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the restoration of the freedom of the Greek Catholic eparchy of Mukachevo, to take place at the major seminary of Uzhhorod, Ukraine on 28 June 2014.

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