Vaticano

Morocco: In Prayer Before Crucifix of Nails of Fr. Gigi Maccalli

ZENIT – English - 2 ore 38 min fa

Prayers and solidarity for the release of Fr. Luigi Maccalli, a missionary in Niger continue. Fides News Agency said February 19, 2019, that there has been no news of Fr. Macalli since September 17, 2018. Among the many testimonies, Father Matteo Revelli, priest of the Society for African Missions (SMA), parish priest of St. François d’Assise in Fès, told Fides about when in 2003 Fr. Gigi went to visit him in Fès. “On that occasion – Father Revelli recalls – he had given me a small crucifix composed of intertwined nails, finely joined by a piece of iron. His father Giovanni was the artist of this crucifix. He had learned to do it and in the winter evenings, he spent his time in these modest works of art, which were then delivered to the catechists in Africa, and even to me. I removed it from the wardrobe to put it on the altar of my chapel, where I often pray even with the students, to remind me of Gigi. We all pray for him and we hope to be able to embrace him soon.”

The post Morocco: In Prayer Before Crucifix of Nails of Fr. Gigi Maccalli appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

Africa: Theologian Stresses Protection of Minors

ZENIT – English - 3 ore 21 min fa

“The Church must not in any way be an accomplice of evil,” said father Donald Zagore, an Ivorian theologian of the Society for African Missions, to Fides News Agency, in advance of the meeting on “The protection of minors in the Church” to be held in the Vatican from February 21-24, 2019.

Leaders of episcopal conferences from all over the world will gather together with a delegation of men and women religious to tackle this tragic phenomenon and find immediate answers and solutions. “The involvement and commitment of the Church, through this extraordinary summit, shows how often the whole Church, and Pope Francis in particular, want justice to be done,” explained Zagore.

“The great challenge for the Church is certainly to protect the victims but also not to abandon the guilty. In fact, justice does not exclude mercy,” he said. “Like Christ, the Church has the fundamental mission of looking for the lost sheep, waiting anxiously for the return of the prodigal son, and to be the doctor who comes for those who are sick, the Church of honest people and even of sinners.

“For all the clerics involved, a pastoral accompaniment of listening and concern, fundamentally built on God’s mercy, is more than ever necessary. The Church should not be ashamed of her children, whose dignity has been stripped of the power of sin, but must work to ensure that in justice and in the truth they continue to feel the gaze of the merciful God on them. God hates sin, but loves the sinner,” said the missionary.

“The Church must keep in mind that sin is always lurking and that it is a permanent possibility of man. In human nature, he concluded, “the worst is not always certain but it is highly probable. Being the ‘guardian of the most holy things’ does not necessarily prevent us from misunderstanding and even abusing it.”

The post Africa: Theologian Stresses Protection of Minors appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

Ireland: Archbishop Eamon Martin Offers Message to Survivors of Abuse

ZENIT – English - 3 ore 34 min fa

Ahead of his departure for this week’s special meeting in the Vatican on the protection of minors in the Catholic Church, Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, on February 19, 2019, offered a message to survivors and victims of abuse.

As part of his preparations for the Vatican meeting, Archbishop Eamon has engaged in numerous face to face consultations and discussions with survivors of abuse across the four provinces of Ireland.  He has also received feedback in writing from survivors and from the lay faithful.

The text of Archbishop Eamon’s message follows:

Dear brothers and sisters, survivors of abuse,

As I prepare to journey to Rome for the meeting with Pope Francis about safeguarding, I want to assure you that you are uppermost in my thoughts.  In recent weeks I have met with some of you and heard about how you were hurt and violated, and about how your young lives were turned into a nightmare by people who betrayed the sacred trust that you and your families had placed in them.

I am truly sorry for what was done to you.

I’ve learned also about how abuse devastated your confidence in yourself and others, your relationships, your family, and in some cases your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being. Abuse broke your heart and spirit and sometimes you couldn’t tell anyone for years. And then – when all you wanted was to be believed and supported by the Church, and your abuser to be stopped from harming others – there were too many failures to listen, to understand, and to do what was right and just.

I am truly sorry for these failures.

No wonder many of you find it difficult to forgive. You are still shocked by every new revelation which reopens your wounds and makes you feel the Church still hasn’t learned or fully understood.

