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

Friday, July 25, 2014

TELEGRAM FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE AIR CRASH OVER MALI


Vatican City, 25 July 2014 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram on behalf of Pope Francis to Archbishop Ghaleb Moussa Abdalla Bader of Algiers, Algeria, in response to yesterday's tragic accident involving an Air Algerie aircraft above Mali, which claimed many lives. “His Holiness Pope Francis joins in prayer with the suffering of those who have lost loved ones”, he writes. “He wishes to convey his condolences and to assure them of his profound sympathy, and prays that the Lord may receive the souls of the departed and bring consolation and hope to all those affected by the disaster”.


THE POPE RECEIVES MERIAM, THE SUDANESE CHRISTIAN IMPRISONED FOR APOSTASY


Vatican City, 25 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Holy Father Francis received in audience Ms. Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, the Sudanese Christian woman imprisoned and condemned to death for apostasy, and subsequently freed with the intervention of the international community.

Meriam was accompanied by her husband Daniel Wani and their two small children, Martin (aged one and a half) and Maya, born in prison two months ago. The family was accompanied by the Italian deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lapo Pistelli, who completed negotiations in Sudan yesterday and accompanied Meriam and her family to Italy, where they are preparing to move to the United States.

The meeting lasted for slightly less than half an hour and took place in a serene and affectionate atmosphere. The Pope thanked Meriam and her family for their courageous witness of constancy in faith. Meriam gave thanks for the great comfort and support she received from the prayer of the Pope and many other believers and persons of good will. The Pope’s secretary, Msgr. Yohannis Gaid, acted as interpreter. The Pope then greeted the Italian staff accompanying Meriam and her family in their stay in Italy.

With this gesture, the Pope wished to demonstrate his closeness, attention and prayer for all those who suffer for their faith and, in particular, for Christians who suffer persecution or curtailment of their religious freedom.


CONFLICT BETWEEN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE: THE VOICE OF REASON SILENCED BY THE BLAST OF WEAPONS


Vatican City, 25 July 2014 (VIS) – Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See permanent observer at the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva, spoke at the 21st Special Session of the Human Rights Council dedicated to the question of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem, which took place on 23 July.

“As the number of people killed, wounded, uprooted from their homes, continues to increase in the conflict between Israel and some Palestinian groups, particularly in the Gaza Strip, the voice of reason seems submerged by the blast of arms. Violence will lead nowhere either now or in the future. The perpetration of injustices and the violation of human rights, especially the right to life and to live in peace and security, sow fresh seeds of hatred and resentment. A culture of violence is being consolidated, the fruits of which are destruction and death. In the long run, there can be no winners in the current tragedy, only more suffering. Most of the victims are civilians, who by international humanitarian law, should be protected. The United Nations estimates that approximately seventy percent of Palestinians killed have been innocent civilians. This is just as intolerable as the rockets missiles directed indiscriminately toward civilian targets in Israel. Consciences are paralysed by a climate of protracted violence, which seeks to impose solution through the annihilation of the other. Demonising others, however, does not eliminate their rights. Instead, the way to the future lies in recognising our common humanity”.

The archbishop mentioned that in his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope Francis demanded that the present unacceptable situation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be brought to an end. “The time has come for everyone to find the courage to be generous and creative in the service of the common good, the courage to forge a peace which rests on the acknowledgement by all of the right of two States to exist and to live in peace and security within internationally recognised borders”.

“The legitimate aspiration to security, on one side, and to decent living conditions, on the other, with access to the normal means of existence like medicines, water and jobs, for example, reflects a fundamental human right, without which peace is very difficult to preserve. The worsening situation in Gaza is an incessant reminder of the necessity to arrive at a cease-fire immediately and to start negotiating a lasting peace. 'Peace will bring countless benefits for the peoples of this region and for the world as a whole', adds Pope Francis, 'and so it must resolutely be pursued, even if each side has to make certain sacrifices'. It becomes a responsibility of the international community to engage in earnest in the pursuit of peace and to help the parties in this horrible conflict reach some understanding in order to stop the violence and look to the future with mutual trust”.

“The media should report in a fair and unbiased manner the tragedy of all who are suffering because of the conflict, in order to facilitate the development of an impartial dialogue that acknowledges the rights of everyone, respects the just concerns of the international community, and benefits from the solidarity of the international community in supporting a serious effort to attain peace. With an eye to the future, the vicious circle of retribution and retaliation must cease. With violence, men and women will continue to live as enemies and adversaries, but with peace they can live as brothers and sisters”.


OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS


Vatican City, 25 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Bishop Florentino Galang Lavarias of Iba, Philippines, as metropolitan archbishop of San Fernando (area 2,180, population 3,561,000, Catholics 3,324,000, priests 176, religious 155), Philippines. He succeeds Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Rev. Severo C. Caermare as bishop of Dipolog (area 7,205, population 977,000, Catholics 787,000, priests 68, permanent deacons 1, religious 58), Philippines. The bishop-elect was born in Poblacion, Philippines in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1996. He holds a master's degree in theology and pastoral ministry from the St. John Vianney theological seminary of Cagayan de Oro City, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including administrator of the parishes of “Our Mother of Perpetual Help” and “San Isidore” in Zamboanga del Norte; formator, rector, professor and liturgist at the Cor Jesu Seminary of Dipolog City; and formator, professor, dean and rector of the St. Mary's Theologate of Ozamis City. He is currently administrator of the “St. Anthony of Padua” parish in Gulayon, Dipolog City, and rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Dipolog City. He succeeds Bishop Jose R. Manguiran, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Rev. Fr. Celestino Aos Braco, O.F.M. Cap., as bishop of Copiapo (area 75,176, population 272,000, Catholics 207,000, priests 23, permanent deacons 35, religious 76), Chile. The bishop-elect was born in Artaiz, Spain in 1945, gave his perpetual vows in 1967 ad was ordained a priest in 1968. He holds a licentiate in psychology from the University of Barcelona, Spain, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in Chile, including superior of the community of Los Angeles, Santa Maria de Los Angeles; priest of the parish of “San Miguel” in Vina del Mar; superior of the community of Recreo, and episcopal vicar for consecrated life of the diocese of Valparaiso. He is currently vicar of the parish of “San Francisco de Asis” in Los Angeles. He has also served as provincial bursar for the order in Chile, promoter of justice at the ecclesiastical tribunal of Valparaiso, and judge at the tribunal of the archdiocese of Concepcion.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

TELEGRAM FOR THE AVIATION ACCIDENT IN MAGONG


Vatican City, 24 July 2014 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram on behalf of Pope Francis to the archbishop of Taipei and president of the regional Conference of bishops of China, John Huong Shan-chuan, with reference to the accident that occurred at Magong airport, Taiwan, in which a TransAsia Airways aircraft had to make an emergency landing, resulting in 48 deaths and leaving 10 injured.

In the text, the Holy Father expresses his sadness for the accident, as well as his closeness to the relatives of the victims, and assures them of his prayers for all those affected by the tragedy, asking God to grant them consolation, strength and peace.

POPE'S MESSAGE FOR THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARGENTINE SHRINE OF ST. PANTALEON


Vatican City, 24 July 2014 (VIS) – The shrine is “a temple that seems still, but that the people of God carry forward. In this way it has moved ahead for fifty years in the hearts of the many faithful who have come to venerate the saint, to implore for health, and to profess their faith. In this way it has moved into the heart of the area, projecting itself onto the whole city”, said the Pope in the message he sent to the faithful who will meet in the neighbourhood of Mataderos in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the shrine of St. Pantaleon. “I ask the Lord to grant you the grace to continue on your path, to continue this pilgrimage of the heart in the midst of this great city”.

The Holy Father went on to recall with nostalgia the time during which, as archbishop of Buenos Aires, he personally visited the parish dedicated to the doctor saint of Nicomedia. “I wish to be close to you to be able to relive in some way the occasions in which I was able to visit the shrine on 27 July to help the priests in confession. I returned home spiritually strengthened by this witness of faith. The good I received is unimaginable. And I wish to give thanks for all this good. May the Lord reward you plentifully”.

The pontiff concluded by assuring the faithful of his closeness and prayer and asked them to pray for him. “In these days of celebration … I am close to you. … May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin protect you”.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS


Vatican City, 24 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Ref. Joy Alappat as auxiliary of the eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Chicago of the Syro-Malabars (Catholics 87,000, priests 53, religious 31), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Parappukara, India, in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1981. He holds a master's degree in theology from the St.Joseph's Pontifical Institute, Aluva, and the Adheva University, Wattair, and completed the Clinical Pastoral Education programme at Georgetown University, U.S.A. He has held a number of pastoral roles both in India – in the eparchal cathedral in Chalakudy and as chaplain of the Syro-Malabar community in Chennai – and in the U.S.A., as chaplain of Georgetown University, and parish priest in New Milford, Newark and Garfield. He is currently rector of the eparchal Cathedral in Bellwood, Illinois.

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.
Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service