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Saturday, April 18, 2015

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2015

#PopeFrancis “Many times, many times these new forms of slavery are protected..."


Pope Francis addresses the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences - OSS_ROM
18/04/2015 13:52


Pope Francis met this afternoon with the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences who are in Rome for their plenary session to discuss ways to combat human trafficking.Following a greeting by the Academy’s President, Margaret Archer, the Pope welcomed the members and expressed his gratitude for their work in finding new ways to eradicate all new forms of slavery in the world.
Drawing from the Beatitudes, the Holy Father noted that those who suffer from forms of modern slavery, such as forced labor, prostitution and organ trafficking are the “least among us” and that all men and women of good will are called to renew their commitment in improving the human condition.
However, he also said that the current economic system, one domineered by profit, has allowed for these new forms of slavery to develop in a way that is “worse and more inhumane” than those of the past.
“We must be more aware of this new evil that, in a global world, wants to hide it because it is scandalous and “politically incorrect,” he said.
Echoing the sentiments of Benedict XVI’s condemnation of human trafficking, the 78 year old Pontiff said that it is “plague on the body of contemporary humanity” and that society is called to form new legislation that penalizes traffickers and help rehabilitate victims.
The Jesuit Pope, however, noted that societies and civil authorities must step up to combat human trafficking, which “constitutes a regression of humanity”.
“Many times, many times these new forms of slavery are protected by the very institutions who should defend the population from these crimes,” he said.
Concluding his address, Pope Francis encouraged the members of the Pontifical Academy to continue their work in the light of the Beatitudes, saying that the path towards Heaven is in “the company of the small and least among us”. 

2015

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday April 18, 2015

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

Lectionary: 272


Reading 1ACTS 6:1-7

As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the Apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ is risen, who made all things;
he has shown mercy on all people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:16-21

When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,
embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum.
It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
When they had rowed about three or four miles,
they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat,
and they began to be afraid.
But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
They wanted to take him into the boat,
but the boat immediately arrived at the shore
to which they were heading.

#PopeFrancis God "“loves others, loves harmony, loves love, loves dialogue, loves walking together.”


Pope Francis at Mass on Friday at the Casa Santa Marta. - OSS_ROM
17/04/2015 12:37



(Vatican Radio) Humiliation for its own sake is masochism, but when it is suffered and endured in the name of the Gospel it makes us like Jesus. That was what Pope Francis said in his homily at the Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he invited Christians to never cultivate sentiments of hatred, but to give themselves time to discover within themselves sentiments and attitudes that are pleasing to God: love and dialogue.Is it possible for people to react to difficult situations the way God does? It is, the Pope said, and it is all a question of time. Time to allow ourselves to be permeated by the sentiments of Jesus. Francis explains this by looking at the episode in the days reading from the Acts of the Apostles. The Apostles were called before the Sanhedrin, accused of preaching the Gospel that the doctors of the law did not want to hear.
Don’t give hatred time
However, one of the Pharisees, Gamaliel, suggested frankly that the Apostles should be allowed to continue to preach, because if the teaching of the Apostles “were of human origin, it would destroy itself,” which would not happen if it came from God. The Sanhedrin accepted the suggestion – that is, the Pope said, they chose to take “time.” They did not react by following the instinctive sentiments of hatred. And this, Pope Francis said, is a correct “remedy” for every human being:
Give time to time. This is useful for us when we have wicked thoughts about others, wicked feeling, when we have hostility, hatred, to not allow it to grow, to stop it, to give time to time. Time puts things in harmony, and makes us see things in the right light. But if you react in a moment of anger, it is certain you will be unjust. You will be unjust. And you will hurt yourself, too. Here’s some advice: time, time in the moment of temptation.
The one who pauses gives God time
When we nurse resentments, Pope Francis noted, it is inevitable that there will be outbursts. “It will burst out in insults, in war,” he observes, and “with these evil thoughts against others, we are battling against God;” while God, on the other hand, “loves others, loves harmony, loves love, loves dialogue, loves walking together.” It even “happens to me,” the Pope admitted: “When something is not pleasing, the first feeling is not of God, it is wicked, always.” Instead, we need to give ourselves pause, he said, and we must give “space to the Holy Spirit,” so that “we might get it right, that we may arrive at peace.” Like the Apostles, who were scourged and left the Sanhedrin “rejoicing” at having suffered “dishonour for the sake of the Name” of Jesus.
Pride of being first leads you to want to kill others; humility, even humiliation, leads you to become like Jesus. And this is one thing that we don’t think. In this moment in which so many of our brothers and sisters are being martyred for the sake of Jesus’ Name, they are in this state, they have, in this moment, the joy of having suffered dishonour, and even death, for the Name of Jesus. To fly from the pride of being first, there is only the path of opening the heart to humility, to humility that never arrives without humiliation. This is one thing that is not naturally understood. It is a grace we must ask for.”
Martyrs and the humble resemble Christ
It is the grace, the Pope concluded, of the “imitation of Christ.” It is not only the martyrs of today who bear witness to this imitation; but also those “many men and women who suffer humiliation each day, and for the good of their own family,” and who “shut their mouths, who don’t speak, suffer for their love of Jesus”:
And this is the sanctity of the Church, this joy that humiliation gives, not because humiliation is beautiful, no, that would be masochism, no: it is because with that humiliation, you imitate Jesus. Two attitudes: that of closing what brings you to hatred, to wrath, to want to kill others; and that of being open to God on the path of Jesus, that makes us accept humiliations, even very serious humiliations, with that interior joy that makes you of being on the path set out by Jesus. 

