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Monday, September 23, 2013


Vatican City, 22 September 2013 (VIS) – This morning Pope Francis arrived in Cagliari, on the Italian island of Sardinia, on his second pastoral visit in Italy, following his first trip to the Lampedusa in Sicily. Both islands are affected by serious problems: in Sicily, the arrival of immigrants, and in Sardinia, the lack of work on account of the closure of many factories.

The pontiff transferred from Cagliari airport to Largo Carlo Felice, where he was awaited by the religious and civil authorities, along with many people holding banners demanding work. Before the Pope's address, a young unemployed person, an entrepreneur and a union member spoke about their experiences. Moved by their words, Francis set aside the text he had prepared and spoke off the cuff.

With this meeting I wish above all to express my closeness, especially in situations of suffering: to many young unemployed, to those in receipt of employment insurance or in precarious employment, and to struggling small businesses. It is a situation I know well from my experience in Argentina. I personally have not experienced this difficulty but my family has; my father, at a young age, went to Argentina full of illusions about 'finding America'. And he suffered throughout the terrible depression of the 1930s. They lost everything! There was no work! And at home, during my childhood, I heard talk of this time, of this suffering. … But I must say to you: 'Have courage!'. But I am also aware I have to do everything on my side too, so that this word 'courage' is not simply a beautiful but passing word, so that it is not simply the cordial smile of an priest, of an employee of the Church who comes and says to you, 'have courage'! No! I don't want that. I want this courage to come from within and to enable me to do all I can as a shepherd, as a man. We must face this with solidarity, among yourselves but also between us; we must face this historical challenge with solidarity and intelligence”.

This is the second city I have visited in Italy. It is interesting to note that both – the first, and this one – are islands. In the first I witnessed the suffering of many people who risked their lives in search of dignity, bread, health: the world of refugees. And I saw the response of that city which, being an island, did not want to be isolated, and … gives us a fine example of welcome. … Here, in this second city-island I visit, again here I find suffering. … A suffering, the lack of work, that leads you to … feel as if you are without dignity! Where there is no work, there is no dignity! And this is not a problem solely in Sardinia … or only of Italy and certain countries in Europe, it is the consequence of a worldwide choice, an economic system that leads to this tragedy, an economic system that has at its centre the idol of money”.

God did not want there to be an idol at the centre of the world, but rather that men and women bring the world ahead through their work. But now, in this system devoid of ethics, at the centre there is an idol, the world has become an idolater of this 'money-god'. Money commands! Cash commands! All that serves this idol commands. And what happens? To defend this idol, we pile up all our resources in the centre and the outer extremes fall by the wayside. The elderly fall, because in this world there is no place for them! Some speak of this habit of 'hidden euthanasia', of not caring for them, of not taking them into consideration. … And the young fall by the wayside too, as they cannot find work and dignity. This world has no future. Why? Because they have no dignity! It is difficult to have dignity without work”.

This is your suffering, here. This is the prayer you call out: 'Work, work, work'. It is a necessary prayer. Work means dignity, work means bringing home bread, work means love! To defend this idolatrous system we have established a 'throwaway culture': we set aside our grandparents and set aside the young. And we must say 'no' to this throwaway culture'. We must say, 'We want a just system! A system that lets all of us move ahead!' We must say, 'We no longer want this globalised economic system, that does us so much harm!' Men and women should be at the centre, not money!”

I had written a number of things to say to you, but, looking at you, these words came to me instead. … I preferred to say to you what came into my heart, looking at you in this moment! I know it is easy to say, never lose hope. But to all, to all of you, those who have a job and those of you who do not, I say, 'Do not allow your hope to be taken from you!' … Perhaps hope is like the smouldering embers below the ashes; let us help ourselves in solidarity, let us blow on the ashes to reignite the flames. Hope leads us on. That isn't optimism, it is something else. But hope is not for one person alone, hope is something we do together! We must keep hope alive together, all of you, and all of us, who are so far away. … So, I say to you: 'Do not be robbed of hope!'. But we must be clever, as the Lord says that the idols are more cunning than we are. The Lord invites us to have the cunning of the snake with the goodness of the dove. We must have this cunning, and call things by their proper name. In this moment, in our current economic system, in our proposed globalised system of life, there is an idol at the centre and this cannot be! Let us struggle together to restore to the centre, at least in our lives, men, women and the family, all of us, so that hope might live on'.

