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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NINETY MINUTES FOR PEACE


Vatican City, 23 July 2014 (VIS) – An “Interreligious Match for Peace” will be held on 1 September at 8.45 p.m., at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. The event will involve the participation of world level players and coaches such as Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Buffon, Zinedine Zidane, Javier Zanetti, Roberto Baggio, Andrea Pirlo, Yuto Nagatomo and Samuel Eto'o, and the proceeds will be donated to charity.

The idea for the match originates from April 2013, when the Pope met with the Argentine and Italian teams following a friendly match between them. On that occasion, the footballer Javier Zanetti communicated to the Pope his idea of organising a sporting event uniting people of different religions. A year later, the idea took shape. Tickets for the event will be available from Friday 25 July, and all the proceeds will be donated to “Scholas Occurrentes” and to the P.U.P.I. Foundation.

Scholas Occurrentes is an educational organisation, supported by Pope Francis through the Pontifical Council for Sciences, that uses technology, art and sport to promote social integration and the culture of encounter. The P.U.P.I. Foundation is a non-profit organisation created by Paula and Javier Zanetti over ten years ago, promotes and supports distance adoption programmes and assistance for children in difficult social conditions.

AUDIENCES


Vatican City, 23 July 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Charles John Brown, apostolic nuncio in Ireland.

Yesterday afternoon, 22 July, the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, apostolic nuncio in Jordan and Iraq.


OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS


Vatican City, 23 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Jan Kot O.M.I. as bishop of Ze Doca (area 35,110, population 332,000, Catholics 305,000, priests 25, permanent deacons 1, religious 30), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Mokon, Poland in 1962, gave his perpetual vows in 1986 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a licentiate history of the Church from the University of Rybnik, Poland, and has served as priest in the parishes of Siedlce, Poland, and in Jussarval and subsequently Vitoria di Santo Antao, in the archdiocese of Olinda and Recife, Brazil. He is currently priest of the “Sagrado Coracao de Maria” parish in Campo Alegre do Fidalgo, Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Carlo Ellena, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, upon reaching the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL, A MISSIONARY JOY: WORLD CONGRESS OF ECCLESIAL MOVEMENTS AND NEW COMMUNITIES


Vatican City, 22 July 2014 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for the Laity will hold its third world congress of ecclesial movements and new communities from 20 to 22 November 2014, entitled “The joy of the Gospel: a missionary joy”, based on Pope Francis' Apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. The event, to take place at the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae in Rome, Italy, will be attended by delegates from international associations with the most widespread presence all over the world, already recognised as international associations of the faithful or in constant dialogue with the aforementioned dicastery.

Before the Angelus prayer on 19 May 2013, the Sunday of Pentecost during the Year of Faith, the Holy Father addressed the new movements and new ecclesial communities, encouraging them to continue in their work: “You are a gift and wealth for the Church! Always carry forth the strength of the Gospel! Do not be afraid! Always keep alive your joy and passion for the communion of the Church!”. After this encounter, the Pope presented the Apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, “a true vademecum for ecclesial movements and new communities” that has as its main objective the need for a renewed evangelical phase in the life of the Church in our times.

Starting from this assumption, the Pontifical Council for the Laity has consulted with the movements and new ecclesial communities regarding the organisation, logistics and main themes to be considered in the Congress. The registration of delegates at the Congress is formally open and so far members have enrolled from ecclesial movements and new communities from all continents and from more than eighty international associative entities, which will be accompanied by various bishops from the diocese and organs of the Roman Curia.

In addition, more than fifty-five founders and general heads of various communities from around the world have already enrolled. The superiors of the dicastery dedicated their annual meeting of 27 June 2014 to ecclesial movements and new communities, in preparation for this important event, and to hearing the participants in the meeting from over thirty international associations of the faithful.

AUDIENCES


Vatican City, 22 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, 21 July, the Holy Father received in audience Bishop Nunzio Galantino of Cassano dell'Jonio, secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference.


OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS


Vatican City, 22 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed the following members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: Archbishop Carlos Jose Nanez of Cordoba, Argentina; Bishop Rodolfo Valenzuela Nunez of Vera Paz and president of the Episcopal Conference of Guatemala; and Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg, Federal Republic of Germany.

