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Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) – Eastertide, which culminates with the Solemnity of Pentecost when the Church relives the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, is the perfect time of the Holy Spirit,” the Pope explained to the 75,000 persons present in St. Peter's Square to attend his Wednesday general audience.

After winding through the square in the Popemobile, greeting the various groups of faithful who greeted him as he passed by, the Pope began his catechesis, which was dedicated to the third Person of the Trinity; the Holy Spirit.

In the Creed,” Francis said, “we profess with faith: 'I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life'. The first truth that we adhere to in the Creed is that the Holy Spirit is 'Kyrios', that is, Lord. This means that He is truly God as are the Father and the Son … but I want to mainly focus on the fact that the Holy Spirit is the inexhaustible source of God's life in us.”

Men and women of all times and all places desire a full and beautiful life ... a life that is not threatened by death but that can mature and grow to its fullness. The human being is like a traveller who, crossing the deserts of life, is thirsty for living water, gushing and fresh, capable of deeply quenching that profound desire for light, love, beauty, and peace. We all feel that desire! And Jesus gives us this living water. It is the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and whom Jesus pours out into our hearts. 'I have come so that you might have life and have it more abundantly', Jesus says.”

Jesus has come to give us the living water that is the Holy Spirit “so that our lives might be guided by God.” That is why, “when we say that the Christian is a spiritual being we mean precisely this: the Christian is a person who thinks and acts in accordance with God, in accordance with the Holy Spirit. … We know that water is essential to life. Without water we die. It quenches our thirst, washes us, makes the land fertile. … The 'living water', the Holy Spirit, Gift of the Risen One who abides in us, purifies us, enlightens us, renews us, and transforms us so that we might be made to participate in the very life of God who is Love.”

Paul the Apostle, the Bishop of Rome noted, affirms that the Christian life “is enlivened by the Spirit and and by his fruits, which are 'love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control'. … The Spirit himself, together with our spirit, attests that we are God's children. And, if we are children, we are also inheritors, inheritors of God and co-inheritors with Christ if we truly take part in his suffering so that we might also be glorified with him. This is the precious gift that that the Holy Spirit brings to our hearts: the very life of God, the life of true children, a relationship of confidence, freedom, and trust in the love and mercy of God, which also has the effect of a new vision of others, near and far, seen always as brothers and sisters in Jesus to respect and to love. The Holy Spirit teaches us to see with Christ's eyes.”

That is why,” he concluded, “the living water that is the Holy Spirit quenches the thirst of our lives, because He tells us that we are loved by God as children, that we can love God as his children, and that, with his grace, we can live as children of God, as Jesus does.”


Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) – After his catechesis, the Pope greeted, among others, the family members of the new Swiss Guards who swore their oath on Monday, 6 May. He also welcomed the Polish pilgrims who are celebrating today the feast of their patron, St. Stanislaus of Szczepanow. “May his attention for each human being and for the moral order in society,” the pontiff said, “serve as an example and inspiration in your commitment to the good of your brothers and sisters and your country.”

This is the day in which we celebrate Our Lady of Lujan, heavenly Patroness of Argentina. Let's give an applause for the Virgin of Lujan. Stronger. I can't hear it. Stronger,” he said while the Argentinian pilgrims broke out clapping. “I wish to send to all the children of these beloved Argentinian lands my sincere affection while I place all their joys and worries in the hands of the Most Holy Virgin.”

Finally, he recalled that today, 8 May, in the Shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei, Italy, the “Supplication to the Madonna of the Rosary”, composed by Blessed Barolo Longo, will be prayed. “We join in spirit to this act of popular piety and devotion so that, through the intercession of Mary, the Lord may grant mercy and peace to the Church and the entire world.”


Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) – “The men and women of the Church who are careerists and social climbers, who 'use' people, the Church, their brothers and sisters—whom they should be serving—as a springboard for their own personal interests and ambitions … are doing great harm to the Church.” This is what Pope Francis asserted in his address to the participants in the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) whom he received in audience this morning.

