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Friday, July 26, 2013


Vatican City, 26 July 2013 (VIS) – Following this morning's Mass at the Sumare residence, the Pope visited the town hall at 9.45 a.m. local time. On the balcony of the central hall, the major of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, consigned the keys to the city to Pope Francesco. From there, they proceeded to the gardens where the Holy Father blessed the flags for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and greeted several young athletes representing a variety of different sports. As well as the 2014 World Cup, Brazil will host the 31st Olympic Games in 2016, the first to be held in South America.

At 10 a.m., the Pope travelled by car to the community of Varginha, Manguinhos, a distance of eighteen kilometres. This community forms part of one of the largest favelas in the northern part of the city, which has been pacified by local police. The term “favela” comes from “faveila” or mandioca brava, a rough wild leguminous plant that grows as a weed in several regions of Brazil. It is said that in November 1897, soldiers who had won the War of Canudos in Bahia landed in Rio because the government had promised them homes there. Since the ensuing bureaucracy was endless, they occupied the Gamboa hill, built their huts there, and called the place Morro da Favela.

The Holy Father arrived at 11 a.m., and was received by the parish priest, the episcopal vicar and the superior of the Sisters of Charity. He then proceeded to the little church of St. Jerome Emiliani and after a moment of prayer, went on foot to the football field where the community awaited him. He visited a family on the way and, before his address, greeted a local couple, Rangler and Joana.

Francis confessed that his wish, when planning his trip to Brazil, was to visit all the nation's neighbourhoods, but the vastness of the country made this impossible so he had to choose just one. “It is wonderful to be here with you! I would have liked to knock on every door, to say 'good morning', to ask for a glass of cold water, to take a cafezinho – not a glass of grappa! - to speak as one would to family friends, to listen to each person pouring out his or her heart – parents, children, grandparents ... But Brazil is so vast! It is impossible to knock on every door!” Pope Francis again thanked all Brazilians for welcoming him with “such love, generosity, and joy”, for the street decorations, “a further mark of affection … from your heart,

He remarked that when we are “generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them … not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched”, and mentioned the Brazilian proverb, “one can always “add more water to the beans”.

The Brazilian people”, he continued, “particularly the humblest among you, can offer the world a valuable lesson in solidarity; this word solidarity is too often forgotten or silenced, because it is uncomfortable”. The Pope appealed “to those in possession of greater resources, to public authorities and to all people of good will who are working for social justice: never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity! No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world! Everybody, according to his or her particular opportunities and responsibilities, should be able to make a personal contribution to putting an end to so many social injustices. The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not, I repeat not, what builds up and leads to a more habitable world: rather, it is the culture of solidarity that does so; the culture of solidarity means seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters. And we are all brothers and sisters”.

The Pope expressed his encouragement of the efforts Brazilian society is making to integrate all its members, and emphasised that “No amount of 'peace-building' will be able to last, nor will harmony and happiness be attained in a society that ignores, pushes to the margins or excludes a part of itself. A society of that kind simply impoverishes itself, it loses something essential. We must never, never allow the throwaway culture to enter our hearts! We must never allow the throwaway culture to enter our hearts, because we are brothers and sisters. No one is disposable! Let us always remember this: only when we are able to share do we become truly rich; everything that is shared is multiplied! Think of the multiplication of the loaves by Jesus! The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty!”

The Pope affirmed that “the Church wishes to offer her support for every initiative that can signify genuine development for every person and for the whole person” and remarked that “there is also a deeper hunger, the hunger for a happiness that only God can satisfy, the hunger for dignity. There is neither real promotion of the common good nor real human development when there is ignorance of the fundamental pillars that govern a nation, its non-material goods: life, which is a gift of God, a value always to be protected and promoted; the family, the foundation of coexistence and a remedy against social fragmentation; integral education, which cannot be reduced to the mere transmission of information for purposes of generating profit; health, which must seek the integral well-being of the person, including the spiritual dimension, essential for human balance and healthy coexistence; security, in the conviction that violence can be overcome only by changing human hearts”.

The Holy Father then addressed the young, who, he said, are often “disappointed by facts that speak of corruption on the part of people who put their own interests before the common good”, and urged, “never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished. Situations can change, people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good, do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it with good.

