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Monday, April 14, 2014


Vatican City, 14 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father met with the seminarians of the community of the Pontifical College “Leoniano de Anagni”, and warned them not to fall into the trap of thinking that they are preparing to exercise a profession, to become the employees of a business enterprise or a bureaucratic entity. “You are becoming 'good shepherds', in the image of Jesus, to be like Him, in the midst of His flock, to graze His sheep. Before this vocation, we can answer like the Virgin Mary to the Angel: 'How is this possible?'”

“Becoming good shepherds in the image of Jesus is something very great, and we are so small”, he continued. “Yes, it is true, it is too great; but it is not our work! It is the work of the Holy Spirit, with our collaboration. … I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”, said Francis, emphasising that only in this way is it possible to be deacons and priests of the Church. … If you are not willing to follow this path, with these attitudes and these experiences, it is better to have the courage to seek another. There are many ways, in the Church, to bear Christian witness”. Before concluding, the Pope encouraged the seminarians to reflect on this theme and emphasised that following in Christ's ministry allows no place for mediocrity, who always leads to using the holy people of God to one's own advantage.


Vatican City, 13 April 2014 (VIS) – Today in St. Peter's Square Pope Francis began the rites of Holy Week with the solemn liturgical celebration of Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord.

The ceremony began with the blessing of the palms and the olive branches placed beside the obelisk in the Square, carried in procession to the entrance of the basilica. The young people of Rome and other diocese took part in the celebration, in relation to the 29th World Youth Day, which this year takes the theme, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven”.

The Pope based his homily on the question, “Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I, before Jesus Who enters Jerusalem on this feast day? … Who am I, before Jesus Who suffers?”

“This week, we begin with a celebratory procession with olive branches: all the people welcome Jesus. Children and young people sing in praise of Jesus. … But this week proceeds in the mystery of Jesus' death and His resurrection. We have listened to the Passion of the Lord. It will do us good to ask the question, who am I? Who am I before my Lord? Who am I, before Jesus Who enters Jerusalem on this feast day? Am I able to express my joy, to praise Him? Or do I keep my distance? Who am I, before Jesus Who suffers?”

We have heard many names: the group of leaders, some who are priests, some Pharisees, some doctors of the Law, who had decided to kill Him. They waited for the opportunity to take Him. Am I like one of them?

“We have also heard another name: Judas. Thirty coins. Am I like Judas? We have heard of other names: the disciples who understood nothing, who slept while the Lord suffered. Do I spend my life asleep? Or am I like the disciples, who did not understand what it was to betray Jesus? Like that other disciple who wanted to resolve everything by the sword: am I like them? Am I like Judas, who pretended to love and to kiss the Master in order to deliver Him into the hands of His enemy, to betray Him? Am I a traitor? Am I like those leaders who are quick to judge and seek false witnesses: am I like them? And when I do these things, if I do them, do I believe that in so doing I save the people?

“Am I like Pilate, in that when I see that the situation is difficult, I wash my hands of it and do not assume my responsibility and condemn people, or allow them to be condemned? Am I like that crowd that does not know if it is in a religious meeting, a court of judgement or a circus, and chooses Barabas? For them it was all the same: it was more entertaining to humiliate Jesus.

“Am I like the soldiers who strike the Lord, who spit on Him, insult Him, who amuse themselves by humiliating the Lord? Am I like the Cyrenian who returned from work, weary, but who had the good will to help the Lord carry the cross? Am I like those who passed before the Cross and made fun of Jesus: 'He was so brave! If he comes down from the Cross we will believe in Him!' Making fun of Jesus”.

“Am I like those brave women, such as the Mother of Jesus, who were there, who suffered in silence? Am I like Joseph, the secret disciple who carried the copy of Jesus with love, to bury him? Am I like the two Marys, who remained before His tomb crying and praying?

“Am I like the leaders who, the following day went to Pilate to say, 'Look, this man said that he would be resurrected. Careful that this is not another trick'”, and blocked the life, blocked the tomb to defend doctrine, so that life does not come out?

“Where is my heart? Which of these people do I resemble? May this question accompany us throughout the week”.


Vatican City, 14 April 2014 (VIS) – Following the solemn liturgical celebration of Palm Sunday, the Pope prayed the Angelus with the seventy thousand faithful present in St- Peter's Square and, before the Marian prayer, he greeted the 250 delegates, bishops, priests, religious and laypeople who participated during these days in the meeting for the World Youth Day organised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

“In this way there begins the path of preparation for the next world meeting that will take place in July 2016 in Krakow on the theme 'Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy'. Before long the young Brazilians will deliver to the Polish youth the Cross of the World Youth Days. It was Blessed John Paul II who entrusted the Cross to the young thirty years ago: he asked them to take it all over the world as a sign of Christ's love for humanity. On 27 April we will have the joy of celebrating the canonization of this Pope, along with John XXIII. John Paul II, who initiated the World Youth Days, will become its great patron; in the communion of saints he will continue to be a father and a friend for the young of the world. Let us ask the Lord that the Cross, along with the icon of Mary 'Salus Populi Romani', be a sign of hope for all, revealing Christ's invincible love to the world”.

Following these words, the World Youth Day Cross was consigned, and Pope Francis added, “I greet all Romans and all pilgrims, and I greet in particular the delegations from Rio de Janeiro and Krakow, led by their archbishops, Cardinals Orani Joao Tempesta and Stanislaw Dziwisz. In this context, I have the joy of announcing that, God willing, on 15 August at Daejeon, in the Republic of Korea, I will meet with the young of Asia in their great continental meeting”.

