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Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Vatican City, 2 July 2013 (VIS) – The programme of Pope Francis' trip to Lampedusa on Monday 8 July was announced today.

The Holy Father will depart from Rome's Ciampino military airport at 8.00 a.m., landing at Lampedusa airport at 9.15 a.m., where he will be welcomed by Archbishop Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento and Giuseppina Nicolini, mayor of Lampedusa. The Holy Father will then go on by car to Cala Pisana, where he will board a boat in order to reach Lampedusa by sea. He will be accompanied by fishermen in their boats, and will commit a wreath to the sea in memory of those who lost their lives in the shipwreck. He will arrive at the port of Punta Favarolo at 9.30 a.m., where he will greet the groups of immigrants awaiting him at the dock.

He will then go on to the “Arena” sports camp in the Salina quarter, where he will celebrate Mass at 10.00 a.m. At 11.30 a.m., following the celebration of the Eucharist, the Pope will continue by car to the parish of San Gerlando, where he will make a brief stop. He will leave the parish at 12.30 p.m. and will be transported to Lampedusa airport by car. At 12.45 p.m. the papal aeroplane will depart from Rome, where it is expected to land at Ciampino airport at 1.45 p.m. The Holy Father will return immediately to Vatican City.


Vatican City, 2 July 2013 (VIS) – A communique was issued in English by the Holy See Press Office late yesterday afternoon, the full text of which is given below:

IOR-Director Comm. Paolo Cipriani and Deputy Director Dott. Massimo Tulli have offered their resignations from their current positions. After many years of service both have decided that this decision would be in the best interest of the Institute and the Holy See. The Oversight Council and the Commission of Cardinals have accepted their resignations and asked President Ernst von Freyberg to assume the functions of the General Director ad interim with immediate effect. The Vatican regulator AIF has been informed accordingly. The Special Commission appointed on June 26 2013 has acknowledged the decision.

Ernst von Freyberg will be supported by Rolando Marranci as acting Deputy Director and Antonio Montaresi in the newly created position as acting Chief Risk Officer with the remit of overseeing compliance and special projects. Previously Rolando Marranci served as Chief Operating Officer at a leading Italian bank in London. Antonio Montaresi has served as Chief Risk and Chief Compliance Officer with various banks in the US.

'In the name of the Oversight Council I thank Mr. Cipriani and Mr. Tulli for their personal dedication over the past years,' said President Ernst von Freyberg. 'I welcome Rolando Marranci and Antonio Montaresi as outstanding professionals,' he said. 'Since 2010 the IOR and its management have been working hard to bring structures and processes in line with international standards for anti-money laundering. While we are grateful for what has been achieved, it is clear today that we need new leadership to increase the pace of this transformation process. Our progress is in no small measure due to the continued support from the governing bodies of the Institute and its personnel.'

The Oversight Council has also initiated a selection process with the aim of appointing a new General Director and Deputy Director in the near future.

Elizabeth McCaul, Partner-in-charge of the New York Office and Chief Executive Officer of Promontory Europe and Raffaele Cosimo, Chief Operating Officer of Promontory Europe were mandated this past May by the President of the Oversight Council to strengthen the Institute’s anti-money laundering program in seven work streams including conducting a forensic review and screening its client relationships. Mr von Freyberg has also asked Elizabeth McCaul and Raffaele Cosimo to serve as Senior Advisors to support the management. Previously, Ms. McCaul served as New York Superintendent of Banks and is considered a leader in regulatory circles. Mr. Cosimo is an expert in bank governance and operations.”

About the IOR

The 'Istituto per le Opere di Religione' (IOR) is an institute founded in 1942 by Papal Decree. The IOR’s purpose is to serve the Holy See and in the Catholic Church throughout the world, as set out in its Statutes. The IOR safeguards the assets of a clearly defined group of legal and natural persons that have an affiliation to the Catholic Church defined by Canonical or Vatican Law. A Cardinals’ Commission, a Prelate, an Oversight Council and a Directorate constitute the IOR’s corporate governance structure. The IOR, which has 114 employees, is exclusively situated on the sovereign territory of the Vatican City State.”


Vatican City, 2 July 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches

- Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy


Vatican City, 1 July 2013 (VIS) - Pope Francis' first encyclical, entitled “Lumen Fidei”, will be published on Friday 5 July. The document, described as “not very extensive” by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., will be presented at a Press Conference by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.


Vatican City, 1 July 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today communicated that the Holy Father will visit the island of Lampedusa, Sicily, on Monday 8 July. The communique states that the Pope, “profoundly moved by the recent wreck involving a boat transporting migrants from Africa, the latest in a series of similar tragedies, intends to pray for those who have lost their lives at sea, to visit the survivors and refugees, to give encouragement to the island's inhabitants and to appeal to the responsibility of all to care for these brothers and sisters in extreme need. Due to the specific nature of the circumstances, the visit will be carried out as discreetly as possible, also with regard to the presence of bishops from the region and the civil authorities.


