Posts Tagged ‘vatican’

Coming soon to the Vatican: haircuts for Rome’s homeless

Vatican City, Jan 30, 2015 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican’s continued efforts to help the homeless of Rome have expanded beyond showers and bathrooms at St. Peter’s Square, with a barber shop set to open soon.

“Our primar…

Pope says palliums will be given to new archbishops at home – not Rome

Vatican City, Jan 29, 2015 / 04:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As a sign of “synodality” with local Churches, Pope Francis has decided that new metropolitan archbishops will officially be imposed with the pallium in their home diocese, rather than…

A love for peripheries, the link between Pope Francis and St John Bosco

Vatican City, Jan 29, 2015 / 12:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Though he is member of the Society of Jesus, Pope Francis shares with the Salesians of St. John Bosco a  love for the peripheries, and this is why he has often visited Salesian structures during his pastoral visits.

Pope Francis visited the parish of Sacro Cuore in Rome, the last church built by St. John Bosco, on Jan. 19, 2014, and there he emphasized the work Salesians do there with refugees. When he visited Tirana, Albania on Sep. 21, 2014, members of the Salesian community and of the Don Bosco center filled the crowd with their testimonies. And in Istanbul, Pope Francis had a private meeting Nov. 30 with refugee children at the Don Bosco Youth Center.

These meetings demonstrate the deep appreciation Pope Francis has for the work of Salesians, an appreciation which stretches back to his youth.

Jorge Bergoglio was baptized and had as a spiritual father the Salesian Fr. Enrique Pezzoli, and when he was 13 he spent one year as an intern of the Salesian College Wilfrid Baròn de los Santos Angeles.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the emeritus Secretary of State and himself a Salesian, said in a recent interview with Korazym that “Pope Francis and Don Bosco share many things.”

“Don Bosco started from the peripheries, looked for children in difficult situations, lived with them and donated his life for them. Pope Francis continually invites us not only to entertain a dialogue, but even to stay with people, to walk with them,” Cardinal Bertone stressed.

This culture of encounter, this love for any person, can be detected in the Salesians’ commitment to refugees.

One of the latest expressions of this commitment is the “Don Bosco Island” project, about to start in Catania, on Sicily’s eastern coast. Cardinal Bertone visited the project Jan. 17 for an informal, and yet very heartfelt, inauguration.

During the visit, Cardinal Bertone encouraged his brothers Salesians to keep up their work, despite bureacratic issues which have slowed down the starting of the center.

Don Bosco Island consists of a refugee center able to welcome around 50 unaccompanied minors.

“Our project does not just deal with providing minors shelter and food. We want them to be integrated in the Italian territory. According to law, unaccompanied minors can stay for only three months in centers, and then they have to be displaced to other areas. Through the Salesian network and our vocational training school, we start them on an educational path, we teach them a job, and the Italian language,” Fr. Giovanni D’Andrea, one of the directors of the project, told CNA Jan. 29.

This spirit is spread in all the Salesians’ works for refugees. At Sacro Cuore, the refugee center provides a languaged school and job placament for the some 200 refugees who ask for help and assistance.

“This is not a school. This is a house,” says Sr. Marian, one of the four Missionary Nuns of the Risen Christ who are in charge of the missionary service at Sacro Cuore.

Fr. Stefano Di Fiore is in charge of the Don Bosco center in Tirana. Placed in a former refugee camp for Kosovars, the center is the soul of the block that has been built around it, providing school and activities for the young boys of the area, and currently hosting about 400 children of both sexes.

Fr. Di Fiore told CNA: “Our way of evangelizing must be a practical one. We can provide people with the joy of being together, we can provide them a job, and we have to be very attentive to respect their identity. But the way we do it is Catholic, and everyone knows it, so much so that in Tirana the sentence ‘Don Bosco method’ is common, and refers to our way of doing things.”

Pope Francis met with some of the children of refugees gathered to Don Bosco Youth Center in Istanbul during his voyage there Nov. 30.

Fr. Andrés Calleja Riuz, S.D.B., who is responsible for the center, explained to CNA: “Pope Francis will come here because we are not a school, we are a refugee center, we are a center of learning that kids can use for the future. And they are searching for the future.”

In the year of the 200th anniversary of St. John Bosco’s birth, Pope Francis will have another occasion to appreciate the Salesians’ work for the peripheries: on May 21, he will visit the first Salesian house, in Turin.

The House is in Valdocco, a block of Turin that was the very periphery of the city in the mid-1800s, when St. John Bosco established there the general quarters of the congregation he had founded.