I would like to finish by praying with all of you, in silence, in silence, praying with all of you. I will say what comes to my heart and, in silence, pray with me. Lord God, look at us! Look at this city, this island. Look at our families. Lord, you had work, you were a carpenter, and you were happy. Lord, we have no work. Idols try to rob us of our dignity. Unjust systems rob us of hope. Lord, do not leave us alone. Help us to help ourselves; so that we leave our selfishness behind and feel in our hearts the 'we' of a people who wish to forge ahead. Lord Jesus, who did not lack work, give us work and teach us how to strive for work, and bless us all”.


Vatican City, 22 September 2013 (VIS) – At 10 o'clock in the morning, after greeting the political representatives who awaited him, the Holy Father entered the shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria and met with a group of sick people. At 10.45 he proceeded to the square adjacent to the shrine where he presided over the celebration of the Holy Mass along with Archbishop Arrigo Miglio of Cagliari. In his homily, the Pope alluded again to unemployment, precariousness and uncertainty regarding the future suffered by the inhabitants of Sardinia. “The loyal cooperation of everyone is necessary, with the commitment of leaders of institutions — even within the Church — to ensure the fundamental rights of persons and families, and to grow more fraternal and united. To ensure the right to work, to bring home bread, bread earned through work!”

Francis assured those present of his nearness and encouraged them to “persevere in your testimony of human and Christian values, so deeply rooted in faith and in the history of this land and population. Always keep the light of hope alive!” He went on to reiterate how “Mary teaches us to have complete trust in God, in His mercy” and the importance of encountering the gaze of Mary, as there we find reflected the gaze of the Father, who made her the Mother of God, and the gaze of the Son from the cross, who made her our Mother. “With this gaze Mary watches over us today. We need her tender gaze, her maternal gaze that knows us better than anyone else, her gaze full of compassion and care”.

Francis urged Sardinians, in spite of their difficulties, not to forget that they are not alone, that they are a united people and, walking together, they may learn to look upon each other under with the fraternal gaze Mary teaches us. “She invites us to become true brothers”, he continued. “Let us not allow anything to come between us and the gaze of the Virgin!. … Let us not be robbed of her gaze!”

At the end of the eucharistic celebration the Holy Father prayed the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims present, whom he entrusted to the Virgin of Bonaria. He recalled all the Marian sanctuaries present in Sardinia and the strong bond with Mary expressed in Sardinian devotion and culture. He urged them to always be “true children of Mary and of the Church, and demonstrate this in your life, following the example of the saints”. The Pope concluded by mentioning the beatification in Bergamo on Saturday of the Capuchin friar Tommaso Acerbis da Olera.


Vatican City, 22 September 2013 (VIS) - “Thank you all for being here. In your faces I see weariness, but also hope. Be aware that you are loved by the Lord, and also by many good people who with their prayers and their works help to alleviate the suffering of their neighbour. I feel at home here. … Here we feel strongly and in a concrete way that we are all brothers. Here the only Father is our celestial Father, and the only Master is Jesus Christ. So, the first thing I wish to share with you is precisely this joy of having Jesus as a Master, as a model of life. … We all face difficulties, all of us. … All of us here – all of us – have weaknesses, all of us are frail. No-one is better than another. We are all equal before the Father, all of us!”

With these words Pope Francis addressed the detainees and the poor assisted by Caritas who gathered to meet with him yesterday in the Cathedral of Cagliari.

Looking to Jesus we see that He has chosen the path of humility and service. … He was neither indecisive nor indifferent: he made a choice and carried it through until the end. He chose to make himself a man, and as a man to become a servant, unto death on the cross. This is the path of love; there is no other. Therefore we see that charity is not a simple question of providing assistance, and far less a form of assistance for quieting consciences. No, that is not love, that is sales, that is business. Love is free. Charity and love are a life choice, a way of being, of living, it is the way of humility and solidarity. … This word 'solidarity'... in our throwaway culture, in which what we do not need, we cast aside, leaving only those who consider themselves righteous, who feel pure, who feel clean. Poor things! This word, solidarity, risks being cancelled from the dictionary, because it is an inconvenient word, because it obliges us to look to others and to give ourselves to others with love”.