Some of you have asked me for prayers, and for the Church to openly express atonement and say “sorry”. You rightly demand complete transparency and prompt cooperation with police and statutory authorities. You expect us to maintain robust efforts and standards for the protection of children, to continue to fully involve lay women and men in deciding and overseeing best practice, to independently audit our progress so that we never become complacent. You want our response to be child-centred and open to justice and accountability. You appreciate the counselling and support services offered by Towards Healing and others who have personally and pastorally reached out to you.

As I journey to Rome I realise that you are precious members of the Body of Christ; you always have been and always will be. You deserve to be believed, loved and cherished – not isolated or seen as a threat.  I know that nothing I say can undo the terrible wrong you have endured, but I once more commit to doing all I can to ensure that Church activities are as safe as possible for children and vulnerable people.  You will always remain in my thoughts and prayers.

An audio version of this message has been made available on Faithcast, the weekly faith podcast from the Catholic Communications Office.  Click here to listen to this week’s episode https://audioboom.com/posts/7179060-faithcast-podcast-episode-33

 

The post Ireland: Archbishop Eamon Martin Offers Message to Survivors of Abuse appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

Organizing Committee of Abuse Summit Meet with Victims Ahead of Historic Event

ZENIT – English - 3 ore 52 min fa

The “ad interim” director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, confirmed that the February 20, 2019, meeting with organizers of the upcoming abuse summit and victims was held this morning.  Here is his statement.

“As was announced during the course of the Press Conference on 18 February in the Press Office of the Holy See, this morning the Organizing Committee for the Meeting on “The Protection of Minors in the Church” met a group of representatives of victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. There were 12 people, men, and women, from different parts of the world who belong to various organizations. The meeting lasted a little bit more than two hours.

“The members of the Committee are very grateful to the victims who participated for their sincerity, the depth and the strength of their testimonies, which will certainly help them to always better understand the gravity and urgency of the difficulties that they will confront during the course of the Meeting.”

The post Organizing Committee of Abuse Summit Meet with Victims Ahead of Historic Event appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

Council of Cardinals Briefed on Upcoming Abuse Summit

ZENIT – English - 4 ore 2 min fa

The “ad interim” director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, on February 20, 2019, gave a briefing on the 28th Meeting of the Council of Cardinals with the Holy Father Francis.

The Council of Cardinals met for three days: February 18-20. The meeting was attended by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, and Cardinal Oswald Gracias. The secretary of the Council, H.E. Msgr. Marcello Semeraro, and the adjunct secretary, H.E. Msgr. Marco Mellino were also present.

The Holy Father, as usual, participated in the works, although he was absent this morning for the general audience. This afternoon he will be present at the final session of the meeting.

The working sessions took place in the morning from 9.00 to 12.30 and in the afternoon from 16.30 to 19.00. The main activity of this meeting of the Council consisted of the updating and rereading of the draft of the new Apostolic Constitution, whose provisional title, as is known, is Praedicate Evangelium. In particular, the stylistic revision and canonistic rereading of the text continued. The members of the Council of Cardinals indicated how to proceed with the consultation of the draft that the Holy Father, in the name of synodality, intends to promote. It was decided that the national Episcopal Conferences, the Synods of the Oriental Churches, the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Conferences of the major superiors and some Pontifical Universities will be consulted.

On Tuesday 19 the Council was addressed by Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., moderator of the Meeting on “The protection of minors in the Church”, convened during the 26th meeting of the Council of Cardinals, held from 10 to 12 September 2018. The importance of this event, as part of the journey of commitment in making the Church an increasingly safe home for children and adolescents, was strongly emphasized.

In this context, the Council reflected carefully on the removal from the clerical state of the archbishop emeritus of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, imposed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The members of the Council, although not presidents of Episcopal Conferences or holding other office, and the bishops, secretary and adjunct secretary of the Council, will participate in the Meeting on “The protection of minors in the Church”, which will be held from tomorrow until 24 February.

The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals will take place on April 8-10, 2019.

The post Council of Cardinals Briefed on Upcoming Abuse Summit appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

Pope at General Audience on ‘Our Father, Who Art in Heaven’ (Full Text)

ZENIT – English - 4 ore 39 min fa

This morning’s General Audience was held in two stages. At 9:10 the Holy Father Francis received, in the Vatican Basilica, the participants in the pilgrimage of the Archdiocese of Benevento.

At 9:45 the Pope met in Paul VI Hall with a group of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and from all over the world.

Continuing with the series of catecheses on the “Our Father,” in his address in Italian the Pope focused his meditation on the theme: “Father who art in Heaven” (Biblical passage: Isaiah 49:14-16).