- appointed the following as consultors of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: Cristiano Bettega, director of the National Office for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue of the Italian Episcopal Conference; Hector Sherri, president of the Theological Commission of Malta and the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission, Malta; Michael Joeng-Hun Shin, official for ecumenism of the Korean Episcopal Conference; Fernando Rodriguez Garrapucho, director of the John XXIII Centre for Oriental and Ecumenical Studies at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain; Br. Enzo Bianchi, prior of the Monastery of Bose, Italy; Fr. Franck Lemaitre, O.P., director of the National Service for Christian Unity of the Bishops' Conference of France; John Crossins, O.S.F.S., executive director of the secretariat for ecumenical and interreligious matters of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Fr. Jorge A. Scampini, O.P., professor of ecumenism at the faculty of theology of the Pontifical Catholic University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Fr. Milan Zust, S.J., Slovenia, lecturer at the faculty of missiology of the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; Sister Maria Ha Fong Ko, F.M.A., Macau, lecturer in New Testament exegesis at the Pontifical Faculty of Education Sciences (Auxilium), Rome and at the Holy Spirit Seminary of Hong Kong.

Monday, July 21, 2014

PROGRAMME OF THE POPE'S PASTORAL VISIT TO CASERTA


Vatican City, 21 July 2014 (VIS) – The programme of the Holy Father's pastoral visit to Caserta, Italy, scheduled for Saturday 26 July, was published today.

The Pope will leave the Vatican by helicopter at 3 p.m. and will land 45 minutes later at the heliport of the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare) School in the Reggia or Royal Palace of Caserta. At 4 p.m. he will meet the priests of the diocese at the Air Force Officer's Club and at 6 p.m. he will celebrate Mass in the square adjacent to the Royal Palace. At 7.30 p.m. he will depart for the Vatican where he is expected to arrive at 8.15 p.m.

IMITATE GOD'S PATIENCE AND AWAIT THE HARVEST WITH HOPE


Vatican City, 20 July 2014 (VIS) – “In a field where the master sows the grain, one night an enemy sowed tares among them, a plant whose name in Hebrew has the same root as 'Satan' and refers to the concept of division. The following morning the servants wanted to remove the weed, but the master stopped them, 'Lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them'”. The Holy Father commented on this parable on Sunday morning, as he appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. “The parable of the good seed and the tares takes on the problem of evil in the world”, explained the Pope, “and highlights God's patience”.

“The teaching of the parable is twofold. First, it says that the evil in the world does not come from God, but from His enemy, the devil. This enemy is astute; he has sown evil amidst the good, so that it is impossible for man to clearly separate the two; but God, in the end, will do so”. The Holy Father went on to consider the second theme: “the constrast between the impatience of the servants and the patient waiting of the master of the field, who represents God”. He remarked that often we are hasty to judge, classify and sort the good from the bad, and emphasised that God, on the other hand, knows how to wait. “He looks at the 'field' of each person's life with patience and mercy. He sees, far better than we do, the dirt and the evil, but He also sees the seeds of good and waits confidently for them to mature. God is patient, He knows how to wait”.

“The attitude of the master is that of hope, based on the certainty that evil has neither the first nor the last word. And, thanks to God's patient hope, that same weed may in time become good grain. But beware: evangelical patience is not indifference to evil; one must not confuse good and evil! Faced with the weeds in the world, the Lord's disciple is called to imitate God's patience, to nurture hope with the support of an unshakeable faith in the final victory of good, of God. In the end, we will all be judged by the same yardstick with which we ourselves have judged: the mercy we have shown to others will be used also with us. Let us ask Our Lady, our Mother, to help us to grow in patience, hope and mercy”.

APPEAL FOR THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES OF THE MIDDLE EAST


Vatican City, 20 July 2014 (VIS) – “I have received with some concern the news from the Christian communities of Mosul, Iraq, and from other parts of the Middle East who, ever since the beginnings of Christianity, have co-existed there alongside their fellow citizens, making a significant contribution to the good of society”, said the Pope after today's Angelus prayer. “Today they are persecuted. Our brothers are persecuted, they are cast out, they are forced to leave their homes without having the chance to take anything with them. To these people I wish to express my closeness and my constant prayer. Dear brothers and sisters, so persecuted, I know how much you suffer, I know that you have been deprived of everything. I am with you in faith in He Who conquered evil”.

He urged them to continue their prayer for the situations of tension and conflict that persist in many areas of the world, especially in the Middle East and Ukraine. “May the God of peace rouse in everyone an authentic desire for peace and reconciliation. Violence cannot be overcome with violence. Violence is defeated with peace! Let us pray in silence, for peace; all of us, in silence. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!”.


