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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Catholic News World : Thurs. February 18, 2016 - SHARE

 2016

#PopeFrancis suggests Donald Trump "not Christian" and speaks on "contraceptives" FULL TEXT Interview with Journalists


Please find below the full English transcription:
Fr. Lombardi: Holy Father, thank you for being here as, at the end of every trip, for the summary conversation, a broad look at the trip that has occurred, and for your availability to respond to so many questions from our international community. We have, like usual, asked the different language groups to organize and prepare a few questions, but naturally we begin with our colleagues from Mexico.
Maria Eugenia Jimenez Caliz, Milenio (Mexico): Holy Father, in Mexico there are thousands of “desaparecidos,” (disappeared) but the case of 43 (students) of Ayotzinapa is an emblematic case. I would like to ask you, why didn’t you meet with their families? Also, (please send) a message for the families of thousands of the “desaparecidos.”
Pope Francis: Attentively, if you read the messages, I made reference continuously to the killings, the death, the life taken by all of these narcotrafficking gangs and human smugglers. I spoke of this problem as one of the wounds that Mexico suffers. There was an attempt to receive one of these groups, and there were many groups, even opposed among themselves, with infighting, so I preferred to say that I would see all of them at the Mass in Juarez or at another (Mass). It was practically impossible to meet all of these groups, which on the other hand were also fighting among themselves. It’s a situation that’s difficult to understand, especially for me because I’m a foreigner, right?  I think that even the Mexican society is a victim of all of this, of these crimes of “cleaning” people, of discarding people. I spoke in four speeches even and you can check for it there. It’s a great pain that I’m taking with me, because this nation doesn’t deserve a drama like this one.
Javier Solorzano, Canal 11 (Mexico): The subject of pedophilia, as you know, in Mexico has very dangerous roots, very hurtful. The case of Father Maciel left a strong inheritance, especially in the victims. The victims continue to feel unprotected by the Church. Many continue to be men of faith. Some are still even in the priesthood. I want to ask you, what do you think of this subject? Did you at any moment consider meeting with the victims? And, in general, this idea that when the priests are detected in cases of this nature, what is done is that they are moved to another parish, nothing more? Thanks.
Pope Francis: OK, I’m going to start with the second. First, a bishop who moves a priest to another parish when a case of pedophilia is discovered is a reckless (inconsciente) man and the best thing he can do is to present his resignation. Is that clear?
Secondly, going back, the Maciel case, and here, I allow myself to honor the man who fought in moments when he had no strength to impose himself, until he managed to impose himself. Ratzinger. Cardinal Ratzinger deserves an applause. (applause) Yes, an applause for him. He had all of the documentation. He’s a man who as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had everything in his hands. He conducted all the investigations, and went on, went on, went on, until he couldn’t go any further in the execution. But, if you remember, 10 days before the death of St. John Paul II, in that Via Crucis of Holy Friday, he said to the whole Church that it needed to clean up the dirt of the Church. And in the Pro-Eligendo Pontefice Mass, despite knowing that he was a candidate, he wasn’t stupid, he didn’t care to “make-up” his answer, he said exactly the same thing. He was the brave one who helped so many open this door. So, I want to remember him because sometimes we forget about this hidden works that were the foundations for “taking the lid off the pot.”
Thirdly, we’re doing quite a lot with the Cardinal Secretary of State (Pietro Parolin), and with the group of nine cardinal advisors. After listening, I decided to name a third secretary adjunct for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to take charge only of these cases, because the Congregation isn’t able to keep up with all the cases it has.
Also, an appeals tribunal was constituted by Monsignor Scicluna which is dealing with the cases of second instance when there are recourses, because the first recourses are done by the plenary of the (Congregation of the) Doctrine of the Faith, the “feria quarta,” they call it, that gathers on Wednesdays. When there is recourse, it goes back to first instance, and it’s not fair. So, the second instance is also a legal matter, with a defending lawyer, but we need to work faster, because we’re behind with the cases, because cases continue to appear.
Another thing that is working very well is the commission for the protection of minor. It’s not exclusively devoted to cases of pedophilia, but the protection of minors. There, I spent an entire morning with six of them, two German, two British and two Irish. Abused men and women. Victims. And I also met with victims in Philadelphia. So we’re working. But I thank God because the lid is off the pot, and we have to continue taking it off. We need to take consciousness.
And, the final thing I would like to say that it’s a monstrosity, because a priest is consecrated to lead a child to God, and he eats him in a diabolical sacrifice. He destroys him.
Javier Solorzano: And on Maciel?
Pope Francis: Well, about Maciel, going back to the congregation (Editor’s note: The Legion of Christ, order founded by then-Fr. Marciel Maciel), there was an intervention and today the government of the congregation is semi-involved. That is, the superior general, who is elected by a council, by the general chapter, and the other two are selected by the Pope. In this way, we are helping to review old accounts.
Phil Pullella, Reuters: Today, you spoke very eloquently about the problems of immigration. On the other side of the border, there is a very tough electoral battle. One of the candidates for the White House, Republican, Donald Trump, in an interview recently said that you are a political man and he even said that you are a pawn, an instrument of the Mexican government for migration politics. Trump said that if he’s elected, he wants to build 2,500 kilometers of wall along the border. He wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, separating families, etcetera. I would like to ask you, what do you think of these accusations against you and if a North American Catholic can vote for a person like this?

