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The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

THE POPE TO FOOTBALL STARS: RELIGION AND SPORT AGAINST DISCRIMINATION


Vatican City, 2 September 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall the Holy Father received in audience the members of the so-called “Pope's Football Team for Peace” - fifty players who form part of the history of the sport, including Diego Armando Maradona, Radja Nainggolan, Javier Zanetti, Andriy Shevchenko and Andrea Pirlo, to name just a few.

The match, which took place at 8.45 p.m. in Rome's Olympic Stadium, was organised by the Argentine P.U.P.I. Foundation, a charitable organisation, and the proceeds will be devolved to the “Scholas occurentes” initiative which, through technology, art and sport, promotes the social integration of marginalised children and young people. The name of the foundation derives from the footballer Zanetti's nickname, “Pupi”, and is also an acronym for the phrase “Por un piberio integrado”, “For an integrated childhood”.

In his address to the organisers and participants in the “interreligious football match for peace”, the Pope emphasised that the encounter, aside from providing assistance to these projects of solidarity, also offered an opportunity to reflect on the universal values promoted by football and sport in general, such as loyalty, sharing, acceptance, dialogue and trust in others. He added, “These are values that we all have in common, regardless of race, culture and religious belief. Indeed, this evening's sporting event is a highly symbolic gesture to show that it is possible to construct a culture of encounter and a world of peace, where believers of different religions, preserving their identity – because when I said 'regardless of', this did not mean 'setting aside', no – believers of different faiths, preserving their own identity, may co-exist in harmony and with mutual respect”.

Francis also expressed his hope that sport might contribute to “the peaceful co-existence of all peoples, banishing any form of discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin, language or religion”. Addressing the players, he remarked, “You know that to discriminate may be synonymous with contempt. Discrimination is contempt, and you, in today's match, are saying 'No' to any form of discrimination. Religions, in particular, must be a vehicle for peace and never for hatred, because God's name must be associated only, and always, with love. Religion and sport, in their true sense, are able to collaborate and offer eloquent signs to all of society of this new era in which peoples “never raise their swords against each other”.

Before the beginning of the match, a video message from the Pontiff to the players and the public, in Spanish, was screened in the Olympic Stadium. The full text of the message is reproduced below:

“Good evening. I am glad you are gathered here for this symbolic match. It is a match that highlights the union between the teams, the union between those who participate as spectators, and the desire of all for peace. A match in which no-one plays just for himself, but for others. Or rather, for all. And in this way each person multiplies, and by playing as part of a team, each one is magnified and becomes a greater person. When playing in a team, competition is not war, but is instead the seed of peace. This is why the symbol of this match is the olive tree. I especially wish to greet the members of Scholas, who have organised this match and who will plant the olive tree of peace. I invite all of us to plant this tree of peace along with Scholas. I apologise for speaking in Spanish, but it is the language of my heart, and today I wanted to speak from the heart. Thank you”.

Monday, September 1, 2014

POPE FRANCIS' PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER


Vatican City, 1 September 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for September is : “That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering”.

ANGELUS: THE DANGER OF BECOMING “WATERED-DOWN” CHRISTIANS


Vatican City, 1 September 2014 (VIS) – At midday the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, and commented on the day's Gospel reading in which Jesus, “after having confirmed that Peter and the other eleven believed in Him as the Messiah and the Son of God, began to explain to them that He had to go to Jerusalem where He would suffer greatly, be killed, and rise again on the third day”. He remarked, “It is a critical moment in which Jesus' and the disciples' method of thinking emerges”.

Jesus reproaches Peter – He puts him “back in line” because he does not think “as God does, but as human beings do”, and without realising that he is assuming the role of Satan, the tempter.

The Apostle Paul also insists upon this theme in this Sunday's liturgy in his Letter to the Romans, when he affirms that Christians must not conform to this world without transforming it to discern the will of God.

