October 1, 2015

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

Summary

- Francis praises the great spiritual and missionary heritage of the Comboni Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

- Migrants and refugees challenge us: the response of the Gospel of mercy

- Presentation of the Pope's message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees: “Emigration is not the juxtaposition of cultures, but rather an encounter of peoples”

- Decrees for the Causes of Saints

- Audiences

- Other Pontifical Acts

Francis praises the great spiritual and missionary heritage of the Comboni Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Vatican City, 1 October 2015 (VIS) – The Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus attending their general chapter were received in audience by the Holy Father in the Clementine Hall this morning. In his address to them, Francis spoke about the words that define their name and identity.

As missionaries, the Combonians are “servants and messengers of the Gospel, especially for those who do not know it or have forgotten it”, said the Pope. “At the root of this, the personal relationship with Christ … determines all of our existence and action; and it is experienced and nurtured above all in prayer, in staying by the Lord's side. … In this prayerful space we encounter the true treasure we give to our brethren through proclamation. Indeed, the missionary is the servant of God Who speaks, Who wishes to speak to today's men and women, just as Jesus spoke to those of His time. … In the Word of God there is the wisdom that comes from above, and that enables us to find the languages, approaches and tools suited to responding to the challenges of a changing humanity”.

As Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus, you contribute joyfully to the mission of the Church, bearing witness to the charism of St. Daniel Comboni, characterised by the merciful love of Christ's Heart for the defenceless. In this Heart there is the source of the mercy that saves and generates hope. Therefore, as you are consecrated to God for the mission, you are called upon to imitate the merciful and mild Jesus, to live your service with a humble heart, caring for the most abandoned of our time. … From that Heart you learn the necessary meekness to carry out your apostolic action even in difficult and hostile contexts. This heart, that so loved humanity, drives you to the peripheries of society to bear witness to the perseverance of patient and faithful love”.

Finally, the Pope expresses to the missionaries his hope that this general chapter might illuminate the path of the Institute in the coming years, helping it to “continually rediscover its great heritage of spirituality and missionary activity. In this way you are able to trustfully continue your valuable contribution to the mission of the Church. May you be inspired and encouraged by the example of many of your brethren, who have given their lives for the cause of the Gospel, willing even to offer the supreme witness of blood. Indeed, it is well known that the Combonian Institute is distinguished by an uninterrupted chain of martyrs, up to our times. They are a fruitful seed in spreading God's Kingdom, and protectors of your apostolic efforts”.

Migrants and refugees challenge us: the response of the Gospel of mercy

Vatican City, 1 October 2015 (VIS) – “Migrants and refugees challenge us: the response of the Gospel of mercy” is the title of the Holy Father's message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to be held on 17 January 2016. The document, the full text of which is given below, was signed in the Vatican on 12 September, memorial of the Holy Name of Mary.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters, in the Bull of indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy I noted that 'at times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives'. God’s love is meant to reach out to each and every person. Those who welcome the Father’s embrace, for their part, become so many other open arms and embraces, enabling every person to feel loved like a child and 'at home' as part of the one human family. God’s fatherly care extends to everyone, like the care of a shepherd for his flock, but it is particularly concerned for the needs of the sheep who are wounded, weary or ill. Jesus told us that the Father stoops to help those overcome by physical or moral poverty; the more serious their condition, the more powerfully is His divine mercy revealed.

In our time, migration is growing worldwide. Refugees and people fleeing from their homes challenge individuals and communities, and their traditional ways of life; at times they upset the cultural and social horizons which they encounter. Increasingly, the victims of violence and poverty, leaving their homelands, are exploited by human traffickers during their journey towards the dream of a better future. If they survive the abuses and hardships of the journey, they then have to face latent suspicions and fear. In the end, they frequently encounter a lack of clear and practical policies regulating the acceptance of migrants and providing for short or long term programmes of integration respectful of the rights and duties of all. Today, more than in the past, the Gospel of mercy troubles our consciences, prevents us from taking the suffering of others for granted, and points out way of responding which, grounded in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, find practical expression in works of spiritual and corporal mercy.

