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Monday, December 14, 2015

Audience with the president of Sri Lanka: may the process of peace and reconciliation promote stable social harmony

Vatican City, 14 December 2015 (VIS) – Today in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.

The cordial discussions, which began with a recollection of the Holy Father’s visit to Sri Lanka last January, focused on certain aspects of the country’s recent history and the process of peace and reconciliation that is underway, with the hope that it may contribute to promoting stable social harmony. Furthermore, the contribution of the Catholic Church in various sectors of society and the importance of interreligious dialogue were shown to be important.

There was also an exchange of opinions on the theme of the environment and an evaluation of the results of the Conference on climate change, recently concluded in Paris.

The Policoro Project: in search of dignified and liberating work

Vatican City, 14 December 2015 (VIS) – Finding answers to the existential question of many young people who risk passing from a lack of employment to detachment from life in general is the aim of the Policoro Project undertaken twenty years ago in the ecclesial Convention of Palermo. This morning, in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, its members were received by the Holy Father who remarked that, in seeking to combine the Gospel with the reality of life, the Project represented an important initiative for the promotion of youth and a true opportunity for local development at national level. “Its key ideas have guided its success: the formation of the young, the establishment of cooperatives, the creation of mediation figures such as 'community animators' and a long series of concrete gestures, a visible sign of commitment throughout these twenty years of active presence”.

“With its concrete attention to the territory and the search for shared solutions, the Policoro Project has shown how the quality of 'free, creative, participatory and mutually supportive labour that human beings express and enhance the dignity of their lives'. Let us not lose sight of the urgency of reaffirming this dignity! It belongs to each and every one of us. .. When there is no work, dignity is at risk, as unemployment not only prevents you from putting food on the table; it also makes you feel unworthy of earning a living. Today young people are victims of this. How many of them have given up looking for work, resigned to continual rejection or the indifference of a society that rewards only the usual privileged few – even if they are corrupt – and obstructs those who deserve affirmation. The reward seems to go to those who are sure of themselves, even if this security is gained through corruption. Work is not a gift to be kindly granted to the select few: it is a right for all!”

He added, “You represent without doubt a sign of real hope for many people who have not resigned themselves but have instead decided to commit themselves courageously to creating or improving their opportunities for work”, and he invited them to “continue to promote initiatives for participation for young people in a community and participatory form. … Here you can play your role. To the question, 'what has the Church to do with my situation?', that you have said and heard many times, the answer is 'witness'. And here you are able to provide your witness, face to face with those who are in need of courage and support”.

Francis concluded by emphasising that his task is not simply that of helping the young to find a job but rather “a responsibility of evangelisation through the sanctifying value of work. But not any form of work: not work that exploits, crushes, humiliates and abuses, but work that makes man truly free, in accordance with his noble dignity”.

Francis opens the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. John Lateran

Vatican City, 13 December 2015 (VIS) – On the third Sunday of Advent the Pope opened the third Holy Door of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Following the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Bangui in the Central African Republic on 29 November and that of St. Peter's Basilica on 8 December, today he opened the Holy Door of the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the Basilica of St. John Lateran. On “Gaudete Sunday”, the Sunday of Joy, Francis reaffirmed that the reason for this joy is expressed in the readings with words infused with hope and which allow us to look to the future with serenity, as “the Lord has annulled every condemnation and chose to live among us”.

This third Sunday of Advent draws our gaze towards Christmas, which is now close, said the Pope in his homily. “We cannot let ourselves be taken in by weariness; sadness in any form is not allowed, even though there may be good reason, with our many concerns and the many forms of violence that harm our humanity. The coming of the Lord, however, must fill our hearts with joy”.

The Pope cites the first reading of the prophet Zephaniah, who taught that “in a historical context of great abuse and violence, especially by men of power, God knows that He will reign over his people, who would never leave them at the mercy of the arrogance of their leaders, and will free them from all anxiety. Today, we are asked not to let our 'hands grow weak' because of doubt, impatience or suffering. St. Paul returns to the teaching of Zephaniah and reiterates: 'The Lord is near'. Because of this we should rejoice always, and with our affability give all witness of closeness and care that God has for each person”.