“In effect”, he continued, “we Christians live in the world, fully integrated in the social and cultural reality of our time, and it is right that it is so; however, this carries the risk that we become 'worldly', that the salt loses its flavour, as Jesus would say; that is, that the Christian is 'watered down', losing the inspiration of newness that comes from the Lord and the Holy Spirit. Instead, they should be the opposite: when the strength of the Gospel remains alive in Christians, they can transform “mankind’s criteria of judgement, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life”, emphasised the Pope, quoting Paul VI.

“It is sad to meet Christians who are watered down, like wine; you cannot tell whether they are Christians or worldly, like watered wine; it is impossible to tell whether it is wine or water. It is sad to meet Christians who are no longer the salt of the earth … because they have committed themselves to the spirit of this world, that is, they have become worldly. Therefore, it is necessary to renew oneself continuously, to draw lymph from the Gospel … by reading and meditating the Gospel every day, so the word of Jesus may always be present in our life”, emphasised the Pontiff, reminding those present always to carry a copy of the Gospel with their pockets or handbags, and to read a passage every day.

Renewal also comes from participation in Sunday Mass, “where we find the Lord in the community, listening to His Word and receiving the Eucharist which unites us to Him and one another”, as well as in days of retreat and spiritual exercises.

He concluded, “Thanks to these gifts from the Lord, we can conform not to the world, but to Christ, and to follow Him on His path, the path of 'losing one’s own life' in order to find it. offering it for love and in love – and this involves sacrifice, even unto the cross – to receive it again purified, freed of selfishness and from the debt of death, full of eternity”.


POPE'S APPEAL FOR THE PROTECTION OF CREATION


Vatican City, 1 September 2014 (VIS) – After the Marian prayer, the Pope greeted the many pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, and remarked that on Monday 1 September the Day for the Protection of Creation will be held in Italy. Organised by the Italian Episcopal Conference, the theme this year will be “educating for the protection of creation, for the health of our country and city”.

Francis underlined the importance of the issue and launched an appeal for “strength and commitment on the part of all – institutions, associations and citizens – so that the life and health of people may be protected, also respecting the environment and nature”.

He also addressed a special greeting to the Catholic members of parliament gathered in their fifth international meeting, encouraging them to “live the delicate role of representatives of the people in conformity with Gospel values”.


AUDIENCES


Vatican City, 1 September 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.

- Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto, apostolic nuncio in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Montenegro.

- Sixteen prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, on their “ad limina” visit:

- Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua of Bamenda, with his auxiliary Bishop Agapitus Enuyenyoh Nfon;

- Bishop Immanuel Bushu of Buea;

- Bishop George Nkuo of Kumbo;

- Bishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Mamfe with Bishop emeritus Francis Teke Lysinge;

- Archbishop Joseph Atanga of Bertoua, with Archbishop emeritus Roger Pirenne;

- Bishop Faustin Ambassa Ndjodo of Batouri;

- Bishop Jan Ozga of Doume-Abong’Mbang;

- Bishop Eugeniusz Juretzko of Yokadouma;

- Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala, with Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, Archbishop emeritus;

- Bishop Abraham Kome of Bafang;

- Bishop Dieudonne Watio of Bafoussam;

- Bishop of Jean-Bosco Ntep of Edea, apostolic administrator of Kribi.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

FULL AGENDA FOR POPE'S APOSTOLIC TRIP TO TIRANA


Vatican City, 31 July 2014 (VIS) – The programme of the Pope's Apostolic trip to Tirana, Albania, scheduled for 21 September, was published today.

The Holy Father will depart at 7.30 a.m. from Rome's Fiumicino airport, and will arrive at the “Mother Theresa” aerodrome in Tirana at 9 a.m., where he will be greeted by the prime minister, Edi Rama. He will proceed to the Presidential Palace to make a courtesy visit to the president of the Republic of Albania, Bujar Nishani, followed by greetings with the political authorities.

