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Monday, April 28, 2014


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning, in the study adjacent to Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis received King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, who then went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions the Parties remarked on the good relations between the Holy See and Spain, which have been increasingly consolidated in the spirit of the 1979 Agreements. In this context, mention was made of some current issues regarding the Church’s mission in society and the situation of the country.

This was followed by an exchange of views on matters of an international nature, with special reference to various situations of crisis.


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father Francis has sent a video message to the young of Buenos Aires for National Youth Day. The message, in which the Pope speaks off the cuff, had been requested in advance by Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli, archbishop of Buenos Aires, and was rebroadcast on Saturday afternoon.

“While making this recording I was thinking of what they would say”, says the Pope in the video. “'What are you going?', I have already said. 'That they must not be afraid': I have already told them'. 'That they are free': I have already said so. Then some of the young people in the Gospel came to mind. The young people who came across Jesus, or those he spoke about. … I thought about the young apostles, the young rich man, the prodigal son who seeks a new life with his father's inheritance, the widow's son, dead; … how they were moved by Jesus, filled with enthusiasm, with that wonder that comes from the encounter with Jesus. .. And some of the apostles faltered, some did not behave so well. … There is the struggle to be faithful to this encounter, the encounter with Jesus. … God is very good”, he continues. “God takes advantage of our failures to speak to our hearts. God doesn't say, 'You're a failure, look what you have done'. He reasons with us”.

Pope Francis lists a number of examples of young men in the Gospel, and remarked that young women might complain, “'Father, you are unjust … your examples are all men. What about us?' … You aspire in your lives to consolidate tenderness and fidelity. You are on the path of the women who followed Jesus, through thick and thin. Women have the great gift of being able to give life, of being able to give tenderness, of being able to give peace and joy. There is one model for you, Mary: the woman of fidelity, who did not understand what was happening to her but obeyed nonetheless; who, as soon as she knew her cousin needed her, ran to her, the Virgin of Readiness. Mary, who helped to raise her Son and to accompany Him, and followed Him when he began to preach; who suffered through all that happened to the boy as he grew. She who stayed by His side and told Him of problems: 'Look, they have no wine'. She who, at the moment of the Cross, stayed next to Him. … You are women of the Church … who is female, like Mary. This is your place. Being Church, forming the Church, being with Jesus, with tenderness, to accompany the Church and help her grow”.

Pope Francis joked with the young women, with a cheerful tone and Argentine accent, “So don't be angry, you got a better deal than the men!”, and he commended them to “Mary, Lady of the Caress, Lady of Tenderness, Lady of the Readiness to Serve”, who shows them the way. Addressing all the young people, he concluded, “May each one of you encounter Jesus, the Risen Jesus. And I say one thing to you: do not be afraid! Look at Jesus, look at Mary, and go forward!”.


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – The fourth meeting of the Council of Cardinals with the Holy Father began this morning, and will continue during the 29 and 30 April. The Council of Cardinals was instituted by Pope Francis to help him in the governance of the universal Church and to draw up a project for the revision of the apostolic constitution “Pastor Bonus” on the Roman Curia.


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – Today at 9 a.m., at the premises of the Institute for the Works of Religion, the Supervisory Commission of Cardinals met in order to draw up guidelines for their action. Furthermore, it was decided that the Supervisory Commission will initially meet thrice yearly, notwithstanding special circumstances necessitating other meetings.


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – At 10 a.m. today in St. Peter's Square Cardinal Angelo Comastri, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City and archpriest of the Vatican Basilica, presided at a Mass of thanksgiving for the canonisation of John Paul II.

The Eucharist was preceded by a greeting from Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, Poland, who was the new saint's secretary. “Yesterday”, he said, addressing the thousands of faithful who filled the Square, “two Blessed Popes were inscribed among the Saints: the first, John XXIII, a son of the land of Italy, who merited the title of the 'Good Pope'. It was he who announced Vatican Council II, more than half a century ago. The second of the new Saints, John Paul II, son of Poland, the Pope of Divine Mercy, consequently gave life to the decision of the Council and led the Church into the third millennium of Christian faith”.

“We thank God for this dual gift. We offer thanks for the extraordinarily transparent witness of love and service of both these pastors. … For this dual gift we offer our most heartfelt thanks to the Holy Father Francesco. Let us thank him because already in the first year of his pontificate he took the decision to canonise his Predecessors, setting the date for Divine Mercy Sunday”, added the cardinal archbishop, who concluded his address by offering thanks on behalf of his compatriots “to Italy and all of her inhabitants for having welcomed Karol Wojtyla many years ago, as bishop and pope, as he arrived in Rome 'from a far away country'”. Italy became a second homeland to him. Today John Paul II will surely bless her from on high, just as he surely blesses Poland and the entire world. There was a place in his heart for all nations, cultures and languages”.

Cardinal Comastri recalled John Paul II's words: “The saints do not ask us to applaud them; they ask that we imitate them”, and urged the pilgrims to imitate the new saint who had “the courage to openly defend faith in Jesus in an age of 'silent apostasy on the part of people who have all that they need and who live as if God does not exist' … to defend the family, to defend human life, to defend peace while the grim winds of war blew … to encounter the young to free them from the culture of emptiness and the ephemeral and to invite them to welcome Christ, the sole light of life and the only one able to bring the fullness of joy to the human heart”.


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Dhaka, Bangladesh, presented by Bishop Theotonius Gomes C.S.C., upon reaching the age limit.
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