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Monday, October 28, 2013


Vatican City, 28 October 2013 (VIS) – The Vatican Television Centre (CTV), instituted by Blessed John Paul II on 22 October 1983, celebrates its thirtieth anniversary and, this morning, as he received its members in audience, Pope Francis remarked, “It has come a long way in these three decades of activity”. Nowadays we find ourselves before new challenges “which we cannot elude, in order to maintain a firm evangelical perspective in this form of global communication highway”.

The Holy Father, after thanking the employees of the CTV for their dedication, and also their families, since “they live according to the Pope's weekly agenda. He advised the workers to “play as a team”, since “the effectiveness of the pastoral of communication is possible when bonds are created, by making a group of people converge around shared projects, in a 'unity of planning and resources'. We know that this is not easy, but if you help each other together to work as a team, the burden is lessened and, above all, also your style of working becomes a testimony of communion”.

Be professionals in your service to the Church”, he continued. “Your work is of great quality, as it needs to be for the task that has been assigned to you. But your professionalism must always be in the service of the Church, in everything you do: in filming, in directing, in editorial decisions, in administration... Everything must be done with an ecclesiastical style and a perspective, that of the Holy See. It is necessary for the CTV to be able to effuse to spectators, to the faithful and to those who are further away, the perfume and hope of the Gospel”.


Vatican City, 28 October 2013 (VIS) - “Christians and Hindus: fostering human relationships through friendship and solidarity” is the theme of the message addressed to followers of Hinduism by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the occasion of Deepevali, the feast of lights, which is celebrated on 3 November this year. The document is also signed by Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the same dicastery.

In this highly competitive world where increasingly individualistic and materialistic tendencies adversely affect human relationships and often create divisions in families and society as a whole, we wish to share our thoughts on how Christians and Hindus can foster human relationships for the good of all humanity through friendship and solidarity.

Relationships are fundamental to human existence. Security and peace in the local, national and international communities are largely determined by the quality of our human interaction. Experience teaches us that, the deeper our human relationships, the more we are able to advance towards cooperation, peace-building, genuine solidarity and harmony. In short, the ability to foster respectful relationships is the measure of authentic human progress and essential for promoting peace and integral development.

Such relationships ought to flow naturally from our shared humanity. Indeed, human relationships are at the heart of human existence and its progress and naturally give rise to a sense of solidarity with others. Regardless of our ethnic, cultural, religious and ideological differences, all of us belong to the one human family.

Sadly, with the increase of materialism in society and a growing disregard for deeper spiritual and religious values, there now exists a dangerous trend to accord the same value to material things as to human relationships, thereby reducing the human person from a ‘someone’ to a ‘something’ that can be cast aside at will. Furthermore, individualistic tendencies engender a false sense of security and favour what His Holiness Pope Francis has described as ‘a culture of exclusion’, ‘a throwaway culture’ and ‘a globalisation of indifference’.

The promotion of a ‘culture of relationship’ and ‘a culture of solidarity’ is thus imperative for all peoples, and calls for the fostering of relationships based on friendship and mutual respect for the benefit of the entire human family. This requires a common recognition and promotion of the intrinsic dignity of the human person. It is evident then that friendship and solidarity are closely related. In the end, a 'culture of solidarity means seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters' (Pope Francis, Visit to the Community of Varginha (Manguinhos), Rio de Janeiro, 25 July 2013).

Finally, we wish to state our conviction that a culture of solidarity can only be achieved as 'the fruit of a concerted effort on the part of all, in service of the common good' (Pope Francis, Meeting with Brazil’s Leaders of Society, Rio de Janeiro, 27 July 2013). Sustained by the teachings of our respective religions and aware of the importance of building genuine relationships, may we, Hindus and Christians, work individually and collectively, with all religious traditions and people of good will, to foster and strengthen the human family through friendship and solidarity”.


Vatican City, 27 October 2013 (VIS) – The pilgrimage of families to Rome as part of the Year of Faith concluded this morning with the Holy Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square, which was crowded with participants, as were Via della Conciliazione and the adjacent streets. Below is the full text of the Holy Father's homily, following the Gospel reading.

