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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Vatican City, 19 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father dedicated his catechesis at this Wednesday's general audience to the Sacrament of penance. After touring St. Peter's Square in an open car, greeting the thousands of faithful who applauded as he passed, the Pope explained that “the forgiveness of our sins is not something we can offer to ourselves; it is not the result of our efforts, but rather a gift from the Holy Spirit, which fills us from the wellspring of mercy and grace that surges endlessly from the open heart of Christ, crucified and risen again. … It reminds us that it is only by allowing ourselves to be reconciled through the Lord Jesus with the Father and with our brothers that we may truly be at peace”.

Pope Francis explained that the celebration of this Sacrament has transformed from its previously public nature to the private and reserved form of Confession. However, “this should not lead to the loss of the ecclesiastical matrix, which constitutes its living context. Indeed, the Christian community is the place in which the presence of the Spirit is felt, which renews hearts in God's love and brings all brothers together as one, in Jesus Christ”. He continued, “For this reason, it is not enough to ask for the Lord's forgiveness in our own minds and hearts, but rather it is also necessary to humbly and trustfully confess our sins to a minister of the Church”.

The Bishop of Rome emphasised that the priest does not only represent God, but rather the community as a whole, and that anyone who seeks to confess only to God should remember that our sins are also committed against our brothers and against the Church, which is why it is necessary to ask forgiveness from them too, and to be ashamed for what we have done. “Shame can be good”, he affirmed; “It is good for us to have a certain amount of shame, because to be ashamed can be healthy. When someone has no shame, in my country we describe them as “sin verguenza”, shameless. Shame can be good as it can make us humble, and the priest receives this confession with love and tenderness, and forgives in the name of God. Also from a human point of view, to unburden oneself, it is good to speak with a brother and to tell the priest those things which lie so heavily upon our hearts. And one feels unburdened before God, with the Church, and with a brother. Do not be afraid of Confession!”

The Pontiff went on to ask those present when they last confessed, and strongly urged them not to overlook Confession. “If a long time has passed, do not waste another day, go, the priest will be good. It is Jesus who is there, and Jesus is better than a priest, Jesus will receive you, he will receive you with love. Be courageous and go to Confession! … Every time we confess, God embraces us, God celebrates! Let us go ahead on this path. May God bless you!”


Vatican City, 19 February 2014 (VIS) – Following today's catechesis, Pope Francis launched an appeal for an end to the violence in Ukraine, in whose capital Kiev there have been clashes between the forces of order and anti-government demonstrators, causing twenty-five deaths last night. “It is with concern that I follow the events in Kiev during these days. I assure the Ukrainian people of my closeness and pray for the victims of the violence, for their families, and for the injured. I urge all parties to cease every form of violence and to pursue harmony and peace throughout the country”.


Vatican City, 19 February 2014 (VIS) – In his greetings in various languages, the Pope reminded the Polish pilgrims present at today's general audience that next Saturday will be the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle, “a day of special communion for believers with Peter's Successor and with the Holy See”. “I give thanks to you all for your prayers for my Petrine ministry, and for the witness of life given in Christ for the edification of the ecclesial community.

He also greeted the participants in the symposium “Sacrosanctum Concilium, gratitude and commitment, for a great movement of ecclesial communion”, accompanied by Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and those attending the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its foundation; he encouraged them to “continue in their valuable work in the service of the Gospel of life”.


Vatican City, 19 February 2014 (VIS) – The Council of the eight cardinals continued its work yesterday afternoon, in a meeting dedicated to the examination of the information presented to the cardinals yesterday and on Monday by the Commission for Reference on the the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA) and the Commission for Reference on the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), reported Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, in the third of this week's daily briefings for journalists.

“The cardinals have worked intensively, they have taken a number of questions into consideration, and have formulated proposals to be presented to the Holy Father in various fields, those of economic and administrative structures, which relate to what we refer to as the economic and financial dicasteries, and on the IOR, which is a far more specific theme. It will then be up to the Holy Father to follow or to modify these proposals, but the Council has completed its task. This morning the dates of the next meetings were set: from 28 to 30 April, shortly after the canonisation of John XXIII and John Paul II, and from 1 to 4 July. It is also confirmed that the cardinals have in no way completed their reviews of the different dicasteries of the Holy See.

“This afternoon, the representatives of the Commissions which have reported to the Council of Cardinals – the so-called C8 – will do the same with the Council of Fifteen, or rather the cardinals who oversee the financial statement of the Holy See and the Governorate of Vatican City State. The C8 cardinals will also attend the meeting, to take place in the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace, which is able to accommodate a large group. It will be a very brief presentation, of about fifteen minutes for each Commission, of what has been treated more exhaustively during these days. These presentations will be given by the three members of the COSEA who attended Monday's meeting, whereas the Commission for Reference on the IOR will be represented by Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D:B., and the coordinator, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta de Chinchetru. The C15 will hold its ordinary meetings next Monday and Tuesday, to discuss the matters within its remit. Finally, we can say that this morning and this afternoon's meetings are for communication, information and co-ordination”.

