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Day: July 14, 2015

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI returns to the Vatican

(Vatican Radio) Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI returned to the Vatican on Tuesday after spending two-weeks at the Papal Residence in Castel Gandolfo.
The Pope sent a letter of thanks to the mayor of the town, Milvia Monaschesi, along with a book as a gift.
The Pope-emeritus thanked the mayor for her “warm welcome”, and mentioned the “natural beauty” and “hospitality of the people” of Castel Gandolfo, which is about 25 kilometres southeast of Rome.
“As a concrete sign of my gratitude, please accept this book on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of my election to the Chair of St. Peter,” the Pope-emeritus wrote.
Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI arrived at the town on June 30, after a brief meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican’s “Mater Ecclesia” Residence.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Holy See views Iran deal in a "positive light"

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See views the new agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme in “a positive light”, according to Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Holy See Press Office.
The deal was reached by Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and Germany) after nine years of negotiations in an effort to ensure Iran’s nuclear programme will be used only for peaceful purposes.
The agreement includes giving inspectors from the United Nations access to nuclear sites in Iran.
 “It constitutes an important outcome of the negotiations carried out so far, although continued efforts and commitment on the part of all involved will be necessary in order for it to bear fruit,” Fr. Lombardi said.
“It is hoped that those fruits will not be limited to the field of nuclear programme, but may  indeed extend further,” he said.
(from Vatican Radio)…

From the Virgin of Caacupé to Salus Populi Romani

From the Marian Shrine of Caacupé to the Basilica of St Mary Major.
After celebrating Mass on Saturday, 11 July, Francis entrusted Paraguay to the
Immaculate Conception and then a few days later the Holy Father raised another
prayer to the Virgin Mary when he went to the Basilica of St Mary Major where
he paid tribute to her in thanksgiving for the success of his apostolic visit
in South America. On returning from
Paraguay, Pope Francis was welcomed to Ciampino Airport on Monday, 14 July, at
1:40 pm by the Substitute of the Secretary of State, Archbishop Angelo Becciu,
and by the Regent of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, Fr Leonardo
Sapienza. Before returning to the Vatican, the Pontiff went as usual to the
Basilica of St Mary Major where the archpriest, Cardinal Santos Abril y
Castelló was waiting for him. The Pope stopped for several minutes to pray in
front of the icon of Mary and placed a bouquet of white and yellow flowers on
the altar. Then he returned to the Domus Sanctae Marthae….

The Holy See at International Ebola Recovery Conference and Technical Consultation

New York, 9-10 July 2015 Statement by H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, at International Ebola Recovery Conference and Technical Consultation – Commitment and solidarity in the fight against Ebola Mr. / Madame President, My delegation is pleased to
participate in this International Ebola Recovery Conference, which has
established the ambitious and vital aim of “getting to zero and staying at
zero”. Sadly, we recently witnessed the urgent need for such efforts when a new
death due to the Ebola Virus Disease was identified in Liberia, some forty-five
days after the country had been declared “Ebola Free”. Thus, this review and
planning exercise, as well as the generous pledging efforts in which we engage
today, must result in action-oriented commitments to overcome all risk of
complacency and to make tangible progress in the strengthening and preparedness
of health systems to avoid future outbreaks. On numerous occasions, the Holy
See has expressed its close solidarity with those affected by this epidemic.
During his 2015 Address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See,
Pope Francis mentioned the sick who are so often cast aside and marginalized,
including, in particular, “the victims of the new and terrible outbreak of
Ebola … in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.” He appealed “to the entire
international community to provide adequate humanitarian assistance to patients
and to make concerted efforts to combat the disease.”1 Moreover, local Catholic
communities in the affected countries have been on the frontlines in the fight
against the epidemic and in providing support to the families of the victims.
These communities strongly opposed discrimination against those who recovered
from the illness and children who have been orphaned by the Ebola-related
deaths of their parents, while actively working for their reintegration into
their families and communities. They have also promoted safe and dignified
burial practices. In close cooperation with the
Holy See, international Catholic organizations have raised funds and supplies
worth millions of dollars to assist the Catholic Church in the affected
countries. Pope Francis himself granted 500,000.00 Euros to advance a special
initiative. We continue to provide significant resources to Catholic
Church-related institutions in the three affected countries to enhance and
expand their programs. As an expression of its
appreciation for the remarkable efforts of all to defeat Ebola, and as a gesture
of its continued solidarity with those affected by the epidemic, the Holy See pledges
the symbolic amount of US$ 20.000 to support national and regional recovery
strategies. More importantly, the Holy See wishes to reiterate its
determination to continue to work, through Catholic institutions in the
countries and areas affected by Ebola and its international humanitarian
network, towards the achievement of “getting to zero and staying at zero”. In conclusion, I would like to
reiterate the appeal Pope Francis makes to the international community to exert
all necessary effort to defeat Ebola, effectively alleviating the hardships and
sufferings of all those affected. Thank you, Mr,/Madame
President. —————————————– 1 Pope Francis, Address to the Members of
the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, 12 January 2015,
http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeche… …