(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday (May 21st) encouraged Italy’s police officers to take action against violent and corrupt individuals, saying the country needs people to serve it with altruism, generosity and continuity. He praised the police officers for their help in welcoming migrants landing on the nation’s shores and in counteracting the “unscrupulous human traffickers” and said their job is an important and noble mission of service to the entire community that sometimes can lead to the sacrifice of their own lives. The Pope’s remarks came in an address to the family members of Italian police officers who were killed or injured whilst on active duty.
Pope Francis said the work of a police officer is a mission that carries a strong sense of duty and discipline and a willingness, if necessary, to lay down one’s life in order to uphold “the rule of law, defend democracy” and engage in the struggle against “organized crime or terrorism.” Your mission, he said, requires “the courage” to rescue whoever is in danger and to stop the aggressor in order to protect the wider society from “the arrogance of corrupt or violent individuals.”
The Pope noted that nowadays police officers often find themselves on the front line, both in welcoming migrants landing on Italy’s shores and in taking action to apprehend the unscrupulous human traffickers. In this work, he said, you distinguish yourselves by “the moral imperative to do good, to save as many people as possible and to not spare yourselves in donating energy and time for this mission.”
Pope Francis concluded by urging the police officers to continue their mission and Christian witness at the service of all and said by defending the weak and the rule of law they are a role model for Italy that “needs people to serve it with altruism, generosity and continuity.”
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday (May 21st) encouraged Italy’s police officers to take action against violent and corrupt individuals, saying the country needs people to serve it with altruism, generosity and continuity. He praised the police officers for their help in welcoming migrants landing on the nation’s shores and in counteracting the “unscrupulous human…
(Vatican Radio) His wounds are the “price” that Jesus paid for the Church to be united forever to Him and to God. Christians today are called to ask for the grace of unity and to fight against all “spirit of division, of war, of jealousy.” That was Pope Francis’s reflection during his Homily at Mass Thursday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta guesthouse.
For Pope Francis, “the great prayer of Jesus” is that the Church is united – that Christians “be one” as Jesus is with his Father. Drawing his reflections from the day’s readings, Pope Francis immerses us in the atmosphere of the Last Supper – not long before Christ gives Himself over to the Passion. Recalling Christ’s weighty words entrusted to the Apostles, the Pope warns us against “the great temptation” and entreats us not to yield to the other “father:” the one of “lies” and “division.”
The price of unity
It is comforting, observes Francis, to hear Jesus say to the Father that He did not want to pray simply for his disciples but also for those who will believe in Him “through their word.” That’s a familiar phrase, but one the Pope thinks is worth drawing special attention to:
“Maybe, we do not pay enough attention to these words: Jesus prayed for me! This is really a source of confidence: He prays for me; He prayed for me … I imagine …a figure …as Jesus is before the Father in Heaven. It is so: He prays for us; He prays for me. And what does the Father see? The wounds, the cost. The price He paid for us. Jesus prays for me with His wounds, with His wounded heart and He will continue to do so.”