The readings this Sunday invite us to reflect on some basic features of the Christian family.

First: the family prays. The Gospel passage speaks about two ways of praying: one is false – that of the Pharisee – and the other is authentic – that of the tax collector. The Pharisee embodies an attitude which does not express thanksgiving to God for his blessings and his mercy, but rather self-satisfaction. The Pharisee feels himself justified, he feels his life is in order, he boasts of this, and he judges others from his pedestal. The tax collector, on the other hand, does not multiply words. His prayer is humble, sober, pervaded by a consciousness of his own unworthiness, of his own needs. Here is a man who truly realizes that he needs God’s forgiveness and his mercy.

The prayer of the tax collector is the prayer of the poor man, a prayer pleasing to God. It is a prayer which, as the first reading says, 'will reach to the clouds', unlike the prayer of the Pharisee, which is weighed down by vanity.

In the light of God’s word, I would like to ask you, dear families: Do you pray together from time to time as a family? Some of you do, I know. But so many people say to me: But how can we? As the tax collector does, it is clear: humbly, before God. Each one, with humility, allowing themselves to be gazed upon by the Lord and imploring his goodness, that he may visit us. But in the family how is this done? After all, prayer seems to be something personal, and besides there is never a good time, a moment of peace… Yes, all that is true enough, but it is also a matter of humility, of realising that we need God, like the tax collector! And all families, we need God: all of us! We need his help, his strength, his blessing, his mercy, his forgiveness. And we need simplicity to pray as a family: simplicity is necessary! Praying the Our Father together, around the table, is not something extraordinary: its easy. And praying the Rosary together, as a family, is very beautiful and a source of great strength! And also praying for one another! The husband for his wife, the wife for her husband, both together for their children, the children for their grandparents ... praying for each other. This is what it means to pray in the family and it is what makes the family strong: prayer.

The second reading suggests another thought: the family keeps the faith. The Apostle Paul, at the end of his life, makes a final reckoning and says: 'I have kept the faith'. But how did he keep the faith? Not in a safe! Nor did he hide it underground, like the somewhat lazy servant. Saint Paul compares his life to a fight and to a race. He kept the faith because he didn’t just defend it, but proclaimed it, spread it, took it to distant lands. He stood up to all those who wanted to preserve, to 'embalm' the message of Christ within the limits of Palestine. That is why he made courageous decisions, he went into hostile territory, he let himself be challenged by distant peoples and different cultures, he spoke frankly and fearlessly. Saint Paul kept the faith because, in the same way that he received it, he gave it away; he went out to the fringes, and didn’t dig himself into defensive positions.

Here too, we can ask: How do we keep our faith as a family? Do we keep it for ourselves, in our families, as a personal treasure like a bank account, or are we able to share it by our witness, by our acceptance of others, by our openness? We all know that families, especially young families, are often 'racing' from one place to another, with lots to do. But did you ever think that this 'racing' could also be the race of faith? Christian families are missionary families. Yesterday in this square we heard the testimonies of missionary families. They are missionary also in everyday life, in their doing everyday things, as they bring to everything the salt and the leaven of faith! Keeping the faith in families and bringing to everyday things the salt and the leaven of faith.

And one more thought we can take from God’s word: the family experiences joy. In the responsorial psalm we find these words: 'let the humble hear and be glad'. The entire psalm is a hymn to the Lord who is the source of joy and peace. What is the reason for this gladness? It is that the Lord is near, he hears the cry of the lowly and he frees them from evil. As Saint Paul himself writes: 'Rejoice always … The Lord is near'. I would like to ask you all a question today. But each of you keep it in your heart and take it home. You can regard it as a kind of 'homework'. Only you must answer. How are things when it comes to joy at home? Is there joy in your family? You can answer this question.