In the light of these facts, I have chosen as the theme of the 2016 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 'Migrants and refugees challenge us: the response of the Gospel of mercy'. Migration movements are now a structural reality, and our primary issue must be to deal with the present emergency phase by providing programmes which address the causes of migration and the changes it entails, including its effect on the make-up of societies and peoples. The tragic stories of millions of men and women daily confront the international community as a result of the outbreak of unacceptable humanitarian crises in different parts of the world. Indifference and silence lead to complicity whenever we stand by as people are dying of suffocation, starvation, violence and shipwreck. Whether large or small in scale, these are always tragedies, even when a single human life is lost.

Migrants are our brothers and sisters in search of a better life, far away from poverty, hunger, exploitation and the unjust distribution of the planet’s resources which are meant to be equitably shared by all. Don’t we all want a better, more decent and prosperous life to share with our loved ones?

At this moment in human history, marked by great movements of migration, identity is not a secondary issue. Those who migrate are forced to change some of their most distinctive characteristics and, whether they like or not, even those who welcome them are also forced to change. How can we experience these changes not as obstacles to genuine development, rather as opportunities for genuine human, social and spiritual growth, a growth which respects and promotes those values which make us ever more humane and help us to live a balanced relationship with God, others and creation?

The presence of migrants and refugees seriously challenges the various societies which accept them. Those societies are faced with new situations which could create serious hardship unless they are suitably motivated, managed and regulated. How can we ensure that integration will become mutual enrichment, open up positive perspectives to communities, and prevent the danger of discrimination, racism, extreme nationalism or xenophobia?

Biblical revelation urges us to welcome the stranger; it tells us that in so doing, we open our doors to God, and that in the faces of others we see the face of Christ Himself. Many institutions, associations, movements and groups, diocesan, national and international organisations are experiencing the wonder and joy of the feast of encounter, sharing and solidarity. They have heard the voice of Jesus Christ: 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock'. Yet there continue to be debates about the conditions and limits to be set for the reception of migrants, not only on the level of national policies, but also in some parish communities whose traditional tranquillity seems to be threatened.

Faced with these issues, how can the Church fail to be inspired by the example and words of Jesus Christ? The answer of the Gospel is mercy.

In the first place, mercy is a gift of God the Father who is revealed in the Son. God’s mercy gives rise to joyful gratitude for the hope which opens up before us in the mystery of our redemption by Christ’s blood. Mercy nourishes and strengthens solidarity towards others as a necessary response to God’s gracious love, 'which has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit'. Each of us is responsible for his or her neighbour: we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they live. Concern for fostering good relationships with others and the ability to overcome prejudice and fear are essential ingredients for promoting the culture of encounter, in which we are not only prepared to give, but also to receive from others. Hospitality, in fact, grows from both giving and receiving.

From this perspective, it is important to view migrants not only on the basis of their status as regular or irregular, but above all as people whose dignity is to be protected and who are capable of contributing to progress and the general welfare. This is especially the case when they responsibly assume their obligations towards those who receive them, gratefully respecting the material and spiritual heritage of the host country, obeying its laws and helping with its needs. Migrations cannot be reduced merely to their political and legislative aspects, their economic implications and the concrete coexistence of various cultures in one territory. All these complement the defence and promotion of the human person, the culture of encounter, and the unity of peoples, where the Gospel of mercy inspires and encourages ways of renewing and transforming the whole of humanity.

The Church stands at the side of all who work to defend each person’s right to live with dignity, first and foremost by exercising the right not to emigrate and to contribute to the development of one’s country of origin. This process should include, from the outset, the need to assist the countries which migrants and refugees leave. This will demonstrate that solidarity, cooperation, international interdependence and the equitable distribution of the earth’s goods are essential for more decisive efforts, especially in areas where migration movements begin, to eliminate those imbalances which lead people, individually or collectively, to abandon their own natural and cultural environment. In any case, it is necessary to avert, if possible at the earliest stages, the flight of refugees and departures as a result of poverty, violence and persecution.