After summarizing his catechesis in several languages, the Holy Father expressed special greetings to groups of faithful present.

The General Audience ended with the singing of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.

* * *

The Holy Father’s Catechesis

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

Today’s Audience is unfolding in two stages. Earlier I met with faithful of Benevento, who were in Saint Peter’s, and now with you. And this is due to the delicacy of the Prefecture of the Papal Household that did not want you to catch cold. We thank them who did this. Thank you.

We continue the catechesis on the “Our Father.” The first step of every Christian prayer is the entrance in a mystery, that of God’s paternity. We can’t pray like parrots. Either you enter the mystery, in the awareness that God is your Father, or you don’t pray. If I want to pray to God my Father, I begin with the mystery. To understand in what measure God is our Father, we think of the figure of our parents; however, we must always in some measure “refine it,” purify it. The Catechism of the Catholic Church also states it, it says thus: “The purification of our hearts has to do with paternal or maternal images, stemming from our personal and cultural history, and influencing our relationship with God” (n. 2779).

None of us have had perfect parents, none, as we, in turn, will never be perfect parents or Pastors. We all have defects, all. We live our relationships of love always under the sign of our limitations and also of our egoism. Therefore, they are often sullied by desires of possession or of manipulation of the other. Therefore, sometimes declarations of love are changed into feelings of anger and hostility. But look, these two loved one another so much last week <and> today they hate each other to death. We see this every day! It’s because of this, because we all have bitter roots inside, which aren’t good and sometimes come out and do evil.

See why, when we speak of God as “Father,” while we think of the image of our parents, especially if they loved us, at the same time we should go beyond. Because the love of God is that of the Father “who is in Heaven,” according to the expression that Jesus invites us to use: it’s total love, which we in this life savour only imperfectly. Men and women are eternally beggars of love — we are beggars of love, we are in need of love — they seek a place where they will finally be loved, but they don’t find it. How many disappointed friendships and loves there are in our world — so many!

In mythology, the Greek god of love is absolutely the most tragic: one doesn’t understand if he is an angelic being or a demon. Mythology says that he is the son of Poros and of Penia, that is, of expediency and of poverty, destined to bear in himself a bit of the physiognomy of these parents. From here we can think of the ambivalent nature of human love, capable of flowering and of living arrogantly in an hour of the day, and immediately after wither and die; that which grips always flees away (Cf. Plato, Symposium, 203). There is an expression of the prophet Hosea that frames mercilessly the congenital weakness of our love: “Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away: (6:4). See what our love often is: a promise that is hard to keep, an attempt that soon parches and evaporates; it’s somewhat as when the sun comes out in the morning and the dew of the night goes away.

How many times we men have loved in this very weak and intermittent way. We all have the experience: we have loved but then that love fell or became weak. Desirous of loving, we then come up against our limitations, with the poverty of our strength, incapable of keeping a promise that in the days of grace  seemed easy to realize.  At bottom, the Apostle Peter had fear and had to flee. The Apostle Peter was not faithful to Jesus’ love. There is always this weakness that makes us fall. We are beggars who on the way risk not ever finding completely that treasure that we seek from the first day of our life: love.

However, another love exists, that of the Father “who is in Heaven.” No one should doubt of being the recipient of this love. He loves us. We can say, “He loves me.” If even our father and our mother did not love us — a historical hypothesis –, there is a God in Heaven who loves us like no one on this earth has done or can ever do. God’s love is constant. The prophet Isaiah says: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet will I not forget you. Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands” (49:15-16). Today tattoo is in fashion: “I have graven you on the palms of my hands.” I have made a tattoo of you on my hands. I am on God’s hands thus, and I can’t take it off. The love of God is like the love of a mother, who can never forget. And if a mother forgets? “I will never forget you,” says the Lord. This is God’s perfect love; this is how He loves us. If even all our earthly loves crumbled and we had nothing left other than dust, there is always for all of us, burning, the unique and faithful love of God.

In the hunger of love that we all feel, let us not look for something that doesn’t exist: it is, instead, an invitation to know God who is Father. Saint Augustine’s conversion, for instance, passed through this crest: the young and brilliant rector was simply seeking among creatures something that no creature could give, until one day he had the courage to look up. And on that day he knew God — God who loves.

The expression “in Heaven” does not intend to express distance, but a radical diversity of love, another dimension of love, a tireless love, a love that will always remain, rather, that is always at hand. Suffice it to say “Our Father who art in Heaven,” and that love comes.

