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Monday, April 7, 2014


Vatican City, 7 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning Pope Francis received in audience the bishops of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit and, in the written address that he handed to them, he praises “the impressive history of missionary work throughout the region”, encouraging the prelates to “maintain and foster this missionary imperative, so that the Gospel may increasingly permeate every work of the apostolate and shed its light on all areas of Tanzanian society”.

“The work of evangelisation in Tanzania, then, is not merely a remarkable event of the past”, he writes; “no, it happens every day in the Church’s pastoral work in parishes, in the liturgy, in the reception of the sacraments, the educational apostolate, health care initiatives, catechesis, and in the lives of ordinary Christians”. The Pope mentions in particular the witness of healthcare workers who “care for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, and by all who strive diligently to educate people in the area of sexual responsibility and chastity”, and “all those who devote themselves to the integral development of the poor, and in particular, of destitute women and children”. He exclaims, “May the Holy Spirit who gave strength, wisdom and holiness to the first missionaries in Tanzania continue to inspire the entire local Church in this vital witness”.

He also repeats the importance of “holy, well-educated and zealous priests” and of ensuring they “receive an adequate human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation”. With reference to the role of the laity, he asks that bishops make special efforts to “provide catechists with a comprehensive understanding of the Church’s doctrine. This will equip them not only to counter the challenges of superstition, aggressive sects and secularism, but even more importantly,to share the beauty and richness of the Catholic faith with others, particularly the young”.

With regard to the theme of the family, Pope Francis affirms that “The gift that healthy families represent is felt with particular vitality in Africa” and recalls that “the Church’s love for, and pastoral solicitude towards the family is at the heart of the new evangelisation. … By promoting prayer, marital fidelity, monogamy, purity and humble service to one another within families, the Church continues to make an invaluable contribution to the social welfare of Tanzania, one which, coupled with her educational and healthcare apostolates, will surely foster greater stability and progress in your country. There is scarcely a finer service which the Church can offer than to give witness to our conviction of the sanctity of God’s gift of life and to the essential role played by spiritual and stable families in preparing the younger generations to live virtuous lives and to face the challenges of the future with wisdom, courage and generosity”.

He concludes, “I am particularly encouraged to know that Tanzania is committed to ensuring the freedom that followers of various religions enjoy to practice their faith. The ongoing protection and promotion of this fundamental human right strengthens society by enabling believers, in fidelity to the dictates of their conscience and in respect for the dignity and rights of all, to advance social unity, peace and the common good. I am grateful for your ongoing efforts to promote forgiveness, peace and dialogue as you shepherd your people in difficult situations of intolerance and, at times, of violence and persecution. … I urge you also to work with government and civic institutions in this area so as to ensure that the rule of law prevails as an indispensable means for guaranteeing just and pacific social relations. I pray that your example, and that of the entire Church in your country, will continue to inspire all people of good will who long for peace”.


Vatican City, 7 April 2014 (VIS) – The organising committee for the 28th World Youth Day (Rio de Janeiro, July 2013), led by Cardinal Orani Joao Tempesta, archbishop of San Paulo, was received in audience this morning by Pope Francis.

The Pontiff joked that the Brazilian people were thieves since they had “stolen his heart”, and he also took the opportunity to thank the Committee for this “theft”, since it helped quell his longing for Brazil.

He went on to talk about the difficulty of organising an event as large as the World Youth Day in Rio, and referred to the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, when Jesus asked the apostles to give food to the crowd, a clearly impossible task. “However”, he said, “the apostles were generous even though it was impossible. They gave the Lord everything they had, and Jesus multiplied their efforts. Is this not what happened on World Youth Day?”

“However, we must not only look back; we must also look to the future, strengthened by the surety that God will always multiply our efforts. Jesus says to us repeatedly, 'You give them something to eat'. So this miracle that we experienced on World Youth Day should be repeated every day, in every parish, in every community, in the personal apostolate of each one of us! We cannot rest easy knowing that many of our brethren live without power, light or the comfort of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to welcome them, without a horizon of meaning and life”. Therefore, it is necessary to think again about these three ideas that, in a sense, summarise the entire meaning of World Youth Day: go, without fear, to serve. We must be an 'outreach Church', like missionary disciples who are not afraid to encounter difficulties, because they have already seen that the Lord multiplies our efforts, and for this reason we must always be motivated to serve, giving of ourselves without reserve, full of the joy of the Gospel”.


