Latest #News of #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #Synod15 - Declaration on Middle East

24-10-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 187 

- Telegram of condolences for the accident at Puisseguin
- Synod: an experience of grace, communion, collegiality and service, says the bishop of Bilbao
- Declaration of the Synod of Bishops on the situation in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine
- Other Pontifical Acts
Telegram of condolences for the accident at Puisseguin
Vatican City, 24 October 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram of condolences on behalf of the Holy Father to Archbishop Jean-Pierre Richard of Bordeaux, France, following the road accident that took place at Puisseguin involving a truck and a bus carrying elderly people, claiming 43 victims.
Pope Francis joins in prayer in the suffering of the bereaved families, and commends the victims to God's mercy so that He may welcome them in His light. He expresses his spiritual closeness to the injured and to the families of those involved, and to the rescue services. As a pledge of consolation the Holy Father offers his special apostolic blessing to all those affected by the tragedy”.
Synod: an experience of grace, communion, collegiality and service, says the bishop of Bilbao
Vatican City, 24 October 2015 (VIS) – This morning Bishop Mario Iceta Gavicagogeascoa pronounced the final meditation before the Synod Fathers participating in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, which will close tomorrowSunday 25 October, with a solemn Mass to be celebrated by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Basilica.
“We are concluding the work of the Synod as an experience of grace, communion, collegiality and service”, said the prelate. “We have asked for the gift of the Holy Spirit and we wished for Him to guide our work. The Holy Father affirmed at the beginning of this assembly that the Synod can be a space for the action of the Holy Spirit only if we clothe ourselves in apostolic courage, evangelical humility and trustful prayer. Therefore, faced with the decisions that we must take in our episcopal ministry, the passage of the decision to bring Matthew into the apostolic college comes to mind. “They prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen”. This is our method: show us what You want, let us know Your will. Immersed in prayer, asking God to show us the way, so we can see what is His plan and not our own, so we can see the paths we must travel to accompany families in fidelity to the vocation to which they have been called”.
“Along with prayer, we must remember the need for evangelical humility so as to know God's will. 'I thank you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children'. … As the Book of Proverbs tells us, 'When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom'. And St. Teresa of Avila, the fifth centenary of whose birth we have just celebrated, wisely tells us that to proceed in humility is to go towards the truth”.
“This prayerful life, this evangelical humility, will allow us to act with apostolic courage, the parrhesia St. Paul tells us about, with our eyes on Christ and serving the families of this world with love for Him, enlightening their path with the Word of God and the living Tradition of the Church, supporting and accompanying them in joys and sorrows, so that they may fully live the covenant of love which dispels darkness, overcomes loneliness and individualism, recreates humanity, generates life and hope, welcomes and heals what appears lost, and builds up the Church and the world”.
“I conclude today, Saturday, by invoking the maternal intercession of Our Lady. Mothers are those who transform a house into a home. She ensures that the Church is not merely a Temple but also a home, a warm and familiar place of welcome and mercy. We turn to her this morning. She is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, by Whom she conceived virginally. We welcome this morning under her protection. In Her we learn how to receive the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, Love in Person, that enlightens us and helps us fulfil the task that has been entrusted to us today”.
Declaration of the Synod of Bishops on the situation in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine
Vatican City, 24 October 2015 (VIS) – During this morning's General Congregation, during Vespers for the conclusion of the Synod, the Synod Fathers launched a new appeal for peace and the resolution of conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine, asking the international Community to act via diplomatic channels and to engage in dialogue to end the suffering of thousands of people. In the declaration, the full text of which is published below, the Fathers make special reference to families compelled to flee their homes, and give thanks to the countries that have welcomed refugees.
“Gathered around the Holy Father Francis, we the Synod Fathers, along with the fraternal Delegates and Auditors participating in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, turn our thoughts to all the families of the Middle East.
For years now, due to bloody conflicts, they have been victims of unspeakable atrocities. Their conditions of life have been further aggravated in recent months and weeks.
The use of weapons of mass destruction, indiscriminate killings, beheadings, kidnapping of human beings, trafficking in women, the enrolment of children into militias, persecution on the basis of religious belief or ethnicity, the destruction of cultural heritage and countless other atrocities have forced thousands of families to flee their homes in search of refuge elsewhere, often in conditions of extreme precariousness. Currently they are prevented from returning and from exercising the right to live in dignity and safety on their own soil, contributing to the reconstruction and the material and spiritual well-being of their respective countries.
In such a dramatic context, there are continual violations of the fundamental principles of human dignity and of peaceful and harmonious co-existence among persons and peoples, of the most basic rights, such as the rights to life and religious freedom, and of international humanitarian law.
Therefore, we wish to express our closeness to the Patriarchs, the Bishops, the priests, consecrated persons and faithful, as well as all the inhabitants of the Middle East, to demonstrate our solidarity and to assure them of our prayers. We think of all the people who have been kidnapped and ask for their liberation. Our voices unite with the cry of so many innocent people: no more violence, no more terrorism, no more persecution! May the hostilities and weapons trafficking cease immediately!
Peace in the Middle East must be sought not with choices imposed by force, but rather with political decisions that respect the cultural and religious particularities of the individual Nations and their various components.
Although we are grateful especially to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and many European countries for the welcome they have granted to refugees, we wish to make a further plea to the international community so that in the search for solutions they set aside particular interests and make use of the tools of diplomacy, dialogue and international law.
Let us recall the words of Pope Francis to 'all communities who look to Abraham: may we respect and love one another as brothers and sisters! May we learn to understand the sufferings of others! May no one abuse the name of God through violence! May we work together for justice and peace!'.
We are convinced that peace is possible, and that it is possible to stop the violence in Syria, Iraq, Jerusalem and throughout the Holy Land that every day involves increasing numbers of families and innocent civilians and aggravates the humanitarian crisis. Reconciliation is the fruit of fraternity, justice, respect and forgiveness.
Our sole wish, like that of the people of goodwill who form part of the great human family, is that we may all live in peace, so that 'Jews, Christians and Muslims find in other believers brothers and sisters to be respected and loved, and in this way, beginning in their own lands, give the beautiful witness of serenity and concord between the children of Abraham'.
Our thoughts and our prayers extend, with equal concern, solicitude and love, to all the families that find themselves involved in similar situations in other parts of the world, especially in Africa and Ukraine. We have kept them in mind during the work of this Synod Assembly, like the families of the Middle East, and for them too make a strong plea for a return to a calm and dignified life.
Let us entrust our intentions to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, accustomed to suffering, so that the world may soon become one family of brothers and sisters”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 24 October 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Archbishop Paolo Rocco Gualtieri, apostolic nuncio in Madagascar and the Seychelles, as apostolic nuncio in Mauritius.
- Fr. Aristide Gonsallo as bishop of Porto Novo (area 4,545, population 1,720,996, Catholics 650,000, priests 227, religious 124), Benin. The bishop-elect was born in Cotonou, Benin in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of Angers, France and a master's degree and doctorate in modern letters from the state University of Angers. He has served as a teacher in the minor seminary of Parakou, and is currently pastor of the St. Martin parish in Panape and chaplain of the diocesan hospital, and is responsible for the reorganisation of the diocesan health service.
- Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, as papal legate for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Cebu, Philippines from 24 to 31 January.