May 20, 2015

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

Summary

- Education, the natural vocation of the family

- The Pope joins the Catholics of China in prayer and recalls Christians persecuted for their faith

- Cardinal Parolin: when the future of the planet is at stake, there are no political frontiers, barriers and walls that can protect us from environmental and social degradation

- The Holy See at the 68th Assembly of the World Health Organisation

- Other Pontifical Acts

Education, the natural vocation of the family

Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) – The education of children as the natural vocation of the family was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square.

The Holy Father, first citing the words of St. Paul to the Colossians: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged”, emphasised the duty of parents to accompany their children step by step, without demanding the impossible, so as not to overwhelm them. He then went on to speak of the difficulties faced by mothers and fathers who often only have the opportunity to see their children in the evening when they return home tired after work – “those who are lucky enough to have work”, he added – and also referred to the even more critical situation faced by separated parents, inviting them to ensure that the conflicts between the couple do not have an impact on the children.

Francis also mentioned that the family has been accused of other things, including authoritarianism, favouritism, conformism, and emotional repression that generates conflicts. “In fact, a fracture has opened up between family and society, undermining mutual trust, and in this way, the alliance between family and society in the education of children has entered into a crisis”.

“There are many symptoms”, he continued. “For example, in schools this has affected relationships between parents and teachers. … On the other hand, there has been a proliferation of so-called 'experts' who occupy the role of parents even in the most intimate aspects of education … and parents are expected only to listen, to learn and to adapt. Deprived of their role, they often become excessively apprehensive and possessive with regard to their children, to the point of never correcting them. They tend to increasingly entrust them to 'experts', even in relation to the most delicate and personal aspects of their life, placing themselves in the corner. In this way, parents run the risk of excluding themselves from the life of their children”.

“How have we arrived at this point? Without doubt in the past parents, or rather, certain educational models, had certain limits. But it is also true that there are mistakes that only parents are authorised to make, as they are able to compensate for them in a way that is impossible for any other person. On the other hand, as we well know, life now spares us little time for speaking, reflection and exchange. Many parents are 'kidnapped' by their work and other worries, and they find themselves paralysed by the fear of making mistakes. The problem, however, is not only about talking. … Let us ask ourselves instead: do we seek to understand 'where' our children truly are on their path? Where is their soul? … And above all, do we want to know?”.

Francis underlined that the Christian communities are called upon to offer support to the educational mission of the family. “At the base of everything there is love, that which God gives to us, that “is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”. Even in the best of families, there is much to be endured, and it takes a lot of patience. Jesus Himself experienced education in the family”.

“Even in this case, the grace of Christ's love fulfils what is inscribed in human nature. How many excellent examples we have of Christian parents full of human wisdom! They show that good family education is the backbone of humanism. Its spread through society is the resource that allows us to compensate for the shortcomings, the wounds, the lack of paternity and maternity that affect the least fortunate children, and works true miracles”.

“I hope that the Lord may give Christian families the faith, freedom and courage necessary for their missions. If family education rediscovers the pride of its central role, many things will change for the better, for uncertain parents and disappointed children. It is time for fathers and mothers to return from their exile, and to fully resume their role as educators”, concluded Francis.

The Pope joins the Catholics of China in prayer and recalls Christians persecuted for their faith

Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) – Following today's catechesis, the Pope remarked that on 24 May Catholics in China pray with devotion to Our Lady Help of Christians, venerated in the Sheshan shrine in Shanghai. “In the statue above the Shrine, Mary holds her Son aloft, presenting Him to the world with His arms open in a gesture of love and mercy. We too ask Mary to help Catholics in China always to be credible witnesses of this merciful love among their people and to live spiritually united with the rock of Peter upon which the Church is built”.

The Holy Father also mentioned the initiative of the Italian Episcopal Conference, which has proposed that the dioceses, on the occasion of the Eve of Pentecost, remember the many brothers and sisters exiled or killed for the mere fact of being Christians. “They are martyrs. I hope that this moment of prayer may help spread the knowledge that religious freedom is an inalienable human right and raise awareness of the tragedy of Christians persecuted in our time, and bring an end to this unacceptable crime”.

Cardinal Parolin: when the future of the planet is at stake, there are no political frontiers, barriers and walls that can protect us from environmental and social degradation

Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a message to the participants in the conference “The New Climate Economy: how economic growth and sustainability can go hand in hand”, held today in the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, in collaboration with the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace” the World Resource Institute, the New Climate Economy and the embassy of the Netherlands to the Holy See.

The conference takes place in the context of two key steps in the preparatory process adopted by the United Nations: the UN Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda and the 21st conference on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris next December, to adopt a new agreement to face the adverse effects of climate change. “Both of them represent the serious ethical and moral responsibility that each of us has towards the whole human family, especially the poor and future generations”, observed the cardinal.

