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07-05-2015 - Year XXV - Num. 85 

- European Churches and Ecclesiastic Communities: Collaborating in Solidarity to Welcome Immigrants
- Pope thanks Bishops of Mali for Safeguarding Interreligious Dialogue
- Pope Francis receives Sporting Association of Lazio, Italy: True Sports help overcome Situations of Injustice
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts

- General audience: the beauty of Christian marriage
- On the anniversary of the end of World War II: may humanity learn from past mistakes
- Greetings to the families of the Swiss Guard and Polish faithful
- Private visit of President Castro of Cuba
- Decrees for the Causes of Saints
- Other Pontifical Acts
European Churches and Ecclesiastic Communities: Collaborating in Solidarity to Welcome Immigrants
Vatican City,7 May 2015 (VIS) ? This morning Pope Francis received members of the joint committee of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), whose objective is facilitating ecumenism throughout the continent, where many of the divisions and wars between Christians began. The current situation is very different. Thanks to ecumenical dialogue, ecclesiastic communities have taken great steps on the path to reconciliation and peace, as demonstrated by the recent European Ecumenical Assemblies and the Ecumenical Charter written in Strasbourg, France in 2001. These are landmarks in the collaboration between the CEC and the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE) that give rise to the hope of achieving full and visible union between believers in Christ.
The Holy Father, who noted that the ecumenical journey, even with all its difficulties, is already an integral part of the process of reconciliation and communion, recalled that the conciliar decree Unitatis Redintegratio affirms that the division between Christians ?damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature?. ?This is evident,? he stated, ?when, for example, the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities have different points of view on important anthropological or ethical questions. Nevertheless, I hope that opportunities for common reflection in light of Sacred Scripture and shared tradition will not be lacking and that they will be fruitful ? and that we might find common answers to the questions that contemporary society asks of Christians. The closer we are to Christ, the closer we are united among ourselves.?
?Today the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities face new and decisive challenges, that can only be effectively answered by speaking with one voice,? the Pope affirmed. ?I am thinking, for example, of the challenges of legislation that, in the name of a misunderstood principle of tolerance wind up blocking citizens from freely expressing and practicing their religious convictions peacefully and legitimately. Moreover, faced with the attitude that Europe seems to have toward the dramatic and often tragic emigration of thousands of persons fleeing war, persecution, and misery, the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities have the duty to promote solidarity and hospitality. European Christians are called upon to intercede with prayer and by actively working to bring dialogue and peace to current conflicts.?
Pope thanks Bishops of Mali for Safeguarding Interreligious Dialogue
Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? The peaceful coexistence among believers of different religions, the safeguarding of interreligious dialogue, the common commitment of Christians and Muslims in defense of cultural heritage, promotion of women, and the consolidation of the family were some of the topics that Pope Francis addressed in the speech he delivered this morning to the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Mali, at the end of their ?ad Limina? visit. Following are extensive excerpts from the address.
?I would like to direct your attention toward the person of Christ in the delicate situation that your country has faced in recent years, including security challenges. At times, this situation has undermined the coexistence between the various sectors of society as well as the harmony between men and women of different religions present in the land of Mali, which is rich with a glorious past, synonymous with admirable traditions among which are tolerance and cohesion. I thank your Episcopal Conference for knowing how to preserve the spirit of interreligious dialogue in this delicate context. The common commitment of Christians and Muslims to safeguard the Mali's cultural treasures, especially the large libraries of Timbuktu, patrimony of humanity, is an eloquent example. When you return, I want you to express my nearness, not only to your faithful, but also to your fellow citizens of all social classes and religions, men and women of good will involved in the fight against intolerance and exclusion.?
?In this situation, the Christian communities and their pastors are called to give an even greater witness to their faith based on the unconditional acceptance of the Gospel values. You are already following this path in translating the Bible into local languages because, in order to live the Word of God and to witness to it faithfully, we must first know it, diligently study it, and assimilate it. In this sense, the efforts made in your dioceses to develop new Catechesis manuals are to be welcomed. Thanks to a solid formation, the lives of the faithful will be even more rooted in faith and strengthened to withstand all threats.?