Therefore, don’t fear. None of us is alone. If by misfortune your earthly father  had forgotten you and you resented him, you are not denied the fundamental experience of the Christian faith: that of knowing that you are the most beloved child of God, and there is nothing in life that can extinguish His passionate love for you.

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

In Italian

A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I’m happy to receive the Sisters of Mary Help of Christians and the parish groups, in particular, that of Sant’Arcangelo of Romagna.

I welcome the faithful from San Giorgio Lucano: I will gladly bless the effigy of Our Lady of the Angels that is venerated in the local Shrine.

I greet the Lazio Regional Committee of the Soccer Game Italian Federation-Amateur National League; the Group of the Personnel of the Police Headquarters of Campobasso; the Families of the Paediatric Oncology Department of the Salesi Hospital of Ancona; the Student s of the Anti-Corruption Master’s of the Tor Vergata University of Rome and the School Institutes.

And I would like to recall to you of Campobasso an historical curiosity, but it touches you. I’m from the South, close to the Antarctica. You know that the first chaplain who went to Antarctica was a fellow-citizen of yours, born in Campobasso. Congratulations for this honour!

A particular thought goes to young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.

Next Friday we will celebrate the feast of the Chair of Apostle Saint Peter. Pray for me and for my ministry, also for Pope Benedict, so that I always and everywhere confirm brethren in the faith.

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

The post Pope at General Audience on ‘Our Father, Who Art in Heaven’ (Full Text) appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops Issues Statement

ZENIT – English - 5 ore 12 min fa

In view of the upcoming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: “Amazonia: new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology”, scheduled for the month of October, the General Secretariat of the Synod is organizing a study seminar.

The theme of the meeting, which will take place from 25 to 27 February at the M.S. Bambina Institute, is “Towards the Special Synod for Amazonia: regional and universal dimension”.

On the first day some ecclesial and pastoral aspects will be studied in the light of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium; on the second day, issues connected to the promotion of integral ecology will be considered from the perspective of Laudato si’; and on the final day, there will be a summary of the prospects that have emerged and a communication on the pathway of preparation for the Synod.

The seminar will be attended by the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Pan-Amazon area, and some other prelates and experts from Amazonia and other geographical zones. In this way it will be possible, among other things, to cast light on the relationship between the particular Amazonian ecclesial or environmental situation and other similar territorial contexts.

We also inform readers that the site www.sinodoamazonico.va is dedicated to the Special Assembly for the Pan-Amazon Region.

The post General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops Issues Statement appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

‘Respond to the Invitation to Know God as Father,’ Urges Pope

ZENIT – English - 5 ore 15 min fa

Here is the Vatican-provided English-language summary of the Pope’s address at the General Audience this morning:

***

SPEAKER:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the “Our Father”, we now consider the first step of Christian prayer, which is to enter into the mystery of God’s paternity. To understand how God is Father we naturally think of our own parents; yet this image needs to be purified, for none of our parents is perfect, and neither are we! When we speak of God as “Father”, then, we must go beyond a merely earthly image, for God’s love is that of our Father who is in heaven. Yet we only experience this total divine love – in this life – in an imperfect way, for our human love is wounded. Indeed the fragility of human love is captured well by the words of the Prophet Hosea: “Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away” (Hos 6:4). God’s love, on the other hand, is a perfect kind of love; he loves us in a way that none on earth ever can. In the hunger for God’s love that we all feel, we are not seeking something non-existent, but instead responding to the invitation to know God as Father. So we should not be afraid, for nothing can extinguish his passionate love for us.

SPEAKER:

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

The post ‘Respond to the Invitation to Know God as Father,’ Urges Pope appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

FEATURE: Historic Vatican Actions to Save the Roman Jewish Community Revealed Through Documents to Pope Francis

ZENIT – English - 5 ore 23 min fa

‘Historical evidence shows that the Catholic Church, under the Pontificate of Pius XII, saved an estimated 847,000 Jews during WWII.’

To show the Pope primary source documents evidencing Vatican intervention to save the Jews of Rome during WWII, a special delegation, organized by Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF), a US based nonsectarian organization, greeted Pope Francis on February 20, 2019, following his Wednesday General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. Leading the PTWF delegation was PTWF Director, Mr. John Drexel IV the great-grandnephew of Saint Katharine Drexel of Philadelphia. Mr. Drexel presented the Pope with a signed book and letter from Sr. Donna Breslin, Mother Superior of The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, St. Katharine Drexel’s order.