“Tomorrow the extraordinary consistory for the family will begin, in which according to the calculations of the dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, around 185 prelates will participate”, continued Fr. Lombardi. Some are unable to come to Rome for health reasons or due to the excessive duration of the journey. Work will begin at 9.30 a.m. with greetings from Cardinal Sodano, and will continue with an address from the Holy Father. However, we do not know if the Holy Father's address will be open to journalists or if the prelates would prefer to continue behind closed doors following the greetings from the Cardinal Dean. This will be followed by a lengthy address by Cardinal Kasper, which will be reserved to the participants in the consistory; it will not therefore be published in full. We do not yet know whether other Cardinals will have the opportunity to take the floor, considering the length of Cardinal Kasper's presentation. Other interventions are planned during the consistory but in no particular order”.

Finally, the director of the Press Office informed the journalists of the locations for the courtesy visits to the new cardinals, most of which will take place in the Paul VI Hall or the Apostolic Palace.


Vatican City, 19 February 2014 (VIS) – In St. Peter's Basilica at 11 a.m. on Saturday 22 February Pope Francis will celebrate an ordinary public consistory for the creation of eighteen new cardinals during which he will impose the biretta, consign the ring and assign them their title or diaconate, according to a communique released today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

The same afternoon, from 4.30 to 6.30 p.m., the new cardinals will receive all those who wish to pay them a courtesy visit, in the following locations in the Paul VI Hall and Apostolic Palace:

Atrium of the Paul VI Hall: Cardinals Vincent Gerard Nichols, LeopoldoJose Brenes Solorzano, Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, I.S.P.X., Jean-Pierre Kutwa, Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, C.M.F. and Kelvin Edward Felix.

Paul VI Hall: Cardinals Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung, Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo, Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I., Chibly Langlois, Orani Joao Tempesta, O. Cist., Gualtiero Bassetti and Mario Aurelio Poli.

Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace: Cardinals Pietro Parolin and Lorenzo Baldisseri.

Sala Ducale of the Apostolic Palace: Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Muller and Beniamino Stella.

On Sunday 23 February, at 10 a.m. in the Vatican basilica, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebrated Mass with the new cardinals.


Vatican City, 19 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Msgr. Marcony Vinicius Ferreira as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Brasilia (area 5,814, population 2,267,000, Catholics 1,555,000, priests 312, permanent deacons 71, religious 639), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Brasilia, Brazil in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He specialised in liturgical theology at the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including: priest of the parish of “Nossa Senhora do Rosario de Fatima” and of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia; archiepiscopal pastoral coordinator; member of the presbyteral council and the council of consultors; episcopal vicar for the vicariate “Centro”, and secretary general and coordinator of the liturgical team of the 16th National Eucharistic Congress in 2010. He is currently vicar general for the archdiocese of Brasilia.

- confirmed Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and Msgr. Cyril Vasil as secretary of the same dicastery.

- renewed as members of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts; and His Beatitude Louis Raphael I Sako, patriach of Babylon of the Chaldeans;

- nominated the following members of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches: Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome; Archbishop William Charles Skurla of Pittsburgh of the Byzantines; Archbishop Pietro Parolin, secretary of State; Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, bishop emeritus of Regensburg, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster; Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli of Buenos Aires; Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz of Louisville; Archbishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo of Belo Horizonte; Archbishop Denis James Hart of Melbourne; Bishop Joseph Werth of Transfiguration of Novosibirsk.

- confirmed the following members Congregation for the Oriental Churches for a further five years: Cardinal Christoph Schonborn; Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran; His Beatitude Fouad Twal, patriarch of Jerusalem; Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel of Addis Abeba; Archbishop Piero Marini; Archbishop Jan Babjak, metropolitan of Presov; Bishop Antoine Audo, S.J.; and the following members for the remainder of their respective mandates: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Cardinal Angelo Scola, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, Cardinal Kurt Koch, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien, and Bishop Peter Burcher of Reykjavik.

- nominated the following consultors of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches: Bishop Dimitrios Salachas, Pr. Massimo Pampaloni, S.J., Fr. Philippe Luisier, S.J., Pr. Michael Kuchera, S.J., Pr. Lorenzo Lorusso, O.P., Pr. Georges Ruyssen, S.J., Pr. Thomas Pott, O.S.B., Sac. Pablo Gefaell, Fr. G. Ronald Roberson, C.S.P., Msgr. Paul Pallath, Fr. Adam Konstanc, O.P., Msgr. Guido Marini, Sac. George Gallaro.

- confirmed the following consultors of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches: Msgr. Christo Proykov, Hanna G. Alwan, Borys Gudziak, Fr. Michel Van Parys, O.S.B., Msgr. Michel Berger, Msgr. Osvaldo Raineri, Pr. Archim. Jan Sergiusz Gajek, M.I.C., Msgr. Natale Loda, Archpriest Vasyl Hovera.
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