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Day: June 28, 2017

Pope Francis to new Cardinals: your mission is to serve

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis presided over an Ordinary Public Consistory for the Creation of Cardinals on Wednesday in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Holy Father created five new Cardinals – who are representative members of the Clergy of Rome, whose duties are to elect the Bishop of Rome, to advise the Pope, and to assist him in governing the universal Church.
Listen to the report by Chris Altieri:

The five new Cardinals are: Jean Zerbo , Archbishop of Bamako, Mali;  Juan José Omella , Archbishop of Barcelona, ​​Spain;  Anders Arborelius , Bishop of Stockholm, Sweden;  Luis Marie-Ling Mangkhanekhoun , Apostolic Vicar of Paksé, Laos;  Gregorio Rosa Chávez , Bishop of Mulli, Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Savador.
In his allocution on the occasion, the Holy Father focused on the mission of service to which the new Cardinals are called.
“[Jesus]  calls you to serve like him and with him,” Pope Francis said, “to serve the Father and your brothers and sisters.”
The Pope went on to say, “He calls you to face as he did the sin of the world and its effects on today’s humanity.” Pope Francis went on to offer an exhortation. “Follow him, and walk ahead of the holy people of God, with your gaze fixed on the Lord’s cross and resurrection.”
The Consistory took place on the eve of the great Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, martyrs and patrons of the Church of Rome.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis: Allocution at Consistory for Creation of Cardinals

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered an allocution on Wednesday at the Ordinary Public Consistory for the Creation of New Cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The prelates to be created Cardinals during the Consistory are: Jean Zerbo , Archbishop of Bamako, Mali; Juan José Omella , Archbishop of Barcelona, ​​Spain; Anders Arborelius , Bishop of Stockholm, Sweden; Luis Marie-Ling Mangkhanekhoun , Apostolic Vicar of Paksé, Laos; Gregorio Rosa Chávez , Bishop of Mulli, Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Savador. Below, please find the full text of Pope Francis’ prepared remarks, in their official English translation…
“Jesus was walking ahead of them” .  This is the picture that the Gospel we have just read ( Mk 10:32-45) presents to us.  It serves as a backdrop to the act now taking place: this Consistory for the creation of new Cardinals.
Jesus walks resolutely towards Jerusalem.  He knows fully what awaits him there; on more than one occasion, he spoke of it to his disciples.  But there is a distance between the heart of Jesus and the hearts of the disciples, which only the Holy Spirit can bridge.  Jesus knows this, and so he is patient with them.  He speaks to them frankly and, above all, he goes before them .  He walks ahead of them.
Along the way, the disciples themselves are distracted by concerns that have nothing to do with the “direction” taken by Jesus, with his will, which is completely one with that of the Father”.  So it is that, as we heard, the two brothers James and John think of how great it would be to take their seats at the right and at the left of the King of Israel (cf. v. 37).  They are not facing reality!  They think they see, but they don’t.  They think they know, but they don’t.  They think they understand better than the others, but they don’t…
For the reality is completely different.  It is what Jesus sees and what directs his steps.  The reality is the cross.  It is the sin of the world that he came to take upon himself, and to uproot from the world of men and women.  It is the innocent who suffer and die as victims of war and terrorism; the forms of enslavement that continue to violate human dignity even in the age of human rights; the refugee camps which at times seem more like a hell than a purgatory; the systematic discarding of all that is no longer useful, people included.
This is what Jesus sees as he walks towards Jerusalem.  During his public ministry he made known the Father’s tender love by healing all who were oppressed by the evil one (cf. Acts 10:38).  Now he realizes that the moment has come to press on to the very end, to eliminate evil at its root.  And so, he walks resolutely towards the cross.
We too, brothers and sisters, are journeying with Jesus along this path.  I speak above all to you, dear new Cardinals.  Jesus “is walking ahead of you”, and he asks you to follow him resolutely on his way.  He calls you to look at reality , not to let yourselves be distracted by other interests or prospects.  He has not called you to become “princes” of the Church, to “sit at his right or at his left”.  He calls you to serve like him and with him.  To serve the Father and your brothers and sisters.  He calls you to face as he did the sin of the world and its effects on today’s humanity.  Follow him, and walk ahead of the holy people of God, with your gaze fixed on the Lord’s cross and resurrection.
And now, with faith and through the intercession of the Virgin Mother, let us ask the Holy Spirit to bridge every gap between our hearts and the heart of Christ, so that our lives may be completely at the service of God and all our brothers and sisters.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis calls for new social contract for labour