He concluded by reminding all of those present that “You are not alone, the Church is with you, the Pope is with you. I carry each of you in my heart and I make my own the intentions that you carry deep within you: thanksgiving for joys, pleas for help in times of difficulty, a desire for consolation in times of grief and suffering”. He entrusted this to the intercession of Our Lady of Aparecida, Mother of all the poor of Brazil, and imparted his blessing.


Vatican City, 26 July 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday Pope Francis added a new activity to the official programme; he visited the Cathedral of Rio to greet his Argentine compatriots, to whom offered an impromptu address. The Holy Father thanked the young people who had come to greet him and spoke to them colloquially. “I want the Church to go out into the streets, I want us to defend ourselves against all worldliness, opposition to progress, from that which is comfortable, from that which is clericalism, from all that which means being closed up in ourselves. Parishes, schools, institutions are made in order to come out … if they do not do this, they become a non-governmental organisation, and the Church must not be an NGO”.

I think that, at this time, this global civilisation has gone beyond its limits; it has gone beyond its limits because it has created such a cult of money, that we are in the presence of a philosophy and a practice of exclusion of the two poles of life which are the promises of the populace. The exclusion of the elderly, obviously. One might think that there exists a sort of hidden euthanasia; or rather, that we do not take care of the elderly. But there is also a cultural euthanasia, because we do not allow them to speak, we do not allow them to act. And then there is the exclusion of the young. The percentage of young unemployed is very high, and we have a generation without experience of the dignity one earns through work. This civilisation, that, is, which has led us to exclude the two peaks that form our future”.

The Pope encouraged the young to rise, to make themselves recognised, to fight for their values, and urged the elderly to speak, to teach us and to transmit their wisdom. “In the Argentine people, I ask the elderly with all my heart: do not disappoint in your role as the cultural reserve of our people, a reserve that transmits justice, that transmits history, the transmits values, that transmits the memory of the people. And you”, he said, addressing the young, “please, do not oppose yourself to the elderly: let them speak, listen to them and proceed. But know that in this moment you, the young, and the elderly, you are condemned to the same fate: exclusion. Do not allow yourselves to be excluded. Is this clear? It is for this, I think, that you must strive”.

Francis emphasised that faith is not a joke, but is rather a very serious matter. “It is a scandal that God made Himself one of us. It is a scandal that he died on a cross. It is a scandal: the scandal of the Cross. But it is the only sure path: that of the Cross, the path of Jesus, that of the incarnation of Jesus. Please, do not 'liquidise' your faith in Jesus Christ. We liquidise oranges, apples, bananas, but please – do not drink liquidised faith. Faith is whole, it cannot be liquidised or reduced. It is faith in Jesus. It is faith in the Son of God made man, who loved me and died for me. So, make a fuss! Take care of the extremes of the population, the elderly and the young! Do not let yourselves be excluded, and do not exclude the elderly. And secondly: do not liquidise your faith in Jesus Christ”.


Vatican City, 26 July 2013 (VIS) – One million young people on the beach at Copacabana greeted the Pope yesterday afternoon (6 p.m. local time, 9 p.m. Rome time) at his first encounter with the young of the carioco capital and with the participants in World Youth Day. For this event, a gigantic stage had been built, inspired by the irregular outline of the mountains of Rio de Janeiro, defined by their author as “a sculpture of four thousand square metres” and with four platforms of various heights, linked by steps. A maxi-screen behind the Holy Father enabled those who were far from the stage to see and hear him. Before the beginning of the meeting, there was a performance entitled 'Rio of Faith' in which 150 young people expressed the daily life of the city. Following greetings from Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta, the Holy Father addressed the crowd.

In you I see the beauty of Christ’s young face and I am filled with joy”, he exclaimed, and he spoke of his memories of the first World Youth Day, celebrated in 1987 in Argentina, in his home city Buenos Aires. He invited the crowd to observe a moment of silence and to pray for Sophie Morinière, the young French girl killed in the road accident in French Guiana, for other young people wounded, and for their families.