Vatican City, 1 July 2013 (VIS) – According to a communique issued today by the Prefecture of the Papal Household, the general audiences will be suspended during the month of August and will recommence on Wednesday 4 September.

Throughout the entire month of August, the Angelus Marian prayer will continue in the Vatican, with the exception of Thursday 15 August, solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On that day, the Holy Father will celebrate the Holy Mass in the parish of Castel Gandolfo and will subsequently pray the Angelus from the apostolic palace of his summer residence.


Vatican City, 01 July 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office a presentation was given for the “Great Event of the Year of Faith, a Day for seminarians, novices, and all those who have taken the path of vocation”. The participants were Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, and Msgr Graham Bell, under-secretary of the same Pontifical Council. The initiative is entitled “I trust in you”, to indicate the act by which the young may still find the strength and courage to consecrate themselves to the Lord and to the priestly or consecrated life as a sign of generosity to the Lord Who calls upon them to follow Him.

The event will begin on 4 July with a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter. It will depart from the gardens of Castel Sant'Angelo and continue along the entire length of Via della Conciliazione, concluding at St. Peter's Basilica where Cardinal Angelo Comastri will address those present.

The following day, 5 July, will be dedicated to catechesis in various languages, and will take place in designated churches throughout the historic centre of the capital. The day will conclude at Piazza del Campidoglio where there will be a celebration with various singers; two seminarians and a young Italian nun will relate their own experiences.

The morning of Saturday 6 July will be dedicated to the celebration of reconciliation and Eucharistic adoration. For the superiors accompanying the young seminarians and religious there will be the opportunity to reflect on matters of formation at the Lateran University. In the afternoon, in the Paul VI Hall, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, will offer some thoughts prior to an encounter with Pope Francis, who will offer privileged testimony of his own vocation. Musical accompaniment will be provided by the Irish group “The Priests” and by the nun Glenda. Finally, there will be a Marian procession in the Vatican Gardens, concluding at St. Peter's Basilica with a final address from Cardinal J. Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life.

On the morning of Sunday 7 July, the Pope will celebrate Mass in St. Peter's Basilica followed by the Angelus.

It is hoped that some six thousand young people from 66 different countries will participate in the initiative; representatives, according to Archbishop Fisichella, of the “thousands and thousands of other young people who will be spiritually united with them in bearing witness to their vocation”.


Vatican City, 30 June 2013 (VIS) – Jesus' steadfast decision to set out on the path to Jerusalem, his final destination and the place where He fulfilled His mission of salvation, and His freedom of conscience were the themes of the Pope's final Angelus in the month of June, prayed with tens of thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

From that time forth after His steadfast decision, Jesus aims straight for the finish line, and even to the people he meets and who ask to follow Him, He clearly states the conditions: not having a permanent abode; knowing how to detach oneself from familiar affections; not succumbing to nostalgia for the past. But Jesus also said to his disciples, charged with preceding Him on the way to Jerusalem to announce His coming, not to impose anything: if they do not find willing welcome, they are simply to continue, to move on. Jesus never imposes” Pope Francis emphasized. “Jesus is humble. Jesus extends invitations: 'If you want, come'. The humility of Jesus is like this: He always invites us. He does not impose”.

All this makes us think … of the importance, even for Jesus, of conscience: listening in his heart to the Father's voice, and following it. Jesus, in his earthly life, was not, so to speak, 'remote-controlled': He was the Word made flesh, the Son of God made man, and at one point he made a firm decision to go up to Jerusalem for the last time - a decision taken in His conscience, but not on His own: ​​with the Father, in full union with Him! ... For this reason, then, the decision was steadfast: because it was taken together with the Father. In the Father, then, Jesus found the strength and the light for His journey. Jesus was free. His decision was a free one. Jesus wants us Christians to be free as he is: with that liberty, which comes from this dialogue with the Father ... Jesus wants neither selfish Christians, who follow their egos and do not speak with God, nor weak Christians, without will: 'remote-controlled' Christians, incapable of creativity, who seek always to connect with the will of another ... Jesus wants us free, and this freedom – where is it found? It is to be found in the inner dialogue with God in conscience. If a Christian … does not know how to listen to God, in his own conscience, then he is not free – he is not free”.