The pontiff spoke to the sisters of obedience, poverty, and chastity: “Obedience as listening to God's will, in the interior motion of the Holy Spirit authenticated by the Church, accepting that obedience also passes through human mediations. … Poverty, which teaches solidarity, sharing, and charity and which is also expressed in a soberness and joy of the essential, to put us on guard against the material idols that obscure the true meaning of life. Poverty, which is learned with the humble, the poor, the sick, and all those who are at the existential margins of life. Theoretical poverty doesn't do anything. Poverty is learned by touching the flesh of the poor Christ in the humble, the poor, the sick, and in children.”

And then chastity, as a precious charism, that enlarges the freedom of your gift to God and others with Christ's tenderness, mercy, and closeness. Chastity for the Kingdom of Heaven shows how affection has its place in mature freedom and becomes a sign of the future world, to make God's primacy shine forever. But, please, [make it] a 'fertile' chastity, which generates spiritual children in the Church. The consecrated are mothers: they must be mothers and not 'spinsters'! Forgive me if I talk like this but this maternity of consecrated life, this fruitfulness is important! May this joy of spiritual fruitfulness animate your existence. Be mothers, like the images of the Mother Mary and the Mother Church. You cannot understand Mary without her motherhood; you cannot understand the Church without her motherhood, and you are icons of Mary and of the Church.”

Continuing, Pope Francis spoke to the superiors about service. “We must never forget that true power, at whatever level, is service, which has its bright summit upon the Cross. … 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them ... But it shall not be so among you.'—This is precisely the motto of your assembly, isn't it? It shall not be so among you.—'Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave'.”

Your vocation is a fundamental charism for the Church's journey and it isn't possible that a consecrated woman or man might 'feel' themselves not to be with the Church. A 'feeling' with the Church that has generated us in Baptism; a 'feeling' with the Church that finds its filial expression in fidelity to the Magisterium, in communion with the Bishops and the Successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, a visible sign of that unity,” the pontiff added, citing Paul VI: “It is an absurd dichotomy to think of living with Jesus but without the Church, of following Jesus outside of the Church, of loving Jesus without loving the Church. Feel the responsibility that you have of caring for the formation of your Institutes in sound Church doctrine, in love of the Church, and in an ecclesial spirit.”

The centrality of Christ and his Gospel, authority as a service of love, and 'feeling' in and with the Mother Church: [these are] three suggestions that I wish to leave you, to which I again add my gratitude for your work, which is not always easy. What would the Church be without you? She would be missing maternity, affection, tenderness! A Mother's intuition.”


Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) – Below is the complete text of the telegram that Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., sent, on behalf of the Holy Father, to Bishop Oscar Roberto Dominguez Couttolenc, M.G., of Ecatepec, Mexico because of an explosion of a gas truck in the city's suburbs that has, to date, resulted in 21 deaths and numerous wounded.

The Holy Father was saddened to receive news of the serious accent that occurred in the municipality of Ecatepec, which has caused numerous victims and serious wounded as well as much damage. I ask your excellency the kindness of expressing his spiritual nearness to all those who are affected by this tragedy. At the same time he offers prayers asking God for the eternal rest of those who lost their lives in this terrible accident.”

Likewise, His Holiness Pope Francis wishes to send, through your excellency, his condolences to the families of the dead, together with expressions of consolation and affection for all the wounded, with the strong desire for their quick and complete recovery.”

With these sentiments, the supreme pontiff, while calling upon the sweet name of Our Lady of Guadalupe, wholeheartedly imparts to all the comfort of the apostolic blessing as a sign of hope in the Risen Christ.”


Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) - From 9 to 13 May, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, will come to Rome to meet with His Holiness Pope Francis.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt has about ten million faithful. This large membership makes the Coptic Church one of the most important elements in the ecclesial landscape of the Middle East where, in recent times, Christian communities are having to deal with very difficult situations.

Pope Tawadros’ predecessor, Pope Shenouda III, met with Pope Paul VI in the Vatican 40 years ago in May of 1973. On that occasion, the Pope and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch signed an important Christological Declaration in common and initiated bilateral ecumenical dialogue between the two Churches.

