(Vatican Radio) Through a telegram from Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis has sent his “ profound condolences ” to victims of a collapsed apartment block in Torre Annunziata outside of Naples.
The building collapsed on Friday, leaving eight people dead, including two children.
In the telegram, addressed to the Archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe , Cardinal Parolin assured those affected by the tragedy of the Pope’s “fervent prayers of suffrage” for those who died.
The telegram said that Pope Francis was praying to the “God of mercy” that he might bring comfort to those who were injured and to all those who are suffering as a result of having lost loved ones. It concludes by noting that the Holy Father has sent his Apostolic Blessing as a sign of his “spiritual closeness.”
(from Vatican Radio)…
Pope Francis has expressed his “prayerful solidarity” with the Catholic bishops of the Philippines as they began their plenary assembly in the capital Manila on Saturday, CBCP News reported. Members of the Catholics Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) are holding their 115th plenary meeting at the Pope Piux XII Center, 8-10 July, to discuss some of the challenges facing the Church and the nation.
Pope Francis hoped the plenary assembly “ may bear spiritual fruit and that you yourselves may grow in deeper faith, hope and charity ”. “ In this way, together with your priests, you will encourage all young Filipinos to become ‘joyful messengers of challenging proposals [and] guardians of the goodness and beauty which shine forth in a life of fidelity to the Gospel,’ ” the Holy Father added.
CBCP News said the Pope’s message was relayed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin to CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who has stepped down at the end of 2 terms as conference leader. Succeeding him is Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, who was elected CBCP president at the start of the assembly, on 8 July.
Among the issues up for discussion during the 3-day meeting are the new priestly formation programme and the challenges faced by the young people in preparation for next year’s Synod of Bishops in Rome. Among the challenges facing the cardinals and bishops are issues such as extrajudicial killings in the war on drugs, the Islamist terrorism in the south, revival of the death penalty, the need for ethical standards in social media and political engagement.
Pope Francis is not new to the Philippines. During his weeklong visit to the country in January, 2015, he celebrated Mass under driving rain in Tacloban , during which he told the faithful his main purpose to visit their land was to show his closness and solidarity with the people of Visayas who were devastated by the typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. (Source: CBCP News)
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday celebrated Mass for the maintenance staff of Vatican City State, reminding them that our joy and our salvation lies in the fact that Jesus came so that we can all be forgiven our sins.
Speaking to a group of Vatican employees who take care of maintenance and general services, the Pope reflected on the Gospel reading of the day which speaks of how Jesus invited Matthew, a tax collector, to dine with him at his house.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni :
He illustrated his words recalling a Caravaggio painting “The Calling of St. Matthew” which he said, he used to like going to see when he could walk the streets of Rome freely,before becoming Pope, and he described the scene that features Matthew counting his money, and Jesus pointing at him with his finger as he chooses him to dine at his table.
“When the Pharisees saw this – the Pope said – they said to his disciples ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ the answer they received was ‘Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do”.
“This, the Pope said, is an immense consolation because it means that Jesus came for me”. “We are all sinners” he continued, “We all have a degree in sin.”
The Pharisees, Francis explained, considered themselves just and criticized Jesus for spending time in bad company, but the Lord said ‘I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.’
Each of us, Pope Francis said, must recognize our strengths, our weaknesses, our sins. He pointed out that Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they were arrogant, vain and considered themselves to be superior to others.
But Jesus, he said, comes to us because we are sinners, and those who acknowledge this also know that Jesus “always forgives, always heals our souls.
“And when you are afraid of being weak and of falling, Jesus will help you back to your feet, he will heal you. This is our consolation. (…) Do not be afraid. In bad times, in moments in which we feel weighed down from things we may have done, during the many slippery slopes of life… remember: Jesus love me because this is who I am” he said.
Pope Francis then recalled the figure of Saint Jerome who offered the Lord his work of many years to which Jesus replied “No. Jerome. That is not what I want most.” Finally Jerome asked Jesus to tell him what would give him the most joy, and Jesus replied “Give me your sins…”
“Today, he concluded, let us give Jesus our sins, let us think of His merciful heart. May it be our joy.”
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday authorized the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to promulgate several decrees, after meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Congregation’s Prefect.
