Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Friday, November 22, 2013


Vatican City, 22 November 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francis received in audience Vjekoslav Bevanda, prime minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who subsequently went on to meet with Archbishop Pietro Parolin, secretary of State, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

The colloquial discussions provided the opportunity for an exchange of opinions on the current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the country’s main current objectives, on the efforts made to promote an increasingly open society respecting the rights of all citizens, and on the challenges that need to be faced as a result of the current economic crisis.

Satisfaction was expressed regarding the good existing bilateral relations, of which the Basic Agreement of 2006 is an important expression, promoting collaboration between Church and State for the common good and the development of the country. During the conversation, mention was also made of various issues linked to the application of the aforementioned Agreement, as well as the contribution of Catholics in society.


Vatican City, 22 November 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Sala Clementina of the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father received in audience the managers and athletes of the national rugby teams of Argentina and Italy. Pope Francis described rugby as a very likeable sport, since “it is a tough sport, with a lot of physical contact, but it is not violent. There is great loyalty, great respect. Playing rugby is hard, it is not a walk in the park! And this, I think, is useful also for tempering character and willpower”.

In rugby”, he continued, “one runs towards a goal. This word, which is so beautiful and so important, makes us think about life, because all our lives lead towards a goal. This search is tiring, and requires commitment and struggle, but the important thing is not to run alone. To arrive at the goal we need to run together, the ball is passed from hand to hand, and we advance together, until we reach the goal. And then we celebrate!”

Perhaps this interpretation of mine is not very technical, but it is how a bishop sees rugby! And as a bishop I hope that you will be able to put all of this in practice, also off-pitch, in your lives”.


Vatican City, 22 November 2013 (VIS) - “In these moments of great suffering, do not tire of asking 'Why?' like children … and in this way you will draw the eyes of our Father to your people; you will attract towards you the tenderness of the Father of Heaven”. With these words of encouragement, the Holy Father addressed the Filipino people gathered yesterday afternoon in St. Peter's Basilica, on the occasion of the blessing of a mosaic of St. Pedro Calungsod, the Filipino saint canonised last year by Benedict XVI.

The blessing was followed by a mass celebrated by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, who during his homily spoke of the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan in his country, affirming that “we have seen how faith rises from the ruins. Catastrophes cannot destroy hope. And we see that love is stronger than earthquakes and typhoons”.

Pope Francis reiterated his closeness to the Filipino people. “I have heard that it has been a difficult ordeal, too difficult”, he said. “But I have also heard that the people have been strong. The Cardinal's words are true: faith rises up from the ruins. The solidarity of all in moments of trial. Why do these things happen? They cannot be explained. There are many things we are unable to understand. When children begin to grow up, they do not understand many things and start to ask their father or mother many questions. … But if we watch carefully, we will see that the child does not expect the answer from his father or his mother. … The child needs, in his insecurity, that his father or mother look at him. … Just like a child does when he asks, 'Why? Why?', in these moments of suffering, the most useful prayer is that which asks, 'Why?'. But without expecting explanations, simply asking our Father to look at us. I too join with you, in this prayer to ask 'Why?'”.


Vatican City, 22 November 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon the Pope visited the Benedictine Camaldolese Monastery of Sant’Antonio Abate on the Roman Aventine Hill, on the occasion of the World Day of Contemplative Life and the Year of Faith, which is drawing to a close. The Bishop of Rome was received by the abbess, Sister Michella Porcellato, and entered the Church where the twenty-one sisters of the community awaited him. He presided the Vespers, following the Camaldolese rite, and following a brief eucharistic adoration, he pronounced a homily, ample extracts of which we publish below.

Mary is the mother of hope, the most expressive icon of Christian hope. Her entire life was a succession of attitudes of hope, beginning with her 'yes' at the moment of the Annunciation. … Then, in Bethlehem, where He Who was announced to her as the Saviour of Israel and as the Messiah was born into poverty. Subsequently, when she presented Him at the temple in Jerusalem, alongside the joy of Simeon and Anna there was also the promise of the sword that would pierce her heart, and the prophecy of a sign of contradiction”.

Mary is aware that the mission and the very identity of her Son overshadow the fact of her being His mother. … Yet, before all the difficulties and surprises of God's plan, the Virgin's hope never falters! She is a woman of hope. This shows us that hope is nurtured by listening, contemplation, and patience, for the Lord's time to come. … With the beginning of His public life, Jesus becomes the Master and the Messiah: the Virgin looks upon her Son's mission with elation but also with apprehension, as Jesus increasingly becomes that sign of contradiction that the elderly Simeon had prophesied. At the foot of the Cross, she experiences suffering but at the same time watchfully awaits a mysterious event, greater than pain, that is about to take place. Everything truly appears to have finished; every hope could be said to have been extinguished. She, too, in that moment, recollecting the promises of the Annunciation, could have said: they did not come true, I was deceived. But she did not say this. Blessed because she believed, from this faith of hers she sees a new future unfold, and with awaits God's new day”.