At 11 a.m., Francis will celebrate Mass and pray the Sunday Angelus in Mother Theresa Square. He will then transfer to the apostolic nunciature to lunch with the Albanian bishops and members of the papal entourage. At 4 p.m. he will address the leaders of other religions and Christian denominations at the Catholic University “Our Lady of Good Counsel”. At 5 p.m. he will celebrate Vespers with the priests, religious, seminarians and members of Albanian lay movements in the Cathedral of Tirana, after which, at 6.30 a.m., he will visit children at the Betania Centre, along with various people from other charitable centres in Albania.

At 7.45 the Pope will leave for the airport, departing for Rome at 8 p.m. He is expected to arrive in Rome's Ciampino airport at 9.30 p.m.


POPE FRANCIS' PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR AUGUST


Vatican City, 31 July 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for August is: “That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region”.

PAPAL AND HOLY SEE HIGHLIGHTS FOR MAY – JULY 2014


Vatican City, 31 July 2014 (VIS) – The following are highlights of the activities of Pope Francis and the Holy See during the months of May to July 2014.

MAY

2: Audience with the president of the Republic of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

2: Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, is nominated as the Pope's special envoy to the consecration of the recently restored shrine to St. Augustine d'Ippona at Annaba, Algeria, to take place on 2 May 2014, the centenary of its elevation to a Basilica.

2: First meeting of the Council for the Economy, instituted by the Holy Father by the Motu proprio “Fidelis dispensator et prudens” on 24 February.

3: Audience with the bishops of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka, at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

5: Audience with the bishops of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi, at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

7-12: The Holy See is guest of honour at the 27th Turin International Book Fair.

8: His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, meets the Holy Father.

9: Audience with the prelates of the Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia and Eritrea, at the end of their “ad limina” visit.

10: During his audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Holy Father authorised the dicastery to communicate that the rite of beatification of the Venerable Servant of God Paul VI will take place in the Vatican on 19 October 2014.

11: Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, takes possession of the diaconate of Sant’Anselmo all’Aventino, Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, 5.

12: Death of Cardinal Marco Ce, Patriarch emeritus of Venice, Italy, at the age of 88.

13: Pope Francis presides at the 13th Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops.

15: Pope Francis receives the credential letters of seven new ambassadors to the Holy See: Pierre Yves Fux, Switzerland; Rudolf P. von Balimoos, Liberia; Nega Tsegaye Tessema, Ethiopia; Nasreldin Ahmed Wali Abdeltif, Sudan; Margaret Ann Louise Jobson, Jamaica; Claudinah Ntini Ramosepele, South Africa; and Mysore Kapanalah Lokesh, India.

15: The Holy Father receives in audience the Governor General of New Zealand, Sir Jerry Mateparae.

19: Audience with the bishops of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, on their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

19: The Holy Father Francis receives in audience His Majesty Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain.

19: The Holy Father Francis receives in audience the prime minister of Poland, Donald Tusk.

19: The Financial Information Authority (AIF) of the Holy See and the Vatican City State presents its Annual Report for 2013.

19: For the first time, Pope Francis opens the 66th General Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI).

21: Audience with Gjorge Ivanov, president of the Republic of Macedonia, with his wife and entourage.

24-26: Pilgrimage in the Holy Land to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the encounter in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch Athenagoras.

25: Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, takes possession of the diaconate of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, Via dei Fori Imperiali, 1.

31: Cardinal Kelvin Edward Felix, archbishop emeritus of Castries, Antilles, takes possession of the title of Santa Maria della Salute a Primavalle, Via Tommaso De Vio, 5.

JUNE

2: Audience with the prelates of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference, at the end of their “ad limina” visit.

2: Death of Cardinal Simon Duraisamy Lourdusamy, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and archbishop emeritus of Bangalore, India, at the age of 90.

5: The Holy Father meets with His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Cilicia.

6: Audience with the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

7: Cardinal Chibly Langlois, bishop of Les Cayes, Haiti, takes possession of the title of San Giacomo in Augusta, Via del Corso, 499.

7: Audience with the president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto.