Joining the delegation was NYS Assemblyman Anthony D’urso  who, as a 7-year-old child from Formia, Italy, would look out for any Nazis. His family is credited with saving the Jewish Sinigallia family. Assemblyman Durso presented the Holy Father with his family diary citing the actions of the  Vatican to rescue the Jewish families of Formia. Michael Weinstock is representing the Sinigallia family.

The family of Anthony Durso has been nominated to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem to be bestowed the honor of “Righteous Among Nations,” which is the highest honor given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jewish people. Joining this esteemed delegation, honoring the efforts of Assemblymen Anthony D’urso, is the Comptroller of the State of New York State, Hon. Thomas DiNapoli.

PTWF Director, Dr. Bennett Solberg, presented the Pope with original documents revealing how Pope Pius XII acted directly to end the arrest of the Roman Jewish community on October 16, 1943. Through his nephew, Carlo Pacelli, Bishop Alois Hudal, Fr. Pancratius Pfeiffer, and Nazi Governor of Rome, General Reiner Stahel enabled the Pope to successfully force the end of the arrests at 2pm the day they began.

Dr. Solberg presented the pope with a copy of a hand-written diary entry in 1943, wherein the community of Augustinian Nuns wrote “today we were asked by the Holy Father to protect the Roman Jews and named those they sheltered.”

Pope Pius XII lifted the ban of Cloister, to enable monasteries to house women, and convents to house men, and requested shelter for the innocent Jews by Italian Catholics, and other ecclesiastical structures throughout Italy.

In addition, the Holy Father received the sworn testimony (in German) of the Commandant of Italy and deputy to Heinrich Himmler, General Karl Wolff. The document reveals the plans Wolff was ordered to initiate by Adolf Hitler to invade the Vatican, kill any Vatican officials they encountered, and then they “rescue” Pope Pius XII by taking him to Lichtenstein, where he would be assassinated.

This plan was revealed to the Pope in September 1943, one month before the arrest of the Roman Jews. Mindful of this imminent planned invasion, Pope Pius XII penned his resignation where he stated that were the Vatican to be invaded, the Nazis would arrest Eugenio Pacelli, not Pope Pius XII. He then ordered the Cardinals to leave Rome, elect a new pope, and form a government in exile in Portugal.

The name of Pope Pius XII was smeared by the Soviet Union’s KGB disinformation subversion, beginning five years after his death in 1963. Gary Krupp, President of PTWF, calls this the greatest character assassination of the 20th century. Historical evidence shows that the Catholic Church, under the Pontificate of Pius XII, saved an estimated 847,000 Jews during WWII. Mr. Krupp, who is Jewish, stated that “the worst character flaw a Jew can have is ingratitude. It is important for those who are alive today and who have been deceived by Soviet disinformation for five decades now be aware who it was who saved them.”

Luigi and Francesca Prudente presented Pope Francis with images of a beautiful blessing, written  in 1751, in Latin and Hebrew, and presented to his predecessor, Pope Benedict XIV, from the Roman Jewish community. The Vatican acted to save the Roman Jewish community from the floods when the Tiber River over flowed its banks.

The post FEATURE: Historic Vatican Actions to Save the Roman Jewish Community Revealed Through Documents to Pope Francis appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

‘Following Example of Padre Pio, Don’t Tire of Entrusting Yourselves to Christ’

ZENIT – English - 5 ore 32 min fa

Pope Francis has reflected holy and illustrious Saint Padre Pio.

The Pontiff did so before today’s General Audience, receiving in the Vatican Basilica participants of the pilgrimage of the Archdiocese of Benevento, led by Archbishop Felice Accrocca, to return the pastoral visit that the Pope made, last March 17, to Pietrelcina, on the occasion of the centenary of the apparition of the permanent stigmata of Saint Pio and the 50th anniversary of his death.

Saint Pio, Francis reminded them, “was distinguished for his firm faith in God, firm hope in the heavenly realities, generous dedication to the people, fidelity to the Church, which he always loved with all her problems and her adversities.”

“He loved the Church, with the many problems that the Church has, with the many adversities, with the many sinners.”

The Pope gave those present this advice: “Following the example of Padre Pio, please, don’t tire of entrusting yourselves to Christ and of proclaiming His goodness and His mercy with the witness of your life.”

“This is also what the men and women of our time expect from the Lord’s disciples — witness.”

At the end of the meeting, the pilgrims followed the General Audience from the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall,  very close to the Vatican Basilica. Here is a ZENIT translation of the Pope’s greeting to those present at the audience.

