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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent a telegram on Thursday to the Archbishop of Bari, Francesco Cacucci, where a conference organized in the Italian port city of Bari on the lives of women in the Middle East and the Mediterranean is taking place.
Signed by the Cardinal-Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, the message says, “[The Holy Father] hopes that the spaces of representation of women will broaden and that they might intensify their work in seeking opportunities for interaction, knowledge and dialogue, and that the shared commitment to building a future of prosperity and peace, might produce abundant fruits of human and social growth and encourages reconciliation among men and renewed harmony among nations.”
The second of its kind with women of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, the conference is focusing on the theme, on the theme: Women for Peace – being workers for a culture of encounter and dialogue. The event is being promoted by the International Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations along with the International Forum of Catholic Action, and Catholic Action Italy, in the context of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the participants in the 55th General Chapter of the Order of Augustinian Recollects on Thursday in the Vatican.
The Augustinian Recollects trace their origins to a 1588 reform of the Augustinian Friars in Spain, and became an autonomous congregation in 1621. It was only in the early 20th century, however, that they received full recognition as a Mendicant Order under the Rule of St. Augustine – and they have the distinction of being the last Order to receive such recognition from the Holy See.
In Spanish-language remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered on Thursday morning in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis encouraged the Recollects to continue in their ongoing work of renewing the vision of St. Augustine, “[T]o live as brothers ‘with one heart and one soul (Rule 1, 2),’ reflecting the ideal of the first Christians and being a living spirit of prophecy and communion in this world of ours, that there might be neither division nor conflict nor exclusion, but that harmony might reign[.]”
Click below to hear our report
The General Chapter of the Augustinian Recollects is the supreme authority within the Order. It takes place every six years and it examines the status of the institution. The Prior General and his counsellors are also elected in it, and these then prepare a plan to put into operation the decisions taken by the members of the Chapter over the subsequent six years.(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said the catechism on its own is not sufficient to truly know Jesus and we need prayer, worship and to recognize ourselves as sinners. His words came during his morning Mass celebrated on Thursday in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence.
The cue for the Pope’s reflections during his homily came from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians where the Apostle prayed that they may be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit and that Christ may dwell in their hearts.
Noting that Paul spoke of plunging into the immense sea that is the person of Christ, Pope Francis asked “how can we know Christ, How can we understand His love that is beyond all knowledge?”
“Christ is present in the Gospel and we know Christ by reading the Gospel. And all of us do this, at least we hear the Gospel when we go to Mass. And studying the catechism teaches us who Christ is. But this is not enough. In order to understand the breadth and length and height and depth of Jesus Christ we need to enter into the habit, firstly of praying, as Paul did on his knees: “Father send me the Holy Spirit to know Jesus.”
But in order to truly know Christ, the Pope stressed that prayer on its own is not enough and as Paul said, in addition to praying he “worships this mystery” that is beyond our knowledge and in this spirit of worship or adoration he asks for this grace from the Lord.
“We cannot know the Lord without this habit of worship, to worship in silence, adoration. If I am not mistaken, I believe that this prayer of adoration is the least known by us, it’s the one that we do least. Allow me to say this, waste time in front of the Lord, in front of the mystery of Jesus Christ. Worship him. There in silence, the silence of adoration. He is the Saviour and I worship Him.”
Pope Francis said the third requirement for truly knowing Christ was to know ourselves and as a result be accustomed to describing ourselves as sinners.
“We cannot worship without accusing ourselves. In order to enter into this bottomless and boundless sea that is the mystery of Jesus Christ, this thing is necessary. (Firstly), prayer: ‘Father, send me the Holy Spirit so that he leads me to know Jesus.’ Secondly, worship the mystery, enter into the mystery and worship Him. And thirdly, accuse ourselves. ‘I am a man of unclean lips.’ May the Lord give us too this grace that Paul implored for the Ephesians, this grace to know and earn Christ.(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday received the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who subsequently met with the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
A statement by the Holy See Press Office described the talks as “cordials,” and said the two men discussed “the existing good relations between the Holy See and Burkina Faso were evoked, underlining among other things the important contribution the Church offers in the fields of education and healthcare.”
The statement continued by saying that in this framework, “the hope was expressed that bilateral relations can be consolidated thanks also to the legal tools provided by international law.”
Attention then turned to the importance of national reconciliation, respect and collaboration between the various religious groups, and the theme of young people and employment.
Finally, there was an exchange of views on some issues of international interest, with particular reference to the current challenges affecting the region.(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, called on Monday for a financial system and a global economy that respects the human person.