Beyond the digital, into the heart: a Vatican take on communication

Vatican City, Jan 29, 2015 / 12:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican’s top communications official said that true interaction requires more than just phones and internet – and that dialogue is an interpersonal encounter we learn even from our mother’s womb.

“The first way of communication, the source of my learning is the womb of my mother,” Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli told CNA at the Jan. 23 presentation of Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day.

“Can you imagine what that means? That from inside the womb of my mother I am starting to listen, I am discovering the sound of the voice of my mother and I am discovering the beatings of her heart. I am discovering what communication really is,” Archbishop Celli said.

And true communication, he added, “is how I am able to listen to you, how I can open my heart to you…this is the real human communication.”

Archbishop Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, spoke at the presentation of Pope Francis’ message for the 49th World Communications Day, titled “Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love.”

Pope Francis, he said, makes the valid point that although being a digital disciple is necessary, the human dimension of communication can never be forgotten – and that this is something we first see within our families.

From these relationships, we learn “proximity, to be open to the other, to share with the other what and who we are.” The “beauty of the family,” he said, lies in the diversity of their ages and members. Communication is then “is more of a human dimension than a technological dimension.”

We shouldn’t lose this sense of human interaction in our daily emails and texts, he warned. “The risk is that I’m an expert in technology but I am not an expert in humanity. So it’s a capacity of listening, of being open, of sharing.”

Archbishop Celli also cautioned against the increase in youth and minors navigating the internet by themselves without the supervision of their parents, saying that although parents can offer much-needed education on technology, they are often absent.

“Today fathers and mothers are involved in so many things, they are so busy, but who is teaching the kids? (Who is teaching them) to be present in a human way and to have a real dialogue, real human communication with others, if we are not teaching them?” he asked.

The archbishop noted how although in last year’s message for World Communications Day Pope Francis encouraged people to be disciples through social networks, the pontiff “is not naïve,” and is aware of the dangers that the digital continent can present.

Education, Archbishop Celli emphasized, is key in helping children grow in wisdom and their ability to be present in the world, as well as in the prevention of access to online dangers such as pornography.

Technology can either help or hinder the culture of encounter, he said. One positive effect is the ability to remain in contact with relatives who are far away.

“I know grandmothers who are learning how to deal with computers and programs because they want to speak with their grandchildren, (and) this is a real loving contact, it’s not virtual,” he said, noting how he himself is in contact with his family and friends every day through technology.

“So this is how new technologies – we are inhabitants of the digital continent – can really facilitate us in the spreading of such friendship and love, and this is a great opportunity.”

A society without fathers is a society of orphans, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Jan 28, 2015 / 06:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his general audience catechesis Pope Francis turned to the role of fathers, saying that they play an irreplaceable role in family life, and their absence leaves children prey to false idols.

“When children feel neglected by fathers who focus only on their problems, on their work or their own personal realization, this creates a situation of orphans in the children and youth of today, who live disoriented, without the good example or prudent guidance of a father,” the Pope said Jan. 28.

Pope Francis directed his words to pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall for his Wednesday general audience address. Continuing his catechesis on the family, the pontiff spoke on the theme of fatherhood.

The Pope’s reflection on fatherhood falls after a separate general audience address on the role of mothers earlier this month, during which he hailed motherhood as the “antidote to individualism.”

In today’s society, the word “father” is a reality understood throughout world and which transcends history, the Roman Pontiff told today’s audience participants.

This word, he said, is the one “which Jesus taught us to call God, giving new depth and richness to the mystery of the intimacy of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is the center of our Christian faith.”

However, in modern times we frequently speak of a “society without fathers,” in which the crisis of fatherhood can lead one to associate the term with authoritarian and repressive tendencies, the Pope noted.

Children who feel “neglected” because their fathers focus too much on work, personal achievements or are constantly away from home are often left as “orphans” without guide, he said.

“Fathers are so necessary as examples and guides for our children in wisdom and virtue. Without father figures, young people often feel orphaned; left adrift at a critical moment in their growth and development,” the pontiff continued.

Pope Francis then recounted how he has often asked the fathers he encountered if they “had the courage and love” to play with their children and to spend time with them.

Rather than hearing a reassuring yes, often “the answer is ugly, eh? In the majority of cases it’s ‘I can’t, there’s too much work,’” the Bishop of Rome observed, and said that it is the responsibility of Christian communities and civil society as a whole to find a remedy to the crisis of fatherhood.

The pontiff also drew attention to the temptation of some fathers to try and be their child’s friend more than their parent, saying that although being a friend and companion to one’s child is good, the role of the parent is essential.

