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Day: November 13, 2014

Father Lombardi to be awarded Honourary Degree by Pontifical University

(Vatican Radio)  The Head of the Vatican Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi is to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa ) by the Faculty of Social Communications  Science at the Pontifical Salesian University  in Rome.  The award comes as the university is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its foundation with a conference entitled “Rethinking Communications: theories, techniques and teaching.”
The university said it wishes to honour Father Lombardi for his key role in the field of social communications of the Catholic Church over the past quarter of a century, saying he has always displayed great competence, dedication, equilibrium and love for the Church, even in its most delicate moments such as following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI or during the Conclave which elected Pope Francis. 
In addition to being Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Lombardi is also the Pope’s spokesperson and Director General of Vatican Radio.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Father Lombardi to be awarded Honourary Degree by Pontifical University

(Vatican Radio)  The Head of the Vatican Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi is to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) by the Faculty of Social Communications  Science at the Pontifical Salesian University  in Rome.  The award comes as the university is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its foundation with a conference entitled “Rethinking Communications:…
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Pope Francis receives the president of Austria

Vatican City, 13 November 2014 (VIS) – This morning, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of the Republic of Austria, Heinz Fischer, who subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. During the cordial discussions, after emphasising the positive bilateral relations between Austria and the Holy See, the Parties focused on themes of common interest, including the importance of promoting religious freedom and human rights, and commitment to interreligious and intercultural dialogue. Finally, various issues of an international nature were examined, especially regarding the situation in the Middle East. …

Catholics and Muslims, working together to serve others

Vatican City, 13 November 2014 (VIS) – The third seminar of the Catholic-Muslim Forum was held in Rome from 11 to 13 November, on the theme “Working Together to Serve Others”. Three specific issues were considered: working together to serve young people, enhancing interreligious dialogue, and service to society. The Catholic delegation was headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, co-ordinator of the Muslim side, was unable to attend the event for health reasons. The assembled participants sent him a message expressing their good wishes. The Muslim delegation was therefore headed by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University, Washington D.C., U.S.A. The delegates acknowledged many examples across the world of active Catholic-Muslim collaboration in educational, charitable, and relief efforts. After the presentations of the papers and the discussions, which ensued in a cordial and fraternal atmosphere, the participants agreed on the following points: 1. The delegates recognised that their gathering took place in a time of severe tension and conflict in the world, underlining the vital importance of enhanced service and mutual cooperation. In this context the delegates unanimously condemned acts of terrorism, oppression, violence against innocent persons, persecution, desecration of sacred places, and the destruction of cultural heritage. It is never acceptable to use religion to justify such acts or to conflate such acts with religion. 2. The education of young people, be it in the family, school, university, church or mosque, is of the utmost importance for the promotion of a well-rounded identity which builds respect for others. To this end, school curricula and textbooks should portray an objective and respectful image of the other. 3. The participants affirmed the importance of the culture of interreligious dialogue for deepening mutual understanding. This is required to overcome prejudice, distortions, suspicions, and inappropriate generalisations, all of which damage the peaceful relationships we all seek. 4. It was felt that dialogue should lead to action, particularly among young people. The participants encouraged Christians and Muslims to multiply opportunities for encounter and cooperation on joint projects for the common good. On Wednesday, 12 November, Pope Francis received the participants in audience, encouraging them to persevere on the path of Christian-Muslim dialogue, and he expressed his approval of their shared commitment to the selfless service of society. Finally, the delegates expressed their satisfaction at this fruitful encounter and their hopes for the next meeting of the Forum….

Pope at Santa Marta: The Kingdom of God within us

(Vatican Radio) The Kingdom of God is growing every day thanks to those who witness without making any “noise”, praying and living their faith in the family, at work, in communities, said Pope Francis at morning Mass, Thursday in Casa Santa Marta.
Emer McCarthy reports  Listen: 

In the silence of a home, where there may only be 50 cents left until the end of the month, but where there is always prayer, care for children and grandparents, there is the Kingdom of God. Far from the noise of the crowd, because the Kingdom of God “does not attract attention” in the same way a seed that grows underground does not attract [attention].
Pope Francis based his homily on the Gospel of the Day from St. Luke, where asked by the Pharisees ‘when the Kingdom of God would come’, Jesus replies: a day will come when they will say to you “there he is”, or ‘here he is’; do not go, do not follow them”.  Pope Francis said : “The Kingdom of God is not a spectacle. The spectacle is often a caricature of the Kingdom of God “:
” A spectacle! The Lord never says that the Kingdom of God is a spectacle. It is a celebration! But that is different. Certainly it is a beautiful celebration. A great celebration. And Heaven will be a celebration, but not a spectacle. However, our human weakness prefers the spectacle”.
Pope Francis continued noting that celebrations are often transformed into spectacles – weddings for example – where people seem more intent on putting on a “fashion show, being seen, vanity” rather than receiving the Sacrament. Instead  “the Kingdom of God is silent, it grows inside. The Holy Spirit nourishes it through our willingness, in our land, which we have to prepare”.  Then, quoting the words of Jesus, the Pope said the day will come when the Kingdom will be manifest in all its power, but it will only be the end of time:
” The day when he will make noise, he will flash like lightening, lighting up the sky from one side to the other . So shall the Son of man be on his day, the day that he will make noise. And when one thinks of the perseverance of many Christians, who struggle to raise their family – men, women – who care for children, care for grandparents and arrive at the end of the month with only half a euro, but who pray. There is the Kingdom of God, hidden, in the holiness of daily life, every day holiness. Because the Kingdom of God is not far from us, it is near! This is one of its features: it is close to us everyday”.
Pope Francis continued that even when he describes his return in a display of glory and power, Jesus immediately adds that “first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation”. The Pope noted this means that “even suffering, the Cross, the cross of everyday life – the cross of work, family, to carry on doing good things – this small daily cross is part of the Kingdom of God”.
Pope Francis concluded by inviting all to ask the Lord for the grace “to nurture the kingdom of God that is within us” with “prayer, worship, service of charity, silently”:
” The Kingdom of God is humble, like the seed: humble but it becomes great by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is up to us to to let it grow in us, without boasting about it: let the Spirit come, change our soul and carry us forward in silence, in peace, in tranquility, in closeness to God, to others, in worship of God, without spectacle”.

(from Vatican Radio)…