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Friday, February 6, 2015

To Italian prefects: fidelity to the law and scrupulous respect for the rights of the person

Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Clementine Hall the Pope received in audience the prefects (governmental representatives) of various Italian cities. In his address, he remarked that their work “implies tenacious dedication to duty and an exhaustive knowledge of relevant issues, along with the flexibility necessary to face the innumerable practical cases that emerge, each one with its own peculiarities”.

Pope Francis recalled that in recent years, during which migration has had a particular impact, partly as a result of “an increase throughout the world of violent conflicts with their tragic consequences for the people and the economies of many countries”, there has been a need for particular delicacy and competence in relation to immigration. The prefects are faced with “the need to identify in the everyday management of situations, frequently in emergencies, the correct application of norms in order to guarantee, along with fidelity to the dictates of the law and current legislation, scrupulous respect for the fundamental rights of every human being”.

“In this area, as in many others, fruitful collaboration between the Prefectures, dioceses and parishes is of great help; collaboration which, with respect for distinct competences, deserves confirmation, recognition and further development. The Church, as a divine and human entity, works in society in the service of people based on the teaching of Christ and, wishing to carry out her educational and charitable mission in sincere collaboration with the institutions of the State for the development of humanity and the good of the country, is pleased to find in the Prefectures one of the fields in which this synergy for the good of all citizens is made particularly tangible”.

The Holy Father went on to note that obedience to the law and the criteria of humanity at its foundations, alongside loyalty to institutions, constitute the indispensable framework within which the prefects carry out their work, and are attitudes favourable to the assumption of responsibility. “The crisis of authority experienced by our society in various fields, both public and private and with wide-ranging consequences, especially for the education of the younger generations, numbers among its causes the lack of these fundamental dispositions towards obedience, listening and patience. Furthermore, the exercise of authority always has as its aim the attainment of the common good, finding its most intimate reason for existence and the very possibility of its effectiveness in placing itself in the service of those over whom authority is held”.

He concluded, “You are therefore called to exercise your professionalism and your humanity, your knowledge and your prudence, without discouragement or pessimism, knowing however that you will not be faced with abstract questions but rather the real face of men and women with their problems and their hopes, that in these years of uncertainty and economic difficulty have become even more pressing”.

Francis at the concluding session of Scholas Occurrentes: the young are the future

Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon Pope Francis participated in the closing ceremony of the Fourth World Congress organised by Scholas Occurrentes, held in the Vatican from 2 to 5 February on the theme “Responsibility of all in education for a culture of encounter”. The international network of schools, “Scholas Occurrentes – schools for encounter” was established with a small number of children in Buenos Aires at the behest of the then-Archbishop Bergoglio and currently involves four hundred state and religious schools in five continents, linked through sports, art and technology. During the ceremony, Pope Francis held a video-conference with seven disabled children from different parts of the world, to whom he said, “Each one of us has a treasure inside. If we keep it locked up, it stays locked up inside; if we share it with others, the treasure multiplies with the treasure that comes from others”. The Pope also remarked that, thanks to them, we understand that “life is a beautiful treasure, but it makes sense only if it is given”.

He went on to speak of a “broken educational pact”. “Society, the family, and various institutions delegate education to teachers who, generally underpaid, bear the burden of this responsibility and are berated if the outcome is not successful; however, no-one looks to the various institutions that have broken the educational pact, who have delegated it to the professionalism of teachers”. He paid homage to those teachers “who have found themselves with this hot potato in their hands and have made efforts to keep going”.

Francis explained that the aim of Scholas Occurrentes is to reintegrate the efforts of all in education, and to harmoniously rebuild the educational pact, “as only in this way, if all those of us who are responsible for the education of our young act in together, can we change education”. He also emphasised the importance of “harmonising the language of the head with that of the heart and of the hands, so that a person, a boy or a girl, thinks about what he feels and does, feels what he thinks and does, and does what he feels and thinks”.

He highlighted every person and every people's search for “the beauty we create with our art, our music, our painting, our sculpture, our literature. Educate in beauty, because harmony means beauty, and we cannot achieve harmony in our educational system without having this perception of beauty”. He concluded by thanking Scholas Occurrentes for its achievements and, while he acknowledged that many problems remained to be solved, he encouraged the organisation to continue its work. “Joint work and monitoring are necessary, so that this spark may become a flame, and may help to rebuild and harmonise the educational pact. Those who benefit from this are the young, and the young are the future”.