POPE FRANCIS: TERRORISM IS A MADNESS THAT KNOWS ONLY HOW TO KILL


Vatican City, 19 July 2014 (VIS) – On Friday 18 July the Holy Father sent a video message to the Argentine Israeli community, to convey his closeness to the families of the victims of the bombing of the AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association), which took place twenty years ago in Buenos Aires (18 July 1994). It caused 85 deaths and more than 200 casualties, making it one of the most significant terrorist attacks the country has experienced.

“Terrorism is a form of madness”; says Francis in the recorded message. “Terrorism knows only how to kill – it does not build, it destroys. Therefore, I wish to express my closeness to all those who have seen lives derailed and hopes dashed, ruined. Sometimes it is said that Buenos Aires is a city that needs to mourn, but has not yet wept enough. At the risk of repeating a well-worn cliché, I repeat: we need to mourn more. We tend to set things aside, not to come to terms with our history, with our sufferings, with things that could have been beautiful but were not. For this reason, it is so difficult for us to find the path to justice, to settle the debt that this tragedy has contracted with society. Along with my closeness, along with my prayers for all the victims, today I wish to add my desire for justice to be done. May God bless you all, institutions and families. And may God give peace to those who died in this act of lunacy”.


CARDINAL SANDRI TO THE ORIENTAL CHRISTIANS: YOUR TEARS AND HOPES ARE OURS


Vatican City, 21 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, celebrated Mass in the Maronite Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon in Los Angeles, United States, on the occasion of the festivity of Sts. Charbel and Elias, commemorated by Lebanese Maronites all over the world on the third Sunday of July. Around four hundred faithful of the Oriental Churches participated in the celebration.

According to a communiqué from the dicastery, the cardinal spoke in his homily of the immense suffering caused by the desperate fate of many innocent people and remarked that, while the Christians in Mosul in Iraq and Aleppo in Syria are the most afflicted, the entire area is in a state of insecurity, unfortunately maintained by widespread indifference. He also made reference to those affected by current events in Palestine, “who are in tears, unable to be men and Christians in serenity and dignity. We tell them that their tears are ours, nonetheless we share the same hope, and its name is Christ; and Jesus Christ is faithful. For this, we persevere together in the same journey”.

After reading the appeal in support of persecuted Christians, launched by Pope Francis during yesterday's Angelus, the Cardinal invited the faithful to pray in silence and emphasised the Church's closeness to the Patriarchs, the bishops and the people of the Syro-Catholic and Chaldean Churches. He emphasised the Church's participation in their suffering and urged them to persevere in the defence of human rights and religious freedom, “particularly where Christians have been living for two thousand years since the beginning of Christianity” to the benefit of society, and where they may continue to offer their contribution to the human community.


OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS


Vatican City, 21 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Joseph Gebara, coadjutor of the eparchy of Nossa Senhora do Paraiso em Sao Paolo, Brazil, as bishop of the same eparchy (Catholics 436,000, priests 11, permanent deacons 3, religious 4). He succeeds Bishop Fares Maakaroun, M.S.P., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches was accepted by the Holy Father.

On Saturday, 19 July, the Holy Father appointed Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family, as his special envoy to the consecration of the new Shrine of San Gabriele dell'Addolorata, Teramo, Italy, scheduled for 21 September 2014.

Friday, July 18, 2014

THE HOLY FATHER TELEPHONES SHIMON PERES AND MAHMOUD ABBAS: SEEK AN END TO HOSTILITIES


Vatican City, 18 July 2014 (VIS) – Following last Sunday’s heartfelt appeal for continued prayer for peace in the Holy Land, this morning the Holy Father Francis personally telephoned President Shimon Peres of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine to share his very serious concerns regarding the current situation of conflict involving in particular the Gaza Strip which, in a climate of growing hostility, hatred and suffering for the two populations, is claiming many victims and giving rise to a serious humanitarian emergency.

As during his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land and on the occasion of the invocation for peace on 8 June, the Holy Father assured them of his ceaseless prayer, and that of all the Church, for peace in the Holy Land. He reminded the presidents, whom he considers to be men of peace and seekers of peace, of the need to continue to pray and endeavour to ensure that all the interested parties and those who hold political office at local and international level work to bring an end to hostilities, making efforts to promote truce, peace and reconciliation in the hearts of those involved.

FRANCIS PRAYS FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE MALAYSIAN AIRLINES TRAGEDY


Vatican City, 18 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father Francis has learned with dismay of the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft downed in east Ukraine, a region marked by high tensions. He raises prayers for the numerous victims of the incident and for their relatives, and renews his heartfelt appeal to all parties in the conflict to seek peace and solutions through dialogue, in order to avoid further loss of innocent human lives.

