Friday, November 28, 2014

Latest News from Vatican Information Service and Pope Francis - Official Release


28-11-2014 - Year XXII - Num. 211 

Summary
- The Pope arrives in Turkey, a land able to promote an encounter of civilisations and identify viable paths of peace and authentic progress
- Indulgences for the Year of Consecrated Life
- Notice
Summary
- Serve new wine in new wineskins says the Pope to representatives of consecrated life
- Migrants and the poor, dual challenge of urban pastoral ministry
- To the Pauline family: take the breath of the Gospel to the most diverse cultures and social contexts
- Holy Father's calendar for December 2014 and January 2015
- Christians and Muslims condemn extremism and violence committed in the name of religion
- Audiences
The Pope arrives in Turkey, a land able to promote an encounter of civilisations and identify viable paths of peace and authentic progress
Vatican City, 28 November 2014 (VIS) – This morning Pope Francis began the sixth apostolic trip of his pontificate. His visit to Turkey is essentially of an ecumenical nature, like those of his predecessors; the country has occupied a privileged position in the geography of papal trips ever since the visit of the Apostolic Delegate Angelo Roncalli, referred to by the Turkish authorities as “the first Turkish pope in history” following his election as Pope John XXIII. Turkey was also the destination of Paul VI's fifth apostolic trip in 1967, a corollary of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land and his historic embrace with the Ecumenical Patriarch Atenagoras in Jerusalem. John Paul II continued the tradition with his fourth trip (1979) as did Benedict XVI with his fifth apostolic trip, in 2006.
The Holy Father departed from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 9 a.m., and reached the Turkish capital Ankara at 1 pm (local time) where he was received by the civil and religious authorities. He transferred by car to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic, the “Father of the Turks” who guided Turkey's radical rupture with its Ottoman past, laying down the foundations of the modern secular state in its 1937 Constitution. Upon arrival the Pope was received by the Commander of the Guard, ascended the Steps of Honour, left a floral tribute and prayed for a moment. He was then accompanied to the nearby “Tower of National Pact”, where he signed the guest book.
He then paid a visit to the Presidential Palace or “Ak Saray” (White Palace), inaugurated just two months ago by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and substituting the historic Cankaya Palace. The Holy Father was received by the president, and the two spoke in private for a few minutes, after which Pope Francis gave his first public address on Turkish soil, addressed to the authorities gathered in the Ak Saray.
“I am pleased to visit your country so rich in natural beauty and history, and filled with vestiges of ancient civilisations. It is a natural bridge between two continents and diverse cultures”, the Pope began. “This land is precious to every Christian for being the birthplace of Saint Paul, who founded various Christian communities here, and for hosting the first seven Councils of the Church. It is also renowned for the site near Ephesus which a venerable tradition holds to be the 'Home of Mary',the place where the Mother of Jesus lived for some years. It is now a place of devotion for innumerable pilgrims from all over the world, not only for Christians, but also for Muslims.
“Yet, the reasons why Turkey is held with such regard and appreciation are not only linked to its past and ancient monuments, but also have to do with the vitality of its present, the hard work and generosity of its people, and its role in the concert of nations. It brings me great joy to have this opportunity to pursue with you a dialogue of friendship, esteem and respect, in the footsteps of my predecessors Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI. This dialogue was prepared for and supported by the work of the then apostolic delegate, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who went on to become Saint John XXIII, and by the Second Vatican Council”.
The Pope reiterated the need for a dialogue to “deepen the understanding and appreciation of the many things which we hold in common. Such a dialogue will allow us to reflect sensibly and serenely on our differences,and to learn from them. There is a need to move forward patiently in the task of building a lasting peace, one founded on respect for the fundamental rights and duties rooted in the dignity of each person. In this way, we can overcome prejudices and unwarranted fears, leaving room for respect, encounter, and the release of more positive energies for the good of all”.
