Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pope Francis " Jesus that we are all children of God..."

Pope Francis speaks to the community of Scampia. - AFP
21/03/2015 15:40

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has spoken out against the ‘stink of a corrupt society’ that leaves young people pray to exploitation in the workplace, marginalizes immigrants and corrodes hope in society.
Continuing his whirlwind trip to Pompeii and Naples, Pope Francis on Saturday morning arrived in Scampia, an impoverished neighourhood close to Naples where he received a rapturous welcome from the community there in John Paul II Square.  It is an area, which Cardinal Cresenzio Sepe described in his address to the Pope during this visit, as a suburb of Naples, which despite its many problems is rich in resources, especially the Parishes that are committed to spreading the Gospel.
The Holy Father heard from three representatives who included Corazon, an immigrant from the Philippines. She told the Pope she was speaking on behalf of those from his community that are immigrant those who are homeless and he asked  Pope Francis to be an authentic voice them.
The Pope also heard from Michele, who spoke to him about the despair of those who can’t find work. He told the Holy Father there are less and less people in his community who have a job before adding that, “we need to believe in the sacredness of work.”
Speaking on behalf of the Prosecutors of Naples, Antonio Bonajuto, President of the Court of Appeal of Naples addressed the Pope describing the effects of corruption in society there saying, “it invalidates public ethics and generates juvenile delinquency, despair and death.”  He then appealed to Pope Francis saying, “Indicate to us, Your Holiness, a path of hope to sustain the commitment of all those who pursue law and justice… To these three speakers the Pope offered words of hope and encouragement.
Click here for our video report: 
Below a Vatican Radio translation of Pope Francis’ responses:
A heritage of hope in the face of evil
"I wanted to start my visit to Naples from here from this periphery. I greet you all and thank you for your warm welcome! We can really see that Neapolitans are not cold people"
"You belong to a people with a long, complex and dramatic history. Life in Naples has never been easy, but it has never been sad! This is your greatest asset. Daily life in this city, with its difficulties and its hardships and sometimes its trials, produces a culture of life that always helps people to pick themselves up again after every fall, and to ensure that evil never has the last word. This is a beautiful challenge: no, never let evil have the last word. It is this hope, as you well know, this great heritage, this ‘raising of the soul', which is so precious, but also exposed to assaults and theft. We all know, those who voluntarily take the path of evil steal a piece of hope, earn a little something but steal hope from themselves, from others, from society. The path of evil is one that always steals hope and also robs honest and hardworking people, as well as the good reputation of this city, it
We are all immigrants
Responding to the words of a Filipino immigrant, the Pope said: "I would like to speak to the sister who spoke on behalf of immigrants and the homeless. She asked for a word to ensure that migrants are children of God and citizens. But must we arrive at this point? Are migrants second-class humans? We have to feel that our migrant brothers and sisters are citizens, are like us, God's children, they are migrants like us, because we are all migrants bound for another country, no? And maybe we will all get there? And nobody will be lost on the way! We are all immigrants, all children of God, children of God who has put us all on a journey, everyone. You cannot say: 'But migrants are like this ... We are not. .. '. No! We are all immigrants, we are all on a journey, everyone. And this word is not written in a book, that we are all migrants; it is written in our flesh, eh? In our flesh, in our way of life, and it assures us that in Jesus that we are all children of God, loved children, wanted children, saved children. Think of that! We are all immigrants on the journey of life. None of us have a fixed abode in this land! We all have to leave. And all we have to leave to find God! One before and the other after, or as that old man said, that crafty old man: 'Yes, yes, all! You go on ahead, I will go last! '. All of us, all, we all have to leave”.
The battle against black market labor
