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Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Vatican City, 9 October 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father dedicated the catechesis of today's general audience to catholicism and the concept of being Catholic. He explained three fundamental meanings of the idea, based on the Greek “kath'olon”, “totality”, and how these can be applied to the Church.

Firstly, “the Church is Catholic”, he said, “because she is the space, the house in which the faith in its entirety is announced, in which the salvation brought by Christ is offered to all”. … In the Church, every one of us finds what is necessary to believe, to live as Christians, to became holy, to walk this path in every place and in every age”.

The Church is Catholic”, he continued, explaining the second meaning, “because she is universal, she spreads through every part of the world and proclaims the Gospel to every man and every woman. The Church is not an elite group, she does not concern only the few. … The Church is not closed, she is sent to all of humanity. She is the only Church present even in the seemingly least significant parts of humanity”.

With regard to the third meaning of Catholicism, the Pope reiterated how “the Church is Catholic because she is the 'House of harmony' where unity and diversity know how to come together to create richness”. The Holy Father compared this to the image of the symphony, which means harmony and accord, in which different instruments play together. Each one retains its own inimitable timbre and the characteristics of its sound, guided by a director who ensures that the instruments all play together in harmony, but that the timbre of each instrument is not cancelled; on the contrary, the special quality of each one finds its highest expression. The Church, he said, “is like a great orchestra. We are not all the same, and we should not all be the same”, he emphasised. “Each person offers what God has given him”.

The Pope concluded by asking the 60,000 pilgrims present in St. Peter's Square to live this harmony and to accept diversity, without seeking uniformity. “The life of the Church is variety”, he said, “and when we seek to make it uniform, we erode the gifts of the Holy Spirit. … Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may render us ever more 'Catholic'!”


Vatican City, 9 October 2013 (VIS) – In his greetings in various languages following today's catechesis, the Pope addressed with special affection the bishops of the Church of the Alexandrian rite of Ethiopia and Eritrea, reiterating his closeness to them “in prayer and in suffering for the many sons of their land who lost their lives in the tragedy of Lampedusa”.

Among the French-speaking pilgrims, he made special mention of the bishops of the Regional Episcopal Conference of North Africa, urging them “to consolidate relations with our brothers of the Islamic faith”.

A large group of Croatian faithful from the diocese of Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje-Mrkan in Bosnia-Herzegovina was present in the square. “Being Catholic and being a missionary in your multi-ethnic and multi-confessional environment means loving all as Jesus loves us. Take this love to your homeland”, the Pope said.

Francis also recalled, during his greetings to Arabic-speaking faithful, that a year ago, on 10 October 2012, following his trip to Lebanon and his apostolic exhortation “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente: Communion and witness”, his predecessor Benedict XVI included Arabic among the languages of the general audience. The Synod Fathers had asked for this “to show to all Christians in the Middle East the closeness of the Catholic Church to its eastern sons”. “And today, talking about this expression, 'I believe in the Catholic Church'”, he added, “I ask you to pray for peace in the Middle East: in Syria, in Iraq, in Egypt, in Lebanon and in the Holy Land, where the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, was born. Pray that the light of Christ reaches all hearts and all places, unto the ends of the earth”.


Vatican City, 9 October 2013 (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a telegram to the president of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who underwent an operation in Buenos Aires yesterday for the drainage of a right-side subdural haematoma, a blood clot on the surface of the brain. We publish the full text of the telegram below:


In this very particular moment, I wish to ensure my presence through prayer for you, and for the full restoration of your health. Through these words, I ask that you be aware of my presence. I assure my prayers and closeness. I ask the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Lujan, to bestow strength upon you, to keep your hopes high and to ensure that you can once again return to your daily responsibilities. I also remember your relatives, in these harsh circumstances, as well as the attending medical staff, and ask the Lord to cast His light upon their decisions.

May Jesus bless you and may the Virgin watch over you.

Cordially, Francis PP”.


Vatican City, 9 October 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office has today issued a communique on the new Law XVIII of Vatican City State (8 October 2013), regarding transparency, supervision and information in the field of finance. The full text is published here below:

1. On today’s date the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State adopted Law XVIII, consisting of norms regarding transparency, supervision and information in financial matters, by which the regulations of Decree No. XI of the President of the Governorate, of 8 August 2013, are confirmed as law.

