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

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Vatican City, 3 April 2014 (VIS) – National reconciliation and the role the Church may play in this task twenty years after the genocide that devastated the nation were the central themes of Pope Francis' address to the bishops of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

The Holy Father acknowledges the suffering of the Rwandan people and the many wounds that must still be healed, and joined in heartfelt mourning with the population, assuring the bishops of his prayers for “your ecclesial communities, often torn; for all the victims and their families, and for all the Rwandan people, regardless of their religion, ethnic origin or political views”.

Two decades after the tragic events of 1994, “reconciliation and the healing of wounds remain without doubt the priority of the Church in Rwanda”, the Pope writes. “The forgiveness of sins and genuine reconciliation, that might seem impossible from a human point of view after so much suffering, are however a gift it is possible to receive from Christ, thanks to faith and prayer, even though the road is long and requires patience, mutual respect and dialogue. The Church therefore has a place in the reconstruction of a reconciled Rwandan society; with all the strength of your faith and Christian hope, go ahead with vigour, giving constant witness to the truth. ... It is therefore important that the Church speaks with one voice, overcoming prejudices and ethnic divisions, manifesting her unity and communion with the universal Church and with the Successor of Peter”.

In this context of national reconciliation, it is also necessary to strengthen relations of trust between the Church and the State, and the fiftieth anniversary of the initiation of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Rwanda offers the opportunity to recall the benefits this has brought throughout the country. “A constructive and genuine dialogue with the authorities can only encourage concerted work of reconcilation and the reconstruction of society based on the values of human dignity, justice and peace. Be an 'outreach' Church, able to take initiatives and build trust”.

Pope Francis highlights the indispensable contribution of the Church to the common good, above all in the sectors of education and healthcare. In relation to the latter, there are many people who dedicate themselves to the victims of the war, those who are wounded “in body and soul”, especially widows and orphans, as well as the sick and elderly. The Pope also emphasises that the education of the young “is the key to the future of a country where the population is renewed rapidly” and “therefore, it is the duty of the Church to educate children and young people in the values of the Gospel which … will be, for them, a compass to show them the way. It is necessary for them to learn to be active and generous members of society, as the future is in their hands”.

In the task of evangelisation and reconstruction, laypeople “play a pivotal role” and their work in society will be credible to the extent that they are “competent and honest”. The Holy Father urges the bishops to pay attention to their formation and reminded them, at the same time, to dedicate all the care possible to the pastoral care of Rwandan families, many of which have been “torn apart and recomposed”. He also mentions priests, to whom he expresses his gratitude, as “their burden is heavy and they are still few in number”.

The Pope concludes his address, commending Rwanda to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary. “It is my ardent hope that the Shrine of Kibeho may radiate the love of Mary for her children, especially for the poorest and most injured, and that it may be for the Church in Rwanda, and beyond, a call to turn with trust to 'Our Lady of Sorrows' so that she might accompany all on their path and obtain for them the gift of reconciliation and peace”.


Vatican City, 3 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience José Maria Pereira Neves, prime minister of the Republic of Cape Verde, who then went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

Subsequently, in the Sala dei Trattati of the Apostolic Palace, the Cardinal Secretary of State and the prime minister exchanged the instruments of ratification of the Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Cape Verde on the legal status of the Catholic Church in Cape Verde, signed in Praia on 10 June 2013.

The Agreement, which further consolidates the bonds of friendship and collaboration existing between the two Parties, consists of thirty articles and establishes a basic legal and normative framework. It recognises Sundays as days of rest and regulates various areas of common interest, such as the protection of places of worship and celebrations; the civil effects of canonical marriage and the ecclesiastical judgements in this regard; guarantees of Catholic institutions of instruction and education; the teaching of religion in schools; aid and charitable activity of the Church, pastoral care of the armed forces, in prisons and in hospitals, and matters related to the property and tax regime. The Agreement will come into effect on the thirtieth day following the exchange of the Instruments of ratification.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin commented during the meeting that the exchange ceremony offered “a happy opportunity to reflect with satisfaction on the period between the initiation of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Cape Verde in 1976, shortly after independence.

