June 5, 2013

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

Summary

- GENERAL AUDIENCE: CULTURE OF WASTE TREATS PERSONS AS IF THEY WERE GARBAGE

- SUPPORT PRIESTS WITH YOUR PRAYERS, BENEVOLENCE, AND GOOD COUNSEL

- POPE REPEATS HIS CONCERN FOR SYRIA: ASKS INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FOR NEGOTIATED SOLUTION TO CONFLICT AND HUMANITARIAN AID FOR REFUGEES

- TELEGRAM ON DEATH OF CARDINAL NAGY, EXPERT THEOLOGIAN

 

GENERAL AUDIENCE: CULTURE OF WASTE TREATS PERSONS AS IF THEY WERE GARBAGE

Vatican City, 5 June 2013 (VIS) – Pope Francis dedicated the catechesis of today's Wednesday morning general audience to the environment, noting that today marks the World Environment Day promoted by the United Nations.

“When we speak of the environment, of creation, my thoughts go to the first pages of the Bible, to the Book of Genesis, where it is affirms that God puts man and woman on earth 'to cultivate and care for it'. And the question comes to me:” the Pope said to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, “What does it mean to cultivate and care for the earth? Are we truly cultivating and caring for creation? Or are we exploiting and neglecting it?”

“Cultivating and caring for creation,” explained the Holy Father, “is God's indication, given not only at the beginning of history, but to each one of us. It is part of his plan. It means responsibly making the world grow, transforming it so that it becomes a garden, a place that all can inhabit.”

“Benedict XVI recalled many times that this tasked entrusted to us by God the Creator requires that we understand the rhythm and logic of creation. Instead, we are often guided by the arrogance of dominating, possessing, manipulating, and exploiting. We don't 'take care' of it; we don't respect it; we don't consider it as a freely-given gift to be cared for. We are losing the attitude of wonder, of contemplation, of listening to creation. Thus we are no longer able to read in it what Benedict XVI called 'the rhythm of the story of God's love for humanity'. Why is this happening? Because are we thinking and living 'horizontally'; we are drawing away from God; we are not reading his signs.”

“But cultivating and caring for doesn't just refer to our relationship with the environment, the relationship between humanity and creation. It also concern human relationships. … We are living a moment of crisis. We see it in the environment but above all we see it in humanity. The human person is in danger. ... This is the urgency of human ecology! The danger is serious because the root of the problem is profound, not superficial. It isn't just a question of economics but of ethics and anthropology. … The dynamics of an economy and finance that lack ethics are dominating.”

Speaking off the cuff, the pontiff added: “What is in charge today isn't the human person but money. Money is in command. And God our Father has given us the task of caring for the earth not for the money, but for us: for men and women. This is our charge. Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption. It is a 'culture of waste'.“

“If, for example, on a winter's night,” he continued, “a person dies here in [nearby] Via Ottaviano, that's not news. If in so many parts of the world there are children who have nothing to eat, that's not news. It seems normal. It must not be this way! And yet these things come to be normal … On the other hand, a drop of ten points on the stock exchange constitutes a tragedy. If someone dies that isn't news but a ten point drop in the markets is a tragedy! Thus people are discarded, as if they were garbage.”

“Human life, the person, is no longer felt to be the primary value to respect and care for … This culture of waste has also made us insensitive to a squandering and wastefulness of food … Consumerism has caused us to get used to the daily excess and waste of food, which we are no longer capable of seeing for its true worth, which goes well beyond mere economic parameters. Remember, however, that the food that is thrown away is as if we had stolen it from the table of the poor, from those who are hungry!”

“I invite you all to reflect on the problem of the loss and the waste of food … Let us all make the serious commitment to respect and care for creation, to be attentive to every person, to oppose the culture of wastefulness and waste, and to promote a culture of solidarity and encounter.”

 

SUPPORT PRIESTS WITH YOUR PRAYERS, BENEVOLENCE, AND GOOD COUNSEL

Vatican City, 5 June 2013 (VIS) – After his catechesis, greeting the faithful from the different language groups, the Pope welcomed the French-speaking pilgrims from the Antilles, Mauritius, and the Ivory Coast. He took advantage of the opportunity to note the presence of a group of imams from France who are engaged in interreligious dialogue. He also invited all, as he had already urged during the catechesis, to care for creation and for the human person.

He also greeted the seminarians and newly ordained priests from Poland, urging them to thank Christ for the gift of their vocation and to cultivate it “in the light and strength of the Holy Spirit, so that you will always be zealous ministers of God's grace and true guides of the paths of holiness.” He then invited all the Polish people to give thanks to God for their priests and to “support them with your prayers, benevolence, and good counsel.”

 

POPE REPEATS HIS CONCERN FOR SYRIA: ASKS INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FOR NEGOTIATED SOLUTION TO CONFLICT AND HUMANITARIAN AID FOR REFUGEES

Vatican City, 5 June 2013 (VIS) – This morning, shortly after 9:00am, in the sitting room of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Pope received participants in the coordination meeting between the Catholic charitable organizations that are acting in the situation of the crisis in Syria and its neighbouring countries. The meeting was sponsored by the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, whose president is Cardinal Robert Sarah.