Dear families, you know very well that the true joy which we experience in the family is not superficial; it does not come from material objects, from the fact that everything seems to be going well ... True joy comes from a profound harmony between persons, something which we all feel in our hearts and which makes us experience the beauty of togetherness, of mutual support along life’s journey. But the basis of this feeling of deep joy is the presence of God, the presence of God in the family and his love, which is welcoming, merciful, and respectful towards all. And above all, a love which is patient: patience is a virtue of God and he teaches us how to cultivate it in family life, how to be patient, and lovingly so, with each other. To be patient among ourselves. A patient love. God alone knows how to create harmony from differences. But if God’s love is lacking, the family loses its harmony, self-centred individualism prevails and joy fades. But the family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally. That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world, it is the leaven of society as a whole.

Dear families, always live in faith and simplicity, like the Holy Family of Nazareth! May the joy and peace of the Lord be always with you!”


Vatican City, 27 October 2013 (VIS) – At the end of the Mass celebrated on the Day of the Family, part of the Year of Faith, Pope Francis prayed before an image of the Holy Family of Nazareth, to whom he commended all families in order that the wonder of grace be renewed in them.

Before praying the Angelus, the Pope greeted and thanked all the pilgrims, especially families, present in the square. He then addressed the bishops and the faithful of Equatorial Guinea, in Rome on the occasion of the ratification of an Agreement with the Holy See. “May the Immaculate Virgin protect your beloved people, so that they make progress on the path of harmony and justice”.

And now, let us pray the Angelus together. With this prayer, we invoke the maternal protection of Mary for families throughout the world, and especially for those who live in situations of great difficulty. Mary, Queen of the Family, pray for us!” concluded the Pope, inviting those present to repeat the invocation of the Virgin.


Vatican City, 26 October 2013 (VIS) – More than 150,000 people from 75 countries representing all five continents gathered in Rome this afternoon to meet the Pope in St. Peter's Square, following the pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter as part of the Year of Faith. The pilgrimage was entitled “Family, live the joy of faith”, and the Holy Father, who toured St. Peter's Square by open car, embracing children along the way, dedicated his address to this theme.

Francis entered the square, shaking hands with ten children carrying balloons; before his address he listened to several people who recounted their experiences: families going through difficult times and young people who would like to marry but are unable to find work, and he asked, “How is it possible to live the joy which comes from faith, in the family, today? … Life is often wearisome, and many times tragically so. We have heard this recently… But what is most burdensome in life is not this: what weighs more than all of these things is a lack of love. … Without love, the burden becomes even heavier, intolerable”.

Dear families”, he continued, “the Lord knows our struggles: he knows them. He knows the burdens we have in our lives. But the Lord also knows our great desire to find joy and rest! … Jesus wants our joy to be complete! He said this to the apostles and today he says it to us. … Take home this Word of Jesus, carry it in your hearts, share it with the family”.

Francis took his second word from the Rite of Marriage. “'I promise to be true to you, in joy and in sadness' … At that moment, the couple does not know what will happen, nor what joys and pains await them. They are setting out, like Abraham, on a journey together. And that is what marriage is! Setting out and walking together, hand in hand, putting yourselves in the Lord’s powerful hands. Hand in hand, always and for the rest of your lives. And do not pay attention to this makeshift culture, which can shatter our lives. With trust in God’s faithfulness, everything can be faced responsibly and without fear. Christian spouses are not naive; they know life’s problems and temptations. But they are not afraid to be responsible before God and before society. They do not run away, they do not hide, they do not shirk the mission of forming a family and bringing children into the world”.

He added, “Christians celebrate the sacrament of marriage because they know they need it! … They need Jesus’ help to walk beside one another in trust, to accept one another each day, and daily to forgive one another. And this is important! To know how to forgive one another in families because we all make mistakes, all of us! Sometimes we do things … which harm others. It is important to have the courage to ask for forgiveness when we are at fault in the family”.

He repeated the three key words for family life: please, thank you and sorry. “We say please so as not to be forceful in family life. ... We say thank you, thank you for love! … And the last word: sorry. We all make mistakes and … harsh words are spoken but please listen to my advice: don’t ever let the sun set without reconciling. Peace is made each day in the family. … If love is missing, joy is missing, nothing is fun. Jesus gives always gives us that love: he is its endless source”.