7: The Financial Information Authority (AIF) of the Holy See and Vatican City State, formalises its bilateral cooperation with the U.K., France, Malta, Romania, Poland and Peru.

7: Cardinal Ferdinand Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, is appointed as the Pope's special envoy to the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the diocese of Funchal, in Madeira, Portugal, from 13 to 16 June 2014.

8: Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti takes possession of the title of St. Cecilia, Piazza di St. Cecilia, 22.

8: Invocation for Peace in the Vatican Gardens, an initiative Pope Francis proposed to presidents Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to pray for the gift of peace for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

9: Death of Cardinal Bernard Agre, archbishop emeritus of Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, at the age of 88.

12: Ordinary Public Consistory for the canonisation, on 23 November 2014, of Blesseds Giovanni Antonio Farina, bishop of Vicenza, Italy, and founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts; Kuriakose Elias Chavara of the Holy Family, Indian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate; Ludovico de Casoria, Italian professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor, founder of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Saint Elizabeth (“Bigie”); Nicola da Longobardi, Italian professed oblate of the Order of Minims; Eufrasia Eluvathingal of the Sacred Heart, Indian professed religious of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, and Amato Ronconi, Italian layperson of the Third Order of St. Francis, founder of the founder of the Hospital-Hospice for Poor Pilgrims of Saludecio, now the Beato Amato Ronconi Nursing Home.

13: Pope Francis receives in audience Danilo Medina Sanchez, president of the Dominican Republic.

14: Publication of the Holy Father's message for the 88th World Mission Day, to be held on 19 October 2014.

15: Visit to the Sant'Egidio Community.

16: Pope Francis receives in audience the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby.

17: The 2014 Ratzinger Prize will be awarded to Professor Anne-Marie Pelletier and Professor Msgr. Waldemar Chrostowski on 22 November.

21: Pastoral visit to the diocese of Cassano all'Jonio, Calabria.

21: Pope Francis appoints Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as his special envoy to the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Greek Catholic eparchy of Mukachevo, to take place in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, on 28 June 2014.

22: Presentation of the Instrumentum laboris of the 3 rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (5-19 October 2014), on the theme “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”.

28: The Pope receives in audience the president of the Republic of Madagascar, Hery Martial Rajaonarimampianina.

30: The Holy Father receives in audience Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain.

JULY

1.4: Fifth meeting between the Pope and the Council of Cardinals, instituted by Pope Francis to assist in the governance of the universal Church and to draw up a plan for the review of the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor bonus” on the Roman Curia.

5: Pastoral visit to the dioceses of Campobasso-Boiano and Isernia-Venafro in the region of Molise, Italy.

5: Pope Francis proclaims the Celestine Jubilee Year in the Cathedral Square, Isernia, the birthplace of the hermit Pietro da Morrone, the future Pope Celestine V (1209-1296) who was elected in the Conclave of 1292-1294 and after just five months abdicated from the papacy to resume his life as a hermit.

5: Message from the Holy Father to the Archbishop of Agrigento, Francesco Montenegro, on the first anniversary of the papal visit to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, where he prayed for African migrants who have lost their lives in the Mediterranean.

7: Seven victims of abuse by members of the clergy attend Mass celebrated by the Holy Father in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

8: Motu proprio of the Holy Father Francis on the transfer of the Ordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See to the Secretariat of the Economy.

8: The Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See reports a positive balance for the 2013 Budgets of the Holy See and the Governorate of Vatican City State.

26: Pastoral visit to Caserta.

27: Death of Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, archpriest emeritus of St. Peter's Basilica, at the age of 85.

28: Private visit with the evangelical pastor Giovanni Traettino, Caserta.

29: Announcement of the Holy Father's Apostolic trip to Sri Lanka from 12 to 15 January, and the Philippines from 15 to 19 January 2015.

31: Publication of the programme for Pope Francis' forthcoming Apostolic trip to Tirana, Albania, on 21 September 2014.


AUDIENCES


Vatican City, 31 July 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.


OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS


Vatican City, 31 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Fr. Ephrem Nariculam as bishop of the eparchy of Chanda of the Syro-Malabars (area 32,233, population 4,357,654, Catholics 13,119, priests 85, religious 563), India. The bishop-elect was born in Sanjopuram, India in 1960, and was ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a doctorate in spiritual theology from the St. Peter's Pontifical Institute in Bangalore, India, and has served as parish priest in Ernakulam and Delhi and rector of the minor seminary of the eparchy of Chanda. He is currently chaplain of the Syro-Malabar community of Toronto, Canada. He succeeds Bishop Vijay Anand Nedumpuram, C.M.I., whose resignation from the pastoral governance of the same eparchy, upon reaching the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.


NOTICE


Vatican City, 31 July 2014 (VIS) – We inform our readers that during the month of August, the Vatican Information Service will remain closed. Service will resume on Monday 1 September.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

FUNERAL FOR CARDINAL MARCHISANO


Vatican City, 30 July 2014 (VIS) – This morning Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, presided at the funeral of Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, archpriest emeritus of St. Peter's Basilica, who died on Sunday 27 July at the age of 85. In his homily, Cardinal Sodano recalled the late prelate's 62 years of service to the Church, praising his methodical and silent approach. “A style that recalls that of the bees depicted on Pope Urban VIII's coat of arms, in memory of his work”.

He also commented on Cardinal Marchisano's works of charity, in particular his thirty years of work at the Institute for the Deaf-Mute, and thanked the Lord “for the gift He has given to the Church, for this generous ministry”.

PAPAL AND HOLY SEE HIGHLIGHTS FOR JANUARY – APRIL 2014


Vatican City, 30 July 2014 (VIS) – The following are highlights of the activities of Pope Francis and the Holy See during the months of January to April 2014.

JANUARY

6: Private visit to the Roman parish of Sant'Alfonso Maria de' Liguori alla Giustiniana, Rome.

9: The Holy Father receives in audience Severin Mathias Akeo, the new ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters.

16: Publication of the Holy Father's message for the 51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations (11 May) on the theme “Vocations: Witness to the Truth”.

18: The Holy Father nominates Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as his special envoy to Panama for the closing ceremony of the jubilee year convoked for the fifth centenary of the erection of the first diocese (Santa Maria la Antigua) on the American continent (14-15 February 2014).

19: Pastoral visit to the Roman parish of “Sacro Cuore di Gesù a Castro Pretorio”.

22: Pope's message to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

23: Presentation of the Holy Father's message for the 48th World Day of Social Communication, entitled, “Communication at the service of an authentic culture of encounter”.

24: The Holy Father receives in audience the president of the French Republic, Francois Hollande.

25: Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, visits the areas struck by the typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda in the Philippines on 8 November 2013.

27 and 30: Audience with prelates of the Austrian Bishops' Conference, on their “ad limina” visit.

31: Presentation of the Year for Consecrated Life, convoked by Pope Francis in 2015.

FEBRUARY

3: The Holy Father received in audience His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, head of State of the Independent State of Samoa.

4: Presentation of the Holy Father's Lenten message for 2014, entitled “He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (cf. 2 Cor 8,9).

6: Publication of the Holy Father's message, dated 21 January 2014, to the young people preparing for the 29th World Youth Day 2014, on the theme: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

6: The Holy Father receives in audience Wafaa Ashraf Moharram Bassim, ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Holy See, presenting her credential letters.

7: Audience with the bishops of the Polish Episcopal Conference, at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

13: Audience with the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Bulgaria, at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

14: The Holy Father meets with ten thousand engaged couples from all over the world on the feast of St. Valentine. The encounter, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Family, takes as its theme “The joy of 'Yes' for ever”.

14: The Pope receives in audience prelates of the Czech Bishops' Conference at the end of their “ad limina” visit.

15: Audience with the president of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades.

16: Pastoral visit to the Roman parish of “San Tommaso Apostolo” in the Infernetto quarter.

