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Monday, July 15, 2013


Vatican City, 14 July 2013 (VIS) - “I have come to spend a day meeting with the citizens of Castel Gandolfo, with the pilgrims and all the visitors who justly love this place, who are enchanted by its beauty”, said Pope Francis to the employees of the Pontifical Villas of the small town where the popes traditionally spend the summer. The Holy Father expressed his gratitude to the employees and their families for the work they carry out in the service of the Holy See.

The meeting took place on the terrace of the apostolic palace at Castel Gandolfo and was attended by Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, the diocese to which Castel Gandolfo belongs, Saverio Petrillo, director of the Pontifical Villas, and the mayor of Castel Gandolfo, Milvia Monachesi. The presence of the bishop enabled the Pope to greet with affection the parish community of Castel Gandolfo and the religious communities in the area, and he encouraged them to “renew with joy and enthusiasm the commitment to proclaiming and witnessing the Gospel”. In his address to the mayor he invited the citizens of Castel Gandolfo “to be a sign of hope and peace, always attentive to those people and families most in difficulty”. He added, “This is important! We must always be a sign of hope and peace at this time. Open the doors to hope, so that hope might continue to work towards peace, for ever”.

Pope Francis then mentioned John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who used to spend part of the summer there. “Many of you had the opportunity to meet and welcome them, and conserve dear memories of them. May their witness always encourage you in your daily fidelity to Christ and in your continual efforts to lead a life consonant with the demands of the Gospel and the teachings of the Church”.

Finally, he entrusted those present to the Virgin Mary, who two days later would be commemorated as the Virgin of Mount Carmel, beseeching her to watch over them and their families. “I beg you all to pray for me too, and for my service”, he added; “I need your prayers”.


Vatican City, 14 July 2013 (VIS) – At midday the Pope presided at his first Sunday Angelus in Castel Gandolfo, praying with the faithful gathered in Piazza della Liberta. He commented on the parable of the good Samaritan from the gospel of St. Luke, emphasizing that “God always wants mercy for everyone and not condemnation. He wants the mercy of the heart because he is merciful and understands well our suffering, our difficulties and even our sins. He gives this merciful heart to all of us! The Samaritan does precisely this: he simply imitates the mercy of God, mercy towards those in need”.

The Pope mentioned St. Camillus de Lellis, founder of the hospital order dedicated to the sick, patron of the sick and of healthcare workers, describing him as “a man who lived fully this Gospel of the good Samaritan”. He greeted “all the sons and spiritual daughters of St. Camillus, who live his charism of charity and daily contact with the sick. You are like good Samaritans! I pray that doctors, the infirm and those who work in hospitals and care centres will be animated by the same spirit”.

You are all young at heart!” With these words, the Holy Father asked for the intercession of the Virgin for all the pilgrims who will meet in Brazil to celebrate World Youth Day. “Let us pray ... that Our Lady of Aparecida, patroness of Brazil, guide the steps of the participants and open their hearts to welcome the message Christ will give them”.


Vatican City, 14 July 2013 (VIS) – Following Sunday's Angelus, the Pope commemorated the massacres of Volhynia in June 1943, a tragic episode during the Second World War in which tens of thousands of people lost their lives. He said, “I join in prayer with the prelates and faithful of the Church in Ukraine, gathered in the cathedral of Lutsk for the Holy Mass of the souls of the deceased on the seventieth anniversary of the massacres at Volhynia. Those actions, provoked by nationalist ideology in the tragic context of the Second World War, claimed tens of thousands of victims and damaged the fraternity between the two peoples, the Polish and the Ukrainian. I entrust to the mercy of God the souls of the victims and, for their people, I ask the grace of profound reconciliation and of a peaceful future in hope and in sincere collaboration in building together the Kingdom of God”.

He went on to thank the pastors and faithful participating in the pilgrimage of the family of Radio Maria to Jasna Gora, Czestochowa, Poland, and greeted the faithful of the Diocese of Albano, invoking the protection of their patron St. Bonaventure, whose feast is celebrated on 15 July. “May tomorrow's feast be beautiful, and many best wishes! I'd like to send you a cake... but I don't think they can make one big enough!” he joked.

