Friday, March 12, 2021
Pope Francis Encourages Sports Teams Saying "...always work as a team, not by yourselves." during Meeting with Group from Genoa
GREETING OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO MANAGERS AND PLAYERS OF THE WATER POLO TEAM OF GENOA
Friday, 12 March 2021
I greet you all. Thank you for this visit and thank you for your work in sport. I always say that two attitudes are important in sport. First, that of the team: always work as a team, not by yourselves. Without the team, there is no real sport. Team spirit. Those who, on the contrary, want to go it alone, in the end achieve nothing, or focus only on their own image, and damage the team. The second attitude: never lose the amateur spirit. True sport is amateur, or should at least always keep that spirit. Team and amateur spirit.
Thank you for this visit, all of you. I give you my blessing, and pray for me.
FULL TEXT Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 12 March 2021
Pope Francis Recommends Confession saying "Living Confession in this way means letting oneself be transformed by Love." FULL TEXT + Video
TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE COURSE ON THE INTERNAL FORUM,
PROMOTED BY THE APOSTOLIC PENITENCY
Paul VI Audience Hall
Friday, 12 March 2021
Dear brothers, good morning!
The Cardinal - I thank him for his words - insisted on Saint Joseph. For months [he said to me]: “Write something about Saint Joseph, write something about Saint Joseph”. And the Letter on St. Joseph is largely his work.
And so, thank you ...
I apologize for sitting, but I thought: they are sitting, I too take it ... I shouldn't, but after the trip my legs are still felt. Excuse me.
I am pleased to welcome you on the occasion of the Course on the Internal Forum, organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary and which this year has reached its 31st edition. The Course is a customary appointment which, providentially, falls in the time of Lent, a time of penitence and a time of desert, of conversion, of penance and acceptance of mercy - also for us. I greet Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Major Penitentiary, and I thank him for his words, as I said before, and with him I greet the Regent, the Prelates, the Officials and Staff of the Penitentiary, the Colleges of ordinary and extraordinary penitentiaries of the Papal Basilicas. in Urbe and all of you participating in the Course which, due to the need of the pandemic, had to be carried out onlinebut with the notable participation of 870 clerics! Nice number!
I would like to dwell with you on three expressions which explain well the meaning of the Sacrament of Reconciliation; because going to confession is not going to the dry cleaners to get a stain off me. No, that's another thing. Let's think about what it is. The first expression that explains this sacrament, this mystery is: "abandoning oneself to Love"; the second: “letting oneself be transformed by Love”; and the third: “to correspond to Love”. But always Love: if there is no Love in the sacrament, it is not as Jesus wants it to be. If there is functionality, it is not as Jesus wants it to be. Love. The love of a forgiven sinful brother - as the Cardinal said - towards the forgiven brother, sister, sinner and sinner. This is the fundamental relationship.
Abandoning oneself to Love means making a true act of faith. Faith can never be reduced to a list of concepts or a series of statements to be believed. Faith is expressed and understood in a relationship: the relationship between God and man and between man and God, according to the logic of the call and the response: God calls and man responds. The reverse is also true: we call God when we are in need, and He always answers. Faith is the encounter with Mercy, with God himself who is Mercy - God's name is Mercy - and it is the abandonment into the arms of this Love, mysterious and generous, of which we need so much, but for which, sometimes, one is afraid to abandon oneself.
Experience teaches that those who do not abandon themselves to the love of God sooner or later end up abandoning themselves to something else, ending up "in the arms" of the worldly mentality, which in the end brings bitterness, sadness and loneliness, and does not heal. Then the first step for a good Confession is precisely the act of faith, of abandonment, with which the penitent approaches Mercy. And every confessor, therefore, must be able to always be amazed by the brothers who, by faith, ask for God's forgiveness and, again only by faith, abandon themselves to him, giving themselves up in confession. The pain for one's sins is the sign of this trusting abandonment to Love.
Living Confession in this way means letting oneself be transformed by Love. It is the second dimension, the second expression on which I would like to reflect. We know well that it is not the laws that save, it is enough to read chapter 23 of Matthew: the individual does not change due to an arid series of precepts, but due to the fascination of perceived and freely offered Love. It is the Love that was fully manifested in Jesus Christ and in his death on the cross for us. Thus Love, who is God himself, has made himself visible to men, in a previously unthinkable way, totally new and therefore capable of renewing all things. The penitent who encounters, in the sacramental conversation, a ray of this welcoming Love, allows himself to be transformed by Love, by Grace, beginning to experience that transformation of the heart of stone into a heart of flesh, which is a transformation that takes place in every confession. . Even in the emotional life it is like this:
The good confessor is always called to see the miracle of change, to be aware of the work of Grace in the hearts of penitents, favoring their transforming action as much as possible. The integrity of the accusation is the sign of this transformation that Love brings about: everything is handed over, so that everything is forgiven.