Therefore, “it is essential that all citizens – Muslim, Jewish and Christian – both in the provision and practice of the law, enjoy the same rights and respect the same duties. They will then find it easier to see each other as brothers and sisters who are travelling the same path, seeking always to reject misunderstandings while promoting cooperation and concord. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression, when truly guaranteed to each person, will help friendship to flourish and thus become an eloquent sign of peace.
“The Middle East, Europe and the world all await this maturing of friendship. The Middle East, in particular, has for too long been a theatre of fratricidal wars, one born of the other, as if the only possible response to war and violence must be new wars and further acts of violence. How much longer must the Middle East suffer the consequences of this lack of peace? We must not resign ourselves to ongoing conflicts as if the situation can never change for the better! With the help of God, we can and we must renew the courage of peace! Such courage will lead to a just, patient and determined use of all available means of negotiation, and in this way achieve the concrete goals of peace and sustainable development”.
Addressing the president, the Pope reaffirmed that “interreligious and intercultural dialogue can make an important contribution to attaining this lofty and urgent goal, so that there will be an end to all forms of fundamentalism and terrorism which gravely demean the dignity of every man and woman and exploit religion. Fanaticism and fundamentalism, as well as irrational fears which foster misunderstanding and discrimination, need to be countered by the solidarity of all believers. This solidarity must rest on the following pillars: respect for human life and for religious freedom, that is the freedom to worship and to live according to the moral teachings of one’s religion; commitment to ensuring what each person requires for a dignified life; and care for the natural environment. The peoples and the states of the Middle East stand in urgent need of such solidarity, so that they can 'reverse the trend' and successfully advance a peace process, repudiating war and violence and pursuing dialogue, the rule of law, and justice.
“Sadly, to date, we are still witnessing grave conflicts. In Syria and Iraq, particularly, terrorist violence shows no signs of abating. Prisoners and entire ethnic populations are experiencing the violation of the most basic humanitarian laws. Grave persecutions have taken place in the past and still continue today to the detriment of minorities, especially – though not only – Christians and Yazidis. Hundreds of thousands of persons have been forced to abandon their homes and countries in order to survive and remain faithful to their religious beliefs.
Turkey, which has generously welcomed a great number of refugees, is directly affected by this tragic situation on its borders; the international community has the moral obligation to assist Turkey in taking care of these refugees. In addition to providing much needed assistance and humanitarian aid, we cannot remain indifferent to the causes of these tragedies. In reaffirming that it is licit, while always respecting international law, to stop an unjust aggressor, I wish to reiterate, moreover, that the problem cannot be resolved solely through a military response. What is required is a concerted commitment on the part of all, based on mutual trust, which can pave the way to lasting peace, and enable resources to be directed, not to weaponry, but to the other noble battles worthy of man: the fight against hunger and sickness, the promotion of sustainable development and the protection of creation, and the relief of the many forms of poverty and marginalisation of which there is no shortage in the world today”.
The Pope concluded, “Turkey, by virtue of its history, geographical position and regional influence, has a great responsibility: the choices which Turkey makes and its example are especially significant and can be of considerable help in promoting an encounter of civilisations and in identifying viable paths of peace and authentic progress. May the Most High bless and protect Turkey, and help the nation to be a strong and fervent peacemaker”.
Indulgences for the Year of Consecrated Life
Vatican City, 28 November 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father, on the occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life, will concede plenary indulgences, with the customary conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to all members of the institutes of consecrated life and other truly repentant faithful moved by a spirit of charity, starting from the first Sunday of Advent this year until 2 February 2016, the day of the closure of the Year of Consecrated Life. The indulgence may also be offered for departed souls in Purgatory.