Pope Francis: Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as 'animal politicus.' At least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don't know. I'll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.
Jean-Louis de la Vaisserie, AFP (France): The meeting with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and the signing of the joint declaration was greeted by the entire world as an historic step. But now today in the Ukraine, Greek Catholics feel betrayed. They speak of a political document that supports Russian politics. In the field, the war of words has reignited. Do you think you’ll be able to go to Moscow? Were you invited by the patriarch? Or, (will you) go to Crete to greet the Pan-Orthodox Council in the spring?
Pope Francis: I’ll begin with the end. I will be present…spiritually. And with a message. I would like to go greet them there at the pan-orthodox synod. They are brothers, but I must respect them. But, I know that they want to invite Catholic observers and this is a good bridge, but behind the Catholic observers I will be praying with my best wishes that the Orthodox move ahead because they are brothers and their bishops are bishops like us.
Then, Kirill, my brother. We kissed each other, embraced, and then a conversation for an hour (Fr Lombardi corrects)…two hours. Old age doesn’t come on its own. (laughs) Two hours where we spoke as brothers, sincerely and no one knows what was spoke about, only what we said at the end publicly about how we felt as we spoke.
Secondly, that statement, that declaration about Ukraine. When I read this, I was a little bit worried because it was Sviatoslav Schevchuk who said that the Ukrainian people, some Ukrainians, also many Ukrainians felt disappointed and betrayed. I know Sviatoslav very well. In Buenos Aires, we worked together for four years. When he was elected – at 42 years old, eh, good man – he was elected major archbishop, He came back to Buenos Aires to get his things. He came to me and he gave me an icon - little like this – of Our Lady of Tenderness. And he told me, ‘This has accompanied me my entire life. I want to leave it to you who accompanied me over the last four years. It’s one of the few things I had brought from Buenos Aires and I keep it on my desk. That is, he’s a man whom I respect and also familiarity. We use “tu” with each other (Editor’s note: “tu” is the informal way of addressing someone in Italian – they speak as friends) and so on.
So, for this it seemed strange to me and I remembered something I said here to you: to understand a piece of news, a statement, you need to seek the hermeneutic of everything.
But, when you said this, it was said in a statement from January 14th, last February, last Sunday…an interview made by brother…I don’t remember…a priest, a Ukrainian priest, in Ukraine it was conducted and it was published. That news, the interview is one page, two, a little bit more, give or take. That interview is on the last page, a little like this. I read the interview and I’ll say this: Schevchuk, in the dogmatic part declares himself to be a son of the Church and in communion with the bishop of Rome and the Church. He speaks of the Pope and his closeness of the Pope and of himself, his faith, and also of the Orthodox people there. The dogmatic part, there’s no difficulty. He’s Orthodox in the good sense of the word, that is in Catholic doctrine, no.
And then, as in an interview like this one, everyone has the right to say his things and this wasn’t done on the meeting, because the meeting, it was a good thing and we have to move forward. This, he didn’t do on the meeting, the encounter was a good thing and we must move forward. This, the second chapter, the personal ideas that a person has. For example, this, what I said about the bishops who move pedophile priests, the best thing they can do is resign. This isn’t a dogmatic thing, but this is what I think. So, he has his personal ideas. They’re for dialoguing and he has a right to have them.
Thirdly…ah, all of what he’s speaking about is in the document, that’s the issue. On the fact of the meeting: the Lord chose to move it ahead, the embrace and all is well. The document. It’s a debatable document and there’s also another addition. In Ukraine, it’s a moment of war, of suffering, with so many interpretations. I have named the Ukrainian people, asking for prayers, closeness, so many times both in the Angelus and in the Wednesday audience. There is this closeness. But the historical fact of a war, experienced as…I don’t know if…well, everyone has their own idea of this war, who started it, what to do and it’s evident that this is a historical issue, but also a personal, historical, existential issue of that country and it speaks of the suffering. And, there I insert this paragraph. You can understand the faithful, because Stanislav told me that so many faithful have written to me saying that they are deeply disappointed and betrayed by Rome. You can understand that a people in this situation would feel this, no? The final document but it is a jotting down of some things. Pardon, it’s debatable on this question of Ukraine. But there, it says to make the war stop, that they find agreements. Also, I personally said that the Minsk accords move forward and are not eliminated. “With the elbows what wasn’t written with the hands.” (Original phrase in Italian: “Con il gomito quello che non e scritto con le mani”)
The Church of Rome, the Pope has always said, ’Seek peace.’ I also received both presidents. Equality, no. And so for this when he says that he’s heard this from his people, I understand it. I understand it. But, that’s not the news. The news is everything.
If you read the entire interview, you’ll see that there are serious dogmatic things that remain, there’s a desire for unity, to move ahead in the ecumenical – and he’s an ecumenical man. There are a few opinions. He wrote to me when he found out about the trip, the encounter, but, as a brother, giving his opinion as a brother. I don’t mind the document how it is. I don’t dislike it in the sense that we need to respect the things that everyone has the freedom to think and in (the context of) this situation that is so difficult. From Rome, now the nuncio is on the border where they’re fighting, helping soldiers and the wounded. The Church of Rome has sent so much help there. It’s always peace, agreements. We must respect the Minsk accords and so on. This is the entirety. But, don’t get scared by that phrase. And this is a lesson that a piece of news must be interpreted with the hermeneutic of everything and not just a part.
de la Vaisserie: did the Patriarch invite you to come to Moscow sometime?
Pope Francis: Patriarch Kirill. I would prefer – because if I say one thing, I have to say another and another and another. I would prefer that what we spoke about, us, alone, will remain only what we said in public. This is a fact. And if I say this, then I’ll have to say another and another…no! The things I said in public, the things he said in public. This is what can be said about the private conversation. To say it, it wouldn’t be private. But, I tell you, I walked out of it happy, and he did too.
Carlo Marroni, Il Sole 24 (Italy): Holy Father, my question is about the family, a subject which you addressed often during this trip. The Italian parliament is discussing a law on civil unions, a subject that is provoking strong political clashes but also a strong debate in society and among Catholics. In particular, I would like to know your thoughts on the subject of adoption by civil unions and therefore on the rights of children and of sons and daughters in general.