“During these years a cordial and fruitful path has been undertaken, the foundations have been laid for an increasingly effective collaboration, ready to take account of long-standing hopes as well as to respond adequately to today's pastoral and social demands.

“The solemn Act we celebrate today certainly does not constitute a point of arrival, but rather a renewal of commitment by the two Parties for the good of the people of Cape Verde. For the Church in Cape Verde, this takes on the value of an historic event, a sign of the excellent collaboration between the political Authorities and the Catholic Community”.


Vatican City, 3 April 2014 (VIS) – The Pope has sent the following telegram to Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello S.D.B., metropolitan archbishop of Santiago and president of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, for the earthquake that has caused six deaths and numerous casualties throughout the country:

“Profoundly saddened to learn of the earthquake that has claimed victims and caused injuries, as well as causing material damage and leaving many people homeless in this beloved country, I ask you to convey to all the Chilean people my closeness and heartfelt affection. I pray that God may grant eternal repose to the departed and console those affected by this tragic event, and inspire hope so that they may face this adversity.

“I also strongly urge Christian communities, civil institutions and persons of good will to offer effective help to the afflicted, with a generous and brotherly spirit of charity. I invoke the loving protection of Our Lady of Carmen, and impart my apostolic blessing as a sign of my cordial appreciation of the noble Chilean people, so dear to my heart”.


Vatican City, 3 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he extended the liturgical cult of the following blesseds to the universal Church, inscribing them in the book of Saints:

-Francois de Laval, French bishop of Quebec, Canada (1623-1708).

-Jose de Anchieta, Spanish priest of the Society of Jesus (1534-1597).

-María de la Encarnación (nee Marie Guyart), French (1599-1672).

He also authorised the Congregation to promulgate the decrees concerning the following causes:


- Servant of God Giovanni Antonio Farina, Italian bishop and founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts (1803-1871).

- Blessed Kuriacose Elías Chavara, Indian professed priest and founder of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (1805-1871).

- Blessed Nicola da Longobardi, (ne Giovanni Battista Clemente Saggio), Italian oblate friar of the Order of the Minims (1650-1709).

- Blessed Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (nee Rose Eluvathingal), Indian professed religious of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (1877-1952).

- Servant of God Luigi della Consolata (ne Andrea Bordino), Italian professed religious, Brothers of Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1922-1977).


- Servant of God Francisco Simon Rodenas, Spanish professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, bishop of Santa Marta (1849-1914).

- Servant of God Adolfo Barberis, Italian priest and founder of the Institute of Sisters of Christian Servanthood (1884-1967).

- Servant of God Marie-Clement (ne Joseph Staub), French professed priest of the Assumptionists and founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joan of Arc (1876-1936).

- Servant of God Sebastian Elorza Arizmendi, Spanish professed religious of the Order of St. Augustine (1882-1942).

- Servant of God Maria Teresa of the Eucharistic Jesus (nee Dulce Rodrigues dos Santos), Brazilian foundress of the Congregation of the Little Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate (1901-1972).

- Servant of God Clara de la Concepcion (nee Juana de la Concepción Sanchez Garcia), Spanish professed religious of the Order of St. Clare (1902-1973).

- Servant of God Maria Magdalena (nee Maria Giuseppina Teresa Marcucci), Italian professed religious of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (1888-1960).

-Servant of God Luigi Rocchi, Italian layperson (1932-1979).


Vatican City, 3 April 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

- Eight prelates of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda on their “ad limina” visit.

- Archbishop Thaddee Ntihinyurwa of Kigali.

- Bishop Philippe Rukamba of Butare, apostolic administrator “sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of Gikongoro.

- Bishop Servilien Nzakamwita of Byumba.

- Bishop Jean Damascene Bimenyimana of Cyangugu.

- Bishop Smaragde Mbonyintege of Kabgayi.

- Bishop Antoine Kambanda of Kibungo.

- Bishop Alexis Habiyambere of Nyundo.

- Bishop Vincent Harolimana of Ruhengeri.

This afternoon, the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in audience Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and entourage.


Vatican City, 3 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Mandalay, Myanmar, presented by Archbishop Paul Zinghtung Grawng, upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Nicholas Mang Thang, coadjutor of the same archdiocese.

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service