June 26, 2014

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

Summary

- YOUNG ASTRONOMERS, PROMOTERS OF PEACE AND JUSTICE

- MAY THE ORIENTAL CHURCH MAINTAIN THE CERTAINTY THAT THE FIRE OF THE PENTECOST PREVAILS OVER HATRED

- PRESENTATION OF THE INSTRUMENTUM LABORIS FOR THE NEXT SYNOD ASSEMBLY IN OCTOBER

- DELEGATION FROM ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE TO VISIT ROME

- AUDIENCES

YOUNG ASTRONOMERS, PROMOTERS OF PEACE AND JUSTICE

Vatican City, 26 June 2014 (VIS) – “Seeing all of you here today is like looking at a marvellous mosaic made up of people from throughout the world. It is only right that men and women everywhere should have access to research and scientific training”, said the Pope to young astronomers from 23 different countries who are currently participating in a course organised by the Vatican Observatory School in Astrophysics on the theme “Galaxies: Near and Far, Young and Old”, whom he received in audience this morning. “The hope that one day all peoples will be able to enjoy the benefits of science is one which spurs all of us on, scientists in particular”.

He commented that the Vatican Observatory School in Astrophysics is “a place where young people the world over can engage in dialogue and collaboration, helping one another in the search for truth, which in this case is concretised in the study of galaxies. This simple and practical initiative shows how the sciences can be a fitting and effective means for promoting peace and justice. Here too we see a further reason for the Church’s commitment to dialogue with the sciences on the basis of the light provided by faith: it is her conviction that faith is capable of both expanding and enriching the horizons of reason. In this dialogue, the Church rejoices in the marvellous progress of science, seeing it as a sign of the enormous God-given potential of the human mind, even as a mother rejoices and is rightly proud as her children grow in wisdom, and age and grace”.

The Holy Father encouraged those present to share the knowledge they have acquired about the universe with people in their own countries. “Only a fraction of the global population has access to such knowledge, which opens the heart and the mind to the great questions which human beings have always asked: Where do we come from? Where are we going?” he concluded. “The search for an answer to these questions can lead us to an encounter with the Creator, the loving Father, for 'in him we live and move and have our being'”.

MAY THE ORIENTAL CHURCH MAINTAIN THE CERTAINTY THAT THE FIRE OF THE PENTECOST PREVAILS OVER HATRED

Vatican City, 26 June 2014 (VIS) – The Pope embraces all the Churches of the East and is close to their faithful, whose tears, fears and hopes are also ours, a sentiment he manifested this morning, receiving in audience the participants in the assembly of the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches, also recalling the comfort, encouragement, and at the same time, the responsibility he encountered during his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

“The olive tree which I planted in the Vatican Gardens together with the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Presidents of Israel and Palestine, is a symbol of that peace which is secure and enduring only because it is cultivated by many hands. Those who would cultivate the plant of peace must never forget that God alone gives the growth. True peace, the peace which the world cannot give, is a gift to us from Jesus Christ. For all the grievous attacks it endures today, peace can always flourish again. I am grateful that you continue to 'make peace grow' through charity, which is the ultimate aim of all your organizations. With unity and charity Christ’s disciples strive to be peacemakers everywhere, in all peoples and communities, and to overcome persistent forms of discrimination, starting with those based on religion”.

“First among those called to be peacemakers are our brothers and sisters of the Oriental Churches, together with their pastors. Hoping at times against all hope, remaining in the place of their birth where the Gospel of the incarnate Son of God was first proclaimed, may they experience the blessedness reserved to those who are peacemakers: 'they will be called children of God'. And may they always feel the support of the universal Church and never falter in their conviction that the fire of Pentecost, the power of Love, can halt the fire of arms, hatred and vengeance”, he exclaimed. “Their tears and their anguish are ours, as well as their hope! We can express this through our solidarity, if it is one which is concrete and effective, capable of ensuring that the international community upholds the rights of individuals and peoples”.

Francis expressed the closeness of the Catholic Church to the brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq, along with their bishops and priests. “The Church is likewise close to our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land and the Middle East, but also to the beloved people of Ukraine in the critical situation in which they find themselves, and to the people of Romania. This closeness and concern is expressed in the works which your agencies carry out. I urge you to continue your generous efforts to help them. Your works of relief and assistance in nations most affected by these crises respond to basic needs, particularly of those who are powerless and most vulnerable, as well as the many young people tempted to leave their homeland. And since communities of Eastern Christians are present worldwide, you are working everywhere to bring relief to the displaced and to refugees, restoring their dignity and their security in full respect for their identity and religious freedom”.

Finally, Pope Francis encouraged the participants in the assembly to pursue the goals set in their last Plenary Session, especially those regarding the training of young people and teachers, and uniting them with their interest for the family, especially in view of the upcoming Synod on this theme. He concluded, “the Holy Family of Nazareth, 'which knew anxiety ... as well as the pain of persecution, emigration and hard daily labour' teaches us 'to trust the Father, to imitate Christ and to let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit'”.