* * *

The Holy Father’s Greeting

Good morning! So many of you have come, it seems like a canonization! Thank you so much to the Bishop, to the Mayors, to all; thank you for this courtesy, which certainly indicates fineness of soul, thank you.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I’m happy to receive you and to give each one of you my warm welcome. You have come to Rome with your Pastor, Monsignor Felice Accrocca, to return the visit I had the joy of making to Pietrelcina on March 17 of last year, on the centenary of the apparition of Saint Pio’s permanent stigmata and on the 50th anniversary of his death.

I wish to renew to all my heartfelt gratitude for the warm welcome you gave me in that circumstance. I never forget that day, as I don’t forget the many sick I greeted; that visit has stayed in my heart.  May the memory of that event, charged with ecclesial and spiritual meaning, revive in each one the will to reflect further on the life of faith, in the wake of the teachings of your illustrious and holy countryman Padre Pio.  He was distinguished for his firm faith in God, firm hope in the heavenly realities, generous dedication to the people, fidelity to the Church, which he always loved with all her problems and her adversities. I shall pause a bit on this. He loved the Church, with the many problems that the Church has, with the many adversities, with the many sinners. Because the Church is holy; she is the Bride of Christ, but we, the children of the Church, are all sinners  — and some are big <sinners>! – but he loved the Church as she was; he didn’t destroy her with the tongue, as is fashionable to do now. No! He loved. One who loves the Church is able to forgive, because he knows that he himself is a sinner and is in need of God’s forgiveness. He is able to systematize things, because the Lord wants to systematize things well but always with forgiveness: one can’t live a whole life accusing, accusing, accusing the Church. Whose is the office of accuser? Who is he that the Bible calls the great accuser? The devil! And those that spend their life accusing, accusing, accusing are — I won’t say children, because the devil doesn’t have any — but friends, cousins, relatives of the devil. But no, that’s not right; defects must be pointed out to correct them, but the moment that defects are pointed out, that defects are denounced, the Church <must be> loved.  Without love, that’s of the devil. Saint Padre Pio had both things: he loved the Church with all her problems and her adversities, and with the sins of her children. Don’t forget this.

I encourage you to understand and receive ever more the love of God, source and motive of our true joy. We are called to give this love, which changes life, especially to the weakest and neediest persons.  By spreading divine charity, each one of us contributes to build a more just and solidary world. On the example of Padre Pio, please, don’t tire of entrusting yourselves to Christ and of proclaiming His goodness and His mercy with the witness of your life. This is also what the men and women of our time expect from the Lord’s disciples — witness. Think of Saint Francis — that your Bishop knows well — what did he say to his disciples? “Go, give witness; live as Christians, witnessing that love is more beautiful than hatred, that friendship is more beautiful than enmity, that fraternity among all of us is more beautiful than war.

Thank you again for this visit! I impart to all of you my heartfelt Blessing, which I extend to your families, to your communities and to the whole Archdiocese of Benevento. Thank you so much!

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

The post ‘Following Example of Padre Pio, Don’t Tire of Entrusting Yourselves to Christ’ appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

FEATURE: Historic Vatican Actions to Save the Roman Jewish Community Revealed Through Documents to Pope Francis

ZENIT – English - 6 ore 7 min fa

‘Historical evidence shows that the Catholic Church, under the Pontificate of Pius XII, saved an estimated 847,000 Jews during WWII.’

To show the Pope primary source documents evidencing Vatican intervention to save the Jews of Rome during WWII, a special delegation, organized by Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF), a US based nonsectarian organization, greeted Pope Francis on February 20, 2019, following his Wednesday General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. Leading the PTWF delegation was PTWF Director, Mr. John Drexel IV the great-grandnephew of Saint Katharine Drexel of Philadelphia. Mr. Drexel presented the Pope with a signed book and letter from Sr. Donna Breslin, Mother Superior of The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, St. Katharine Drexel’s order.

Joining the delegation was NYS Assemblyman Anthony D’urso  who, as a 7-year-old child from Formia, Italy, acted as a lookout for the Nazis. His family is credited with saving the Jewish Sinigallia family. Assemblyman Durso presented the Holy Father with his family diary citing the actions of the  Vatican to rescue the Jewish families of Formia. Michael Weinstock is representing the Sinigallia family.

The family of Anthony Durso has been nominated to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem to be bestowed the honor of “Righteous Among Nations,” which is the highest honor given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jewish people. Joining this esteemed delegation, honoring the efforts of Assemblymen Anthony D’urso, is the Comptroller of the State of New York State, Hon. Thomas DiNapoli.

