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Monday, June 1, 2015

The Pope continues his visits to the Roman Curia

Vatican City, 1 June 2015 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father visited the dicasteries of the Roman Curia located in Piazza Pio XII, no. 10.

Angelus: the Trinity is the final objective of our earthly pilgrimage

Vatican City, 31 May 2015 (VIS) – During the Holy Trinity Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis explained to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square that “the Trinity is … the mystery of the love of the living God. … Jesus revealed this mystery to us. And when, resurrected, he sent the disciples to evangelise the people, he told them to baptise them 'in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'”.

“Therefore, today's liturgical solemnity, while it makes us contemplate the wonderful mystery from which we come and to which we are going, also makes us renew our mission to live in communion with God and to live in communion with each other, based on the model of divine communion. We are required to live not without others, or above and against others, but with others, for others, and in others. This means welcoming and bearing witness to the beauty of the Gospel together. … In a word” added Francis, “we have been entrusted the task of building up the ecclesial community so that it is increasingly a family, able to reflect the splendour of the Trinity and to evangelise not only through words, but also with the strength of God's love that abides in us”.

The Trinity is also “the final objective of our earthly pilgrimage. … Therefore, we seek to maintain the 'high tone' of our life, recalling the reason and the glory for which we exist, work, struggle and suffer; and the immense reward to which we are called”. The mystery of the Trinity “embraces all of our life and all our Christian being. We remember it, for example, every time we make the sign of the Cross: in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, said the Holy Father, inviting the thousands of faithful present in St. Peter's Square to make the sign of the Cross with him.

Then, on the final day of the month of May, he commended all those present to the Virgin Mary. “May She, who more than any other creature … knew the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, take us by the hand and guide us. … Let us also ask Her to help the Church, so that she might be a mystery of communion, a hospitable community where every person, especially the poor and marginalised, may find welcome and feel like a daughter of God, wanted and loved”.

After the Marian prayer, the Pope mentioned that today in Bayonne, France, the priest Louis-Edouard Cestac, co-founder of the Servants of Mary, was declared blessed. “His witness of love for God and neighbour inspires the Church to live the Gospel of charity with joy”.

Finally, he invited all those who meet in Rome on 4 June, festivity of Corpus Christi, to attend the Mass to be celebrated in the Basilica of St. John Lateran and to participate in the procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, “a solemn public act of faith and love for Jesus-Eucharist, present in the midst of His people”.

“Before coming to an end, let us once more make the sign of the Cross, saying aloud, as one, 'In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit'”, recalling the mystery of the Holy Trinity”, he concluded.

Programme of the Holy Father's visit to Turin

Vatican City, 1 June 2015 (VIS) – The programme of the Holy Father's pastoral visit to Turin, Italy on 21 and 22 June, on the occasion of the extraordinary exposition of the Turin Shroud, was published today.

The Pope will leave by air from Rome's Ciampino airport at 6.30 a.m. on Sunday 21 June, arriving in Turin's Caselle airport an hour later. Upon arrival, he will be greeted by the Archbishop of Turin, Cesare Nosiglia, Sergio Chiamparino, president of the Piedmont region, Paola Basilone, prefect of Turin, and Piero Fassino, mayor of the city. He will transfer by car to Piazzetta Reale, where he will address representatives of the world of work.

At 9.15 a.m. the Holy Father will then enter the Cathedral on foot, where he will pray before the Holy Shroud and visit the altar of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, in the presence of the cloistered nuns and priests residing in clergy houses in the diocese, the Chapter of canons, the Commission for the Holy Shroud, relatives of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Cardinal Severino Poletto, archbishop emeritus of Turin, and the bishops of the episcopal conference of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta.

He will then transfer to Piazza Vittorio where he will concelebrate Holy Mass, pronounce a homily and pray the Angelus. Following the celebration he will proceed to the archbishop's residence by car, where he will lunch with detainees from the “Ferrante Aporti” detention centre for minors, some immigrants and a Rom family. This will be followed by a visit to the Shrine of the Consolata where he will pray privately with the priests of the community.

At 3 p.m. he will meet with the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in the basilica of the same name. He will then travel by car to the church of Cottolengo, where he will address the sick and disabled faithful. At 5.30 p.m. he will return to Piazza Vittorio to meet with young people, and will retire to the archbishop's residence where he will spend the night.

On Monday 22 at 9 a.m. Francis will visit the Waldensian Temple where he will be received by the pastors and the president of the consistory of the Evangelical Waldensian Church, and will give an address. At 10.15 he will attend a strictly private meeting with some members of his family (the Pope's family originates from the Italian region of Piedmont) in the archbishop's residence, for whom he will celebrate Mass, and with whom he will lunch.

Before leaving the archbishop's residence, the Pope will meet the members of the Committee for the Exposition of the Shroud and the organisers of the event. At 5 p.m. He will leave for Caselle airport, and will be greeted on the way by the young people of “Estate Ragazzi”. Half an hour later he will depart by air for Rome, where he is expected to arrive at 6.30 p.m.

What science, for what life?

Vatican City, 30 May 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Sala Clementina Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the conference “What science for what life?”, organised by the Science and Life Association, which concluded yesterday in Rome.

“Your service in favour of the human person is important and encouraging”, remarked the Holy Father. “Indeed, protection of life represents a fundamental task, especially in a society afflicted by the negative throwaway logic. … To protect the person, you place two essential actions at the centre: reaching out to encounter, and encountering to support”.

