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Monday, November 18, 2013


Vatican City, 18 November 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office has issued the following communique regarding Pope Francis' Motu Proprio on the new Statute of the Financial Information Authority (F.I.A.):

The Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio of 15 November 2013, by which Pope Francis has approved the attached new Statutes of the Financial Intelligence Authority (F.I.A.), is published today. This pontifical document will enter into force on 21 November 2013.

As is known, with his Motu Proprio of 8 August 2013 and with the Law N. XVIII of 8 October 2013 on norms on transparency, supervision and financial intelligence, Pope Francis had strengthened further the institutional framework of the Holy See and the Vatican City State to prevent and combat potential illicit activities in the financial sector and had accorded to the F.I.A., in addition to the functions that it already had on the basis of the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI of 30 December 2010, the function of prudential supervision of those entities that carry out financial activities professionally. The present Statutes adapt F.I.A.’s internal structure to the functions it is now called to perform.

In particular, the Statutes distinguish the role and functions of the President, the Board of Directors and the Directorate, so as to ensure that the F.I.A. may fulfil even more adequately its institutional functions in full autonomy and independence and in a manner consistent with the institutional and legal framework of the Holy See and the Vatican City State. In addition, the new Statutes establish a specific office for prudential supervision, providing it with the necessary professional resources.”

The full text of the Motu Proprio may be consulted in English and Italian at:



Vatican City, 18 November 2013 (VIS) – We publish below the communique issued this morning by the Governorate of Vatican City State:

On 15 November the Governorate of Vatican City State, by agreement with the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic and Administrative Structure of the Holy See, following a selection process, has mandated an international team from Ernst & Young to carry out the task of auditing and consultation in relation to the economic activities and administrative management procedures of the Entity.

The documentation containing the outcome of this consultation will be available to the Commission and will be used to propose eventual recommendations intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Governorate's economic and administrative procedures”.


Vatican City, 18 November 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace Pope Francis received in audience the prime minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Perry Gladstone Christie, who subsequently went on to meet with the Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

During the colloquial discussions, mention was made of the theme of emigration and the contribution the Catholic Church may offer to the population, especially in the sectors of welfare and education, and the Parties expressed their hope for closer collaboration in these fields.


Vatican City, 17 November 2013 (VIS) – At midday today the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, the Pope commented on Jesus' discourse in Jerusalem about the end of time. Jesus exhorted the apostles not to be deceived by false messiahs and not to be paralysed by fear, but rather to live this moment of waiting in hope, as a time of witness and perseverance.

The Holy Father emphasised the relevance of these words even to us now in the twenty-first century. “It is a call to discernment”, he said. “Even nowadays, in fact, there are false 'saviours' who seek to take Jesus' place: leaders of this world, gurus, holy men, people who want to attract hearts and minds, especially of young people. Jesus warns us: 'do not follow them'. And the Lord also helps us not to be afraid when faced with wars and revolutions, natural disasters and epidemics: Jesus liberates us from fatalism and false apocalyptic visions. … He reminds us that we are entirely in God's hands! The adversity we encounter on account of our faith and our adhesion to the Gospel are opportunities for witness; they should not turn us away from the Lord but rather encourage us to abandon ourselves more fully to Him, to the strength of His Spirit and His grace”.

In this moment”, he continued, unscripted, “let us think of the many Christian brothers and sisters who suffer persecution for their faith. There are many of them. Perhaps more than in the first centuries. Jesus is with them. Let us also be united with them by our prayer and our affection. Let us admire their courage and their witness. They are our brothers and sisters, who in many parts of the world suffer for being faithful to Jesus Christ. Let us extend our heartfelt and affectionate greetings to them”.

Francis highlighted Jesus' promise to us as a guarantee of victory: “'Stand firm, and you will win life'. … This is a call to hope and patience, to know how to await the certain fruits of salvation, trusting in the deep meaning of life and history; the trials and difficulties form part of a greater design, and the Lord, the master of history, guides all to its fulfilment. Despite the disorder and catastrophes that afflict the world, God's plan of goodness and mercy will prevail”.


Vatican City, 17 November 2013 (VIS) – After the Angelus prayer, the Pope greeted the faithful and, mentioning that this Sunday was “World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims”, encouraged prudence on the roads and respect for traffic regulations.

Francis proposed to those present in the square a way of consolidating the effects of the Year of Faith, which is now drawing to a close. “It is a spiritual medicine called 'Misericordina'”, he explained. “It is kept in a box which some volunteers will distribute as you leave the square. It is a Rosary, with which you can pray the 'Chaplet of Divine Mercy' … a spiritual help for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood”.


Vatican City, 18 November 2013 (VIS) – A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning to present the Day for Contemplative Life, a Year of Faith initiative, which will take place on 21 November, and the celebrations marking the end of the Year of Faith: a meeting of catechumens with the Pope (23 November) and the closing Holy Mass (24 November). The speakers in the conference were Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, along with Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, and Msgr. Graham Bell, respectively secretary and under-secretary of the same dicastery.

