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Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Vatican City, 15 May 2013 (VIS) – The action that the Holy Spirit carries out, in guiding the Church and within each of us, was the theme chosen by Pope Francis for his catechesis in today's general audience, with Pentecost drawing near.

We are living in an age when we are rather sceptical regarding truth,” the Holy Father said to the over 75,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square. “Benedict XVI spoke many times about relativism, that is, the tendency to believe that there is nothing definitive and to think that truth comes from consensus or from what we desire. … What comes to my mind here is … Pontius Pilate's question when Jesus reveals to him the profound meaning of his mission: 'What is truth?' Pilate is unable to understand that 'the' Truth is in front of him, he is unable to see, in Jesus, the face of truth, which is the face of God. … You cannot grasp truth as if it were a thing; it is encountered. It isn't a possession; it is an encounter with a Person.”

But who can make us recognize that Jesus is 'the' Word of truth, the only begotten Son of God the Father? St. Paul teaches us that 'no one can say, “Jesus is Lord”, except by the Holy Spirit. Jesus calls him the 'Paraclete', that is, 'He who comes to our assistance', who is at our side to sustain us in this journey of knowledge.”

So, what then is the Holy Spirit's action? “In the first place, He recalls and seals upon believers' hearts the words that Jesus said and, precisely through those words, God's law … is inscribed upon our hearts and becomes, in us, the principle of judgement in our choices and of guidance in our everyday actions. It becomes the principle of life.”

The Holy Spirit, as Jesus promised, “'guides us to all truth'. He guides us not only to the encounter with Jesus, the fullness of Truth, but He guides us 'within' Truth, that is, makes us to enter into an ever deeper communion with Jesus, giving us knowledge of the things of God. … The Church's tradition affirms that the Spirit of truth acts in our hearts, arousing that 'sense of the faith' (sensus fidei) through which, as Vatican Council II states, the People of God, under the guidance of the Magisterium, unfailingly adheres to the faith that is bequeathed, deepening it with right judgement and applying it more fully in their lives. Let us ask ourselves: 'Am I open to the Holy Spirit's action, do I pray him to give me light, to make me more sensitive to the things of God?'”

This is a prayer that we need to say every day: 'Holy Spirit, make my heart open to God's Word so that my heart might be open to good, so that my heart might be open to God's beauty every day.' Let me ask you: how many of you pray to the Holy Spirit every day? It will be few of you, but we must satisfy this desire for Jesus and pray every day to the Holy Spirit that He might open our hearts to Jesus.”

Embracing the words and the truths of faith so that they might become life takes place and grows with the action of the Holy Spirit. In this sense it is helpful to learn from Mary, to relive her 'yes', her total openness to receiving the Son of God in her life, which was transformed from that moment. Through the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son come to reside in us: we live in God and of God.”

We have to let ourselves be flooded by the Holy Spirit's light, because He introduces us to the Truth of God, who is the only Lord of our life. In this Year of Faith, let us ask ourselves if we have concretely taken some steps to know Christ and the truth of faith more. .. At the same time let us also ask what steps we are taking so that faith might guide our entire existence. You cannot be a 'part time' Christian, [a Christian] in some moments, under some circumstances, for certain decisions. You are a Christian in every moment! The truth of Christ, which the Holy Spirit teaches and gives us, involves, for always and entirely, our daily life. Let us call upon him more often. Let me make this proposition to you: let us call upon the Holy Spirit every day so that He will bring us closer to Jesus Christ,” the Pope concluded.

In his greetings to the groups from different languages, the Pope addressed Polish pilgrims from Szczecin, members of the Christian Civitas Association that had organized a March for Life there. “This initiative reminds everyone,” the pontiff said, “of the necessity of promoting and defending human life from its conception until its natural end.” He also spoke to the Italian students, particularly those from Catholic schools, noting that “Catholic schools constitute an invaluable reality for all of society, above all for the educational service they undertake in collaboration with families. It is good that their role be recognized properly.”


Vatican City, 15 May 2013 (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, the Pope, addressing a group of pilgrims from the Italian island of Sardinia, announced that he would like to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria that is located in the Sardinian city of Cagliari.