Since the election of Pope Tawadros II as the new Coptic Orthodox Patriarch, there has been a growing rapprochement between the Christian communities in Egypt. This has led to the establishment of a council of Christian Churches in Egypt.

Pope Tawadros, as well as having an audience and a shared prayer with the Holy Father on Friday, 10 May, will be received at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and other dicasteries of the Roman Curia. He will visit the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul and will meet with the faithful of the Coptic community resident in Rome.


Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office issued a press release yesterday with the information that the Financial Intelligence Authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State (“Autorita di Informazione Finanziaria”, AIF), signed a Memorandum of Understanding that day, 7 May, in Washington, D.C., USA. The memorandum's cosignatory was the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), its United States counterpart at the US Department of Treasury. The purpose of the collaboration is to strengthen efforts to fight money laundering and the global financing of terrorism.

The Memorandum, signed by Rene Brulhart, director of AIF, and Jennifer Shasky Calvery, director of FinCEN, will foster bi-lateral cooperation in the exchange of financial information. “This is a clear indication that the Holy See and the Vatican City State take international responsibilities to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism very seriously, and that we are cooperating at the highest levels”, said Brulhart. “The Vatican has shown that it is a credible partner internationally and has made a clear commitment in the exchange of information in this fight.”

The AIF was established in 2010 and became operational in April of 2011. It is the competent authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State for financial intelligence and for supervision and regulation in the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism.

The press release also includes a background note that the AIF is currently in discussions with various Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of other countries and jurisdictions, including European countries, about entering into Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to strengthen bilateral cooperation to fight Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing. So far, the AIF has already signed MoUs with the FIUs of Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, and now the United States, which plays a leading role in combating money laundering. The AIF is currently in discussions with more than 20 other FIUs, and expects several MoUs to be signed in the course of the year.


Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) – At 9:30am this Sunday, 12 May, in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass during which he will canonize: Blessed Antonio Primaldo and Companions (martyrs, 1480); Blessed Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena (nee Maria Laura De Jesus Montoya Upegui, 1874–1949), virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and St Catherine of Siena; and Blessed Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala (1878–1963), co-foundress of the Congregation of the Handmaids of St Margaret Mary (Alacoque) and the Poor.


Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father:

   - appointed Fr. Luiz Antonio Cipolini as bishop of Marilia (area 11,958, population 711,000, Catholics 568,000, priests 91, permanent deacons 1, religious 163), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Caconde, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1986. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral and academic roles, most recently, since 2006, as rector and professor of the diocesan Institute of Philosophy and as pastor of “Nossa Senhora de Fatima” parish in Sao Joao da Boa Vista. He succeeds Bishop Osvaldo Giuntini, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

   - appointed Msgr. Benno Elbs as bishop of Feldkirch (area 2,601, population 393,600, Catholics 258,000, priests 208, permanent deacons 23, religious 407), Austria. The bishop-elect, previously administrator of the same diocese since November of 2011, was born in Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria and was ordained a priest in 1986. After ordination he was appointed spiritual director and successively rector of the Marianum in Bregenz and as director of the diocesan Pastoral Office and member of the college of consultors as well as the diocesan Financial Council.

   - appointed Msgr. Jose Aparecido Goncalves de Almeida as auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Brasilia (area 5,814, population 2,246,000, Catholics 1,541,000, priests 320, permanent deacons 69, religious 674), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Ourinhos, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1986. Since ordination he has served several pastoral and administrative roles, most recently as Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts where he has worked since 1994.

   - appointed Archbishop Martin Krebs as apostolic nuncio to New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and apostolic delegate to the Pacific Ocean. Archbishop Krebs, titular of Taborenta, was previously apostolic nuncio to Guinea and Mali.


Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) – We inform our readers that tomorrow, Thursday 9 May, the Solemnity of the Lord's Ascension, which is a feastday in the Vatican, no VIS bulletin will be transmitted. Service will be resumed on Friday, 10 May.
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