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged companies and businesses to bring more young people into the workplace saying it is both “foolish and short-sighted” to force workers to carry on working in old-age.
The Pope’s words came as he addressed representatives and members of Italy’s CISL – Confederation of Trade Unions – whom he received in the Vatican.
Francis  described work as a “form of civil love” that allows men and women not only to earn their livings and flourish as persons, but also to keep the world going. 
But, he pointed out that work is not everything and no one must work all the time. He also said that there are people who must not work – like children – who must be safeguarded from child labour – sick people whose right it is not to work, and elderly people who have a right to a “just pension”.
And on the topic of pensions, the Pope denounced both the “golden retirements” given to some pensioners and the meager ones given to others and said that both are an offense to the dignity of work.
He also made a strong appeal to employers and policy-makers saying that “a society that forces its workers to work for too long, thus keeping an entire generation of young people from taking their places, is foolish and short-sighted”.
“There is an urgent need – the Pope said – for a new social contract for labour” in order to bring more young people into the workforce.
Highlighting the “epochal challenges” faced by trade unions at this time in history, he urged them to be the prophetic face of society, to continue to give voice to the voiceless and to defend the rights of the most fragile and vulnerable workers.
“In our advanced capitalistic societies, trade unions risk losing their prophetic nature and becoming too similar to the institutions and the powers they should be criticizing. With the passing of time Unions have ended up looking too much like political parties” he said.
The other fundamental challenge for Unions Pope Francis pinpointed is that of the capacity to be renewed and updated.
Not only, he explained, must Unions protect those who are within the system, it must also look to and protect those who have no rights, because those who are excluded from the world of work are deprived of their rights and excluded from democracy.
Pope Francis concluded his address with a reflection on how capitalism seems to have forgotten the social nature of economy.
“Let us think, he said, of the 40% of young people in Italy who have no work. That is the existential periphery where you have to take action.”
“And women, he said, are still considered second class workers; they earn less and they are more easily exploited” he said: “Do something!”
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope: Strength of the martyrs is hope

(Vatican Radio) Continuing his catechesis on “Christian Hope,” Pope Francis spoke Wednesday on “Hope, Strength of the Martyrs” at his General Audience in St Peter’s Square.
The Holy Father reflected on the words of Jesus: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves… You will be hated by all because of My Name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”
When Jesus sent His disciples on mission, the Pope said, He did not fill them with illusions about easy successes; rather, he warned them that “the proclamation of the Kingdom of God always involves opposition.” Christians love, he said, but they are not always loved; and in a greater or lesser degree, “the confession of faith always takes place in a climate of hostility.”
Because the world is marked by sin, Pope Francis continued, Christians are men and women who are constantly “going against the tide.” This is not because of a polemical or argumentative spirit, he explained, but because of the “Gospel logic,” which is a logic of hope, and which leads to a way of life marked out by the teachings of Jesus.
Christians, then, live their lives filled with love. As “sheep among wolves,” they must be prudent, “and even at times cunning,” according to the Pope. But they must never resort to violence. “To overcome evil, one cannot share the methods of evil.”
“The unique strength of the Christian is the Gospel,” he continued. In times of difficulty, Christians must remember that God is always with them; and God is “stronger than evil, stronger than the mafias, the hidden plots, those who enrich themselves on the backs of the desperate, those who crush others with arrogance.” God “always hears the voice of the blood of Abel that cries from the earth.”
And so Christians always find themselves “on the other side” with regard to the world. They find themselves on the side chosen by God: “not persecutors, but persecuted, not arrogant but meek; not ‘sellers of smoke,’ but submissive to the truth; not imposters, but honest men.”
This following of Jesus, the Pope said, was called “martyrdom” by the early Christians, a word that means witness. “The martyrs do not live for themselves, they do not fight to affirm their own ideas; they accept the duty to die solely on account of fidelity to the Gospel.” But even giving up one’s life, he said, echoing Saint Paul, is of no value without charity.
Pope Francis said the strength of the martyrs – of whom there are more in our day then there were in the past – is a sign of the “great hope that animated them: the certain hope that nothing and no one could separate them from the love of God given them in Christ Jesus.”
The Holy Father concluded his catechesis with the prayer that God might “always give us the strength to be His witnesses” and might “grant that we might live Christian hope, above all in the hidden martyrdom of doing our daily duty well and with love.”
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis General Audience: English summary

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Christian hope at his Wednesday General Audience, reflecting on the example of the Martyrs.
Please find below the official English-language summary:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:  In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we now look to the example of the martyrs.  Their hope gave them the strength even to die for their faith in Christ.  The Lord himself warned his followers that, in proclaiming the Kingdom of God, they would encounter opposition and hostility in this world of sin and injustice.  Jesus asks his disciples to proclaim the Gospel by their lives of detachment from wealth and power, by their rejection of the spiral of hatred, violence and retaliation, and by their trust in his triumph over the power of sin and death.  As his followers, we know that the Lord will never abandon us.  By imitating the example of his own self-sacrifice and love, we demonstrate our faith and hope in him and we become his witnesses before the world.  In this sense, every Christian is a “martyr”, a witness to the sure hope that faith inspires.  The martyrs who even today lay down their lives for the faith do so out of love.  By their example and intercession, may we become ever more convincing witnesses, above all in the events of our daily lives, to our undying hope in the promises of Christ.
(from Vatican Radio)…