I would like to visit the Sanctuary in Cagliari—almost surely in the month of September,” he said, “because there is a brotherhood between the cities of Buenos Aires and Cagliari because of an ancient story. At the moment of the founding of the city of Buenos Aires ifs founder wanted to name it 'City of the Most Holy Trinity', but the sailors who had brought him there were Sardinian and they wanted it to be called 'City of the Madonna of Bonaria'. There was an argument and, in the end, they arrived at a compromise. Thus the city's name turned out rather long: 'City of the Most Holy Trinity and Port of Our Lady of Bonaria'. Since it was so long only the last [word] remained: Bonaria, Buenos Aires, in memory of your image of the Madonna of Bonaria.”


Vatican City, 15 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office a conference was held to present the Pentecost Vigil at which ecclesial movements will participate in for the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II. Speaking at the conference, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, noted that, to effectively celebrate the Year of Faith, it was not possible to overlook a gathering with the ecclesial realities, which are one of the Council's most evident results.

In organizing the Year of Faith,” Archbishop Fisichella said, “we hoped to create a moment of encounter, of prayer, exchange, and listening that would allow us to live and to continue along the path of the new evangelization with as much strength and motivation. … The objective and the purpose remain identical and common for all: to bring the joy of the Gospel to every person.”

Over 120,000 people, in fact, have signalled their attendance. Around 150 different ecclesial realities coming from [around the world] are registered … attesting to the fact that the Church's catholicity knows no boundaries.”

Under the slogan, “I Believe! Increase our Faith”, the gathering will begin with a pilgrimage for the various groups to the tomb of St. Peter throughout the morning of 18 May starting from 7:00am. Then, at 3:00pm, a welcoming ceremony with reflection, music, and testimonials will be held in St. Peter's Square.

Of particular note, the famous Gen Verde group and a choir of over 150 singers belonging to the various movements will accompany those gathered until 6:00pm when the Holy Father Francis will join the celebration with a moment of prayer in front of the image of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi Romani.

The event will continue with two very meaningful testimonials from the Irish writer and editorialist John Waters and the Pakistani surgeon Paul Batthi. After that, representatives of the movements will ask the Holy Father some questions, which he will respond to spontaneously.

Among those present there will also be a large number of people with various disabilities, the parents of a child killed in the earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy, and Italian politicians belonging to the Communion and Liberation movement.

The event will conclude with the celebration of Mass, presided by Pope Francis, on Sunday, 19 May, at 10:00am in St. Peter's Square.


Vatican City, 15 May 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon, the Holy See Press Office issued the following press release:

His Eminence Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, archbishop emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, for the same reasons he decided not to participate in the last Conclave, and in agreement with the Holy Father, will be leaving Scotland for several months for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer, and penance. Any decision regarding future arrangements for His Eminence shall be agreed with the Holy See.”


Vatican City, 15 May 2013 (VIS) – The Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) intends to open, before the end of the year, a website where it will make public, among other information, the “Yearly Report” of its activities. According to Vatican Radio, the announcement was made by the President of the IOR, Mr. Ernst von Freyberg, during a meeting with that Institute's personnel. Also, consultation with a new international certification company has been undertaken by the IOR in order to ensure full compliance with international standards for combating money laundering.


Vatican City, 15 May 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father:

   - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Songea, Tanzania, presented by Archbishop Norbert Wendelin Mtega, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Tarcisius Ngalalekumtwa of Iringa, Tanzania, as apostolic adminstrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same diocese.

   - appointed Bishop Ramon Castro Castro as bishop of Cuernavaca (area 4,941, population 2,202,000, Catholics 1,904,000, priests 197, permanent deacons 1, religious 442), Mexico. Bishop Castro, previously of Campeche, Mexico, was born in Teocuitatlan de Corona, Guadalajara, Mexico in 1956, was ordained to the priesthood in 1982, and received episcopal ordination in 2004. In the Mexican Episcopal Conference, he was elected director of the Justice, Peace, and Reconciliation Dimension of the Episcopal Commission for Social Outreach for the period of 2012-2015.

   - appointed Fr. Savio Dominic Fernandes and Fr. John Rodrigues as auxiliaries for the Archdiocese of Bombay (area 10,103, population 20,121,000, Catholics 520,932, priests 591, permanent deacons 10, religious 1,951), India. Bishop-elect Fernandes was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1989. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral, judicial, and administrative roles, most recently, from 2010, as chairman of the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council. The Holy Father has assigned him the Titular See of Cozila. Bishop-elect Rodrigues was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1998. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral and academic roles, most recently, from 2011, as dean of studies at St. Pius X College in Goregaon, Maharashtra, India. The Holy Father has assigned him the Titular See of Deulto.
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