Speaking on the first day of the 3rd European Microfinance Forum (3rd EMF) taking place in Rome, Cardinal Turkson quoted from Pope Francis’ encyclicals and messages that denounce the current culture of waste and speak of an anthropological crisis that has placed wealth at the summit of a scale of values. He also praised the tools provided by microfinance and microcredit which, he said, “not only have a positive economic impact, but also a social and cultural one.
The Forum aims to provide public institutions, private sector operators and non-profit organizations with an opportunity to debate and share views from their various perspectives on economic and social development and credit access.
In his speech Cardinal Turkson said that right from the beginning of his Pontificate, starting with his Encyclical “Evangelii Gaudium”, Pope Francis has decried the fact that the current economic system is founded on exclusion and a throwaway culture that produces inequity: “that’s why he speaks of an economy that kills!”
Referring to the Pope’s “Laudato Sii’” encyclical, Turkson continued: “the Pope says: “Once more, we need to reject a magical conception of the market, which would suggest that problems can be solved simply by an increase in the profits of companies or individuals. Is it realistic to hope that those who are obsessed with maximizing profits will stop to reflect on the environmental damage which they will leave behind for future generations? Where profits alone count, there can be no thinking about the rhythms of nature, its phases of decay and regeneration, or the complexity of ecosystems which may be gravely upset by human intervention.”
And quoting from Pope Francis’ words again, this time upon receiving the Charlemagne Prize, Turkson said that the Pope clearly calls for the urgent need to come up with “new, more inclusive and equitable economic models, aimed not at serving the few, but at benefiting ordinary people and society as a whole”. Doing this – he said - “calls for moving from a liquid economy in which numbers are more important than people to a social economy”.
The Pope, Turkson said, clearly indicates that it is unacceptable that “the death from cold of an old man living on the streets doesn’t make the news while the loss of 2 points on the stock exchange does”.
The cause of his, he said, is the anthropological crisis the world is going through; and it is much deeper than the economic one: “the denial of the primacy of the human person”. Money and wealth – he explained – are being worshipped as the new idol.
Cardinal Turkson also explained that the Pope does not limit himself to criticizing the current economic model, but outlines the characteristics of a more equal economy, that gives everyone the possibility to participate within respect for human dignity and care for the environment.
Indicating a social economy that “invests in persons by creating jobs and providing training,” Turkson said, the Pope asks us to “move from a liquid economy prepared to use corruption as a means of obtaining profits to a social economy that guarantees access to land and lodging through labour.”
Highlighting the fact that we need a modern social market economy to be able to tackle the challenges of unemployment, increasing inequality and environmental degradation, the Cardinal stressed how the human person and his and her fundamental and inalienable human rights must be at the fulcrum of such a system.
Cardinal Turkson acknowledged that the crucial challenge a new model of social economy will be called to face is globalization, and especially that “globalization of indifference” that opposes a globalization of solidarity.
The Cardinal concluded his speech saying that the tools provided by microfinance and microcredit in tackling unemployment, inequality and environmental degradation are of “crucial importance”.
Microcredit, he said, places trust in those who are not considered “adequate” by banks to receive financial loans, “it places trust in the marginalized, in the excluded of our throwaway culture, in their capacity to get organized and bring about change for themselves, for their families, for their communities”.
And, he said, microfinance and microcredit do not only have an economic impact, but a social and cultural one as well.
Cardinal Turkson concluded his address quoting from Evangelii Gaudium: “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world's problems or, for that matter, to any problems.”(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday said access to food and water is a basic human right, and called on believers and people of good will everywhaere to take personal responsibility for the needs of their neighbors. The appeal came during the Holy Father's weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope focused on feeding the hungry – the first of the Corporal Works of Mercy – during the catechetical portion of the event.
Below, please find the official English-language summary read out following the main catechesis in Italian
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we have reflected on God’s mercy and our own responsibility, as followers of Jesus, to be “merciful like the Father”. Among the corporal works of mercy, the first is that of feeding the hungry. Access to food and water is a basic human right, yet so many members of our human family, especially children, continue to suffer from hunger and thirst. While grateful for the generosity and solidarity shown in the case of many tragic situations worldwide, we must never forget that this work of mercy calls us to respond personally to concrete situations of need in our own lives. Saint James warns against ignoring the practical needs of our brothers and sisters, for faith without works is dead (Jas 2:14-17). In the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus tells his disciples to provide food for the crowds, yet he shows them that, in sharing what they have, he will give it increase. Jesus himself is the bread of life, and he makes it clear that our relationship with the Father depends on the way we respond to the hunger and thirst of our brothers and sisters.
Following the catechetical summary, the Holy Father greeted English-speaking pilgrims
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Malta, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Indonesia, China, Singapore, Japan, the Philippines and the United States of America. With prayerful good wishes that the present Jubilee of Mercy will be a moment of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.(from Vatican Radio)