“Christ's love drives us to become servants of the youngest and the elderly, of every man and woman, for whom the primordial right to life must be recognised and protected”, he continued. “The existence of the human person, to whom you dedicate your care, is also your constitutive principle; it is life in its unfathomable depth that is at the origin of and accompanies all scientific progress; it is the miracle of life that always challenges any form of scientific presumption, restoring primacy to wonder and beauty. … We reassert that a just society recognises the primacy of the right to life from conception to natural end. However, I would like us to go beyond this, and to think carefully about the time that joins the beginning to the end. Therefore, recognising the inestimable value of human life, we must also reflect on the use we make of it”.

Francis emphasised that the measure of the progress of a civilisation is “its capacity to protect life, especially in its most fragile phases, rather than the spread of technological tools. When we speak about man, we must never forget all the assaults on the sacredness of human life. The scourge of abortion is an assault on life. Leaving our brothers to die on boats in the Sicilian straits is an assault on life. Death at work due to a failure to respect the minimum safety requirements is an assault on life. Death due to hunger is an assault on life. Terrorism, war, violence are all assaults on life, as is is euthanasia”.

“I encourage you to relaunch a culture of life, that knows how to establish networks of trust and reciprocity, and how to offer prospects of peace, mercy and communion”, he concluded.

Francis receives the passengers of the “Children's Train”

Vatican City, 1 June 2015 (VIS) - “Never stop dreaming … You can fly with your dreams, and dreaming opens the doors to happiness”; said Pope Francis to the six hundred children on the “Children's Train”, an initiative of the Courtyard of the Gentiles in support of children who live in difficult situations. This year it was dedicated to the children of detainees in the Italian penitentiaries of Roma, Civitavecchia, Latina, Bari and Trani, on the theme “Flight”.

The train, on which two-hundred children travelled from Bari and Trani, arrived at the Vatican railway station, where they joined those already present from the other three provinces. Upon arrival they were welcomed by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and Michele Mario Elia, director of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane SpA, the Italian rail network infrastructure company.

The Holy Father met with the passengers of the train in the Paul VI Hall, and spoke with them on the theme of flight, inviting them to fly with their imagination to be with their families and to fulfil their dreams.

The Pope receives a group of sick children: “You are life's heroes”

Vatican City, 30 May 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Pope received in audience a group of twenty seriously ill children, accompanied by their parents, along with volunteers and leaders from the UNITALSI association, which organises pilgrimages to Lourdes and Loreto. The majority of the children were aged between seven and 14 years, although there were also some as young as two and three.

The Pope approached each child affectionately. One of the children then spoke to the Holy Father about a similar previous meeting two years ago, recalling all those who had been present and some who have passed away in the meantime, and assured him that they have all prayed a lot for the Pope, as he had asked them too.

The Holy Father went on to speak about the mystery of the suffering of children. “It is a question I often ask myself, and which many of you, many people, ask themselves: why do children suffer? And there are no explanations. … I simply look to God and ask, 'But why?'. And looking at the Cross: 'Why is Your Son there, why?' It is the mystery of the Cross. … I also often think of the Virgin when as they brought her the lifeless body of her Son. … She did not understand either. She would have recalled what the Angel had told her: 'He will be King, He will be great, He will be a prophet'. With that wounded body in her arms, that had suffered so greatly before death, she would surely have wanted to say to the Angel: 'Liar! I have been deceived'. She had no answers either”.

“Do not be afraid of asking, indeed even challenging the Lord. 'Why?'”, he exclaimed. “Perhaps no explanation will come, but the gaze of the Father will give you the strength to go on. … The only explanation He will be able to give you is: 'My son suffered too'. This is the explanation. The most important is his gaze. This is your strength, the loving gaze of the Father”.

“In a world in which it is so normal to experience a throwaway culture – if we are not happy with something we discard it – you live this situation … with heroism. … You are the little heroes of life. I thank you for your example”, affirmed the Pope, visibly moved. “I pray for you, for these mixed feelings of joy and sadness. … The Lord knows how to comfort you in your suffering in a special way”.

Those present then prayed a Hail Mary and received the Pope's blessing. He continued the meeting by talking with each child and their parents. The group left the Domus Sanctae Marthae at 6 p.m.

Fr. Lombardi issues clarification on Cardinal George Pell

Vatican City, 1 June 2015 (VIS) – In response to questions from journalists, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., explained that the statement made by Mr. Peter Saunders (one of the 17 members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors) during a television broadcast was evidently given in an entirely personal way and not on behalf of the Commission, which is not competent to investigate or to pronounce specific judgements on individual cases.

Moreover, Cardinal George Pell has always responded carefully and thoroughly to the accusations and questions posed by the competent Australian authorities, and his position has been made known again in recent days by a public declaration on his part, which must be considered reliable and worthy of respect and attention.


Vatican City, 31 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Paolo Gualtieri, apostolic nuncio in Madagascar.

On Saturday 30 May, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;

- Archbishop Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte of Trujillo, Peru.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 1 June 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Bishop Gustavo Rodriguez Vega of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, as metropolitan archbishop of Yucatan (area 39,612, population 2,064,151, Catholics 1,655,449, priests 237, permanent deacons 37, religious 700), Mexico. He succeeds Archbishop Emilio Carlos Berlie Belaunzaran, whose resignation upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

On Saturday 30 May, the Holy Father appointed:

- Bishop Orlando Roa Barbosa, auxiliary of Ibague, Colombia, as bishop of Espinal (area 14,000, population 484,000, Catholics 437,000, priests 92, religious 71), Colombia.

- Rev. Fr. Eugene Joseph as bishop of Varanasi (area 21,296, population 21,165,000, Catholics 19,536, priests 154, religious 675), India. The bishop-elect was born in Madurai, India in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a bachelor's degree in education from the Gorakhpur University, Varanasi; a master's degree in English from the Mahatma Gandhi K.V. University, Varanasi, and a masters in business administration from the Townsend School of Business, New York, U.S.A.
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