Pope Francis: First of all, I don’t know how things stand in the thinking of the Italian parliament. The Pope doesn’t get mixed up in Italian politics. At the first meeting I had with the (Italian) bishops in May 2013, one of the three things I said was: with the Italian government you’re on your own. Because the pope is for everybody and he can’t insert himself in the specific internal politics of a country. This is not the role of the pope, right? And what I think is what the Church thinks and has said so often – because this is not the first country to have this experience, there are so many – I think what the Church has always said about this.
Paloma García Ovejero, Cadena COPE (Spain): Holy Father, for several weeks there’s been a lot of concern in many Latin American countries but also in Europe regarding the Zika virus. The greatest risk would be for pregnant women. There is anguish. Some authorities have proposed abortion, or else to avoiding pregnancy. As regards avoiding pregnancy, on this issue, can the Church take into consideration the concept of “the lesser of two evils?”
Pope Francis: Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil. On the ‘lesser evil,’ avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment. Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.
Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion. Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no?  It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned.
On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. I would also urge doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these two mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on.  
Jurgen Erbacher, ZDF (Germany): Holiness, you will soon receive the Charlemagne Prize, and that’s the main European one. What do you say to Europe, which now seems to be falling to pieces, first with the crisis of the euro and now that of the refugees? Maybe you have a word for us in this situation of European crisis?
Pope Francis: First, about the Charlemagne Prize. I had the habit of not accepting prizes or honors, but always, not out of humility, but because I don’t like them. Maybe it’s a little crazy, but it’s good to have it, but I just don’t like them. But in this case, I don’t say (I was) forced, but convinced by the holy and theological headstrongness of Cardinal Kasper, because he was chosen, elected by Aachen to convince me. And I said yes, but in the Vatican. And I said I offer it for Europe, as a co-decoration for Europe, a prize so that Europe may do what I desired at Strasburg; that it may no longer be “grandmother Europe” but “mother Europe.”
Secondly, reading the news the other day about this crisis and so on – I read little, I just glance through one newspaper – I won’t say the name so as not to create jealousy, but it is known! – Just 15 minutes, then I get information from the Secretariat of State and so on. And, there was one word that I liked, and I don’t know if they will approve it or not, but it was “the re-foundation of the European Union.” I thought of the great fathers, but today where is there a Schuman, an Adenauer, these great ones who after the war founded the European Union. I like this idea of the re-foundation of the European Union, maybe it can be done, because Europe – I do not say is unique, but it has a force, a culture, a history that cannot be wasted, and we must do everything so that the European Union has the strength and also the inspiration to make it go forward. That’s what I think.
Anne Thompson, NBC (USA): Some wonder, how a Church that claims to be merciful, how can the Church forgive a murderer easier than someone who has divorced and remarried?
Pope Francis: I like this question! On the family, two synods have spoken. The Pope has spoken on this all year in the Wednesday Catechisms. The question is true, you posed it very well. In the post-synod document that will be published, perhaps before Easter – it picks up on everything the synod – in one of the chapters, because it has many – it spoke about the conflicts, wounded families and the pastoral of wounded families. It is one of the concerns. As another is the preparation for marriage. Imagine, to become a priest there are eight years of study and preparation, and then if after a while you can’t do it, you can ask for a dispensation, you leave, and everything is OK. On the other hand, to make a sacrament (marriage), which is for your whole life, three to four conferences...Preparation for marriage is very important. It’s very, very important because I believe it is something that in the Church, in common pastoral ministry, at least in my country, in South America, the Church it has not valued much.
For example, not so much anymore but some years ago in my homeland there was a habit, something called ‘casamiento de apuro,’ a marriage in haste because the baby is coming and to cover socially the honor of the family. There, they weren’t free and it happened many times this marriage is null. As a bishop I forbade my priests to do this. Priests, when there was something like this, I would say, let the baby come, let them continue as fiancées, and when they feel like they can continue for the rest of their lives, then they could go ahead. There is a lack there.
Another very interesting chapter is the education of children: the victims of problems of the family are the children. The children. Even of problems that neither husband nor wife have a say in. For example, the needs of a job. When the dad doesn’t have free time to speak to his children, when the mother doesn’t have time to speak with her children. When I confess a couple who have kids, a married couple, I ask, ‘how many children do you have?’ Some get worried and think the priest will ask why I don’t have more. I would make a second question, ‘Do you play with your children?’ The majority say, ‘but father, I have no time. I work all day.’ Children are victims of a social problem that wounds the family. It is a problem… I like your question.
Another interesting thing from the meeting with families in Tuxtla. There was a couple, married again in second union integrated in the pastoral ministry of the Church. The key phrase used by the synod, which I’ll take up again, is ‘integrate’ in the life of the Church the wounded families, remarried families, etcetera. But of this one mustn’t forget the children in the middle. They are the first victims, both in the wounds, and in the conditions of poverty, of work, etcetera.
Thompson: Does that mean they can receive Communion?
Pope Francis: This is the last thing. Integrating in the Church doesn’t mean receiving communion. I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It’s a work towards integration, all doors are open, but we cannot say, ‘from here on they can have communion.’ This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn’t allow them to proceed on this path of integration. And those two were happy. They used a very beautiful expression: we don’t receive Eucharistic communion, but we receive communion when we visit hospitals and in this and this and this. Their integration is that. If there is something more, the Lord will tell them, but it’s a path, a road.
