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Day: November 20, 2014

Pope Francis: People and not money create development

(Vatican Radio)  Saying people and not money create development, Pope Francis called on Thursday for courageous initiatives to rethink our economic system and not become slaves of money. His remarks came in a video message delivered to participants attending a Festival of Social Doctrine in the Italian city of Verona promoted by the local Church.  
The Pope urged people not to become discouraged by the economic crisis but instead turn their energies towards ways of “rethinking our economic model and the world of work.”  He warned that “the great temptation” when faced with these difficulties is to concentrate “on tending our own wounds and use that as an excuse to not heed the cry of the poor” and all those who are suffering because they have lost their jobs and the dignity that goes with that. The risk, he went on, is that “this indifference makes us blind, deaf and dumb”, closed in to the outside world and only concerned with ourselves.
Pope Francis spoke instead of the need to move beyond and “abandon the stereotypes which are considered safe and guaranteed” in order to respond to the real needs of people. In the field of economics, he went on, we urgently need to take the initiative because “the system tends to homogenize everything and money becomes its master.”  Taking the initiative in this field, he added, means having the courage not to allow ourselves to be imprisoned and subsequently enslaved by money.
The true problem explained the Pope “is not money as such but people.”  This is because “money by itself does not create development” but instead we need people who have the courage to take the initiative. Pope Francis stressed that taking the initiative in this way means overcoming a tendency to always ask the state or other bodies for assistance but instead use our creative talents to find new ways of earning a living.
He concluded his address by expressing his concern over the high number of unemployed young people, saying we need to invest more in them and give them a great deal of confidence. 

(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis pays tribute to Blessed Paul VI’s devotion to Mary

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis paid tribute on Thursday to Blessed Pope Paul the 6th and his great love for the Mother of God, saying he always turned to Mary at crucial and difficult moments for the Church and humanity. The Pope’s words came during a message which was read on his behalf by the Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin at a public meeting of the Pontifical Academies whose theme was “Mary, Icon of God’s infinite beauty. During the meeting Cardinal Parolin awarded a prize in the name of the Pope to the Italian Mariological Association for its long-standing publication of the Theotokos Review.
Quoting from his encyclical Evangelii gaudium , the Pope reminded his audience that he has entrusted the way of the Church to the maternal and caring intercession of Mary and that there is a Marian style in the evangelizing activity of the church.  This, he went on, is because every time we look at Mary we return to believe in the revolutionary strength of tenderness and affection.  In her, we see the humility and the tenderness that are not virtues of the weak but of the strong and who don’t need to mistreat others in order to feel self-important.     
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis: Christian unity remains a priority for Catholics

(Vatican Radio) The search for full Christian unity remains a priority for the Catholic Church and it is one of the Pope’s principle daily concerns. That was the message that Pope Francis shared on Thursday with members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity who are taking part in a plenary session in the Vatican this week. The meeting includes a public commemoration at the Gregorian University on Friday of the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II decree ‘Unitatis Redintegratio’. That document marked the start of a new era in the Catholic Church’s relations with Christians of all different denominations. Philippa Hitchen reports:

In a letter given to participants during a meeting at Santa Marta, the Pope notes that the Vatican II teaching, contained in ‘Unitatis Redintegratio’, as well as the other two ecclesiological texts ‘Lumen Gentium’ and ‘Orientalium Ecclesiarum’ has been fully embraced. Earlier hostility and indifference that caused such deep wounds between Christians, the Pope says, have given way to a process of healing that allows us to welcome others as brothers and sisters, united in our common baptism.
This changed mentality, he says, must penetrate ever more deeply into the theological teachings and pastoral practise of dioceses, institutes of consecrated life, associations and ecclesial movements. At the same time, he adds, this anniversary offers an opportunity to give thanks to God that we can now appreciate all that is good and true within the life of the different Christian communities.
Pope Francis thanks all those who, over the past half century, have pioneered this process of reconciliation and he mentions the important role that ecumenical translations of the Bible have played in developing closer cooperation among Christians.
But as we give thanks, the Pope says, we must also recognise continuing divisions and new ethical issues which are complicating our journey towards unity in Christ. Rather than being resigned to the difficulties, he says, we must continue to trust in God who plants seeds of love in the hearts of all Christians.
Finally the Pope calls for a renewed commitment to spiritual ecumenism and to the rediscovery of shared Christian martyrdom. Spiritual ecumenism, he says, is that global network of communal moments of prayer, united gestures of charity and shared reflections on the web which circulate like oxygen, contributing to the growth of understanding, respect and mutual esteem. Ecumenism of the martyrs, he notes, continues today wherever our brothers and sisters sacrifice their lives for their faith, since those who persecute Christ’s followers make no distinction between the different Christian confessions.
In my many encounters or correspondence with other Christians, Pope Francis concludes, I see a strong desire to walk and pray together, to know and love the Lord and to work together in the service of the weak and suffering. On this common journey, he says, I am convinced that, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can learn from each other and grow into the communion which already unites us.

(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis: Christian unity remains a priority for Catholics

(Vatican Radio) The search for full Christian unity remains a priority for the Catholic Church and it is one of the Pope’s principle daily concerns. That was the message that Pope Francis shared on Thursday with members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity who are taking part in a plenary session in the…
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Meeting held to prepare guidelines for next Synod on the Family

(Vatican Radio) The Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met this week (18 and 19 November) to reflect on the outcome of this October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family and to prepare the guidelines for next year’s Ordinary Synod.  Scheduled to take place from 4th to 25th october 2015, the next Synod’s theme is “The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world.”  In an opening address at this week’s meeting, the Synod’s Secretary General Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri spoke of the freedom, sincerity and spirt of brotherly communion that characterized this October’s Synod which enabled each participant to offer his own contribution to the discussions.  The participants agreed that the episcopal conferences should carry out further study and discussion of the themes relating to the family between now and the next Synod.  Most of the time during this week’s meeting was taken up with preparing the guidelines for next year’s Synod which are being taken from the final report or “ Relatio Synodi ” of this October’s Synod.  These guidelines will be sent to the Bishops’ Conferences at the beginning of December and their replies will be sent back so they can be incorporated into the next Synod’s working document or “ Instrumentum Laboris ” before the summer of 2015. (from Vatican Radio)…