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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Pope to the International Catholic Conference of Guiding: the education of women is vitally important

Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) - “Education is the indispensable means for enabling girls to grow into active and responsible women, proud and happy in the faith in Christ they live in their everyday life. In this way they will participate in the construction of a world imbued with the Gospel”, said Pope Francis to delegates from the International Catholic Conference of Guiding (ICCG), whom he received in audience this morning, gathered in Rome on the fiftieth anniversary of the institution's foundation to analyse the theme: “Living as guides the joy of the Gospel”.

The ICCG unites national associations of Catholic guides and national interconfessional guiding organisations. Its aim is to help member associations to transform guiding into a genuine tool for education in faith and to make its pedagogical richness, formative activities and experience in interconfessional collaboration more widely known.

The Holy Father emphasised the excellence of the theme chosen for the meeting and the programme it has given rise to: “proclaiming to others, through the witness of our own life, that encountering Jesus frees us and heals us … opens us to other and drives us to announce him, especially to the poorest and most distant, the lonely and abandoned”.

He invited the delegates to be faithful to the principles of their movement and to establish a sincere dialogue with guides of different cultures and religions, with respect for the beliefs of each one, and serenely affirming their Catholic faith and identity. Pope Francis then went on to speak about his recent Encyclical “Laudato si'”, in which he states that education in ecology is essential to transform habits and ways of thinking so as to overcome the troubling challenges that face humanity in relation to the environment. “I think that the guiding movement, which in its educational method accords an important role to contact with nature, is particularly well-disposed to this”, he said. “I hope that guides will continue to be alert to the presence and the goodness of the Creator in the beauty of the world that surrounds them. This contemplative attitude will lead them to live in harmony with themselves, with others and with God. It is a new way of life, more coherent with the Gospel, that they will be able to transmit to others around them”.

Finally, the Pope reiterated the need to ensure that the importance of women is recognised, so that they take their rightful place both in the Church and in society. “Here too, the role of educational associations such as yours, that address young girls, is absolutely essential for the future, and your teaching must be clear on these issues. We are in a world where we see the spread of ideologies contrary to nature and God's design for the family and marriage. It is therefore a question not only of educating girls in the beauty and greatness of their vocation as women, in a just relationship recognising the difference between man and woman, but also to take on important responsibilities in the Church and in society. In some countries where women are still in a position of inferiority, or even exploited and mistreated, you certainly have a significant role to play in promotion and education. I ask you not to forget, in your pedagogic approach, the necessary and explicit openness to the possibility of a life consecrated to the Lord, an area in which the guiding movement has historically been fruitful”.

The Holy See and the State of Palestine sign a general Agreement

Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) – Today, Friday 26 June, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, a Comprehensive Agreement was signed between the Holy See and the State of Palestine. The accord follows on the Basic Agreement which was signed between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) on 15 February 2000 and is the result of the negotiations undertaken by a bilateral working commission over the past years.

Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States, signed on behalf of the Holy See and Riad Al-Malki, minister of Foreign Affairs, signed for the State of Palestine.

The following took part in the solemn act:
For the Holy See: Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, apostolic delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine; Archbishop Antonio Franco, apostolic nuncio; His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins; Mgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States; Fr. Lorenzo Lorusso, O.P., under-secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Mgr. Alberto Ortega, official of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State; Mgr. Paolo Borgia, official of the Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State; and Fr. Oscar Marzo, O.F.M., member of the Custody of the Holy Land and Official of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

For the State of Palestine: Ramzi Khoury, advisor to the president and deputy head of the Presidential Higher Committee on Church Affairs in Palestine; Ambassador Issa Kassissieh, representative of the State of Palestine to the Holy See; Ambassador Rawan Sulaiman, assistant foreign minister for Multilateral Affairs; Vera Baboun, mayor of Bethlehem; Moussa Abu Hadeed, mayor of Ramallah; Ammar Hijazi, deputy assistant foreign minister for Multilateral Affairs; Azem Bishara, legal advisor of the PLO; Ammar Nisnas, counsellor of the diplomatic representation of the State of Palestine to the Holy See.

