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Thursday, December 19, 2013


Vatican City, 19 December 2013 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace Pope Francis received in audience the prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Everard Gonsalves, who subsequently went on to meet with the secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

The colloquial discussions focused on matters of common interest such as the defence of life and the family, education and interreligious dialogue.

Finally, mention was made of various issues regarding the countries in the area and collaboration within the ambit of regional organisations.


Vatican City, 19 December 2013 (VIS) - “Educating in intercultural dialogue in the Catholic school. Living together for a civilisation of love” is the title of a document from the Congregation for Catholic Education (for Seminaries and Educational Institutions), presented this morning in the Holy See Press Office. Speakers in the press conference were Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski and Archbishop Vincenzo Zani, respectively prefect and secretary of the dicastery, and Professor Itali Fiorin, of the LUMSA University, Rome.

A child, a teacher, a book, and a pen can change the world. Education is the only solution” said Cardinal Grocholewski, quoting Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani girl injured by the Taliban for attending school, along with other girls. He mentioned that, according to data provided by UNICEF in 2013, over 70 million children worldwide do not go to school, that 75% of students in the poorest countries may attend lessons for two or three years without learning to read or write, and that around 1.7 million teachers are needed to meet the aim of a qualified primary education at a global level.

The Congregation for Catholic Education shares the concerns of the international community, convinced of the pivotal role of education for the future of humanity, peace, sustainable development and the dignity of populations, and throughout the years has contributed to deepening the understanding of various issues, which have subsequently found expression in the documents offered to the local Churches, the Religious Congregations of an educational charism, and to other entities and associations in the sector”.

This time the theme under consideration, educating in intercultural dialogue, is very current, if not new. “The male and female religious congregations know a lot about this”, observed Cardinal Grocholewski; “for years they have worked in multicultural and multi-religious contexts, with laudable experience of education and training. However, today the significant phenomenon of migration has globalised multi-culturalism and multi-religious co-existence, with the consequent need for adequate cultural education. In such a context, the Catholic school is called to provide younger generations with the necessary elements to develop an intercultural vision of living together”.

The document is intended primarily for parents, “naturally the first responsible for the education of their children”, as well as the “entities representing the family and schools and those occupied with education in the pastoral field. “Given its vastness, it was decided to present the issue of education in intercultural dialogue within a broader context. For this reason it was extended, for example, to reflection on the relationship between culture and religion, Catholic religion and other religions; space was given for the presentation of the theological foundations and to the identity of the Catholic school and educational community is based on Christ. This identity is supported by the teaching of the Catholic religion, which connects well with respect for personal freedom, as well as the continuing professional education of administrators and teachers. The key world that draws together all the aspects considered in the document is “dialogue”. Dialogue is fervently promoted by Pope Francis as the attitude with which the Church must face every situation in today's world. … And for the Catholic school to fulfil a constructive role, it must not weaken its identity, but instead must strengthen it, and must certainly not allow its mission to be separated from evangelisation”.

The final aim of education in intercultural dialogue”, the cardinal concluded, “is the construction of a civilisation based on love. The civilisation of love, for Christians, does nto mean a vague solidarity, but rather an expression of Christ's charity. This is the service through which Catholic schools, which always strive to join their work of education with the explicit proclamation of the Gospel, are a most valuable resource for the evangelisation of culture, even in those countries and cities where hostile situations challenge us to greater creativity in our search for suitable methods”.

Archbishop Zani explained that in the drafting of the document, numerous entities, religious institutes and dioceses were consulted in order to gather concrete experience of education in intercultural dialogue promoted by Catholic institutions in various parts of the world. For example, the educational approaches taken in Africa, Amazonia and Peru “include a dimension of assistance to development, and several initiatives are directed at girls, who are often more easily excluded from the school system”. The archbishop also went on to mention the experience of 'Schools for Europe', initiated in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995, following the war in the Balkans, where the diocese of Sarajevo had decided to open a Catholic school to welcome children of diverse ethnic origins and religious beliefs. This 'multi-ethnic' school project was reproduced throughout the country and contributed to the reconstruction of unity in society by means of the development of a peaceful mentality and a rounded education that includes knowledge of religious heritage and education in values”.

In the Middle East, too, “Forty-five Catholic schools of the Latin Patriarchate, not allowing themselves to be discouraged by bombs and violence, carry out patient and tireless work with students of various nations and religions, who learn about one another and discover how to build relationships of respect and friendship”.

Each of these experiences enables us to understand, in a concrete way, how diversity of religion, language and tradition can be treated with care and respect, with true evangelical charity, and become an authentic asset for every group and individual. In each of these schools we see an approach which enables each person to contribute his or her own gifts in the construction of 'bridges of understanding and peace' and a destiny based on love as an ideal to be achieved”.


Vatican City, 19 December 2013 (VIS) – In view of the forthcoming Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will focus on the theme “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”, some prayer initiatives have been indicated.

On Sunday, 22 December, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia will preside over the Holy Mass at the Basilica of the "Sagrada Familia" in Barcelona, and on Sunday, 29 December, Feast of the Holy Family, at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the Secretary General of the Synod, Bishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, will celebrate Mass with the aforementioned prayer intention. On the same day, in the Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto, the Pontifical Delegate Archbishop Giovanni Tonucci will celebrate Mass with the same intention.

On Sunday, 29 December, at the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father will deliver a special prayer he has composed for the family; the Basilicas of Loreto and Nazareth will be connected via live television.


Vatican City, 19 December 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today published the following communiqué:

On 18 December, upon an initiative of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See, following a formal bidding and selection procedure, an advisory role has been entrusted to McKinsey & Company for the development – in close collaboration with the heads of the relevant offices – of an integrated plan to render the organisation of means of communication within the Holy See more functional, effective and modern.