This year, World Youth Day comes to Latin America for the second time”, he continued. “And you, young people, have responded in great number to the invitation extended by Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate this occasion. We express to him our heartfelt thanks. To he who has brought us together today, let us send our greetings and applause. You know that before coming to Brazil I spoke with him, and I asked him to accompany me … in prayer. And he said to me: I will accompany you in prayer and will stay close to the television. So, in this moment, he is watching us! I am looking at the large crowd before me – there are so many of you! And you have come from every continent! In many cases you have come from afar, not only geographically, but also existentially, culturally, socially and humanly. But today you are all here, or better yet, we are all here together as one, in order to share the faith and the joy of an encounter with Christ, of being His disciples. This week Rio has become the centre of the Church, its heart both youthful and vibrant, because you have responded generously and courageously to the invitation that Christ has made to you to be with Him and to become His friends”.

The train of this World Youth Day has come from afar and has travelled across all of Brazil following the stages of the project entitled 'Bota fé – put on faith!' Today the train has arrived at Rio de Janeiro. From Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer embraces us and blesses us. Looking out to this sea, the beach and all of you gathered here, I am reminded of the moment when Jesus called the first disciples to follow Him by the shores of Lake Tiberias. Today Christ asks each of us again: Do you want to be my disciple? Do you want to be my friend? Do you want to be a witness to my Gospel? In the spirit of The Year of Faith, these questions invite us to renew our commitment as Christians. Your families and local communities have passed on to you the great gift of faith, Christ has grown in you. Today He wishes to come here to confirm you in this faith, faith in the living Christ Who dwells within you, but I too have also come to be confirmed by the enthusiasm of your faith! You know that in the life of a bishop there are many problems that need to be solved. And with these problems and difficulties, the life of a bishop can become sad. What a sorry thing, a sad bishop! I have come here for your contagious enthusiasm, so that my faith will not be sad!”

The Holy Father then received greetings from five young people representing all five continents, and following the reading from the Gospel of St. Luke, which narrates the transfiguration episode, Francis again addressed those present.

'It is good for us to be here!', Peter cries out after seeing the Lord Jesus transfigured in glory. Can we repeat these words with him? I think the answer is yes, because here today, it is good for all of us to be gathered together around Jesus! It is He Who welcomes us and Who is present in our midst here in Rio. In the Gospel we have heard God the Father say: 'This is my Son, my chosen one; listen to Him!'. If it is Jesus Who welcomes us, we too ought to welcome Him and listen to His words; it is precisely through the welcome we give to Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, that the Holy Spirit transforms us, lights up our way to the future, and enables us joyfully to advance along that way with wings of hope”.

But what can we do?” asked the Pope; he answered, “'Bota fé – put on faith'. The World Youth Day Cross has proclaimed these words throughout its pilgrimage in Brazil. 'Put on faith': what does this mean? When we prepare a plate of food and we see that it needs salt, well, we 'put on' salt; when it needs oil, then you 'put on' oil. 'To put on', that is, to place on top of, to pour over. And so it is in our life, dear young friends: if we want it to have real meaning and fulfilment, as you want and as you deserve, I say to each one of you, 'Put on faith', and your life will take on a new flavour, your life will have a compass to show you the way; 'put on hope' and every one of your days will be enlightened and your horizon will no longer be dark, but luminous; 'put on love', and your life will be like a house built on rock, your journey will be joyful, because you will find many friends to journey with you. Put on faith, put on hope, put on love!”

But who can give us all this? In the Gospel we hear the answer: Christ” the Pope emphasised. “Jesus is the one who brings God to us and us to God. With Him, our life is transformed ... For this reason, I want to say to each of you today: 'Put on Christ!' in your life, and you will find a friend in whom you can always trust; 'put on Christ' and you will see the wings of hope spreading and letting you journey with joy towards the future; 'put on Christ' and your life will be full of His love; it will be a fruitful life”.