“I would like to thank you for coming together,” said the Pope, “and for all the humanitarian work that you are doing to aid the suffering peoples of Syria and nearby countries owing to the conflict there. I encouraged the Pontifical Council Cor Unum to promote this meeting designed to coordinate the activities carried out by Catholic charitable organizations in the region. I wish to express my gratitude to Cardinal Sarah for his greetings. I offer a special welcome to those who have come from the Middle East, especially those representing the Church in Syria.”

“The Holy See’s concern for the crisis in Syria, and in a particular way, for the people, often defenceless, who are suffering as a result of it, is well known. Benedict XVI repeatedly called for a ceasefire and for a search for a resolution through dialogue in order to achieve a profound reconciliation between the sides. Let the weapons be silent! Furthermore, he wished to express his personal closeness this past November, when he sent Cardinal Sarah into the region, accompanying this gesture with the request to 'spare no effort in the search for peace' and manifesting his concrete and fatherly solicitude with a donation, to which the Synod Fathers had also contributed in October.

“The destiny of the Syrian people,” he repeated, “is a concern that is also close to my heart. On Easter Sunday I asked for peace 'above all for dear Syria, for its people torn by conflict, and for the many refugees who await help and comfort. How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there be before a political solution to the crisis is found?'”

“In the face of ongoing and overwhelming violence, I strongly renew my appeal for peace. In recent weeks the international community has reaffirmed its intention to promote concrete initiatives to bring about a fruitful dialogue designed to bring an end to the war. These initiatives are to be encouraged, and it is hoped that they will lead to peace. The Church feels herself called to give her humble yet concrete and sincere witness to the charity which she has learned from Christ, the Good Samaritan. We know that where there is suffering, Christ is present. We cannot pull back, precisely from those situations where the suffering is greatest. Your presence at this coordinating meeting demonstrates your will to faithfully continue this precious work of humanitarian assistance, in Syria and in neighbouring countries which generously receive those who have fled from the war. May your timely and coordinated work be an expression of the communion to which it gives witness, as the recent Synod on the Church in the Middle East suggested.”

“To the international community, besides the pursuit of a negotiated solution to the conflict, I ask for the provision of humanitarian aid for the Syrians who have been displaced and made refugees, showing in the first place the good of each human person and safeguarding their dignity. For the Holy See, the work of various Catholic charitable agencies is extremely significant: assisting the Syrian population, without regard for ethnic or religious affiliation, is the most direct way to contribute to peace and to the construction of a society open and welcoming to all of its different constituent parts. The Holy See also lends its efforts to the building of a future of peace for a Syria in which everyone can live freely and express themselves in their own particular way.”

The Pope also directed his thoughts at the moment “to the Christian communities who live in Syria and throughout the Middle East. The Church supports the members of these communities who today find themselves in special difficulty. These have the great task of continuing to offer a Christian presence in the place where they were born. And it is our task to ensure that this witness remain there. The participation of the entire Christian community to this important work of assistance and aid is imperative at this time. Let us all, each of us, think of Syria. There is so much suffering and poverty, so much pain of Jesus who suffers, who is poor, who is forced out of his homeland. It is Jesus! This is a mystery but it is our Christian mystery. In the beloved Syrians we see Jesus suffering.”

“I offer my gratitude once again,” he concluded, “for this initiative and I invoke upon each one of you abundant divine blessings. This heavenly benediction extends in a particular way to the beloved faithful who live in Syria and to all Syrians who have been forced to leave their homes because of the war. May all of you here present tell the beloved people of Syria and the Middle East that the Pope accompanies them and is near to them. The Church will not abandon them!”

 

TELEGRAM ON DEATH OF CARDINAL NAGY, EXPERT THEOLOGIAN

Vatican City, 5 June 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Cracow, Poland, on receiving news of the death there this morning of Cardinal Stanislaw Kazimierz Nagy, S.C.I., cardinal-deacon of Santa Maria della Scala. Cardinal Nagy was 91 years old.

“On hearing the news of the death of the venerable Cardinal Stanislaw Nagy, I wish to express to you, to the entire diocesan community, to the family members of the worthy prelate, and to the Congregation of Dehonian Fathers my heartfelt participation in their sorrow, affectionately thinking of this dear brother who generously served the Gospel and the Church, especially in the academic world, which appreciated this studious and experienced theology teacher. I recall with gratitude his fruitful collaboration, warm friendship, and mutually shared esteem with Blessed John Paul II, as well as his intense ecumenical activity. I pray earnestly that the Lord, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, welcome this faithful servant and eminent man of the Church to eternal peace and joy and I wholeheartedly impart to all who mourn his loss the comfort of the Apostolic Blessing.”

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