November 19, 2014

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

Summary

- General Audience: We are all called to be holy

- New appeal for the Holy Land: building peace is difficult, but life without peace is a torment

- Cooperation and development in the pastoral care of migration must focus on positive aspects

- Other Pontifical Acts

General Audience: We are all called to be holy

Vatican City, 19 November 2014 (VIS) – As is usual on Wednesday morning, the Pope toured St. Peter's Square to greet the faithful and pilgrims awaiting him before the beginning of the General Audience. He dedicated today's catechesis to the universal vocation to sanctity, to provide an answer to the question, “In what does this universal vocation consist? And how can we fulfil it?”

“Firstly, we must take into account that sanctity is not something that we procure, that we obtain ourselves through our qualities and capacities. Sanctity is a gift, it is the gift that the Lord Jesus gives to us, when He takes us with Him and clothes us in Himself, making us like Him”, he said. “Sanctity is the most beautiful face of the Church: it is rediscovering oneself in communion with God, in the fullness of His life and His love. … It is not the prerogative of the few: sanctity is a gift that is offered to all, without exclusion, and which therefore constitutes the distinctive characteristic of every Christian”.

“To be holy”, he continued, “it is not necessary to be bishops, priests or religious. … We are all called to be holy! … It is by living with live and offering one's own Christian witness in our everyday occupations that we are called to become holy; and each person in the condition and in the state of life in which he finds himself”: consecrated persons, married couples, unmarried baptised persons, parents, grandparents, catechists, educators and volunteers. “Every state of life leads to sanctity, if lived in communion with the Lord and in the service of one's brethren”.

Pope Francis urged those present to examine their consciences, asking how they could respond to the Lord's call to sanctity. He emphasised that when the Lord calls us to be holy, he does not ask us to do something weighty or sad, but rather offers us an invitation to share in his joy. “If we understand it in this way, everything changes and acquires a new meaning, beautiful, starting from the little things of everyday life. … And each step towards sanctity will make us better people, free of selfishness and self-centredness, and open to our brothers and their needs”. He added, “we do not walk the path of sanctity alone, each for himself, but rather together, in that single body that is the Church, loved and sanctified by the Lord Jesus Christ”, and concluded by encouraging those present to continue on this path.

New appeal for the Holy Land: building peace is difficult, but life without peace is a torment

Vatican City, 19 November 2014 (VIS) – “I follow with great concern the alarming increase in tension in Jerusalem and other areas of the Holy Land, with unacceptable episodes of violence that do not even spare places of worship”, said the Pope following today's catechesis. “I assure a special prayer for all the victims of this dramatic situation and for those who suffer its consequences. From the depths of my heart, I appeal to those parties involved to put an end to this spiral of hate and violence and to take courageous decisions for reconciliation and peace. Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a torment!”

He went on to remark that on Friday 21 November, the liturgical memory of the Presentation of Mary Most Holy at the Temple, Pro Orantibus Day will be celebrated, dedicated to cloistered religious communities. “It offers a good opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of so many people who, in monasteries and hermitages, devote themselves to God in prayer and constructive silence, acknowledging the primacy due solely to Him. Let us thank the Lord for the witness of cloistered life and ensure that they do not lack our spiritual and material support in order to fulfil their important mission".

In his greetings in various languages, the Pope addressed the Polish pilgrims who yesterday celebrate the memory of Blessed Karolina Koszka, virgin and martyr, on the centenary of her death. “This young girl fulfilled her vocation to sanctity, dedicating herself to the service of those close to her through her purity of heart and fidelity to Christ unto death. May her example encourage all, especially the young, to seek ways to sanctity, even if this involves going against contemporary tendencies to seek an easy life, concentrating on selfish pleasure. I entrust the members of the “Pure Hearts Movement” to the protection of their Blessed patroness”.

Finally, the Holy Father greeted in Italian the young professionals, businesspeople and social entrepreneurs who are participating in the congress organised by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the Pontifical Universities of Rome, to promote approaches and attitudes to overcome social and economic exclusion. “I hope that this initiative may contribute to favouring a new mentality in which money is not considered an idol to be served, but rather a means for pursuing the common good”, he concluded.