Responding to the words of an unemployed man, the Pope said: "Then there were the words of the worker. And I also thank him, because of course I wanted to touch this point, which is a negative sign of our times. Especially the lack of jobs for young people. But you think young people aged 25 years and under, more than 40 percent have no work! But this is serious! What does a young unemployed person do? What is the future? What path can they choose in life? And this is a responsibility not only of the city, not only of the country, but the world! Why? Because there is an economic system that is denying people and now it is the young people’s turn to be discarded, that is without jobs. And this is serious! Why? - 'But father, there are the works of charity, there are voluntary services, there is Caritas, there is this center, there's that club, which feeds ... '. But the problem is not eating, the most serious problem is that it does not give them the chance to bring the bread home, to earn it! And when you do not earn your daily bread, you lose your dignity! And this lack of work steals dignity. We have to struggle with this, we have to defend our dignity as citizens, men, women, youth. And this is the drama of our time. We must not remain silent. And also part-time work. What do I mean by this? The exploitation of people in the workplace! A few weeks ago, a girl who needed work found a job in a tourist agency and these were the conditions: 11 hours of work, 600 Euros per month with no contribution for her pension. 'Oh, but it's just 11 hours! If you do not like it, look at the queue of people who are waiting for the job! '. This is called slavery, this is called exploitation, this is not human, this is not Christian. And if the person who does this says he is  Christian, he is a liar, it is not true, he is not Christian. Even the exploitation of black market labor, where you make people work without a contract, with nothing, and you pay them what you want, this is exploitation of people. Without contributions for their pension or healthcare: 'Ah, I do not care'. I understand you well, brother, I understand you well and thank you for saying what you said. We must resume the fight for our dignity, which is the struggle to seek, to find, to rediscover opportunities to bring home the bread! This is our battle".
The stink of corruption
Finally responding to the words of an Appeals Court prosecutor, the Pope said: "He used a beautiful expression 'path of hope' and remembered a saying of St. John Bosco: 'good Christians and honest citizens', aimed at children and young people. The path of hope for the children, those who are here and everyone is first and foremost that of education, but a real education, the path to educate for a future, and this prevents and helps people to move forward. But he said a word in passing that I would like to take up, a word that is used a lot today, the judge said 'corruption', 'corruption'. But, tell me, if we close the door to immigrants, if we take away people’s work and their dignity, what do you call this? It's called corruption! It's called corruption and we all have the opportunity to be corrupt, none of us can say, I'll never be corrupt. No! It is a temptation, it is slipping, there, there, there, into an easy business, into delinquency, into criminality, into the exploitation of people. How much corruption there is in the world. It is a word that if we study it a bit', is bad, no? Because corruption is a dirty thing! If we find a dead animal and is corrupted, , it's ugly. But it also 'stinks', corruption 'stinks'! A corrupt society stinks! A Christian who allows corruption to enter is not Christian, they stink! I Got It? My presence is meant to be an impetus to a journey of hope, rebirth and recovery that is already underway. I know the generous and effective commitment of the Church, present with its community and its services at the very heart of the reality of Scampia; as well as the continued mobilization of voluntary groups, whose help is never lacking. I also encourage the presence and active involvement of the city government, because a community cannot progress without their support, especially in times of crisis and in the presence of difficult and sometimes extreme social situations. 'Good politics' is a service to people, which is exercised primarily at a local level, where the weight of failures, delays, real omission is more direct and hurts more. Good politics is one of the highest expressions of charity, service, and love. Do good politics, but among you all: politics concerns everyone! Good politics depends on you all".