RIP Cardinal Francis George of #Chicago - Official Statement from Archdiocese

FRANCIS CARDINAL GEORGE, OMI ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS OF CHICAGO 1937 - 2015 
Archbishop Blase J. Cupich’s Statement on the Passing of Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago April 17, 2015 A man of peace, tenacity and courage has been called home to the Lord. Our beloved Cardinal George passed away today at 10:45 a.m. at the Residence. Cardinal George’s life’s journey began and ended in Chicago. He was a man of great courage who overcame many obstacles to become a priest. When he joined the priesthood he did not seek a comfortable position, instead he joined a missionary order, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and served the people of God in challenging circumstances – in Africa, Asia and all around the world. A proud Chicagoan, he became a leader of his order and again traveled far from home, not letting his physical limitations moderate his zeal for bringing the promise of Christ’s love where it was needed most. When he was ordained a bishop, he served faithfully, first in Yakima, where he learned Spanish to be closer to his people. He then served in Portland, where he asked the people to continue to teach him how to be a good bishop. In return, he promised to help them become good missionaries. Cardinal George was a respected leader among the bishops of the United States. When, for example, the church struggled with the grave sin of clerical sexual abuse, he stood strong among his fellow bishops and insisted that zero tolerance was the only course consistent with our beliefs. He served the Church universal as a Cardinal and offered his counsel and support to three Popes and their collaborators in the Roman congregations. In this way, he contributed to the governance of the Church worldwide. Here in Chicago, the Cardinal visited every corner of the Archdiocese, talking with the faithful and bringing kindness to every interaction. He pursued an overfull schedule-- always choosing the church over his own comfort and the people over his own needs. Most recently, we saw his bravery first hand as he faced the increasing challenges brought about by cancer. Let us heed his example and be a little more brave, a little more steadfast and a lot more loving. This is the surest way to honor his life and celebrate his return to the presence of God. As we celebrate in these Easter days our new life in the Risen Lord, join me in offering comfort to Cardinal George’s family, especially his sister, Margaret, by assuring them of our prayers, thanking God for his life and years of dedication to the Archdiocese of Chicago. Let us pray that God will bring this good and faithful servant into the fullness of the kingdom. May Cardinal George rest in peace. 
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES AND PUBLIC VISITATION TUESDAY, APRIL 21 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 THURSDAY, APRIL 23 Biography of Cardinal George from Archdiocese
 

His Eminence, Francis Eugene George, O.M.I.,
Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago

His Eminence Francis Eugene Cardinal George, O.M.I., eighth Archbishop of Chicago, was born in Chicago to Francis J. and Julia R. McCarthy George on January 16, 1937. He was the first native Chicagoan to serve as Archbishop of Chicago and the first Cardinal to retire as Archbishop of Chicago. Cardinal George passed away on Friday, April 17, 2015, at the Residence.
In accordance with Church law, Cardinal George submitted his letter of resignation as Archbishop of Chicago to Pope Benedict XVI on January 16, 2012, which was his 75th birthday.  Pope Francis named Most Rev. Blase J. Cupich as Cardinal George’s successor and the ninth Archbishop of Chicago on September 20, 2014.
After attending St. Pascal Grade School on Chicago’s northwest side and St. Henry Preparatory Seminary in Belleville, Illinois, he entered the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate on August 14, 1957.
He studied theology at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and was ordained a priest by Most Rev. Raymond Hillinger on December 21, 1963 at St. Pascal Church.
Cardinal George earned a master’s degree in philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1965 and a doctorate in American philosophy at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1970 and, in 1971, a master’s degree in theology from the University of Ottawa in Canada. During those years, he also taught philosophy at the Oblate Seminary in Pass Christian, Mississippi from 1964 until 1967, Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1968 and at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska from 1969 until 1973.
From 1973 until 1974 he was Provincial Superior of the Midwestern Province for the Oblates, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was then elected Vicar General of the Oblates and served in Rome from 1974 until 1986.
He returned to the United States and became coordinator of the Circle of Fellows for the Cambridge Center for the Study of Faith and Culture in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1987 until 1990. During that time, he obtained a Doctorate of Sacred Theology in ecclesiology from the Pontifical Urban University, Rome, Italy, in 1988.
Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Yakima on July 10, 1990. He was ordained and installed as the fifth bishop of Yakima on September 21, 1990, in Holy Family Church, Yakima.
He served there for five and a half years before being appointed Archbishop of Portland in Oregon by Pope John Paul II on April 30, 1996. He was installed on May 27, 1996 as the ninth Archbishop of Portland in St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland.
Less than a year later, on April 8, 1997, Pope John Paul II named him the eighth Archbishop of Chicago, to the See left vacant by the death of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin on November 14, 1996. His installation by the Most Rev. Agostino Cacciavillan, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio, took place at Holy Name Cathedral on May 7, 1997.
On January 18, 1998, Pope John Paul II announced Archbishop George’s elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals. At the Consistory of February 21, 1998, Cardinal George was assigned San Bartolomeo all’Isola in Rome, as his titular church. He was also appointed a member of the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum.” In 1999, Pope John Paul II appointed Cardinal George to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. In 2001, the Pope appointed him to the Congregation for Oriental Churches, and in 2004, to the Pontifical Council for Culture. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal George to the Pontifical Council for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See.
He was a papal appointee to the 1994 World Synod of Bishops on Consecrated Life and a delegate, and one of two special secretaries, at the Synod of Bishops for America in 1997. He was a delegate of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to the 2001 World Synod of Bishops and was also elected to the Council for the World Synod of Bishops in 2001. He served as a delegate of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the 2008 World Synod of Bishops on
“The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.”
He is a member of the USCCB Committees on Divine Worship and Evangelization and Catechesis and a consultant to the USCCB Committees on Doctrine and Pro-Life Activities, and the ad hoc Committee on Religious Liberty. He was President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2007-2010, and Vice-President of the USCCB from 2004-2007. He has also served on USCCB Committees on Doctrine, on Latin America, on Missions, on Religious Life and Ministry, the American Board of Catholic Missions, and on World Missions; on the ad hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism and the Subcommittee on Campus Ministry.
He was chair of the USCCB Commission for Bishops and Scholars from 1992 to 1994, and of the USCCB Committee on Liturgy from 2001 until 2004, and a consultant to the USCCB Committees on Evangelization from 1991 to 1993, Hispanic Affairs from 1994 to 97, Science and Values from 1994 to 1997, and African American Catholics from 1999 to 2002, and the Subcommittee on Lay Ministry from 2003 until 2010. He was the USCCB Representative to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy from 1997 to 2006.
He served as the Chancellor of the Catholic Church Extension Society and the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America since 1993, a Trustee of the Papal Foundation since 1997, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia since 1994, and a member of the Board of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception since 1997. Since 2011, he has been the Episcopal Advisor for the Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology in St. Louis, and since 2003, Episcopal Moderator for the Ministry of Transportation Chaplains. He also served as Episcopal Liaison to the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States from 2011 to 2013, Episcopal Advisor to the Cursillo Movement, Region XII, from 1990 to 1997 and as Episcopal Liaison to the Catholic Campus Ministry Association Executive Board from 1998 until 2003.
From 1990 to 2008, he was Episcopal Moderator and member of the board of the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities, now known as the National Catholic Partnership on Disability. He brought personal experience to his role after a five-month bout with polio at age 13 left him with permanent damage to his legs.
Cardinal George is Conventual Chaplain ad honorem of the Federal Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Grand Prior of the North Central Lieutenancy of the United States for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and a member of the Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Awards Advisory Board and the Chicago Bible Society Advisory Board. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Oblate Media, Belleville, Illinois, from 1988 to 1997.
As Archbishop of Chicago, he issued two pastoral letters: on evangelization, “Becoming an Evangelizing People,” (November 21, 1997) and on racism, “Dwell in My Love” (April 4, 2001). His book, The Difference God Makes: A Catholic Vision of Faith, Communion, and Culture, was published in October 2009, by The Crossroad Publishing Company. It is a collection of essays exploring our relationship with God, the responsibility of communion and the transformation of culture. His most recent book, God in Action: How Faith in God Can Address the Challenges of the World, was published in May 2011, by Doubleday Religion. In this collection of essays, he reflects on the significance of religious faith in the public sphere and underscores the unique contributions of religion to the common good.
He is a member of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the American Society of Missiologists and the Catholic Commission on Intellectual and Cultural Affairs. In addition to English, he speaks French, Italian, Spanish and some German.

