September 30, 2015

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

Summary

- Pope Francis on his apostolic trip to Cuba and the United States

- The Pope recalls Blessed Klara Ludwika Szczesna, St. Rita of Cascia and St. Jerome

- Pope Francis' prayer intentions for October

- Papal Magisterium on communication available online

- Other Pontifical Acts

Pope Francis on his apostolic trip to Cuba and the United States

Vatican City, 30 September 2015 (VIS) – The catechesis of this Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square was dedicated to the Holy Father's recent apostolic trip in Cuba and the United States, which originated with his wish to participate in the Eighth World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia on 28 September. The visit was extended to include a visit to the United States, to the headquarters of the United Nations, and to Cuba, which was the first stage of his itinerary. The Pope took the opportunity to once again express his gratitude to the president of Cuba Raul Castro, the president of the United States Barack Obama, and the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, for the welcome they reserved to him, and to the bishops and collaborators in the organisation of the trip for their work.

The Pope recounted that he presented himself in Cuba, “a land rich in natural beauty, culture and faith”, as a “Missionary of Mercy”. “God's mercy is greater than any affliction, any conflict, any ideology; and with this gaze of mercy I was able to embrace the entire Cuban population, at home and abroad, looking beyond any division. The symbol of this deep unity is Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, … Patroness of Cuba, … Mother of Hope … who guides us on the path of justice, peace, freedom and reconciliation. … I was able to share with the Cuban people the hope of fulfilling the prophecy of St. John Paul II: that Cuba will open up to the world, and the world will open up to Cuba. No more closure, no more exploitation of the poor, but instead freedom and dignity. It is the path that draws strength from the Christian roots of the people, who have suffered greatly”.

After Cuba, the Pope proceeded the United States. “A symbolic step, a bridge that, thanks be to God, is being rebuilt”, he commented, adding that “God always wants to build bridges; we are the ones who build walls. But walls always fall down”.

He then spoke about the three phases of his trip to the United States: Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia. In Washington D.C. he met not only with the political authorities, but also the clergy, the poor and the marginalised. He remarked that the greatest wealth of the country and her people is her “spiritual and ethical heritage. And so, I wanted to encourage to continuation of social construction faithful to the United States' fundamental principle, that all men are created by God, equal and endowed with inalienable rights, such as life, liberty an the pursuit of happiness. These values, that may be shared by all, find their fulfilment in the Gospel, as was clearly shown by the canonisation of the Franciscan Fr. Junipero Serra, the great evangeliser of California. St. Junipero shows us the way to joy: going forth and sharing Christ's love with others. This is the way of Christians, but also of any person who has known love: not to keep it to oneself but to share it with others. The United States of America have grown on this religious and moral base, and on this base they can continue to be a land of freedom, welcome and cooperation for a more just and fraternal world”.

Turning to the second phase of the trip, in New York, the Pope recalled his address to the representatives of nations at the General Assembly of the United Nations, in which he renewed the Catholic Church's commitment to support the institution and “its role in the promotion of development and peace, especially with regard to the need for joint and active commitment to care for creation”, and highlighted his appeal “to stop and prevent violence against ethnic and religious minorities and against civil populations”. The Holy Father recounted that he had prayed at Ground Zero for peace and fraternity, accompanied by representatives of various religions and families of victims of the 11 September attacks, and celebrated Mass for peace and justice in Madison Square Garden.

“In both Washington D.C. and New York I was able to meet various charitable and educational bodies, emblematic of the enormous service that the Catholic community – priests, man and women religious, and laypeople – offer in these fields”.

However, the climax of the trip was the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, “where the horizon extends to all the world through the 'prism' of the family”. He continued, “the family is the answer to the great challenge of our world, which is a dual challenge: fragmentation and solidification, two extremes which co-exist, support each other and together support the consumerist economic model. The family is the answer as it is the cell of a society that balances the personal and community dimensions, and at the same time the model for a sustainable management of the goods and resources of creation. The family is the protagonist of an integral ecology, as it is the primary social subject which contains within itself the two basic principals of human civilisation on earth: the principles of communion and fruitfulness. Biblical humanism presents us with this icon: the human couple, united and fruitful, placed by God in the garden of the world to cultivate it and protect it”.

The Holy Father concluded by greeting the archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, noting his great love for the family made manifest in the organisation of the event. “It is not by chance, but rather providential that … the witness of the World Meeting of Families came at this moment from the United States of America – that is, the country that during the last century reached the highest level of economic and technological development without renouncing its religious roots. Now these same roots are asking to be replanted in the family, to rethink and change the model of development, for the good of the entire human family”.