(Emer McCarthy)

Amazing New Movie #Cinderella has deep Christian elements - Watch Trailer

Kenneth Branagh's "Cinderella" has deeply Christian elements. Fr. Robert Barron, Lily James and Richard Madden star in a scene from the movie "Cinderella." Brothers Grimm wrote the original tale and Walt Disney adapted it. In Branagh's version, Ella is the daughter of good parents. However, her mother dies early but tells Ella always to be “kind and courageous.” Her father then remarries and brings his new wife and her two daughters to the home. Years later, Ella’s father leaves on a business trip. A few weeks later, there is news that the father became sick and died.  Ella is treated badly by her stepmother (played by  Cate Blanchett) and her stepsisters. They force her to sleep by the fire. Even the cat belonging to the stepfamily is called Lucifer.  Ella meets a handsome young prince, the son of the King. They fall in love. Because she returned home, the prince calls a ball and invites all of the young women of the realm. Cinderella, through her fairy godmother, goes to the ball, and the prince transforms Cinderella into a princess. She then offers forgiveness to her step-mother. 

Pope Francis Special Prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary "We entrust our miseries, the many streets of hate and blood..."

21/03/2015 09:05

Pope Francis departed from the Vatican this morning at 7:15 to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Pompeii. He arrived at the heliport near the basilica at 8:00 where he was greeted by Archbishop Tomaso Caputo of Pompeii, the pontifical delegate for the Sanctuary and several local authorities.
After spending several minutes in prayer in front of the image of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Holy Father will once again make his way by helicopter to the city of Naples where he will meet the faithful at John Paul II Square.
At 11, he will celebrate a Mass at Plebiscito Square and shortly after will head to the Giuseppe Salvia Detention Center, where he will have lunch with several of the detainees.
In the afternoon, the Pope will go to the Cathedral in Napes where he will venerate the relics of St. Januarius, the 3rd century bishop and martyr whose dried blood contained in glass vials liquefies miraculously every year. It is there where the Pope will meet with the clergy and religious men and women before heading to the Basilica of Gesu Nuovo, where he will meet with the sick and disabled.
Pope Francis will conclude his apostolic visit to Naples with a meeting of youth at 5:00pm in Lungomare Caracciolo. The Holy Father is expected to land in Vatican City at approximately 7:00pm. Below is the Vatican Radio translation of the Pope's prayer at the Shrine in Pompeii:
Virgin of the Holy Rosary, Mother of the Redeemer, our earthly Lady raised above the heavens, humble servant of the Lord, proclaimed Queen of the world, from the depth of our miseries we turn to you. With the faithfulness of children we look to your sweet gaze.
Crowned with twelve stars, you bring us to the mystery of the Father, you shine the splendor of the Holy Spirit, you give us our Divine Child, Jesus, our hope, our only salvation in the world. Comforted by your Rosary, you invite us to be fixed to his gaze. You open to us His heart, abyss of joy and sorry, of light and glory, mystery of the son of God, made man for us. At your feet in the footsteps of the saints, we feel as God’s family.
Mother and model of the Church, you are our guide and secure support. Make us one heart and one mind, a strong people on the way towards the heavenly homeland. We entrust our miseries, the many streets of hate and blood, the thousands of ancient and new poverties and above all, our sins. To you we entrust ourselves, Mother of Mercy: grant us the forgiveness of God, help us to build a world according to your heart.
O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain that ties us to God, chain of love that makes us brothers, we will not leave you again. You will be in our hands a weapon of peace and forgiveness, star that guides our path. And the kiss to you with our last breath, we plunge into a wave of light, in the vision of the beloved Mother and the Son of God, the desire and joy of our heart, with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Today's Mass Readings : Saturday March 21, 2015

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 249

Reading 1JER 11:18-20

I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.

Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more.”

But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!

Responsorial PsalmPS 7:2-3, 9BC-10, 11-12

R. (2a) O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

Verse Before The GospelSEE LK 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

GospelJN 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Then each went to his own house.

#PopeFrancis "The Word of Jesus, the Holy Gospel, teaches that true blesseds are the poor in spirit, the non-violent..." Full Text/Video

Pope Francis gives his homily at Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, 21 March 2015. - AFP
21/03/2015 11:56