Vatican City, 7 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has approved a proposal on the future of the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR), reaffirming the importance of the IOR’s mission for the good of the Catholic Church, the Holy See and the Vatican City State.

The proposal has been jointly developed by representatives of the Pontifical Referring Commission to the IOR (CRIOR), the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic- Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA), the IOR’s Commission of Cardinals and the IOR Board of Superintendence and presented to the Holy Father by the Cardinal-Prefect for the Secretariat for the Economy with the consent of Cardinal Santos Abril Y Castello, President of the IOR’s Commission of Cardinals. It is drawn from information on the legal status of the IOR and its operations gathered by and presented to the Holy Father and his Council of Cardinals by CRIOR in February 2014.

The IOR will continue to serve with prudence and provide specialized financial services to the Catholic Church worldwide. The valuable services that can be offered by the Institute assist the Holy Father in his mission as universal pastor and also aid those institutions and individuals who collaborate with him in his ministry.

With the confirmation of the IOR’s mission and at the request of Cardinal-Prefect Pell, the President of the Board of Superintendence, Ernst von Freyberg, and the management of the IOR, will finalize their plan to ensure that the IOR can fulfil its mission as part of the new financial structures of the Holy See/Vatican City State. The plan will be presented to the Holy Father’s Council of Cardinals and the Council for the Economy.

The activities of the IOR will continue to fall under the regulatory supervision of AIF (Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria), the competent authority within the Holy See and Vatican City State. In compliance with Motu proprios of 8 August 2013 and 15 November 2013, as well as Law No XVIII on transparency, supervision and financial information which came into force on 8 October 2013, a comprehensive legal and institutional framework has been introduced to regulate financial activities within the Holy See and Vatican City State. In that respect, the Cardinal-Prefect Pell has confirmed the importance of a sustainable systematic alignment of the legal and regulatory framework of the Holy See/Vatican City State with regulatory international best practice. Strict regulatory supervision and improvements in compliance, transparency and operations initiated in 2012 and substantially accelerated in 2013 are critical for the Institute’s future.


Vatican City, 7 April 2014 (VIS) – “The Church in Africa, from Vatican Council II to the Third Millennium. Africa's Homage to Popes John XXIII and John Paul II” is the title of the Congress that will take place at the Pontifical Urbaniana University of Rome from 24 to 25 April and which will be attended by bishops, priests, theologians, scholars and eminent figures in African culture to appraise the implementation of Vatican Council II in the continent.

This initiative was presented in the Holy See Press Office this morning by Bishop Barthelemy Adoukonou, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Archbishop Emergy Kabongo Kanundowi, emeritus of Luebo, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca y Alameda, under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Professor Martin Nkafu, lecturer at the Pontifical Lateran University.

“Vatican Council II, an event of grace for the entire Universal Church, allowed the People of God in Africa to undertake an important turning point in their historical journey. In effect, the Church in Africa wants to become a protagonist in the construction of a cultural identity for the Continent, in a particular way through the Forum of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), 'Faith, Culture and Development'. Fifty years on from the Council, she takes advantage of the canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II to take stock of the implementation of the Council in the African Continent, reading the signs of the times and taking the necessary initiatives to build her future in line with the Magisterium of the Popes Paul VI, John Paul I, Benedict XVI and Francis”.

The congress will open on 24 with the screening of a video on Popes John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II and the first session will take place, presided by Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, on “Africa and Vatican Council II: an historic perspective”. The introductory presentation will be “Vatican Council II and its implementation in the African Church”. This session will conclude with “Echoes of the work of the Association of African Theologians on Vatican Council II”.

The theme of the second session, to be held in the afternoon and to be presided by Cardinal John Onaiyekan, metropolitan archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria, will be “John XXIII, John Paul II and the Church in Africa”. The issues under consideration will be: “John XXIII, the Council and the evolution of post-conciliar Africa”, “What have we made of the legacy of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II?”, and “The legacy of John Paul II”.