“It’s true that you need to be the friend of your child, but without forgetting that you are a father, eh. If you are only there for your child as a friend, it won’t be good for them,” he cautioned.

The absence of the father figure in society is something that persons at every level of society should be aware of because it leaves “gaps and wounds” in the formation of today’s youth, the Pope explained.

“Without guides to rely on, youth can be filled with idols that end up stealing their heart, enthusiasm and genuine wealth,” he said.

Pope Francis closed his address by recalling Jesus’ promise in the Gospel of John that “he would not leave us orphans,” and prayed that the Lord would “deepen and renew our appreciation of fatherhood and raise up good fathers for the benefit of our families, our Church and our world.”

The pontiff said that although the prognosis he gave of state of fatherhood today might have been a bit negative, next week he will follow-up with a reflection on the blessing and “beauty” of fatherhood.

“I chose to begin in darkness in order to arrive to the light,” he said, and gave his blessing before greeting pilgrims present from various countries around the world.

Pope Francis asks, Do you discern God’s will before making a decision?

Vatican City, Jan 27, 2015 / 04:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis dedicated his homily at Mass on Tuesday to the theme of obeying God’s will, saying a Christian should have a heart like Mary, who was open and obedient to all that God asked of …

A visit to Naples, Pompeii on Pope Francis’ slate for March

Vatican City, Jan 27, 2015 / 12:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ liturgical schedule from now until Easter has been released – and it includes the creation of new cardinals and a daylong pastoral visit to Italian cities of Naples and Pompeii.

In February, Pope Francis will kick-off the month by celebrating a special Mass on the second commemorating the feast of the Presentation of the Lord as well as the 19th World Day of Consecrated Life.

The Mass, which will take place inside St. Peter’s Basilica at 5:30 p.m., will be held specifically for the members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in honor of the Year for Consecrated Life declared by Pope Francis.

On Sunday, Feb. 8, Pope Francis will make a 4 p.m. pastoral visit to the Roman parish St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata, where he will most likely celebrate Mass.

The next weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 14, the Pope will hold an 11 a.m. ordinary public consistory for the creation of 20 new cardinals and for several causes of canonization inside St. Peter’s Basilica. The next day, Feb. 15, he will celebrate Mass with the newly-created cardinals in the basilica at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, marks Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Pope Francis will celebrate the day with a 4:30 p.m. penitential procession from the Roman Basilica of St. Anselm to the Basilica of St. Sabina, where he will celebrate Mass at 5 p.m. and distribute ashes.

The first Sunday of Lent, Feb. 22, Pope Francis and the Roman Curia will begin five days of spiritual exercises in the Italian city of Ariccia. The exercises will conclude that Friday, Feb. 27.

Pope Francis will begin the month of March with a 4 p.m. pastoral visit to the Roman Parish of Holy Mary Mother of the Redeemer on the eighth, which also marks the third Sunday of Lent.
On Friday, March 13, Pope Francis will hold a penitential liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica at 5 p.m., and a week later will make his daytrip to the Italian cities of Naples and Pompeii, which lay roughly 225 kilometers south of Rome.

Naples is the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan, and is also the capital of the Italian region Campania.

The Pope will bring the month of March to a close by celebrating Palm Sunday Mass on the 29th at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square. The celebration will also include a procession and the blessing of the palms.

April 2, Holy Thursday, begins the Easter Triduum – the three days leading up to the Easter Vigil celebrating Christ’s resurrection.

Pope Francis will mark the start of the Easter Triduum on Holy Thursday with a Chrism Mass at 9:30 a.m. inside St. Peter’s Basilica, during which all of the holy oils used in the administration of the sacraments for the next year are blessed.

On April 3, Good Friday, the Pope will preside over a liturgy commemorating the Passion of Jesus at 5 p.m. inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Later that day, at 9:15 p.m., he will lead faithful in the Stations of the Cross at Rome’s Colosseum.

The next day, Holy Saturday, the pontiff will preside over the Easter Vigil inside St. Peter’s Basilica at 8:30 p.m. On April 4, Easter morning, he will give the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” blessing at 12 p.m., which goes out to Rome and to the whole world.

Pope Francis’ scheduled, public April liturgies will conclude on the 12th with the celebration of Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday at 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Mass will be celebrated particularly for faithful of the Armenian rite.