17-19: The Pope meets with the Council of Cardinals, created on 13 April 2013 and confirmed by the chirograph of 28 September, to assist in the governance of the Universal Church and to draw up a plan for the revision of the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor bonus” on the Roman Curia.

20-21: Extraordinary Consistory on the family.

21: The Holy Father receives in audience Dilma Rousseff, president of Brazil, on the occasion of the Consistory in which Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro is created a cardinal.

22: Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of 19 new cardinals.

24: Motu proprio, “Fidelis et dispensator prudens”, (Lk 12,42), by which the Holy Father constitutes a new framework for the coordination of economic and administrative matters of the Holy See and Vatican City State.

24: The president of the Republic of Haiti, Michael Joseph Martelly, is received in audience by Pope Francis.

25: Publication of a letter addressed by Pope Francis to families in view of the upcoming Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, scheduled for October 2014, on the theme “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”.

27: Presentation of the protocol for the Holy See's participation in Expo Milan 2015, on the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

MARCH

1: The Holy Father receives in audience Victor Ponta, prime minister of Romania.

3: Audience with the prelates of the Spanish Episcopal Conference at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

3: The Pope appoints Msgr. Alfred Xuereb, official of the Secretariat of State, as prelate secretary general of the Secretariat for the Economy.

4: The Pope opens the gardens of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo.

10: It is made public that from 13 to 18 August, the Holy Father will make an apostolic trip to the Republic of Korea, on the occasion of the 6th Asian Youth Day, to be held in the diocese of Daejeon.

12: Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, patriarch emeritus of Lisbon, Portugal, dies at the age of 78.

16: Pastoral visit to the Roman parish of “Santa Maria dell'Orazione” at Setteville di Guidonia, in the north sector of the diocese of Rome.

17: Audience with the three prelates of the Episcopal Conference of East Timor on their “ad limina” visit.

17: Christina Kirchner, president of the Argentine Republic, pays a private visit to the Holy Father.

17: Presentation of the “Global Freedom Network”, an agreement between representatives of the great world religions to combat modern forms of slavery and human trafficking, in collaboration with the “Walk Free Foundation”.

20: The Pope receives in audience Filip Vujanovic, president of the Republic of Montenegro.

20: Agreement signed by the NTT Data Corporation and the Vatican Apostolic Library to digitally archive 82,000 manuscripts.

21: Pope Francis nominates Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family, as his special envoy to the celebration of the seventieth anniversary of the destruction and reconstruction of the Abbey of Montecassino, Italy.

21: The Holy Father receives in audience the President of the Republic of Malta, George Abela.

21: Death of His Holiness Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, at the age of 80.

22: Pope Francis receives in audience Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

22: The Holy Father Francis institutes the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

22: Msgr. Brian Ferme is appointed as prelate secretary of the Council for the Economy.

22: The Holy Father appoints Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, as his special envoy to the celebration commemorating the 650th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral of Krakow, Poland on 28 March.

24: Audience with the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Guinea at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

25: The Holy Father appoints Bishop Nunzio Galantino of Cassano all'Jonio, Italy, as secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference for a five-year term.

26: Pope Francis receives in audience Barack H. Obama, president of the United States of America.

27: Pope Francis receives in audience Karolos Papoulias, president of the Hellenic Republic.

28: The Holy Father receives the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Madagascar at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

APRIL

3: The Holy Father receives in audience Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

3: Pope Francis receives in audience the bishops of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

5: The Holy Father Francis receives in audience Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia.

6: Visit to the Roman parish of St. Gregory the Great, in the west of the diocese of Rome.

7: Pope Francis receives in audience the bishops of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

7: His Majesty Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, King of Jordan, is received in audience by the Holy Father.

8: Death of His Beatitude Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch emeritus of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq, at the age of 87.

10: The Pope receives in audience Zvonimir Jankuloski, ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia at the Holy See, presenting his credential letters.

12: Cardinal Orani Joao Tempesta, archbishop of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, takes possession of the title of St. Mary Mother of Providence in Monte Verde, Via di Donna Olimpia, 35.

