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Monday, May 12, 2014


Vatican City, 11 May 2014 (VIS) – Today is World Day of Prayer for Vocations, and Pope Francis presided this morning at a Mass for the ordination of thirteen new priests: six Italians, four from various countries in Latin America, one from Pakistan, one from South Korea and one from Vietnam.

The Bishop of Rome, who added various personal reflections to the Rite of Ordination, urged the new priests never to tire of being merciful, adding however that they are not the owners of the doctrine since this belongs to Christ.

You, who are about to enter the priesthood, must consider that in exercising the ministry of the sacred doctrine, you will be participants in the mission of Christ, the sole master. Make use of all this, the Word that you yourselves have received with joy, from your mothers, from your catechists. Read and meditate on the word of the Lord assiduously, to believe what your have read, to teach what you have learnt in faith, to live what you have taught. May your doctrine, therefore, be nourishment to the people of God; yet it is not your doctrine, you are not its masters! It is the doctrine of the Lord, and you must be faithful to the doctrine of the Lord … since, by word and example you edify the house of God, the Church”.

By Baptism you will add new faithful to the people of God; with the sacrament of penance you will forgive sins in the name of Christ and the Church. And here I want to pause to ask you, for the love of Jesus Christ, never tire of being merciful! Please! Have that capacity for forgiveness that the Lord had; He Who came not to condemn but to forgive! Have mercy, great mercy! And if you are worried about being too forgiving, think of that holy priest of whom I have spoken, who stopped before the tabernacle and said, 'Lord, forgive me if I have forgiven too much. But you have set me a bad example!'. And I say to you, truly, it pains me when I encounter people who no longer go to confession because they have been reproached and scolded. They felt as though the doors of the Churches had been closed in their faces. Please, do not do this: mercy, mercy! The good shepherd enters by the door, and the wounds of the Lord are the door of mercy: if you do not enter into your ministry through the Lord's wounds, you will not be good priests”.

The Pope concluded by quoting St. Augustine, when he spoke of the pastors “who sought their own pleasure, who used the Lord's sheep to feed and clothe themselves, to assume the majesty of a ministry that may or may not have been God's. Finally, participating in Christ's mission, as a leader and pastor, in filial communion with your bishop, commit yourselves to uniting the faithful in a single family, to lead them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. Keep before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be served but to serve, and to seek and save what was lost”.


Vatican City, 11 May 2014 (VIS) – At midday today, after celebrating Mass for the ordination of thirteen new priests, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. He commented on today's Gospel reading, the parable of the Good Shepherd, which exemplifies “the type of relationship Jesus had with His disciples: a relationship based on tenderness, love, mutual understanding and the promise of an incomparable gift. 'I came that they may have life and have it abundantly'”.

This bond, Francis said, “is the model for relations between Christians and for all human relations”, and although “today, too, many propose themselves as pastors for our existence … only the Risen Christ is the true Pastor, able to give us life in abundance”.

He invited all present to pray for the pastors of the Church, for all the bishops, “including the bishop of Rome, and for all priests. For all of them! In particular, let us pray for the new priests of the diocese of Rome, whom I ordained this morning in St. Peter's Basilica. A greeting to these thirteen priests! May the Lord help us, as pastors, always to be faithful to the Master and to be wise and enlightened guides for the people of God entrusted to us. I ask you too to help us: help us to be good pastors”.

In this regard, the Pope explained that once he read a text by St. Caesarius of Arles, a priest of the first centuries of the Church, who explained how the people of God can help their pastor, with the following example: “When a calf is hungry he goes to the cow, his mother, for milk. However, the cow does not give it to him immediately; it almost seems as if she keeps it for herself. And so what does the calf do? He nudges the cow's udder with his nose, and in this way the milk comes. It is a beautiful image. And this, says the saint, is what you must do with your pastors: always knock at their door, at their heart, so that they give you the milk of doctrine, the milk of grace and the milk of guidance. I ask you, please, to trouble your pastors, to disturb them, all of us, so that we can give you the milk of grace, doctrine and guidance. Bother us! Think of that beautiful image of the calf who nudges his mother to feed him”.

This Sunday we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations”, he continued. “This year's message tells us that 'every vocation always requires an exodus from oneself in order to centre one’s life on Christ and on His Gospel'. Therefore, the call to follow Jesus is exciting and challenging at the same time. ...Let us pray that, even in these times, many young people may hear the voice of the Lord, that always risks being suffocated by so many other voices”.