Saint April 18 : St. Apollonius the Apologist


St. Apollonius the Apologist
MARTYR
Feast: April 18


     Information:
Feast Day:April 18
Martyr whose Apologia or defense of the faith, is called one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator who was denounced as a Christian by one of his slaves. The Praetorian prefect, Sextus Tigidius Perenis, arrested him, also putting the slave to death as an informer. Perennis demanded that Apollonius denounce the faith, and when he refused, the case was remanded to the Roman senate. There a debate took place between Perennis and Apollonius that clearly outlines the beauty and the value of Christianity. Despite his eloquent defense, Apollonius was condemned and beheaded.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)

Catholic Quote to SHARE by #PopeBenedictXVI Emeritus


“Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave.” ― Pope Benedict XVI, God Is Love--Deus Caritas Est: Encyclical Letter

Saint April 17 : St. Stephen Harding : Abbot of Citeaux - Confessor

St. Stephen Harding
CONFESSOR
Feast: April 17

Information:
Feast Day:April 17
Born:Dorset, England
Died:28 March 1134
Major Shrine:Church of St. Stephen Harding in Apátistvánfalva, Hungary, district of Szentgotthárd.
Confessor, the third Abbot of Citeaux, was born at Sherborne in Dorsetshire, England, about the middle of the eleventh century; died 28 March, 1134. He received his early education in the monastery of Sherborne and afterwards studied in Paris and Rome. On returning from the latter city he stopped at the monastery of Molesme and, being much impressed by the holiness of St. Robert, the abbot, joined that community. Here he practised great austerities, became one of St. Robert's chief supporters and was one of the band of twenty-one monks who, by authority of Hugh, Archbishop of Lyons, retired to Citeaux to institute a reform in the new foundation there. When St. Robert was recalled to Molesme (1099), Stephen became prior of Citeaux under Alberic, the new abbot. On Alberic's death (1110) Stephen, who was absent from the monastery at the time, was elected abbot. The number of monks was now very reduced, as no new members had come to fill the places of those who had died. Stephen, however, insisted on retaining the strict observance originally instituted and, having offended the Duke of Burgundy, Citeau's great patron, by forbidding him or his family to enter the cloister, was even forced to beg alms from door to door. It seemed as if the foundation were doomed to die out when (1112) St. Bernard with thirty companions joined the community. This proved the beginning of extraordinary prosperity. The next year Stephen founded his first colony at La Ferte, and before is death he had established thirteen monasteries in all. His powers as an organizer were exceptional, he instituted the system of general chapters and regular visitations and, to ensure uniformity in all his foundations, drew up the famous "Charter of Charity" or collection of statues for the government of all monasteries united to Citeaux, which was approved by Pope Callistus II in 1119 (see CISTERCIANS). In 1133 Stephen, being now old, infirm, and almost blind, resigned the post of abbot, designating as his successor Robert de Monte, who was accordingly elected by the monks. The saint's choice, however, proved unfortunate and the new abbot only held office for two years. Stephen was buried in the tomb of Alberic, his predecessor, in the cloister of Citeaux. In the Roman calendar his feast is 17 April, but the Cistercians themselves keep it on 15 July, with an octave, regarding him as the true founder of the order. Besides the "Carta Caritatis" he is commonly credited with the authorship of the "Exordium Cisterciencis cenobii", which however may not be his. Two of his sermons are preserved and also two letters (Nos. 45 and 49) in the "Epp. S. Bernardi".


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/ststephenharding.asp#ixzz1sJOGxPhx