PTWF Director, Dr. Bennett Solberg, who presented the Pope with original documents revealing how Pope Pius XII acted directly to end the arrest of the Roman Jewish community on October 16, 1943. Through his nephew, Carlo Pacelli, Bishop Alois Hudal, Fr. Pancratius Pfeiffer, and Nazi Governor of Rome, General Reiner Stahel, the Pope was successful in forcing the end of the arrests at 2PM the day they began.

Dr. Solberg presented the pope with a copy of a hand-written diary entry in 1943, wherein the community of Augustinian Nuns wrote “today we were asked by the Holy Father to protect the Roman Jews and named those they sheltered.”

Pope Pius XII lifted the ban of Cloister, to enable monasteries to house women, and convents to house men, and requested shelter for the innocent Jews by Italian Catholics, and other ecclesiastical structures throughout Italy.

In addition, the Holy Father received the sworn testimony (in German) of the Commandant of Italy and deputy to Heinrich Himmler, General Karl Wolff. The document reveals the plans Wolff was ordered to initiate by Adolf Hitler to invade the Vatican, kill any Vatican officials they encountered, and then they “rescue” Pope Pius XII by taking him to Lichtenstein, where he would be assassinated.

This plan was revealed to the Pope in September 1943, one month before the arrest of the Roman Jews. Mindful of this imminent planned invasion, Pope Pius XII penned his resignation where he stated that were the Vatican to be invaded, the Nazis would arrest Eugenio Pacelli not Pope Pius XII. He then ordered the Cardinals to leave Rome, elect a new pope, and form a government in exile in Portugal.

The name of Pope Pius XII was smeared by the Soviet Union’s KGB disinformation subversion, beginning five years after his death in 1963. Gary Krupp, President of PTWF, calls this the greatest character assassination of the 20th century. Historical evidence shows that the Catholic Church, under the Pontificate of Pius XII, saved an estimated 847,000 Jews during WWII. Mr. Krupp stated that this represents 25% of the entire Jewish population of today, of an estimated 14.5 million Jews in the world. Mr. Krupp, who is Jewish, stated that “the worst character flaw a Jew can have is ingratitude. It is important for those who are alive today and who have been deceived by Soviet disinformation for 5 decades now be aware who it was who saved them.”

Luigi and Francesca Prudente presented Pope Francis with images of a beautiful blessing, written  in 1751, in Latin and Hebrew, and presented to his predecessor, Pope Benedict XIV, from the Roman Jewish community. The Vatican acted to save the Roman Jewish community from the floods when the Tiber River over flowed its banks.

The post FEATURE: Historic Vatican Actions to Save the Roman Jewish Community Revealed Through Documents to Pope Francis appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano

ANALYSIS: Communicate and Participate: A New Paradigm in Church Communications?

ZENIT – English - 12 ore 5 min fa

When the presidents of bishops’ conferences from around the world meet in Rome this week to address the abuse crisis in the Church they may think they face a challenge greater than anyone has faced before.

It may feel that way. And, certainly, expectations are high for Church leadership to do something. Expectations also are high for openness, transparency, and listening to the voices of victims and the laity in general.

In reality, the path the bishops will travel is not entirely untrod. In fact, someone has written a book about the importance of clear, open communications to the success of the Church.

Comunicar y participar: La comunicación institucional en la Iglesia y su relación con la tutela y promoción del bien común (Communicate and participate: Institutional communication in the Church and its relationship with the tutelage and promotion of the common good), has just been published in Spanish, with an English translation being considered.

The author, Fr. Benjamin Clariond, LC, is principal at Cumbres Alpes Querétaro in Mexico. He grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, where he attended the Irish Institute, a highly regarded school operated by the Legionaries of Christ. He received his calling to the priesthood in the 7th grade, what he describes as a clear invitation from God. (However, he admits to trying to convince God that his younger brother would make a better priest.)  He was ordained to the priesthood in 2004 and has served in several roles.

In 2012, he was working in Mexico and was asked to help with media work and translations for the Vatican Press Office during the Visit of Pope Benedict XVI. It seems he did a remarkable job because he soon was on his way to Rome to head the Legion’s communications office.

And as a Legionary priest who spent five years heading the congregation’s communications office, he has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of institutional communications.