Following the Marian prayer, the bishop of Rome greeted, amongst others, the neocatechumenal communities that “on these Sundays during Easter time proclaim the Risen Jesus in one hundred squares in Rome and in many cities throughout the world. May the Lord give you the joy of the Gospel! And carry on your good work!”. He also offered a special blessing to the children who in these months have received or will receive their First Communion, and finally he encouraged all present to dedicate “a good memory or a prayer to all mothers. … Entrusting them to the mother of Jesus, we pray to the Virgin for our mothers and for all mothers. … A warm greeting to all mothers”.


Vatican City, 10 May 2014 (VIS) – This afternoon, in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father met with teachers, parents, educators, pupils and other workers within the context of Italian schools. The event was organised by the Italian Episcopal Conference with the project, “The Church for the School”. At 4.15 p.m. the Holy Father toured St. Peter's Square and Via della Conciliazione by jeep, greeting those present. At 5 p.m. the meeting began with a greeting from Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, and Professor Stefania Giannini, the Italian minister for education. Various participants shared testimonies, along with moments of music and other entertainments.

Finally, Pope Francis addressed those present. “We can see that this is a demonstration 'for', not 'against'!”, he said. It is not a complaint, it is a celebration! A celebration for the school. We are well aware that there are problems and things that do not function well. But you are here, we are here because we love school”. He commented that he too, for various reasons, loved school: “because it is the synonym for openness to reality. Going to school means opening the mind and the heart to reality, to its wealth of aspects and dimensions. This is valuable. In the first years we take a 360 degree approach to learning, and then gradually we focus in one direction, and finally we specialise. But if one has learnt how to learn, this remains for ever, and one remains open to reality! And teachers are always the first who must remain open to reality, with the mind always open to learning. A teacher who is not open to learning is not a good teacher, and is not interesting. The pupils understand and snub him or her. They are attracted to teachers with open and 'incomplete' thought, who look for something more, and they transmit this attitude to their students”.

A second reason is that “the school is a place of encounter”, and the Pope added that “This is fundamental in the age of growth, as a complement to the family. … The school is the first society to integrate with the family. The school and the family are not in opposition to one another. They are complementary, and therefore it is important that they collaborate between themselves with mutual respect. … This reminds me of an African proverb: 'It takes a village to raise a child'”. Finally, the Pontiff declared that he loved school “because it educates us in truth, in what is good and beautiful. Education cannot be neutral. It is either positive or negative; either it enriches or it impoverishes; either it enables a person to grow or it lessens, even corrupts him. The mission of schools is to develop a sense of truth, of what is good and beautiful. And this occurs through a rich path made up of many ingredients. This is why there are so many subjects – because development is the result of different elements that act together and stimulate intelligence, knowledge, the emotions, the body, and so on”.

If something is true, it is good and beautiful; if it is beautiful, it is good and true; if it is good, it is true and it is beautiful. And together, these elements enable us to grow and help us to love life, even when we are not well, even in the midst of many problems. True education enables us to love life and opens us to the fullness of life”.


Vatican City, 10 May 2014 (VIS) – “In the heart of human history: the challenges of a complex society” is the theme of the assembly of the Institutes of Secular Life, a form of consecrated life that has more adherents in Italy than in any other country in the world, and which was established “with a revolutionary gesture in the Church” by Pope Pius XII with the apostolic constitution “Provida Mater Ecclesia” in 1947.

This morning the Holy Father, receiving in audience the participants in the assembly, set aside his official address and spoke to them off-the-cuff, underlining that the secular Institutes are “effectively an act of bravery on the part of the Church in that moment, giving structure and institutional character” to them.

From that moment up to the present you have done great good for the Church, with bravery, as it takes bravery to live in the world. Many of you come and go, alone, in your apartment; others are in small communities. Every day, you live the life of someone who lives in the world, and at the same time protect the dimension of contemplation, in relation to the Lord and to the world; contemplating reality, contemplating the beauty of the world, and also the great sins of society, deviations, all these things, and always in spiritual tension. … For this reason, your vocation is fascinating, as it is a vocation that is located right there, where the salvation of not only people but also institutions is at play”.

I hope that you will always maintain this attitude of going beyond, not only beyond, but even further, where everything is at play: politics, the economy, education, the family. It is perhaps possible that at times you are tempted to think, 'But what can I do?'”, the Pope added. “When this temptation rears, remember that the Lord has spoken to us about the grain of wheat. And your life is like the grain of wheat. It is like leaven. Do everything possible so that the Kingdom might come, grow and be great, and that it may protect many people, like the mustard tree. Think about this. A small life, a small gesture; a normal life, but it is leaven, it is a seed, it allows growth. And this brings consolation. The results in the balance of the Kingdom of God cannot be seen, but only the Lord enables us to perceive something. … We will see the results there, above”.