?Despite the serious problems facing it, the Church in Mali shows a beautiful dynamic in its work of evangelization, preserving a profound respect of conscience. Christ's followers grow in number and fervor. But the Christian witness of the family still needs greater coherence. In your cultural context, also marked by divorce and polygamy, Catholics are called upon to concretely proclaim, through their witness, to the Gospel, life, and the family. I also encourage you to continue your pastoral work, paying particular attention to the situation of women: promoting the role of women in society and fighting against abuse and violence toward women is also a way of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who chose to be born of a woman, the Virgin Mary.?
?If in any particular church the synergy inspired by charity is needed to ensure its credibility, then your context of the charity and unity lived in the Church are among the most important signs of fruitful dialogue with other religions, an expression of authentic Christian witness... It is to be hoped that even nowadays these witnesses of members of other religions toward our Christian communities multiply.?
?Likewise, the Gospel lived in its authentic dimension of charity should inspire social ministry. The Church is present in Mali in the areas of education for peace and your Christian communities actively contribute to promoting genuine national reconciliation. In congratulating you for your pastoral sensitivity in the field of promoting the human person without consideration limited to ethnic or religious affiliation, I would like to pay tribute to the many Christians who spread the culture of solidarity and hospitality, especially in facing the violence of the last years.?
?Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, strengthened by the Lord's promise to be with his family until the end of time, I am convinced that despite the difficulties on their path, the Church in Mali will continue to be a testament to hope and peace.?
Pope Francis receives Sporting Association of Lazio, Italy: True Sports help overcome Situations of Injustice
Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? Seven thousand players, managers, members, and supporters of the Sporting Association of Lazio (Societa Sportiva Lazio), one of the Italian capital city's two football teams, were welcomed this afternoon in the Paul VI Audience Hall to meet with the Pope. The Association was created 15 years ago when a group of youths decided to create a club open to the youth of the city that would perpetuate the moral and ethical values of the sport. ?At that time,? Pope Francis said, ?organized sports were a privilege of the rich. The intention of the founding group was to make it accessible at all levels and in all social categories. I encourage you, therefore, to continue being welcoming, to continue to value various talents. May your sporting association always be an open house where fraternity and harmony without discrimination can be found.?
The club's motto is a phrase from the Roman historian and politician Sallust: ?Concordia parvae res crescunt, discordia maximae dilabuntur? (small things thrive with harmony; discord brings the greatest things to ruin). The Pope asserted that the sporting association's long history has confirmed that truth, enriched by different associated activities, structured in various sporting sections, and united by the Olympic spirit and mutual solidarity. ?One of [your] merits is that of having worked to bring equal status to all sports. In Italy, as in my country, Argentina, too, there is the risk of speaking always about football and neglecting other sports. Instead, every sports discipline has its value, not only physical or social, but also moral since it offers the possibility to people, especially to children and the young, to develop balance, self-control, sacrifice, and loyalty towards others. I want to emphasize this last one: loyalty. Loyalty towards others because betrayal is increasing a bit everywhere...Loyalty! Sports allows it to grow.?
?The Bible teaches us,? the Pope concluded, ?that the human person is a unity: spirit and body. I therefore encourage you to always cultivate, together with sporting activities ? the religious and spiritual dimension. ? We must not neglect studies, friendship, or the service of the poor either. We can't overlook these things to do just one thing. ...Thanks be to God we have wonderful examples of men and women athletes, even great champions, who never stopped living faithfully and serving others. In fact, true sports allows us to build a more fraternal and supportive world, helping overcome situations of injustice and of human and social discomfort.?
Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? Today, the Holy Father received in audience five prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Mali, on their ?ad Limina? visit:
- Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako,
-Bishop Jonas Dembele of Kayes,
- Bishop Jean-Gabriel Diarra of San,
- Bishop Augustin Traore of Segou, and
- Bishop Jean-Baptiste Tiamaof Sikasso.

Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father Francis received in audience Archbishop Luis Hector Villalba of Tucuman, Argentina.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? Today, the Holy Father:
- appointed Msgr. Lucio Bonora, of the clergy of the Diocese of Treviso, Italy, as a judge of the Ecclesiastic Tribunal of Vatican City State. The Holy Father has also appointed Fr. Paolo Scevola, of the clergy of the Diocese of Vigevano, Italy, as an actuary notary of the same tribunal. Both will continue in their roles as officials of the Secretary of State in the General Affairs section.
- appointed Bishop Esteban Escudero Torres as auxiliary of Valencia (area 13,090, population 3,225,000, Catholics 3,041,000, priests 1,541, permanent deacons 16, religious 4,785), Spain, assigning him the Titular See of Diano. Bishop Escudero Torres was previously bishop of Palencia, Spain.
06-05-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 084 
General audience: the beauty of Christian marriage
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) – The beauty of Christian marriage, which is not “simply the beauty of the ceremony that takes place in church, but rather the Sacrament made by the Church, giving rise to a new family community”, was the theme chosen by Pope Francis in the catechesis of this Wednesday's general audience.
“It is what the apostle Paul summarises in his famous expression: 'This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church'. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul affirms that the love between spouses is the image of the love between Christ and the Church. An unimaginable dignity! But in reality it is inscribed in God's plan of creation, and with Christ's grace countless Christian couples, even with their limits, their sins, have achieved this”.
St. Paul, speaking of new life in Christ, says that “all Christians are called to love each other as Christ has loved them, that is 'submitting to one another', meaning at each other's service. Here he introduces the analogy between the husband-wife couple and that of Christ and the Church. It is clear that this is an imperfect analogy, but we must grasp the spiritual meaning, elevated and revolutionary but at the same time very simple, within the reach of every man and woman who trust in God's grace”.
“'Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies', says Paul; 'as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her'. The effect of this radicalism of the devotion required of man, for the love and the dignity of the woman, based on the example of Christ, must have been enormous within the Christian community itself. This seed of evangelical newness, that re-establishes the original reciprocity of devotion and respect, has ripened slowly throughout history, but in the end it has prevailed”.
The sacrament of marriage “is a great act of faith and of love: it bears witness to the courage of believing in the God's creating act and of living that love that drives us always to go onwards, beyond ourselves and even beyond the family itself. The Christian vocation to love without reserve and without measure is such that, with Christ's grace, it is at the base of the free consensus that constitutes marriage”. Furthermore, the Church herself “is fully involved in the history of each Christian marriage: she is built on its successes and suffers in its failures. However we must ask ourselves seriously: do we accept fully, ourselves, as believers and pastors, this indissoluble bond of the history of Christ and the Church with the history of marriage and the human family? Are we willing to take on this responsibility seriously?”.
The decision to 'marry in the Lord' also contains a missionary dimension, which means having at heart the willingness to become conduits of God's blessing and the Lord's grace for all. Indeed, Christian couples participate in the mission of the Church inasmuch as they are couples. … And thus the life of the Church is enriched every time by the beauty of this matrimonial alliance, just as it is impoverished every time it is defaced. The Church, to offer the gift of faith, love and hope to all, is in need of the courageous faithfulness of married couples in the grace of their sacrament. The people of God needs their daily progress in faith, love and hope, with all the joys and the hardships that this path involves in a marriage and in a family”.
“Yes: St. Paul was right, it is a great mystery”, concluded the Pope. “Men and women, courageous enough to place this treasure in the clay vessels of our humanity, are an essential resource for the Church, and also for all the world. May God bless you a thousand times for this!”.
On the anniversary of the end of World War II: may humanity learn from past mistakes
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) - “In the next few days various capital cities will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe”, remarked the Pope following the catechesis of today's general audience. “On this occasion I entrust to the Lord, by the intercession of Mary Queen of Peace, my hope that society may learn from the mistakes of the past and that, faced with the current conflicts that are tearing asunder various regions of the world, all civil leaders may persevere in their search for the common good and in the promotion of a culture of peace”.
Greetings to the families of the Swiss Guard and Polish faithful
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) – At the end of today's catechesis the Pope greeted German-speaking pilgrims, especially the relatives and friends of the Pontifical Swiss Guard in Rome to attend the oath-taking ceremony for the new recruits, and musicians from the Swiss Canton of Valais, who accompanied the general audience. He also addressed the Polish faithful, especially all those who during the month of May maintain the tradition of gathering in churches or before images of Mary in the streets to pray in her honour.