“When the future of the planet is at stake, there are no political frontiers, barriers or walls behind which we can hide to protect ourselves from the effects of environmental and social degradation. There is no room for the globalisation of indifference, the economy of exclusion or the throwaway culture so often denounced by Pope Francis.Of course, the path is not easy, since this ethical and moral responsibility calls into question the resetting of the development model, requiring a major political and economic commitment. However, as I said to the UN Climate Summit on 23 September 2014, 'the technological and operational bases needed to facilitate this mutual responsibility are already available or within our reach. We have the capacity to start and strengthen a true and beneficial process which will irrigate, as it were, through adaptation and mitigation activities, the field of economic and technological innovation where it is possible to cultivate two interconnected objectives: combating poverty and easing the effects of climate change'”.

Cardinal Parolin concluded by conveying Pope Francis' best wishes to the participants, and his hope that “the discussions and reflections of this Conference may contribute to further and deepen reflection on the meaning of the economy and its goals, as well as to finding ways to guarantee access to a truly integral human development for all, especially the poor and the future generations”.

The Holy See at the 68th Assembly of the World Health Organisation

Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) – Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers and head of the Holy See delegation at the 68th Assembly of the World Health Organisation, held in Geneva from 18 to 26 May, participated in the debate on the Ebola virus epidemic which has claimed 9,380 lives out of a total of more than 23,000 cases of contagion throughout the world, mainly in West Africa.

“The Holy See delegation wishes to note the importance and the timeliness of the theme for the general discussion”, said the archbishop. “The recent Ebola outbreak was a human and public health tragedy, which, among others, showed that the need to build resilient health systems cannot be over emphasised, as they are essential for the provision of universal health coverage and for a prompt response to outbreaks of disease”.

“Unfortunately, most low income countries, which are still afflicted by infectious disease and epidemics, have very poor health systems that need urgent intervention, if they are to respond to the health needs of the whole population. … This requires long-term commitment from national governments and international donors to support resilient health systems and to ensure universal coverage of health services, thus strengthening the capacity of national health systems to deliver equitable and quality health-care services, and also stepping up their ability to respond to outbreaks and to improve community ownership and participation. This means short and long-term investment in a number of key elements of the health system; particularly, improved primary health care, an adequate number of trained health workers, availability of medicine, appropriate infrastructure, update statistical data, sufficient public financing, public-private partnership and scaling up the number of well-equipped health posts and district hospitals. It is also a challenge to donors to make a shift from short-term program funding to long-term comprehensive health service financing”.

“The recent report on Global evidence on inequities in rural health protection, by the International Labour Office, revealed that more than half of the population in rural areas worldwide does not have access to basic healthcare, with many of them at risk of impoverishment or deepened poverty due to out of pocket payment for services. This is clear evidence that, in 2015, we are still a long way from universal coverage. For various reasons, there are strong inequalities in access to healthcare between the rural and urban areas, with the latter often more advantaged than the former which are most deprived. Embracing the recommendation of the report, my delegation wishes to note the urgent need to address this rural urban divide in the post-2015 Development Agenda, bearing in mind that “human life is always sacred and always has ‘quality’”.

“In many countries, the Catholic Church is privileged to be one of the primary partners of the State in providing much needed health care services to populations in remote areas, through its over 110,000 health and social-welfare institutions around the world”, he concluded. “It is therefore important to offer them the necessary collaboration and support so as to enable them to bring the services close and to render them accessible to poor people in particular. Indeed, in many low-income countries, the contribution of civil society and communities to health services delivery is fundamental”.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 20 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Alto Solimoes, Brazil, presented by Bishop Evangelista Alcimar Caldas Magalhaes, O.F.M. Cap., upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Adolfo Zon Pereira, S.X., coadjutor of the same diocese.

- appointed Fr. Paulo Jackson Nobrego de Sousa as bishop of Garanhuns (area 8,734, population 677,000, Catholics 609,000, priests 60, permanent deacons 7, religious 94), France. The bishop-elect was born in Sao Jose de Espinharas, Brazil in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a licentiate in Biblical Sciences from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, and a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Patos, Brazil, including parish administrator, parish vicar, rector of the diocesan seminary, formator of major seminarians at the archdiocesan seminary of Joao Pessoa, diocesan pastoral coordinator, and parish priest. He has also served as national secretary of the Organisation of Seminaries and Philosophical and Theological Institutes of Brazil. He is currently professor of sacred scripture at the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, parish priest of the “Senhor Bom Jesus do Horto” parish in Belo Horizonte, and formator of seminarians in Patos.

- appointed Bishop Laurent Dognin, auxiliary of Bordeaux, France, as bishop of Quimper (area 6,785, population 899,870, Catholics 733,000, priests 271, permanent deacons 33, religious 582), France.

- appointed Bishop Pedro Cunha Cruz, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as coadjutor of the diocese of Campanha (area 15,420, population 780,000, Catholics 762,000, priests 116, religious 181), Brazil.

- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Hamburg, Germany, presented by Bishop Norbert Werbs upon reaching the age limit.

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