We have come to the end of a Year dedicated entirely to the renewal of the faith in believers, but there remains the wish to keep alive the teaching we have received during these months”, said Archbishop Fisichella, who remarked that more than eight million pilgrims who have visited the tomb of St. Peter to profess their faith during this year. Likewise, he commented that to conclude the Year, “we have thought of a series of different 'signs' intended to demonstrate the continuity of faith and the path we are called to walk to prevent it from becoming obvious in everyday life”.

The first sign is given by the Pope Francis' planned visit to the Camaldolese nuns of the monastery of Sant'Antonio Abbate all'Aventino, Rome, where he will meet with the community. This day, which coincides with the anniversary of the entry into the convent of Sister Nazarena Crotta, the last recluse to live within its walls, will be dedicated to those who have chosen a cloistered life in order to dedicate themselves fully to a life of prayer and contemplation.

The second event will take place on Saturday 23 November, which will be dedicated to catechumens, with the theme “Ready to cross the theshold of faith”. More than five hundred catechumens will be present, accompanied by their catechists, from 47 different countries from all five continents. The Pope will receive 35 of them at the entrance of St. Peter's Basilica and will ask them the traditional questions that form the rite.

Finally, the Year of Faith will conclude with a Holy Mass on Sunday 24 November in St. Peter's Square at 10.30 a.m., and will be marked by three signs intended to highlight the importance of the moment: the exposition of the relics of St. Peter, the delivery by Pope Francis of his Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii gaudium”, and a gesture of charity towards the Philippine population. During the Eucharist, a collection will be carried out as a contribution by the Year of Faith pilgrims to those affected by the catastrophic typhoon in the Philippines.

Archbishop Fisichella concluded by mentioning that “often, accustomed as we are to emphasising elements of crisis, we forget to look at the many positive signs of hope that are genuinely present in the Church. The Year of Faith has enabled us to experience this. And it is for this reason that, supported by such impressive, enthusiastic and convinced witness, expressed especially in the silence of everyday life, we look to the future with greater serenity, strengthened by the experience of this Year, the positive effects of which we hope will be felt for a long time to come”.


Vatican City, 16 November 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon Pope Francis sent a video message to participants in the pilgrimage-meeting “Our Lady of Guadalupe, star of new evangelisation in the American continent”, convoked by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Knights of Columbus and the Higher Institute of Guadalupan Studies, scheduled to take place at the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico, from 16 to 19 November 2013. We publish below extensive extracts from the message:

As well as transmitting my affection, my closeness and my wish to be with you, I would like to briefly share some reflections as a contribution to the meeting taking place in these days.

Aparecida proposes placing the Church in a permanent state of mission, to carry out not only acts of a missionary nature but also in the broader context of a more general missionary approach: so that all the habitual activity of the particular Churches may have a missionary character. And this takes place in the certainty that missionary outreach, rather than being an activity amongst others, is a paradigm; that is, the paradigm of all pastoral action. … It is vital that the Church does not close herself up, does not consider herself satisfied and secure in all she has achieved. If this happens, the Church will become ill, will become sick from an imaginary overabundance … she becomes satiated and weak. It is necessary to leave one's own community and to have the audacity to arrive at the existential peripheries where God's presence needs to be felt. He abandons no-one, and always shows His tenderness and His boundless mercy, and therefore this is what we must bring to all people.

A second point: the aim of all pastoral activity is always guided by the missionary impulse to reach everyone, without excluding anyone, and keeping in consideration the special circumstances of each person. This does not mean going forth like one who imposes a new obligation, who limits himself to reproaching or complaining about that which he considers imperfect or insufficient. The evangelical task requires a lot of patience … and involves presenting the Christian message in a serene and gradual manner, with the perfume of the Gospel, as the Lord did. It favours, first and foremost, the essential and most necessary fact of the beauty of God's love, which speaks to us through the dead and risen Christ.

Third: it is the bishop who guides the pastoral care of the particular Church, and he does so like the shepherd who knows all his sheep by name … effectively demonstrating the maternity of the Church and the mercy of God. The attitude of the true shepherd is not that of a courtier or of a mere functionary, focusing principally on discipline, rules and organisational mechanisms. This always leads to a pastoral that is far removed from the people, incapable of favouring or achieving the encounter with Christ and the encounter with brothers. The people of God entrusted to him need their bishop to be watchful on His behalf, taking special care to keep them united and to promote hope in their hearts. They need a bishop who is able to discern, without stifling, the Holy Spirit that comes from where it wills, for the good of the Church and her mission in the world.