The third and final expression is: to correspond to Love . Abandonment and letting oneself be transformed by Love have as a necessary consequence a correspondence to the love received. The Christian always has in mind that word of St. James: "Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith with my works" (2:18). The real desire for conversion becomes concrete in the correspondence to the love of God received and accepted. It is a correspondence that manifests itself in the change of life and in the works of mercy that follow. Whoever has been welcomed by Love cannot fail to welcome his brother. Whoever has abandoned himself to Love cannot but console the afflicted. Who has been forgiven by God, cannot but forgive his brothers from the heart.
If it is true that we will never be able to fully correspond to divine Love, due to the unbridgeable difference between the Creator and creatures, it is equally true that God indicates to us a possible love, in which to live this impossible correspondence: love for the brother. . Love for the brother is the place of real correspondence to the love of God: by loving the brothers we show ourselves, the world and God that we really love him and we correspond, always in an inadequate way, to his mercy. The good confessor always indicates, alongside the primacy of God's love, the indispensable love for one's neighbor, as a daily training ground in which to train love for God. The current resolution not to commit sin again is the sign of the will to correspond to Love. And many times people, even ourselves, are ashamed of having promised, to commit the sin and come back another time, another time ... I am reminded of a poem by an Argentine parish priest, good, a good parish priest, very good. He was a poet, he wrote many books. A poem to the Madonna, in which he asked the Madonna, in the poem, to keep him, because he would have liked to change but did not know how. He made her a promise to change, to Our Lady, and ended like this: “Tonight, Lady, the promise is sincere. But just in case, leave me the key on the outside of the door. [“Esta tarde, Señora, la promesa es sincera. Por las dudas, no olvide dejar la llave afuera "]. He knew that there will always be the key to open it, because it was God, the tenderness of God, who left it out. Thus, the frequent celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation becomes, for both the penitent and the confessor,
Dear brothers, let us always remember that each of us is a forgiven sinner - if one of us does not feel this way, better not to go to confession, better not to be a confessor - a forgiven sinner, placed at the service of others, because also they, through the sacramental encounter, may encounter that Love which has fascinated and changed our life. With this awareness, I encourage you to persevere faithfully in the precious ministry that you carry out, or that will soon be entrusted to you: it is an important service for the sanctification of the holy people of God. Entrust this ministry of reconciliation to the powerful protection of Saint Joseph, a man. just and faithful.
And here I would like to pause to emphasize the religious attitudewhich arises from this awareness of being a forgiven sinner that the confessor must have. To welcome in peace, to welcome with paternity. Everyone will know what the expression of fatherhood is like: a smile, peaceful eyes… Welcome by offering tranquility, and then let them speak. Sometimes, the confessor realizes that there is a certain difficulty in moving forward with a sin, but if he understands it, he does not ask indiscreet questions. I learned one thing from Cardinal Piacenza: he told me that when he sees that these people have difficulties and you understand what it is, he immediately stops them and says: “I understand. Go on". Don't give more pain, more "torture" in this. Besides, please don't ask questions. Sometimes I ask myself: those confessors who begin: “And like this, this, this…”. But tell me what are you doing you? Are you making the movie in your mind? Please. Then, in the basilicas there is such a great opportunity to confess, but unfortunately the seminarians who are in international colleges pass the word, even the young priests: “In that basilica you can go to everyone except that and that; do not go to that confessional, because that will be the sheriff who will torture you ”. We pass, the voice ...
Being merciful doesn't mean you have a big sleeve, no. It means being a brother, a father, a comforter. “Father, I can't do it, I don't know how I'll do it…” - “You pray, and come back whenever you need, because here you will find a father, a brother, you will find this”. This is the attitude. Please don't do the academic exam court: “And how, when…”. Don't be nosy in the souls of others. Fathers, merciful brothers.
As I leave you these points for reflection, I wish you and your penitents a fruitful Lent of conversion. I bless you from my heart, and I ask you to please pray for me. Thank you!
#BreakingNews Gunmen Kill 29 People at Christian Orthodox Church including 21 Women some with Babies
According to All Africa News Gunmen in Ethiopia stormed into a Local Church Killing 29 people, in Horoguduru, Western Oromia.
Addis Standard (Addis Ababa) reports that twenty nine people were killed in East wollega, Oromia regional state. Residents who spoke to Addis Standard said that that attack took place on March 05 in Abo church in Debos Kebele, where residents were celebrating the beginning of the two months fasting season by followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church.
Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) in what started as a storming of the local church, instantly killing the administrator of the church.
Of the victims, 21 were women, including those carrying babies, who were taken to a nearby forest before being killed. A witness said that the bodies of three of the women were found with their babies staying besides them.
Screen Shot of the Orthodox Church in Ethiopia from Youtube
Bishops of Canada Release Note on Ethical Concerns Related to Currently Approved Vaccines - FULL TEXT
Currently Approved COVID-19 Vaccines
11 March 2021
On 9 March 2021, the Canadian of Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) published a short “Note on Ethical Concerns Related to Currently Approved COVID-19 Vaccines.” This Note was published in response to questions from Catholics who were concerned about the moral
permissibility of receiving currently-approved COVID-19 vaccines. The Note did not refer to, nor intend to question the medical efficacy of any vaccine. In response to questions received
since the publication of the Note, the CCCB wishes to clarify any misunderstandings that may have arisen.