2. In the implementation of Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio of 8 August 2013, and maintaining continuity with the existing norms and those introduced progressively following Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio of 30 December 2010, for the prevention and countering of illegal activities in the area of monetary and financial dealings, Law No. XVIII strengthens the current internal system for the prevention and countering of money laundering and the financing of terrorism in conformity with international guidelines and, in particular, the Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and relevant European Union sources.

3. In particular, Law No. XVIII consolidates the existing discipline in matters of:

- Measures to prevent and counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism;
- Vigilance and regulation of the bodies carrying out professional activities of a financial nature;
- Collaboration and exchange of information by the Financial Information Authority internally and at an international level;
- Measures against individuals who threaten peace and international security;
- Declarations of cross-border transportation of cash.

4. Law No. XVIII clarifies and consolidates the functions, powers and responsibilities of the Financial Information Authority in the exercise of its functions of supervision and regulation in the prevention and countering of money laundering and the financing of terrorism, in its function of informing in financial matters, and, as established by Pope Francis in his Motu Proprio of 8 August 2013, the function of prudential supervision.

5. The new law – in conjunction with recent legislation in matters of substantive and procedural penal law and in matters of administrative sanctions, as well as Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio of 11 July 2013 on penal jurisdiction – constitutes a further important step in the direction of transparency and supervision of activities of a financial nature and a contribution to the stability and integrity of the sector at a global level.


Vatican City, 9 October 2013 (VIS) – Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, in a text focusing in detail on the content of the new law on transparency, supervision and financial information, mentions first that a significant part of the law is dedicated to measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and gives details on the “individuals, the activity of risk assessment, prescriptions concerning suitable checks on counterparties … and the discipline of the international transfer of funds”, strengthened when these two criminal activities are suspected.

Special attention is dedicated to giving information on suspicious activities, which obligated subjects are required to carry out before the Financial Information Authority”, continues Archbishop Mamberti. “In the case of a valid reason to suspect activities of money laundering or financing of terrorism, the Financial Information Authority transmits a detailed report to the Promoter of Justice and may also suspend transactions and operations under suspicion for up to five working days.”

The system of prescriptions regarding measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorism is completed by the attribution, again to the Financial Information Authority, of a power of general supervision in relation to the implementation of the measures established by law on the part of obligated subjects, as well as a structured system of administrative sanctions that can be applied by the Authority or, in the most serious cases, by the president of the Governorate, upon suggestion by the Financial Information Authority”.

A relevant area of the discipline introduced by Law XVIII is included in the section regarding 'Prudential supervision of bodies engaged in professional activities of a financial nature', or rather, those who regularly carry out a financial activity in an organised economic form, in the name of or on behalf of third parties, for the purposes of the production or exchange of goods or services. The introduction of this function … responds to a specific recommendation from the MONEYVAL Division of the Council of Europe, and Law No XVIII establishes the discipline of this activity by conceding broad-ranging powers of regulation to the Financial Information Authority”.

With reference to measures against individuals who threaten peace and international security, the archbishop explained that the provision of goods, economic resources and financial services is automatically denied to listed individuals, and the Financial Information Authority may immediately place a preventative block on their goods and resources, informing those subjects who carry out financial activities. In addition, cautionary measures may be adopted in relation to an individual not yet included on the list in the case of valid reasons to suspect that he or she poses a threat to peace and international security and provided that the subject is added to the list within fifteen-day period”.

With regard to the provisions of the Law in relation to the cross-border transportation of cash of a value of more than 10,000 euros, entering or leaving a State, and the legislation regarding information and co-operation, the prelate underlined “the central role attributed to the Financial Information Authority which collaborates and exchanges information both with other authorities of the Holy See and Vatican City State, and with analogous authorities in other States, in conditions of reciprocity and on the basis of agreement protocols”.


Vatican City, 9 October 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father elevated the territorial prelature of Coari (area 135,442, population 216,000, Catholics 182,700, priests 15, religious 20), Brazil, to the rank of diocese, with the same territorial configuration and name as before. He appointed Bishop Marek Marian Piatek, C.SS.R., as first bishop of the new diocese. Bishop Piatek, previously bishop prelate, was born in Tuchow, Poland in 1954, was ordained to the priesthood in 1980, and received episcopal ordination in 2011.

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