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated the Eucharist in Naples on Saturday morning. Tens of thousands of people packed into Piazza del Plebiscito, a main square of the southern Italian city, for the open-air Mass. Large tapestries of local saints decorated the square.
During his homily, the Pope called on the city’s residents to embrace the Words of Jesus and to work together for “redemption for Naples.” He also called to conversion all those who lead criminal and corrupt lives.
“Dear Neapolitans, do not allow hope to be stolen from you,” he said. “Do not give in to the lure of easy money or dishonest income. React firmly to organizations that exploit and corrupt the young, the poor and the weak, with the cynical drug trade and other crimes. May corruption and delinquency do not disfigure the face of this beautiful city.”
“To criminals and all their accomplices, the Church repeats: convert to love and justice! Allow yourselves to find the mercy of God! With the grace of God, who forgives all, it is possible to return to an honest life,” he said.
Below is the Vatican Radio translation of the Pope’s complete homily:
The Gospel we have heard presents us with a scene set in the Temple of Jerusalem, at the height of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, after which Jesus proclaimed a great prophecy revealing himself as the source of “living water,” that is, the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 7:37-39). Then the people, very impressed by him, began to speak about Him – even today, people speak about him. Some were excited and said, "He is really the prophet" (v. 40). Someone even affirmed, "This man is the Christ!" (v. 41). But others were opposed because, they said, the Messiah does not come from Galilee, but from the seed of David, Bethlehem; and so, without knowing it, they confirmed the identity of Jesus.
The chief priests had sent officers to arrest him, as occurs in dictatorships, but they return empty-handed and say, "No man ever spoke like that!" (v. 45). Here is the voice of truth that resonates in those simple men.
The Word of the Lord, yesterday like today, always causes a division–the word of God always divides–between those who welcome it and those who reject it. Sometimes, it sparks an interior conflict in our hearts; this happens when we perceive the attractiveness, beauty and truth of Jesus' words, but at the same time we reject them because they are challenging, they put us in difficulty, and cost us too much to observe.
Today I came to Naples to proclaim together with you: Jesus is Lord! I do not want to say it alone. I want to hear you say it. (Jesus is Lord!) Once again. (Jesus is Lord!) Nobody speaks like him! He alone has the words of mercy that can heal the wounds of our heart. He alone has the words of eternal life (cf. Jn 6:68).
The Word of Christ is powerful: it does not have the power of the world, but that of God, which is strong in humility, even in weakness. Its power is that of love—that is the power of the Word of God—a love that knows no bounds, a love that makes us love others before ourselves. The Word of Jesus, the Holy Gospel, teaches that true blesseds are the poor in spirit, the non-violent, the meek, those who work for peace and justice. This is the force that changes the world! This is the Word that gives strength and that can change the world. There is no other way to change the world.
The Word of Christ wants to reach everyone, especially those who live in the peripheries of existence, that they may find in him the centre of their lives and the source of hope. And we, who have had the grace to receive this Word of Life—it is a grace to receive the Word of God—we are called to go, to step out of our fences and, with missionary zeal, to bring to everyone the mercy, tenderness and friendship of God. This work belongs to everyone but in a special way to you, priests: bring mercy, forgiveness, peace, joy, in the sacraments, in listening, so that the people of God can find in you merciful men, like Jesus.
At the same time, each parish and each ecclesial reality must become a sanctuary for those seeking God and a welcoming home for the poor, the elderly and those in need. To go and to welcome: this is how the heart of Mother Church, and the heart of all her children, beats. Go, welcome. Go, seek. Go, bring love, mercy and tenderness.
When hearts open to the Gospel, the world begins to change and humanity rises again! If we welcome, and live every day, the Word of Jesus, we rise with him.
This Lent, as we walk towards Easter, this message echoes in the Church: that in all the people of God is rekindled the hope of rising with Christ, our Saviour. May the grace of this Easter not come in vain for the people of God in this city! May the grace of the Resurrection be welcomed by each of you, so that Naples is full of the hope of Christ, the Lord! Hope, open to hope. I say to everyone, especially to you young people: open yourselves to the power of the Risen Jesus and you will bear the fruits of new life in this city—the fruits of sharing, reconciliation, service, brotherhood. Allow yourselves to be enveloped, embraced by his mercy, by the mercy of Jesus that only Jesus can bring.
Dear Neapolitans, be open to hope and do not allow hope to be stolen from you! Do not give in to the lure of easy money or dishonest income. This may be bread for today but hunger for tomorrow. It cannot bring you anything. React firmly to organizations that exploit and corrupt the young, the poor and the weak, with the cynical drug trade and other crimes. Do not allow hope to be stolen from you. Do not allow your youth to be exploited by these people.
May corruption and delinquency not disfigure the face of this beautiful city! Moreover, may it not disfigure the joy of your Neapolitan hearts. To criminals and all their accomplices, today as a brother, I repeat: convert to love and justice! Allow yourselves to find the mercy of God! Know that Jesus is looking for you to embrace you, to love you more. With the grace of God, who forgives all, it is possible to return to an honest life. Even the tears of the mothers of Naples, mixed with those of Mary, the heavenly Mother invoked in Piedigrotta and in many churches of Naples, ask this of you. These tears melt the hardness of hearts and lead all back on the path of goodness.
Today, spring begins, and spring brings hope. It is a time of hope. And it is time for redemption for Naples: this is my wish and my prayer for a city that has so much spiritual, cultural and human potential, and above all a great capacity to love. The authorities, institutions, various social realities and citizens, united and in accord, can build a better future. The future of Naples is not to be resigned and to fold in on itself—this is not your future—but the future of Naples is to open itself up with trust to the world. In the mercy of Christ, who makes all things new, this city can find the strength to go forward with hope, strength for so many lives, so many families and communities. To hope is already to resist evil. To hope is to see the world through the eyes and heart of God. To hope is to bet on the mercy of God, who is Father and always forgives and forgives everything.
God, the source of our joy and the reason for our hope, lives in our cities. God lives in Naples. God lives in Naples. May his grace and his blessing sustain you on your journey in faith, in charity and in hope, your good intentions and your plans for moral and social redemption. We have altogether proclaimed Jesus as Lord. I would like everyone to repeat it again, three times. (Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!) And may Mary accompany you! 