Fourth: these attitudes proper to the bishop must also be shared deeply by other agents of pastoral care, especially priests. The temptation of clericalism, which does great damage to the Church in Latin America, is an obstacle to the development of Christian maturity and responsibility of a significant part of the laity. Clericalism implies a self-referential attitude, a group attitude, which impoverishes projection towards the encounter with the Lord, which makes disciples, and towards men who await proclamation. Therefore, I think it is important and urgent to form ministers capable of closeness, of encounter, who know how to inflame hearts, walk alongside the people, enter into dialogue with their hopes and fears. Bishops cannot delegate this work: they must take it on as something fundamental to the life of the Church, sparing no efforts, attention or support.

I want to dedicate a few words to consecrated life. Consecrated life in the Church is … a leaven which enables the Church to grow towards the final manifestation of Jesus Christ. I ask consecrated persons to be faithful to the charism they have received, so that in their service to the hierarchical Holy Mother Church, they do not allow the grace given by the Holy Spirit to their founders to be dispelled, but instead transmit it fully.

Dear brothers and sisters, many thanks for what you have done for this continental mission. Remember that you have received Baptism, which has transformed you into the Lord's disciples. But every disciple is, in turn, a missionary. Benedict XVI said that they are the two sides of the same coin. I ask you, as a father and brother in Jesus Christ, to take responsibility for the faith you have received in Baptism. And, like the mother and grandmother of Timothy, transmit faith to your children and grandchildren, and not only to them. The treasure of faith is not given solely for personal use. It is to be given and transmitted so that it may grow”.


Vatican City, 16 November 2013 (VIS) – The episcopate is a service, not an honour, the Holy Father reiterated yesterday during the episcopal ordination in St. Peter's Basilica of Msgr. Fernando Vergez Alzaga, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

During the ordination of the new bishop, who is from Salamanca, Spain, and is a member of the Legionaries of Christ, Pope Francis pronounced the ritual homily for the consecration of bishops from the Roman Pontifical, adding a few phrases in which he mentioned the prelate's tenderness and charity in his service as secretary to the late Argentine Cardinal Eduardo Francisco Pironio. He concluded by emphasising that the pastoral care of Vatican employees had been entrusted to him, and urged Bishop Vergez Alzaga to be “a father and brother to them, with true love and tenderness”.


Vatican City, 16 November 2013 (VIS) – A letter was made public today, written in Latin and dated 14 October, by which the Pope appoints Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as his special envoy to the celebration of the Fourth American Missionary Congress (CAM 4) and the Ninth Latin American Missionary Congress (COMLA 9), scheduled to take place in Maracaibo, Venezuela from 26 November to 1 December 2013.


Vatican City, 18 November 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Guy Ryder, director general of the International Labour Organisation.

- Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin, apostolic nuncio to the European Union.

- Archbishop Mario Giordana, apostolic nuncio to Slovakia.

- Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Italy.


Vatican City, 18 November 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Franz Lackner, O.F.M., auxiliary of Graz-Seckau, Austria, as archbishop of Salzburg (area 9,715, population 713,085, Catholics 487,691, priests 297, permanent deacons 40, religious 492), Austria. He was born in Feldbach, Austria in 1956, was ordained to the priesthood in 1991, and received episcopal ordination in 2002.

On Saturday, 16 November, the Holy Father:

- appointed Msgr. Roman Pindel as bishop of Bielsko-Zywiec (area 3,000, population 766,300, Catholics 680,700, priests 634, religious 632), Poland. Bishop-elect Pindel was born in Oswiecim, Poland in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He holds a licentiate and doctorate in bible studies from the Pontifical Theological Academy of Krakow (PAT), Poland, and has served in a number of roles, including spiritual director and rector of the major seminary of Krakow, director of the chair in biblical hermeneutics and Judaism at the faculty of theology of the “John Paul II” Pontifical University, Krakow (formerly PAT), diocesan assistant for Renewal in the Holy Spirit, bishop's delegate for assistance to new religious movements, and president of the Conference of Rectors of Polish Seminaries.

- appointed Fr. Pedro Javier Torres as auxiliary bishop of Cordoba (area 19,722, population 2,115,000, Catholics 1,856,000, priests 344, permanent deacons 1, religious 967), Argentina. Bishop-elect Torres was born in Cordoba, Argentina in 1960, and was ordained a priest in 1984. He has served in a number of roles, including lecturer, formator and rector of the major seminary “N.S. De Loreto”, parish vicar of San Juan Bosco, priest in a number of parishes within the archdiocese of Cordoba, member of the Interreligious Committee for Peace, member of the College of Consultors, diocesan spokesman for the media on bioethics, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, executive secretary for the Episcopal Commission on Ecumenism and Relations with Judaism, Islam and other religions, lecturer in priestly meetings and pastoral courses, and a preacher of spiritual rites in a number of Argentine dioceses.

- appointed Msgr. Angelo Genoni as Office Head of the Ordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See. Msgr. Genoni was previously Study Assistant in the same dicastery.
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