“We have opened the Holy Door, here and in all the cathedrals of the world. Even this simple sign is an invitation to joy. It begins a time of great forgiveness. It is the Jubilee of Mercy. It is time to rediscover the presence of God and his fatherly tenderness. God does not love rigidity. He is Father; He is tender; everything done with the tenderness of the Father. We too are like the crowds who asked John, 'What do we do?'. The Baptist's response was immediate. He invites us to act justly and to attend to the needs of those in need. What John demands of his representatives is already in the law. We, however, are prompted toward a more radical commitment. Before the Holy Door we are called to pass through, we are asked to be instruments of mercy, knowing that we will be judged on this. He who is baptised knows he has a greater commitment. Faith in Christ leads to a journey that lasts a lifetime: to be merciful, like the Father. The joy of crossing through the Door of Mercy is accompanied by a commitment to welcome and bear witness to a love that goes beyond justice, a love that knows no boundaries. For this infinite love, in spite of our contradictions, we are responsible”.

“Let us pray for us and for all those who pass through the Door of Mercy, that we may understand and welcome the infinite love of our Heavenly Father, that recreates, transforms and reforms life”, said the Pope at the end of his homily.

Cardinal James M. Harvey, archpriest of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, also opened the Holy Door of the Basilica today, while throughout the rest of the world, as the Pope had requested, all the Holy Doors of churches and cathedrals were opened for the Year of Mercy.

Angelus: joy, gift of the Lord Who receives with conversion

Vatican City, 13 December 2015 (VIS) – At midday today the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, the Pontiff addressed some words to those present.

“In today's Gospel, there is a question repeated three times: 'What should we do?'. Three categories of people pose this question to John the Baptist: first, the crowd in general; second, the publicans, or tax collectors; and, third, some soldiers, to know what must be done to convert in the way he preaches. John's reply to the crowd is to share basic necessities: 'Whoever has two cloaks, should share with the person who has none, and whoever has food should do likewise'. He tells the second group, the tax collectors, to stop collecting more than is due. What does this mean? No 'kickbacks': John the Baptist is clear. And to the third group, the soldiers, he says do not exhort anyone for anything, and be content with your pay”.

These three answers refer to an identical path of conversion, which is manifested in concrete commitments to justice and solidarity. “It is the road that Jesus indicates in all His preaching: the active path of love for one's neighbour. From these admonitions of John the Baptist, we understand what were the general trends of those who at that time held power, in various forms. Little has changed. However, no group of people is excluded from the path of conversion for salvation, not even tax collectors who were considered sinners by definition. … God does not preclude for anyone the possibility of salvation. He is eager to show mercy to all, and welcome everyone in the tender embrace of reconciliation and forgiveness”.

Francis went on to explain that “today's liturgy tells us, with John's words, that is necessary to repent, to change direction and take the path of justice, solidarity and sobriety: these are the essential values of a fully human and genuinely Christian life. Repent! This sums up John the Baptist's message. The liturgy of this Third Sunday of Advent helps us rediscover a special dimension of conversion: joy. Whoever converts and approaches the Lord experiences joy”.

He also emphasised that nowadays “it takes courage to speak of joy, which, above all, requires faith. The world is beset by many problems, the future weighed down by uncertainties and fears. And yet, the Christian is a joyful person, and his joy is not something superficial and ephemeral, but deep and stable, because it is a gift from God that fills life. Our joy comes from knowing that 'the Lord is near', that He is close by with His tenderness, His mercy, His forgiveness and His love”.

He concluded, “May the Virgin Mary help us to strengthen our faith, so that we may welcome the God of joy, the God of mercy, who always wants to live in the midst of her children. May our Mother teach us to share tears with those who weep, but also to be able to share a smile”.

Joint commitment to caring for the climate

Vatican City, 13 December 2015 (VIS) – After today's Angelus prayer, Pope Francis spoke about the agreement adopted during the Climate Conference which recently ended in Paris. “Its implementation will require concerted commitment and generous dedication by all. In the hope that it will ensure special attention to the most vulnerable populations, we urge the international community to continue with care on the path it has taken, in an spirit of increasingly active solidarity”.

