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Day: October 28, 2015

Chirograph for the institution of the Foundation Gravissimum Educationis

Vatican City, 28 October 2015 (VIS) – Pope Francis has instituted the Foundation Gravissimum Educationis by a chirograph bearing today’s date. In the text, the Holy Father expresses his gratitude to the Congregation for Catholic Education for the initiatives organised to commemorate the fiftieth year since the declaration “Gravissimum educationis” on Christian education, promulgated the the Vatican Ecumenical Council II on 28 October 1965. “I am likewise pleased to learn that the same Dicastery wishes to constitute on this occasion a Foundation entitled Gravissimum Educationis, with the aim of pursuing “scientific and cultural ends, intended to promote Catholic education in the world”, he adds. “The Church recognises the ‘extreme importance of education in the life of man and how its influence ever grows in the social progress of this age’, are profoundly linked to the fulfilment of ‘the mandate she has received from her divine founder of proclaiming the mystery of salvation to all men and of restoring all things in Christ’”, he writes, quoting the conciliar Declaration. The Pope goes on to institute as public canonical and civil juridical persons the Foundation Gravissimum Educationis, whose premises will be located in Vatican City and which will be subject to current canon law, current civil law in Vatican City, and its statutes….

Archbishop Tomasi on interethnic, interreligious and intercultural exchange at IOM Conference

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva, spoke at a conference  on Tuesday  entitled “Migrants and Cities: New Partnerships to Manage Mobility”, organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Mons. Tomasi introduced his statement with figures illustrating how, “for the first time in human history, the density of population in urban areas surpasses the population in rural areas”. He said such demographic change could “turn much of the world into a global city”. The Archbishop outlined the positive effects of this trend, namely “the promise of economic progress, upward social mobility, greater access to jobs… improved education opportunities and healthcare”. 
However, he did go on to illustrate the many challenges faced by migrants and their host cities. Mons. Tomasi expressed concern about the fact that “migrants have been relegated to confined areas”; he explained that “these areas function as a type of exclusive social “barrier”, a sort of enclave for the wealthy classes, who shelter themselves within walls of protection against the insecurity that comes from social inequalities”. This fragile situation led the Archbishop to call for “a rethinking of the relationship between the city and migrants… in terms of urban space… and their interactions with other social groups”.
Mons. Tomasi then turned to the positive role played by migrants, demonstrating how they “contribute to the economic and social development of host cities”. He pointed out that “their involvement in the social and civic life of the urban community facilitates their integration and allows them to give back to the host country what they have received”.
He called for all urban citizens to “interact and to become involved together in issues of common interest and develop interethnic, interreligious and intercultural activity”. Such interchange will, he hopes, lead to a “dynamic two-way integration process, required for the creation of a shared citizenship”.
He reminded those gathered at the conference that “migrants become the “living proof” of the quality of a democracy”. He observed that “policies supportive of migrants… offer an extraordinary occasion for reflection on the values on which a democracy is based”. In other words, such policies “constitute a unique opportunity to improve respect for human rights and the basic principles of civilization”.
Concluding his statement, Archbishop Tomasi quoted Pope Francis: “The multicultural character of society today… calls us to deepen and strengthen the values needed to guarantee peaceful coexistence between persons and cultures”.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope appeals for solidarity for Pakistan/Afghanistan quake victims

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed for concrete solidarity for the peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan who have been struck by a devastating earthquake. The Pope’s appeal came during the Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square two days a massive earthquake that struck the remote Hindu Kush Mountains on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Officials are warning that the death toll which has soared above 300 will likely leap once relief workers return from remote villages.  “We remain close to the peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan who have been struck by a strong earthquake, which has caused numerous victims and terrible damage” the Pope said.   And assuring his prayers “for the deceased and their families, for all the wounded and those who remain without a home, imploring God for relief in their suffering and courage in the face of adversity” the Pope said: “May our concrete solidarity not lack for these our brothers.”  Pope Francis’ appeal came on the heels of his weekly catechesis which was dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of  the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration “Nostra Aetate” on the Church’s relations with other religions. Recalling that this theme was very close to the heart of the Blessed Pope Paul VI who established the “Secretariat for non-Christians” which today is the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Pope expressed a specially warm greeting of welcome to people of different religions present in the Square for the Audience. Noting that the Second Vatican Council represented an extraordinary time of reflection, dialogue and prayer to renew the vision of the Catholic Church regarding itself and the world. And speaking of “Nostra Aetate” Pope Francis said the Council’s Declaration was an expression of the Church’s esteem for the followers of other religious traditions, and her openness to dialogue in the service of understanding and friendship.
And, he said, its message is important and timely today as peoples become increasingly interdependent as one human family. The Pope noted that The past fifty years have seen much progress and expressed gratitude for the significant advances made in relations between Christians and Jews, and in those between Christians and Muslims.   The world, he said,  rightly expects believers to work together with all people of good will in confronting the many problems affecting our human family.   Pope Francis concluded expressing his hope that the forthcoming Jubilee of Mercy will be an occasion for ever greater interreligious cooperation in works of charity, reconciliation and care for God’s gift of creation.   “As we look to the future of interreligous dialogue, let us pray that in accordance with God’s will, all men and women will see themselves as brothers and sisters in the great human family, peacefully united in and through our diversities” he said. (from Vatican Radio)…