April 11, 2014

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

Summary

- FRANCIS RECEIVES IN AUDIENCE THE INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC CHILD BUREAU: THE CHURCH WILL TAKE NO STEP BACKWARDS IN SANCTIONS AGAINST CHILD ABUSERS

- THE POPE RECEIVES THE ITALIAN MOVEMENT FOR LIFE

- POPE'S MESSAGE TO VENEZUELA: MAY UNITY PREVAIL OVER CONFLICT

- AUDIENCES

FRANCIS RECEIVES IN AUDIENCE THE INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC CHILD BUREAU: THE CHURCH WILL TAKE NO STEP BACKWARDS IN SANCTIONS AGAINST CHILD ABUSERS

Vatican City, 11 April 2014 (VIS) " This morning Pope Francis received in audience a delegation from the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE), instituted following Pope Pius XII's appeal for the defence of children following the Second World War. Since then, this organisation, "born of the maternity of the Church", as Pope Francis remarked, has been committed to promoting the defence of the rights of children, also contributing to the 1989 United Nations Convention and working in constant collaboration with the Holy See in New York, Strasbourg and above all in Geneva.

Francis, after stating that in a well-constructed society, privileges should only be for children and the elderly because the future of the people is in their hands", went on to comment on the theme of abuse of minors. "I feel that I must take responsibility for all the harm that some priests " quite a number, but not in proportion to the total " I must take responsibility and ask forgiveness for the damage they have caused through sexual abuse of children. The Church is aware of this damage. It is their own personal and moral damage, but they are men of the Church. And we will not take one step backwards in dealing with this problem and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, I believe that we must be even stronger. You do not interfere with children.

"In our times, it is important to implement projects against forced labour, against the recruitment of child soldiers, and against every type of violence against minors. On a more positive note, it is necessary to emphasise the right of children to grow up within a family, with a father and a mother able to create a suitable environment for their development and emotional maturity. Continuing to mature in the relationship, in the complementarity of the masculinity and femininity of a father and a mother, and thus preparing the way for emotional maturity".

"This means, at the same time, supporting parents' right to moral and religious education for their children. In this regard, I would like to express my refusal of any type of educational experimentation on children. One does not experiment on children and young people. They are not guinea pigs! The horrors of the manipulation of education that we have experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared; they have retained current relevance in various guises and in proposals that, under the pretext of modernity, compel children and the young to take the dictatorial path of 'unitary thought'". A great educator said to me, little more than a week ago, "At times, we don't know if these projects " referring to real education projects " are sending a child to school or to a re-education camp".

"Working for human rights presupposes keeping anthropological formation alive, being well prepared regarding the reality of the human person, and knowing how to respond to the problems and challenges posed by contemporary cultures and mentalities that are spread by the mass media. Obviously this does not mean seeking refuge in protected environments, which these days are incapable of giving life, which are linked to cultures that have already moved on. ". No, this isn't right. It means facing with the positive values of the human person the new challenges that the new culture presents. For you, this means offering to your managers and workers a permanent formation regarding the anthropology of the child, as it is there that rights and duties are based. This decides the approach to educational projects, that obviously must continue to progress, mature and adapt to the signs of the times, always respecting human identity and freedom of conscience.

"Thank you again, and I wish you well in your work. I am reminded of the logo of the Commission for the protection of childhood and adolescence in Buenos Aires. It was an image of the Holy Family seated on a donkey, fleeing to Egypt to defend the Child. At times it is necessary to flee; at times it is necessary to stop to protect oneself; and at times one must fight. But always with tenderness".

THE POPE RECEIVES THE ITALIAN MOVEMENT FOR LIFE

Vatican City, 11 April 2014 (VIS) " This morning in the Sala Clementina of the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father received 470 members of the Italian Movement for Life. The Pontiff thanked them for their work, especially for the "Progetto Gemma" (a form of prenatal adoption at a distance to assist pregnant women in difficulty) which, he said, "in these twenty years has enabled, through a particular form of concrete solidarity, the birth of many children who otherwise would never have seen the light of day".

"Human life is sacred and inviolable", he emphasised. "Every civil right is based on the recognition of the first, fundamental right, the right to life, which is not subject to any condition, of a qualitative, economic and certainly not of an ideological nature. Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' places a clear limit guaranteeing the value of human life, today we must also say 'No to an economy of exclusion and inequality'. This economy kills. " Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a 'throwaway' culture which is now spreading. In this way life too is discarded", continued the Holy Father, quoting from his apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium".