BROTHERHOOD BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS: KEY WORD OF THE MESSAGE FOR THE END OF RAMADAN


Vatican City, 18 July 2014 (VIS) – “Towards a genuine fraternity between Christians and Muslims” is the title of the message sent by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to mark the end of Ramadan ('Id al-Fitr 1435/2014 A.D.). The document is signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.J., respectively president and secretary of the dicastery.

“Last year, the first year of his ministry, Pope Francis personally signed the Message addressed to you on the occasion of ‘Id al-Fitr. On another occasion, he also called you 'our brothers and sisters' (Angelus, 11 August 2013). We all can recognize the full significance of these words. In fact, Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters in the one human family, created by the One God”.

The message goes on to recall the words of Saint John Paul II to Muslim religious leaders in Nigeria in 1982: “All of us, Christians and Muslims, live under the sun of the one merciful God. We both believe in one God who is the creator of man. We acclaim God's sovereignty and we defend man's dignity as God's servant. We adore God and profess total submission to him. Thus, in a true sense, we can call one another brothers and sisters in faith in the one God”.

“We thank the Almighty for what we have in common, while remaining aware of our differences”, the message continues. “We perceive the importance of promoting a fruitful dialogue built upon mutual respect and friendship. Inspired by our shared values and strengthened by our sentiments of genuine fraternity, we are called to work together for justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person. We feel responsible in a particular way for those most in need: the poor, the sick, orphans, immigrants, victims of human trafficking, and those suffering from any kind of addiction”.

“As we know, our contemporary world faces grave challenges which call for solidarity on the part of all people of good will. These include threats to the environment, the crisis of the global economy and high levels of unemployment particularly among young people. Such situations give rise to a sense of vulnerability and a lack of hope for the future. Let us also not forget the problems faced by so many families which have been separated, leaving behind loved ones and often small children. Let us work together, then, to build bridges of peace and promote reconciliation especially in areas where Muslims and Christians together suffer the horror of war”.

The document concludes by expressing the hope that our friendship may “inspire us always to cooperate in facing these many challenges with wisdom and prudence. In this way we will help to diminish tension and conflict, and advance the common good. We will also demonstrate that religions can be a source of harmony for the benefit of society as a whole. Let us pray that reconciliation, justice, peace and development will remain uppermost among our priorities, for the welfare and good of the whole human family. Together with Pope Francis, we are happy to send you our cordial best wishes for a joyful celebration and a life of prosperity in peace”.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

POPE TO VISIT CASERTA ON SATURDAY 26 AND MONDAY 28 JULY


Vatican City, 17 July 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis will visit the city of Italian city of Caserta on 26 and 28 July, the Holy See Press Office confirmed today. In the afternoon of Saturday 26, upon invitation by the bishop of the diocese Giovanni D'Avise, he will meet with the Catholics of the city and celebrate the Mass of St. Ann, probably in the park of the Royal Palace of Caserta. The Holy Father will return to the Vatican that night and on Sunday 27 he will pray the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter's Square, as usual. On Monday, 28 July, he will return to Caserta to pay a private visit to his friend, the Protestant pastor Giovanni Traettino, and his community.

POPE FRANCIS RECEIVES AN AUTOGRAPHED “ALBICELESTE” SHIRT


Vatican City, 17 July 2014 (VIS) – The players of the Argentine national football team have given Pope Francis an “Albiceleste” shirt signed by all the members of the team. Although Argentina fell at the final hurdle during the final of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, losing 1:0 to Germany in extra time, the team said they were confident the Pope thought of them throughout the tournament.

A large-scale wall photo of the team with the Pope was installed by the Asociacion de Futbol Argentino (AFA) at the Brazilian sports complex where the team trained during the World Cup, a snapshot taken when the team visited Pope Francis in the Vatican, on the occasion of the friendly match against Italy in his honour.


IN MEMORIAM


Vatican City, 17 July 2014 (VIS) – The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Bishop Guy Gaucher O.C.D., auxiliary emeritus of Bayeux-Lisieux, France, on 3 July at the age of 84.

- Bishop John Jobst, S.A.C., emeritus of Broome, Australia, at the age of 94.

- Bishop Estanislau Amadeu Kreutz, emeritus of Santo Angelo, Brazil, on 6 July at the age of 86.

- Bishop Guillermo Leaden, S.D.B., auxiliary emeritus of Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the age of 100.

- Bishop Pietro Nonis, emeritus of Vicenza, Italy, at the age of 87.
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