“And now, let us turn to the Virgin Mary, so that she might help us always to follow Jesus' example faithfully”.


Vatican City, 12 April 2014 (VIS) – “The study of history indeed represents one of the paths for the impassioned search for the truth, which has always pervaded man's soul”, said the Pope in his audience with the participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. “Your research, marked both by a genuine passion for the Church and by sincere love for the truth, can be of great help to those who have the task of discerning what the Holy Spirit wants to say to today's Church. ... In your encounter and collaboration with researchers from every culture and religion, you can offer a specific contribution to the dialogue between the Church and the contemporary world”.

At the end of the meeting, Pope Francis commented on one of the initiatives planned by the Committee, the international conference to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, and recalled the prophetic words of Benedict XV in his letter of August 1917 to the leaders of the warring nations: “Nothing is lost by peace; everything may be lost by war”.


Vatican City, 12 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father met with the participants in the Congress of the Italian Society for Oncological Surgery, organised by the “La Sapienza” University of Rome and by the Sant'Andrea Hospital. “Scientific research has multiplied the possibilities for prevention and treatment, and has discovered therapies to treat many illnesses”, said the Pope. “But when we speak of in full health, it is necessary not to lose sign of the fact that the human person, created in the image and semblance of God, is a unity of body and spirit. These two elements are distinct but inseparable, because the person is one entity. Therefore, even illness, the experience of pain and suffering, does not relate only to the bodily dimension, but to man in his entirety. This creates the need for an integral treatment, that considers the person as a whole and unites medical care with human, psychological and social support, spiritual guidance, and support for patients' families”.

Pope Francis recalled Pope John Paul II's Moto Proprio “Dolentium hominum” of 1985, remarking that “it is indispensable for healthcare workers to 'be led by an integrally human view of illness” and as a result be “able to effect a fully human approach to the sick person who is suffering'. … Fraternal communion with the sick opens us up to the true beauty of human life”.

Finally, referring the beginning of Holy Week, which culminates in the Triduum of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, he affirmed, “Here human suffering reaches its lowest point, and is redeemed by God. God as love. Only Christ can give meaning to the scandal of innocent pain”.


Vatican City, 14 April 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

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

On Saturday 12 April the Holy Father received in audience:

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


Vatican City, 14 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Alan Williams, S.M., as bishop of Brentwood (area 3,967, population 2,789,000, Catholics 225,700, priests 154, permanent deacons 11, religious 293), England. The bishop-elect was born in Blackburn, England in 1951, gave his solemn vows in 1976, and was ordained a priest in 1983. After teaching at St. Mary's College, Blackburn, he served as director of the national shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. He was subsequently chaplain at Sheffield Hallam University and priest of the parish of Sidcup in Southwark, as well as regional superior of the Marist Fathers. In 2008 he returned to the role of director of the national shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, in which he continues to serve. He succeeds Bishop Thomas McMahon, whose resignation upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

On Saturday, 12 April, the Holy Father:

- appointed Fr. Columba Macbeth-Green, O.S.P.P.E., as bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes (area 414,378, population 117,000, Catholics 35,200, priests 21, religious 42), Australia. The bishop-elect was born in Forbes, Australia in 1968, gave his solemn vows in 1996, and ordained a priest in 1997. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including: priest of the parish of Tarcutta, Wagga Wagga; prefect of novices in Tarcutta; first counsellor of the Australian Province of the Order; master of novices in Tarcutta; secretary of the Australian Province of the Order; sub-prior of the Penrose Park Monastery, Wollongong; and priest of the parish of Moss Vale, Wollongong. He is currently prior of the Monastery and rector of the Marian Valley shrine, Canugra, Brisbane, and provincial vicar of the Australian Province of the Order. He has also served as chaplain of the police of New South Wales and is currently chaplain of the police of Queensland.

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia, Ukraine, presented by Bishop Marian Buczek, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- appointed Bishop Stanislav Szyrokoradiuk, O.F.M., auxiliary of Kyiv-Zhytomyr, Ukraine, and apostolic administrator “ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of Lutsk, as bishop of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia (area 196,300, population 19,000,000, Catholics 40,000, priests 64, religious 97), Ukraine.

- appointed Bishop Vitaliy Skomarovskyi, auxiliary of Kyiv-Zhytomyr, Ukraine, as bishop of Lutsk (area 40,300, population 2,217,730, Catholics 27,160, priests 26, religious 19), Ukraine.

- appointed Bishop Giovanni D'Ercole, F.D.P., as bishop of Ascoli Piceno (area 840, population 107,503, Catholics 106,512, priests 111, permanent deacons 7, religious 151), Italy. He was previously auxiliary of the archdiocese of L'Aquila, Italy.

- appointed Fr. Maurizio of the clergy of the diocese of Faenza-Modigliana as relator of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Fr. Tagliaferri is ordinary professor of History of the Church at the Theological Faculty of Emilia-Romagna.

- confirmed Msgr. Guido Marini as Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations.

- appointed Professor Margaret Scotford Archer, Great Britain, as president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Scotford Archer is currently director of the “Centre d'Ontologie Sociale” at the EPFL Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, pontifical academic and member of the Council of the Academy.
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