But the path of humility and solidarity, added the Pope, was not invented by priests; rather, it was a path taken first by Jesus, and was not a form of “moralism or sentiment. The humility of Christ was real, the decision to be small, to stay with other small people, with the excluded, to stay among us, all of us sinners. But be careful: this is not an ideology! It is a way of being and living that begins with love, that starts from the heart of God”.

But it is not enough to watch, it is necessary to follow! … Jesus did not come into the world to be seen … it is a path and the purpose of a path is to be followed”, the Pope emphasised, thanking the detainees for their efforts in following Him, even in their weariness and suffering inside the prison walls. He also gave thanks to all those who dedicate themselves to works of mercy, encouraging them to continue and reminding them that works of charity must always be done “with tenderness, and always with humility”.

At times”, he observed, “we encounter arrogance in the service of the poor. I am sure you have seen this. … Some make themselves look good by speaking of the poor; others exploit the poor for their own interests or those of their group. This is a grave sin, as it means using the needy, those who are in need, who are Jesus' flesh, for one's own vanity. I use Jesus for my own vanity, this is a serious sin! It would be better for people like this to stay at home!”

To follow Jesus on the path of charity means “to go with Him to the existential peripheries... For the Good Shepherd, that which is lost and disdained is in need of greater care. … In the Church, the first are those who have the greatest human, spiritual and material need”.

Following Christ in the path of charity means “to sow hope … those who hold political and civil responsibilities have a task, which as citizens they must actively undertake. Some members of the Christian community are called to engage in the political sphere, which is a high form of charity, as Paul VI said. But as a Church we all have a strong responsibility, and that is to sow hope through works of solidarity, always seeking to collaborate in the best way with the public institutions, with respect for their various competences. Caritas is an expression of community, and the strength of the Christian community is helping society to grow from within, like leaven. I think of your initiatives with detainees in prisons, I think of the voluntary work of many associations, of solidarity with families who suffer the most from lack of work. In this I say: have courage! Do not allow yourselves to be robbed of hope, and carry on! On the contrary, sow hope”.

At the end of the meeting, Francis met to pray with the cloistered nuns of the city of Cagliari, whom he encouraged to go forward with the certainty that “the Lord has called you to support the Church in prayer”.


Vatican City, 22 September 2013 (VIS) – Pope Francis met with the world of culture in the regional theological faculty of Cagliari, managed by Jesuit priests. The pontiff spoke of encountering paths of hope which open up new horizons to our society; of solidarity as a way of making history as a vital environment in which conflicts, tensions, and opposites create a harmony that generates life. The University, as a point of encounter between believers and non-believers, is a context in which faith can make a contribution without encroaching on the space of reason.

The Holy Father began by speaking on the passage from the Gospel about the path to Emmaus, and how we encounter the disillusionment, deception and crisis of the two men in our current situation. “When I speak of crisis”, he said, “I do not think of a tragedy. … We speak of danger, but also of opportunity. This is the sense in which I use the word. Certainly, each historical age brings critical elements with it, but, at least in these last four centuries, we have never seen the fundamental certainties that constitute the life of human beings so shaken as they have been in our age”.

Faced with this crisis, there may be resignation, pessimism with regard to every possibility of effective action. … Crisis may transform into a moment of purification and reflection on our social and economic models and a certain concept of progress that has given rise to delusions, in order to recover all dimensions of the human person. Discernment is not blind, or provisional; it is carried out on the basis of ethical and spiritual criteria, requiring that we question ourselves about what is good, and that we make reference to values belonging to spiritual and transcendent vision; the person may never simply be considered as 'human material'! This is perhaps the hidden suggestion of functionalism”. Francis thus described the vital function of the University, as a locus for wisdom in which discernment is shaped and hope is nurtured. A place for “the development of a culture of nearness and for the formation of solidarity”.

Francis affirmed that in relation to this concept of encounter in crisis, “I have found in young politicians another way of thinking about politics. I would not say better or worse, but a different way. They speak differently, they are searching … their music is different to our music. We must not be afraid!”, he encouraged them. Let us listen to them, speak with them. They have intuition: let us be open to their intuition. I say young politicians because that is what I have heard, but young people in general look for a different key. To help us towards encounter, it will help us to hear the music of these politicians, these scientists, these young thinkers”.