On 25 April, the third session will focus on “The Church in Africa 50 years after Vatican Council II: challenges”. Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, metropolitan archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, will preside, and the following issues will be discussed: “The dynamic structure of the two Synods for Africa”, “Prominent Christian figures in the African intelligentsia (Julius Nyerere, etc.) and the political commitment of the lay faithful”, “The place and role of the woman in the Church and in society”, and “Consecrated life in the mission of the Church in Africa today”.

In the afternoon, and presided by Bishop Louis Portella Mbuyu of Kinkala (Republic of Congo) the fourth and final session will take place, dedicated to “History and activity of the forum 'Faith, Culture and Development'”, “The ecclesial subject and historic initiative in Africa today”, and “The Forum 'Faith, Culture and Development': reflection and debate”. The Congress will conclude with a solemn Mass celebrated by Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.


Vatican City, 6 April 2014 (VIS) – At 4 p.m. the Holy Father visited the Roman parish of St. Gregory the Great, in the Portuense quarter. He greeted faithful and parishioners, and met with children, catechumens, the sick and the elderly. The Pontiff encountered various aspects of life in the area, through organisations such as the association for social integration for the disabled, “Lamp of Wishes”, and the cooperative “The Prow”, which deals with the reintegration into the workforce of ex-detainees and ex-drug addicts. He then visited the House of Charity, a parish structure served by the Carmelite Sisters of Charity and various volunteers. He confessed a number of penitents and celebrated the Eucharist with the faithful.

In his homily, the Pope spoke about resurrection and life, “the Lord's good promise”. “Today I invite you to think for a moment in silence: where is my inner necrosis? Where is the part of my soul that is dead? Where is my tomb? Let us think, just a moment, all of us, in silence. Let us think: what is the part of my heart that can be corrupted, because it is attached to some sin or sins? Remove the tombstone, remove the tombstone of shame and let the Lord say to us, as he said to Lazarus, 'Come forth!', so that all of our soul might be healed, may be resurrected through the love and strength of Jesus. He is able to forgive us. We all need this, all of us. We are all sinners, but we must be careful not to become corrupt! We are sinners, but He forgives us. Let us listen to Jesus' voice that, with the power of God, says to us, 'Come forth! Come out of the tomb you have inside. Come forth. I will give you life, I will make you happy, I bless you, I want you with me”.

The Holy Father concluded by giving pocket-sized copies of the Gospel to the faithful, and he encouraged them always to keep them at hand and to read a little each day, wherever they may be.


Vatican City, 7 April 2014 (VIS) – At midday today, the fifth Sunday of Lent, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims present. “The resurrection of Lazarus”, he said, “was the culmination of the prodigious signs given by Jesus: it is a gesture too great, too clearly divine to be tolerated by the high priests, who, when they became aware of this fact, took the decision to kill Jesus”.

“We believe that the life of those who believe in Jesus and follow his commandments will, after death, be transformed into new life, full and immortal. Just as Jesus was resurrected with his own body, but did not return to an earthly life, in this way we will be resurrected with our bodies, that will be transformed into glorious bodies. He awaits us next to the Father, and the love of the Holy Spirit that revived Him will also revive those who are united with Him”. “'Lazarus, come forth!' This peremptory cry is addressed to all men, because we are all marked by death, all of us; it is the voice of He Who is the master of all life and wants all of us 'have life in abundance'. Christ does not resign Himself to the tombs we have built with our choices of evil and death, with our mistakes and our sins.

“He invites us, indeed he almost orders us to come forth from the tomb in which our sins have buried us. He insistently calls us out of the darkness of the prison in which we have confined ourselves, content with a life of falsehood, selfishness, and mediocrity. … It is an invitation for all of us to true freedom. … An invitation to free ourselves of our bonds, the bonds of pride. Because it is pride that makes us into slaves, slaves to ourselves, slaves to many idols, to many things. Our resurrection begins here: when we decide to obey Jesus' command to come into the light, to life; when the shroud falls from our faces – often we are shrouded by sin, and these shrouds must fall away! - and we rediscover the courage of our original face, created in the image and semblance of God”.

