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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Consistory for the creation of new cardinals in February 2015

Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) – A press conference was held today during which the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., announced the Holy Father's wish to convene a Consistory for the creation of new cardinals on 14 and 15 February 2015. He also announced two other important appointments: a meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Roman Curia (9 to 11 February) and a meeting of the College of Cardinals (12 to 13 February) to discuss matters relating to the reorganisation of the Holy See.

20th Conference on Climate Change: solidarity, encounter and dialogue to protect the planet

Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a message to Manuel Pugal Vidal, minister for the environment of the Republic of Peru and president of the 20th Conference of States Party to the United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change, held in Lima, Peru from 1 to 12 December. The Pope assured the organisers and participants of his closeness and encouragement “so that your work may be carried out during these days with an open and generous spirit”, and he remarked that the current debate affects all of humanity, in particular the poorest and future generations. “It is a grave ethical and moral responsibility”.

“The consequences of environmental change, which are already dramatically felt in many states, especially the islands of the Pacific, remind us of the grave consequences of mismanagement and inaction. The time for seeking global solutions is running out. We can find suitable solutions only if we act together and in agreement. There exists, however, a clear, definitive and unpostponable ethical imperative to act”. Pope Francis thus emphasised that an “effective battle against global warming will be possible only through a responsible collective response that sets aside particular interests and behaviours and develops free from political and economic pressures. A collective response that is also capable of overcoming distrust and promoting a culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogue; capable of demonstrating our responsibility for protecting the planet and the human family”.

Finally, before imparting his blessing to all the participants and the citizens of the countries represented, the Pontiff expressed his wish that this Conference and subsequent meetings on climate change put into effect “a dialogue imbued with … the values of justice, respect and equality”, and give rise to fruitful decisions and initiatives, in the service of all humanity.

To the participants in the 4th European Congress on youth pastoral ministry: “Your task is to sow, but only God can make the seeds grow”

Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) – “Those of you who work in the field of youth pastoral ministry, carry out valuable work for the Church. The young need this service: both adults and other young people of mature faith who accompany them on their path, helping them to find the road that leads to Christ”, writes the Pope in his message to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and to the participants in the 4th European Congress on Youth Pastoral Ministry, promoted by the same dicastery and in collaboration with the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe, held in Rome from 11 to 13 December on the theme: “A young Church, witness to the joy of the Gospel”.

“This pastoral ministry consists of walking with them, accompanying them personally in the complex and at times difficult contexts in which they are immersed”, he continues. “Youth pastoral ministry must engage with the questions posed by the youth of today, and from this starting point, initiate a real and honest dialogue to bring Christ into their lives. And a true dialogue in this sense can be achieved by those who experience a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, which then overflows into their relationships with their brethren”.

The Pope acknowledges in his message that much remains to be done, and encourages the participants never to tire of announcing the Gospel, with their life and their word, since “Europe needs to rediscover it!”. He also encourages them to consider the current situation of young Europeans through the eyes of Christ. “He teaches us to see not only the challenges and problems, but also to recognise the many seeds of love and hope dispersed across the continent, that has given to the Church as great number of saints, many of whom were young. Let us not forget that we are given the task of sowing, but it is God Who makes these seeds grow”.

“While you sow the Word of the Lord in this vast field that is European youth, you have the opportunity of bearing witness to the reasons for the hope that is within you, with gentleness and respect. You are able to help the young to realise that faith is not opposed to reason, and thus to accompany them as they become joyful agents for the evangelisation of their peers”. Pope Francis concludes his message by remarking that “youth pastoral ministry is required to offer to the young a path of vocational discernment, to prepare them to follow Jesus on the way of conjugal and family life, or that of special consecration in the service of God's Kingdom”.


Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience Alicia Castro, Argentine ambassador to the United Kingdom.
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