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Friday, November 14, 2014

Audience with the president of Peru: promote full development and the protection of the environment

Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father Francis today received in audience, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the president of the Republic of Peru, Ollanta Moises Humala Tasso, who subsequently met with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, in the absence of Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

During the cordial discussions, mention was made of the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Peru, with particular emphasis on the special role of Christianity in the formation of the identity of the country, as well as the contribution the Catholic Church has given and continues to guarantee in favour of the human, social and cultural progress of the population.

Finally, there was an exchange of views on the political and social situation in the Region, with attention to the efforts made to promote full development and the protection of the environment.

Francis to accountants: the dignity of the person must prevail over bureaucracy

Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) – “From your professional observatory, you are well aware of the dramatic situation faced by many people who are precariously employed or have lost their jobs; of the many families who pay the consequences; of the many young people in search of a first occupation and dignified work. They are many, especially immigrants, who are compelled to work illegally, and lack the most basic legal and economic guarantees”, said the Pope this morning in his address to the seven thousand participants at the World Congress of Accountants, held in Rome from 10 to 13 November.

In this economic context, there is a “strong temptation to defend one's own interests without worrying about the common good, without paying too much attention to justice and legality. However, we are all, especially those who exercise a profession associated with the good functioning of the economic life of a country, required to play a positive and constructive role in carrying out our work on a daily basis, aware that behind every piece of paper there is a story, and there are faces. In this task … the Christian professional draws strength every day from prayer and the Word of God to carry out his or her own duties well, with skill and wisdom; and then, to go further than this, which means reaching towards those in difficulty; exercising that creativity that allows solutions to be found in situations of impasse; to make the reason of human dignity prevail over the rigidity of bureaucracy”.

Francis affirmed that the economy and finance are “dimensions of human activity and may be opportunities for encounters, dialogue, cooperation, the recognition of rights and the rendering of services, of dignity affirmed in work. But it is therefore necessary always to place man and his dignity at the centre, opposing those dynamics that tend to homogenise everything and place money at the summit. When money becomes the aim and reason for every activity and initiative, this leads to the prevalence of a utilitarian perspective and the untrammelled logic of profit that does not respect people, with the consequent widespread decline in the values of solidarity and respect for the human person. Those who work in various roles in economics and finance are required to make decisions that favour the social and economic well-being of humanity as a whole, offering everyone the opportunity to realise their own development”.

“You, in your profession”, he said, addressing the accountants, “work alongside companies, but also families and individuals, to offer economic and financial advice. I encourage you always to work responsibly, favouring relationships of loyalty, justice and, if possible, fraternity, courageously facing, above all, the problems faced by the weakest and poorest. It is not enough to give concrete answers to economic and material questions; it is necessary to promote and cultivate the ethics of the economy, finance and work; it is necessary to keep alive the value of solidarity as a moral attitude, an expression of attention to others and all their legitimate needs. If we wish to hand our environmental, economic, cultural and social patrimony to future generations in a better condition than that in which we have inherited it, we must assume the responsibility of working for a globalisation of solidarity. … And the social doctrine of the Church teaches us that the principle of solidarity works in harmony with that of subsidiarity. Thanks to the effect of these two principles, processes are placed at the services of humanity and enable the growth of justice, without which there cannot be true and lasting peace”.

Programme for the Pope's apostolic trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines

Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy See Press Office published the programme for Pope Francis' upcoming trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, scheduled for 12 to 19 January 2015.

The Holy Father will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport on Monday, 12 January at 7 p.m. and will arrive in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, on Tuesday 13 at 9 a.m. Following the welcome ceremony he will meet with the country's bishops at the archbishop's residence, after which he will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Republic. The day will conclude with an interreligious meeting at the Bandaranaike Memorial.

On Wednesday, 14 January, during a Mass to be celebrated at 8.30 a.m. at the Galle Face Green, he will canonise Blessed Joseph Vaz and will then transfer by helicopter to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary at Madhu. From there he will proceed by helicopter to Colombo.

Thursday will begin with a visit to the chapel of Our Lady of Lanka in Bolawalana, after which the Pope will leave Sri Lanka and depart by air, at 9 a.m., for Manila, the capital of the Philippines, where he will be officially received at 5.45 p.m.

On Friday, 16 January, Francis will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Philippines in the presidential palace, followed by an address to the authorities and the diplomatic corps. At 11.15 a.m. in the cathedral of the Immaculate Conception he will celebrate Mass with bishops, priests and consecrated persons. His final activity on Thursday will be an encounter with families in the Arena Mall of Asia.

On Saturday, 17 January, the Pontiff will transfer by air to Tacloban International Airport where he will celebrate Mass, followed by and lunch with survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. In the afternoon he will bless the Pope Francis Centre for the Poor and will meet priests, consecrated persons, seminarians and families of the typhoon survivors in the cathedral of Palo. He will then return to Manila.

On Sunday, 18 January, he will meet with the religious leaders of the Philippines at the St. Thomas University of Manila and later with young people at the university sports field. The day will conclude with a Mass celebrated in Rizal Park.

On Monday, 19 January, the Pope will conclude his trip, leaving from Manila at 10 a.m. The aircraft carrying the Holy Father is expected to land in Rome's Ciampino airport at 5.40 p.m.

Third World Congress of Movements Guided by Evangelii gaudium

Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) – This morning, in the Holy See Press Office, a conference was held to present the Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and new communities. Promoted and organised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity on the theme “The Joy of the Gospel: a missionary joy”, the Congress will be held from 20 to 22 November in the Maria Mater Ecclesiae Pontifical College, Rome.

The speakers in the conference were Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the same dicastery; Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement; and Jean-Luc Moens, president of Fidesco, young volunteers in evangelisation and development projects, and member of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”.

Cardinal Rylko remarked that the Pontifical Magisterium has perceived in the phenomenon of movements “a current of grace, a gift and a timely response from the Holy Spirit to the serious challenges that today's world poses to the mission of the Church”. He recalled that, for St. John Paul II, movements constituted a “reason for hope for the Church and for mankind”, and were seen by Pope Benedict XVI as “new incursions of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church, powerful ways of living faith, a healthy provocation, of which the Church is always in need, and 'creative minorities', decisive for the future of humanity”. He added that Pope Francis, in this respect, is in perfect harmony with his predecessors.

The Congress will be attended by approximately three hundred laypersons – founders, moderators and general delegates – representing around a hundred movements and new communities, with a broad international dimension. They will be joined by a large number of pastors, bishops and priests. The prelate explained that the novelty of this Congress derives from the fact that it originated from the great meeting with the Pope that took place at Pentecost in 2013 in the context of the Year of Faith, and added that the theme of the congress clearly expresses that “our work is guided by the Apostolic Exhortation 'Evangelii gaudium'. This is the great challenge that Pope Francis presents to us. … He wants an 'outbound' Church, that reaches out to the geographical and existential peripheries of our world, a Church that is particularly attentive and close to all the poor, suffering and excluded, the bitter product of the 'throwaway culture' that dominates nowadays. … And it is precisely this that is the great and fundamental challenge that the movements wish to accept during this third world Congress'”.


Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father received in audience:

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

- Franco Anelli, rector of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart.
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