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Thursday, May 8, 2014


Vatican City, 8 May 2014 (VIS) – “In the person of Your Holiness I extend my respectful and affectionate thoughts to the members of the family of the Catholicate of All Armenians throughout the world. It is a special grace for us to be able to meet in this house, close to the tomb of the Apostle Peter, and to share a moment of fraternity and prayer”.

Pope Francis thus began his greeting to His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, in a meeting that took place this morning. He went on to mention how the links between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Church of Rome have been consolidated during recent years thanks to events such as John Paul II's trip to Armenia in 2001, the presence of the Patriarch in the Vatican on various occasions such as the official visit to Benedict XVI in 2008 and the beginning of Pope Francis' ministry as bishop of Rome in 2013.

“However”, he added, I would like to recall another celebration, rich in meaning, in which Your Holiness took part: the Commemoration of the Witnesses of faith in the twentieth century, which took place within the context of the Great Jubilee of 2000. In truth, the number of disciples who have shed blood for Christ in the tragic events of the last century is certainly higher than that of the martyrs of the first centuries, and the sons of the Armenian nation have a place of honour in this martyrology. The mystery of the Cross, so dear to the memory of your people, represented in the splendid stone crosses that adorn every corner of your land, has been lived by countless sons of yours, directly participating in the chalice of the Passion. Their witness, both tragic and lofty, must not be forgotten”.

“The suffering of Christians during recent decades has also made a unique and inestimable contribution to the cause of unity between Christ's disciples. As in the ancient Church the blood of martyrs became the seed of new Christians, in our days too the blood of many Christians has become the seed of unity. The ecumenism of suffering and martyrdom is a powerful reminder to walk the path of reconciliation between the Churches, decisively and trustfully surrendering ourselves to the action of the Spirit. Let us feel the duty of following this path of fraternity also for the debt of gratitude we have towards the suffering of so many of our brothers, which has become salvific by being united with the passion of Christ”.

In this respect, the Pope thanked Karekin II for his effective support for ecumenical dialogue, and in particular the work of the Joint Commission for theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the oriental Orthodox Churches, and for the significant theological contribution to the Commission offered by the representatives of the Catholicate of All Armenians.

“Let us pray for each other”, concluded the bishop of Rome. “May the Holy Spirit enlighten us and guide us towards longed-for day in which we may share in the Eucharist. And may the All Holy Mother of God intercede for the Armenian population, now and for ever”.

Following the meeting, Pope Francis and His Holiness Karekin prayed together in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel.


Vatican City, 8 May 2014 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin celebrated Holy Mass this morning at the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary at Pompeii, Italy, a place of Marian devotion, where on 8 May every year thousands of faithful participate in reciting the Supplication to the Virgin, a prayer composed in 1883 by Blessed Bartolo Longo, founder of the Shrine who visited St. John Paul II in 1979 and in 2003 and by Benedict XVI in 2008.

“We are in a place where charity has pitched her tent”, said the cardinal in his homily, “and has taken root as a constitutive element in a history of faith that continues to look ahead, driven by the powerful force of its humble origin: here the prayer, the chaplet of the Rosary of which the founder Bartolo Longo was an apostle, encountered a situation of an entirely different type; of poverty and neglect, injustice and oppression. Man's dignity was trampled and the poor, the last in line, were barely considered”.

Charity “has opened the doors, has thrown them wide open to hope, giving rise to a new era. No problem, no fear, no matter how strong or reasonable it may be, can drive away a hope that here is made manifest as concrete, made up of works that speak the language of a charity that transforms, constructs and renews. This remains true even though what we experience today does not protect us from trouble and distress, such as the danger of a forever-lurking violence, or the scarce and uncertain job prospects for our young people, for whom not only the current economic crisis, but also delays deep-seated and structural delays make it difficult to look to the future with serenity and confidence”.

The cardinal emphasised three important concepts which may help us to understand what the Lord wishes to say to us every day. The first is that of proclaiming our faith. The prelate mentioned Peter, who was “pulled along by Jesus into an adventure that was greater than him”, with his fears and frail humanity, but with the help of the Lord who sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles gathered in the Cenacle, he found the strength to proclaim the Kingdom of God. He also mentioned Mary, “humble servant of the Lord and mother of our faith”. “We are all baptised and have received, in Confirmation, the gift of the Holy Spirit”, he continued. “Let us make this gift bear fruit. Let us proclaim our faith like St. Peter. Even if this costs us dearly, as it did him”.

