January 21, 2015

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

Summary

- The Pope recounts his pastoral trip in Asia

- Appeal for Niger

- Inter-Christian collaboration in view of interreligious dialogue

- Other Pontifical Acts

The Pope recounts his pastoral trip in Asia

Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – Before proceeding to the Paul VI Hall for this morning's Wednesday general audience, the Holy Father, following a centuries-long tradition, blessed two lambs in the hall of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, whose wool will be used to weave the pallia imposed on the new archbishops on 29 June, on the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

During today's audience, Pope Francis gave an account of his apostolic trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. “I will always keep in my heart the recollection of the joyful welcome I received from the crowds”, he confessed. The culmination of his stay in Sri Lanka, he said, was the canonisation of St. Joseph Vaz. “His example of holiness and love for his neighbour continues to inspire the Church in Sri Lanka in her apostolate of charity and education”, he said, adding that the new saint represented “a model for all Christians, who are called upon today to offer the salvific truth of the Gospel in a multi-religious context. With regard to the meeting with the governmental authorities, he emphasised the importance of dialogue, respect for human dignity and efforts to involve all in finding suitable solutions for reconciliation and the common good.

He also spoke about his encounter with religious leaders, which confirmed the good relations that exist between the various communities. “In this context, I wanted to encourage the cooperation that has already been initiated between the followers of different religious traditions, also in order to heal with the balsam of forgiveness those who are still afflicted by the sufferings of recent years”.

In the Philippines, he noted “the constant fruitfulness of the Gospel and its capacity to inspire a society worthy of mankind, in which there is a place for the dignity of each person and the aspirations of the Filipino population”. He explained that the main aim of his visit was to express his closeness to those brothers and sisters who had suffered as a result of the devastation wrought by typhoon Yolanda. “The power of God's love, revealed in the mystery of the Cross, was made evident in the spirit of solidarity shown by the many acts of charity and sacrifice that marked those days of darkness”. He also mentioned the young volunteer Kristel, killed following his visit to Tacloban by collapsing scaffolding due to extreme weather conditions.

Francis went on to speak about his encounter with families in Manila. “I have heard it said that families with many children and high birth rates are among the causes of poverty. It seems to me a simplistic opinion. I can say that the main cause of poverty is an economic system that has removed the person from the centre and replaced him with the god of money; an economic system that excludes and creates the throwaway culture in which we live. … It is necessary to protect families, which face various threats, so that they can bear witness to the beauty of the family in God's plan”.

Finally, he spokes about his meeting with the young. “I wanted to offer them my encouragement for their efforts in contributing to the renewal of society, especially through their service to the poor and the protection of the natural environment. Care for the poor is an essential element of our Christian life and witness – because corruption steals from the poor – and requires a culture of honesty”, he concluded.

Appeal for Niger

Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – The Pope launched an appeal for prayer for “the victims of the events of recent days in beloved Niger”, adding, “Let us invoke from the Lord the gift of reconciliation and peace, so that religious feeling is not transformed into a cause of violence, oppression and destruction. I hope that a climate of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence may be reinstated as soon as possible, for the good of all”.

Inter-Christian collaboration in view of interreligious dialogue

Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday the annual meeting took place between the officials of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCDI) and the staff of the Office for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation (IRDC) of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The event enabled information to be exchanged regarding activities carried out during 2014.

The meeting also offered the opportunity to reflect on future partnerships between the two institutions, which have collaborated for some years now, in order to exchange information and with a view to joint initiatives for the examination of various issues.

The most recent initiatives include the presentation, in 2011, of the document “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct”, by the PCDI, the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- the following members of the College for the review of appeals to the Ordinary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, instituted by the Rescriptum ex Audientia SS.mi of 3 November 2014:

President: Bishop Charles J. Scicluna, auxiliary of Malta;

Members: Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA) and the Financial Information Authority (AIF); Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; Archbishop Jose Luis Mollaghan, emeritus of Rosario, Argentina; and Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;

Supplementary members: Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, president of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See and of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia.

-Rev. Fr. Daniel Elias Garcia as auxiliary of Austin (area 57,424, population 2,902,992, Catholics 536,183, priests 218, permanent deacons 207, religious 201), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Cameron, Texas, U.S.A. in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy, a Master of Divinity from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas, and a Master's degree in liturgical studies from St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of the “St. Vincent de Paul” parish in Austin and dean of the “Austin North Deanery”. He is currently a member of the presbyteral council, diocesan consultor, member of the Priests' Personnel Board, and vicar general and moderator of the Curia.

- confirmed the appointment by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin of Dr. Tommaso Di Ruzza as director of the Financial Information Authority (AIF). Dr. Di Ruzza is currently “ad interim” deputy director of the same institution.

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