May 29, 2015

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

Summary

- Audience with the prime minister of Slovenia: continue constructive dialogue and the process of national reconciliation

- Plenary session of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation: people expect the Church to walk with them and bear witness to faith

- Pope Francis' prayer intentions for June

- The Financial Intelligence Authority strengthens the system of international cooperation

- Audiences

- Other Pontifical Acts

Audience with the prime minister of Slovenia: continue constructive dialogue and the process of national reconciliation

Vatican City, 29 May 2015 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience the prime minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Miro Cerar, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.

In the cordial discussions the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Slovenia were highlighted, and the Parties confirmed their common will to continue constructive dialogue on bilateral themes regarding the relations between Church and State, with particular reference to the process of national reconciliation, human and religious values, and joint collaboration to promote the common good of society and of the poorest.

Plenary session of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation: people expect the Church to walk with them and bear witness to faith

Vatican City, 29 May 2015 (VIS) – “New evangelisation means becoming aware of the Father's merciful love so that we too may become instruments of salvation for our brothers”, said the Pope this morning, as he received in audience the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, dedicated to the relationship between evangelisation and catechesis. Francis has entrusted the preparation of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy to this dicastery, so that it “is made clearer that the gift of mercy is the announcement that the Church is called to transmit in her work of evangelisation in this time of great change”.

These changes represent a “happy provocation” to respond to “the signs of the times that the Lord offers to the Church, so that she is able – as she has been for two thousand years – to bring Jesus Christ to humanity in our times. The mission is always identical”, the Pope observed, “but the language used to proclaim the Gospel asks to be renewed, with pastoral wisdom. This is essential both for it to be understood by our peers and to enable Catholic tradition to speak to cultures in today's world and to help them open up to the perennial fruitfulness of Christ's message. These are times of great challenges, which we must not be afraid of making our own. Indeed, only to the extent to which we are able to take them on will we be able to offer answers which are coherent by virtue of being elaborated in the light of the Gospel. This is what people expect of the Church today: that she knows how to walk with them, offering the company of witness of faith, creating solidarity between us all, and especially the loneliest and most marginalised”.

This awareness, which is sown into the heart of every Christian from the day of his or her baptism, “wishes to grow, along with a life of grace … and it is here that we find the great theme of catechesis as a space within which the life of Christians matures as it experiences God's mercy. This is not an abstract idea of mercy, but rather a concrete experience by which we understand our weakness and the strength that comes from above. … The help we invoke is already the first step of God's mercy towards us. … The Holy Spirit, the agent of evangelisation … opens the mind of the disciples of Christ to understand more deeply the commitment required and the forms by which substance and credibility can be given to witness”.

Therefore the question of how to educate in faith “is not rhetorical, but essential. The answer requires courage, creativity and decisiveness, to follow at times unexplored paths. Catechesis, as a component of the evangelisation process, needs to go beyond the merely scholastic sphere in order to educate believers, since childhood, in encountering Christ, living and working in His Church. It is the encounter with Him that inspires the desire to know Him better and thus to follow Him so as to become His disciples. The challenge of new evangelisation and catechesis therefore hinges on this cardinal point: how to encounter Christ, and the most coherent place to find Him and follow Him”.

Pope Francis' prayer intentions for June

Vatican City, 29 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for June is: “That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life”.

The Financial Intelligence Authority strengthens the system of international cooperation

Vatican City, 29 May 2015 (VIS) – The Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF) – Financial Intelligence Authority – of the Holy See and the Vatican City State has presented its Annual Report for 2014. The report reviews the activities and statistics of the AIF for the year 2014.

2014 has seen a continuous strengthening of the legal and institutional framework of the Holy See and the Vatican City State to regulate supervised entities, fostering international cooperation of the Vatican competent authority with its foreign counterparts and to consolidate the prevention and countering of potential illicit financial activities.

“With the introduction of Regulation No. 1, we have completed the prudential supervisory framework of the Holy See and Vatican City State,” said Rene Bruelhart, President of AIF. “By signing Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) with other Financial Intelligence Units of 13 countries, including Australia, France and the UK as well as with the Regulators of Germany, Luxembourg and the United States of America, we have also massively strengthened international cooperation.”

The reporting system has been consolidated after having received 6 suspicious transaction reports (STR) in 2012, 202 in 2013 and 147 in 2014. Such development is a consequence both of the full implementation of the legal framework and of the substantial improvement in the operational performance of the supervised entities with regard to the prevention of financial crime. 7 reports have been passed on to the Vatican Promoter of Justice for further investigation by judicial authorities. The number of cases of bilateral cooperation between AIF and foreign competent authorities has increased from 4 in 2012 to 81 in 2013 and 113 in 2014. “This continuous increase is a result of the systematic efforts undertaken by AIF as well as the strong commitment of the Holy See and the Vatican City State to cooperate actively with other jurisdictions to prevent and combat potential illicit financial activities globally,” said Tommaso di Ruzza, Director of AIF.

Since 2012, the number of declarations of outgoing cash above the amount of EUR 10,000 has steadily decreased from 1,782 (2012) to 1,557 (2013) and 1,111 in 2014. Declarations for incoming cash have also decreased from 598 (2012) to 550 (2013) and 429 in 2014. This is due to an increased monitoring by the competent authorities and the introduction of reinforced procedures at the supervised entities.

In the initial trimester of 2014, AIF conducted the first ordinary on-site inspection of the IOR to verify the implementation of the measures taken to prevent and counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism pursuant to Law No. XVIII of 8 October 2013. “The first on-site inspection of the IOR is an important consequence and a concrete sign of the effectiveness of the AML/CFT system adopted by the Holy See and the Vatican City State”, said Tommaso Di Ruzza. “To follow closely the implementation of and compliance with the new prudential regulatory framework by the supervised entities will be one of the key tasks of AIF in the near future”.

The inspection has shown no fundamental shortcomings at the IOR. As a result of the inspection, AIF has developed an action plan for the full and systematic adjustment of existing procedures to the required standards in accordance with Law No. XVIII.

Information on the AIF

The Financial Intelligence Authority is the competent authority of the Holy See and the Vatican City State for supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money-laundering and financing of terrorism.

Established by Pope Benedict XVI with the Apostolic Letter in form of Motu Proprio of 30 December 2010, AIF carries out its institutional activity according to the Statute adopted by Pope Francis on 15 November 2013 and to Vatican City State Law No. XVIII, of 8 October 2013, on transparency, supervision and financial intelligence.

In 2014, AIF signed MOUs with Argentina, Australia, Cyprus, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Peru, Poland, United Kingdom, Romania, San Marino and Switzerland. In previous years, AIF had already signed MOUs with Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the United States of America. AIF is a member of the Egmont Group since 2013.

Audiences

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

- King Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II of the Ashanti in Ghana, and entourage;

- Archbishop Roberto Luckert Leon of Coro, Venezuela.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Fr. Benny Mario Travas as bishop of Multan (area 98,705, population 38,400,000, Catholics 198,000, priests 16, religious 36), Pakistan. The bishop-elect was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a licentiate in canon law from Pontifical Urbanian University of Rome and has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles in the archdiocese of Karakchi, including vicar general, rector of the St. Pius X minor seminary, lecturer at the National Catholic Institute of Theology, judge of the ecclesiastical tribunal, and member of the college of consultors and presbyteral council. He is currently apostolic administrator of the diocese of Multan.

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