PRESENTATION OF THE INSTRUMENTUM LABORIS FOR THE NEXT SYNOD ASSEMBLY IN OCTOBER

Vatican City, 26 June 2014 (VIS) – A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning to present the Instrumentum Laboris of the 3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (5-19 October 2014) which will focus on “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation”. The speakers were Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, and relator general of the 3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France and delegate president; Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, and special secretary, and Professors Francesco Miano and Pina De Simone.

Cardinal Baldisseri explained that the Instrumentum Laboris consists of three parts, conforming to the themes of the Documento Preparatorio. “The first, dedicated to the Gospel of the family, relates to God's plan, biblical and magisterial knowledge and their reception, natural law and the vocation of the person in Christ”, he said. “The difficulties that arise in relation to natural law can be overcome through more attentive reference to the biblical world, to its language and narrative forms, and to the proposal to thematise and deepen the biblically-inspired concept of the 'order of creation', like the possibility of reinterpreting 'natural law' in a more existentially meaningful way. Furthermore, the role of the family, 'fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another', is that of a privileged space for values such as fraternity, love, respect and solidarity between generations, where dignity is promoted, overcoming individualism and contributing to the common good of society”.

“The second part relates to the pastoral challenges inherent in the family, such as the crisis of faith, critical internal situations, external pressures and other problems. The responsibilities of the pastor include preparation for marriage, increasingly necessary nowadays to enable engaged couples make their decision in terms of their personal adhesion to faith to the Lord, to build their families on solid foundations”.

He emphasised that special consideration would be given to difficult pastoral situations, such as unmarried couples who live together and de facto unions, separated and divorced couples, remarried divorcees and eventual further children, single mothers, those who are in canonically irregular situations and non-believers or non-practising Catholics who wish to marry”. The prelate added that with regard to the phenomenon of unmarried couples who live together and de facto unions, increasingly widespread, “the Church has the duty to accompany these couples in the trust that they are able to bear a responsibility, such as that of marriage, that is not too great for them”. In relation to the question of remarried divorcees, whose irregular condition within the Church is a source of suffering, the Instrumentum Laboris “offers real knowledge of their situation, from which the Church is required to find solutions compatible with her teaching and which lead to a serene and reconciled life. In this respect, the need to simplify the judicial procedures for the annulment of marriage would appear relevant”.

“Regarding same-sex unions, a distinction is made between the contexts in which civil legislation is more or less in favour; there is a need for pastoral care on the part of the particular Churches in these situations, including matters relating to children who may be present”.

The third part first presents themes linked to openness to life, such as knowledge and difficulties in receiving the Magisterium, pastoral suggestions, sacramental praxis and the promotion of a mentality open to life. … With regard to the educative responsibility of parents, difficulty emerges in terms of transmitting faith to children, which is then made concrete in Christian initiation; finally, this is a matter of Christian education in difficult family situations, in which the effects on the children extend to the sphere of faith and methods of celebration of the sacraments”.

Cardinal Baldisseri mentioned that the themes not included in the document will be considered in the Ordinary General Assembly scheduled for 4-25 October 2015, based on the theme “Jesus Christ reveals the mystery and vocation of the family”. This will be the third stage in the process of reflection on the family, which began with the Consistory held on 20 February 2014.

Finally, he explained that the Instrumentum Laboris offers a vision of the reality of the family in the current context, which represents the beginning of a profound reflection, which will take place in the two stages of the Extraordinary General Assembly (2014) and the Ordinary General Assembly (2015), which are closely linked by the theme of the family based on the light of Christ's Gospel. The results of the first, the Extraordinary Assembly, will be used in the preparation of the Instrumentum Laboris of the subsequent Ordinary Assembly, which will be made known only after the publication of the final document, subject to the decision of the Holy Father.

Given the importance of the Synod, a Day of Prayer for the Synod will be held on Sunday 28 September, and the Eucharist will be celebrated every day during the work of the Synod in the Salus Populi Romanii Chapel in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

DELEGATION FROM ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE TO VISIT ROME

Vatican City, 26 June 2014 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity issued a press release today with the information that a delegation sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I will visit Rome from 27 to 29 June 2013 as part of the traditional exchange of delegations for their feasts of patron saints: 29 June in Rome for the celebration of the Apostles Peter and Paul and 30 November in Istanbul for the celebration of St. Andrew the Apostle.

His Eminence Metropolitan Ioannis (Zizioulas) of Pergamo, co-president of the International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, will head the delegation and will be accompanied by Archbishop Job de Telmissos and Patriarchal Archdeacon John Chryssavgis.

On Saturday, 28 June, the Patriarchate's delegation will be received by the Holy Father Francis and then will meet with members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. On Sunday, 29 June, the members of the delegation will attend a Eucharistic celebration presided by the Holy Father.

AUDIENCES

Vatican City, 26 June 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”.

- Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education (for Institutes of Study).

- Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello, apostolic nuncio in Hungary.

- Khetevane Bragation de Moukhrani, ambassador of Georgia, on her farewell visit.

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