Latest News #Vatican Information and #PopeFrancis


16-04-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 072 

Summary
- May the Church in Kenya be an instrument of reconciliation, justice and peace
- The Pope to travel to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay in July
- Press Release on the Implementation of the C.D.F. Doctrinal Assessment and Mandate of April 2012
- Presentation of the Annuarium Pontificium
- Cardinal Montenegro to take possession of his titular church
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
- General audience: the complementarity between man and woman
- Pope's telegram for the death of Cardinal Roberto Tucci, S.J.
- Ninth meeting of the Council of Cardinals
- Other Pontifical Acts
May the Church in Kenya be an instrument of reconciliation, justice and peace
Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) – This morning the prelates of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops were received in audience by Pope Francis at the end of their “ad Limina” visit. In the written discourse he handed to them, the Holy Father writes that for many of them this visit to Rome will recall the time spent in the Italian capital during their preparation for ordination to the priesthood. “The many seminarians studying in this city, like the numerous seminarians in your own country, are an eloquent sign of God’s goodness to the universal Church and to your dioceses”.
“While the seeds of a priestly vocation are sown long before a man arrives at the seminary, first in the heart of the family”, he notes, “it pertains to seminary formators to nurture the growth of these vocations. For this reason, it is imperative that seminarians’ goodwill and earnest desires be met with a formation that is humanly sound, spiritually deep, intellectually rich, and pastorally diverse. I am aware of the challenges which this entails, and I encourage you to strengthen your efforts, individually within your Dioceses and collectively in your Episcopal Conference, so that the good work which the Lord is accomplishing in your candidates for priestly Orders will be brought to completion”.
“In this Year of Consecrated Life, my heart is also close to the men and women religious who have renounced the world for the sake of the kingdom thus bringing many blessings to the Church and society in Kenya. … The united and selfless efforts of many Catholics in Kenya are a beautiful witness and example for the country. In so many ways, the Church is called to offer hope to the broader culture, a hope based on her unstinting witness to the newness of life promised by Christ in the Gospel. In this regard, without wishing to interfere in temporal affairs, the Church must insist, especially to those who are in positions of leadership and power, on those moral principles which promote the common good and the building up of society as a whole. In the fulfilment of her apostolic mission, the Church must take a prophetic stand in defence of the poor and against all corruption and abuse of power. She must do so, in the first place, by example. … In a particular way, I wish to offer a word of appreciation to the many humble and dedicated workers in Church-run institutions throughout your country, whose daily activities bring spiritual and material benefit to countless people. The Church has contributed, and continues to contribute, to all of Kenya through a diverse array of schools, institutes, universities, clinics, hospitals, homes for the sick and dying, orphanages and social agencies”.
Pope Francis goes on to emphasise that “the Church in Kenya must always be true to her mission as an instrument of reconciliation, justice and peace. In fidelity to the entire patrimony of the faith and moral teaching of the Church, may you strengthen your commitment to working with Christian and non-Christian leaders alike, in promoting peace and justice in your country through dialogue, fraternity and friendship. In this way you will be able to offer a more unified and courageous denunciation of all violence, especially that committed in the name of God. This will bring deeper reassurance and solace to all your fellow citizens”. He affirms, “With you, I pray for all those who have been killed by acts of terror or ethnic or tribal hostilities in Kenya as well as other areas of the continent. I think most especially of the men and women killed at Garissa University College on Good Friday. May their souls rest in peace and their loved ones be consoled, and may those who commit such brutality come to their senses and seek mercy”.
The Pope encourages the prelates in their pastoral care for the family, and declares his conviction that as the Church prepares for the Ordinary Synod dedicated to the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation “you will continue to assist and strengthen all those families who are struggling because of broken marriages, infidelity, addiction or violence”, and asks them to “intensify the Church’s ministry to youth, forming them to be disciples capable of making permanent and life-giving commitments – whether to a spouse in marriage, or to the Lord in the priesthood or religious life”.
Finally, he prays with them the the forthcoming Jubilee of Mercy may be “a time of great forgiveness, healing, conversion, and grace for the entire Church in Kenya” and that, “touched by Christ’s infinite mercy, may all the faithful be signs of the reconciliation, justice and peace that God wills for your country, and indeed, all of Africa”.
The Pope to travel to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay in July
Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., today declared that Pope Francis, accepting the invitation offered by the respective Heads of State and bishops of these countries, will make an apostolic trip to Ecuador, from 6 to 8 July, Bolivia from 8 to 10 July, and Paraguay, from 10 to 12 of the same month. The programme for the trip will be published shortly.
Press Release on the Implementation of the C.D.F. Doctrinal Assessment and Mandate of April 2012
Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) - Officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (C.D.F.), Archbishop Peter Sartain and officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (L.C.W.R.) met April 16. Archbishop Sartain and L.C.W.R. officers presented a joint report (attached) on the implementation of the C.D.F. Doctrinal Assessment and Mandate of April 2012. The joint report outlines the manner in which the implementation of the Mandate has been accomplished. The Congregation accepted the joint report, marking the conclusion of the Doctrinal Assessment of L.C.W.R. Present for the April 16 meeting were His Eminence Gerhard Cardinal Muller, Archbishop Peter Sartain, Sr. Carol Zinn, S.S.J., Sr. Marcia Allen, C.S.J., Sr. Joan Marie Steadman, C.S.C., and Sr. Janet Mock, C.S.J., and other officials of CDF.
During the meeting, Archbishop Sartain and L.C.W.R. officers outlined the process undertaken by the Bishop Delegates and L.C.W.R. over the past three years, noting the spirit of cooperation among participants throughout the sensitive process. Cardinal Muller offered his thoughts on the Doctrinal Assessment as well as the Mandate and its completion. He expressed gratitude to those present for their willing participation in this important and delicate work and extended thanks to others who had participated, especially Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, and the past officers and executive directors of L.C.W.R.
Following the meeting, Cardinal Muller said: “At the conclusion of this process, the Congregation is confident that L.C.W.R. has made clear its mission to support its member Institutes by fostering a vision of religious life that is centred on the person of Jesus Christ and is rooted in the tradition of the Church. It is this vision that makes religious women and men radical witnesses to the Gospel, and, therefore, is essential for the flourishing of religious life in the Church”.
Sr. Sharon Holland, IHM,President of L.C.W.R., was unable to be present for the meeting but commented, “We are pleased at the completion of the Mandate, which involved long and challenging exchanges of our understandings of and perspectives on critical matters of Religious Life and its practice. Through these exchanges, conducted always in a spirit of prayer and mutual respect, we were brought to deeper understandings of one another’s experiences, roles, responsibilities, and hopes for the Church and the people it serves. We learned that what we hold in common is much greater than any of our differences”.
Archbishop Sartain added, “Over the past several years, I have had the honour of working with L.C.W.R. officers and meeting a large number of L.C.W.R. members through the implementation of the Mandate. Our work included the revision of L.C.W.R. Statutes;review of L.C.W.R. publications, programs and speakers; and discussion of a wide range of issues raised by the Doctrinal Assessment, L.C.W.R., and the Bishop Delegates.The assistance of C.D.F. officials was essential to the great progress we made. Our work together was undertaken in an atmosphere of love for the Church and profound respect for the critical place of religious lifein the United States, and the very fact of such substantive dialogue between bishops and religious women has been mutually beneficial and a blessing from the Lord. As we state in our joint final report, ‘The commitment of L.C.W.R. leadership to its crucial role in service to the mission and membership of the Conference will continue to guide and strengthen L.C.W.R.'s witness to the great vocation of Religious Life, to its sure foundation in Christ, and to ecclesial communion'. The other two Bishop Delegates and I are grateful for the opportunity to be involved in such a fruitful dialogue.”
Presentation of the Annuarium Pontificium
Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) – The Annuarium Pontificium 2015 and the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2013 have been issued this morning. The former reveals some new aspects of the life of the Church that have emerged between February 2014 and February 2015, and the latter illustrates the changes that took place in 2013.
The statistics referring to the year 2013, show the dynamics of the Catholic Church in the world's 2,989 ecclesiastical circumscriptions. It may be seen that in this period one diocese and two eparchies have been elevated to the level of metropolitan sees; three new episcopal sees, three eparchies and one archiepiscopal exarchate have been erected; one territorial prelature has been elevated to a diocese, and one apostolic prefecture to an apostolic vicariate.
Since 2005, the number of Catholics worldwide has increased from 1,115 million to 1,254 million, an increase of 139 million faithful. During the last two years, the presence of baptised Catholics in the world has increased from 17.3% to 17.7%.
There has been a 34% increase in Catholics in Africa, which has experienced a population increase of 1.9% between 2005 and 2013. The increase of Catholics in Asia (3.2% in 2013, compared to 2.9% in 2005) has been higher than that of population growth in Asia. In America Catholics continue to represent 63% of a growing population. In Europe, where the population is stagnant, there has been a slight increase in the number of baptised faithful in recent years. The percentage of baptised Catholics in Oceania remains stable although in a declining population.
From 2012 to 2013 the number of bishops has increased by 40 from 5,133 to 5,173. In North America and Oceania there has been a reduction of 6 and 5 bishops respectively, in contrast to an increase of 23 in the rest of the American continent, 5 in Africa, 14 in Asia and 9 in Europe.
The number of priests, diocesan and religious, increased from 414,313 in 2012 to 415,348 in 2013.
Candidates to the priesthood – diocesan and religious – dropped from 120,616 in 2011 to 118,251 in 2013 (-2%). An increase of 1.5% is recorded in Africa, compared to a decrease of 0.5% in Asia, 3.6% in Europe and 5.2% in North America.
The number of permanent deacons continues to grow well, passing from 33,391 in 2005 to 43,000 in 2013. They are present in North America and Europe in particular (96.7%), with the remaining 2.4% distributed between Africa, Asia and Oceania.
