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Monday, March 10, 2014


Vatican City, 10 March 2014 (VIS) – At midday today, the first Sunday of Lent, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Bishop of Rome commented that every year the Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent presents Jesus' temptations, and he mentioned that the tempter seeks to divert the Lord from His Father's plan, or rather the way of sacrifice that involves offering Himself in atonement and with love, and attempts to make Him choose the easy path of success and power.

“Indeed, the devil, to divert Jesus from the way of the cross, presents Him with false messianic hopes: economic well-being, as indicated by the possibility of turning stones into bread; a miraculous and spectacular style as seen in the idea of throwing Himself off the highest point of the temple of Jerusalem, to be saved by angels, and finally a shortcut to power and domination, in exchange for His open worship of Satan".

Jesus, the Pope explained, "firmly rejects all these temptations and reiterates His determination to follow the path set out by the Father, without compromising with sin and with the logic of the world. … This is why Jesus, instead of entering into a dialogue like Eve, chooses to take refuge in God's Word and responds with the power of this Word. We should remember this when we are tempted ourselves: do not argue with Satan, always defend ourselves with the Word of God. And this will save us".

“In his response to Satan, the Lord reminds us, first, that 'man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God', and this gives us strength, supporting us in our battle against the worldly mentality that reduces man to the level of his most basic needs and causing him to lose his hunger for what is true, good and beautiful, the hunger for God and His love. Remember too that it is also written: 'Do not test the Lord your God', because the road of faith also passes through darkness and doubt, and is nourished by patience and perseverance. Finally, remember that it is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and Him alone shall you serve', that is, we have rid ourselves of idols, of vain things, and build our lives on the essentials”.

“Lent is a fitting occasion for all of us to undertake a journey of conversion, giving sincere consideration to this Gospel passage”, concluded Pope Francis. “Let us renew the promises of our Baptism: renouncing Satan and all his works and seduction, to walk the path of God to reach Easter in the joy of the Spirit".


Vatican City, 10 March 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy See Press Office issued a press release to communicate that the Holy Father Francis will travel to the Republic of Korea from 14-18 August, on the occasion of the Sixth Asian Youth Day, which will take place in the diocese of Daejeon.


Vatican City, 8 March 2014 (VIS) – Below is the full text of the press release issued this morning by the Holy See Press Office on the appointment of eight cardinals and seven expert laypersons as members of the Council for the Economy:

“Proceeding in the constitution of the new institutions created by the Motu proprio 'Fidelis dispensator et prudens' of 24 February 2014, the Holy Father has appointed eight cardinals and seven expert laypersons as members of the Council for the Economy, to serve for a five-year period:

- Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany (coordinator);

- Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru;

- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A.;

- Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban, South Africa;

- Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, France;

- Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico;

- Cardinal John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong, China;

- Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome;

- Joseph F. X. Zahra, Malta (deputy coordinator);

- Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, France;

- John Kyle, Canada;

- Enrique Llano Cueto, Spain;

- Jochen Messemer, Germany;

- Francesco Vermiglio, Italy;

- George Yeo, Singapore.”


Vatican City, 8 March 2014 (VIS) – “Cardinals Cipriani Thorne, Napier, Rivera Carrera, Tong Hon, and Vallini, along with Cardinal Pell, new Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, were previously all members of the Council for the Study of Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See (Council of 15), which has ceased to exist. Cardinal Marx and Cardinal Pell, as is known, are both members of the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus, and for assisting the Holy Father in the governance of the universal Church (Council of 8).

“The relations between the Council and the Secretariat for the Economy will be defined by the statutes, and in any case the Council is to be understood as a body with its own decision-making authority, not merely an advisory organ of the Secretariat for the Economy.

“The members appointed to the Council are from various geographical areas, reflecting, as requested by the Motu proprio Fidelis dispensator et prudens, the universality of the Church. The laypersons, selected on the basis of their professional experience and capacity, will become voting members of a dicastery, one of the governing organs of the Roman Curia. The lay members will work on an entirely voluntary and pro bono basis, and shall receive compensation only for travel and lodgings in Rome.

“The constitution of the Council for the Economy is a key step towards the consolidation of the current management structures of the Holy See, with the aim of improving coordination and oversight of economic and administrative matters. The institutions of the Holy See related to these matters will depend on the Council. The latter will adopt practical measures used by other public organisations and shall aim at greater transparency and appropriate management.

“The Council will begin work immediately, and its first meeting is scheduled for May”.


Vatican City, 8 March 2014 (VIS) – The International Symposium “The administration of the ecclesiastical assets of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life in the service of the humanum and the mission of the Church” is held at the “Antonianum” Pontifical Athenaeum on 8 and 9 March 2014. To mark the occasion the Holy Father sent a message to the participants in the Congress, in which he writes, “Our time is characterised by significant changes and progress in various fields, with important consequences for the life of humanity. However, although poverty has been reduced, the goals attained have often contributed to the construction of an economy of exclusion and injustice”.