So we also must learn to listen more to our conscience. Be careful, however: this does not mean we ought to follow our ego, do whatever interests us, whatever suits us, whatever pleases us. That is not conscience. Conscience is the interior space in which we can listen to and hear the truth, the good, the voice of God. It is the inner place of our relationship with Him, who speaks to our heart and helps us to discern, to understand the path we ought to take, and once the decision is made, to move forward, to remain faithful”.

Pope Francis highlighted a wonderful example of how this relationship with God in one's own conscience may be: Pope Benedict XVI, “when the Lord showed him in prayer the step he had to take, followed his conscience with a great sense of discernment and courage; that is, he followed the will of God that spoke to his heart”. This example “is of benefit to all of us, as an example to follow”.

May Mary help us to become more and more men and women of conscience, free in our conscience … able to hear the voice of God and follow it with decision” concluded the Pope.

After the Angelus, the Holy Father remarked that today in Italy we celebrate the Day of charity of the Pope, and he thanked the bishops and all the parishes, especially the poorest, for the prayers and offerings that support the many pastoral initiatives and charitable activities of the Successor of Peter in every part of the world.


Vatican City, 30 June 2013 (VIS) – The Pope has written a message to the participants in the Sixth Youth Day, to be held in Kaunas, Lithuania from 28 to 30 June.

The Pope writes, “Jesus wants to be your friend, … a master of truth and life who will show you the path to happiness, to your self-realization according to God's plan for each of you. And this, Jesus' friendship, which brings us mercy and the love of God, is 'free', a pure gift. He asks nothing of you in return, He asks only that you welcome Him. Jesus wishes to love you for what you are, even in your fragility and weakness as, touched by His love, you may be renewed”.

The encounter with God's love in the friendship of Christ is possible first and foremost through the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the Reconciliation. … Jesus always forgives us. Another privileged way to grow in Christ's friendship is to listen to His word. The Lord speaks to us … through the Sacred Scriptures, He speaks to us through prayer. … And here I would like to emphasize the beauty of simple contemplative prayer, accessible to all, old and young, the cultured and the simple; it is the prayer of the Sacred Rosary. … Indeed, in the Rosary, repeating Hail Mary, we meditate upon the Mysteries, the events in the life of Christ, in order to know him and love him more”.

Christ's love is not an illusion … neither is it reserved to the few. … Do not be afraid to live in faith! Be witnesses to Christ in your daily lives, with simplicity and courage. To those you meet, to your peers, show above all the face of the mercy and love of God, Who always forgives, encourages and gives hope. Always show care for others, especially to the poorest and weakest, thereby living in fraternal love, against all forms of egotism and narrow-mindedness”.


Vatican City, 29 June 2013 (VIS) - This morning, on the solemnity of the apostles Peter and Paul, Pope Francis celebrated the Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, during which the Pallium, a symbol of the bond of unity with the See of Peter, was imposed upon thirty-four new metropolitan archbishops.

The Holy Father concelebrated the Eucharist with the new archbishops. As is traditional on the feast of the patrons of Rome, the Pope received in audience a delegation from the ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, sent on behalf of ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I and led by the metropolitan of Pergamo Ioannis (Zizioulas), co-president of the Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

In his homily, Pope Francis spoke of the meaning of the verb “to confirm” in the context of the Petrine ministry, in response to the question, “What has the Bishop of Rome been called to confirm?”.

First, to confirm in faith”, he said. “The Gospel speaks of the confession of Peter: 'You are Christ, the Son of the living God', a confession which does not come from him but from our Father in heaven. Because of this confession, Jesus replies: 'You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church'. The role, the ecclesial service of Peter, is founded upon his confession of faith in Jesus, the Son of the living God, made possible by a grace granted from on high. In the second part of today’s Gospel we see the peril of thinking in worldly terms. When Jesus speaks of his death and resurrection, of the path of God which does not correspond to the human path of power, flesh and blood re-emerge in Peter: 'He took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him ... This must never happen to you'. Jesus’ response is harsh: 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me'. Whenever we let our thoughts, our feelings or the logic of human power prevail, and we do not let ourselves be taught and guided by faith, by God, we become stumbling blocks. Faith in Christ is the light of our life as Christians and as ministers in the Church!”

To confirm in love” is the second answer. “In the second reading we heard the moving words of Saint Paul: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith'”, continued the Holy Father. “But what is this fight? It is not one of those fights fought with human weapons which sadly continue to cause bloodshed throughout the world; rather, it is the fight of martyrdom. Saint Paul has but one weapon: the message of Christ and the gift of his entire life for Christ and for others. It is precisely this readiness to lay himself open, personally, to be consumed for the sake of the Gospel, to make himself all things to all people, unstintingly, that gives him credibility and builds up the Church. The Bishop of Rome is called himself to live and to confirm his brothers and sisters in this love for Christ and for all others, without distinction, limits or barriers. And not only the Bishop of Rome: each of you, new archbishops and bishops, have the same task: to let yourselves be consumed by the Gospel, to become all things to everyone. It is your task to hold nothing back, to go outside of yourselves in the service of the faithful and holy people of God”.

