Bulletin: July 26, 2015-17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Vatican Radio) The President of Caritas Internationalis has issued a letter to the Caritas Federation on the Encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si’.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila, said, in his encyclical, Pope Francis has called on every person to undertake a mission to save the planet, their relationship with God and the human family.
“In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis reminds us to replace consumption with a sense of sacrifice, greed with generosity and wastefulness with a spirit of sharing,” Cardinal Tagle writes. “We must ‘give, and not simply give up’. We are called to free ourselves from all that is heavy and negative and wasteful and to enter into dialogue with our global family.”
Cardinal Tagle writes Caritas workers build bonds of solidarity with people “living on trash heaps,” adding Caritas reinforces the dignity of the poorest who are battered by climate change.
“As Caritas and as members of the human family, we all have a role to play in this ecological revolution to which Pope Francis has invited us,” he writes.
“We must strengthen the ties among our organisations so we work better together,” writes Cardinal Tagle. “By pooling our resources, sharing information and supporting one another we can show that it is possible for people of good will to restore hope together.”
The full text of the letter by Cardinal Tagle is below
10 July 2015
Dear Caritas friends,
In some parts of the world babies are born, children grow up and adults face the end of their lives living and working in the poisonous waste created and discarded by others. In other parts people live on a tightrope between floods and droughts and grave injustices. In these places, life is slowly strangled from the very beginning. This is not God’s design for humanity and the Earth.
Life is moving so fast that many people are disorientated. The faster life goes, the more we consume, the more we waste and the further away from God and the poor we move. With this over-consumption comes a heaviness – not just physical but also spiritual. We gather so many things into our heads and lives that one more thought or fact or responsibility overwhelms us into lethargy.
In June, Pope Francis called each of us to undertake a mission to save the planet, our relationship with God and our human family. He gave us a reminder to “take the trash out of our lives” and clean it up out of everyone else’s so we can live as one human family in dignity and in unity.
In the encyclical Laudato Si’ the Holy Father lays the path for a global “ecological conversion”. I would like to echo this call to the whole of the Caritas family and invite you to welcome into your hearts Caritas’ strategic vision “One Human Family, Caring for Creation”.
In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis reminds us to replace consumption with a sense of sacrifice, greed with generosity and wastefulness with a spirit of sharing. We must “give, and not simply give up”. We are called to free ourselves from all that is heavy and negative and wasteful and to enter into dialogue with our global family.
This requires a process of universal communication and listening in truth, a global examination of conscience, a global recognition of failures and guilt and a global resolve to right the harm already done.
We need to recover the horizon of gift and grace within which every creature finds its place. We need to see our human vocation to live with the family of creation as stewards and not owners. This requires us to be energetic, driven and creative but never domineering and abusive.
In Caritas I have witnessed the power of active love at work in the midst of this global ecological crisis. Caritas workers build bonds of solidarity with people living on trash heaps. They reinforce the dignity of the poorest who are battered by climate change. Caritas volunteers accompany people across the world in their efforts to build up their lives and homes and send their children to school.
Caritas is the living Word of God in the poor communities of the world. It is a free-flowing river of love and hope which nourishes and has an enormous natural power to bring about change.
As Caritas and as members of the human family, we all have a role to play in this ecological revolution to which Pope Francis has invited us. We must strengthen the ties among our organisations so we work better together. By pooling our resources, sharing information and supporting one another we can show that it is possible for people of good will to restore hope together.
We must use all of our knowledge and experience to come up with “bite-size” initiatives which will enable ourselves and any member of society to embark on the lifestyle changes necessary for personal conversion. We must think long and hard about how to make sure that the message of the encyclical reaches the extremes of society: the poorest who suffer unjustly because of other people’s choices, and the elites who have an enormous power to bring about global change and yet shy away from this responsibility.
The many quotations of bishops’ conferences from all over the world in the encyclical show that the local Churches have been addressing the ecological issue for a number of years now. We thank Pope Francis for bringing these voices together into a “chorus” of praise, lament and call. I believe that Church leaders, especially Caritas bishops have a major role to play making sure people take to their hearts the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical by pushing for a Christian spirituality of ecological integrity. Such a spirituality includes a recovery of a contemplative stance that sees and appreciates the beauty of creation.
We need to shape a spirituality that invites politicians, business people, artists, educators, scientists and builders to work for the common good, respecting the dignity of each person, especially of the poor and most vulnerable.
God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things. Caritas is a manifestation of that love which translates “global warming” into a worldwide warming of our hearts to the poor.
Yours in Christ,
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) To mark the bicentenary of the birth of St John Bosco, founder of the Salesian family, Pope Francis has sent a letter to the head of the order, Don Angel Fernandez Artime. In the message, the Pope describes the Italian saint as a ‘youth pastor’ who developed a model of education and spiritual growth for young people, especially those on the margins of modern societies. Philippa Hitchen reports:
In the letter, dated June 24th, the feast day of St John Bosco, Pope Francis recalls his recent meeting with members of the Salesian family in the Basilica dedicated to Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin, where the 19th century saint is buried. Over the two centuries since Don Bosco was working with street children and disadvantaged youth in the northern Italian city, the Pope said Europe and the world has changed significantly, yet the aspirations of young people have not. While they are searching for an encounter with God and with their neighbours, the Pope said, they face the same challenges of “discouragement, spiritual anemia and marginalization”.