1. Catholics are invited to be vaccinated, both in keeping with the dictates of their conscience and in contributing to the common good by promoting the health and safety of others.
2. The CCCB Note of 9 March 2021 simply restates the position outlined by the Holy See in its Note of December 21, 2020 regarding the use of vaccines.
3. All COVID-19 vaccines that are medically approved by the relevant health authorities may be licitly received by Catholics.
4. Since there is currently no choice of vaccine being offered, Catholics in good conscience, may receive the vaccine that is available and offered to them.
On this National Day of Observance for COVID-19, we remember in thought and prayer those whom we have lost and those who have experienced most acutely the impact of the pandemic.
We likewise offer our profound appreciation and heartfelt gratitude for the many people working and volunteering in occupations and services that provide care for others, which often comes
with great personal sacrifice.
CCCB Note on Ethical Concerns Related to
Currently Approved COVID-19 Vaccines
The decision to receive any COVID-19 vaccine is one of individual conscience in consultation with one’s physician or healthcare provider. Choosing to be vaccinated,
particularly amid the current pandemic, can be an act of charity which recognizes the need to care for others.
The CCCB echoes the call of the Holy See,1 by reiterating its appeal to governments to “ensure that COVID-19 vaccines that become available do not create an ethical dilemma for Canadians,”2
thus encouraging greater vaccine uptake among the general population
and strengthening the common good of our Canadian society.
The recent approvals by Health Canada of the AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines against COVID-193 have given rise to questions among Catholics about the moral permissibility of receiving vaccines whose development, production, and/or testing
has involved the use of abortion-derived cell lines. These questions are important for they concern the sacredness of human life and its inherent dignity.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines already approved in Canada do not use abortion derived cell lines in their development and production of the vaccine, however in some of their final testing processes, they have used unethically-derived cell lines. These two
vaccines currently available in Canada can be morally acceptable for Catholics to receive since the connection to abortion is extremely remote.
In contrast to these vaccines, the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines utilized abortion-derived cell lines in their development, production, and confirmatory testing.4
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith makes the distinction between the differing moral obligations for those who develop such vaccines and those who receive them. They have reassured Catholics that “when ethically irreproachable Covid-19
vaccines are not available . . . it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”5
Therefore, when provided with a choice between receiving different vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should always be preferred and chosen when possible. This means that given the currently approved vaccine options in
Canada, if/when presented with the choice, one should choose to receive either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine over the AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson vaccine. When no choice of vaccine is available, the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccine (or any
other COVID-19 vaccine that may be approved) “can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with abortion.”6
Consequently, if it is possible in a given area or local region to choose a vaccine, Pfizer and Moderna would be recommended at this stage. However, when a choice is not provided or it is quite difficult to have recourse to these said vaccines, given the health
urgency at hand and other considerations, nothing morally prevents anyone from receiving in good conscience the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines or others that may eventually be approved which will have been developed, tested and produced in a similar fashion.
9 March 2021
(21 December 2020), n. 4 “Both pharmaceutical companies and governmental health agencies are therefore
encouraged to produce, approve, distribute and offer ethically acceptable vaccines that do not create problems of
conscience for either health care providers or the people to be vaccinated.”
2 Letter signed by the CCCB President to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding ethical COVID-19 vaccines (21 May 2020).
3 https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2021/02/health-canada-authorizes-astrazeneca-and-veritypharmaceuticals-incserum-institute-of-india-covid-19-vaccines.html /
The same would be true of any other adenovirus vector vaccines which may be approved by Health Canada in the future.
5 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines
(21 December 2020), n. 2.
6 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines
(21 December 2020)n. 3
Thus says the LORD:
Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God;
you have collapsed through your guilt.
Take with you words,
and return to the LORD;
Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity,
and receive what is good, that we may render
as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.
Assyria will not save us,
nor shall we have horses to mount;
We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’
to the work of our hands;
I will love them freely;
for my wrath is turned away from them.
I will be like the dew for Israel:
he shall blossom like the lily;
He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
and put forth his shoots.
His splendor shall be like the olive tree
and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
Again they shall dwell in his shade
and raise grain;
They shall blossom like the vine,
and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols?
I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.
“I am like a verdant cypress tree”–
Because of me you bear fruit!
Let him who is wise understand these things;
let him who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD,
in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them.
81:6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14 and 17
R. (see 11 and 9a) I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
An unfamiliar speech I hear:
“I relieved his shoulder of the burden;
his hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you.”
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
“Unseen, I answered you in thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear, my people, and I will admonish you;
O Israel, will you not hear me?”
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
“There shall be no strange god among you
nor shall you worship any alien god.
I, the LORD, am your God
who led you forth from the land of Egypt.”
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
“If only my people would hear me,
and Israel walk in my ways,
I would feed them with the best of wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would fill them.”
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
Verse before the Gospel
Repent, says the Lord;
the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen