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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

General audience: the signs of the Jubilee

Vatican City, 16 December 2015 (VIS) – In the general audience today the Holy Father recalled last Sunday's opening the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. John Lateran and of all cathedrals throughout the world. “I wanted this sign of the Holy Door to be present in every particular Church”, he said, “so that the Jubilee of Mercy may become an experience that everyone can share. In this way, the Holy Year has given life to the Church as a whole; it is celebrated in every diocese as in Rome, and Rome is a visible sign of universal communion. Pope Francis expressed his hope that this ecclesial communion be “increasingly intense, so that the Church may be a living sign of the Father's love and mercy”.

However, he commented that “love and forgiveness must not remain simply beautiful words, but rather should become the reality of our daily life. Loving and forgiving are the visible and concrete signs that faith has transformed our hearts and this enables us to express the very life of God in ourselves. Loving and forgiving as God loves and forgives. This is a plan for life that does not admit interruptions or exceptions, but rather drives us always to go further ahead without tiring, with the certainty of being supported by God's paternal presence”.

He explained that “this great sign of Christian life then transforms into many other signs that are typical of the Jubilee”, and reiterated that salvation cannot be bought as it is free, urging the faithful not to fall prey to deceptions. “Crossing the Holy Door is a sign of our trust in the Lord Jesus Who came not to judge but to save us”, he continued. “It is the sign of a true conversion of our heart. When we cross this door it is good to remember that we must also keep open the door of our heart. The Holy Year cannot be effective if the door of our heart does not allow Christ to pass, Who drives us to go towards others, leading them to Him and to His love. Therefore, just as the Holy Door remains open, as a sign of the welcome God reserves for us, our door too must always remain open so as to exclude no-one”.

The Pope also remarked that confession is an important sign of the Jubilee. “Receiving the sacrament with which we are reconciled with God means directly experiencing His mercy. … But, how can we ask God to forgive us if we ourselves are not capable of forgiveness? Certainly, forgiving is not easy, as our heart is poor and with its own strength alone it cannot manage this. However, if we open ourselves up to welcome God's mercy for us, in turn we become capable of forgiving”. The Holy Father concluded by encouraging all those present to live the Jubilee starting with these signs that involve the great strength of love”.

Note from the Holy See Press Office on the Moneyval Committee Report

Vatican City, 16 December 2015 (VIS) – The report of the Moneyval Committee, dated 8 December, confirms that during the last two years the Holy See and Vatican City State have achieved significant progress in the construction of an adequate and functioning institutional and regulatory framework for preventing and combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism (c.f., in particular, paragraphs 18-19: Vatican tribunals have frozen 11.2 million Euros as a result of the current investigations).

With regard to the Office of the Promoter of Justice, the investigations are complex from a technical point of view, and require careful analysis. They have a strong international or transnational dimension, involving offences committed outside Vatican territory and persons from outside the Vatican (c.f. Paragraph 18).

The Holy See has established an international network that enables it to collaborate actively with other States in these cases, at the levels of both the AIF and the tribunals. The information and statistics contained in the Report demonstrate this clearly. The Vatican Tribunal requested and received reciprocal legal assistance (letters rogatory) from other States. The Report confirms that mutual legal assistance is widely used (paragraph 79).

The Holy See welcomes the Moneyval Committee’s invitation to strengthen further the capacity of its Tribunals and Gendarmerie to conduct more incisive investigations in criminal matters, and to punish the crimes of money laundering and the financing of terrorism committed within the sphere of the Holy See and Vatican City State.

In memoriam

Vatican City, 16 December 2015 (VIS) – The following prelates have died in recent weeks:

- Archbishop Peter Alfred Sutton, O.M.I., emeritus of Keewatin-Le Pas, Manitoba, Canada, on 5 September at the age of 80.

- Archbishop Bruno Tommasi, emeritus of Lucca, Italy on 17 September at the age of 85.

- Archbishop Georg Eder, emeritus of Salzburg, Austria on 19 September at the age of 87.