Speaking of the legacy of Don Bosco, Pope Francis said he taught us not to stand on the sidelines but rather to work on the frontline in offering inclusive education, firmly grounded in faith and spirituality. This broad and demanding vision, he said, can be summarized by the phrase ‘educate through evangelisation and evangelise through education’.
At the heart of Don Bosco’s vision, the Pope continued, is love in action, reaching out to those most in need. This tireless missionary impulse, he said, has helped to develop a vast movement of poor people serving the poor, crossing boundaries of language, race, culture and religion. This work has always been characterised by a spirit of joy and celebration, he noted, offering young people ample space for sports and games, theatre and musical activities.
Today, Pope Francis said, the Salesian family continues to reach out across new boundaries, using new means of communication to develop education projects in places marked by migration, injustice, ideological colonisation and the idolatry of money. The Pope appealed to Salesian men and women today to listen to young people and to speak to them in a language they can understand. Educators, he said, must help them navigate the social networks which so profoundly shape young peoples’ views of religion and human life. Finally he urged them to encourage young people to engage in voluntary work, contrasting the ideology that markets and productivity take precedence over human dignity and the value of work.
(from Vatican Radio)…
Vatican City, July 2015 (VIS) – At the Council for the Economy meeting on 14 July 2015, Cardinal Pell and the staff from the Secretariat for the Economy presented the Consolidated Statements for the Holy See and the Financial Statements for the Governorate. The Statements had been prepared by the Prefecture for Economic Affairs and reviewed and verified by the Secretariat, the Audit Committee of the Council and the External Auditor. It was noted that 2014 was a year of transition to new Financial Management policies based on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). The former accounting principles and consolidation perimeter (comprising 64 Holy See entities) were used in preparation of the 2014 Statements. Managers were however asked to ensure they had included all assets and liabilities and provide appropriate certification as to completeness and accuracy. Working with the external auditor, third party confirmation of balances were requested so that, consistent with sound audit practice, amounts could be independently verified. To include all assets and liabilities in the accounts at year end and to prepare for the new policies, a number of closing entries were included which make direct comparison with 2013 figures difficult. Where appropriate relevant points of comparison were provided to the Council. The journey of transition to new policies is progressing well and the Secretariat was pleased to report high levels of interest and cooperation in the entities. The 2014 Financial Statements reflect an enormous amount of work by staff in many Holy See entities, particularly in the Prefecture for Economic Affairs and the Secretariat for the Economy and Council members expressed their gratitude for the rigorous and professional work and the strong commitment to implementing the financial reforms approved by the Holy Father. The Financial Statements for the Holy See for 2014 indicate a deficit of 25,621k Euro which is similar to the deficit of 24.471k Euro reported in the 2013 Statements. Had the same accounting treatment applied in 2014 been applied in 2013, the 2013 deficit would have been reported as 37,209k Euro. The improvement in 2014 was largely due to favourable movements in investments held by the Holy See. The main sources of income in 2014, in addition to investments, include the contributions made pursuant to canon 1271 of the Code of Canon Law (21m Euro) and the contribution from Institute of Works of Religion (50m Euro). Net assets increased by 939m Euro as adjustments were made to include all assets and liabilities in the closing balances for 2014. For the entities included in the consolidation perimeter, assets previously off the balance sheet amounted to 1,114m Euro and liabilities amounted to 222m Euro. While the patrimonial situation in the pension fund was not reflected in the closing balance sheet, it was reported that the new pension fund board will be asked to prepare an updated assessment of the overall situation. As in previous years, the most significant expense included in the Holy See Financial Statements is the cost of staff (126.6m Euro) and the statements indicate a total of 2880 personnel in the 64 Holy See entities included in the consolidation. The financial statements for the Governorate for 2014 indicate a surplus of 63,519k Euro which is a significant improvement on the 2013 surplus of 33,042k Euro, largely due to continued strong revenue from the cultural activities (especially the Museums) and favourable movements in investments. Net Assets increased by 63.5m Euro and there were no adjustments necessary to include additional assets and liabilities in closing balances for 2014. The Statements indicate a total staff of 1930 in the Governorate. Following the meeting of the Council for the Economy,the Secretariat for the Economy was advised the Auditor confirmed that a clear audit certificate had been issued for the Holy See and Governorate Financial Statements. The Council also received a further update on the 2015 Budget. The 2015 Budgets were prepared under the new Financial Management Policies, approved last year by the Holy Father. The Council in late May received a detailed budget submission prepared by the Secretariat. The submission highlighted proposed activities as well as anticipated revenue and expenditure for the coming year and included specific recommendations for each of the 136 entities on the list, as approved by the Holy Father, who are subject to control and vigilance of the Council and Secretariat. The Budgets indicate the deficits experienced in recent years are likely to continue in 2015. While rapid progress is being made in implementing reforms requested by the Holy Father, the complete transition to the IPSAS is likely to take several years. The 2015 Budgets and the 2015 Statements are the first important steps. From 2015, the Consolidated Statements for the Holy See will include the new practices and additional entities, as required under the new Financial Management Policies and the IPSAS Standards….