"One of the most serious risks of our age is the divorce of economy and morality, the separation between the opportunities offered by a market which has every technological novelty at its disposal and the basic ethical norms of human nature, which are increasingly neglected. Therefore it is necessary to reaffirm our solid opposition to any direct offence against life, especially when innocent and defenceless, and the unborn child in its mother's womb is the quintessence of innocence. Let us remember the words of Vatican Council II: 'Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes'".

"I remember once, a long time ago", he added, "I participated in a conference with doctors. After the conference I greeted them and while I spoke to them, one of them called me to one side. He had a package and he said to me, 'Father, I want to leave this with you. These are the instruments I have used to carry out abortions. I have encountered the Lord and repented, and now I fight for life'. He gave me all those instruments. Let us pray for this good man".

"Every Christian has the responsibility of this witness to the Gospel: to protect life with courage and love in all its phases. I encourage you to do this, always with an attitude of closeness and proximity, so that every woman feels considered as a person, listened to, welcomed and accompanied".

"We have spoken about children: there are many of them! But I would also like to speak about grandparents, the other side of life! Because we must also care for grandparents, because children and grandparents are the hope of the people. Children and young people, because they lead the people ahead; and the elderly, because they hold the wisdom of history, they are the memory of the people. Protect life in a time in which children and grandparents enter into this throwaway culture and are regarded as disposable material. No! Children and the elderly are the hope of a population!"

He concluded, "The Lord supports the activities you carry out as Help Centres for Life and as a Movement for Life, in particular the project "One of Us". I entrust you to the heavenly intercession of the Virgin Mother Mary and impart a heartfelt blessing to your families".

POPE'S MESSAGE TO VENEZUELA: MAY UNITY PREVAIL OVER CONFLICT

Vatican City, 11 April 2014 (VIS) " On the occasion of the initiation of the "Dialogue for Peace" between the government and opposition groups in Venezuela, in which the Holy See has been invited as a mediator, the Holy Father has sent a message to President Nicolas Maduro Moros, members of government, representatives of the Democratic Unity Roundtable and the chancellors of UNASUR, to express his wish that "unity always prevail over conflict": The message was read yesterday during the inaugural session of the event by Archbishop Aldo Giordano, apostolic nuncio to Venezuela. The full text is reproduced below:

"Firstly, I would like to thank you for your invitation to the Holy See to participate in the process of dialogue and peace for your beloved country. To each one of you I wish first o all to assure my prayers that the meeting and the process you are undertaking may bear the desired fruit of national reconciliation and peace, gifts we invoke from God for the entire Venezuelan population.

"I am aware of the disquiet and suffering experienced by many people and, while I express my concerns over what is happening, I renew my affection for all Venezuelans and in particular for the victims of the violence and their families. I am deeply convinced that violence can never lead to the peace and well-being of a country, since it always generates violence alone. On the contrary, through dialogue you are able to rediscover the common shared foundation that will lead you to overcome the current moment of conflict and polarisation, which so deeply wounds Venezuela, to find forms of collaboration. Respect for and acknowledgement of the differences that exist between the Parties will promote the common good. All of you, indeed, share the love for your countries and for your people, as well as serious concerns linked to the economic crisis, violence and criminality. You all have at heart the future of your children and the wish for peace that distinguishes Venezuelans. You all have in common your faith in God and the will to defend the dignity of the human person.

It is precisely this that you have in common and which presses you to undertake the dialogue that begins today, at the base of which there must be an authentic culture of encounter, that is aware that unity always prevails over conflict. I encourage you, therefore, not to stop at this current situation of conflict, but rather to be open with each other in order to become authentic peacemakers. At the heart of every sincere dialogue there is, above all, acknowledgement and respect for the other. Above all there is the 'heroism' of forgiveness and mercy, which frees us from resentment and hatred, and opens a truly new path. It will be a long and difficult road that will require patience and courage, but it is the only one that can lead to peace and justice. For the good of all your people and for the future of your children, I ask you to find this courage.

"With these sentiments I accompany the dear Venezuelan nation, and to each one of you I impart a heartfelt apostolic blessing, invoking the Lord's help".

AUDIENCES

Vatican City, 11 April 2014 (VIS) " Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

- Bishop Oscar Cantoni of Crema, Italy.

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