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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee of Mercy: 11 April in St. Peter's Basilica

Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) – Following the first announcement of the next extraordinary Holy Year by Pope Francis on 13 March, the Holy Father will proceed with the official indiction of the Jubilee of Mercy with the publication of the Bull of Indiction on Saturday 11 April, at 5.30 pm in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The rite of publication will involve the reading of various passages of the Bull before the Holy Door of the Vatican Basilica. Pope Francis will subsequently preside at the celebration of First Vespers of Divine Mercy Sunday, thus underlining in a particular way the fundamental theme of the extraordinary Holy Year: God’s Mercy.

The term bull (from the Latin bulla = bubble or, more generally, a rounded object) originally indicated the metal capsule used to protect the wax seal attached with a cord to a document of particular importance, to attest to its authenticity and, as a consequence, its authority. Over time, the term began to be used first to indicate the seal, then the document itself, so that nowadays it is used for all papal documents of special importance that bear, or at least traditionally would have borne, the Pontiff’s seal.

The bull for the indiction of a jubilee, for instance in the case of an extraordinary Holy Year, aside from indicating its time, with the opening and closing dates and the main ways in which it will be implemented, constitutes the fundamental document for recognising the spirit in which it is announced, and the intentions and the outcomes hoped for by the Pontiff, who invokes it for the Church.

In the case of the last two extraordinary Holy Years, 1933 and 1983, the Bull of Indiction was published on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. For the next extraordinary Holy Year, the choice of the occasion on which the publication of the Bull will take place clearly demonstrates the Holy Father’s particular attention to the theme of Mercy.

Pope Francis' prayer intentions for April

Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for April is: “That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church”.

Declaration of the Vice Director of the Holy See Press Office

Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) – The Vice Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Ciro Benedettini, C.P., today issued the following declaration:

“Prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons precluding the appointment”.

The Holy See on the Sustainable Development Goals

Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) – Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York, spoke at the session dedicated to intergovernmental negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, held on 24 March.

The prelate expressed his appreciation for the “ambitious and compelling nature” of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and his conviction of the need for a “transformative and action-oriented post-2015 agenda”. “Moreover”, he continued, “we SDGs must integrate in a balanced manner the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental development – with an overarching focus on the eradication of poverty and the achievement of a life of dignity for all. It is imperative that the SDGs focus more on the needs of the most vulnerable countries, notably the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Land-Locked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with particular attention to the sectors of the populations where poverty is most pervasive, to those regions where armed conflicts continue to block even the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – and indeed cause further regression towards underdevelopment – and to those areas most affected by natural disasters.

The Holy See delegation, affirmed the Archbishop, “is fully aware that SDGs are a carefully and purposefully crafted package to respond to the desires of the stakeholders”, and therefore does not support “the technical proofing of the goals and targets, as it may lead to the re-opening and re-negotiating of what is already a politically balanced agreement acceptable to the great majority of the stakeholders”. Furthermore, results and progress if the SDGs are implemented “would have to be assessed and verified against indicators agreed by the stakeholders themselves”.

“Therefore”, he continued, “my delegation takes note of the work of the UN Statistical Commission in providing a preliminary list of indicators for the SDGs and targets. We further emphasise that the development of evidence-based indicators should continue to be carried out in an open and transparent manner and guided by Member States. These indicators should not upset the political balance of the SDGs, nor should they serve to impose ideas or ideologies that do not find consensus under the outcome of the Open Working Groups (OWGs)”.

Archbishop Auza concluded by indicating that certain goals and targets “are understood differently in different cultural and religious contexts and will translate differently into their national policies and legislation. We believe the indicators must take these differences into consideration and be drafted in a way that allows countries to assess their results in a way that both reflects and respects their national values, as well as is consistent with their national policies and legislation. … My delegation strongly believes that the indicators should be global, while taking into consideration the national and regional specificities, especially different capacities. Indicators cannot be unrealistic figures that only, or not even, developed countries can achieve”.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Fr. Christophe Amade, M. Afr., as bishop of Kalemie-Kirungu (area 71,577, population 5,950,013, Catholics 3,663,230, priests 100, religious 125), Democratic Republic of the Congo. The bishop-elect was born in Mune, Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He studied theology at the London Missionary Institute, England, and holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has exercised his pastoral ministry in Funsi in the diocese of Wa, Ghana, and has served as lecturer and subsequently rector of the Consortium of Philosophy in Jinja, Uganda, and lecturer in philosophy at the Consortium of Philosophy in Kumasi, Ghana and at the St. Augustin University, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is currently provincial superior of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa (“White Fathers”) for Central Africa.

- Fr. Donatien Bafuidinsoni, S.J., and Msgr. Jean-Pierre Kwambamba Masi as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Kinshasa (area 8,500, population 10,516,000, Catholics 5,830,000, priests 1166, religious 3,643), Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bishop-elect Bafuidinsoni is currently judicial vicar of the same archdiocese; Bishop-elect Kwambamba Masi, currently of the clergy of Kenge, is an official of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

- Rev. Fr. Giorgio Demetrio Gallaro as bishop of Piana degli Albanese di Sicilia (area 420, population 30,500, Catholics 29,000, priests 28, permanent deacons 4, religious 159), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Pozzallo, Italy in 1948 and was ordained a priest in 1972. He holds a doctorate in oriental canon law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome, and a licentiate in ecumenical theology from the Pontifical Institute of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome. In the U.S.A. he has served in pastoral and academic roles in the Melkite eparchy of Newton, Massachusetts, the Ukrainian eparchy of Stamford, Connecticut, and the Ruthenian archieparchy of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is currently syncellus for canonical affairs and judicial vicar in the archieparchy of Pittsburgh, lecturer in canon law and ecumenical theology at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, and judge of appeal for the archieparchy of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians.

- Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

- Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Cologne, Germany, as member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.
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