Finally, he offered as an example the scene of Jesus’ Presentation in the Temple, chosen by the Pontifical Council for the Family as the image to represent this event. “Like all of you, the persons depicted in this scene have a journey to make: Mary and Joseph have travelled as pilgrims to Jerusalem in obedience to the Law of the Lord; the aged Simeon and the elderly prophetess Anna have come to the Temple led by the Holy Spirit. In this scene three generations come together, the interweaving of three generations. … These two elderly persons represent faith as memory. But let me ask you: Do you listen to your grandparents? … Grandparents are like the wisdom of the family, they are the wisdom of a people. … And a people that does not listen to grandparents is one that dies! … Mary and Joseph are the family, sanctified by the presence of Jesus who is the fulfilment of all God’s promises. Like the Holy Family of Nazareth, every family is part of the history of a people; it cannot exist without the generations who have gone before it. Therefore, today we have grandparents and children. The children learn from their grandparents, from the previous generation”.

Dear families”, he concluded, “you, too, are a part of God’s people. Walk joyfully in the midst of this people. Remain ever close to Jesus and bring him to everyone by your witness”.


Vatican City, 26 October 2013 (VIS) – This morning, Saturday 16 October, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received in audience the president of the Republic of Panama, Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal, who subsequently went on to meet with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During the colloquial discussions, the parties discussed various themes relevant to the current situation of the country, especially in relation to the social policies initiated by the Government, and development projects for the nation. The country's long Christian tradition was mentioned, and the historic bilateral links were emphasised as being of particular interest with regard to current relations between the Church and the State. In this respect, gratitude was expressed for the gift of a statue of Santa Maria La Antigua, patroness of the nation, offered to the Pontiff by the head of State and placed in the Vatican Gardens. The conversation then turned to a panoramic view of the regional situation.


Vatican City, 26 October 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Sala Clementina of the Vatican Apostolic Palace Pope Francis awarded the Ratzinger Prize, granted by the Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI, to the Rev. Richard Burridge, Anglican minister and deacon of King's College, London, and to the German theologian Christian Schaller, layperson, lecturer in dogmatic theology and vice director of the Benedict XVI Institute in Regensburg, Germany, which is publishing critical editions of Joseph Ratzinger's full works.

The symposium, always organised by the Foundation, took place at the Lateran University in Rome from 24 to 26 October, and studied the theme “The Gospel: history and Christology”, taking Joseph Ratzinger's works as a starting point.

I thank you, and am happy to meet with you, especially as a sign of our recognition and of our great affection for Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. I would like to share with you a reflection, which comes to me spontaneously when I think of the truly unique gift that he has given the Church in his books on Jesus of Nazareth”.

I recall that when the first volume came out, some people said: what is this? A Pope doesn't write books on theology, he writes encyclicals! … Certainly, Pope Benedict had considered this problem, but also in this case, as always, he followed the voice of the Lord in his enlightened conscience. With these books, he did not offer teaching in the strict sense of the word, and he did not produce an academic study. He gave a gift to the Church, and to all humanity, of what was most precious to him: his knowledge of Jesus, the fruit of years and years of study, of prayer, of theological investigation, and he made it available in the most accessible form”.

He continued, “No one can measure the good he has done by means of this gift; only the Lord knows! But we all have a certain perception of this, having listened to so many people who, thanks to these books on Jesus of Nazareth, have nurtured and deepened their faith, or have indeed drawn close to Christ for the first time, as adults, bringing the demands of reason alongside their search for the face of God”.

At the same time, the work of Benedict XVI has stimulated a new era of study of the Gospels, between history and Christology, and our Symposium, for which I congratulate the organisers and speakers, forms a part of this”.

The Holy Father concluded by congratulating the recipients of this years prize, also in the name of his predecessor.


Vatican City, 26 October 2013 (VIS) – Today in the Sala di Papi of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis met with and briefly addressed a group of ex-students of the Jesuits of Uruguay.

Thank you again for your visit and your greetings. You bring so many memories to me! The only thing that surprises me is that no-one has brought any 'mate'! Did no-one have the courage? The Uruguayan streak is missing – when your president came, he brought 'mate'! Thank you, truly.