Antoine Marie Izoard, I.Media (France): Holiness, good evening. I permit myself first off, joking, to tell you how much we Vaticanistas are hostages of the schedule of the Holy Father and we can’t play with our children. Saturday is the jubilee audience, Sunday the Angelus and from Monday through Friday we have to go work. And also a hug to Alberto, who with Fr. Lombardi 20 years ago hired me at Vatican Radio. We’re in family here.
A question a bit “risqué” Holiness. Numerous media have evoked and made a lot of noise on the intense correspondence John Paul II and the American philosopher, Ana Teresa Tymieniecka, who had a great affection, it’s said, for the Polish Pope. In your viewpoint, can a Pope have such an intimate relationship with a woman? And also, if you allow me, you who have an important correspondence, have you known this type of experience?
Pope Francis: I already knew about this friendship between St. John Paul II and this philosopher when I was in Buenos Aires. It was known. Also her books are known. John Paul II was a restless man. Then, I would also say that a man who does not know how to have a relationship of friendship with a woman – I'm not talking about misogynists, who are sick – well, he's a man who is missing something.
And in my own experience, including when I ask for advice, I would ask a collaborator, a friend, I also like to hear the opinion of a woman because they have such wealth. They look at things in a different way. I like to say that women are those who form life in their wombs – and this is a comparison I make – they have this charism of giving you things you can build with. A friendship with a woman is not a sin. (It’s) a friendship. A romantic relationship with a woman who is not your wife, that is a sin. Understand?
But the Pope is a man. The Pope needs the input of women, too. And the Pope, too, has a heart that can have a healthy, holy friendship with a woman. There are saint-friends – Francis and Clare, Teresa and John of the Cross – don't be frightened. But women are still not considered so well; we have not understood the good that a woman do for the life of a priest and of the church in the sense of counsel, help of a healthy friendship.
Franca Giansoldati, Il Messaggero (Italy): Holiness, good evening. I return back to the topic of the law that is being voted on in the Italian parliament. It is a law that in some ways is about other countries, because other countries have laws about unions among people of the same sex. There is a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith from 2003 that dedicates a lot of attention to this, and even more, dedicates a chapter to the position of Catholic parliamentarians in parliament before this question. It says expressly that Catholic parliamentarians must not vote for these laws. Considering that there is much confusion on this, I wanted to ask, first of all, is this document of 2003 still in effect? And what is the position a Catholic parliamentarian must take? And then another thing, after Moscow, Cairo. Is there another thawing out on the horizon? I’m referring to the audience that you wish for with the Pope and the Sunnis, let’s call them that way, the Imam of Al Azhar.
Pope Francis: For this, Msgr. Ayuso went to Cairo last week to meet the second to the Imam and to greet the Imam. Msgr. Ayuso, secretary to Cardinal Tauran of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. I want to meet him. I know that he would like it. We are looking for the way, always through Cardinal Tauran because it is the path, but we will achieve it.
About the other, I do not remember that 2003 document from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith well but every Catholic parliamentarian must vote according their well-formed conscience. I would say just this. I believe it is sufficient because – I say well-formed because it is not the conscience of what seems to me. I remember when matrimony for persons of the same sex was voted on in Buenos Aires and the votes were tied. And at the end, one said to advise the other: 'But is it clear to you? No, me neither, but we’re going to lose like this. But if we don't go there won't be a quorum.' The other said: 'If we have a quorum we will give the vote to Kirchner.' And, the other said: 'I prefer to give it to Kirchner and not Bergoglio.’ And they went ahead. This is not a well formed conscience.
On people of the same sex, I repeat what I said on the trip to Rio di Janeiro. It’s in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Javier Martinez-Brocal, Rome Reports (Italy): We’re not back to Rome yet but we are thinking about future trips, about preparing our suitcases again. Holy Father, when are you going to go to Argentina, where they have been waiting for you for a long time? When will you return to Latin America? Or go to China? Then, a quick comment, you spoke many times during this trip about dreaming – what do you dream about? And what is your nightmare?
Pope Francis: China. (laughs) To go there. I would love that. I would like to say something just about the Mexican people. It is a population that has a wealth, such great wealth, a people that surprises. They have a culture, a culture that goes back millennia. Do you know that today, in Mexico, they speak 65 languages, counting the indigenous languages, 65. It is a people of great faith. They have also suffered religious persecution. There are martyrs, now I will canonize two. It is a population that you can’t explain, you can’t explain it because the word ‘people’ is not a logical category, it’s a mythical category. The Mexican people, you cannot explain this wealth, this history, this joy, the capacity to celebrate amid these tragedies that you have asked about. I can say another thing, that this unity, that this people has managed not to fail, not to end with so many wars, things, things that are happening now. There in the city of Juarez there was a pact of 12 hours of peace for my visit. After that they will continue to fight among themselves, no? Traffickers. But a people that still is together with all that, you can only explain with Guadalupe. And I invite you to seriously study the facts of Guadalupe. The Madonna is there. I cannot find another explanation. And it would be nice if you as journalists – there are some books that explain the painting what it is like, the significance, and that is how you can understand better this great and beautiful people.
Caroline Pigozzi, Paris Match (France): Good evening, Holy Father. Two things, I wanted to know what did you ask Guadalupe? Because you were there a long time in the chapel praying to Guadalupe. And then something else, do you dream in Italian or Spanish?
Pope Francis: I’d say I dream in Esperanto (laughs). I don’t know how to respond to that. Truly. Sometimes I remember some dreams in another language, but dreaming in languages no, but figures yes, my psychology is this way. With words I dream very little, no? And, the first question was?
(Guadalupe)
I asked for the world, for peace, so many things. The poor thing ended up with her head like this (raises arms around head). I asked forgiveness, I asked that the Church grows healthy, I asked for the Mexican people. And another thing I asked a lot for: that priests to be true priests, and sisters true sisters, and bishops true bishops. As the Lord wants. This I asked a lot for, but then, the things a child tells his mother are a bit of a secret. Thanks, Carolina.
Transcript by CNA