Private visit of President Castro of Cuba
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) – On Sunday 10 May, the Holy Father will receive in a strictly private audience the president of the Republic of Cuba, Raul Castro Ruz, in the Pope’s Study at the Paul VI Hall. President Castro has publicly thanked the Pope for his role in the thaw of relations between Cuba and the United States of America, and the Pope will visit Havana in September prior to his trip to the United States.
Decrees for the Causes of Saints
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father Francis received in a private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
- attributed to the intercession of Blessed Vincenzo Grossi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Institute of the Daughters of the Oratory (1845-1917);
- attributed to the intercession of Blessed Maria of the Immaculate Conception (nee Maria Isabel Salvat Romero), Spanish superior general of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross (1926-1998);
- attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God Giacomo Abbondo, Italian diocesan priest (1720-1788);
- Servants of God Mario Borzaga, Italian professed priest of the Congregation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and Paul Thoj Xyooj, lay catechist, killed in hatred of the faith in Laos in April 1960;
- Servant of God Jacinto Vera, bishop of Montevideo, Uruguay (1813-1881);
- Servant of God Antonio Antic, Croatian professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor (1893-1965);
- Servant of God Juliette Colbert de Falletti di Barolo, French laywoman, widow and founder of the Daughters of Jesus the Good Shepherd (1786-1864);
- Servant of God Maria Brigida Postorino, Italian founder of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (1865-1960);
- Servant of God Maria Rafaela Jesus Hostia, Spanish professed nun of the Order of Capuchin Poor Clares (1915-1991);
- Servant of God Sergio Bernardini, Italian layman and father (1882-1966);
- Servant of God Domenica Bedonni in Bernardini, Italian laywoman and mother (1889-1971).
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- accepted the resignation of Bishop Jacyr Francisco Braido, C.S., from the pastoral care of the diocese of Santos, Brazil, upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Tarcisio Scaramussa, S.D.B., coadjutor of the same diocese.
- appointed Rev. Fr. Emery Kibal Mansong'loo, C.P., as bishop of the diocese of Kole (area 66,000, population 487,000, Catholics 158,000, priests 66, religious 80), Democratic Republic of the Congo. The bishop-elect was born in Kimputu, Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1969, gave his perpetual vows in 1998 and was ordained a priest in the same year. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar in the diocese of Tshumbe; parish priest of the Catholic Mission of Lumbi in the diocese of Kikwit; provincial superior of the Passionists for two consecutive mandates; lecturer in liturgy in various structures; and member of the managing board of the Catholic University of the Congo.
- appointed Bishop Manuel Sanchez Monge of Mondonedo-Ferrol, Spain, as bishop of Santander (area 5,527, population 595,449, Catholics 559,000, priests 411, permanent deacons 5, religious 925), Spain.
- appointed Bishop Edson De Castro Homem, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as bishop of Iguatu, (area 21,904, population 562,108, Catholics 549,000, priests 39, religious 60), Brazil.
- appointed Bishop Agenor Girardi, M.S.C., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Porto Alegre, Brazil, as bishop of Uniao da Vitoria, (area 10,000, population 225,600, Catholics 192,600, priests 35, permanent deacons 10, religious 53), Brazil.
- appointed Rev. Valentin Cabbigat Dimoc as apostolic vicar of Bontoc-Lagawe,(area 4,615, population 360,526, Catholics 215,286, priests 30, religious 12), Philippines. The bishop-elect was born in Lagawe, Philippines in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1998. Following his studies in philosophy and theology, he obtained a Master of Arts in development management from the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, He has served as rector of the Holy Rosary Mission, Kayan; the Holy Family Mission, Hapao; the St. Mary Magdalene Mission, Lagawe; and the Good Shepherd Mission, Hapid; and as director of the Kataguan Centre, Lagawe. He is currently director of the Centre for Social Action and Development of the apostolic vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe.
- appointed Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, France and Archbishop Anthony Colin Fisher of Sydney, Australia, as members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.