He continued, “Today, it benefits all of us to ask sincerely: in whom do we place our trust? In ourselves, in material things, or in Jesus? We are all often tempted to put ourselves at the centre, to think that we alone build our lives or that our life can only be happy if built on possessions, money, or power. But it is not so. Certainly, possessions, money and power can give a momentary thrill, the illusion of being happy, but they end up possessing us and making us always want to have more, never satisfied. And we end up being 'full', but not satisfied, and it is very sad to see youth full but weak. ... 'Put on Christ' in your life, place your trust in Him and you will never be disappointed! You see, dear friends, how faith accomplishes a revolution in us, one which we can call Copernican; it removes us from the centre and puts God in the centre; faith immerses us in His love and gives us security, strength, and hope. To all appearances, it seems that nothing has changed; yet, in the depths of our being, everything is different. Peace, consolation, gentleness, courage, serenity and joy, which are all fruits of the Holy Spirit, find a home in our heart, so our very being is transformed; our way of thinking and acting is made new, it becomes Jesus’ own, God’s own, way of thinking and acting. Dear friends, faith is revolutionary and today I ask you: are you willing … to enter into this revolutionary wave of faith? Only by entering into this wave will your young lives acquire meaning and thus become fruitful!”

Dear young people, dear young people: 'Put on Christ' in your lives. In these days, Christ awaits you in His word; listen carefully to Him and your heart will be filled with enthusiasm by His presence; 'Put on Christ' He awaits you in the sacrament of Penance, to heal by His mercy all the wounds caused by sin. Do not be afraid to ask God’s forgiveness, because He never tires of forgiving us, like a father who loves us. God is pure mercy! 'Put on Christ': He is waiting for you also in the Eucharist, the sacrament of His presence and His sacrifice of love, and also in the humanity of the many young people who will enrich you with their friendship, encourage you by their witness to the faith, and teach you the language of love, goodness and service. You too, dear young people, can be joyful witnesses of His love, courageous witnesses of His Gospel, carrying to this world a ray of His light”.

It is good for us to be here”, putting on Christ in our lives, putting on the faith, hope and love which He gives us. Dear friends, in this celebration we have welcomed the image of Our Lady of Aparecida. With Mary, we ask her to teach us how to follow Jesus, to teach us to how to be disciples and missionaries”, concluded the Pope, who then prayed the Our Father and blessed all those present, before returning to the Sumare residence where he spent the night.


Vatican City, 26 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

- appointed Fr. Paul Mattekatt of the clergy of Diphu as bishop of Diphu (area 15,222, population 1,178,809, Catholics 57,165, priests 55, religious 161), India. The bishop-elect was born in Kerala, India in 1961and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate and a specialist diploma in canon law from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, has held a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including parish vicar of the Holy Family parish, Japralangso, secretary to the bishop and diocesan chancellor of Diphu, and diocesan bursar anddirector of the Social Work Office. He is currently priest of the Holy Family Parish, Japrajan, and president of the Confraternity of Priests of the diocese of Diphu.

- appointed Fr. Kishore Kumar Kujur of the clergy of Sambalpur as bishop of Rourkela (area 9,675, population 1,829,000, Catholics 238,085, priests 164, religious 555), India. The bishop-elect was born in Gaibira, India in 1964and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a doctorate in sacred scriptures from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral, teaching and administrative roles, including parish assistant in Balangir, professor of sacred scriptures at the regional seminary of Orissa, head of seminarians for the diocese of Sambalpur, member of the College of Consultors, and member of the Presbyteral Council.

- appointed Fr. Niranjan Sual Singh of the clergy of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar as bishop of Sambalpur (area 37,254, population 7,565,323, Catholics 42,656, priests 131, religious 400), India. The bishop-elect was born in Kottama, India in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1991. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish assistant in Raikia, Modasoro and Balliguda, professor at the Khristo Jyoti Mohavidyaloyo Regional Theologate of Sason, moderator of seminarians in the archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, and is active in the lay apostolate in the areas of “Village Adoption and Tuition” and “Dialogue and Ecumenism”. He succeeds Bishop Lukas Kerketta, S.V.D., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- appointed Bishop Eugenio Scarpellini as bishop of El Alto (area 23,000, population 1,342,000, Catholics 1,007,000, priests 64, permanent deacons 38, religious 80), Bolivia. Bishop Scarpellini, previously auxiliary of El Alto, was born in Verdellino, Italy in 1954, was ordained to the priesthood in 1978, and received episcopal ordination in 2010.


Vatican City, 26 July 2013 (VIS) – The Vatican Information Service will transmit special bulletins tomorrow, Saturday 27 July, and on Sunday 28 July, for Pope Francis' apostolic trip to Brazil.
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