The Agreement is comprised of a preamble and 32 articles distributed in 8 chapters. It deals with essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in the State of Palestine, while reaffirming support for a negotiated and peaceful resolution of the situation in the region. It will come into effect when both Parties have notified each other in writing that the relevant constitutional or internal requirements have been met.

Agreement between the State of Palestine and the Holy See: look to the future without forgetting the past

Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) – The following is a summary of the content of the Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Palestine, based on the text provided by L'Osservatore Romano.

The Agreement has a specific nature that takes into account the legal and political situations that surround the conflict, and the rules that have gradually built up over the centuries. The Preamble, which refers to current international law, frames a series of key points: the self-determination of the Palestinian people; the objective of the two-state solution; the meaning, not only symbolic, of Jerusalem, in terms of its holy character for Jews, Christians and Muslims and its universal religious and cultural value as heritage for all humanity; and the Holy See's interests in the Holy Land. The two Parties, considering their mutual daily relations, indicate in the negotiated agreement a way of working, together and separately, not only in defining the condition of the Catholic Church in Palestine but also for the good of people and institutions. The Agreement is therefore an instrument for use in the process of attaining that “just and lasting” peace that may be the result only of an agreement between the Palestinian and Israeli authorities. The idea that the future of the Holy Land rests in the hands of the actors present there is supported by the Holy See's wish to exercise her “educational, spiritual and moral mission”, but – with reference to and amplifying the formula of Article 24 of the Lateran Pact, the Holy See “shall take no part in any temporal rivalries between other States, nor in any international congresses called to settle such matters, save and except in the event of such parties making a mutual appeal to the pacific mission of the Holy See”.

Chapter 2 of the Agreement relates to the theme of freedom of worship and conscience, exploring its various dimensions and content, ranging from the civil effects of canonical marriage, the “customary facilities” for the different rites, respect for feast days and the right of Christians who work in public offices to be able comply with the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, religious assistance for the armed forces and prisoners, and the right of parents to impart a “religious and moral” education to their children. The explicit acknowledgement of authentic conscientious objection as a practice consistent with the right of freedom of thought, belief and religion is notable for its current relevance.

The signing of the Agreement urges the Parties to look to the future without forgetting history and those events that, on political and legal levels, have outlined the condition, social fabric and normative order of Palestine, and within this, the action of the Church, as may be seen in the following chapters:

Chapter 3, recognising the legal personality and right to self-organisation of the Church, protects its internal order, the freedom to confer ecclesiastical office, and the exemption of clergy from obligatory personal service such as military service, etc. Confirmation is given of the competence, as stipulated by Palestinian law, of ecclesiastical tribunals to exercise civil jurisdiction. The issue, further clarified in chapter 4, also relates to matters such as marriage, filiation and adoption, following the personal status of Christians in the Holy Land.

Chapter 5, starting from the regime of the “Status Quo”, lists the nature and typology of the Holy Places. The concept of holiness – from which that of religious rights derives – is posited as the source of the obligation of the civil authorities to respect for the Holy Places the exclusive authority and canonical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, except in the case of joint actions to the contrary. The issue is linked to freedom of worship and the necessary guarantees for pilgrimages and structures offering hospitality to pilgrims.

Chapter 6 guarantees the Church's right to work in educational, social, charitable and communications sectors, and regulates the relationship with the Palestinian legal system. This is accompanied by general regulations on the freedom to receive funds and the discretion appropriate to ecclesiastical institutions with regard to their function and personnel.

Chapter 7 is dedicated entirely to Church property and the special fiscal regime applicable to them, inspired by functional criteria of non-liability, issues which due to their direct link to the local situation and legislation will be the object of further negotiations and agreements.

The participation of the Palestinian Catholic community in the lengthy negotiations, which began in a systematic fashion in 2010, gave the Agreement an added value. The local Church has been shown to be an effective agent, providing a valuable contribution not only towards the consolidation of the ecclesial reality, but also to the image of Palestine and the Holy Land as a whole.