The number of professed religious other than priests has grown by 1%, from 54,708 in 2005 to 55,000 in 2013. They have increased in number in Africa by 6% and Asia by 30%, and decreased in America (2,8%), Europe (10.9%) and Oceania (2%). The significant reduction in women religious is affirmed: currently 693,575 compared to 760,529 in 2005: -18.3% in Europe, -17.1 % in Oceania, and -15.5 in America. However, an increase of 18% in Africa and 10% in Asia is recorded.
Cardinal Montenegro to take possession of his titular church
Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Sunday, 19 April at 11.30 a.m., Cardinal Francesco Montenegro, archbishop of Agrigento, Italy, will take possession of the title of Santi Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Celio (Piazza San Gregorio, 1).
Audiences
Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Twenty-seven prelates of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their “ad Limina” visit:
- Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth of Kisumu;
- Bishop Norman King'oo Wambua of Bungoma;
- Bishop Cornelius Kipng'eno Arap Korir of Eldoret;
- Bishop Philip A. Anyolo of Homa Bay;
- Bishop Joseph Obanyi Sagwe of Kakamega;
- Bishop Joseph Mairura Okemwa of Kisii;
- Bishop Maurice Anthony Crowley, S.P.S., of Kitale;
- Bishop Dominic Kimengich of Lodwar;
- Archbishop Martin Musonde Kivuva of Mombasa;
- Bishop Paul Darmanin, O.F.M. Cap., of Garissa, with his coadjutor, Bishop Joseph Alessandro;
- Bishop Emanuel Barbara, O.F.M. Cap., of Malindi;
Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi;
- Bishop Emanuel Okombo Wandera of Kericho;
- Bishop Anthony Muheria of Kitui;
- Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of Nakuru;
- Bishop John Oballa Owaa of Ngong;
- Archbishop Peter J. Kairo of Nyeri;
- Bishop Paul Kariuki Njiru of Embu;
- Bishop Virgilio Pante of Maralal;
- Bishop Peter Kihara Kariuki, I.M.C., of Marsabit;
- Bishop Salesius Mugambi of Meru;
- Bishop James Maria Wainaina Kungu of Muranga;
- Bishop Joseph Mbatia of Nyahururu, with Bishop emeritus Luigi Paiaro;
- Bishop Alfred Kipkoech Arap Rotich, military ordinary;
- Bishop Anthony Ireri Mukobo, I.M.C., apostolic vicar of Isiolo.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Msgr. Werner Freistetter as military ordinary of Austria (priests 12, permanent deacons 3, religious 4), Austria. The bishop-elect was born in Linz, Austria in 1953 and was ordained a priest in 1979. He studied theology in Vienna and in Rome at the Germanic-Hungarian College, and has held a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar and parish priest in Vienna, assistant at the Institute of Ethical and Social Sciences at the Catholic Faculty of the University of Vienna, collaborator in the Pontifical Council for Culture, and member of the Holy See Representation at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (O.S.C.E.). He is currently director of the Institut fur Religion und Friede and episcopal vicar of the Austrian Military Ordinariate, and spiritual assistant of the Catholic International Military Apostolate. He succeeds Bishop Christian Werner, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same military ordinary in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
- appointed Msgr. Wilhelm Krautwaschl as bishop of Graz-Seckau (area 16,401, population 1,210,971, Catholics 853,594, priests 449, permanent deacons 69, religious 722), Austria. The bishop-elect was born in Gleisdorf, Austria in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Graz, and has served as deputy priest and parish priest in numerous parishes in the diocese of Graz-Seckau, and as dean of the deanery of Bruck an der Mur. He is currently rector of the seminary of Graz and responsible for vocational pastoral ministry, and judge at the diocesan tribunal.
15-04-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 071 
General audience: the complementarity between man and woman
Vatican City, 15 April 2015 (VIS) – Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family by dedicating this morning's general audience to the difference and complementarity between man and woman, recalling first of all that the Book of Genesis insists that both are the image and semblance of God. “Not only man as such, not only woman as such, but rather man and woman, as a couple, are the image of God. The difference between them is not a question of contrast or subordination, but instead of communion and generation, always in the image and semblance of God”.
“Experience teaches us that for the human being to know him- or herself well and to grow harmoniously, there is a need for reciprocity between man and woman”, said the Pope to the thirty thousand faithful present in St. Peter's Square. “When this does not happen, we see the consequences. We are made to listen to each other and to help each other. We can say that, without mutual enrichment in this relationship – in terms of thought and action, in personal relationships and in work, and also in faith – the two cannot even fully understand what it means to be a man and a woman”.
 “Modern and contemporary culture has opened up new spaces, new freedoms and new depths for the enrichment and understanding of this difference. But it has also introduced many doubts and much scepticism. I wonder, for example, if so-called gender theory is not an expression of frustration and resignation, that aims to cancel out sexual difference as it is no longer able to face it. Yes, we run the risk of taking step backwards. Indeed, the removal of difference is the problem, not the solution. To solve their problems in relating to each other, men and women must instead speak more, listen more, know each other better, value each other more. They must treat each other with respect and cooperate in friendship. With these human bases, supported by God's grace, it is possible to plan a lifelong matrimonial and family union. The marriage and family bond is a serious matter for all, not only for believers. I would like to encourage intellectuals not to ignore this theme, as if it were secondary to our efforts to promote a freer and more just society”.
“God has entrusted the earth to the alliance between man and woman; its failure makes our emotional life arid and obscures the heaven of hope. The signs are already worrying, and we can see them. I would like to indicate due points, among many, that I believe must concern us with greater urgency”.