Finally, the Pope continued, “To confirm in unity. Here I would like to reflect for a moment on the rite which we have carried out. The pallium is a symbol of communion with the Successor of Peter, 'the lasting and visible source and foundation of the unity both of faith and of communion'. And your presence today, dear brothers, is the sign that the Church’s communion does not mean uniformity. The Second Vatican Council, in speaking of the hierarchical structure of the Church, states that the Lord 'established the apostles as college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from their number'. To confirm in unity: the Synod of Bishops, in harmony with the primate. Let us go forward on the path of synodality, and grow in harmony with the service of the primacy. And the Council continues, 'this college, in so far as it is composed of many members, is the expression of the variety and universality of the people of God'. In the Church, variety, which is itself a great treasure, is always grounded in the harmony of unity, like a great mosaic in which every small piece joins with others as part of God’s one great plan. This should inspire us to work always to overcome every conflict which wounds the body of the Church. United in our differences: there is no other Catholic way to be united. This is the Catholic spirit, the Christian spirit: to be united in our differences. This is the way of Jesus! The pallium, while being a sign of communion with the Bishop of Rome and with the universal church, with the Synod of Bishops, also commits each of you to being a servant of communion”.

To confess the Lord by letting oneself be taught by God; to be consumed by love for Christ and his Gospel; to be servants of unity. These, dear brother bishops, are the tasks which the holy apostles Peter and Paul entrust to each of us, so that they can be lived by every Christian”, the Holy Father concluded.


Vatican City, 29 June 2013 (VIS) – Following the Holy Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus on Sunday with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, and recalled that the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul was a special feast for the Church of Rome, founded on the martyrdom of both apostles, and also for the Universal Church, “since all the People of God owe to them the gift of faith”.

While Peter “was the first to confess that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God, Paul spread this news throughout the Greek-Roman world. And Providence wished that both of them might reach Rome and there shed blood for the faith. The Church of Rome therefore became, spontaneously, the point of reference for all Churches around the world. Not for the power of the Empire, but for the strength of martyrdom and witness to Christ! In the end, it is always and only the love of Christ that generates faith and sustains the Church along her way”.

The Holy Father remarked that when Peter confessed his faith in Jesus, “he did not do so because of His human capacities, but rather because he had been moved by the grace Jesus emanated, by the love he felt in His words and saw in His gestures”. And the same happened to Paul when, as a young man and enemy of Christians, he was called upon by the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus and transformed by his vision: “He understood that Jesus was not dead, but alive, and loved even he who was His enemy. It was this experience of mercy, of God's forgiveness through Jesus Christ: this is the Good News, the Gospel the Peter and Paul experienced themselves and for which they gave their lives. Mercy, forgiveness! The Lord always forgives, the Lord has mercy, is merciful, has a merciful heart and awaits us always … what joy it is to believe in a God Who is all love, all grace! This is the faith that Peter and Paul received from Christ and which they have transmitted to the Church”.

Pope Francis also spoke of the apostle Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, who shared with him his experience of faith in Jesus, and who had indeed encountered Him first. “I like to remember him also because today, in accordance with a beautiful tradition, Rome receives the delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, whose patron is indeed the apostle Andrew”. The Pope went on to invite those present to pray together a Hail Mary for Patriarch Bartholomaios I, and to pray also for the metropolitan archbishops of the various Churches who received the Pallium this morning.

After the Marian prayer, the Pope greeted the pilgrims who had gathered to celebrate with the metropolitan archbishops: “I pray for their communities, and in particular I encourage the central African people, sorely tested at this time, to continue on their path with faith and hope”.


Vatican City, 29 June 2013 (VIS) – A papal letter was published today, written in Latin and dated 30 May, naming Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, as the Holy Father's special envoy to the closing ceremony of the fourth centenary of the arrival of the image of the Blessed Virgin at Budslau, Belarus, scheduled for the 5 and 6 July 2013.

Also named were the members of the mission who will accompany the cardinal: Fr. Viktar Burlaka, O.F.M., of the parish of Assunta in Budslau and custodian of the national Marian sanctuary of Budslau, and Fr. Uladzislau Zavalniuk, of the parish of St. Simon and St. Helen in Minsk.


Vatican City, 1 July 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity;

- Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Banco Interamericano de Desarollo (BID) with his consort and retinue;

- Enrique Valentin Inglesias Garcia, secretary-general of the SEGIB (Segretaria General Iberoamericana)

This afternoon, he is scheduled to receive:

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

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