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Friday, October 31, 2014

The Pope to the Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Renewal: seek unity without fearing diversity

Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – “Seek the unity which is the work of the Holy Spirit and do not be afraid of diversity”, said Pope Francis in his address to a thousand members of the Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowship, who are about to begin their Sixteenth International Conference on the theme “Praise and Worship for a New Evangelisation”.

“Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way”, he underlined. “Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of these gifts at the service of all members of the Church. It means knowing how to listen, to accept differences, and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect towards the other who is my brother or sister. Do not be afraid of differences!”.

Referring to the programme, where the names of the Communities are mentioned, he noted that in the introduction there is the phrase, “to share the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the whole Church”, and reiterated that the Church and all Christians need to open their hearts to the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit ... reveals Jesus Christ to us, and leads us to a personal encounter with him. … Is this your experience? Share it with others! In order to share this experience, you must live it and bear witness to it!”

“Praise is the 'breath' which gives us life, because it is intimacy with God, an intimacy that grows through daily praise”, continued the Holy Father, explaining how spiritual life “works” by analogy with human respiration. “Breathing is made up of two stages: inhaling, the intake of air, and exhaling, the letting out of this air. The spiritual life is fed, nourished, by prayer and is expressed outwardly through mission: inhaling and exhaling. When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. When exhaling this air, we announce Jesus Christ risen by the same Spirit. No one can live without breathing. It is the same for the Christian: without praise and mission there is no Christian life. And with praise, worship. We rarely speak about worship. What do we do when we pray? We ask things of God, we give thanks … But worshipping and adoring God is part of breathing – praise and worship”.

The Pope emphasised that “Charismatic Renewal has reminded the Church of the necessity and importance of the prayer of praise”, which is “the recognition of the Lordship of God over us and over all creation expressed through dance, music and song. … The prayer of praise bears fruit in us. Sarah danced as she celebrated her fertility – at the age of ninety! This fruitfulness gives praise to God. … Together with the prayer of praise, the prayer of intercession is, in these days, a cry to the Father for our Christian brothers and sisters who are persecuted and murdered, and for the cause of peace in our turbulent world”.

“Charismatic Renewal is, by its very nature, ecumenical”, he remarked, citing the words of Blessed Paul VI : “The power of evangelisation will find itself considerably diminished if those who proclaim the Gospel are divided among themselves in all sorts of ways. Is this not perhaps one of the great sicknesses of evangelisation today? The Lord’s spiritual testament tells us that unity among his followers is not only the proof that we are his but also the proof that he is sent by the Father. It is the test of the credibility of Christians and of Christ himself. Yes, the destiny of evangelisation is certainly bound up with the witness of unity given by the Church'”.

Spiritual ecumenism, he concluded, is “praying and proclaiming together that Jesus is Lord, and coming together to help the poor in all their poverty. We must not forget that today the blood of Jesus, poured out by many Christian martyrs in various parts of the world, calls us and compels us towards the goal of unity. For persecutors, we are not divided: we are not Lutherans, Orthodox, Evangelicals, Catholics. No! We are one. For persecutors, we are Christians. It is an ecumenism of blood that we live today!”.

Pope Francis' prayer intentions for November

Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for November is: “That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors”.

Mission of the secretary of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” in Damascus

Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – From 28 to 31 October the secretary of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, visited Damascus in order to attend the meeting of the assembly of Catholic bishops in Syria.

Msgr. Dal Toso also met with various institutions, especially Catholic, that are currently involved in humanitarian aid activities in the country.

In these meetings, special appreciation was expressed for the commitment of the Holy Father and the Holy See to supporting the Christian communities and the population as a whole, who suffer as a result of the conflict, and for encouraging dialogue and reconciliation among the various parties.

Emphasis was also placed on the important role of Catholic aid organisms, who benefit all of the Syrian population. Through the generous contribution of the international community, in the face of growing need, this assistance will have to be intensified in the future.

The Holy See at the United Nations: climate change is not only an environmental problem, but also a matter of justice

Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – On 16 October Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations, addressed the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, dedicated to “Sustainable development: protection of global climate for present and future generations”.

“While the impact of climate change is felt globally, developed and technologically advanced countries have greater capacity to adapt and mitigate the adverse effects, whereas developing and poor nations remain particularly vulnerable”, he said. “During the Climate Summit on September 23 and on many other occasions, we have heard the urgent pleas of Small Island States that climate change is an existential threat to them. This is paradoxical and unjust, given that the primary factors of climate change, like high consumption and high-quantity greenhouse gas emissions, characterize highly industrialised societies. That is why the Holy See believes that climate change is not only an environmental question; it is also a question of justice and a moral imperative”.

