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Day: December 11, 2014

Consistory for the creation of new cardinals in February 2015

Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) – A press conference was held today during which the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., announced the Holy Father’s wish to convene a Consistory for the creation of new cardinals on 14 and 15 February 2015. He also announced two other important appointments: a meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Roman Curia (9 to 11 February) and a meeting of the College of Cardinals (12 to 13 February) to discuss matters relating to the reorganisation of the Holy See….

To the participants in the 4th European Congress on youth pastoral ministry: “Your task is to sow, but only God can make the seeds grow”

Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) – “Those of you who work in the field of youth pastoral ministry, carry out valuable work for the Church. The young need this service: both adults and other young people of mature faith who accompany them on their path, helping them to find the road that leads to Christ”, writes the Pope in his message to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and to the participants in the 4th European Congress on Youth Pastoral Ministry, promoted by the same dicastery and in collaboration with the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe, held in Rome from 11 to 13 December on the theme: “A young Church, witness to the joy of the Gospel”. “This pastoral ministry consists of walking with them, accompanying them personally in the complex and at times difficult contexts in which they are immersed”, he continues. “Youth pastoral ministry must engage with the questions posed by the youth of today, and from this starting point, initiate a real and honest dialogue to bring Christ into their lives. And a true dialogue in this sense can be achieved by those who experience a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, which then overflows into their relationships with their brethren”. The Pope acknowledges in his message that much remains to be done, and encourages the participants never to tire of announcing the Gospel, with their life and their word, since “Europe needs to rediscover it!”. He also encourages them to consider the current situation of young Europeans through the eyes of Christ. “He teaches us to see not only the challenges and problems, but also to recognise the many seeds of love and hope dispersed across the continent, that has given to the Church as great number of saints, many of whom were young. Let us not forget that we are given the task of sowing, but it is God Who makes these seeds grow”. “While you sow the Word of the Lord in this vast field that is European youth, you have the opportunity of bearing witness to the reasons for the hope that is within you, with gentleness and respect. You are able to help the young to realise that faith is not opposed to reason, and thus to accompany them as they become joyful agents for the evangelisation of their peers”. Pope Francis concludes his message by remarking that “youth pastoral ministry is required to offer to the young a path of vocational discernment, to prepare them to follow Jesus on the way of conjugal and family life, or that of special consecration in the service of God’s Kingdom”….

Pope: Climate Change a serious ethical and moral responsibility

(Vatican Radio) The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, is currently underway in Lima, Peru.  The conference aims to look at the progress being made in the application of this legal guideline.
In his message to Mr. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of the Environment of Peru and President-Designate of the Conference or COP 20, Pope Francis expressed his closeness and encouragement, that the work being done at the meeting would be undertaken with an open and generous mind.
He add that what they are discussing affects all humanity, especially the poor and future generations. Even more so, the Pope stressed, it is a serious ethical and moral responsibility.
Listen to this report by Lydia O’Kane

The Holy Father noted that the conference was taking  place on the coastline adjacent to the maritime current of Humboldt, which unites , as he put it, the peoples of America, Oceania and Asia, in a symbolic embrace and which plays a key role in the climate of the entire planet.
The consequences of environmental change, said Pope Francis remind us of the severity of neglect and inaction on this issue and he warned that “the time to find global solutions is running out.”
But, he also underlined that, “we can find solutions only if we act together and agree.” There is therefore, a clear, definitive and urgent ethical imperative to act, he said.
Pope Francis concluded his message by saying that the effective fight against global warming will only be possible through a collective response and develops free from political and economic pressures.
A collective response, he added, is also one that is able to overcome mistrust and to promote a culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogue.
The UN conference runs from the 1st -12th of December
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope: Climate Change a serious ethical and moral responsibility

(Vatican Radio) The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, is currently underway in Lima, Peru. The conference aims to look at the progress being made in the application of this legal guideline. In his message to Mr. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of the Environment of Peru and…
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Pope: we can’t be book-keepers of God’s love

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday said that God is like a mother, He loves us unconditionally, but too often we want to take control of this grace in a kind of a spiritual book-keeping.
The Pope was speaking during his homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni :

Taking his cue from the prophet Isaiah, Pope Francis said that God saves his people not from afar but being close and tender.
“God’s closeness is such that he is presented like a mother, a mother who talks to her baby, and sings lullabies to her baby” The Pope said that the mother even taken on the voice and the language of a child so much so she can seem ridiculous if one does not understand how great the context actually is: ‘Do not fear, you little worm Jacob’. How often – Francis pointed out – does a mother say this kind of thing to her child as she caresses him? ‘I will make of you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, full of teeth… I will make you grow big’ and she caresses him again and holds him close. And so does God. This is God’s tenderness. And He is he expresses his closeness with tenderness: the tenderness of a mother”.
God loves is free – the Pope continued – just as a mother’s love is for her child. And the child “allows himself to be loved”: “this is the grace of God.” “But many times, just to be sure, we want to control the grace”. He said that “in history and also in our lives we are tempted to transform grace into a kind of a merchandise, perhaps saying to ourselves something like “I have so much grace,” or, “I have a soul clean, I am graced”:

“In this way this beautiful truth  of God’s closeness slips into a kind spiritual book-keeping: ‘I will do this because it  will give me 300 days of grace … I will do that because it will give me this, and doing so I will accumulate grace’. But what is grace? A commodity? That’s what it appears. And throughout history this closeness of God to his people has been betrayed by this selfish attitude, selfish, by wanting to control grace, to turn it into merchandise”.

The Pope recalled the groups at the time of Jesus who wanted to control grace: the Pharisees, enslaved by the many laws that they loaded “on the shoulders of the people.” The Sadducees with their political compromises. The Essenes, “who were good, very good, but they had so much fear, they never took any risks” and ended up isolated within their monasteries. The Zealots, for whom the grace of God was the “war of liberation”, “another way to transform grace into merchandise.”

“The grace of God – Pope Francis said – is another matter: it is closeness, it is tenderness. This rule is always valid. If, in your relationship with the Lord, do not feel that He loves you tenderly, you are missing something, you still have not understood what grace is, you  have not yet received grace which is this closeness”. Pope Francis recalled the confession many years ago, of a woman who was tormented by the question of whether a Mass attended on a Saturday evening for a wedding was valid as it had readings different to that on the Sunday. This was his answer: “Madam, the Lord loves you so much. You went to Church and there you received Communion, you were with Jesus… Do not worry, the Lord is not a merchant, the Lord loves us, He is close”:

“St. Paul reacts strongly against this spirituality of the law.’I am right, and this and this. If I do not do this I am not right’. But you are right because God has drawn close, because God caresses you, because God tells you these beautiful things with tenderness: this is our justice, this closeness of God, this tenderness, this love. At the risk of seeming ridiculous our God is so good. If we had the courage to open our hearts to this tenderness of God, how much spiritual freedom we would have! How much! Today, if you have a little ‘time, at home, take the Bible: Isaiah, chapter 41, from verse 13 to 20, seven verses. Read them. This tenderness of God, this God who sings to each of us a lullaby, like a mother”.
(from Vatican Radio)…