May 16, 2013

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

The following, in it's entirety, is a copyrighted transcript of the Vatican Information Service.

Summary

- POPE TO NEW AMBASSADORS: FINANCIAL CRISIS ROOTED IN REJECTION OF ETHICS

- POPE RECEIVES CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS' EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

- POPE'S MESSAGE COMMEMORATING EDICT OF MILAN

- AUDIENCES

- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 

POPE TO NEW AMBASSADORS: FINANCIAL CRISIS ROOTED IN REJECTION OF ETHICS

Vatican City, 16 May 2013 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the credential letters of four new ambassadors to the Holy See: Mr. Bolot Iskovich Otunbaev from Kyrgyzstan; Mr. David Shoul from Antigua and Barbuda; Mr. Jean-Paul Senninger from Luxembourg; and Mr. Lameck Nthekela from Botswana. In the address he gave them, the pontiff urged them not to forget the predominance of ethics in the economy and in social life, emphasizing the value of solidarity and the centrality of the human being.

“Our human family,” the Pope said, “is presently experiencing something of a turning point in its own history, if we consider the advances made in various areas. We can only praise the positive achievements which contribute to the authentic welfare of mankind, in fields such as those of health, education and communications. At the same time, we must also acknowledge that the majority of the men and women of our time continue to live daily in situations of insecurity, with dire consequences. Certain pathologies are increasing, with their psychological consequences; fear and desperation grip the hearts of many people, even in the so-called rich countries; the joy of life is diminishing; indecency and violence are on the rise; poverty is becoming more and more evident. People have to struggle to live and, frequently, to live in an undignified way. One cause of this situation, in my opinion, is in the our relationship with money, and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society. Consequently the financial crisis which we are experiencing makes us forget that its ultimate origin is to be found in a profound human crisis. In the denial of the primacy of human beings! We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.”

“The worldwide financial and economic crisis,” the pontiff observed, “seems to highlight their distortions and above all the gravely deficient human perspective, which reduces men and women to just one of their needs alone, namely, consumption. Worse yet, human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away. We have started down the path of a disposable culture. This tendency is seen on the level of individuals and whole societies; and it is being promoted! In circumstances like these, solidarity, which is the treasure of the poor, is often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and the economy. While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good. A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules. Moreover, indebtedness and credit distance countries from their real economy and citizens from their real buying power. Added to this, as if it were needed, is widespread corruption and selfish fiscal evasion which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The will to power and of possession has become limitless.”

“Concealed behind this attitude,” the Bishop of Rome warned, “is a rejection of ethics, a rejection of God. Ethics, like solidarity, is a nuisance! It is regarded as counterproductive: as something too human, because it relativizes money and power; as a threat, because it rejects manipulation and subjection of people: because ethics leads to God, who is situated outside the categories of the market. These financiers, economists and politicians consider God to be unmanageable, God is unmanageable, even dangerous, because He calls man to his full realization and to independence from any kind of slavery. Ethics—naturally, not the ethics of ideology—makes it possible, in my view, to create a balanced social order that is more humane. In this sense, I encourage the financial experts and the political leaders of your countries to consider the words of Saint John Chrysostom: 'Not to share one’s goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life. It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs'.”

The Pope asserted that “there is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and farsightedness, taking account, naturally, of their particular situations. Money has to serve, not to rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ’s name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centred ethics in the world of finance and economics.”

“For her part, the Church,” he reiterated, “always works for the integral development of every person. In this sense, she reiterates that the common good should not be simply an extra, simply a conceptual scheme of inferior quality tacked onto political programmes. The Church encourages those in power to be truly at the service of the common good of their peoples. She urges financial leaders to take account of ethics and solidarity. And why should they not turn to God to draw inspiration from his designs? In this way, a new political and economic mindset would arise that would help to transform the absolute dichotomy between the economic and social spheres into a healthy symbiosis.”

Finally, Francis greeted—through the ambassadors—the faithful of the Catholic communities present in their respective countries, urging them “to continue their courageous and joyful witness of faith and fraternal love in accordance with Christ’s teaching. Let them not be afraid to offer their contribution to the development of their countries, through initiatives and attitudes inspired by the Sacred Scriptures!”

 

POPE RECEIVES CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS' EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Vatican City, 16 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning, after celebrating Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel, Pope Francis met with the Executive Committee of Caritas Internationalis, with their president, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, for a presentation of their Campaign Against Hunger, which will be launched soon.

 

POPE'S MESSAGE COMMEMORATING EDICT OF MILAN

Vatican City, 16 May 2013 (VIS) – The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, is visiting Milan, on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, signed by Constantine and Licinius, respectively the emperors of the western and eastern parts of the Roman Empire, in 313. The treaty granted freedom of worship to Christians throughout the Roman Empire, putting an end to religious persecution.

For his visit, Pope Francis, yesterday afternoon, sent a message—through Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., to Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, with greetings to the Patriarch, the participants in the commemoration, as well as to the entire city, “for the importance given to the memory of the historic decision that, decreeing religious freedom for Christians, opened new paths to the Gospel and decisively contributed to the birth of European civilization.”

In the text, the Holy Father expresses the desire that, “today as then, the common witness of Christians of the East and West, sustained by the Spirit of the Risen One, will agree to the spread of the message of salvation in Europe and the entire world and that, thanks to the foresight of civil authorities, the right to publicly express one’s faith will be respected everywhere, and that the contribution that Christianity continues to offer to culture and society in our time will be accepted without prejudice.”

 

AUDIENCES

Vatican City, 16 May 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience seven prelates from the Puglia Region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

   - Archbishop Domenico Umberto D’Ambrosio of Lecce,

   - Archbishop Domenico Caliandro of Brindisi-Ostuni,

   - Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto,

   - Bishop Domenico Padovano of Conversano-Monopoli,

   - Bishop Vincenzo Pisanello of Oria,

   - Bishop Vito Angiuli of Ugento-Santa Maria di Leuca, and

   - Msgr. Luigi Ruperto, diocesan administrator of Nardo-Gallipoli.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

Vatican City, 16 May 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed as members of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences:

   - Dr. Phillippe Chenaux, Swiss full professor of History of the Modern and Contemporary Church at Rome's Pontifical Lateran University and director of that same university's Centre for Studies and Research on Vatican Council II.

   - Fr. Cosimo Semeraro, S.D.B., full professor of Critical Methodology and Modern and Contemporary History at Rome's Pontifical Salesian University.

The Holy Father also appointed Msgr. Michele De Palma, of the clergy of the Diocese of Molfetta-Ruvo-Giovinazzo-Terlizzi, Italy, as secretary of that same Committee.

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