“It is a matter of justice to help poor and vulnerable people suffering the most from causes largely not of their making and beyond their control”, emphasised the archbishop. “One concrete step would be to make available to them the best in adaptation and mitigation technology. And now all eyes are already turned to the Twenty-first Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Eleventh Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which will take place in Paris in December 2015. There, the poor and the rich – indeed, all of us – will be winners if we can reach agreement on a post-2020 international regime, in which all the nations of the world, including the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, bind themselves to a universal agreement on climate”.

“It is along this line that my delegation sees a relevance of the term 'responsibility to protect', not only in the humanitarian and human rights areas, but in the question of climate change as well. Everyone shares the responsibility to protect our planet and the human family. … Let us make the conscientious choice of refraining from lifestyles and behaviour that could worsen the state of our planet, and let us promote initiatives that protect and heal it. The world has become a village; thus, we must become more and more aware of this mutual and common responsibility. In particular, States have the grave duty to make policy decisions and devise monitoring structures to ensure that present and future generations live in a safe and worthy environment”, he concluded.


Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience:

- Bruno Neve de Mevergnies, new ambassador of Belgium to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters;

- Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;

- Archbishop Martin Krebs, apostolic nuncio in New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Palau, Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Tonga, and apostolic delegate in the Pacific Ocean;

- Archbishop Sergio da Rocha of Brasilia, Brazil.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Bishop Jean Mbarga of Ebolowa, Cameroon, as archbishop of Yaounde (area 23,807, population 1,594,000, Catholics 1,538,000, priests 138, religious 318), Cameroon. Bishop Mbarga was formerly apostolic administrator of the same archdiocese.

- The following consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints: Fr. Bernard Ardura, O. Praem., France, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences; Msgr. Alejandro Cifres Gimenez, Spain, archivist of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Fr. Paolo Carlotti, S.D.B., Italy, advisor to the Apostolic Penitentiary; Fr. Tomislav Mrkonjic, O.F.M. Conv., Croatia, scriptor of the Vatican Secret Archive; Fr. Paul Murray, O.P., Ireland, Institute of Spirituality of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome; Fr. Martin McKeever, C.S.S.R., Ireland, of the Alphonsianum Academy, Rome; Fr. Jordi-Agusti Pique i Collado, O.S.B., Spain, of the Liturgical Institute of the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum, Rome; Fr. Rocco Ronzani, O.S.A., Italy, of the Augustinianum Patristic Institute, Rome; Fr. Pablo Santiago Zambruno, O.P., of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome; Fr. Raffaele Di Muro, O.F.M. Conv., Italy, of the “San Bonaventura” Theological Faculty; Professor Gabriele Zaccagnini, Italy, of the University of Pisa; Professor Angela Ales Bello, of the Pontifical Academy of Theology.

In memoriam

Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Bishop Cirilo B. Flores of San Diego, California, U.S.A., on 6 September at the age of 66.

- Bishop Joseph Abangite Gasi, emeritus of Tombura-Yambio, South Sudan, on 12 September at the age of 86.

- Bishop Servilio Conti, I.M.C., prelate emeritus of Roraima, Brazil, on 14 September at the age of 97.

- Bishop Jose Luis Serna Alzate, emeritus of Libano-Honda, Colombia, on 28 September at the age of 78.

- Archbishop Carlo Curis, apostolic nuncio in Canada, on 29 September at the age of 90.

- Archbishop Angelo Mottola, apostolic nuncio in Montenegro, on 8 October at the age of 79.

- Bishop John Patrick Boles, ex-auxiliary of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on 9 October at the age of 84.

- Bishop Jose Hernan Sanchez Porras of the Military Ordinariate of Venezuela, on 13 October at the age of 70.

- Bishop Joao Corso, S.D.B., emeritus of Campos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 15 October at the age of 86.

- Bishop Jose Refugio Mercado Diaz, auxiliary emeritus of Tehuantepec, Mexico, on 15 October at the age of 72.

- Bishop Patrick Paul D'Souza, emeritus of Varanasi, India, on 16 October at the age of 86.

- Bishop Paul Henry Walsh, auxiliary emeritus of Rockville Centre, New York, U.S.A., on 18 October at the age of 77.

- Bishop Peter Baptist Tadamaro Ishigami, O.F.M. Cap., emeritus of Naha, Japan, on 25 October at the age of 93.

- Bishop Manuel Revollo Crespo, C.M.F., coadjutor emeritus of the Bolivia Military Ordinariate, on 26 October at the age of 89.

- Bishop Mansour Hobeika of Zahleh, Lebanon, on 28 October at the age of 72.
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