This is why it is important to have so much hope! It is a grace that you must ask of the Lord, always: the hope that never disappoints. It never disappoints? A hope that goes ahead. I would advise you to read very frequently Chapter 11 of the Letter to the Hebrews, the chapter of hope. And learn that many of our forefathers have taken that road and have not seen the results, but they perceived them from afar. Hope … this is what I wish upon you. Many thanks for what you have done for the Church; many thanks for your prayer and your action. Thank you for your hope. And do not forget: be revolutionaries!”

The Pope then handed the participants a copy of his official discourse, extensive extracts from which are published below:

The vocation of the Secular Institutes is “one of the most recent forms of consecrated life recognised and approved by the Church and which is therefore perhaps not fully understood. Do not be discouraged: you form part of that poor and outgoing Church that I dream of!”.

By vocation you are laypeople and priests others and in the midst of others, you lead a normal life, without any outward signs, without the support of community life, without the visibility of an organised apostolate or specific works. You are rich only in the totalising experience of God's love and are therefore capable of knowing and sharing the burden of life in its many expressions, fermenting them with the light and strength of the Gospel. You are a sign of that Church in dialogue that Paul VI spoke of. … Your vocation makes you interesting to every person and to their deepest yearnings, which often remain unexpressed or masked. Through the strength of God's love, that you have encountered and known, you are capable of proximity and tenderness. … Like the Samaritan who passed by, saw and had compassion. This is the moment to which your vocation commits you: to place yourself next to each man and to make yourselves close to every person you meet; because your stay in the world is not simply a sociological condition, but rather a theological reality that calls you to a conscious, careful presence, in which you are able to perceive, see and touch your brother's flesh”.

If this does not happen, if you became distracted, or worse still, you do not know this contemporary world but instead know and frequent only the world that is most comfortable to you, or that most entices you, then conversion is urgent! Yours is a vocation that is by nature outgoing, not only because it brings you to others, but also and above all because it requires to you dwell where all men reside”.

Never lose the impulse to walk the streets of the world, with the knowledge that walking, even with an faltering steps or limping, is always better than standing still, closed up in our own questions or our own certainties. Missionary passion, the joy of the encounter with Christ that leads us to share the beauty of faith with others, is a bulwark against the risk of being paralysed by individualism”.

You are like antennae, ready to gather the seeds of newness inspired by the Holy Spirit, and can help the ecclesial community to take on this benevolent gaze and find brave new paths to reach everyone. Poor among the poor, but with a burning heart. Never still, always on the way. Together, and sent, even when you are alone, since consecration makes you a living spark of the Church. Always in motion, with that pilgrim virtue: joy!”.


Vatican City, 10 May 2014 (VIS) – Today Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the international conference organised by the Centesimus Annus-Pro- Pontifice Foundation, “The good society and the future of jobs: can solidarity and fraternity be part of business decisions?”, which was held in Rome from 8 to 10 May.

In the current economic system, and in the mentality that it generates, the word 'solidarity' has become uncomfortable, even troublesome. The crisis during these years, that has profound ethical causes, has worsened this 'allergy' to words such as solidarity, just distribution of goods, work priorities …. and the reason is that there is an inability or unwillingness to truly study how these ethical values can become real economic values, that is, trigger virtuous dynamics in production, work, trade and finance. This, however, is what you must endeavour to do, uniting theoretical and practical aspects, thought, and experience in the field”.

The conscience of the manager is the existential place in which this search takes place. In particular, the Christian entrepreneur must always measure the reality in which he works with the Gospel; and the Gospel requires him to make the human person and the common good his first priority, and to do his part to ensure there are opportunities for work, for dignified work. Naturally this 'enterprise' cannot be implemented in isolation, but rather in collaboration with others who share the same ethical foundation, and seeking to widen the network as far as possible”.

The Christian community – parishes, dioceses and associations – is “the place in which the entrepreneur, and also the politician, professional and unionist – draw the lymph that nourishes their commitment and where they are able to interact with their brethren. This is essential, as the work environment can at times become arid, hostile and inhuman. The crisis sorely tests the hope of managers; we must not leave alone those who in the greatest difficulty”.

Francis emphasised the members of the Foundation that this is the field in which their witness is needed, and that Vatican Council II insisted that the lay faithful were called to fulfil their mission in the fields of social, economic and political life. “With the help of God and of the Church, you can give effective witness in your field, as you bring not only words and speeches but also the experience of people and businesses that endeavour to implement Christian ethical principles in the current situation of the world of work. This witness is extremely important and I encourage you to carry it out with faith, also dedicating the right time to prayer, as also the layperson and the manager need to pray, and to pray most of all when the challenges are tough”.

