May 8, 2015

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

Summary

- Pope Francis: sport is an educational path

- Programme of the Pope's apostolic trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay

- Statutes of the Commission for the Protection of Minors approved

- Publication of the Chirograph by which Pope Francis instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

- The Pope meets with a group of evangelical pastors

- Audiences

Pope Francis: sport is an educational path

Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) - “Sport is an educational path”, said the Holy Father this morning as he received in audience seven thousand members of the Italian Tennis Federation in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall. “There are three fundamental pillars for children and young people”, he added: “Education – in school and in the family – sport, and work. When we have all three of these, then there exist the conditions for developing a full and authentic life, thus avoiding those dependencies that poison and ruin existence”.

“The Church is interested in sport because she has man, the full man, at heart, and recognises that sporting activity has an impact on the formation of the person, on relationships, and on spirituality. You athletes have a mission to accomplish: to be, for those who admire you, valid role models. And you too, directors, trainers and sports workers, are called upon to give good witness to human values, as masters of a sporting practice that is always fair and clear”.

The Pope commented that tennis is a very competitive sport, but “the pressure to achieve significant results must never drive you to take short cuts such as in the case of doping. How ugly and sterile a victory is if it is obtained by cheating and deceiving others”.

“The apostle Paul uses the example of the athlete to illustrate an important characteristic of human existence”, said the bishop of Rome. “'Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it'. In a certain sense, this is your daily experience in tennis. But St. Paul refers to the challenge of giving an ultimate meaning to life itself. I would therefore exhort each one of you to play the game not only in sport – as you already do, and with excellent results – but also in life, in the search for goodness, true goodness, without fear, with courage and enthusiasm. Play the game with others and with God, giving the best of yourself, spending your life for what is truly valuable and which stands the test of time. Put your talents to the service of the encounter between people, friendship, and inclusion”.

Programme of the Pope's apostolic trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay

Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today published the programme of the Holy Father's apostolic trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay (5 to 13 July 2015).

The Pope will leave Rome's Fiumicino airport at 9 a.m. on Sunday 5 July and will arrive at the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, at 3 p.m. local time, where the welcome ceremony will be held. On Monday 6 he will proceed to Guayaquil to celebrate Mass in the shrine of Divine Mercy, after which he will lunch at the Colegio Javier with the Jesuit community. Upon return to Quito, he will pay a courtesy visit to the Ecuadorian president in the presidential palace and will subsequently visit the Cathedral. In the morning of Tuesday 7 July he will meet with the bishops of Ecuador in the Congress Centre of the Bicentenary park, where he will celebrate Mass. In the afternoon he will encounter representatives of schools and universities in the Pontifical University of Ecuador, and later, representatives of civil society in the Church of San Francisco, after which he will pay a private visit to the “Iglesia de la Compania”. On Wednesday 8, he will first visit the Rest Home of the Missionaries of Charity, and will then meet with clergy, men and women religious and seminarians at the national Marian shrine, El Quinche. On the same day he will depart by air for Bolivia.

Upon arrival at the airport of El Alto in La Paz, he will give an address and, following the welcome ceremony, will transfer to the Government Palace to pay a courtesy visit to the president. From there, he will go to the Cathedral of La Paz, where he will meet with the civil authorities, after which he will travel by air to Santa Cruz de la Sierra where he will spend the night. On Thursday 9 he will celebrate Mass in the the square of Cristo Redentor, and will meet with men and women religious in the Don Bosco school, after which he will participate in the World Meeting of Popular Movements in the Expo trade fair centre. On Friday 10 he will visit the Santa Cruz-Palmasola re-education centre and, in the same morning, will meet with the bishops of Bolivia in the parish church of Santa Cruz. The Pope will leave Bolivia from the Viru Viru airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, destined for Paraguay; his aircraft is expected to land at around 3 p.m. local time in the Silvio Pettirossi airport of Asuncion.

After arriving in Paraguay, the Pope will pay a courtesy visit to the president in the Palacio de Lopez, where he will also meet with the authorities and the diplomatic corps. On Saturday 11 July, he will visit the “Ninos de Acosta Nu” general paediatric hospital and will subsequently officiate at Mass in the square of the Marian sanctuary of Caacupe. In the afternoon he will meet with representatives of civil society in the Leon Condou stadium of the San Jose school. The day will conclude with the celebration of vespers with the bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, seminarians and Catholic movements in the metropolitan cathedral of Our Lady of Asuncion. Sunday 12 will begin with a visit to the people of Banado Norte in the Chapel of San Juan Batista, and Mass in the Nu Guazu field. The Holy Father will meet the bishops of Paraguay in the Cultural Centre of the apostolic nunciature, where they will then dine. His last engagement will be a meeting with young people at the Costanera riverside area. At 7 p.m. local time Francis will depart by air for Rome, where he is expected to arrive on Monday 13 July at around 1.45 p.m.

