(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has expressed his “spiritual closeness” to victims of the deadly shooting in Las Vegas, which left more than fifty people dead, and hundreds more wounded.
In the telegram addressed to the Bishop Joseph Anthony Pepe of Las Vegas, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said Pope Francis was “deeply saddened” to learn of “this senseless tragedy.” The Holy Father, he said, “commends the He commends the efforts of the police and emergency service personnel, and offers the promise of his prayers for the injured and for all who have died, entrusting them to the merciful love of Almighty God.”
The attack in Las Vegas is being described as the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. The gunman, identified by police as Stephen Paddock, died at the scene. Police said he fired from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas Strip casino onto an outdoor country music festival Sunday night.
Below please find the full text of the telegram sent on behalf of Pope Francis:
The Most Reverend Joseph Anthony Pepe
Bishop of Las Vegas
Deeply saddened to learn of the shooting in Las Vegas, Pope Francis sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this senseless tragedy. He commends the efforts of the police and emergency service personnel, and offers the promise of his prayers for the injured and for all who have died, entrusting them to the merciful love of Almighty God.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the participants in the General Chapter of the Little Sisters of Jesus on Monday in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican . The Little Sisters are a religious community founded by Little Sister Magdeleine of Jesus (née Madeleine Hutin) in 1939 on the spiritual inspiration and charism of Bl. Charles de Foucauld (+1916).
Originally a missionary order of sisters ministering to nomadic peoples on the outskirts of the Sahara, the Little Sisters now have a presence in sixty-three different countries, living in small communities – often of no more than three or four members – and ministering to the poor and marginalized by sharing their day-to-day lives and living conditions.
They often stay in rented housing and take ordinary jobs in inner-city neighbourhoods and poor rural areas, as well as among nomadic people.
Their spiritual ethos calls them to live among those who are not reached by other Church ministries, or whose daily lives are marked by division, racism, poverty, or violence.
In his remarks to the General Chapter on Monday, Pope Francis said, “Do not be afraid to go forward, carrying with yourselves the little baby Jesus in your hearts, going into all the places in which the littlest of our world find themselves.”
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) To the extent God freely granted us the gift of life and the created world, we in turn should donate and share with others to create a better world, Pope Francis said on Monday. Faced with the ecological crisis we are going through, the perspective of donation received and given to those coming after us is indeed a reason for commitment and hope, he told some 150 members of the Italian Donation Institute (IID) in the Vatican. “We have the duty to preserve and hand down to future generations an intact planet that we have received as a free gift from God’s goodness,” he told the institute ahead of Italy’s Donation Day on October 4, that it sponsors.
God’s gift – life and creation
The Pope reminded them that the greatest gift that God has given to each one of us is life, which is part of another divine original gift which is creation. Hence, he said, “All of us must feel it a great responsibility to safeguard and care for creation , protecting it from various forms of degradation.”
Pope Francis explained that both the gift of life and the gift of creation usher from God’s love for mankind. To the extent to which we open ourselves to and welcome God’s love, we can in turn become the gift of love to our brothers. This love of God, he said, is particularly demonstrated in the Last Supper where Jesus left his disciples the “new commandment” of love . The newness of this commandment, he said, lies the donation of his life for us which translates in the service of others.
The Pope further explained that this love knows how to humble itself, refuses every form of violence, respects freedom, promotes dignity and rejects every discrimination. “An unarmed love proves stronger than hatred,” the Pope said, urging all to model themselves to the way of Jesus.
Donation – young people
Pope Francis regarded Italy’s Donation Day particularly relevant for children and youth to help them open their minds and hearts to brotherhood and sharing, and building the civilization of love. He wished that young people be able to discover that donating is freely giving a part of ourselves to others, not to lose it but to increase its value. Donating makes both the giver and the receiver happy, and creates bonds and relationships that strengthen hope in a better world.
(from Vatican Radio)…
The University of Bologna has been a laboratory of humanism for almost a thousand years said Pope Francis speaking to the students during his short visit to Bologna on Sunday.
The word Universitas which entails the idea of a ‘whole’ includes students from Italy, many European countries and even from South America, who work on two ideals that of ‘vertical’ – imbibing knowledge and ‘horizontal’ – sharing the research done for common good the Pope noted.
The Pope particularly focused on three rights:
Right to culture.
The Holy Father referred not just to the sacred right of everyone to study but also to the fact that today the ‘right to culture’ means to protect wisdom, which is human and humanizing knowledge. For Pope Francis learning serves to ask questions and to seek meaning in life. He said, one also has the right and not to be distracted in order to make strong choices through research, knowledge and sharing.
Culture he said is what nurtures and makes us grow. Today he said we do not need loud screaming but words that reach the mind and heart. He called them to devote themselves to education with passion, that is to ‘draw out’ the best from each one for the good of all. He called them to assert a culture of humanity that recognizes merits and rewards sacrifices.
Right to hope.
Many today the pope said, experience loneliness and restlessness, feeling the heavy air of abandonment. So it is necessary to provide this right to hope, which he said is not to be invaded by the daily rhetoric of fear and hatred, or be overwhelmed false news. It is the right he said for the young to grow free of the fear of future and know that there are beautiful and lasting realities in life and so it is worth getting involved. It is a right he said to believe that true love is not disposable and that our labour is not a mirage to achieve, but a promise that needs to be sustained.
He wished that the university classrooms be a haven of hope, where the students learn to be responsible for themselves and for the world. He urged them to feel the responsibility for the future of our common home.
Right to Peace.
Peace is both a right and a duty, inscribed in the heart of humanity the pope affirmed. Referring to Europe’s quest for unity, he noted how the two wars obscured the vision of peace in the continent. Denouncing war as useless massacre he called the students to pursue ways of nonviolence and paths of justice which foster peace.
The Pope invoked the right to peace as a right of all to resolve conflicts without violence. To the students who have come to study law this is a challenge he said to affirm the rights of people and peoples, the weaker ones, those rejected and the creation our common home.
In conclusion he called them not to believe those who say fighting for the right is useless and nothing will change. Instead he urged them to dream big not in their sleep but in broad daylight.
(from Vatican Radio)…