Indulgence may be obtained:
- In Rome, in participation in the international meetings and celebrations established in the calendar of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, and pious reflection on for a suitable period of time, concluding with the Lord's Prayer, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate approved form, and invocations of the Virgin Mary;
- In all the particular Churches, during the days devoted to consecrated life in the diocese, and during diocesan celebrations organised for the Year of Consecrated Life, by visiting the cathedral or another sacred place designated with the consent of the Ordinary of the place, or a convent church or oratory of a cloistered monastery, and publicly reciting the Liturgy of the Hours or through a suitable period of time of devout reflection, concluding with the Lord's Prayer, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate approved form, and pious invocations of the Virgin Mary.
Members of the Institutes of Consecrated Life who, on account of ill health or other serious reasons are prevented from visiting these sacred places, may nonetheless receive Plenary Indulgence if, completely detached from any type of sin and with the intention of being able to fulfil the three usual conditions as soon as possible, devoutly carry out the spiritual visit and offer their illness and the hardships of their life to God the merciful through Mary, with the addition of the prayers as above.
To facilitate this access to divine grace by means of pastoral charity, the Apostolic Penitentiary Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, who signed the decree, asks that the canons, members of the Chapter, the priests of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and all others able to hear confessions offer themselves willingly and generously to the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and regularly administer Holy Communion to the sick.
Notice
Vatican City, 28 November 2014 (VIS) – Special editions of the VIS bulletin will be transmitted on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November, on the occasion of Pope Francis' apostolic trip to Turkey.
27-11-2014 - Year XXII - Num. 210 

Serve new wine in new wineskins says the Pope to representatives of consecrated life
Vatican City, 27 November 2014 (VIS) – The Congregration for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life celebrated their plenary assembly reflecting on the current state of consecrated life in the Church, fifty years after the Conciliar documents “Lumen gentium” and “Perfectae caritatis”. The theme chosen was “New wine in new wineskins”, and Pope Francis, who received eighty participants in audience this morning, based his discourse on the multiple meanings of this phrase.
“In the part of the Lord's vineyard selected by those who have chosen to imitate Christ more closely through the profession of evangelical counsels, new grapes are matured and new wine is obtained”, said the Holy Father. “In these days you have been offered the chance to discern the quality and ageing of the 'new wine' that has been produced during the long season of renewal, and at the same time to evaluate whether the wineskins that contain it, represented by the institutional forms present today in consecrated life, are adequate to contain this 'new wine' and to favour its full maturation. As I have recalled many times, we must not be afraid of setting aside the 'old wineskins': of renewing those habits and those structures that, in the life of the Church and therefore also in consecrated life, we realise no longer respond to what God asks of us today to further His Kingdom in the world: the structures that give us false protection and that condition the dynamism of charity; the habits that distance us from the flock to which we are sent and prevent us from hearing the cry of those who await the Good News of Jesus Christ”.
“You do not hide those areas of weakness that it is possible to find today in consecrated life (such as the resistance to change of certain sectors, the diminished power of attraction, the not insignificant number of those who abandon the vocation, the fragility of certain formative itineraries, concern for institutional and ministerial tasks at the expense of spiritual life, the difficult integration of cultural and generational diversity, and a problematic balance in the exercise of authority and the use of goods), but you wish to continue to listen for signals from the Spirit, that opens up new horizons and leads to new paths, always starting out from the supreme rule of the Gospel and inspired by the bold creativity of your founders”.
The Pope went on to list the criteria to follow for guidance in the “arduous task of evaluating the new wine and testing the quality of the wineskins”: the evangelical originality of the choices, charismatic fidelity, the primary of service, attention to the least and most fragile, and respect for the dignity of every person.
He encouraged those present to “continue to work with generosity and resourcefulness in the Lord's vineyard”, to obtain “that generous wine that will be able to reinvigorate the life of the Church and to bring cheer to the heart of the many brothers and sisters in need of your care”, and he underlined that “even the substitution of old for new wineskins … does not take place automatically, but requires commitment and ability, to offer the suitable space for welcoming and bringing to fruition the new gifts with which the Spirit continues to embellish the Church, His spouse”. He concluded, “do not forget … to carry on the process of renewal that has been initiated and to a great extent accomplished in these fifty years, examining every novelty in the light of the Word of God and in listening to the needs of the Church and of the contemporary world”.