Public opinion also needs to be correctly formed, not least to prevent unwarranted fears and speculations detrimental to migrants.

No one can claim to be indifferent in the face of new forms of slavery imposed by criminal organisations which buy and sell men, women and children as forced labourers in construction, agriculture, fishing or in other markets. How many minors are still forced to fight in militias as child soldiers! How many people are victims of organ trafficking, forced begging and sexual exploitation! Today’s refugees are fleeing from these aberrant crimes, and they appeal to the Church and the human community to ensure that, in the outstretched hand of those who receive them, they can see the face of the Lord, 'the Father of mercies and God of all consolation'.

Dear brothers and sisters, migrants and refugees! At the heart of the Gospel of mercy the encounter and acceptance by others are intertwined with the encounter and acceptance of God Himself. Welcoming others means welcoming God in person! Do not let yourselves be robbed of the hope and joy of life born of your experience of God’s mercy, as manifested in the people you meet on your journey! I entrust you to the Virgin Mary, Mother of migrants and refugees, and to St. Joseph, who experienced the bitterness of emigration to Egypt. To their intercession I also commend those who invest so much energy, time and resources to the pastoral and social care of migrants. To all I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing”.

Presentation of the Pope's message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees: “Emigration is not the juxtaposition of cultures, but rather an encounter of peoples”

Vatican City, 1 October 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, and Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, secretary of the same dicastery, presented the Holy Father's Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, published today.

Cardinal Veglio explained that not only does the Day fit naturally into the context of the Year of Mercy, the point of reference for the Church during the coming months, but also in view of the current situation in which migration is assuming immense proportions and leading to tragedies throughout the world, it must be recognised that this phenomenon in all its forms challenges us to respond.

It is hoped that this year the Day, celebrated in all the Church and at both national and diocesan levels as the Jubilee Day of Migrants and Refugees, will therefore provide a concrete opportunity for all the Christian community to reflect, pray and act. “Migration especially affects the local Churches, as they are closest to migrants and refugees. There we meet these people face to face and it is at that level that our encounter can truly assume a dimension nature”.

“We cannot remain indifferent or in silence when faced with so many tragedies. We cannot fail to express our heartfelt pain before so many situations of suffering – they are men and women, often poor, hungry, persecuted, spiritually or physically wounded, exploited or victims of war – who seek a better life. … This is the basis of the theme chosen for the Holy Father for the next Day”, added Cardinal Veglio, who went on to outline the issues in the Pope's document that challenge both individuals and the community as a whole.

Firstly, the text refers to the humanitarian crisis in the context of migration that affects not only Europe, but the entire world. This fact, as the Holy Father writes, “necessitates deeper study of the situation to enable us to better understand the causes of migrations, along with the consequences both in the destinations and from a global perspective, and therefore to face the phenomenon in the correct way ensuring the protection of human dignity”.

Secondly, the Message highlights the question of identity. “The arrival of immigrants in a new social context requires a process of mutual adaptation to the new situation”, the Cardinal observed. “Integration in the new society also requires inner strength demanding changes in elements of one's identity to adapt to the new social and cultural context”. Similarly, the arrival of migrants “seriously challenges the various societies who receive them, so that the process of insertion and integration respects values that make us ever more humane and help us to live a balanced relationship with God, others and creation , but at the same time allow migrants to contribute to the growth of the society that receive them. The Holy Father invites us to find a delicate balance between the two extremes, avoiding the creation of a cultural ghetto on the one hand, and any trace of extreme nationalism or xenophobia on the other”.

The Message also highlights the theme of welcome, emphasising that the Church has a prophetic word in encouraging welcome, that resonates in the various acts and works that the Christian communities carry out.

Faced with these problems and questions, the Pope affirms that “the response of the Gospel is mercy”. Mercy leads to solidarity with others and to cultivating a culture of encounter; “it challenges all of us so that everyone is willing not only to give but also to receive from others, and tends to build communion and unity”.