The Pope recalls Blessed Klara Ludwika Szczesna, St. Rita of Cascia and St. Jerome

Vatican City, 30 September 2015 (VIS) – After today's catechesis, the Holy Father greeted among others the Sister Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from Poland, who are currently in Rome, the “heart of the Church”, to give thanks for the beatification of Klara Ludwika Szczesna, co-founder of this congregation, in Krakow last Sunday. “By her life, the new Blessed taught us about giving oneself to God, humble service to neighbours, life according to the spirit of the Gospel, and sensitivity to the poor, to those in need and those who have lost their way in life. May her motto, “All for the Heart of Jesus”, be a challenge for all of us, so that we may live according to God's will”.

He also blessed a statue of St. Rita of Cascia, offered by a group of Lebanese faithful to the Italian archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia, which will be placed at the crossroads between the saint's birthplace, Roccaporena, and Cascia, where her relics are held. He invited all during the upcoming Jubillee of Mercy to “reread her extraordinary human and spiritual experience as a sign of the power of God's mercy”.

Finally, he recalled that today we celebrate the memory of St. Jerome, and said, “Dear young people, may his passion for the Sacred Scripture lead you to fall in love with the Book of Life; dear sick people, may his austerity bring meaning to your suffering; dear newlyweds, may his spiritual vigour strengthen the faith of your new home”.

Pope Francis' prayer intentions for October

Vatican City, 30 September 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for October is: “That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it”.

Papal Magisterium on communication available online

Vatican City, 30 September 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office a press conference was held to present the Baragli Project, entitled “The Church and Communication”. The speakers were Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Fr. Franco Lever, professor emeritus of the Faculty of Social Communication Science at the Pontifical Salesian University and consultor of the same Pontifical Council, and Paolo Sparaci, professor at the same university.

“The PCCS is very pleased to support the Baragli Project”, affirmed Archbishop Celli. “The primary function of the PCCS, in accordance with the mandate given to it by Vatican II, is to promote the importance of communications in the life of the Church. Communication is not just another activity of the Church but is at the very essence of its life. … This project is particularly valuable because it brings together, and makes available to a wider public, a long tradition of teaching and reflection by the Church precisely on the centrality of communications”.

“The material themselves are hugely significant as they show how the Church has, throughout its history, sought to engage with the changing means and forms of communication which have shaped culture and human society. This collection enables us to appreciate how the Church’s manner and means of expressing its message have been transformed over the years in order to take account of changes and developments in the dominant forms and technologies of mass communication. … What one sees is a constant effort on the part of the Church to ensure that the Good News of the Gospel is made known to its contemporaries in ways that are culturally appropriate and that fully realise the potentials of new models of communications and developing technologies. The publication of these materials on-line will provide the raw resources which will enable theologians and communications scholars to deepen their reflections on how the Church today should fulfil its responsibility to share its message with all people”.

Fr. Level explained that “'The Church and Communication' is an 'online digital library' [that] gives access to excerpts chosen from over 1,100 documents, translated into various languages, from the first to the twenty-first century; features a 'navigator' which helps to explore available online sources; offers a platform for reading and personal study; and provides an open environment for collaboration. The site is geared towards those interested in the subject, and especially those working in Church educational and formation centres which do not have large libraries”.

“After some years of preparation, the beta version in Italian is going live today and can be found at www.chiesaecomunicazione.com. The purpose is to share what has been put together so far, to gather feedback and to finalize development of the definitive version in the coming months”.

At the same time, he added that 'The Church and Communication' will always be a work in progress with respect to three areas of ongoing development:

“Expanding the archive: not only adding future documents of the Magisterium, but widening the range of documents presented, including those from episcopal conferences (Latin America, Asia, USA, Africa, Europe), together with particularly significant contributions from individual bishops (example, the works of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini in the field); consideration will also be given to documents from the Orthodox Church and the evangelical churches, especially the World Council of Churches and the Anglican Communion”;

“Creating a network of collaborators: an indispensable effort in order to offer translations of documents and background notes, also to discover new sources and evaluate their acquisition and inclusion”; and

“Offering new instruments and methodologies through the IPERNOTE publication platform, which features and tests new technologies which favour the shared reading and study of documents among a community of readers”.

He explained that the idea for this project was inspired by the figure and works of Father Enrico Baragli, SJ, (1908-2001), “a pioneer of the church in Italy with his study of the 'means of social communication'. … The origins for this project go back to 1998 when Father Baragli gave permission to Fr. Franco Lever to use his writings”, he concluded.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 30 September 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Francisco Carlos da Silva of Ituiutaba, Brazil as bishop of Lins (area 8,261, population 305,000, Catholics 223,000, priests 58, permanent deacons 11, religious 49), Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Irineu Danelon, S.D.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

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