17: Holy Mass “in cena Domini” at the St. Mary of Providence Centre of the Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, Rome.

24: Cardinal Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I., archbishop of Cotabato, Philippines, takes of the title of St. Mary “Regina Mundi” in Torre Spaccata, Via Alessandro Barbosi, 6.

25: Audience with the bishops of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, from South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland, at the end of their “ad limina” visit.

26: The Holy Father receives in audience the prime minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

26: The Holy Father receives in audience Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado, president of the Republic of Honduras, with his wife and entourage.

26: Pope Francis receives in audience Their Majesties King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium.

26: Pope Francis receives in audience Bronislaw Komorowski, president of the Republic of Poland, with his wife and entourage.

27: Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday), canonisation of Blesseds Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

27: Cardinal Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo, archbishop of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, takes possession of the title of St. Mary the Consoler at Tiburtino, Via de Casal Bertone, 80.

28: Pope Francis receives Their Majesties King Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain.

28-30: Pope Francis' fourth meeting with the “Council of Cardinals”, created by the Holy Father to help with the governance of the universal Church and to draw up a plan for the revision of the Apostolic Constitution “Pasto bonus” on the Roman Curia.


OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS


Vatican City, 30 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bombay, India, presented by Archbishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias, upon reaching the age limit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

POPE FRANCIS' APOSTOLIC TRIP TO SRI LANKA AND THE PHILIPPINES


Vatican City, 29 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today announced that His Holiness Francis, accepting the invitation from the civil authorities and the bishops, will make an Apostolic trip to Sri Lanka from 12 to 15 January and the Philippines from 15 to 19 January 2015. The program for the trip will be published shortly.


THE POPE TO THE PENTECOSTAL CHURCH: WE ARE ON THE PATH TOWARDS UNITY


Vatican City, 29 July 2014 (VIS) – Unity in diversity and the plea for forgiveness for the lack of understanding shown by some Catholics towards their Pentecostal brothers were the key themes of the Pope's address at the Pentecostal Church of the Reconciliation in Caserta yesterday, during his meeting with his friend, the pastor Giovanni Traettino, whom he known for many years, both in Buenos Aires and as bishop of Rome, engaged in ecumenism. The meeting took place in a cheerful and intimate atmosphere, and was attended by 200 people, mostly Pentecostals from Italy, the United States and Argentina, as well as other countries. “With men like you”, said Pastor Traettino to his friend, Pope Francis, “there is hope for us, as Christians”.

The Pope's address responded to the discourse pronounced by Pastor Traettino, who had remarked that the presence of Jesus and walking in the presence of Jesus should be at the centre of our life. Francis remarked that “walk” was God's first commandment to his people, represented by Abraham – “walk before me faithfully and be blameless” – and added, “I don't understand a Christian who stands still! I don't understand a Christian who doesn't walk. A Christian must walk … because that which is still, that does not move ahead, becomes corrupt. Like still water, which is the first to become stagnant. … There are Christians who confuse walking and moving ahead with moving around. These, instead, are errants who saunter here and there; these are people who lack parrhesia, the boldness to go ahead; they lack hope”.

He went on to cite the story of Jacob who, during a time of famine, sent his eleven sons – ten of whom were guilty of betrayal, having sold their brother Joseph – to Egypt to buy grain. There, they once again found Joseph, who in the meantime had become the vizier. “When we walk in God's presence, we find brotherhood”, asserted the Pope. “When instead we stop, we scrutinise each other too much, and we set out on another path, that of gossip. … And in this way it begins, from the first moment the division of the Church began. And it is not the Holy Spirit who causes division! … From the very beginning there has been this temptation in the Christian community. 'I am from this group, you are from that one', 'No! I am the Church, you are a sect', and so on. … The Holy Spirit creates diversity in the Church … diversity, rich and beautiful. But, at the same time, the Holy Spirit creates unity, and so the Church is one in her diversity. To borrow a phrase used by an evangelical, a phrase I love, it is the 'reconciled diversity' of the Holy Spirit, Who creates both of these things: diversity in charisms, and harmony in charisms”.