#PopeFrancis arrives safely back at #Vatican and Thanks Our Lady for Successful trip to Mexico

Pope Francis brings a bouquet of flowers to the Marian Icon, Salus Populi Romani, located in the Archbasilica of St. Mary Major. - AFP
Pope Francis brings a bouquet of flowers to the Marian Icon, Salus Populi Romani, located in the Archbasilica of St. Mary Major. - AFP
18/02/2016 16:
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis stopped at the Archbasilica of Saint Mary Major after arriving in Rome from Mexico on Thursday afternoon. His plane landed at Rome’s Ciampino Airport, and the Holy Father went by car to the Basilica, before returning to the Vatican.
During his brief visit to the Church, Pope Francis placed a bouquet of flowers in front of the Marian Icon, Salus Populi Romani. The Holy Father always venerates the icon before and after his international apostolic trips.

#PopeFrancis " thank you for having opened the doors of your lives..." #PapaenMex - FULL TEXT Farewell - Video

Pope Francis in Ciudad Juarez - REUTERS
Pope Francis in Ciudad Juarez - REUTERS
18/02/2016 02:

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has thanked the people of Mexico for having made possible his apostolic visit.
At a brief farewell ceremony at the fairgrounds in Juárez City where he had just celebrated Holy Mass, and before travelling to the International Airport at the conclusion of his six-day journey, the Pope thanked the great Mexican family for having opened the doors of their lives and of their nation.
He also quoted the Mexican writer, Octavio Paz, and entrusted the Mexican people to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Please find below the translation of the full text of the Pope’s farewell greeting:  
Dear Bishop José Guadalupe Torres Campos of Juárez City,
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
Your Excellencies,
Dear friends, 
Thank you very much, Your Excellency, for your kind words of farewell.  Now is the moment to give thanks to Our Lord for having granted me this visit to Mexico. 
I do not want to leave without giving thanks for the efforts of all who made this pilgrimage possible.  I thank all the state and local authorities for your attention and solicitous assistance that have contributed to the smooth running of this pastoral visit just as I also thank wholeheartedly those who have offered their contribution in different ways.  To all those anonymous helpers who quietly gave of their very best to make these days a great family celebration: thank you.  I have felt welcomed and warmly received by the love, the celebration, the hope of this great Mexican family: thank you for having opened the doors of your lives to me, the doors of your nation. 
The Mexican writer Octavio Paz says in his poem Hermandad: 
“I am a man: I only last a brief while, and the night is vast.
But I look up: the stars are writing.
Without grasping I understand: I am also the writing
and in this very instant someone is spelling me out”
(Un sol más vivo. Antología poética, Ed. Era, México 2014, 268).
Taking up these beautiful words, I dare to suggest that the one who spells us out and marks out the road for us is the mysterious but real presence of God in the real flesh of all people, especially the poorest and most needy of Mexico. 
The night can seem vast and very dark, but in these days I have been able to observe that in this people there are many lights who proclaim hope; I have been able to see in many of their testimonies, in many of their faces, the presence of God who carries on walking in this land, guiding you, sustaining hope; many men and women, with their everyday efforts, make it possible for this Mexican society not to be left in darkness.  They are tomorrow’s prophets, they are the sign of a new dawn. 
May Mary, Mother of Guadalupe, continue to visit you, continue to walk on your lands, helping you to be missionaries and witnesses of mercy and reconciliation. 
Once again, thank you very much. 