The Bishop of Rome concluded by referring to his recent catechesis on the gift of counsel, one of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and remarked that businesspeople too must ask God for this gift in order to be able to “act and to make decisions according to the greater good”.


Vatican City, 10 May 2014 (VIS) – Today a message was published, sent by the Holy Father to His Holiness Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, to commemorate the first anniversary of their meeting in Rome on 10 May 2013 which, writes Pope Francis, “strengthened those spiritual bonds between the See of Peter and the See of Mark, and which had been renewed by the historic encounter between Pope Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III in 1973”.

It is with thanksgiving to the Lord that we reflect on the journey of reconciliation and friendship which we have undertaken together. With God’s help, we have learned better to understand one another and to build solid foundations for overcoming long-standing differences. Conscious that what unites us is far greater than what separates us, we already experience a real communion, while recognising that it is neither full nor perfect. With trust in the Lord’s grace, we continue to strive through dialogue in charity and truth to overcome the remaining obstacles to full communion. Building upon our shared moment of prayer in the course of Your Holiness’s visit to Rome, let us continue to pray to God that all his children, born to new life through the waters of baptism and enlightened by faith, may also become one in love. For my part, I assure Your Holiness of my unceasing prayer for all Christians in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. May the Lord inspire in those who are responsible for the destiny of peoples in these lands, a firm resolve to seek just and peaceful solutions respectful of the rights of all”.

On this joyful occasion, which has rightly become known as the day of friendship between Copts and Catholics, I exchange with Your Holiness a fraternal embrace of peace in Christ our Lord”.


Vatican City, 10 May 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience he authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:


- Venerable Servant of God Paul VI, ne Giovanni Battista Montini, Supreme Pontiff (1897-1978).

- Venerable Servant of God Luigi Caburlotto, Italian diocesan priest, founder of the Institute of the Daughters of St. Joseph of Venice (1817-1897)


- Servant of God Giacomo Abbondo, Italian diocesan priest (1720-1788).

- Servant of God Jacint Alegre Pujals, Spanish professed priest of the Society of Jesus (1874-1930).

- Venerable Servant of God Carole-Barbe Colchen Carre de Malberg, French laywoman and foundress of the Society of the Association of Saint Francis de Sales (1829-1891).

The Holy Father also authorised the dicastery to communicate that the rite of beatification of the Venerable Servant of God Paul VI will take place in the Vatican on 19 October 2014.


Vatican City, 12 May 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Thirteen prelates of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, on their “ad limina” visit:

Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, with his auxiliaries, Bishop Miguel Romano Gomez, Bishop Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez Gonzalez, and Bishop Juan Humberto Gutierrez Valencia;

Bishop Jose Maria de la Torre Martin of Aguascalientes;

Bishop Gonzalo Galvan Castillo of Autlan;

Bishop Braulio Rafael Leon Villegas of Ciudad Guzman;

Bishop Marcelino Hernandez Rodriguez of Colima;

Bishop Felipe Salazar Villagrana of San Juan de los Lagos;

Bishop Luis Artemio Flores Calzada of Tepic;

Bishop Jose de Jesus Gonzalez Herrandez, O.F.M., prelate of Jesus Maria (del Nayar);

Bishop Ramon Castro Castro of Cuernavaca;

Bishop Raul Gomez Gonzalez of Tenancingo.

On Saturday, 10 May the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

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

- Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

In the afternoon of Friday, 9 May, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.


Vatican City, 12 May 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- elevated the eparchy of Sao Joao Batista in Curitiba of the Ukrainians to the rank of archieparchy, conserving the same title. He appointed Bishop Valdomiro Koubetch, O.S.B.M., previously bishop of the same eparchy, as first metropolitan archbishop.

- erected the eparchy of the Imaculada Conceicao in Prudentopolis of the Ukrainians, Brazil, with territory from the newly established archieparchy of Sao Joao Batista in Curitiba, making it a suffragan of the same archieparchy. He appointed Bishop Meron Mazur, O.S.B.M., auxiliary of Curitiba, as first eparchial bishop of the new circumscription.

On Saturday, 10 May the Holy Father:

- appointed Bishop Jacek Jezierski as bishop of Elblag (area 9,495, population 471,200, Catholics 451,000, priests 329, religious 178), Poland. Bishop Jezierski was formerly auxiliary of the archdiocese of Warmia, Poland. He succeeds Bishop Jan Styrna, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
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