Latest News from #Vatican Information and #PopeFrancis - Official Resignation of Cardinal O'Brien

20-03-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 056 

- The Pope on the importance of the “hidden Christians” of Japan
- Pope Francis: the death penalty is inadmissible
- Press release from the Dean of the College of Cardinals
- Pope's telegram for terrorist attack in Tunisia
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
The Pope on the importance of the “hidden Christians” of Japan
Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS) – “Though the Catholic community is small, your local Churches are esteemed by Japanese society for your many contributions, born of your Christian identity, which serve people regardless of religion. I commend your many efforts in the fields of education, healthcare, service to the elderly, infirm, and handicapped, and your charitable works which have been especially important in response to the tragic devastation wrought by the earthquake and tsunami four years ago. So too I express deep appreciation for your initiatives in favour of peace, especially your efforts to keep before the world the immense suffering experienced by the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War seventy years ago. In all of these works, you not only meet the needs of the community, but you also create opportunities for dialogue between the Church and society”.
The Holy Father thus addressed the prelates of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan at the end of their “ad Limina” visit, who this month celebrate the “discovery” fifty years ago of the “hidden Christians” of Japan, a central theme of the written discourse the Pope handed to them this morning.
He writes, “The Church in Japan has experienced abundant blessings but has equally known suffering. From those joys and sorrows, your ancestors in the faith have bequeathed to you a living heritage that adorns the Church today and encourages her journey toward the future. This heritage is rooted in the missionaries who first reached your shores and proclaimed the Word of God, Jesus Christ. We think especially of Saint Francis Xavier. ... For many of these missionaries, as well as for some of the first members of the Japanese Catholic community, their witness to Christ led to the shedding of their blood. … We recall especially Saint Paul Miki and companions whose steadfast faith in the midst of persecution became an encouragement for the small Christian community to persevere in every trial”.
Another aspect of this rich patrimony is the discovery of the “hidden Christians” - those who conserved the Christian faith after all the lay missionaries and priests had been expelled from the country. “The embers of faith which the Holy Spirit ignited through the preaching of these evangelisers and sustained by the witness of the martyrs were kept safe, through the care of the lay faithful who maintained the Catholic community’s life of prayer and catechesis in the midst of great danger and persecution”.
“These two pillars of Catholic history in Japan, missionary activity and the 'hidden Christians',continue to support the life of the Church today, and offer a guide to living the faith. In every age and land, the Church remains a missionary Church, seeking to evangelise and make disciples of all nations, while continually enriching the faith of the community of believers and instilling in them the responsibility to nurture this faith in the home and society”.
The work of evangelisation, however, “is not the sole responsibility of those who leave their homes and go to distant lands to preach the Gospel. In fact, by our baptism, we are all called to be evangelisers and to witness to the Good News of Jesus wherever we are. We are called to go forth, to be an evangelising community, even if that simply means opening the front door of our homes and stepping out into our own neighbourhoods. … If our missionary efforts are to bear fruit, the example of the 'hidden Christians' has much to teach us. Though small in number and daily facing persecution, these believers were able to preserve the faith by being attentive to their personal relationship with Jesus, a relationship built on a solid prayer life and a sincere commitment to the welfare of the community. … The 'hidden Christians' of Japan remind us that the work of fostering the life of the Church and of evangelising require the full and active participation of the lay faithful. Their mission is twofold: to engage in the life of the parish and local Church, and to permeate the social order with their Christian witness”.
Through the witness of faith of the Japanese faithful, “the Church expresses her genuine catholicity and shows the ‘beauty of her varied face’”, the Pope concludes, citing his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”. “So often, when we find this witness lacking, it is not because the faithful do not want to be missionary disciples, but rather because they think themselves incapable of the task. I encourage you as Pastors to instil in them a deep appreciation of their calling and to offer them concrete expressions of support and guidance so that they may answer this call with generosity and courage”.