#PopeFrancis "...time to implore the mercy of God." Final Mass in Mexico - FULL TEXT and Video


Please find below the translation of Pope Francis’ homily for the Mass at the Ciudad Juárez Fair Grounds:
   In the second century Saint Irenaeus wrote that the glory of God is the life of man.  It is an expression which continues to echo in the heart of the Church.  The glory of the Father is the life of his sons and daughters.  There is no greater glory for a father than to see his children blossom, no greater satisfaction than to see his children grow up, developing and flourishing.  The first reading that we have just heard points to this.  The great city of Nineveh, was self-destructing as a result of oppression and dishonour, violence and injustice.  The grand capital’s days were numbered because the violence within it could not continue.  Then the Lord appeared and stirred Jonah’s heart: the Father called and sent forth his messenger.  Jonah was summoned to receive a mission.  “Go”, he is told, because in “forty days Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jon 3:4).  Go and help them to understand that by the way they treat each other, ordering and organizing themselves, they are only creating death and destruction, suffering and oppression.  Make them see this is no way to live, neither for the king nor his subjects, nor for farm fields nor for the cattle.  Go and tell them that they have become used to this degrading way of life and have lost their sensitivity to pain.  Go and tell them that injustice has infected their way of seeing the world.  “Therefore, go Jonah!”.  God sent him to testify to what was happening, he sent him to wake up a people intoxicated with themselves.
  
   In this text we find ourselves before the mystery of divine mercy.  Mercy, which always rejects wickedness, takes the human person in great earnest.  Mercy always appeals to the latent and numbed goodness within each person.  Far from bringing destruction, as we so often desire or want to bring about ourselves, mercy seeks to transform each situation from within.  Herein lies the mystery of divine mercy.  It seeks and invites us to conversion, it invites us to repentance; it invites us to see the damage being done at every level.  Mercy always pierces evil in order to transform it.
  
   The king listened to Jonah, the inhabitants of the city responded and penance was decreed.  God’s mercy has entered the heart, revealing and showing wherein our certainty and hope lie: there is always the possibility of change, we still have time to transform what is destroying us as a people, what is demeaning our humanity.  Mercy encourages us to look to the present, and to trust what is healthy and good beating in every heart.  God’s mercy is our shield and our strength.
   Jonah helped them to see, helped them to become aware.  Following this, his call found men and women capable of repenting, and capable of weeping.  To weep over injustice, to cry over corruption, to cry over oppression.  These are tears that lead to transformation, that soften the heart; they are the tears that purify our gaze and enable us to see the cycle of sin into which very often we have sunk.  They are tears that can sensitize our gaze and our attitude hardened and especially dormant in the face of another’s suffering.  They are the tears that can break us, capable of opening us to conversion.
  
   This word echoes forcefully today among us; this word is the voice crying out in the wilderness, inviting us to conversion.  In this Year of Mercy, with you here, I beg for God’s mercy; with you I wish to plead for the gift of tears, the gift of conversion.
   Here in Ciudad Juárez, as in other border areas, there are thousands of immigrants from Central America and other countries, not forgetting the many Mexicans who also seek to pass over “to the other side”.  Each step, a journey laden with grave injustices: the enslaved, the imprisoned and extorted; so many of these brothers and sisters of ours are the consequence of a trade in human beings.
  
   We cannot deny the humanitarian crisis which in recent years has meant migration for thousands of people, whether by train or highway or on foot, crossing hundreds of kilometres through mountains, deserts and inhospitable zones.  The human tragedy that is forced migration is a global phenomenon today.  This crisis which can be measured in numbers and statistics, we want instead to measure with names, stories, families.  They are the brothers and sisters of those expelled by poverty and violence, by drug trafficking and criminal organizations.  Being faced with so many legal vacuums, they get caught up in a web that ensnares and always destroys the poorest.  Not only do they suffer poverty but they must also endure these forms of violence.  Injustice is radicalized in the young; they are “cannon fodder”, persecuted and threatened when they try to flee the spiral of violence and the hell of drugs, not to mention the tragic predicament of the many women whose lives have been unjustly taken.
   Let us together ask our God for the gift of conversion, the gift of tears, let us ask him to give us open hearts like the Ninevites, open to his call heard in the suffering faces of countless men and women.  No more death!  No more exploitation!  There is still time to change, there is still a way out and a chance, time to implore the mercy of God.
  
   Just as in Jonas’ time, so too today may we commit ourselves to conversion; may we be signs lighting the way and announcing salvation.  I know of the work of countless civil organizations working to support the rights of migrants.  I know too of the committed work of so many men and women religious, priests and lay people in accompanying migrants and in defending life.  They are on the front lines, often risking their own lives.  By their very lives they are prophets of mercy; they are the beating heart and the accompanying feet of the Church that opens its arms and sustains.
  