At times I think: do we know how to await God's new day? Or do we want it all today? God's tomorrow is for her the dawn of Easter morning. … The only light burning at Jesus' tomb is the hope of His mother, which in that moment is the hope of all humanity. I ask myself, and you: in the monasteries, is that light still burning? In monasteries, do you await God's tomorrow?”

In Mary, present in every moment of the history of salvation, we see a solid testimony of hope. She, the mother of hope, supports us in our moments of darkness, of difficulty, of discomfort, of apparent defeat or real human defeats”.


Vatican City, 22 November 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a video message to the participants in the Third Festival of the Social Doctrine of the Church, to be celebrated in Verona from 21 to 24 November. This year the festival takes as its theme “Fewer inequalities, more differences”, a title which, according to the Pope, highlights the multiple richness of people as an expression of personal talents and avoids the mortification of uniformity which paradoxically increases inequality”.

The Pontiff addressed the young, “the strength to carry on”, and the elderly, “the memory of the people”. “Acknowledgement of difference accords value to people, unlike uniformity, which bears the risk of discarding them since it prevents their significance from being recognised. Nowadays, the young and the elderly are considered dispensable as they do not correspond to the productive logic of a functionalist vision of society, they do not respond to any useful criterion of investment. They are described as 'passive', they do not produce but rather in the market economy they are subjects of production. We must not forget, however, that the young and the elderly both bring great richness: they are both the future of a people”.

The Pope also addressed some thoughts to the Social Doctrine of the Church. “The social Magisterium”, he continued, “is a great reference point which forms a guideline, the result of reflection and virtuous practice. It is very useful to avoid disorientation. Those who work in economics and finance are certainly attracted by profit and, if they are not careful, they risk placing themselves in the service of profit itself, thus becoming slaves to money. The Social Doctrine contains a great patrimony of reflections and hope that is able, even today, to guide people and preserve their freedom. It takes courage, thought and the strength of faith to stay within the market while guided by a conscience that places at the centre the dignity of the person, not the idol of money”.

Francis concluded his message by speaking about co-operation, and mentioned how, as a child, he listened to his father speak about Christian co-operation at a conference. “In that moment I was filled with enthusiasm about this subject, and I saw that the path lay there”, he said. “Work and the dignity of the person walk the same path together, side by side. Solidarity applies also to guaranteeing work: co-operation constitutes an important element for ensuring the plurality of presences of employers on the market. Nowadays this is the subject of some misunderstanding, also at European level, but I maintain that not regarding as current this form of presence in the world of production is a form of impoverishment that allows space for the encroachment of uniformity and does not promote differences and identity”.


Vatican City, 22 November 2013 (VIS) – The Congregation for the Oriental Churches today concluded its plenary session, held from 19 to 22 November, which focused on the balance of conciliar ideas regarding the Catholic East fifty years after Vatican Council II.

The harmonious climate in which work was carried out was unanimously appreciated, according to a communique issued by the dicastery. The synodal experience, profoundly rooted in the oriental tradition, was demonstrated to be a fruitful working method. Appreciation was expressed for the beauty of conciliar ecclesiology and the value of diversity in unity, also underlining that the recognition of the apostolic origin is a theological and juridical affirmation. A further theme was the migratory phenomenon, which represents a challenge as it poses serious problems for the situation of Christians in the Middle East, harshly penalised by the effects of the war in Iraq and by the current conflict in Syria, without forgetting the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian question and Egypt's troubled rebirth as a pluralist nation.

A further problem is that the full dignity of the heads of the patriarchal and the major archiepiscopal Churches, also known as 'Fathers', requires that they are considered as such wherever their 'sons' may be, nowadays well beyond the borders considered to be their own, and with their own respective traditions and discipline. Alongside the significant representation of the Latin archbishops who are are also ordinaries for the Oriental faithful without their own hierarchy, specific ecclesial administrative structures must be considered and progressively developed. The ecumenical dimension must always be maintained, assuming a fruitful attitude of authentic brotherhood and patient reconciliation, without however penalising those who by their existence bear daily witness that one may be in communion with the Bishop of Rome, recognising his primacy, without renouncing one's one method of governance and of living the mystery of the liturgy.

Finally, the plenary reiterated that the Catholic East is committed to ensuring that interreligious dialogue is lived as a daily experience in the countries of the Middle East.


Vatican City, 22 November 2013 (VIS) - This morning, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Archbishop Henryk Jozef Nowacki, apostolic nuncio in Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway.

- Archbishop Giovanni d'Aniello, apostolic nuncio in Brazil.

- Joseph S. Blatter, president of the Federation International de Football Association (F.I.F.A.).

This afternoon, he is scheduled to receive:

- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service