- Bishop Giovanni De Vivo of Pescia, Italy on 20 September at the age of 75.
- Bishop Raphael Michael Fliss, emeritus of Superior, Wisconsin, USA, on 21 September at the age of 84.

- Bishop Carlos Anibal Altamirano Arguello of Azogues, Ecuador on 25 September at the age of 73.

- Bishop Claudio Baggini, emeritus of Vigevano, Italy on 25 September at the age of 79.

- Bishop Ferdinand Joseph Fonseca, auxiliary emeritus of Bombay, India on 2 October at the age of 89.

- Bishop Salvador Trane Modesto, auxiliary emeritus of San Carlos, Philippines on 11 October at the age of 85.

- Archbishop Ignazio Cannavo, emeritus of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela, Italy on 18 October at the age of 93.

- Archbishop Alessandro Plotti, emeritus of Pisa, Italy on 19 October at the age of 83.

- Bishop Gilberto Jimenez Narvaez, auxiliary emeritus of Medellin, Colombia, on 20 October at the age of 78.

- Cardinal Jan Chryzostom Korec, S.J, bishop emeritus of Nitra, Slovakia on 24 October at the age of 91.

- Bishop Gaston Poulain, P.S.S., emeritus of Perigueux (-Sarlat), France on 24 October at the age of 88.

- Bishop Georg Muller, SS.CC, prelate emeritus of Trondheim, Norway on 25 October at the age of 64.

- Bishop Giuseppe Nazzaro, O.F.M, apostolic vicar emeritus of Aleppo, Syria on 26 October at the age of 77.

- Bishop Joseph Dergham, emeritus of Cairo (Maronites), Egypt on 28 October at the age of 85.

- Bishop Jorge Scarso, O.F.M. Cap, emeritus of Patos de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil on 28 October at the age of 99.

- Archbishop Johannes Maria Trilaksyanta Pujasumarta of Semarang, Indonesia on 10 November at the age of 65.

- Bishop Jose Benedito Simao of Assis, Sao Paulo, Brazil on 27 November at the age of 64.

- Bishop Federico Ocampo Escaler, S.J, prelate emeritus of Ipil, Philippines on 28 November at the age of 93.

- Bishop Antonio Troyo Calderon, auxiliary emeritus of San Jose de Costa Rica, Costa Rica on 1 December at the age of 92.

- Archbishop Ricardo Guizar Diaz, emeritus of Tlalnepantla, Mexico on 4 December at the age of 82.

- Archbishop emeritus Luigi Conti, formerly apostolic nuncio in Malta on 5 December at the age of 86.

- Archbishop Rrok Kola Mirdita of Tirana, Albania on 7 December at the age of 76.

- Bishop Anthony Francis Sharma, S.J., apostolic vicar emeritus of Nepal, on 8 December at the age of 77.

-Cardinal Carlo Furno, Grand Master emeritus of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem on 9 December at the age of 94.

- Bishop Matthew Shija, emeritus of Kahama, Tanzania on 9 December at the age of 91.

- Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, C.SS.R., archbishop emeritus of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia on 9 December at the age of 79.

- Bishop Dermot Patrick O’Mahony, auxiliary emeritus of Dublin, Ireland on 10 December at the age of 80.

- Bishop Jiri Paďour, O.F.M. Cap, emeritus of Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic on 11 December at the age of 72.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 16 December 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Sao Carlos, Brazil, presented by Bishop Paulo Sergio Machado, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- appointed Msgr. J. Gregory Kelly as auxiliary of Dallas (area 19,457, population 3,847,430, Catholics 1,165,582, priests 213, permanent deacons 144, religious 205), United States of America. The bishop-elect was born in LeMars, United States of America, in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1982. He holds a Master of Divinity from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Dallas, including parish vicar, chaplain at the University of Texas, parish priest, director of priestly vocations, vicar forane, rector ad interim of the Holy Trinity seminary, and member of the college of consultors, the presbyteral council and the board of directors of the University of Texas. He is currently vicar for the clergy. In 2013 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness.
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