Pope Francis: the death penalty is inadmissible
Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS)- This morning the Holy Father received in audience a delegation from the International Commission against the Death Penalty. Below we offer extensive extracts from the letter the Pope gave to Federico Mayor, president of the Commission, to greet and offer his personal thanks to all the members of the aforementioned International Commission, the group of countries that lend their support, and all those who collaborate in its work.
“I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some reflections on what the Church contributes to the humanistic efforts of the Commission. The Church's Magisterium, based on the Sacred Scripture and the thousand-year experience of the People of God, defends life from conception to natural end, and supports full human dignity inasmuch as it represents the image of God. Human life is sacred as, from its beginning, from the first instant of conception, it is the fruit of God's creating action”.
“States kill when they apply the death penalty, when they send their people to war or when they carry out extrajudicial or summary executions. They can also kill by omission, when they fail to guarantee to their people access to the bare essentials for life. … On some occasions it is necessary to repel an ongoing assault proportionately to avoid damage caused by the aggressor, and the need to neutralise him could lead to his elimination; this is a case of legitimate defence. However, the presuppositions of personal legitimate defence do not apply at the social level, without risk of misinterpretation. When the death penalty is applied, it is not for a current act of aggression, but rather for an act committed in the past. It is also applied to persons whose current ability to cause harm is not current, as it has been neutralised – they are already deprived of their liberty”.
“Nowadays the death penalty is inadmissible, no matter how serious the crime committed. It is an offence against the inviolability of life and the dignity of the human person, which contradicts God's plan for man and society, and his merciful justice, and impedes the penalty from fulfilling any just objective. It does not render justice to the victims, but rather fosters vengeance”.
“For the rule of law, the death penalty represents a failure, as it obliges the state to kill in the name of justice. … Justice can never be wrought by killing a human being. … With the application of the death penalty, the convict is denied the possibility of to repent or make amends for the harm caused; the possibility of confession, by which a man expresses his inner conversion, and contrition, the gateway to atonement and expiation, to reach an encounter with God's merciful and healing justice. It is furthermore frequently used by totalitarian regimes and groups of fanatics for the extermination of political dissidents, minorities, and any subject labelled as 'dangerous' or who may be perceived as a threat to its power or to the achievement of its ends”.
“The death penalty is contrary to the sentiment of humanitas and to divine mercy, which must be the model for human justice. … There is discussion in some quarters about the method of killing, as if it were possible to find ways of 'getting it right'. … But there is no humane way of killing another person”.
“On the other hand, life imprisonment entails for the prisoner the impossibility of planning a future of freedom, and may therefore be considered as a sort of covert death penalty, as they deprive detainees not only of their freedom, but also of hope. However, although the penal system can stake a claim to the time of convicted persons, it can never claim their hope”.
“Dear friends, I encourage you to continue with your work, as the world needs witnesses of God's mercy and tenderness, and may the Lord Jesus grant the gift of wisdom, so that the action taken against this cruel punishment may be successful and fruitful”.
Press release from the Dean of the College of Cardinals
Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the rights and privileges of a Cardinal, expressed in canons 349, 353 and 356 of the Code of Canon Law, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, archbishop emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, after a long period of prayer. With this provision, His Holiness would like to manifest his pastoral solicitude to all the faithful of the Church in Scotland, and to encourage them to continue with hope the path of renewal and reconciliation.
Pope's telegram for terrorist attack in Tunisia
Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram of condolences on behalf of the Holy Father to the Archbishop of Tunis, Ilario Antoniazzi, for the victims of the terrorist attack on 18 March.
