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Monday, November 9, 2015

Audience with the president of Poland: family, the needy and migrants

Vatican City, 9 November 2015 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father Francis received in audience Andrzej Duda, president of the Republic of Poland, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions, the Church’s positive contribution to Polish society was emphasised, also in view of the Holy Father’s planned visit to Kraków next year on the occasion of World Youth Day. Attention then turned to various themes of mutual interest, such as the promotion of the family, support for social groups most in need, and the welcome of migrants.

Finally, some themes regarding the international community were discussed, such as peace and security, the conflict in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East.

Angelus: generosity is not a question of the wallet, but of the heart

Vatican City, 8 November 2015 (VIS) – Before this Sunday's Angelus the Pope commented on the day's Gospel reading, divided into two parts: the first on how not to be a follower of Christ and the second, conversely, on the model of an ideal Christian. “In the first part, Jesus criticises the scribes, teachers of the law, for three defects in their lifestyle: pride, greed and hypocrisy”. Under their solemn appearances “they are hiding falsehood and injustice. … There is a risk that these attitudes exist even in our day. For example when prayer is separated from justice, because we cannot worship God and cause harm to the poor. Or when one claims to love God, and instead offers God one’s vainglory, to one’s own advantage”.

The second part describes the scene in the Temple of Jerusalem, precisely in the place where people threw coins as offerings. “There are many rich people who pay a lot of money, and there is a poor woman – a widow – contributing just two mites, two small coins. … The rich gave with great show what for them was superfluous, while the widow, with discretion and humility, gave – Jesus says – “all she had to live”; for this – Jesus says – she gave the most of all”.

Today, continued the Holy Father, “Jesus also tells us that the measurement is not quantity but fullness. There is a difference. ... It is possible to have a lot of money but to be empty. There is no fullness in a heart like this”.

He concluded by encouraging all those present to think during this week of the difference between quantity and fullness. “It is not a question of the wallet, but of the heart. Faced with the needs of others, we are called to deprive ourselves of essential things, not only the superfluous; we are called to give the necessary time, not only the surplus that is left over; we are called to give immediately and unconditionally some of our talent, not only after using it for our own purposes or for those of our group”.

Pope Francis: the theft of private documents will not divert me from the task of reform

Vatican City, 8 November 2015 (VIS) – After the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father addressed some words to those present on the events of recent days in the Vatican:

“I know that many of you are concerned by the news that has circulated in recent days regarding reserved documents of the Holy See that have been stolen and published. Therefore, I would like to say to you, first and foremost, that stealing those documents is a crime. It is a deplorable and unhelpful act. I myself had asked for that study to be undertaken; my collaborators and I were very familiar with the documents and measures had been taken that had started to bear fruit, including some that were visible”.

“Therefore I wish to assure you that this sad event will certainly not divert me from the work of reform that we are carrying forward with my collaborators and with the support of all of you. Yes, with the support of all the Church, because the Church is renewed with the prayer and daily sanctity of every baptised person. Therefore, I thank you and I ask you to continue to pray for the Pope and for the Church, without letting yourselves be disturbed, but instead going ahead with trust and hope”.

He went on to speak about the Italian Day of Thanksgiving, whose theme this year is “The earth, a common good”. “I join with the bishops in hoping that all will act as responsible administrators of an inestimable common good, the earth, whose fruits have a universal destiny. I wish to express my gratitude to the world of agriculture, and encourage the cultivation of the earth in such a way as to conserve its fertility so that it produces food for all, today and for future generations”.

On the defence of working rights

Vatican City, 6 November 2015 (VIS) – The right to rest, a retirement pension and maternity leave, among other workers' rights, “based on the very nature of the person and his or her transcendent dignity”, were the key themes of Pope Francis' address in St. Peter's Square this morning to 23,000 member of the Italian National Social Security Institute (INPS).

The Pope emphasised the meaning of safeguarding the right to rest. “I do not refer only to that rest that is supported by an legitimised by social policy (such as the weekly day of rest and annual leave, to which every worker is entitled), but also and above all to a dimension of the human being that does not lack spiritual roots”.

God, Who instructs man to rest, also chose to rest on the seventh day. “Rest, in the language of faith, is therefore a human and divine dimension at the same time”, commented Francis. “With a single prerogative, though: that of not being a simple abstention from ordinary labour and effort, but rather an opportunity to fully live one's condition as creatures elevated to filial dignity by God Himself. The need to 'sanctify' rest is therefore linked to that – offered each week on Sunday – of a time that enabled family, cultural, social and religious life to be taken care of, making a space and time for God and for many in all these aspects”.

The Pope then referred to the complex situations in the world of work nowadays, from unemployment to precarious guarantees for employees. “If you live like this, how can you ever rest? Rest is a right we all have when we work, but if the situation of unemployment, social injustice, illegal work and precariousness is so serious, how can I rest? What can we say? We can say – it is shameful – 'But do you want to work?'. 'Yes!'. 'Very well, let's make a deal. You can start work in September, but until July, and then July, August, and part of September you will neither eat nor rest...”. This happens these days! And it happens all over the world; it happens here in Rome, too! Rest, when there is work; otherwise there is no rest”.

The Holy Father went on to note that until just a short while ago it was normal to associate retirement and pensions with reaching old age in which it was possible to enjoy a well-earned rest and offer wisdom and advice to the new generations. However, “the contemporary age has significantly altered these rhythms. On the one hand, the possibility of rest has been brought forward, at times diluted, and at times renegotiated to aberrant extremes, to the point of distorting the very idea of ceasing to work. On the other hand, existential needs have not diminished for those who have lost or never had a job, or for those who are obliged to stop working for the most varied reasons. If you stop working, you can find yourself without healthcare”.