   This time for conversion, this time for salvation, is the time for mercy.  And so, let us say together in response to the suffering on so many faces: In your compassion and mercy, Lord, have pity on us … cleanse us from our sins and create in us a pure heart, a new spirit (cf. Ps 50).
   I would like to take this occasion to send greeting from here to our dear sisters and brothers who are with us now, beyond the border, in particular those who are gathered in the University of El Paso Stadium; it’s known as the Sun Bowl, and they are led by monsignor Mark Seitz. With the help of technology, we can pray, sing and together celebrate the merciful love that the Lord gives us and that no border can stop us from sharing. Thank you brothers and sisters at El Paso of making us feel like one family and one, same, Christian community.     

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. February 18, 2016


Thursday of the First Week in Lent
Lectionary: 227

Video to be added at 10am

Reading 1EST C:12, 14-16, 23-25

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

“And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies;
turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8

R. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Verse Before The GospelPS 51:12A, 14A

A clean heart create for me, God;
give me back the joy of your salvation.

GospelMT 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets.”

2016

Saint February 18 : St. Simon of Jerusalem : #Bishop and #Martyr









St. Simon of Jerusalem
BISHOP, MARTYR
Feast: February 18


     Information:
Feast Day:February 18
Died:106 or 107 AD, Jerusalem
ST. SIMEON was the son of Cleophas, otherwise called Alpheus, brother to St. Joseph, and of Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin. He was therefore nephew both to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Virgin, and cousin to Our Saviour. We cannot doubt but that he was ail early follower of Christ, and that he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, with the Blessed Virgin and the apostles. When the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser,his brother Simeon reproached them for their atrocious cruelty. St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, being put to death in the year 62, twenty-nine years after Our Saviour's Resurrection, the apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint him a successor. They unanimously chose St. Simeon, who had probably before assisted his brother in the government of that Church.
In the year 66, in which Sts. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome, the civil war began in Judea, by the seditions of the Jews against the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city. They therefore departed out of it the same year,—before Vespasian, Nero's general, and afterwards emperor, entered Judea,—and retired beyond Jordan to a small city called Pella, having St. Simeon at their head. After the taking and burning of Jerusalem they returned thither again, and settled themselves amidst its ruins, till Adrian afterwards entirely razed it. The Church here flourished, and multitudes of Jews were converted by the great number of prodigies and miracles wrought in it.
Vespasian and Domitian had commanded all to be put to death who were of the race of David. St. Simeon had escaped their searches; but, Trajan having given the same order, certain heretics and Jews accused the Saint, as being both of the race of David and a Christian, to Atticus, the Roman governor in Palestine. The holy bishop was condemned to be crucified. After having undergone the usual tortures during several days, which, though one hundred and twenty years old, he suffered with so much patience that he drew on him a universal admiration, and that of Atticus in particular, he died in 107. He must have governed the Church of Jerusalem about forty-three years.
(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)

Feast Day: February 18 Beatified: October 3, 1982
Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro; c. 1395 – February 18, 1455) was an Early Italian Renaissance painter described by Vasari in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects as having "a rare and perfect talent". He was known to contemporaries as Fra Giovanni da Fiesole (Brother John of Fiesole) and Fra Giovanni Angelico (Angelic Brother John). In modern Italian he is called il Beato Angelico (Blessed Angelic One); the common English name Fra Angelico means the "Angelic friar".  He is listed in the Roman Martyrology as Beatus Ioannes Faesulanus, cognomento Angelicus—
Growing up in a small town in Italy, Guido di Pietro was interested in two things. He wanted to follow Christ’s example in all things and he wanted to develop his talent for painting. God showed him how these two things were his vocation. Our vocation is God’s call to share in Jesus’ life and work. Guido was born in 1387, and when he was 18, he joined the Dominican order as a religious brother. Brothers are not priests. Religious brothers serve their community through prayer and work. It Italy, religious brothers are called “Fra.” Religious brothers are often given a new name. Guido’s religious name was “Fra Giovanni” or Brother John. His work in his community was painting beautiful religious art, initially for manuscripts, which at the time were each copied by hand. The moment the members of his religious community saw his beautiful paintings, they said that he “painted like an angel.” That is how he became known as “Fra Angelico.” Every day before he began to paint, Fra Angelico prayed that God would guide his hand and help him to create a painting that would inspire people to grow closer to God. Fra Angelico became very famous. He painted holy figures and angels and was even called to Rome to paint portraits of the saints on the walls of the chapel of Pope Eugenius IV and then Pope Nicholas V. His work can be found in museums and churches and holy buildings throughout the world. He died in Rome in 1455 and was beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II. The pope declared him the patron saint of Catholic artists in 1984. We call Fra Angelico “Blessed.” His life helps us to understand that we are called to use the gifts we have been given to serve others and to give glory and praise to God.
Fra Angelico (Italian, ca. 1390/95-1455)
The Virgin of Humility, ca. 1436-38
Tempera on panel
29 1/8 x 24 in.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

#PopeFrancis "God will hold us accountable for the slaves of our day..." FULL TEXT - Video to Businessmen in Mexico

