Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Monday, October 24, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 22 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience bishops and priests who have been participating in the sixth international congress of military ordinaries, and in the third international training course on human rights for military chaplains. These initiatives have been promoted by the Congregation for Bishops and by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution "Spirituali militum curae", promulgated by Blessed John Paul II whose liturgical memory falls today.

The purpose of that Apostolic Constitution, the Pope explained, was "to give military ordinaries the chance to foster appropriate and well-organised pastoral care for an important part of the People of God: military men and women, and their families. ... This involves forming Christians who possess profound faith, who practice their religion with conviction, and who are authentic witnesses of Christ in their own environments. To achieve this, it is important for military bishops and chaplains to be aware of their responsibility to announce the Gospel and administer the Sacraments wherever the military and their families are present. ... Clearly, priests involved in this ministry must have a solid human and spiritual formation, constant concern for their own interior lives and, at the same time, a readiness to listen and enter into dialogue, so as to understand the individual and joint difficulties faced by the people entrusted to their care".

"The Church", the Pope went on, "wishes to offer the military and their families all means of salvation, providing not just ordinary pastoral care, but also the specific help they need to carry out their mission in a spirit of Christian charity. The military life of a Christian must, in fact, be seen in the light of the first and greatest of the Commandments, that of love for God and for neighbour, because Christians in the military are called to create a fusion whereby they can be soldiers for love, achieving the 'ministerium pacis inter arma'.

"I am thinking in particular", he added "of soldiers who practice charity by saving victims of earthquakes and floods, or by helping refugees, placing their courage and skills at the service of the weakest. I am thinking of soldiers who, at risk of their own lives, practice charity by removing mines in areas which were once theatres of war, or soldiers on peace missions who patrol cities and territories to ensure that their brothers do not kill one another. There are many men and women in uniform, full of faith in Jesus, who love truth and wish to foster peace and, as true disciples of Christ, serve their country by defending fundamental human rights"

Benedict XVI concluded by asking those present, and the priests and deacons who help them, to promote "a general renewal of hearts, which is a precondition for that universal peace to which all the world aspires".
AC/ VIS 20111024 (490)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service