Vatican City, 22 September 2013 (VIS) – The final encounter in Pope Francis' pastoral visit to Cagliari was with the young who, at 5 p.m., awaited him in Largo Carlo Felice, where in the morning he had met with representatives from the world of work.

Francis commented on the Gospel reading which related the story of the miraculous fish, inviting those present not to “let yourselves be overwhelmed by pessimism and distrust … when a young person is distrustful towards life, when a young person loses hope … these merchants of death … offer a route for when you are sad, without hope without trust, without courage. Please, do not sell your youth to those who sell death! You know what I am talking about”.

Trust in Jesus”, he continued, “and when I say this, I want to be sincere and say to you: I do not come here to sell you an illusion. I come here to say: there is a Person who can carry you through: trust in Him! He is Jesus, and Jesus is not an illusion! Difficulties must not frighten you, but rather press you to overcome them. Put out to sea and cast your nets wide … with Jesus everything changes. The Word of the Lord has filled the nets, and the Word of the Lord gives effect to the missionary work of the disciples. Following Jesus is demanding, it means not being content with small objectives, with navigating close to the coast, but rather aiming high, with courage. … When it seems that all is still and stagnant, when personal problems disturb us, social unease does not find the necessary solutions, we must not give up. The path is Jesus: let him embark with us and let us set out to sea with Him! Everything changes with Jesus. … Without making too many human calculations and without worrying if the reality around you corresponds to that about which you are sure. Set out to sea, come out of yourselves; let us come out from our little world and open ourselves to God, so that we might be ever more open to our brothers”.

Since on 21 September the Pope celebrates sixty years since he was given his priestly vocation, at the age of seventeen, Francis affirmed that he has never regretted his decision because “even in the darkest moments, in moments of sin, in moments of frailty, in moments of failure, he always looked to Jesus, Who never abandoned him”.

Before concluding the meeting with his final blessing, the Pope mentioned the suicide attack outside a church in Peshawar, Pakistan at midday today. “There are mistaken choices, choices of destruction. Today, in Pakistan, because of a wrong decision, a choice of hatred, of war, there was an attack in which over 70 people died. This choice cannot stand. It serves nothing. Only the path of peace can build a better world. But if you do not do it yourselves, no-one else will! This is the problem, and this is the question I leave you with. 'Am I willing, am I willing to take the route to building a better world?' Let us pray an Our Father for all those who lost their lives in this attack in Pakistan. … And may the Virgin always help us to work for a better world, to take the path of construction, the path of peace, and never the route of destruction and war".

Following the meeting the Pope departed by air from Cagliari, arriving in Rome at 8 p.m. and returning to the Vatican shortly after.


Vatican City, 21 September 2013 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for Social Communications, whose president is Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, held its plenary assembly from 19 to 21 September, on the theme of “The internet and the Church”. This morning the participants in the meeting were received in audience by the Pope who, in his address, posed three questions: the importance of communication for the church, the internet, and the encounter with Christ.

With regard to the first, Francis recalled that this year is the fiftieth anniversary of the Conciliar Decree Inter Mirifica, and emphasised that this is “more than a commemoration; the Decree expresses the Church’s solicitude for communication in all its forms, which are important in the work of evangelisation. In the last few decades the various means of communication have evolved significantly, but the Church’s concern remains the same, though it assumes new forms and expressions. The world of communications, more and more, has become a 'living environment' for many, one in which people communicate with one another, expanding their possibilities for knowledge and relationship”.

Considering the role of the Church and her use of the media, he said, “In every situation, beyond technological considerations, I believe that the goal is to understand how to enter into dialogue with the men and women of today in order to appreciate their desires, their doubts and their hopes. They are men and women who sometimes feel let down by a Christianity that to them appears sterile and in difficulty as it tries to communicate the depth of meaning that comes with the gift of faith. We do in fact witness today, in the age of globalization, a growing sense of disorientation and isolation. ... It is therefore important to know how to dialogue and, with discernment, to use modern technologies and social networks in such a way as to reveal a presence that listens, converses and encourages. Allow yourselves, without fear, to be this presence, expressing your Christian identity as you become citizens of this environment. A Church that follows this path learns how to walk with everybody”.