Pope addresses members of the World of Work in Ciudad Juarez - AP
Pope addresses members of the World of Work in Ciudad Juarez - AP
17/02/2016 21:01



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has called on business leaders and representatives of the Chambers of Commerce to invest in the future by creating opportunities of sustainable and profitable work for the young.
On the last day of his apostolic journey to Mexico the Pope was addressing representatives of the “world of work” gathered at an Institute for Superior Education, the Colegio de Bachilleres of the State of Chihuahua.
Please find below the translation of the Pope’s address:  
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
    I wanted to meet with you here in this land of Juárez, because of the special relationship this city has with the world of labour.  I am grateful not only for your words of welcome and for your testimonies, which reveal the anxieties, joys and hopes of your lives, but also for this opportunity to share and reflect together.  Anything we can do to foster dialogue, encounter, and the search for better alternatives and opportunities is already an accomplishment to be valued and highlighted.  Obviously more needs to be done, and today we do not have the luxury of missing any chance to encounter, discuss, confront or search.  This is the only way we will be able to build for tomorrow, to create sustainable relationships capable of providing the needed framework that, little by little, will rebuild the social bonds so damaged by a lack of communication and by a lack of the minimal respect necessary for a healthy coexistence.  So I thank you, and I hope that this occasion may serve to build the future.  May it be a good opportunity to forge the Mexico that its people and children deserve.
    I would like to dwell on this latter point.  Here today there are various workers’ organizations and representatives of Commerce Chambers and business associations.  At first sight they could be considered as adversaries, but they are united by the same responsibility: seeking to create employment opportunities which are dignified and truly beneficial for society and especially for the young of this land.  One of the greatest scourges for young people is the lack of opportunities for study and for sustainable and profitable work, which would permit them to work for the future.  In many cases, this lack of opportunity leads to situations of poverty.  This poverty then becomes the best breeding ground for the young to fall into the cycle of drug trafficking and violence.  It is a luxury which no one can afford; we cannot allow the present and future of Mexico to be alone and abandoned.
    Unfortunately, the times we live in have imposed the paradigm of economic utility as the starting point for personal relationships.  The prevailing mentality advocates for the greatest possible profits, immediately and at any cost.  This not only causes the ethical dimension of business to be lost, but it also forgets that the best investment we can make is in people, in individual persons and in families.  The best investment is creating opportunities.  The prevailing mentality puts the flow of people at the service of the flow of capital, resulting in many cases in the exploitation of employees as if they were objects to be used and discarded (cf. Laudato Si’, 123).  God will hold us accountable for the slaves of our day, and we must do everything to make sure that these situations do not happen again.  The flow of capital cannot decide the flow and life of people.
  
When faced with tenets of the Church’s Social Doctrine, it is objected frequently: “These teachings would have us be charitable organizations or that we transform our businesses into philanthropic institutions”.  The only aspiration of the Church’s Social Doctrine is to guard over the integrity of people and social structures.  Every time that, for whatever reason, this integrity is threatened or reduced to a consumer good, the Church’s Social Doctrine will be a prophetic voice to protect us all from being lost in the seductive sea of ambition.  Every time that a person’s integrity is violated, society, in a certain sense, begins to decline.  This is against no one, but in favour of all.  Every sector has the obligation of looking out for the good of all; we are all in the same boat.  We all have to struggle to make sure that work is a humanizing moment which looks to the future; that it is a space for building up society and each person’s participation in it.  This attitude not only provides an immediate improvement, but in the long run it will also transform society into a culture capable of promoting a dignified space for everyone.  This culture, born many times out of tension, is creating a new style of relationships, a new kind of nation.
    What kind of world do we want to leave our children?  I believe that the vast majority of us can agree.  This is precisely our horizon, our goal, and we have to come together and work for this.  It is always good to think about what I would like to leave my children; it is also a good way to think of others’ children.  What kind of Mexico do you want to leave your children?  Do you want to leave them the memory of exploitation, of insufficient pay, of workplace harassment? Or do you want to leave them a culture which recalls dignified work, a proper roof, and land to be worked?  What type of culture do we want for those who will come after us?  What air will they breathe?  An air tainted by corruption, violence, insecurity and suspicion, or, on the contrary, an air capable of generating alternatives, renewal and change?
    I know that the issues raised are not easy, but it is worse to leave the future in the hands of corruption, brutality and the lack of equity.  I know it is often not easy to bring all parties together in negotiations, but it is worse, and we end up doing more harm, when there is a lack of negotiations and appreciation.  I know it is not easy to get along in an increasingly competitive world, but it is worse to allow the competitive world to ruin the destiny of the people.  Profit and capital are not a good over and above the human person; they are at the service of the common good.  When the common good is used only in the service of profit and capital, the only thing gained is known as exclusion.
    I began by thanking you for this opportunity to be together.  I wish now to invite you to dream of Mexico, to build the Mexico that your children deserve; a Mexico where no one is first, second, or fourth; a Mexico where each sees in the other the dignity of a child of God.  May our Lady of Guadalupe, who made herself known to Juan Diego, and revealed how the seemingly abandoned were her privileged witnesses, help and accompany us in this our work. 
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