The second concept is to put our faith into practice – that is, to love our neighbour. “It is precisely this that is at the heart of our faith. This is the revolution Jesus brought. Mutual love is the commandment he gave to his followers before dying, defining it as 'his' and 'new'. It is, therefore, the very essence of his teaching”. The cardinal explained that the name “New” Pompeii indicated not only the temporal distance between the ancient and splendid excavated city, but also the territory of the desolate Valley that Bartolo Longo encountered, and made the starting point for a “new beginning”. The founder was aware of the need to put faith into practice, and made the prayer of the Rosary the central pillar of the Shrine, a “house of the faith and hope of a new people”.

Being a light for the world – mission – was the final concept set forth by the secretary of State, who emphasised that, as exhorted by Pope Francis, “we must bring this light, this truth to the world, to bear witness to it and to proclaim it to all, and do so with joy”. To put these concepts into effect, Cardinal Parolin encouraged those present to look to Mary “who welcomed the gift that God gave her and brought it into the world. In the Magnificat, she professed her faith, living at the same time the concrete love for her brethren. She followed Jesus to the end, below the Cross, as his Stabat, living witness of the light of faith, and even today she continues to give to her children”.

The Cardinal concluded, “let us entrust to Mary … all our worries, our anxieties, our needs. Let us pray for the Church, for Pope Francis … for the whole world, and for peace. May the Child we see on Mary's lap and the mystical crown we see in her hand inspire in us the confidence that we will be heard”.


Vatican City, 8 May 2014 (VIS) – The following is the full text of a communique published today by the Governorate of Vatican City State.

“In recent days there has been a series of troubling reports regarding companies which, boasting official assignments received by the Governorate of Vatican City State, are offering false contracts for employment by the same Governorate or with other companies providing services within the State.

The Governorate advises that all offers of employment of this type be regarded with suspicion. Recruitment procedures are never entrusted to third parties and, furthermore, new appointments are not expected at this time.

It is sadly evident that there are those who take advantage of the good faith of many young people and their families, especially in this period of crisis.

The Governorate advises that episodes of this type be reported to the competent Italian authorities and that a copy of the report be forwarded to the Vatican Gendarmeria, and expresses its hope that these serious offences will cease”.


Vatican City, 8 May 2014 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, along with the Presidency of Religious Affairs in Turkey (Diyanet) has organised a meeting to explore the possibility of collaboration between the two entities, as proposed in 2002. The meeting will take place in the premises of the above dicastery during these days.

In September 2012, Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, during an interview in Turkey with the president of Diyanet, aired the idea of relaunching a proposal for collaboration. Therefore, in May 2013, along with Msgr. Khaled Akasheh, head of the Islamic Department, he will pay a courtesy visit to the president of Diyanet, Mehmet Gormez, in order to establish the terms of a formal collaboration between the two entities.

The meeting will offer the opportunity to deepen mutual knowledge and to evaluate further perspectives for dialogue.


Vatican City, 8 May 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience:

- Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, apostolic nuncio in Indonesia.

- Nine prelates of the Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia and Eritrea on their “ad limina” visit:

Metropolitan Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel of Addis Abeba, with his auxiliary, Bishop Lisane-Christos Matheos Semahun;

Bishop Abune Tesfaselassie Medhin of Adigrat;

Bishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam, M.C.C.I., of Asmara, Eritrea;

Bishop Thomas Osman, O.F.M. Cap., of Barentu, Eritrea;

Bishop Musie Ghebreghiorghis, O.F.M. Cap., of Emdeber;

Bishop Kidane Yebio of Keren, Eritrea;

Bishop Fikremariam Hagos Tsalim of Segheneity, Eritrea;

Bishop Giovanni Migliorati, M.C.C.I., apostolic vicar of Awasa.


Vatican City, 8 May 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Camillo Cibotti, vicar-general of the archdiocese of Chieti-Vasto, as bishop of Isernia-Venafro (area 740, population 63,000, Catholics 62,000, priests 72, permanent deacons 10, religious 68), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Casalbordino, Italy in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1978. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest in Liscia, spiritual father at the regional seminary, priest at Ripa Teatina, and at the parish of the Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini in Chieti and rector of the Church of San Domenico in Chieti. He has also served as professor of moral theology at the Abruzzo-Molise theological institute, episcopal vicar for the laity and assistant to the diocesan board for the laity. He was named Chaplain of his Holiness in 2005.

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