Before concluding, Francis repeated, “There is no limit to the divine mercy offered to all. … The Lord is always ready to lift the tombstone of our sins, that separate us from Him, the light of the living”.


Vatican City, 5 April 2014 (VIS) – Following today's Angelus, the Pope prayed a Hail Mary for the Tutsi victims of the genocide that devastated Rwanda twenty years ago. He encouraged the Rwandan people to “continue with determination and hope the process of reconciliation that has already borne fruit, and in your commitment to the human and spiritual rebuilding of the country”, and added, “Do not be afraid! Build your society on the rock of the Gospel, in love and harmony, as only in this way can lasting peace be created”.

The Pope mentioned the people of L'Aquila who, five years after the earthquake that destroyed the city claiming many lives, are working for its reconstruction, and also prayed for the victims of the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea and neighbouring countries.

“During the last few Sundays I have suggested to all of you to obtain a small copy of the Gospel, to carry with you during the day, so you can read it frequently. Then I thought of an ancient tradition of the Church during Lent, of giving the Gospel to catechumens, and to those who are preparing for Baptism. So, today I wish to offer you, here in the square – but as a sign to all – a pocket-sized Gospel. It will be distributed free. … And like Him, I say to you, freely you have received, freely give – give the message of the Gospel! … Let us do something: in exchange for this give, carry out an act of charity, a gesture of love, freely given; a prayer for enemies, reconciliation, something. Today we can also read the Gospel using many technological instruments. You can carry the entire Bible around with you in a smartphone, in a tablet. The important thing is to read the Word of God, by any means – read the Word of God, is it Jesus who is speaking to you!”


Vatican City, 5 April 2014 (VIS) – Today, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia, who subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

During the cordial discussions, emphasis was placed on the good relations between the Holy See and Liberia, and satisfaction was expressed regarding the positive progress made in strengthening the country’s democratic structures. Particular appreciation was shown for the Church’s commitment to peace and national reconciliation, as well as her important contribution in the fields of social welfare and education.

Finally, there was an exchange of views on the current international and regional situation, with special reference to areas of crisis.


Vatican City, 5 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning Pope Francis received in audience the members of the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI), whose president is the mayor of Turin, Piero Fassino. In his address, the Holy Father mentioned Cardinal Michel Pellegrino, archbishop of the city from 1965 and 1977 who, he revealed, helped the Bergoglio family find work in the post-war period.

“His gesture was a beautiful one”, said the Pope, addressing the president of the ANCI. “It recalls these men of the Church, these man and women of the Church – priests, nuns, laypeople – who knew how to walk alongside their people, within and next to their people. And the identity of the mayor is a little like this. … The mayor is surrounded by the people. It is inconceivable that a mayor is not there, because the mayor is a mediator, in the midst of the needs of the people. And the danger is that of becoming a mayor who is not a mediator, but rather an intermediary”.

The difference between one and the other, Pope Francis explained, is that “the intermediary exploits the needs of the various acts and takes a part for himself. … Instead, the mediator, is one who gives his life for the unity and the needs of his people, to help them along. After a period of time dedicated to the work of a mayor, these men or women tire and need to rest a little, but nevertheless their hearts are full of love because they have acted as mediators. And this is what I wish for you: that you will be mediators. In the midst of your people, to create unity, to make peace, to resolve problems and to answer to the needs of the people”.

“I think of Jesus: he was not a mayor, but perhaps the image is useful to us. I think of Jesus in a moment of his life, when he was in the midst of the crowds: the crowd pushed him, the Gospel tells us, almost to the point of not being able to breathe. And this is how the mayor should be, with his people, with him, with her, because this means that the people seek him because he knows how to answer, as they did with Jesus. This is what I wish for you. Tiredness, in the midst of the people, and that the people seek you because they know that you always know how to respond well to them”.