Statutes of the Commission for the Protection of Minors approved

Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) – On 21 April, Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, approved by mandate of the Supreme Pontiff, “ad experimentum” for three years, the Statutes of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the draft of which had been presented by Cardinal Sean O'Malley, president of the aforementioned Commission.

The Statutes will be published today in the Italian original and in English translation. The document is composed of six articles: Nature and Competence, Composition and Members, Plenary Assembly, Personnel, Working Groups, and General Norms.

The first part explains that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is an autonomous institution linked to the Holy See with a public legal personality and has an advisory function in the service of the Holy Father. The protection of minors, the text continues, is of the first importance, and therefore it is the role of the Commission to propose initiatives to the Pontiff, following the modalities indicated in the Statutes, to promote the responsibility of the particular Churches in the protection of all minors and vulnerable adults. These proposals will have to receive prior approval by the majority of two thirds of the members of the Commission. For the elaboration of the proposals, when the matter falls within the competence of other ecclesial bodies, the president of the Commission, with the assistance of the secretary, will consult the competent entities for the protection of minors in the particular Churches, the episcopal conferences, the conferences of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, as well as the dicastery of the Roman Curia competent in the matter. This consultation will take place in a transparent manner with the members of the Commission, based in Vatican City State.

The Commission, according to the second part, is composed of a maximum of eighteen members appointed by the Holy Father for a three-year period, which may be reconfirmed, and are selected from persons of recognised competence in various areas linked to the activity entrusted to the Commission. Both the president and the secretary are appointed from among the members by the Holy Father for a period of three years, a mandate that may be reconfirmed.

The plenary assembly, as explained in the third part, will be convoked twice yearly. Upon request by two thirds of the Members and with the consent of the president, an extraordinary plenary assembly may be convoked. For the plenary assembly to be considered valid, at least two thirds of the members must be present; they may participate via video conference.

The members of the Commission, the personnel and the collaborators with the working groups, according to the final part, are required to observe the norms of professional secrecy regarding the news and information they become aware of in the exercise of their tasks and functions.

Publication of the Chirograph by which Pope Francis instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) – To complete the publication of the Statutes, the Chirograph by which the Pope instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on 22 March 2014 was also published today.

“The effective protection of minors and a commitment to ensure their human and spiritual development, in keeping with the dignity of the human person, are integral parts of the Gospel message that the Church and all members of the faithful are called to spread throughout the world. Many painful actions have caused a profound examination of conscience for the entire Church, leading us to request forgiveness from the victims and from our society for the harm that has been caused. This response to these actions is the firm beginning for initiatives of many different types, which are intended to repair the damage, to attain justice, and to prevent, by all means possible, the recurrence of similar incidents in the future.

For these reasons, and after having received the counsel of many cardinals and members of the college of bishops, together with other collaborators and experts in these matters, I decided to continue the work begun by my Predecessors by establishing a permanent Commission attached to the Holy See. The aim of the Commission is to promote the protection of the dignity of minors and vulnerable adults, using the forms and methods, consonant with the nature of the Church, which they consider most appropriate, as well as through their cooperation with individuals and groups pursuing these same objectives.

As I had the opportunity to highlight during an encounter with several victims of sexual abuse, I rely on the members of this Commission for the effective protection of minors and vulnerable adults, regardless of religion they profess, because they are the little ones on whom the Lord looks with love. To my collaborators in this work, I ask for all efforts possible to assist me in responding to these needs of these little ones.

The Commission’s specific task is to propose to me the most opportune initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults, in order that we may do everything possible to ensure that crimes such as those which have occurred are no longer repeated in the Church. The Commission is to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches, uniting their efforts to those of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the protection of all children and vulnerable adults.

It is for all these reasons that I have instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

All that is established with the present Chirograph has full and stable effect, anything to the contrary not notwithstanding, even if deserving of special mention”.

The Pope meets with a group of evangelical pastors

Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father received in private a group of around one hundred Pentecostal evangelical pastors from various parts of the world, who had expressed their wish to meet him. The group was led by Pastor Giovanni Traettino, whose community the Pope visited in Caserta last year. The meeting took place in the room adjacent to the Paul VI Hall and was characterised by lively cordiality and a spirit of prayer for unity. The Holy Father was accompanied by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.

Audiences

Vatican City, 8 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy;

- Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., emeritus secretary of State;

- Cardinal Franc Rode, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life;

- Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

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