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Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Vatican City, 17 July 2013 (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a special message to Catholics across Britain and Ireland, ahead of the annual Day for Life, which was held in Scotland on 28 May, and will be celebrated in England and Wales next Sunday, 28 July. The theme of the event will be ‘Care for Life – It’s Worth It’, taken from a homily preached by Cardinal Bergoglio in 2005 during a Mass in honour of St. Raymond Nonnatus, protector of expectant mothers.

On that occasion, Pope Francis emphasised that “We must all care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth ... to give life is to open our hearts, and to care for life is to give oneself in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in our hearts for others. Caring for life from the beginning to the end. What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing... So, go forth and don’t be discouraged. Care for life. It’s worth it.”

This year’s Day for Life in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland focuses on care for unborn children and their mothers, the elderly, and those who are suicidal and their families. The proceeds of the Day for Life collection, to be held in parishes in England and Wales on 28 July, will assist the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and other life-related activities supported by the Church.

The full text of the Pope's message is given below:

Calling to mind the teaching of Saint Irenaeus that the glory of God is seen in a living human being, the Holy Father encourages all of you to let the light of that glory shine so brightly that everyone may come to recognise the inestimable value of all human life. Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect. His Holiness prays that the Day for Life will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that is its due, so that 'everything that breathes may praise the Lord'”.


Vatican City, 17 July 2013 (VIS) – In a press conference held this morning the director of the Holy See Press Office, Federico Lombardi S.J., presented information on Pope Francis' imminent apostolic visit to Rio de Janeiro for the 28th World Youth Day. Fr. Lombardi reviewed the Holy Father's programme for the week he will spend in Brazil, explaining that this journey is “particularly significant in his continent, and this naturally lends it a particular sense of anticipation and participation”.

As we know”, Fr. Lombardi continued, “it was not his decision to make his first trip to Latin America, but rather it was his predecessor Benedict XVI who had confirmed that World Youth Day would be held in Brazil, and had confirmed that 'the Pope' would be present, as at all the World Youth Days, even though the Pope in this case would not have been him. Therefore, Pope Francis is assuming the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate in making this trip. You will recall that practically the same thing happened at the last change of pontificate: Benedict XVI's first trip was to Germany, his homeland, to Cologne for the World Youth Day decided by his predecessor John Paul II”.

The trip had already been decided but the programme has also been adapted, we might indeed say intensified and enriched with further events with the change of pontificate. The plan that had been drawn up for Pope Benedict XVI was less demanding, whereas with Pope Francis, some elements have been added, such as the pilgrimage to Aparecida, or the vist to the favelas, to the hospital, the meeting with the Comite de Celam. There are elements which were not scheduled in the first programme for the trip, intended for Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Francis has maintained the same days – that is, the trip was expected to take place from 22 to 29 July even before the change of pontificate – but more events have been planned for this period, especially the pilgrimage to Aparecida which will occupy a day that had in the previous draft programme been intended as a day of rest”.

Of course, the Holy Father was invited by the bishops who organised and promoted the World Youth Day”, added Fr. Lombardi: Orani Tempesti, archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, and Cardinal Damasceno Assis, president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, and naturally also by the president Dilma Rousseff, “who came to the Vatican “for the inauguration of the pontificate and who met Francesco the following day, explicitly inviting him to Brazil. The Pope confirmed immediately, just a few days after his election, that he intended to travel to Brazil for World Youth Day, and this helped to speed up preparations”.


Vatican City, 17 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

- appointed Fr. Francis Duffy, of the clergy of Kilmore, Ireland, as bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois (area 2,437, population 84,700, Catholics 79,600, priests 72, religious 177), Ireland. The bishop-elect was born in Bawnboy, Ireland in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1982. Following ordination he taught Irish history and language at St. Patrick's College in Cavan, and in the diocesan school of St. Felim in Ballinamore, where he went on to become head teacher. He served as diocesan secretary and chancellor from 2008 to 2012. He currently assists in the parish of Laragh and in St. Michael's Church, Clifferna, and is completing his doctorate in Education. He succeeds Bishop Colm O'Reilly, whose resignation from the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Manaus, Brazil, presented by Bishop Mario Pasqualotto, P.I.M.E., upon having reached the age limit.

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