“Undoubtedly we must do far more in favour of women, if we want to strengthen to the reciprocity between men and women. Indeed, it is necessary for a woman not only to be listened to, but also for her voice to carry real weight, recognised authority, in society and in the Church. The way in which Jesus Himself regarded women, in a context that was far less favourable than our own, casts a powerful light illuminating a road that takes us far, on which we have travelled only a short distance. It is a road we must travel with more creativity and boldness”.
He added, “a second point relates to the theme of man and woman created in God's image. I wonder if the crisis of collective trust in God, that is so harmful to us, that causes us to ail with resignation to incredulity and cynicism, is not also connected to the crisis in the alliance between man and woman. In effect, the biblical account, with the great symbolic fresco of earthly paradise and original sin, tells us precisely that communion with God is reflected in the communion of the human couple, and the loss of trust in the heavenly Father generates division and conflict between man and woman”.
“This leads to the great responsibility of the Church, of all believers, and above all of Christian families, to rediscover the beauty of the Creator's plan that inscribes the image of God also in the alliance between man and woman. The earth is filled with harmony and trust when the alliance between man and woman is lived well. And if men and women seek this together between them and with God, without doubt they will find it. Jesus explicitly encourages us to bear witness to this beauty, which is the image of God”, concluded the Pontiff.
Pope's telegram for the death of Cardinal Roberto Tucci, S.J.
Vatican City, 15 April 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, superior general of the Society of Jesus, for the death of Cardinal Roberto Tucci, S.J., yesterday afternoon in Rome at the age of 93.
 In the text, the Pope expresses his heartfelt condolences and recalls with gratitude the prelate's valuable service over several decades as director of “Civilta Cattolica”, expert at Vatican Council II, director general of Vatican Radio and in particular as coordinator of papal trips outside Italy. “He leaves us with the memory of an industrious and dynamic life, spent in the coherent and generous fulfilment of his vocation as a religious man mindful of the needs of others, and a pastor faithful to the Gospel and to the Church, following the example of St. Ignatius. I raise fervent prayers that the Lord might receive him in joy and eternal peace, and I offer you and to your Jesuit brethren the consolation of my apostolic blessing, the sign of my intense participation in our sorrow”.
Ninth meeting of the Council of Cardinals
Vatican City, 15 April 2015 (VIS) – The ninth meeting of the Council of Cardinals (C9), which began on 13 April, was brought to a close this afternoon, according to a briefing by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J.
The Council of Cardinals dedicated the majority its work regarding reform of the Roman Curia to two aspects: reflections on the methodologies to be followed for work during 2015 and 2016 in order to be able to effectively accomplish the task of preparing the new Constitution, and a rereading of the interventions by the Cardinals in relation to reform of the Curia made during the recent Consistory (there were over sixty interventions on this theme with useful indications and cues, both for the prologue of the constitution and for specific aspects of reform).
The orientation towards the constitution of two dicasteries – one competent in fields of charity, justice and peace, the other regarding the laity, families and life – would appear to be confirmed.
The Council also focused on the issue of the reorganisation of Vatican media, following the submission of the final report of the Commission presided over by Lord Chris Patten.
It is expected that the Pope will constitute a Commission to consider how the recommendations of the report can be put into practice. This body will also include members of the Patten Commission, to ensure continuity.
Finally, Cardinal O'Malley, president of the new Commission for the Protection of Minors, under the auspices of the same Commission, has proposed that the Pope and the Council consider the theme of “Accountability” with regard to the protection of minors, in order to establish appropriate procedures and methods for evaluating and judging cases of “abuse of office” in this area, especially on the part of persons holding responsibility within the Church.
Further meetings of the Council of Cardinals are scheduled to take place from 8 to 10 June, 14 to 16 September and 10 to 12 December 2015.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 15 April 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Bishop Wilson Luis Angotti Filho, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, as bishop of Taubate (area 4,534, population 692,000, Catholics 592,000, priests 123, permanent deacons 55, religious 433), Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Carmo Joao Rhoden, S.C.I., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Msgr. Oriolo dos Santos as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Belo Horizonte (area 7,222, population 4,785,000, Catholics 3,350,000, priests 771, permanent deacons 16, religious 2,465), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Itajuba, Brazil in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds degrees in philosophy from the University of Campinas and in marking and strategic personnel management from the “Gama Filho” University in Rio de Janeiro. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Pouso Alegre, including parish vicar, parish priest, canon of the metropolitan chapter, episcopal vicar for the administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, promotor of justice of the ecclesiastical tribunal, and professor of philosophy at the archdiocesan seminary. He is currently parish priest of the Cathedral of Pouso Alegre.
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