To offer an image of how unity in the Church could be, Pope Francis first described a sphere, all of whose points are equidistant from the centre. This, he said, was an example of uniformity, and “the Holy Spirit does not create uniformity”. “Let us imagine, instead, a polyhedron: it is an example of unity, but with many different parts, each with its own peculiarity and charism. This is unity in diversity. This is the path that we Christians take, giving it the theological name of ecumenism: we seek to ensure that this diversity is harmonised by the Holy Spirit and becomes a unity; we seek to walk in the presence of God to be blameless”.

Pastor Traettino had also referred to the incarnation of Jesus, and the Holy Father responded that “the incarnation of the Word is the foundation – it is Jesus Christ! God and man, Son of God and Son of man, true God and true man. This is how the first Christians understood Him to be and they fought hard to maintain this truth: the Lord is God and man. It is the mystery of Christ's flesh. … I love the poor, the widow, the slave, the imprisoned. … I love them all, as these people who suffer are Christ's flesh. … It is not possible to preach a purely intellectual Gospel: the Gospel is the truth but it is also love and beauty! And this is the joy of the Gospel!”.

“On this path, many times we have done the same thing as the brothers of Joseph, when jealous and envy have divided us”, he remarked. “That sad story in which the Gospel for some was lived as truth and they did not realise that behind this attitude there were bad things, things that were not the Lord's, an ugly attempt at division. That sad history, in which there are repeated the same things that Joseph's brother did: denouncements, the laws of these people who 'are against the purity of the race'. … And these laws were ratified by baptised persons! Some of those who enacted these laws, and some of those who persecuted, denounced their pentecostal brothers because they were 'enthusiastic', almost 'crazy', who spoiled the race. … I am a pastor of Catholics, and I beg forgiveness for this. I ask your forgiveness on behalf of those Catholic brothers and sisters who did not understand and who were tempted by the devil, and who did the same thing that Joseph's brothers did. I ask the Lord for the grace to recognise and to forgive”.

Pope Francis went on to comment on Pastor Traettino's words, “The truth is an encounter”. “An encounter between people”, he emphasised. “The truth is not made in a laboratory, it is made in life, seeking Jesus in order to find Him. But the greatest and most beautiful mystery is that when we find Jesus, we realise that He sought us first, that He had found us first, because He arrives before us. I like to use the Spanish verb 'primerea' to describe this, meaning that He precedes us, and always awaits us. … That encounter that transforms us: everything comes from that encounter. This is the path of Christian sanctity: seeking Jesus every day in order to meet him, and letting oneself be sought and found by Jesus every day”.

“We are on that path of unity, among brothers”, he concluded. “Some people will be surprised: they will say, the Pope has gone to the evangelicals! He has gone to meet his brothers! Yes! Because – and this is the truth – they came to me first, in Buenos Aires. … And so this friendship began, this closeness between the pastors in Buenos Aires, and here today. I thank you, and I ask you to pray for me, as I need your prayers”.

Following the meeting, in the mid afternoon, the Pope returned to the Vatican by helicopter.


FIFTY THOUSAND MINISTRANTS IN PILGRIMAGE TO ROME


Vatican City, 29 July 2014 (VIS) – From 4 to 8 August, more than fifty thousand ministrants from Germany, Austria and Switzerland will make a pilgrimage to Rome, a trip organised every August by German dioceses. This event is intended to strengthen the spiritual potential of an group that is important to German pastoral ministry, consisting of more than 430,00 children, adolescents and young adults who carry out altar service.

The week's program includes diocesan religious functions, guided tours on themes related to history, culture and spirituality, and cultural and religious excursions including a trip to Assisi. However, the key moment of the pilgrimage, eagerly awaited by all the participants, will be the audience with Pope Francis, who will receive them in the Vatican on Tuesday, 5 August.
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