Migrants and the poor, dual challenge of urban pastoral ministry
Vatican City, 27 November 2014 (VIS) – This morning, in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the second phase of the International Pastoral Congress on the World's Big Cities, held in Barcelona, Spain from 24 to 26 November. The Holy Father took the opportunity to explore in depth four challenges and possible prospects for urban pastoral ministry. “The places where God is calling us to … and the aspects to which we should pay special attention”.
Firstly, he mentioned the need to “implement a change in our pastoral mentality”. We are no longer in the era “in which the Church was the sole point of reference for culture”. Previously, “as an authentic teacher, she was aware of her responsibility to outline and to impose not only cultural forms but also values”. He continued, “Today we are no longer the only ones who produce culture, nor are we the first or the most listened to. We are therefore in need of a change in pastoral mentality, but not a 'relativist pastoral'”, that in its wish to be part of the cultural mix, “loses its evangelical perspective, leaving humanity to its own devices and freed from God's hand. No, this is the path of relativism, the easy route. This cannot be considered as pastoral ministry! He who acts in this way is not truly interested in man, but instead leaves him to the mercy of two equally grave dangers: concealing both Jesus, and the truth of man himself, from him – a way that leads humanity to solitude and death”. Therefore, the Pope added, “we need to have the courage to carry out an evangelising pastoral ministry, bold and without fear, as men, women, families and the various groups that inhabit the city expect from us, and need for their lives, the Good News that is Jesus and His Gospel”.
As a second challenge, he emphasised “dialogue with multiculturality” and the need for pastoral dialogue without relativism, that does not negotiate its own Christian identity, but that instead seeks to reach the heart of others, of those different to ourselves, and to sow the Gospel there. We need a contemplative attitude, that without denying the contribution of the different sciences in understanding the urban phenomenon – these contributions are important – seeks to discover the foundation of cultures, that in their deepest core are always open to and thirst for God”. To face this challenge, Francis underlined that it would help us greatly to know the “invisible cities, the groups or human territories that are identified by their symbols, languages, rites and ways of narrating life”.
“The religiosity of the people” was the third point he focused on. “We must discover, in the religiosity of our populations, the authentic religious substratum, that in many cases is Christian and Catholic. We must not fail to recognise, or regard with disdain, this experience of God that, although at times dispersed or mixed with other things, needs to be discovered and not constructed. He we find the semina Verbi sown by the Spirit of the Lord”. The Pope also commented on the many migrants and poor people who fill our cities, “pilgrims of life, in search of salvation”, who pose a “dual challenge”: that of “being hospitable to the poor and migrants, not generally the case in the city, which pushes them away, and of recognising the value of their faith”. “The urban poor”, who constitute the fourth point with which the Holy Father concluded his discourse, are “excluded and discarded. The Church cannot ignore their cry, nor can she enter into the game of unjust, mean and self-serving systems that seek to render them invisible”.
The Pope made two proposals for facing these challenges: to reach out to encounter God, “Who lives in the cities and in the poor”, to facilitate the encounter of others with God, making the Sacraments accessible, and to work towards a Samaritan Church, “with concrete witness of mercy and tenderness that endeavours to be present in the existential and poor peripheries, acting directly on the social subconscious, producing guidance and meaning for city life”.
To the Pauline family: take the breath of the Gospel to the most diverse cultures and social contexts
Vatican City, 27 November 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Pope received in audience the members of the Pauline Family, the group of institutions that encompasses the Society of St. Paul and the Daughters of St. Paul (Paulines), dedicated to the apostolate through means of communication. Founded by Blessed Giacomo Alberione (1884-1971), the Pauline Family is composed of ten members: five religious congregations, four aggregated institutes and an association of lay collaborators. This year it celebrates the centenary of its foundation and, to commemorate this anniversary, Francis invited them to renew their “commitment to living and communicating faith”, especially through the editorial and multimedia tools typical of their charism.