Cooperation and development in the pastoral care of migration must focus on positive aspects

Vatican City, 19 November 2014 (VIS) – ““Cooperation and Development in the Pastoral Care of Migrations” is the theme of the 7th World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and taking place from 17 to 21 November. The meeting will be attended by more than three hundred people from 93 countries of all five continents, and will be structured in relation to three themes: the diaspora, migrants as partners, and the dignity of the migrant. In addition, during the conference eleven episcopal conferences will present their pastoral work with migrants and at the end of the meeting a final document will be drawn up, to serve as a guide for the next five years.

The Congress is so designed that each day is dedicated to a different topic within the wider context of the theme of this Event: “Cooperation and Development in the Pastoral Care of Migrations”. Our plan of action is structured in such a way so as to culminate, through the different conferences and further debates that elaborate on the key note addresses, in the personal exchange and the expression of concrete ideas and thoughts in the Working Groups of the afternoon. My dear friends, we are here not only to share our experiences and ideas, but to work together to elaborate recommendations and ideas that will be of assistance to each one of us in our pastoral care for the next few years.

The speakers in the inaugural session will be Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council, the Italian minister of the Interior, Angelino Alfano, and the director general of the International Organisation for Migration (OMI), William Lacy Swing. A text sent by Msgr. Antonio Camilleri, under secretary for Relations with States, will also be read.

Cardinal Veglio spoke on the challenges of the migratory phenomenon and the situations of emergency that require the attention of the international community, emphasising the risk that the destination countries receive migrants with hostility, distrust and prejudice. As a response to this problem he proposed two major lines of action: cooperation and development which, in the specific context of pastoral care, must accentuate the positive aspect of migratory phenomena.

The minister of the Interior, Angelino Alfano, acknowledged that migration constitutes a political and institutional priority, and affirmed that receiving and helping immigrants is a responsible decision that Europe must take “to demonstrate in practice that the protection of every human life is the first duty of a State that wishes to define itself as civilised and democratic”. The director of the International Organisation for Migration underlined the absolute priority of welcoming all immigrants and saving every human life, citing the example of the Italian “Mare Nostrum” project, and reiterated the need for more functional cooperation between the states of the European Union to better face salvage operations.

Finally, Msgr. Camilleri, in his discourse, referred to the Church's ongoing commitment to accompanying countries and peoples on their path, often troubled and full of the unpredictable aspects linked to dislocation, and underlined the urgency of combating phenomena such as criminality and violence linked to migration.

In his presentation of the Conference Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, secretary of the Pontifical Council, recalled that in the diaspora – “when migrants often leave behind their families and relatives in the hope of sending back remittances to better their economic and social status, and one day finding a way to help them migrate abroad as well” - there clearly emerges the theme of the family, whose care “requires not only cooperation between the country of origin and the country of destination, but also a strong cooperation between the Church of origin, and the Church which welcomes the migrant family”.

With reference to migrants as partners, he remarked that they contribute and cooperate substantially to the well-being and to the development not only of their country of origin, but of their country of adoption, and emphasised the need of improving public perception of migrants and immigration. He also spoke on the role of women migrants, whose movement in the past was closely linked to family reunification, whereas now they are “protagonists and leading players along with their male counterparts in the role that they undertake in today’s society”.

With regard to the final theme, the dignity of the migrant, the archbishop commented that it is a concept that derives from the acknowledgement that all persons are created in God’s own image and likeness and that religious, ethnic, social and cultural variables, citizenship or lack thereof, do not change this fact that gives any individual an inherent and immeasurable worth and dignity. The prelate concluded his presentation by noting the potential of young migrants in building social, economic, cultural and religious bridges of cooperation and understanding across societies and Church communities.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 19 November 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Rev. Fr. Hilario Gonzalez Garcia as bishop of Linares (area 33,453, population 407,000, Catholics 360,000, priests 42, religious 58), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He holds a licentiate from the Pontifical University of Mexico and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Monterrey, including spiritual director, prefect of studies in philosophy and vice rector of the major seminary; chaplain in various female religious communities; and executive secretary of the Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue of the Mexican Episcopal Conference. He is currently rector of the major seminary of Monterrey. He succeeds Bishop Ramon Calderon Batres, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Rene Bruelhart, director of the Financial Information Authority (AIF), as president of the same Authority.

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