The consultancy project will aim to provide the Commission with the information needed to make appropriate recommendations to the Holy Father.

At the same time, in collaboration with the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See, the necessary action is being taken to align the accounting procedures of all agencies of the Holy See with international standards.

Collaboration on this project has been entrusted, following a bidding and selection process, to the KPMG international network.”


Vatican City, 19 December 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, apostolic nuncio to Italy and the Republic of San Marino.

- Archbishop Bernardito C. Auza, apostolic nuncio to Haiti.

- Fr. Edmund Power, O.S.B., Abbot of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, Rome.


Vatican City, 19 December 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father:

- appointed Msgr. Gabriele as bishop of Gregorio de Laferrere (area 1,393, population 756,000, Catholics 682,000, priests 46, permanent deacons 15, religious 86), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Moron, Argentina in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Catholic University, Argentina. He has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including vicar in the parishes of “San Judas Tadeo” and “San Francisco de Asis”, parish administrator and subsequently priest of “Cristo del Perdon”, secretary of the Episcopal Vicariate of Youth, chancellor of the diocesan Curia and the presbyteral council, instructor of the diocesan Judicial Commission and the Commission for priestly causes, director of the diaconal school and head of formation of permanent deacons, vice president of Caritas in the diocese, pro-vicar general, vicar general and moderator of the Curia. He is also professor of canon law at the Pontifical Catholic University, Argentina. He succeeds Bishop Juan Horacio Suarez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- appointed Msgr. Jean-Marc Aveline as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Marseille (area 650, population 1,042,000, Catholics 711,000, priests 298, permanent deacons 26, religious 728), France. The bishop-elect was born in Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Institut Catholique, Paris, a licentiate in philosophy from the University of Paris I and IV Sorbonne, and a doctorate in theology. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including professor of theology and director of studies in the interdiocesan seminary of Marseille, founder and director of the Institut de sciences e des religions in (ISTR) Marseille, head of the diocesan service for vocations and diocesan delegate for seminarians, director of the Institut Saint-Jean, later the Institut Catholique de la Mediterranee, and Episcopal Vicar responsible for formation. Since 2007 he has been the vicar general of Marseille. He is also the founder and chief editor of the magazin “Chemins de dialogue”, and member of the editorial boards of “Editions de l'Atelier' and “Recherches de sciences religieuses”. He has also served as consultor for the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

- confirmed Cardinal Angelo Amato “donec aliter provideatur” in the role of prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints;

- confirmed Archbishop Marcello Bartolucci as secretary of the same dicastery;

- confirmed the following as members of the same dicastery: Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, Cardinal Kurt Koch, Cardinal Paolo Sardi, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, Cardinal James Michael Harvey, Archbishop Felix del Blanco Prieto, Archbishop Fabio Berardo D'Onorio, Archbishop Giovanni Paolo Benotto, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, Archbishop Renato Boccardo, Bishop Lorenzo Chiarinelli, Bishop Marcello Semeraro, Bishop Lino Fumagalli, Bishop Paolino Schiavon, Bishop Antoni Stankiewicz, Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, Bishop Ambrogio Spreafico, Bishop Raffaello Martinelli;

- confirmed the following as Consultors of the same dicastery: Bishop Sergio Pagano, Bishop Joaquin Alonso Pacheco, Rev. Francesco Asti, Rev. Nicola Bux, Rev. Alfonso C. Chacon Oreja, Msgr. Lorenzo Dattrino, Rev. Miguel De Salis Amaral, Rev. Antonio Escudero Cabello, S.D.B., Fr. Maurizio Pietro Faggioni, O.F.M., Msgr. Jair Ferreira Pena, Rev. Jesús Manuel García Gutiérrez, S.D.B., Fr. Wojciech Giertych, O.P., Fr. François-Marie Léthel, O.C.D., Fr. Mieczys_aw Lubomirski, S.J., Fr. Sabatino Majorano, C.SS.R., Fr. Germano Marani, S.J., Msgr. Guido Mazzotta, Rev. Aimable Musoni, S.D.B., Fr. Stéphane Oppes, O.F.M., Fr. Adam Owczarski, C.SS.R., Msgr. Mario Pangallo, Fr. Szczepan T. Pralkiewicz, O.C.D., Fr. Marek Adam Rostkowski, O.M.I., Fr. Felice Ruffini, M.I., Msgr. Erich Schmid, Fr. Zbigniew Suchecki, O.F.M. Conv.; Fr. Damian Jan Synowiec, O.F.M. Conv., Fr. Mihály Szentmártoni, S.J., Msgr. Francesco Maria Tasciotti; Fr. Angelo Giuseppe Urru, O.P., Rev. Filippo Urso; Fr. Alberto Valentini, S.M.M., Fr. Adam Wolanin, S.J., Fr. Alfonso Amarante, C.SS.R., Sister Albarosa Ines Bassani, S.D.V.I., Professor Pietro Borzomati, Fr. Marcel Chappin, S.J., Msgr. Luis Manuel Cuña Ramos, Fr. Fidel González Fernández, M.C.C.J., Johan Ickx; Msgr. Wilhelm Imkamp, Fr. Gabriele Ingegneri, O.F.M. Cap., Fr. Marek Inglot, S.J., Fr. Carlo Longo, O.P., Sister Grazia Loparco, F.M.A., Christoph Ludwig, Fr. Luigi Nuovo, C.M., Professor Ulderico Parente, Gaetano Passarelli, Professor Francesco Ricciardi Celsi, Rev. Giorgio Rossi, S.D.B. and Msgr. Mario Sensi.

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