Beset with a sexual and financial scandal involving its founder, the Legion spent the better part of the past decade working through a Vatican-directed “renewal” process. Fr. Benjamin doesn’t claim the congregation is done with the process – but is certainly headed in the right direction. And an important factor has been the shift from closed communications to greater transparency. There may be lessons the bishops can apply.

“In any crisis – and what the bishops face certainly is a crisis – the first step is to decide what action to take,” according to Fr. Benjamin. “Of course, then you have to communicate about what you are doing. These two decisions are closely related.”

Father suggests that in determining action and communications, too often the organization takes too narrow a view. In fact, the primary goal often is simply to protect the organization. And in the case of the Church, that could seem like the virtuous thing to do. After all, we’re talking about the Church Christ founded.

“But I would suggest that virtuous action isn’t truly virtuous unless it has as its goal the common good,” Fr. Benjamin contends. “Protecting the reputation of a priest is a good thing. But if it means denying others information about abuse committed by the priest and more abuse occurs, protecting the individual’s reputation goes against the common good. And that is an area in which the Church has frequently failed.”

“Another problem with keeping an abuser a secret it that there can’t be outreach to other possible victims. We obviously want the Church to have a good reputation, but the pursuit of the common good demands that we strive to set up the conditions so that all members of society may achieve their own perfection, and in the face of the need of healing of survivors, the Church should own up to its mistakes and reach out to those who have been hurt.”

Fr. Benjamin points out that the failure of the Church to provide information openly has denied people information they have the right and need to know. He says Pope Francis has pointed to this problem as a component of clericalism that denies the ability of the laity to build up the Church.

Father uses the analogy of a family that has a child in college. College is expensive. And let’s say the family breadwinner loses his job and the family is facing real financial hardship. In some families, the decision might be taken to shelter the college student from the fear and worry of the situation, to let him focus on his studies with an uncluttered mind. If things deteriorate, there will eventually be a call to the student telling him he has to come home because the parents have no money for tuition. This will be a great shock and the student may well wonder why he wasn’t told of the problem; perhaps he could have gotten a parttime job, cut his expenses or transferred to a less expensive school. But now the situation is a disaster.

“Like the college student, laity today ask Church leaders why they didn’t tell them of the problem of abuse,” Fr. Benjamin continues. “Why did you hide all of this? Why didn’t you lay out the problem and get help?”

This is a time for the leaders of the Church to shift the paradigm, to embrace a more open approach, Fr. Benjamin insists. For those gathered this week in Rome, that means getting to the truth, knowing what actually happened. As Father points out: “Jesus was the way, the truth, and the light. The Church must be about pursuing truth and healing.”

He agrees with efforts to show care and concern for the victims. But he urges Church leaders to engage in greater cooperation with the public, even the media. See them as cooperators rather than the enemy.

While the idea of greater transparency about the operation of the Church and more lay involvement may seem like a new idea, Father points out that it isn’t. In fact, it is discussed in strong terms in two key Church documents published half a century ago: “Communio et Progressio” and “Lumen Gentium.” Both documents stress the importance of what today would be called “transparency”:

Fr. Benjamin points to #119 of Communio et Progressio: Since the development of public opinion within the Church is essential, individual Catholics have the right to all the information they need to play their active role in the life of the Church. In practice, this means that communications media must be available for the task. These should not only exist in sufficient number but also reach all the People of God. Where necessary, they may even be owned by the Church as long as they truly fulfill their purpose

And he cites from #37 of Lumen Gentium: 37. The laity have the right, as do all Christians, to receive in abundance from their spiritual shepherds the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the assistance of the word of God and of the sacraments (6*). They should openly reveal to them their needs and desires with that freedom and confidence which is fitting for children of God and brothers in Christ. They are, by reason of the knowledge, competence or outstanding ability which they may enjoy, permitted and sometimes even obliged to express their opinion on those things which concern the good of the Church (7*). When occasions arise, let this be done through the organs erected by the Church for this purpose. Let it always be done in truth, in courage, and in prudence, with reverence and charity toward those who by reason of their sacred office represent the person of Christ.

Fr. Benjamin also addresses the question that might be on the mind of many who pick up his book: why listen to the advice of someone from the congregation that could be the “poster child” for the scandal of a founder?

“That’s a fair question,” Father admits. “And I believe the answer is that because we learned so many painful lessons, others can learn from our experience. This book isn’t the end of the discussion; I hope it moves the Church toward a more open approach to communications that will benefit the common good – and the Church is part of that.”

The post ANALYSIS: Communicate and Participate: A New Paradigm in Church Communications? appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Categorie: Vaticano