Metropolitan archbishops to receive the pallium

Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) – Forty-six metropolitan archbishops have been nominated by the Holy Father to receive the pallium this year, imposed every 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, in the Vatican Basilica:

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Cologne, Germany

Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, archbishop of Valencia, Spain

Archbishop Julian Leow Beng Kim of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Archbishop Eduardo Eliseo Martin of Rosario, Argentina

Archbishop Florentino Galang Lavarias of San Fernando, Philippines

Archbishop Anthony Pappusamy of Madurai, India

Archbishop Sevastianos Rossolatos of Athens, Greece

Archbishop Thomas Aquino Manyo Maeda of Osaka, Japan

Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, Spain

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Ireland

Archbishop Anthony Colin Fisher, O.P., of Sydney, Australia

Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, U.S.A.

Archbishop Oscar Omar Aparicio Cespedes of Cochabamba, Bolivia

Archbishop Jose Antonio Fernandez Hurtado of Durango, Mexico

Archbishop Stane Zore, O.F.M., of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Archbishop Djalwana Laurent Lompo of Niamey, Niger

Archbishop Vincenzo Pelvi of Foggia-Bovino, Italy

Archbishop Richard Daniel Alarcon Urrutia of Cuzco, Peru

Archbishop Jean Mbarga of Yaounde, Cameroon

Archbishop Edmundo Ponciano Valenzuela Mellid, S.D.B., of Asuncion, Paraguay

Archbishop Beatus Kinyaiya, O.F.M. Cap., of Dodoma, Tanzania

Archbishop Max Leroy Mesidor of Cap-Haitien, Haiti

Archbishop Kieran O'Reilley, S.M.A., of Cashel, Ireland

Archbishop Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias of Luanda, Angola

Archbishop Martin Musonde Kivuva of Mombasa, Kenya

Archbishop Vicente Jimenez Zamora of Zaragoza, Spain

Archbishop Benjamin Ndiaye of Dakar, Senegal

Archbishop Jose Antonio Peruzzo of Curitiba, Brazil

Archbishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam, M.C.C.J., of Asmara, Eritrea

Archbishop Stefan Hesse of Hamburg, Germany

Archbishop Juan Nsue Edjang Maye of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Archbishop Yustinus Harjosusanto, M.S.F., of Samarinda, Indonesia

Archbishop Freddy Antonio de Jesus Breton Martinez of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna of Malta, Malta

Archbishop David Macaire, O.P., of Fort-de-France, Martinique, France

Archbishop Alojzij Cvikl. S.J., of Maribor, Slovenia

Archbishop Fulop Kocsis of Hajdudorog for Catholics of Byzantine Rite, Hungary

Archbishop John Charles Wester of Santa Fe, U.S.A.

Archbishop Denis Grondin of Rimouski, Canada

Archbishop Francescantonio Nole, O.F.M. Conv., of Cosenza-Bisignano, Italy

Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta of Merida-Badajoz, Spain

Archbishop Gustavo Rodriguez Vega of Yucatan, Mexico

Archbishop-elect Erio Castellucci of Modena-Nonantola, Italy

Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin, Germany

Archbishop Lionginas Virbalas, S.J., of Kaunas, Lithuania

Archbishop Thomas Ignatius Macwan of Gandhinagar, India.


Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Peter Sutherland, president of the “International Catholic Migration Commission”;

- Georgios Papadopoulos, ambassador of Greece to the Holy See, on his farewell visit;

- Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;

- Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Bishop Francisco Antonio Nieto Sua of San Jose del Guaviare, Colombia, as bishop of Engativa (area 133, population 2,000,000, Catholics 1,533,932, priests 116, permanent deacons 34, religious 407), Colombia.

- Msgr. Juan Carlos Cardenas Toro as auxiliary of Cali (area 2,504, population 2,854,000, Catholics 2,425,000, priests 392, permanent deacons 17, religious 899), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Cartago, Colombia in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1997. He holds a licentiate in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Cartago, including parish vicar, professor and spiritual director of the minor seminary, parish priest, rector of the “Divino Ecce Homo” Shrine in Ricaurte, formator, bursar and spiritual director of the major seminary, and diocesan delegate for social communications. He has also served as sub director for the national secretariat for social pastoral ministry and coordinator of the pastoral centre for social evangelisation of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia. He is currently adjunct secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia.


Vatican City, 26 June 2015 (VIS) – We inform our readers that no Vatican Information Service Bulletin will be transmitted on Monday 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, and a holiday in the Vatican. Service will resume on Tuesday 30 June.
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