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Monday, January 5, 2015

Angelus: Peace, a gift from the Lord every day

Vatican City, 4 December 2015 (VIS) – “Men speak much of light, but often they prefer the deceptive tranquillity of the dark. We talk a lot about peace, but often resort to war or choose complicit silence, or do nothing to build peace”, said Pope Francis upon appearing at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square on the first Sunday of the year. “The heart of man can refuse light and prefer the shadows, because the light lays bare his wicked works. He who does evil hates the light; he who does evil, hates peace”.

“A few days ago we began the new year in the name of the Mother of God, celebrating World Day of Peace with the theme: “No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters”. My hope is that the exploitation of man by man may be overcome. This exploitation is a social evil that extinguishes social relationships and impedes a life of communion characterised by respect, justice and charity. Each person and every people hungers and thirsts for peace; therefore it is necessary and urgent to build peace”.

Francis continued, “Peace is not just the absence of war, but a general condition in which the human person is in harmony with himself, with nature and with others. … Nevertheless, silencing arms and stopping outbreaks of war remain the unavoidable conditions for embarking on a journey towards the attainment of peace in its different forms. I think of the conflicts that still cause bloodshed in too many regions of the planet, of tensions in families and communities – in how many families, communities, and even parish communities, there is war! – as well as the sharp divisions in our cities and towns between groups of different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. We must convince ourselves that, despite all appearances to the contrary, harmony is always possible, at every level and in every situation. There is no future without proposals and projects for peace! There is no future without peace!”.

The Pope commented that peace is proclaimed as a special gift from God, in the birth of the Redeemer: “Peace on earth to those on whom His favour rests”. He added, “This gift must be incessantly sought in prayer and nurtured each day with commitment, in the situations in which we find ourselves. At the dawn of this new year, we are all called to rekindle in our hearts an impulse of hope, that should result in concrete works of peace … at home, in your community, at work … works of peace, reconciliation and fraternity. Each one of us must carry out these acts of fraternity towards others, especially those who are suffering as a result of family tensions or disputes of various kinds. These small gestures have great value: they can be the seeds that give rise to hope, that can open up roads to and the prospect of peace”.

He concluded by encouraging those present to invoke Mary, Queen of Peace, “who, during her earthly life, encountered no lack of difficulties in the daily burdens of existence. But she never lost her peace of heart, the fruit of her trusting abandonment to God's mercy. We ask that Mary, our tender Mother, show the entire world the sure path of love and peace”.

The Pope appoints 20 new cardinals

Vatican City, 4 December 2015 (VIS) – Pope Francis announced, at the end of today's Angelus, that on 14 February 2015, feast of St. Valentine, a consistory will be held for the creation of twenty new cardinals – fifteen electors and five non-electors – originating from fourteen countries from all over the world, demonstrating “an indissoluble bond between the Church of Rome and the particular Churches present throughout the world”.

The day after the consistory, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebration with the new cardinals, while on 12 and 13 February a consistory will take place with all the cardinals to reflect on the orientations and proposals for reform of the Roman Curia.

The new cardinal electors are:

- Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, titular of Sagona, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura;

- Patriarch Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente of Lisbon, Portugal;

- Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M., of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia;

- Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington, New Zealand;

- Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli of Ancona-Osimo, Italy;

- Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Ha Noi, Vietnam;

- Archbishop Alberto Suarez Inda of Morelia, Mexico;

- Archbishop Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., of Yangon, Myanmar;

- Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Bangkok, Thailand;

- Archbishop Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento, Italy;

- Archbishop Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B., of Montevideo, Uruguay;

- Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, Spain;

- Bishop Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R., of David, Panama;

- Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado of Santiago de Cabo Verde, Cape Verde;

- Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga, Tonga.

The five non-electors are:

- Archbishop Jose de Jesus Pimiento Rodriguez, emeritus of Manizales, Colombia;

- Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, pro-major penitentiary emeritus, Italy;

- Archbishop Karl-Joseph Rauber, apostolic nuncio, Germany;

- Archbishop Luis Hector Villalba, emeritus of Tucuman, Argentina;

- Bishop Julio Duarte Langa, emeritus of Xai-Xai, Mozambique.

Note on the creation of new cardinals

Vatican City, 5 December 2015 (VIS) – The following is the full text of a note from the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., on the creation of new cardinals in the upcoming consistory, to be held on 14 February.

“Considering the usual number of 120 electors, there were 12 places 'available' in the College of Cardinals. Although the Pope has slightly exceeded this number, he has remained very close to it, so it has substantially been respected.

The most evident criterion is that of universality. Among the new electors, 14 different countries are represented, of which six did not previously have a cardinal, and some have never had one. If the non-electors are also counted, then 18 countries are represented. Among the electors, there are 5 from Europe, 3 from Asia, 3 from Latin America (including Mexico), 2 from Africa and 2 from Oceania. There are no new cardinals for North America (U.S.A. and Canada), since there number is already significant and has remained stable since last year. (There is a new Mexican cardinal).

There is a significant presence of countries that have not had a cardinal (Cape Verde, Tonga, Myanmar), and of small or minority ecclesial communities. (The Bishop of Tonga is president of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific; the diocese of Santiago of Cape Verde is one of the oldest African diocese; the diocese of Morelia in Mexico is in a region stricken by violence). It is notable that there is only one new cardinal from the Roman Curia, while currently the “Roman” cardinals constitute around a quarter of the electors. Evidently the Pope wishes to consider the Prefects of the Congregations and a few other very important institutions of the Curia, such as the Tribunal of the Signatura. It is confirmed that the Pope does not consider himself bound by the tradition of 'cardinal sees', that for historical reasons in various Countries were considered almost 'automatically' linked to the cardinalate. Instead we see various appointments of archbishops and bishops from sees that have not had a cardinal in the past. This is true of Italy, Spain and Mexico.

With regard to the non-electors, the Pope’s brief introduction is noteworthy: “they represent many bishops who, with the same care of shepherds”, have served as the pastors of dioceses, but also in the Curia and the diplomatic service. Appointment as a cardinal may therefore be a form of recognition given symbolically to some, but acknowledging the merits of all.

The youngest of the new cardinals is the archbishop of Tonga, Msgr. Mafi (1961), who will become the youngest member of the College of Cardinals. The eldest is the emeritus of Manizales, Msgr. Pimiento Rodriguez (1919)”.
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