In this regard, the task of institutions such as INPS is to contribute to ensuring that the funds are not lacking for the subsistence of unemployed workers and their families. “Special attention for female work should not be missing from your priorities; nor should maternity assistance, which should always allow for the protection of a new life and those who serve this on a daily basis. There should be no lack of insurance for old age, sickness, and work-related accidents. The right to a pension must not be neglected, and I underline, the right, as this is what it is”.

“In the final analysis, working means prolonging God's work in history, contributing in a personal, useful and creative way. Supporting employment, you support this work too. Furthermore, by guaranteeing dignified income to those who have to leave work, you affirm the most profound reality: work must not be another cog in the perverse mechanisms that grinds resources to obtain ever greater profits; it cannot therefore be prolonged or reduced in relation to the earnings of the few or of forms of production that sacrifice values, relationships and principles. This applies to the economy in general … and also to all the social institution whose subject and aim is and must be the human person”.

“Do not forget the person: this is imperative”, he concluded. “Love and serve the person with awareness, responsibility and willingness. Work for those who work, and not least for those would like to but cannot. Do this not as a work of solidarity but as a duty of justice and subsidiarity. Support the weakest, so that no-one lacks the dignity and freedom to live an authentically human life”.

Cardinal Ranjith, Pope's special envoy to India's National Eucharistic Congress

Vatican City, 9 November 2015 (VIS) – In a letter published today, written in Latin and dated 12 October, the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjit Patabendige Don, archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka, as his special envoy to the National Eucharistic Congress of India, to be held in Mumbai from 12 to 15 November 2015.

The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Rev. Fr. Steven Fernandes, lecturer in moral theology at the seminary of Mumbai, and Rev. Fr. Jervis D'Souza, judicial vicar.


Vatican City, 9 November 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, archbishop of Valencia, Spain;

- Archbishop Michael A. Blume, apostolic nuncio in Uganda;

- Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi of Piura, Peru.

On Saturday 6 November the Holy Father received in audience:

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

- Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome;

- Larry Yu-yuan Wang, ambassador of the Republic of China, on his farewell visit.

- Members of the “Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet”, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2015: Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh, Abdessatar Ben Moussa, Wided Bouchamaoui and Houcine Abbassi.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 9 November 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Herve Gosselin as bishop of Angouleme (area 5,956, population 365,851, Catholics 275,000, priests 75, religious 176, permanent deacons 10), France. The bishop-elect was born in 1956 in Nantes, France, and was ordained a priest in 1994. He holds a licentiate in moral theology and has served in a number of roles, including parish vicar, chaplain in the Rennes prison for men, professor of moral theology, spiritual director and treasurer of the interdiocesan seminary of Rennes. He is currently director of the “Foyer de Charite” of Tressaint. He succeeds Bishop Claude Dagens, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

On Saturday 6 November the Holy Father appointed:

- Fr. Lorenzo Piretto, O.P., as archbishop of Izmir (Catholics 15,000, priests 17, religious 19), Turkey. The bishop-elect was born in Mazze, Italy in 1942, gave his religious vows in 1963, and was ordained a priest in 1966. He holds a licentiate in theology from the University of Bologna and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Turin. He has occupied a number of academic roles at the F.I.S.T. of Turin and the University of Marmara in Istanbul. He has also served within his order as superior of the Convent of Istanbul, and as provincial vicar of Turkey, as in a number of pastoral roles including parish priest and vicar general. He is currently superior of the Convent of Izmir. He succeeds Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini, O.F.M. Cap., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- Bishop Eugeniusz Miroslaw Popowicz as archbishop of the archieparchy of Przemysl-Warszawa of the Byzantines (Catholics 30,000, priests 47, religious 97), Poland. Msgr. Popowicz is currently auxiliary of the same archieparchy. He succeeds Archbishop Jan Martyniak whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archieparchy upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- Rev. Fr. Damase Zinga Atangana as bishop of Kribi (area 11,000, population 150,000, Catholics 85,000, priests 44, religious 17), Cameroon. The bishop-elect was born in Nkog Bong, Cameroon in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a doctorate in moral theology and a diploma in history and science of religions from the Charles de Gaulle University in Lille, France. He has served in a number of roles in the diocese of Obala, Cameroon, including rector of the minor seminary, vicar general, parish priest, and diocesan chaplain. He is currently vicar general of Obala.

- Rev. Fr. Pedro Manuel Salamanca Mantilla and Rev. Fr. Luis Manuel Ali Herrera as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Bogota (area 4,019, population 4,580,000, Catholics 3,925,000, priests 844, permanent deacons 107, religious 2,481), Colombia.

Rev. Fr. Salamanca Mantilla was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a licentiate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Bogota, including parish vicar, pastor, and formator in the major seminary. He is currently archdiocesan delegate for the coordination of permanent formation of the clergy, and parish priest.

Rev. Fr. Ali Herrera was born in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds licentiates theology and psychology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Bogota, including parish vicar, secretary and notary of the episcopal vicar, parish priest, university chaplain, and formator in the major seminary. He is currently parish priest and member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

- Msgr. Ricardo Orlando Seirutti as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Cordoba (area 13,717, population 755,000, Catholics 698,179, priests 83, religious 169), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Catholic University of Cordoba and has served as formator in the minor seminary, assessor for youth pastoral ministry, chaplain and formator of candidates to the permanent diaconate. He is currently vicar forane and parish priest.
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