Francis reaffirmed that in this communicative context, the question is not one of technical considerations. “We must ask ourselves – and here I come to the third step – are we up to the task of bringing Christ into this area and of bringing others to meet Christ? Are we able to communicate the face of a Church which is 'home' to all? The challenge is to rediscover, through the means of social communication as well as by personal contact, the beauty that is at the heart of our existence and our journey, the beauty of faith and of the encounter with Christ. Even in this world of communications, the Church must warm the hearts of men and women. … The great digital continent not only involves technology but is made up of real men and women who bring with them their hopes, their suffering, their concerns and their pursuit of what is true, beautiful and good. We need to bring Christ to others, through these joys and hopes, like Mary, who brought Christ to the hearts of men and women; we need to pass through the clouds of indifference without losing our way; we need to descend into the darkest night without being overcome and disorientated; we need to listen to the dreams, without being seduced; to share their disappointments, without becoming despondent; to sympathize with those whose lives are falling apart, without losing our own strength and identity”.

It is important to bring the solicitude and the presence of the Church into the world of communications so as to dialogue with the men and women of today and bring them to meet Christ. This must be done, however, in complete awareness ... that the real problem does not concern the acquisition of the latest technologies, even if these make a valid presence possible. It is necessary to be absolutely clear that the God in whom we believe, who loves all men and women intensely, wants to reveal himself through the means at our disposal, however poor they are, because it is he who is at work, he who transforms and saves us. Let us pray that the Lord may make us zealous and sustain us in the engaging mission of bringing him to the world”.


Vatican City, 21 September 2013 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations has made public that an ordinary public consistory for the canonisation of Blessed Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will take place at 9 a.m. on Monday 30 September in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace.


Vatican City, 23 September 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Juan Carlos Gamarra Skeels, new ambassador of Peru to the Holy See, presenting his letters of credence.

- George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, India.

- Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru.

- Bishop Francesco Guido Ravinale of Asti, Italy, and entourage.

- Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala, Uganda.

- Mr. Camilo Rey.

On Saturday, 21 September, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.


Vatican City, 23 September 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

- appointed Bishop Shelton J. Fabre as bishop of Houma-Thibodaux (area , population , Catholics , priests , permanent deacons , religious ), U.S.A. Bishop Fabre, previously auxiliary of New Orleans, U.S.A., was born in New Road, U.S.A. in 1963, was ordained to the priesthood in 1989, and received episcopal ordination in 2007. He succeeds Bishop Sam G. Jacobs, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon having reached the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Archbishop Martin Krebs as apostolic nuncio to Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu. Archbishop Krebs was previously apostolic nuncio to New Zealand, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia, and apostolic delegate in the Pacific Ocean.

On Saturday, 21 September, the Holy Father:

- appointed Cardinal Mauro Piacenza as penitentiary major of the Apostolic Penitentiary. Cardinal Piacenza was previously prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. He succeeds Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, whose resignation, upon reaching the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.

In the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

- confirmed Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller as prefect and Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer as secretary of the same Congregation;

- appointed Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia as adjunct secretary. Archbishop Di Noia was previously vice president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”;

- confirmed all members and consultors of the Congregation;

- appointed Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, adjunct secretary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura as consultor.

In the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples:

- confirmed Cardinal Fernando Filoni as prefect; Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai S.D.B. as secretary; Archbishop Protase Rugambwa as adjunct secretary; and all members and consultors.

In the Congregation for the Clergy:

- appointed Archbishop Beniamino Stella as prefect. Archbishop Stella was previously president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy;

- confirmed Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta as secretary;

- appointed Bishop Jorge Carlos Patron Wong of Papantla as secretary for Seminaries, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop;

The Holy Father also:

- appointed Msgr. Mauro Rivella, of the clergy of the archdiocese of Turin, as delegate of the Ordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.

- appointed Archbishop Nikola Eterovic as apostolic nuncio to Germany. Archbishop Eterovic was previously secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.

- appointed Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri as secretary general of the Synod of Bishops. Archbishop Baldisseri was previously secretary of the Congregation for Bishops.

- appointed Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk as apostolic nuncio to Sierra Leone. Archbishop Adamczyk was previously apostolic nuncio to Liberia and Gambia.

- appointed Msgr. Giampiero Gloder, as apostolic nuncio and president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was previously nunciature councillor and office chief with special duties at the Secretariat of State.

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