Consistory on 14 February and courtesy visits to the new cardinals

Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) – On Saturday 14 February in St. Peter's Basilica, the Holy Father will preside at an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of new cardinals and the canonisation of Blessed Jeanne-Emilie De Villeneuve, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified (nee Maryam Baouardy) professed nun of the Order of Discalced Carmelites and Blesseed Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas (nee Maryam Sultanah), co-foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem of the Latins.

On the same day, in the afternoon, the courtesy visits to the new cardinals will take place in the locations indicated below:

Paul VI Hall

Atrium: Cardinals Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente; Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M; John Atcherley Dew; Edoardo Menichelli; Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon and Alberto Suarez Inda;

Hall: Cardinals Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B. ;Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij; Francesco Montenegro; Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B; Ricardo Blazquez Perez; Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R; Arlindo Gomes Furtad and Soane Patita Paini Mafi;

Apostolic Palace

Sala Regia: Cardinals Dominique Mamberti and Luigi De Magistris;

Sala Ducal: Cardinals Karl-Joseph Rauber, Luis Hector Villalba and Julio Duarte Langa.

On Sunday 15 February, Pope Francis concelebrates Holy Mass with all the cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at 10 a.m.

Showers and barber under Bernini's Colonnade for “homeless pilgrims”

Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) – In recent days work has been concluded for the installation of new showers below Bernini’s Colonnade, thus completing an extensive project to provide this service for the poor of the city of Rome through the participating parishes, especially those where there already exist canteens for the poor or where there is a greater concentration of homeless people.

The project was planned, guided and implemented by the technicians and employees of the Governorate of Vatican City State: three showers and a small “barbershop” have been incorporated in the complete renovation of a section of the bathrooms present under the right wing of the Colonnade.

This has been achieved with great sobriety and dignity, but also using modern techniques: every washbasin is equipped with hot water, a soap dispenser and a hot air jet for drying hands, all photocell-activated; instead of tiles, a special resin has been used to coat the walls, which is easy to wash and ensures optimum hygiene.

The showers will be available for use every day, except on Wednesday during the general audience and during celebrations in St. Peter’s Square and in the Basilica. On Monday, Thursday and Saturday the service and management of the showers is ensured by volunteers from UNITALSI – Rome Section. The barber will be available on Monday from 9 am to 3 pm. The service is provided by various voluntary barbers and final year students from a hairdressing school in Rome.

Our homeless pilgrims who wish to use the shower will receive a complete change of underwear and a kit including a towel, soap, toothpaste, a razor, shaving cream and deodorant, in accordance with their specific needs. The majority of the material will be offered free of charge by several companies and private individuals who, having heard of this project, have offered to share their own resources with the needy. The remainder of the material will be purchased as necessary by the Almoner of His Holiness using proceeds from the distribution of parchments for Papal Blessings.

On certain days of the week the poor will be received by volunteers, starting with the Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the Albertine Sisters who assist the Swiss Guard, the Vincentian Sisters and many other kind-hearted volunteers in Rome who have offered their time and collaboration.

The Centro Televisivo Vaticano and the Photographic Service of L’Osservatore Romano will produce video footage and photographs of the new services and will make them available, from their offices, upon request.

The Almoner wishes to offer heartfelt thanks to all the Parishes that have participated in this project and, in particular, all those who have contributed to producing the showers below the Colonnade and who will endeavour in various ways to their use to assist the poor.


Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy;

- His Beatitude Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites;

- Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru;

- Bishop Heinz Wilhelm Steckling of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Fr. Jozef Roszynski, S.V.D., as bishop of Wewak (area 36,917, population 367,000, Catholics 224,000, priests 39, religious 90), Papua New Guinea. The bishop-elect was born in Nidzica, Poland in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He studied at the Divine Word University, Papua New Guinea and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest in parishes in Warabung, Wirui and Wewak; member of the provincial council of the Verbites in Papua New Guinea; superior of the the Verbites in the district of Wewak; member of commissions created by the apostolic administrator for the management of finances and for the pastoral care of the vacant diocese in Wewak. He is currently a missionary in the same diocese.

- Fr. Denis Chidi Isizoh as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Onitsha (area 2,968, population 2,642,000, Catholics 1,761,000, priests 336, religious 730), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Ogbunike, Japan in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He studied Holy Scriptures at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, and studied for a doctorate in biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served as a formator at the “All Hallows” minor seminary of Onitsha and chaplain of various institutes and schools. He is currently secretary and assistant to Cardinal Francis Arinze and official at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
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