I see there are many young people: this is a promise and a hope. It brings to mind many memories linked to the companions who organised this visit, and many other good things.

I do not know when a visit to your country will be planned, but it certainly will not be before 2016. One thing is sure: if I visit Argentina, I must also visit Chile and Uruguay, all three together. So, we will meet again there.

I thank you again and ask a favour of you: pray for me. People here are very good, my companions are good and everyone works together, but there is much work to be done and it is difficult to keep up. Pray for me, and for my collaborators, so that we can carry on. Many thanks!”.


Vatican City, 26 October 2013 (VIS) - A letter from the Pope was published today, dated 7 October and written in Latin, in which he appoints Cardinal Raffaele Farina, S.D.B., archivist and librarian emeritus of the Holy Roman Church, as his special envoy to the celebration of first centenary of the Sophia University of Tokyo, Japan, scheduled for 1 November 2013.

The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Fr. Juan Haidar, S.J., Argentine, associate professor of the faculty of theology and director of the Catholic Centre of the Sophia University; Fr. Celestino Cavagna, Italian, previously vicar general and secretary general of the archdiocese of Tokyo and currently parish priest of Tachikawa, Tokyo; and Fr. Nobukuni Suzuki, S.J., lecturer at the faculty of theology of the Sophia University.


Vatican City, 28 October 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Teruaki Nagasaki, the new ambassador of Japan to the Holy See, presenting his letters of credence.

- Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

- Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank.

- Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 1991.

- Rrok Logu, ambassador of Albania to the Holy See, on his farewell visit.

On Saturday, 26 October the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.


Vatican City, 28 October 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

- appointed Bishop Richard Joseph Gagnon as archbishop of Winnipeg (area 116,405, population 723,000, Catholics 169,000, priests 82, permanent deacons 19, religious 135), Canada. Archbishop Gagnon, previously bishop of Victoria, was born in Lethbridge, Canada in 1948, was ordained to the priesthood in 1983, and received episcopal ordination in 2004. He succeeds Archbishop James Weisgerber, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, upon having reached the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of El Obeid, Sudan, presented by Bishop Macram Max Gassis, M.C.C.J., upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria.

On Saturday, 26 October the Holy Father:

- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Luanda, Angola, presented by Bishop Anastacio Kahango O.F.M. Cap., upon having reached the age limit.

- appointed Fr. Giovanni Battista Piccioli of the clergy of Portoviejo, Ecuador, and Fr. Bertram Victor Wick Enzler, episcopal vicar and member of the clergy of Guayaquil, Ecuador, as auxiliaries of Guayaquil (area 12,446, population 2,916,000, Catholics 2,657,000, priests 317, permanent deacons 21, religious 621), Ecuador.

Bishop-elect Piccioli was born in Erbusco, Italy in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1982. He holds a licentiate in theology from the theological faculty of Emilia-Romagna, Bologna. He was sent to Ecuador as a “fidei donum” missionary in 1995. He has served in the following pastoral roles and academic roles: in Italy, parish vicar of two parishes in Brescia and parish priest of San Vito di Bedizzole; in Ecuador, parish priest of “Santa Ana” in Manabi and “Santisima Trinidad del Floron” in Portoviejo, professor of theology in the major seminary of Portoviejo, and parish priest of “Santa Rosa de Lima” in San Vicente.

Bishop-elect Wick Enzler was born in Waldkirch, Switzerland in 1955, and was ordained a priest in 1991. He was sent to Portoviejo, Ecuador as a missionary in 1990, entering the “Santa Maria del fiat” Institute. He has served in the following pastoral roles: parish vicar in Guayaquil, parish priest in the peninsula Santa Elena and in the parishes of “Gesu Buon Pastor”, “Santa Madre de la Iglesia”, and “Santa Elena”; he currently holds the office of episcopal vicar.

- appointed Msgr. Aldo Giordano as apostolic nuncio to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. Archbishop-elect Giordano was previously special envoy and permanent observer of the Holy See to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

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