(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Biblical Federation on Friday. The CBF is a worldwide association of Episcopal Conferences and more than 200 Catholic Biblical institutions, representatives of which are gathered in the small town of Nemi near Rome from June 18 th -23 rd to explore Sacred Scripture as a source of evangelization, especially in light of the passage from the 1 st Letter of St. John (1:3): “What we have seen and heard we are proclaiming to you.”
Putting aside his prepared remarks for the occasion, which he nevertheless delivered in written form, Pope Francis reflected on two characteristics of Biblical evangelizers and teachers of the faith: parrhesia or ‘frankness’; hypomone or ‘patience’.
For his extemporaneous remarks, Pope Francis drew on the Mass reading of the day, which came from the 2 nd Letter of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, in which St. Paul lists the hardships and trials he has faced in service of the Gospel, only to conclude that his weakness is his only vaunt (cf. 2 Cor 11:30). Pope Francis also recalled St. Paul’s insistence that his only glory is the Cross of Christ (cf. Gal. 6:14). “This is a Church that is outward-bound,” said Pope Francis, “a martyrial Church: it is a Church that goes through the streets, that goes out on its way.” The Holy Father went on to say, “Accidents happen along the way – as they might to anyone who undertakes a journey – but I prefer a Church wounded in [such an] accident, to a Church that is sick from being closed up and turned in on herelf – a Church with both frankness and patience: the patience that knows how to bear herself up under [adverse] circumstances, and also the tenderness to carry on its shoulders those wounded faithful, who have been put in her charge.”
This 9 th Plenary Assembly of the CBF is the first over which the Federation’s new president, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, is presiding, after being elected to succeed Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, who led the organization for more than a dozen years, starting in 2002.
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday received the Italian delegation of athletes to the upcoming Special Olympics in the US city of Los Angeles. In remarks prepared for the occasion, Pope Francis praised the athletes for their courage and hard work.
He also praised sport in general as a very positive means of self-discovery, that can help those who practice it to open themselves up to others and learn the valuable lessons of teamwork, common effort, and fair play: an effective means of breaking down barriers of mistrust and discrimination, while building friendship and understanding.
“It is my hope,” said Pope Francis,” “that you all might live the upcoming Games in a joyful, passionate, serene manner: have fun,” he told them, “and make friendships with you brothers and sisters from around the world!”
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Biblical Federation on Friday. The CBF is a worldwide association of Episcopal Conferences and more than 200 Catholic Biblical institutions, representatives of which are gathered in the small town of Nemi near Rome from June 18th-23rd to explore Sacred Scripture as…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday received the Italian delegation of athletes to the upcoming Special Olympics in the US city of Los Angeles. In remarks prepared for the occasion, Pope Francis praised the athletes for their courage and hard work. He also praised sport in general as a very positive means of self-discovery, that…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis warns against the corrupting effects of greed and accumulating wealth for ourselves, saying they are at the root of wars and family divisions. His words came during his homily at his morning Mass on Friday (June 19th) at the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his inspiration from the day’s gospel reading where Jesus warned his disciples not to accumulate treasures on the earth but instead in heaven, the Pope reflects on the many dangers posed by greed and human ambition. He said these vices end up corrupting and enslaving our hearts and rather than accumulating wealth for ourselves we should be using it for the common good.
Greed corrupts and destroys
“In the end this wealth doesn’t give us lasting security. Instead, it tends to reduce your dignity. And this happens in families – so many divided families. And this ambition that destroys and corrupts is also at the root of wars. There are so many wars in our world nowadays because of greed for power and wealth. We can think of the war in our own hearts. As the Lord said, ‘Be on your guard against avarice of any kind.’ Because greed moves forward, moves forward, moves forward… it’s like a flight of steps, the door opens and then vanity comes in — believing ourselves to be important, believing ourselves to be powerful… and then in the end pride (comes). And all the vices come from that, all of them. They are steps but the first step is avarice, that desire to accumulate wealth.”
Pope Francis conceded that it’s not easy for an administrator or politician to use resources for the common good and an honest one can be considered a saint.
“There’s one thing that is true, when the Lord blesses a person who has wealth, he makes him an administrator of those riches for the common good and for the benefit of everybody, not just for that person. And it’s not easy to become an honest administrator because there’s always that temptation of greed, of becoming important. Our world teaches you this and it takes us along that road. We must think about others and realise that what I own is for the benefit of others and nothing that I have now can be taken with me. But if I, as an administrator, use what the Lord gives me for the common good, this sanctifies me, it will make me a saint.
Don’t play with fire
The Pope said we often hear many excuses from people who spend their lives accumulating wealth but he stressed the only treasures we should be storing up are the ones that have value in ‘the handbag of Heaven’.
“It’s difficult, it’s like playing with fire! So many people calm their consciences by giving alms and they give what they have left over. This is not an administrator: the administrator’s job is to take (what is needed) for himself or herself and whatever is left over is given to others, all of it. Administering wealth means a continual stripping away of our own interests and not believing that these riches will save us. It’s fine to accumulate riches, it’s fine to accumulate treasures but only those who have a value, let’s say, in ‘the handbag of Heaven.’ That’s where we should be storing them up!
(from Vatican Radio)…