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Friday, September 26, 2014

Pope Francis receives in audience the Focolare Movement

Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) – Contemplate, go forth, and educate: these were the three directions Pope Francis gave this morning to the Focolare Movement, whose general assembly takes place in Rome this week.

The Work of Mary, better known as the Focolare Movement, was born within the bosom of the Catholic Church “from a small seed that, over the years, has grown into a tree that now extends its branches in all the expressions of the Christian family and also among members of different religions, and among many who cultivate justice and solidarity alongside the search for truth”.

Pope Francis referred with great affection and admiration to Chiara Lubich, founder and firs president of the Focolare Movement, commenting that, “faithful to the charism from which it was born and by which it is nurtured, the Focolare Movement now finds itself faced with the same task that awaits the Church as a whole: offering, with responsibility and creativity, its special contribution to this new season of evangelisation”. He gave three directions on how to achieve this: contemplate, go forth, and educate.

To contemplate, it is necessary to “enlarge one's inner capacity to accommodate Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit, to make contemplation the indispensable condition for a supportive presence and effective action that is truly free and pure”. To contemplate means living in the company of brothers and sisters, breaking the bread of communion and fraternity with them, together crossing the threshold that leads to the Father, since contemplation that excludes others is a deception. It is narcissism”.

The next step is to “go forth like Jesus from the bosom of the Father to proclaim the word of love to all, unto His sacrifice on the Cross. We must learn from Him, from Jesus, the 'drive to go forth and give, to go out from ourselves, to keep pressing forward in our sowing of the good seed'. We must not linger, but rather, with God's help, must aim high and broaden our horizons! And to do this, we must go forth with courage 'unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach'. He awaits us in the suffering and in the cries of our brothers, in the wounds of society and in the questions posed by the culture of our times. It pains the heart when we see a Church, faced with a humanity with many wounds – moral, existential, of war – making philosophical, theological and spiritual Byzantisms, while lacking a spirituality of action. It is necessary to go forth, because the Church is like a field hospital. In this type of hospital, the first thing you do is tend to the injured, rather than analysing their cholesterol levels; you do that later”.

Finally, the third direction: educate. “It is necessary, as the Gospel demands, to form new men and women, and to do this there must be a school in humanity that measures up to the humanity of Jesus. … Without adequate education of the new generations, it is illusory to imagine the realisation of a serious and lasting project in the service of a new humanity”.

“Chiara Lubich, in her time, coined an expression that remains relevant in our times”, concluded the Holy Father. “Today, she said, we need to form 'world-people', men and women with the soul, the heart and the mind of Jesus and therefore capable of recognising and interpreting the needs, worries and hopes that reside in the heart of every person”.

Holy Father's calendar for October 2014

Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has published the following calendar of liturgical celebrations over which the Holy Father will preside during the month of October:

Sunday 4: At 6 p.m. in St. Peter's Square, prayer vigil in preparation for the Synod on the family.

Sunday 5: 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time. At 10 a.m. in the Papal Chapel of the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the opening of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.

Sunday 12: 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for thanksgiving for the equipollent canonisation of the French Canadian Saints Marie de l'Incarnation, O.S.U. (1599-1672), and Francois de Montmorency-Laval, M.E.P. (1623-1708).

Sunday 19: 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time. At 10.30 a.m. in the Papal Chapel of the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family and the beatification of the Servant of God, Supreme Pontiff Paul VI.

Comments of the Holy See on the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) – The Holy See has communicated to the competent offices of the United Nations in Geneva the document “Comments of the Holy See on the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child”. The Concluding Observations were presented by the Committee on the Rights of the Child on 5 February, following the reports, written responses and interactive dialogue submitted to the Committee by the Holy See as a State signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The full English text of the Holy See's comments may be consulted at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/2014/documents/rc-seg-st-20140205_concluding-observations-rights-child_en.html

Cardinal Parolin encourages people of faith to condemn terrorist acts

Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin participated in the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on terrorism, held last Wednesday, 24 September in New York, on “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts”. Cardinal Parolin began by congratulating the U.S.A. on assuming the presidency of the Security Council and applauded the timely convocation of the debate, which came “at a time when every region of the world faces the dehumanising impact of terrorism”. He continued, “This is not a phenomenon which impacts only certain peoples, religions or regions, but rather is a crime which impacts the entire international community. The ongoing, and in some regions escalating use of terrorism is a reminder that such as shared challenge requires a shared commitment from all nations and all people of good will”.