He remarked that next Tuesday, December 15, the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation will commence in Nairobi. Addressing the participating countries, he urged them to I take into account the needs of the poor and the most vulnerable in their decisions, as well as the “legitimate aspirations of the least developed countries and the common good of the entire human family”.

The Holy Father also commented that in all the cathedrals of the world, the Holy Doors are being opened so that the Jubilee of mercy may be fully experienced in the particular churches. “I hope that this moment encourages many to become instruments of God's tenderness. As an expression of the works of mercy, 'Doors of Mercy' are being opened in places of discomfort and alienation. I thus greet the inmates of prisons around the world”. Finally, he greeted all the pilgrims and faithful present.

The Pope to visit Guadalupe on 13 February

Vatican City, 13 December 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday, on the liturgical solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, patroness of Latin America, the Holy Father celebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. The celebration was preceded by the Holy Rosary and hundreds of people, mostly from the American continent, where the devotion to Our Lady extends from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. In the homily he pronounced, the Pope emphasised Mary's mercy, asking that we might understand how much God loves us through her.

Francis began by citing the phrases of the prophet Zephaniah in the first reading: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one Who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing. “These words, addressed to Israel, can also be referred to the Virgin Mary, the Church, and every person, all of whom are loved by God’s merciful love. Yes, God loves us so much that he even rejoices and takes pleasure in us. He loves us with gratuitous love, love without limits, and without expecting anything in return. This merciful love is the most striking attribute of God, the synthesis of which is condensed the Gospel message, the faith of the Church”.

He went on to explain that the word “mercy” – “misericordia” - is composed of two words: misery and heart. The heart indicates the capacity to love; mercy is that love, which embraces the misery of the person. It is a love that “feels” our poverty as if it were its own, so as to free us of it. … . “The Word became flesh,” with the intention of sharing all our frailties – with the intention of experiencing our human condition, even unto taking upon himself the Cross, with all the pain of human existence. Such is the abyss of compassion and mercy. … No sin can cancel his merciful closeness or prevent him from unleashing the grace of conversion, provided we invoke it. Indeed, sin itself makes more radiant the love of God who, to ransom a slave, sacrificed his Son. That mercy of God comes to us with the gift of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. ... For, however great and grave the sins of the world, the Spirit, who renews the face of the earth, makes possible the miracle of a life that is more human, more full of joy and hope”.

“'The Lord is near', says the apostle Paul, and nothing should make us anguished. He and His Mother are near. The greatest mercy lies in his being in our midst, in our being in his presence and company. He walks with us, he shows us the path of love, lifts us up when we fall, sustains us in our labours, accompanies us in all circumstances of our existence. He opens our eyes to our own misery and that of the world, but also fills us with hope. … This is the source of a peaceful and happy life; nothing can rob us of this peace and joy, despite the sufferings and trials of life. The Lord with His tenderness opens up His heart to us, He opens up His love. The Lord is allergic to rigidities. … Announcing the Good News to the poor, like John the Baptist, performing works of mercy, is a good way to look for the coming of Jesus at Christmas”.

“In one of the prayers most cherished by Christians, the Salve Regina, we call Mary 'mother of mercy'”, continued the Holy Father. “She who always lived intimately united with her Son, knows better than anyone what He wants: that all men be saved, and that God’s tenderness and consolation exclude no-one. … To Blessed Mary we entrust the sufferings and joys of people throughout the Americas, who love her as a mother and recognise her as Patroness under the beloved title of Our Lady of Guadalupe”.

“May the sweetness of her gaze be with us in this Holy Year, so that we might rediscover the joy of God's tenderness”, concluded the Pope. “We ask that this jubilee year sow merciful love in the hearts of individuals, families and nations. Let us convert and become merciful people, and let all Christian communities be oases and sources of mercy, witnesses to a charity without exclusion. To ask this in a special way, I will travel to venerate her in her Shrine on 13 February. I will ask for this for all America, for whom she is a special Mother. Let us implore her to guide the footsteps of the American people, a pilgrim people looking for the Mother of mercy, and let us ask her just one thing: to show them her Son Jesus”.

After his homily and during the prayer of the faithful, the Pope prayed for his parents Mario and Regina, “who gave me life and transmitted faith to me”, he said, and who were married eighty years ago.