The Holy Father finally addressed the young deaf people who were present in Rome for an international meeting, the religious sisters of St. Elizabeth and the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as well as the Daughters of Divine Charity, holding their general chapter, and the superiors of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.


Vatican City, 13 July 2013 (VIS) – The African bishops have concluded the 26th plenary meeting of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), calling upon the political leaders of the continent to work not in their own interests, but for the benefit of all the African population. The theme of the plenary was “The Church, the family of God in Africa at the service of reconciliation, justice and peace”, and its aim was to adopt new pastoral orientations for reconciliation through the Gospel.

The prelates, who met in Kinshasa, Congo, from 9 to 14 July, invited Africans to commit themselves urgently to the struggle for a just social order and to enable the rights proper to human dignity to be enjoyed by all, in all areas of life. They also called for an end to the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, that has been destroying the country for years and which has caused millions of deaths and serious human rights violations, in addition to the rape of thousands of women and girls. “We cannot remain silent before a drama which appears to have been forgotten”, said the bishops. “We launch an urgent appeal to the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the governments of other countries in any way involved to take resolute action to bring an end to this war which has already lasted too long”.

The bishops also focused on the situations in the Central African Republic, the countries of the Horn of Africa, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Madagascar, Rwanda, Uganda, Tunisia and Egypt.


Vatican City, 14 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed Msgr. Alfredo Enrique Torres Rondon, of the clergy of Merida, as auxiliary bishop of Merida (area 8,105, population 685,000, Catholics 616,000, priests 129, permanent deacons 18, religious 289), Venezuela. The bishop-elect was born in Maracaibo in 1950 and was ordained a priest in 1976. He holds a licentiate in moral theology from the Alphonsianium Academy, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including rector of the minor seminary “San Buenaventura” in Merida; priest in the parishes of Macuchachi, San Rafael of Mucuchies, Nuestra Senora del Carmen in Santa Cruz de Mora, Nuestra Senora del Carmen in Montalban de Ejidio, San Juan Batista in Milla, San Miguel Arcangel de El Llano in Merida; director of family pastoral care for the archdiocese, and vicar general of the archdiocese. He has also been a member of the Venezuela Plenary Council and assessor for the Venezuelan Eucharistic Congress. He succeeds Bishop Luis Alfonso Marquez Molina, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

On Saturday, 13 July, the Holy Father:

- appointed Bishop Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini, O.M., as metropolian archbishop of Reggio Calabria-Bova (area 1,004, population 285,000, Catholics 281,000, priests 185, permanent deacons 43, religious 397), Italy. Bishop Fiorini Morosini, previously bishop of Locri-Gerace, Italy, was born in Paola, Italy in 1945, was ordained to the priesthood in 1969, and received episcopal ordination in 2008. He succeeds Archbishop Vittorio Luigi Mondello, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- appointed Msgr. Robert Llanos as auxiliary bishop of Port of Spain (area , population , Catholics , priests , permanent deacons , religious ), Trinidad and Tobago. The bishop-elect was born in Trinidad in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1991. Previously a bank employee, he completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the regional major seminary of Port of Spain and has a licentiate in pastoral counselling from the Loyola University, Maryland, U.S.A. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, such as parish priest in Gran Couva, Princess Town and Carneage, teacher and vice-rector at the regional major seminary of Port of Spain, vicar for the Pastoral of the Family, and psychological advisor for priests, religious and laity of the archdiocese. He is currently vicar general of the archdiocese of Port of Spain.

- appointed Msgr. Damian Bryl as auxiliary bishop of Poznan (area 9,000, population 1,507,000, Catholics 1,487,000, priests 1018, religious 1,516), Poland. The bishop-elect was born in Jarocin, Poland in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He holds a doctorate in moral theology from the University of Navarra. He has served in a number of roles, such as chief editor of the monthly magazine “Katecheta”, adjunct professor at the “Adam Mickiewicz” University of Poznan, and editor of the scientific magazine “Teologia e Moralnosc”. He is currently spiritual director of the major seminary in Poznan, president of the Association of Spiritual Fathers in Poland, member of the archdiocesan council for the formation of priests and the archdiocesan pastoral Commission.
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