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

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Vatican City, 15 January 2014 (VIS) - “Baptism brings us into the People of God, makes us members of a People on a journey, a pilgrim People in history,” Pope Francis asserted, quoting words from the Second Vatican Council during his Wednesday catechesis at the general audience, which was dedicated to the first of the sacraments. He explained how life is passed on from generation to generation and that “through rebirth at the baptismal font, grace is also passed on from generation to generation. With this grace the Christian People walk through time, like a river that irrigates the earth and spreads God's blessing throughout the world.”

The disciples “went forth to baptize. From that time to today there is a chain in the transmission of faith through Baptism. Each of us is a link in that chain, a step forward always, like the river that irrigates. Thus is God's grace and thus also our faith, which we should pass on to our children, pass on to the children so that these, as adults, can pass it on to their children. This is Baptism … it brings us into this People of God … who walk and who pass down the faith.”

Through Baptism, each of us becomes “missionary disciples, called to bring the Gospel to the world. Each of the baptized, whatever their role in the Church or the educational level of their faith, is an active agent of evangelization. … The new evangelization should involve … a new central role for each of the baptized. The People of God is a People of disciples―because we receive the faith―and a missionary People―because we pass on the faith. This is what makes Baptism in us: it gives us Grace and transmits the faith. All of us in the Church are disciples, always and for our entire lives; and we are all missionaries, each in the place that the Lord has assigned us.”

All of us,” the Bishop of Rome improvised, “even the smallest is a missionary and the one who seems greater is a disciple. Some of you will say: 'Bishops aren't disciples; the bishops know everything. The Pope knows everything and isn't a disciple.' No, even the bishops and the Pope are to be disciples because, if they aren't, it's not good; they can't be missionaries; they can't pass on the faith. All of us are disciples and missionaries.”

No one is saved by themselves,” the Pope said to the thousands of persons gathered in St. Peter's Square. “We are a community of believers and in this community we feel the beauty of sharing an experience of love that proceeds us all, but that at the same time asks us to be 'channels' of grace for one another, in spite of our limits and our sins. The communal dimension is not only a 'frame' or an 'outline' but an integral part of the Christian life, witness, and evangelization.”

Pope Francis ended by recalling the history of the Christian community in Japan, whose persecution at the beginning of the 17th century caused many martyrs. “Members of the clergy were expelled and thousands of faithful were killed. There was no priest left in Japan; all of them were expelled. The community retreated into hiding, keeping their faith and prayer hidden. When a child was born, the mother or father baptized them, since all the faithful can baptize under particular circumstances. When, after two and a half centuries, 250 years later, the missionaries returned to Japan, thousands of Christians came out of hiding and the Church could flourish. They had survived through the grace of their Baptism! This is great: the People of God pass on the faith, baptizing their children and carrying on. They had maintained, even in secret, a strong communal spirit because Baptism had made them to become one body in Christ. They were isolated and hidden but were always members of the People of God, members of the Church. We can learn so much from this story!”


Vatican City, 15 January 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father:

- appointed Fr. Marcos Antonio Tavoni as Bishop of Bom Jesus do Gurgueia (area 51,543, population 190,000, Catholics 167,500, priests 28, permanent deacons 1, religious 9), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in 1967 in São Carlos (São Paulo, Brazil) in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1996. From 1996 to 1997 he was pastor of Imaculada Conceição Parish in Taguatinga. In the archdiocese of Palmas he was pastor of the Divino Espirito Santo Parish from 1999 to 2004, pastor of Santa Teresa d'Avila Parish from 1999 to 2011, and pastor of São João Batista Parish from 2003 to 2011. From 2008 to 2011 he was rector of the Major Interdiocesan Seminary, Divino Espirito Santo, and of the Mater Dei Center of Higher Learning. From 2003 to 2011 he was professor of Theology and spiritual director at the Casa Santa Marta for pregnant teens. From 2000 to 2006 he was a moderator of the First Archdiocesan Pastoral Synod. From 2005 to 2006 he was a coordinator for the Commission to develop the archdiocesan directory for Christian Initiation. From 2007 to 2008 he was the episcopal vicar of the São Pedro region. From 2011 to 2013 he was pastor of Nossa Senhora dos Pobres Parish in Paranoa of the Archdiocese of Brasilia. Most recently he was pastor of Cristo Redentor Parish in Taguatinga of the Archdiocese of Brasilia. He succeeds Bishop Ramon Lopez Carrozas, O. de M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- appointed Msgr. Stephen J. Berg as Bishop of Pueblo (area 124,754, population 665,906, Catholics 128,000, priests 83, permanent deacons 48, religious 70), Colorado, U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Miles City, Montana, U.S.A. in 1951 and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A. in 1999. From 1999 to 2001 he was pastor of Saint Michael Parish in Bedford, from 2001 to 2002 of Saint John the Apostle Parish in North Richland Hills, and from 2002 to 2008 of the Saint Mary Parish in Henrietta, Saint Jerome Parish in Bowie, Saint William Parish in Montague, and Saint Joseph Parish in Nocona. From 2008 to 2012 he was vicar general and pastor of Saint Peter the Apostle Parish in Fort Worth. From 2010 to 2012 he was a moderator of the Curia. From 2009 he was spiritual director at the Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas. From 2012 he has been the diocesan administrator and pastor of Holy Name Parish for Fort Worth.

- confirmed Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., as president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

- confirmed Professor Guzman Carriquiry as secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

- confirmed the following members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America: Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, archbishop of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of San Cristobal de la Habana, Cuba; Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico, Mexico; Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, C.SS.R., archbishop emeritus of Santa Cruz della Sierra, Bolivia; Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru; Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., prefect emertirus of the Congregation for the Clergy; Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela; Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico; Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of São Paulo, Brazil; Cardinal Paolo Romeo, archbishop of Palermo, Italy; Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil; Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota, Colombia; Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Archbishop Emilio Carlos Berlie Belaunzaran of Yucatan, Mexico; Archbishop Mario Antonio Cargnello of Salta, Argentina; Archbishop Hector Ruben Aguer of La Plata, Argentina; Archbishop Nicolas Cotugno Fanizzi, S.D.B., of Montevideo, Uruguay; Archbishop Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, O.F.M., of Trujillo, Peru; Archbishop Geraldo Lyrio Rocha of Mariana, Brazil; Archbishop Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano of Managua, Nicaragua; Archbishop Emeritus Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago of Leon, Mexico; Archbishop Orlando Antonio Corrales Garcia of Santa Fe de Antioquia, Colombia; Archbishop Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina of Seville, Spain; and Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, Germany.

- appointed Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, currently secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, as a counsellor of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

- confirmed the following counsellors of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America: Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments; Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, archpriest emeritus of the papal basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls; Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues, O.P., archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church; Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez Velasco of Los Angeles, U.S.A.; and Bishop Marcelo Sanchez-Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences.

- confirmed Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran as a member of the Commission of Cardinals for oversight of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) for the for the next five-year period.

- appointed as members of the Commission of Cardinals for oversight of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) for the next five-year period: Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria; Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, archbishop of Toronto, Canada; Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Mary Major; and Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State.

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service