He also encouraged them to continue the path their founder opened up and which the Family has followed so far, “always keeping your gaze on broader horizons”, adding that we must never forget that “evangelisation is essentially connected with the proclamation of the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ, or have always denied Him. … Everyone has the right to receive the Gospel. Christians have the duty of announcing it without excluding anyone. This impulse to move towards the people, but also to existential peripheries, this 'Catholic' impulse, is something you have in the blood, in your DNA, for the very fact that your founder was inspired by the figure and the mission of the apostle Paul”.
Francis explained that Blessed Giacomo Alberione saw, in the announcement of Christ and of the Gospel to the masses, the most authentic and most necessary form of charity that could be offered to men and women who thirst for truth and justice”. He added, “you too are called to serve the people of today, to whom the Spirit sends you, with creativity and dynamic fidelity to your charism, identifying the most appropriate ways of announcing Jesus. … The imagination of charity knows no bounds, and knows how to open up ever new roads to bring the breath of the Gospel into the most diverse cultures and social environments”.
“Vatican Council II presented the Church to us as a population on the move … a vision that expresses Christian hope. … Therefore, our being a Church in progress, while it roots us in the task of announcing Christ and His love for every creature, also prevents us from being imprisoned by earthly and mundane structures; it keeps the spirit open and makes us capable of outlooks and demands that find their fulfilment in the beatitude of the Lord.
Holy Father's calendar for December 2014 and January 2015
Vatican City, 27 November 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has published the following calendar of liturgical celebrations at which the Holy Father will preside in December 2014 and January 2015:
DECEMBER
Monday 8: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At 4 p.m. in Piazza di Spagna, veneration of the image of Mary Immaculate.
Friday 12: Feast of Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. At 6 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for Latin America.
Sunday 14: “Gaudete Sunday” Third of Advent. At 4 p.m., pastoral visit to the Roman Parish of “San Giuseppe all'Aurelio”.
Wednesday 24: Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. At 9.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass.
Thursday 25: Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Central loggia of the Vatican Basilica, at12 p.m., “Urbi et Orbi” blessing.
Wednesday 31: Solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. At 5 p.m. First Vespers and Te Deum, in Thanksgiving for the past year.
JANUARY
Thursday 1: Solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. 48th World Peace Day. At 10 a.m.in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass.
Tuesday 6: Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass.
Sunday 11: Sunday after the Epiphany: Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. At 9.30 a.m. in the Sistine Chapel. Holy Mass and baptism of babies.
Monday 12 to Monday 19: Apostolic trip in Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Sunday 25: Solemnity of the Conversion of St. Paul. At 5.30 in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, Vespers.
Christians and Muslims condemn extremism and violence committed in the name of religion
Vatican City, 27 November 2014 (VIS) – The Centre for Interreligious Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue held their Ninth Colloquium of dialogue from 24 to 26 November in Teheran, Iran, under the joint chairmanship of Abuzar Ibrahimi Turkaman, president of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation, and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed on the following:
1. Two decades of dialogue between the abovementioned institutions have provided the occasion for better knowledge and mutual understanding;
2. The participants emphasised that Christian-Muslim constructive dialogue plays a crucial role in making a better society;
3. Spirituality is a both a divine gift and the fruit of a human journey leading to truth;
4. A genuine spirituality enables us to recognise God’s presence and action within ourselves and in the world;
5. The media are called to play their distinctive role in the promotion of positive relations between Christians and Muslims;
6. The participants condemned all kinds of extremism and violence, especially committed in the name of religion.
The participants decided to hold the next colloquium in Rome in 2016, which will be preceded by a preparatory meeting 2015.
Audiences
Vatican City, 27 November 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Archbishop Michael A. Blume, apostolic nuncio in Uganda;
- Archbishop Ramiro Moliner Ingles, apostolic nuncio in Albania.

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