Wondering what to give up for Lent? Try indifference, Pope says

Vatican City, Jan 27, 2015 / 05:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The “globalization of indifference” was at the heart of Pope Francis’ Lenten message, in which he urged faithful to fight individualism with merciful hearts that are more attenti…

Women are irreplaceable in passing on the faith, Pope says

Vatican City, Jan 26, 2015 / 02:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Women in the family have a crucial role in transmitting the faith from one generation to the next, said Pope Francis during morning Mass for the feast of saints Timothy and Titus.

Addressing the congregation gathered in the Vatican’s Santa Marta residence on Jan. 26, the Pope centered his reflection on Paul’s letter to Timothy – who writes that his “sincere faith” comes from the Holy Spirit “through his mother and grandmother”.

“Mothers and grandmothers are the ones who transmit the faith,” the Pope said, according to Vatican Radio’s translation.

He noted that faith is a gift which is passed from one generation to the next by the women in the family, namely “mothers and grandmothers,” or “maids and aunts.” The reason faith is passed by “mainly women,” the Pope said, is “because the one who brought us Jesus is a woman.”

“It is the path chosen by Jesus. He wanted to have a mother: the gift of faith comes to us through women, as Jesus came to us through Mary.”

 Pope Francis stressed the need for women, “in our own day,” to be “aware of the duty they have to transmit the faith.”

The Pope went on to make the distinction between passing on the faith and teaching on matters of the faith.

“Faith is a gift: it is not possible to study faith,” he explained. “We study the things of faith, yes, to understand it better, but with study (alone) one never comes to faith. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, which surpasses all (‘academic’) formation.”

During his homily, the Pope also warned against timidity to avoid a faith that is watered down. In Paul’s letter, Timothy is told to avoid “empty pagan chatter, empty chatter of the world.”  

“We have – all of us – received the gift of faith,” the Pope said. He warned of the importance of keeping the faith “in order that it not become watered down, so that it remains strong, with the power of the Holy Spirit who gave it to us.”

Pope Francis also touched on the “spirit of timidity,” which “goes against the gift of faith.”

“God has not given us a spirit of timidity,” Pope Francis said. Timidity, he added, “does not let faith grow, advance, be great. Shame, in turn, is the following sin, (which says): ‘Yes, I have faith, but I cover it up, that it not be seen too much.’”

Referred to by “our forebears” as “rosewater” faith because of shame of living “it powerfully,” the Pope said “this is not the faith.”

“(Faith knows) neither timidity nor shame. What is it, then? It is a spirit of power and of love and of prudence: that is what faith is.”

“We ask the Lord’s grace,” Pope Francis concluded, “that we might have a sincere faith, a faith that is not negotiable depending on the opportunities that come, a faith that every day I try to revive or at least ask the Holy Spirit to revive it, and make it bear much fruit.”

Pope to canon lawyers: Annulment process must be both secure and prompt

Vatican City, Jan 26, 2015 / 11:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a speech delivered on Saturday to participants in a conference on how to handle causes of nullity, Pope Francis encouraged a marriage process that is both sure of its judgements and prompt.

The three-day conference is sponsored by the Pontifical Gregorian University, and marks the 10th anniversary of Dignitas connubii, an instruction of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts to tribunals on handling causes of the nullity of marriage.

Pope Francis praised the document in his Jan. 24 address as “a modest but useful handbook that really takes the ministers of the tribunals by the hand toward the implementation of a process that is both secure and prompt.”

“A secure process because it indicates and explains with clarity the goal of the process itself, namely moral certainty: this requires that any prudent, positive doubt of error be totally excluded, even if the mere possibility of the contrary is not excluded. A prompt process because – as common experience teaches – he who knows the path to follow travels more quickly.”

The Pope greeted all those who came to the congress from across the world, calling their presence “a great consolation” because “it seems to me a generous response to the stresses that every authentic minister of the tribunals of the Church feels for the good of souls.”

“The knowledge and, I would say, the use” of Dignitas connubii, Pope Francis stated, “can, even in the future, help ministers of tribunals to shorten case proceedings, often perceived by spouses as long and wearisome.”  

“Up until now, not all of the resources that this instruction makes available for a prompt process, devoid of every formalism for its own sake, have been explored; nor can we exclude further legislative acts in the future aimed at the same end.”

He made reference to the defender of the bond, a position appointed in each diocese in marriage cases who, according to canon law, “is bound by office to propose and explain everything which reasonably can be brought forth against nullity or dissolution.”

Pope Francis said the role of the defender of the bond is a “proper and original” one in the marriage process, adding that “his presence and the faithful fulfillment of his task do not condition the judge, but allow and encourage the impartiality of his judgment, having set before him the arguments in favor of and contrary to the declaration of nullity of marriage.”

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