“The Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life can and must be active agents in living and bearing witness that the principle of gratuity and the logic of giving have a place in economic activity. … Careful supervision is necessary to ensure that the assets of the Institutes are managed shrewdly and transparently, that they are protected and preserved, linking the charismatic-spiritual dimension to that of economy and efficiency, which has its humus in the administrative tradition of the Institutes, which does not tolerate waste and is attentive to the good use of resources”.

“The Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life have always been the prophetic voice and living witness to the novelty of Christ … who became poor so that we might be rich”, continues the Pope. It is not a theoretical poverty that we need, but rather the poverty that is learned by touching the flesh of the poor Christ, in the humble, in the poor, in the sick, in children”. Pope Francis concludes by encouraging the Institutes and Societies to continue their work in relation to “the poor and all material, moral and spiritual misery, overcoming all selfishness in the logic of the Gospel that teaches us to trust in God's Providence”.


Vatican City, 8 March 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a message to the participants in the Congress, organised by the Vicariate of Rome, celebrated at the Pontifical Lateran University from 7 to 8 March on the theme: “The mission of Christian laypeople in the city”. Francis emphasised in his letter various “essential aspects”. “The lay faithful, by virtue of their Baptism, are agents in the work of evangelisation and human promotion. Incorporated in the Church, each member of the People of God is inseparably disciple and missionary. We must always depart from this common root of ours, as sons and daughters of the Mother Church”.

“As a result of this common belonging to the Church and participation in her mission”, he continues, “it is important that parishes and lay ecclesial bodies are not opposed to each other. The latter, with their variety and dynamic quality, are a resource for the Church, projecting into different environments and sectors of social life; but it is good for them to maintain a vital link to the organic pastoral ministry of the diocese and the parishes, so as not to construct a partial reading of the Gospel or to uproot themselves from the Mother Church”.

“I recommend that you make habitual use of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, a complete and valuable tool. With the help of this 'compass', I encourage you to work for the social inclusion of the poor, always offering religious and spiritual attention to them as a priority”, he concludes.


Vatican City, 10 March 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

On Saturday, 8 March, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

Fourteen prelates of the Spanish Episcopal Conference on their “ad limina” visit:

- Archbishop Francisco Javier Martinez Fernandez of Granada;

- Bishop Adolfo Gonzalez Montes of Almeria,

- Bishop Jose Manuel Lorca Planes of Cartagena;

- Bishop Gines Ramon Garcia Beltran of Guadix;

- Bishop Ramon del Hoyo Lopez of Jaen;

- Bishop Jesus Esteban Catala Ibanez of Malaga;

- Archbishop Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina of Seville with his auxiliary, Bishop Santiago Gomez Sierra;

- Bishop Rafael Zorzosa Boy of Cadiz y Ceuta;

- Bishop Demetrio Fernandez Gonzalez of Cordoba;

- Bishop Jose Vilaplana Blasco of Huelva;

- Bishop Francisco Cases Andreu of the Canary Islands;

- Bishop Jose Mazuelos Perez of Jerez de la Frontera;

- Bishop Bernardo Alvarez Afonso of San Cristobal de La Laguna, Tenerife.


Vatican City, 10 March 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Rev. Michael Fabian McCarthy as bishop of Rockhampton (area 415,000, population 402,654, Catholics 101,715, priests 43, religious 117), Australia. The bishop-elect was born in Toowoomba, Australia in 1950 and was ordained a priest in 1978. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including president of the Pontifical Missionary Works and director of the Office for Migrants and Refugees; priest of the parishes of Laidley and Paradise; dean forane of South Coast; director for the permanent formation of the Clergy; rector of the provincial seminary of Brisbane; administrator of the parish of Wavell Heights; priest of the parish of Redcliffe City, and dean forane of Brisbane Northern Rivers. He is currently priest of the parish of Hendra, and episcopal vicar for the clergy.

On Saturday, 8 March, the Holy Father:

- appointed Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana as apostolic nuncio in Lituania;

- appointed Archbishop Giovanni Tonucci, prelate of Loreto and pontifical delegate for the Marian sanctuary, as pontifical delegate for the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua.

- appointed Msgr. Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen as apostolic nuncio in Sudan, elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Eygelshoven, Netherlands in 1961, and was ordained a priest in 1987. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1994, and has served in the pontifical representations of Sudan, Uruguay, Brazil, Jerusalem, Slovakia, at the office of the United Nations in Geneva and in the apostolic nunciature of Malawi.

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