Like last year, all those present concluded by singing “La Guadalupana”, the hymn to Our Lady of Guadalupe, known throughout the world.

Programme of the Pope's apostolic trip to Mexico

Vatican City, 12 December 2015 (VIS) – The programme of the Holy Father's apostolic trip to Mexico, to take place from 12 to 18 February, was published today.

On Friday 12 February at 12.30 p.m. the Holy Father will depart by air from Rome's Fiumicino airport, to arrive at the “Benito Juarez” International airport in Mexico City at 19.30 p.m. local time, where he will be welcome by the authorities. At 9.30 a.m. on the morning of Saturday 13 February the welcome ceremony will take place in the National Palace, and the Pope will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Republic of Mexico, followed by a meeting with the authorities, civil leaders and the diplomatic corps. At 11.30 a.m. he will meet with the bishops in the Cathedral. In the afternoon, at 5. p.m., he will celebrate Holy Mass in the Basilica of Guadalupe.

The following day, Sunday 14 February, he will transfer by helicopter to Ecatepec where, at 10.30 a.m. he will celebrate Holy Mass in the area of the Ecatepec Study Center. He will return by helicopter to Mexico City where he is expected to arrive at 1.10 p.m. In the afternoon he will visit the “Federico Gomez” paediatric hospital and will meet with cultural figures in the National Auditorium.

On Monday 15 February at 7.30 a.m., the Pope will depart by air for Tuxtla Gutierrez, and will then transfer by helicopter to San Cristobal de Las Casas where he is expected to arrive at 9.15 a.m. He will celebrate Mass with the indigenous Chiapas communities in the municipal sports centre at 10.15 a.m., followed by lunch with indigenous peoples and the papal entourage. At 3 p.m. he will visit the Cathedral of San Cristobal de las Casas and will then return by helicopter to Tuxtla Gutierrez, where he will meet with families in the “Victor Manuel Reyna” stadium. At 6.10 p.m. he will depart by air for Mexico City where he is expected to arrive at 8 p.m.

On Tuesday 16 February at 7.50 a.m. he will travel by air to Morelia where, at 10 a.m., he will celebrate Mass with priests, consecrated persons and seminarians. Following a visit to the Cathedral at 3.15 p.m., he met with young people in the “Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon” stadium. At 6.55 p.m. he will return by air to Mexico City, arriving at 8 p.m.

On the sixth and final day of the trip, Wednesday 17 February, at 8.35 a.m. the Holy Father will depart by air for Ciudad Juarez, where he is scheduled to arrive at the city's “Abraham Gonzalez” international airport at 10 a.m. He will first visit the CeReSo No. 3 detention centre, and will then meet with representatives of the world of work at the Colegio de Bachilleres of the State of Chihuahua at midday. At 4 p.m. he will celebrate Mass at the Ciudad Juarez trade centre. Following a farewell ceremony at 7 p.m. at the international airport, he will leave Mexico at 7.15 p.m., destined for Rome's Ciampino airport, where he is expected to arrive at 2.45 p.m. on Thursday 18 February.

Rescriptum ex audientia for the institution of the Pontifical Commission for activities of public legal persons of the Church in the healthcare sector

Vatican City, 12 December 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father, after receiving in audience Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin on 7 December, provided for the institution of the Pontifical Commission for the activities in the healthcare sector of public legal persons of the Church. The following is the full text of the document:

“The Holy Father Francis, in the audience granted to the undersigned Secretary of State on 7 December 2015, having obtained the necessary information relating to the particular difficulties of public legal persons of the Church working in the healthcare sector, for the purpose of contributing to the more efficient management of these activities and the conservation of assets maintaining and promoting the charism of the Founders, and until other provisions are made, has mandated the Secretary of State to appoint a Special Commission for the purpose, entitled 'Pontifical Commission for the Activities of Public Juridical Persons of the Church in the Healthcare Sector'.

Therefore, the Cardinal Secretary of State shall provide for the erection of the 'Pontifical Commission for the Activities of Public Juridical Persons of the Church in the Healthcare Sector', which will be governed by the following rules.

1. The principles and rules established in the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor bonus' and in the General Regulations of the Roman Curia shall be applied to the Commission, insofar as they are applicable and not incompatible. The Commission shall adopt its own regulations.