The faces of the division
Jesus prays “for the unity of His people, for the Church.” But Jesus knows, Pope Francis says, that “the spirit of the world” is “a spirit of division, of war, of envy, jealousy, even in families, even in religious families, even in dioceses, even in the Church as a whole: it is the great temptation.” One that leads, the Pope says, to gossiping, to labelling, to pigeonholing people. All attitudes and behavior, the Pope stresses, that we are called to refrain from:
“We must be one, just one being, as Jesus and the Father are one. This is precisely the challenge for all of us Christians: to not give way to division among us; to not let the spirit of division, the father of lies, come between us. Continuously seek unity. Everyone is different in his own way, but [we must] try to live in unity. Has Jesus forgiven you? He forgives everyone. Jesus prays that we are one, one being. And the Church has great need of this prayer of unity. ”
Unity is grace, not “glue”
A Church held together by “glue,” jokes the Pope, doesn’t exist – because the unity Jesus calls us to “is a grace of God” and “a struggle” to be won on this earth. “We have to make room for the Spirit, Pope Francis concludes, so that we are transformed as the Father is in the Son: one being”:
“Another bit of advice that Jesus gave in these days before He takes His leave is to remain in Him: ‘Abide in me.’ And He asks for this grace, that we all remain in Him. And here He shows us why; He clearly says: ‘Father, I want those whom you have given me, that they too may be with me where I am.’ That is, that they remain there, with me. Remaining in Jesus, in this world, in the end [means] remaining with Him ‘so that they may see my glory.’ ”
(from Vatican Radio)…
Vatican City, 21 May 2015 (VIS) – This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the second International Conference on Women (22-24 May, ex Domus Pacis, Rome) organised – like the first Conference held in 2009 – by the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”, in collaboration with the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO) and the World Women’s Alliance for Life and Family (WWALF). The theme of the conference will be “Women and the post-2015 development agenda – the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”. The conference will be attended by over a hundred participants – mostly women, but to a lesser extent also men – from diverse cultural and social contexts and from all five continents, and will aim to offer the most complete overview possible of the main issues that affect women throughout the world in our times.
The speakers at the conference were Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”; Flaminia Giovanelli, under-secretary of the same dicastery; Olimpia Tarzia, president of the WWALF, and Maria Giovanni Ruggieri, president of the WUCWO.
Cardinal Turkson explained that the first day, 22 May, will begin with an analysis of female anthropology in the context of modern culture, which will also seek to shed light on recent and increasingly incisive semantic changes in terms of reference. The second panel will focus on the theme of education and the role of women in this field, as well as “the alliance between men and women and their mutual respect … in order to combat violence and abuse of power”. The cardinal emphasised that “education is an essential resource for ensuring the right to life, which is still denied in some parts of the planet where the birth of a female child is seen as a misfortune, since the sole destiny of a woman is an arranged marriage for which the family is required to provide a dowry”.
Another theme is interreligious dialogue as a path towards lasting peace, and the role of women in this context. “The many episodes in recent times in which women and girls have been victims of unspeakable atrocities involving sexual violence, also and above all due to their Christian faith, are an important challenge to us. Such episodes demand that we intensify interreligious dialogue and appeal to our shared human nature, that transcends all religions and cultures, to forcefully condemn such atrocities in order to protect those under threat”.
The second International Conference on Women will also offer the opportunity to discuss the many old and new forms of slavery and violence that affect women in various ways in different parts of the world. While in the western world domestic violence prevails and there is an increasing incidence of episodes of so-called “femicide”, in other poorer areas of developing countries the infanticide of female children and selective abortion of female foetuses are widespread practices. Inspired by Pope Francis’ Message for Peace, the theme of which this year is “Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters”, the Conference will denounce the phenomenon of human trafficking which the Pontiff has on numerous occasions described as a crime against humanity whose victims are, for the most part, girls and women.
“While in many countries there has certainly been significant progress in favour of women, especially in the fields of education, political representation and economic participation, much still remains to be done”, observed the president of Justice and Peace, noting that it is true that poverty continues to affect women disproportionately, and many women “have no protection in many fields, including domestic, manufacturing and agricultural work”.
However, the Conference does not intend merely to provide an overview of the most urgent matters linked to the conditions of women, or to be simply an opportunity to denounce the violations of the dignity of women and their rights. It will also endeavour to offer a contribution that may be useful within the framework of current negotiations for the new agenda for post-2015 developments. Therefore, on the second day of the meeting, on Saturday 23 May, working groups will focus on the main thematic areas of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The question of women is transversal and crucial in the majority of the current proposals of the SDGs: women play a key role in the reduction of poverty, hunger throughout the world, and education, and are also the guardians of life in all its phases”….
(Vatican Radio) His wounds are the “price” that Jesus paid for the Church to be united forever to Him and to God. Christians today are called to ask for the grace of unity and to fight against all “spirit of division, of war, of jealousy.” That was Pope Francis’s reflection during his Homily at Mass…