He added that international cooperation “must also address the root causes upon which terrorism feeds in order to grow”, and emphasised the strong cultural component of the present terroristic challenge. “Young people travelling abroad to join the ranks of terrorist organisations are often youth of poor immigrant families, deluded by what they feel is a situation of exclusion, and by the lack of values of some wealthy societies. Together with the legal tools and resources to prevent citizens from becoming foreign terrorist fighters, governments should engage with civil society to address the problems of communities most at risk of recruitment and radicalisation, and to achieve their smooth and satisfactory social integration”.

“The Holy See – which is a sovereign international subject that also represents a world faith community – affirms that people of faith have a resolute responsibility to condemn those who seek to detach faith from reason and to instrumentalise faith as a justification for violence”, he emphasised, concluding that, “at the same time, it should be stressed that to end the new terroristic phenomenon, the goal of achieving cultural understanding among peoples and countries, and social justice for all, is indispensable”.

The KAICIID deplores the abuse of religion to justify violent conflict

Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) – The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, based in New York, U.S.A., yesterday published a declaration of principles, signed by the foreign ministers of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain, as well as by Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, in his role as Holy See Observer, to help build a united front to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the north of Iraq, as well as in other regions of the world. The declaration was approved unanimously by the multireligious Board of Directors of KAICIID, who represent the major world religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.

The full text of the Declaration, entitled “In the Face of Conflict”, is published below:

“We believe in the sanctity of life and the inherent dignity of the person. We believe that religion is an enabler of respect and reconciliation. We believe that dialogue among people of different religions and cultures is the path to lasting peace and social cohesion.

“We affirm the purposes and principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. These equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family are the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

“We condemn violent conflict in the world, more so violence committed in the name of religion, and call for an end to violent hostility. We deplore loss of life and commend those who seek to alleviate suffering, as well as those who strive to promote wellbeing, harmony and peace. We oppose the instrumentalisation of religion to make war. We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes. And we condemn hate speech and extremism that incite violence and fuel prejudice. KAICIID combats prejudice and intolerance, in all their forms.

“KAICIID counteracts the abuse of religion to justify oppression, violence and conflict and facilitates peaceful resolution by bringing conflict parties to the dialogue table. We continue to enhance interreligious and intercultural dialogue in order to foster respect, understanding and cooperation among people.

“We resolve to promote mutual respect and understanding among followers of all religions and peoples of all cultures, particularly through dialogue. Let us look upon each other as sisters and brothers and, and let us appreciate difference as enrichment rather than fearing 'otherness' as a threat”.

Cardinals Nichols, Soo-Jung and Brenes Solorzano take possession of their titular churches

Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that:

- on Thursday 2 October, Cardinal Vincent Gerard Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, will take possession of the title of the Most Holy Redeemer and St. Alphonse in Via Merulana, Via Merulana, 26;

- on Saturday, 4 October, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung, archbishop of Seoul, will take possession of the title of San Crisogono, Piazza Sonnino, 44;

- on Sunday 5 October, Cardinal Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano, archbishop of Managua, will take possession of the title of St. Joachim at Prati di Castello, Piazza dei Quiriti, 17.


Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Professor Klaus Schwab, Germany, founder and executive president of the World Economic Forum (WEF), with his wife and entourage;

- Abdou Diouf, secretary general of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), with his wife and entourage;

- Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, apostolic nuncio in Japan;

- Diego Bossio, executive director of the “Administracion Nacional de la Securidad Social”, (ANSES), Argentina.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 26 September 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Jose Antonio Fernandez Hurtado of Tuxtepec, Mexico as metropolitan archbishop of Durango (area 82,017, population 1,385,000, Catholics 1,170,000, priests 178, permanent deacons 8, religious 275), Mexico. He succeeds Archbishop Hector Gonzalez Martinez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

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