2. The Commission shall be composed of a President and six experts in the fields of healthcare, real estate, management, economic and administrative issues, and finance. The Commission shall be able to delegate part of its functions to one or more Members and shall be assisted by a Secretariat.

3. With regard to the appointment and term of office of the members and experts of the Commission, the regulations governing the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia shall be applied.

4. The Commission, which shall report directly to the Secretary of State, may employ any legal action and financial means necessary for the valid and correct fulfillment of the task entrusted to it.

5. For this purpose the Commission shall grant to the Congregations of the Roman Curia to which the public legal persons concerned belong, the necessary permission, binding for the concession of canonical authorisations for the renouncement or reorganisation of assets and/or real estate related to the healthcare sector. The Commission shall have powers of access to documents and resources to permit it to carry out its activities. The Commission may assign tasks to companies, professionals and consultants.

6. The Commission is entrusted with:

a. the general study of the sustainability of the healthcare system by public legal persons of the Church (prerequisites, characteristics, constraints, working/management methods, current objectives of the healthcare system of individual legal persons in keeping with their nature, mission and charism) so as to define a possible long-term operative strategy also in relation to the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church;

b. the proposal for the resolution of crisis situations in accordance with the results of the more general study, activating all the resources possible in collaboration with the Heads of the public legal entities concerned;

c. the study and proposal of new operative models for public legal persons working in the healthcare sector, capable of implementing the founding charism in the current context.

The provisions herein are to be considered stable and valid from the moment of their publication in 'L'Osservatore Romano'. Vatican City, 12 December 2015”.

Identity and mission of the religious brother in the Church

Vatican City, 14 December 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life presented the document “Identity and mission of the religious brother in the Church” and the concluding activities of the Year of Consecrated Life. The speakers were Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the dicastery, and Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, O.F.M., secretary of the same congregation.

“The document emphasises the great wealth and relevance of the vocation of brothers and its content is very valid and innovative in the light of Vatican Council II”, explained Cardinal Braz de Aviz. “The vocation of the religious brother is, first of all, a Christian vocation … and the feature of the person of Christ that the religious brother specially underlines in his way of life is that of fraternity. The religious brother reflects the face of Christ the Brother: simple, good, near to the people, welcoming, generous, and serving”.

The identity and mission of the religious brother, as the text indicates, is summarised in the concept of fraternity understood as the gift that the religious brother receives from the Triune God, a communion of persons; a gift that he shares with his brethren in fraternal life in the community and a gift he offers the world for the construction of a world of children of God and brothers.

The cardinal went on to illustrate the theme of fraternity as a gift that the religious brother receives from the Triune God. “The religious brother becomes thus because the Spirit lets him know God, Who in Jesus shows Himself to be a Father full of love, tenderness and mercy. Together with Jesus, he feels like a beloved son and with Him he offers himself so as to be in his life entirely for the Father and entirely for all His sons and daughters in this world. A characteristic of the identity of the religious brother is the need for fraternity as a confession of the Trinity: a fraternity open to all, especially the least, the humble, the oppressed, the unloved” - those who “are less likely to experience the good news of God's love in their lives”.

This fraternity is the gift that the religious brother shares with his brethren in community life. “Fraternal life in the community means harmonious relations between brethren, mutual knowledge, acceptance and love, dialogue, mutual respect, mutual support, the sharing of talents, the abnegation of the self, ecclesial mission, and openness to the needs of the Church and the world, especially those most in need. All this is beautiful, but it is not obtained spontaneously.. … The community is sustained by the gift of fraternity that religious brothers receive. The brother needs to support for these fraternal relations by developing the spiritual, mystical and theological dimension”.

Fraternity is, finally, a gift that the religious brother offers to the world and which is transformed into mission. Therefore, “brothers carry out their mission of contributing to the construction of the Kingdom of fraternity through ceaseless prayer, the witness of fraternal life and community dedication to the service of the Church and the world. … The fraternity of religious brothers is not self-referential or closed up in itself; it is … a fraternity in perfect harmony … with an outbound Church, that reaches out to the peripheries of this world; with a Church called upon to build bridges, open to contemporary man of every race, culture or creed”.