Vatican City, 5 April 2014 (VIS) – The Secretariat for the Economy communicates that Professor Franco Dalla Sega, lecturer at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, has been appointed as “ad interim” special adviser to the Extraordinary Section of APSA. Aside from assisting the secretary of APSA in the conduct of the activities of the Section, Professor Dalla Sega will be assigned specific tasks and projects and may be asked for specific advice on the reorganisation of APSA in accordance with the broader revision of the economic-administrative structure of the Holy See.


Vatican City, 5 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has accepted the invitation to make two pastoral visits in Italy during the months of June and July. He will visit the diocese of Cassano all'Jonio, Calabria on 21 June, and the diocese of Campobasso and Isernia, Molise, on 5 July.


Vatican City, 7 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

- Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt, J.C.D., permanent observer at the United Nations in New York and at the Organisation of American States.

- Ten prelates of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, on their “ad limina” visit:

- Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Ruwa'ichi, O.F.M. Cap., of Mwanza, apostolic administrator of Shinyanga;

- Bishop Renatus Leonard Nkwande of Bunda;

- Bishop Damian Denis Dallu of Geita;

- Bishop Almachius Vincent Rweyongeza of Kayanga;

- Bishop Michael George Mabuga Msonganzila of Musoma;

- Bishop Severine Niwemugizi of Rulenge-Ngara;

- Archbishop Josaphat Louis Lebulu of Arusha;

- Bishop Beatus Kinyaiya, O.F.M. Cap., of Mbulu;

- Bishop Isaac Amani Massawe of Moshi;

- Bishop Rogath Fundimoya Kimaryo of Same.

This afternoon, he is scheduled to receive in audience His Majesty Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, King of Jordan.

On Saturday, 5 April the Holy Father received in audience:

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

- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Libera, and entourage.

- Eight prelates of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, on their “ad limina” visit:

- Bishop Tarcisius Ngalalekumtwa of Iringa, apostolic administrator “sede vacante ed at nutum Sanctae Sedis” of Songea;

- Bishop Bruno Pius Ngonyani of Lindi;

- Bishop Evaristo Marc Chengula, I.M.C., of Mbeya;

- Bishop John Chrisostom Ndimbo of Mbinga, with Bishop emeritus Emanuel A. Mapunda;

- Bishop Gabriel Mmole of Mtwara;

- Bishop Alfred Leonhard Maluma of Njombe;

- Bishop Castor Paul Msemwa of Tunduru-Masasi.


Vatican City, 5 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Fr. Bruno Ateba Edo, S.A.C., as bishop of Maroua-Mokolo (area 14,332, population 2,000,000, Catholics 70,000, priests 66, permanent deacons 10, religious 134), Cameroon. The bishop-elect was born in Zoetele, Cameroon in 1964, gave his perpetual vws in 1994 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He holds a licentiate in pastoral theology from the Pallottine Theological Institute in Vallendar, Germany. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including priest of the parish of “Sts. Peter and Paul” in Mfoundi, Yaounde, Cameroon; rector of the the Pallottine Theologate and of the basilica “Marie-Reine-des-Apotres” at Mvolye, Yaounde; and regional rector of the Pallottine Society for Cameroon and Nigeria. He is currently president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Cameroon. He succeeds Bishop Philippe Albert Joseph Stevens, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- appointed Fr. Joseph Tran Van Toan as auxiliary of Long Xuyen (area , population , Catholics , priests , permanent deacons , religious ), Vietnam. The bishop-elect was born in Thai Binh, Vietnam in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a doctorate in education from the De La Salle University of Manila, Philippines, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including vicar of the parish of “Our Lady of the Rosary” in Lang Sen and vicar forane of Vinh Thanh in Long Xuyen. He is currently director of the pastoral centre and coordinator of pastoral and missionary activities for the diocese, rector of the minor seminary of St. Theresa, and teacher of missiology at the interdiocesan major seminary of Can Tho.

- appointed Bishop Francois Eid, emeritus of Le Caire dei Maroniti and procurator in Rome for Antioch of the Maronites, as a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

- appointed Bishop Mansueto Bianchi, previously bishop of Pistoia, as general ecclesiastical assistant of Italian Catholic Action.
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