The Holy Father approved the following decrees:
– the miracle, attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Anna Chrzanowska, Lay woman; who was born on October 7, 1902 in Warsaw (Poland) and died on April 29, 1973 in Krakow (Poland);
– the martyrdom of the Servant of God Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve, of the Institute for the Foreign Missions of Yarumal, Bishop of Arauca; who was killed in hatred of the Faith in 1989 near Fortul (Colombia);
– the martyrdom of the Servant of God Peter Ramírez Ramos, diocesan priest; who was killed in hatred of the Faith on April 10, 1948 in Armero (Colombia);
– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Ismael Perdomo, Archbishop of Bogotá; born February 22, 1872 in El Gigante (Colombia) and died on June 3, 1950 in Bogotá (Colombia);
– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Luigi Kosiba (born Peter), Lay professor of the Order of Friars Minor; born on June 29, 1855 in Libusza (Poland) and died on January 4, 1939 in Wieliczka (Poland);
– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Paola of Jesus Gil Cano, Foundress of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Most Pure Conception; born February 2, 1849 in Vera (Spain) and died on January 18, 1913 in Murcia (Spain);
– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Mary Elizabeth Mazza, Foundress of the Institute of the Little Apostle Sisters of Christian Schools; born January 21, 1886 in Martinengo (Italy) and died August 29, 1950 in Bergamo (Italy);
– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Mary Crucified of Divine Love (born Maria Gargani), Foundress of the Congregation of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart; born December 23, 1892 in Morra Irpino (today Morra De Sanctis, Italy) and died on 23 May 1973 in Naples (Italy).
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to the heads of the Group of 20 nations, who are gathered in Hamburg, Germany from July 7-8.
Addressed directly to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Message details four principles of action, which the Holy Father offers as guides for the building of fraternal, just and peaceful societies: time is greater than space; unity prevails over conflict; realities are more important than ideas; and the whole is greater than the part .
Pope Francis expresses the hope that those four principles – drawn from his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii gaudium – might also serve as an aid to reflection for the Hamburg meeting and for the assessment of its outcome.
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The Holy Father’s reflections touch on several pressing issues, including the ongoing migration crisis.
“In the minds and hearts of government leaders, and at every phase of the enactment of political measures, there is a need to give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, the suffering, evacuees and the excluded, without distinction of nation, race, religion or culture, and to reject armed conflicts,” Pope Francis writes.
The Holy Father also addresses the situation in South Sudan, the Lake Chad basin, the Horn of Africa and Yemen, where thirty million people are lacking the food and water needed to survive, writing, “A commitment to meet these situations with urgency and to provide immediate support to those peoples will be a sign of the seriousness and sincerity of the mid-term commitment to reforming the world economy and a guarantee of its sound development.”
Writing on the ever-present threat and reality of conflict in the world, the Holy Father recalls the upcoming hundredth anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Letter to the Leaders of the Warring Peoples , asking that the world put an end to all these “useless slaughters . [Emphasis in original] ”
“War,” Pope Francis writes, “is never a solution.”
Pope Francis goes on to write of the urgent need to overcome ideological divides.
“The fateful ideologies of the first half of the twentieth century have been replaced by new ideologies of absolute market autonomy and financial speculation,” he writes.
Calling for a recovery of, “a sound and prudent pragmatism, guided by the primacy of the human being and the attempt to integrate and coordinate diverse and at times opposed realities, on the basis of respect for each and every citizen,” which was the hallmark of, “the significant political and economic achievements of the past century,” the Holy Father prays that the Hamburg Summit may be illumined by the example of those European and world leaders who consistently gave pride of place to dialogue and the quest of common solutions, especially Schuman, De Gasperi, Adenauer, and Monnet.
“Problems, Pope Francis goes on to write, “need to be resolved concretely and with due attention to their specificity, but such solutions, to be lasting, cannot neglect a broader vision. They must likewise consider eventual repercussions on all countries and their citizens, while respecting the views and opinions of the latter.”
He then repeats the warning that Benedict XVI addressed to the G20 London Summit in 2009, to the effect that the states and individuals whose voices are weakest on the world political scene, are precisely the ones who suffer most from the harmful effects of economic crises for which they bear little or no responsibility, and that this great majority, which in economic terms counts for only 10% of the whole, is the portion of humanity that has the greatest potential to contribute to the progress of everyone.
“Consequently,” he writes, “there is need to make constant reference to the United Nations, its programmes and associated agencies, and regional organizations, to respect and honour international treaties, and to continue promoting a multilateral approach, so that solutions can be truly universal and lasting, for the benefit of all.”
(from Vatican Radio)…