Fraternal love is made manifest in the Church and in the life of religious brothers in numerous services: “educating, healing the sick, helping the imprisoned, welcoming refugees, catechesis, manual work, and so on. Many of these services represent true ministries. In this way”, the prefect concluded, “the religious brother seeks and points to God in the secular realities of culture, science, human health, the workplace, and the care of the weak and disadvantaged. Similarly, he seeks and points to the human being, man and woman, whole and entire, body, mind and spirit, inasmuch as whatever affects the human person is part of God's saving plan”.

Archbishop Rodriguez Carballo expressed his gratitude to Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who in 2008 was the first to encourage the preparation of the document presented today, and to Pope Francis who read the draft while he was the cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires and who as Pope has supported its revision, completion and publication.

The conference concluded with an announcement of the activities marking the closure of the Year of Consecrated Life. From 28 January to 2 February 2016 an international meeting of all types of consecrated life will take place in Rome, entitled “Consecrated life and communion”, which is expected to be attended by 6,000 consecrated men and women from all over the world, and will conclude with Holy Mass celebrated by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Basilica.

The Holy Father attends the twelfth meeting of the Council of Cardinals

Vatican City, 12 December 2015 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., gave a briefing this morning on the twelfth meeting of the Council of Cardinals, held from 10 to 12 December.

“The Council of Cardinals held its twelfth meeting during the days 10-12 December. It began its work on the morning of Thursday 10, after the Mass concelebrated with the Holy Father at Santa Marta, and finished during the morning of Saturday 12 December. All the members of the Council and the Holy Father attended all the meetings.

During the first meeting, the Council heard Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and furthered its reflection on this important Congregation, its activities, its competences and its role also in the field of ecumenical relations.

In its reflections, the Council emphasised the importance of the Holy Father’s discourse of 17 October, on the occasion of the Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Institution of the Synod of Bishops. In this discourse the Pope extensively developed the theme of 'synodality' but also recalled the importance of proceeding with a healthy decentralisation. The Council remarked on the need to further explore the meaning of this discourse and its importance in the work of reforming the Curia, and agreed to dedicate a specific session to this during the next Meeting in February 2016”.

“The Council then resumed its work on the two new dicasteries, mentioned several times previously”, continued Fr. Lombardi. “The dicastery dedicated to the 'Laity, Family and Life', whose institution was announced by the Pope during the Synod (22 October), was the subject of a proposal formulated by the Council and presented to the Pope, which will now provide the apposite path for reaching the final decisions of the Holy Father. Even the dicastery concerned with “Justice, peace and migrations” was the subject of further consideration, with a view to arriving at conclusive proposals to be presented to the Holy Father”.

On Friday, the Council heard two reports regarding reform of the Economy from Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the Council for the Economy, and from Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy, who referred to the activity of and results achieved by the two institutions. “Cardinal Marx also reported on the choice of the external auditor for the consolidated financial statements – the company PricewaterhouseCooper “PwC”, recently made public. Cardinal Pell spoke about the constitution of a working group to consider the future of the economy of the Holy City and Vatican City State, on the progress and overall control of income and spending. The group, composed of representative from the Secretariat for the Economy, the Secretariat of State, the Governorate, APSA, Propaganda Fide, the Secretariat for Communication and the IOR, has already commenced work with a first meeting”.

The Council of Cardinals acknowledged the positive nature and importance of the work carried out by the Council for the Economy and the Secretariat, and encouraged its further progress. “Cardinal Sean O’Malley reported on the work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and its specific working groups, for instance on the development of education and formation programmes, assistance to Episcopal Conferences for the drafting of guidelines at local level, and so on”, concluded Fr. Lombardi.

On Saturday morning the Council established the calendar for forthcoming meetings and a provisional agenda for the meeting to take place in February next year. The meetings in 2016 will take place on the following dates: 8-9 February, 11-12-13 April, 6-7-8 June, 12-13-14 September and 12-13-14 December.


Vatican City, 14 December 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio in Mexico;

- Managing Board of the “Asociacion de Magistrados y Funcionarios del Ministerio publico de la Defensa de la Republica Argentina”.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 14 December 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Vito Rallo as apostolic nuncio in Morocco.

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