“Having learned of the grave terrorist attack on the city of Tunis, which caused numerous deaths and injuries, Pope Francis reiterates his strong condemnation of any act against peace and the sacredness of human life, and joins in prayer with the suffering of the families who mourn their loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy, as well as with all the Tunisian people. He asks the Lord to welcome the departed in His peace and to comfort those who are seriously injured. As a pledge of consolation, the Pope asks that God might grant His abundant blessings to all.
Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation
- Sixteen prelates of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, on their “ad Limina” visit:
- Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki;
- Bishop Dominic Ryoji Miyahara of Fukuoka;
- Bishop Paul Kenjiro Koriyama of Kagoshima;
- Bishop Berard Toshio Oshikawa of Naha;
- Bishop Paul Sueo Hamaguchi of Oita;
- Archbishop Thomas Aquino Manyo Maeda of Osaka, with his auxiliary, Bishop Michael Goro Matsuura;
- Bishop Paul Yoshinao Otsuka of Kyoto;
- Bishop Augustinus Jun-ichi Nomura of Nagoya;
- Bishop John Eijiro Suwa of Takamatsu;
- Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo, apostolic administrator “sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of Saitama, with his auxiliary, Bishop James Kazuo Koda;
- Bishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi of Niigata;
- Bishop Bernard Taiji Katsuya of Sapporo;
- Bishop Martin Tetsuo Hiraga of Sendai; and
- Bishop Rafael Masahiro Umemura of Yokohama.
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 20 March 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Rev. Fr. Mario Eduardo Dorsonville-Rodriguez as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Washington, (area 5,447, population 2,824,893, Catholics 621,476, priests 793, permanent deacons 246, religious 1,176), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1960 in Bogota, Colombia, and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Xaverian University of Bogota and a D.Min. from the Catholic University of America, Washington. In Bogota, he served as deputy priest and parish priest, associate chaplain and professor of ethics at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and professor of pastoral counsel and catechesis at the major seminary of Bogota. In Washington, he has served as deputy priest and is currently director of the “Spanish Catholic Centre”, vice president for the Mission of Catholic Charities, adjunct spiritual director at the St. John Paul II Seminary, and member of the college of consultors and the presbyteral council.
- reorganised the Hungarian Greek-Catholic Church, elevating it to the status of “sui iuris Metropolitan Church, by the following measures:
- elevation of the eparchy of Hajdudorog for Catholics of Byzantine rite (Cathlics 270,000, priests 190, permanent deacons 4, religious 13) to a metropolis, with its seat in Debrecen, appointing eparchal Bishop Fulop Kocsis as the first Metropolitan;
- elevation of the apostolic exarchate of Miskolc (Catholics 56,200, priests 70) for Catholics of Byzantine rite to the status of eparchy, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Hajdudorog, appointing Msgr. Atanaz Orosz, formerly apostolic exarch of Miskolc, as the first eparchal bishop;
- erection of the eparchy of Nyiregyhaza for Catholics of Byzantine rite, with territory taken from the eparchy of Hajdudorog, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Hajdudorog, appointing Bishop Atanaz Orosz as apostolic administrator “sede vacante”.
On Thursday, 19 March, the Holy Father:
- appointed Msgr. Vlastimil Krocil as bishop of Ceske Budejovice (area 12,500, population 760,600, Catholics 291,700, priests 136, permanent deacons 19, religious 164), Czech Republic. The bishop-elect was born in Brno, Czech Republic in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1994. Following studies at the Pontifical Lateran University and the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, he obtained a degree in theology and philosophy from the Catholic University of Ruzomberok, Slovakia. He has served as chaplain in Jindrichuv Hradec, and is currently professor of patrology and early Christian literature in the faculty of theology at Ceske Budejovice, parish administrator at Veseli nad Luznici, member of the presbyteral council and the college of consultors, and diocesan representative for pastoral ministry.
- erected the diocese of Nogales, Mexico, with territory from the archdiocese of Hermosillo, Mexico, making it a suffragan of the same archdiocese.
- appointed Bishop Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez Gonzalez, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Guadalajara, Mexico, as bishop of the new diocese of Nogales (area 44,243, population 483,180, Catholics 381,398, priests 44, religious 62), Mexico.