“The complexity of migration makes it difficult to separate the different political legislative, humanitarian and security aspects”, emphasised the prelate. “The perspective of the culture of encounter implies looking at the migrant as a whole, with all of his or her aspects. … In this way the presence of migrants becomes not a mere juxtaposition of different cultures in the same territory, but rather an encounter of peoples, where the proclamation of the Gospel inspires and encourages routes towards the renewal and transformation of all humanity”.

The third issue considered by the Holy Father in his Message is the defence of every person’s right to live with dignity, remaining in his or her homeland. … Every person has the right to emigrate – it is one of the fundamental rights ascribed to every human being. But beyond and before this, the right not to have to emigrate should be reaffirmed – that is, to be in the condition of being able to remain in one's homeland. First of all this implies the need to help those countries migrants and refugees leave behind. … The need for a response is not limited only to the war against smugglers or the tightening of immigration legislation, but must also consider that those who enjoy prosperity should ensure that the poor and needy (both individuals and nations) have the means with which to respond to their needs and to undertake a path of development through an equitable distribution of the planet’s resources”.

Finally, the Pope mentions the responsibility of the media and the importance of those who contribute to “unmasking false prejudices regarding migration, presenting it as truthfully as possible”.

Decrees for the Causes of Saints

Vatican City, 1 October 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday, 30 September, the Holy Father Francis received in a private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:

MARTYRDOM

- Servant of God Valentin Palencia Marquina, Spanish diocesan priest, killed in hatred of the faith in Suances, Spain in 1937;

HEROIC VIRTUES

- Servant of God Giovanni Folci, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Opera Divin Prigioniero (1890-1963);

- Servant of God Franciszek Blachnicki, Polish diocesan priest (1921-1987);

- Servant of God Jose Rivera Ramirez, Spanish diocesan priest (1925-1991);

- Servant of God Juan Manuel Martín del Campo, Mexican diocesan priest (1917-1996);

- Servant of God Antonio Filomeno Maria Losito, Italian professed priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (1838-1917);

- Servant of God Maria Benedetta Giuseppa Frey (nee Ersilia Penelope), Italian professed nun of the Cistercian Order (1836-1913);

- Servant of God Hanna Chrzanowska, Polish layperson, Oblate of the Ursulines of St. Benedict (1902-1973).

Audiences

Vatican City, 1 October 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Francisco Jose Ottonelli, ambassador of Uruguay, presenting his Credential Letters;

- Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela, honorary president of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela, with:

- Archbishop Diego Rafael Padron Sanchez of Cumana, president of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela;

- Bishop Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas, first deputy president;

- Bishop Mario del Valle Moronta Rodriguez of San Cristobal de Venezuela, second deputy president;

- Rev. Victor Hugo Basabe, secretary general.

- Filip Vucak, ambassador of Croatia, on his farewell visit.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 1 October 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Msgr. Luigi Renna as bishop of Cerignola-Ascoli Satriano (area 1,327, population 110,889, Catholics 101,672, priests 58, permanent deacons 14, religious 87), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in 1966 in Corato, Italy, and was ordained a priest in 1991. He holds a licentiate in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and a doctorate from the Pontifical Lateran University. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles in the diocese of Andria, Italy, including vice rector of the episcopal seminary; director of the diocesan “Msgr. Di Donna” school of formation; rector of the diocesan minor seminary, and lecturer in moral theology at the Pugliese Theological Faculty in Molfetta. He is currently canon of the cathedral chapter of Andria; director of the diocesan “San Tommaso d'Aquino” library; member of the college of consultors; director of the “San Luca Evangelista” diocesan archive; director of the school for training pastoral workers and rector of the Pius XI Pontifical regional seminary of Molfetta. He was named Chaplain of His Holiness in 2009.

- appointed Fr. Giovanni Roncari, O.F.M. Cap., as bishop of Pitigliano – Sovana – Orbetello (area 2,177, population 72,100, Catholics 70,000, priests 65, permanent deacons 9, religious 68), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in 1949 in Verona, Italy, gave his religious vows in 1972 and was ordained a priest in 1975. He holds a licentiate in Church history and has served in a number of roles in his order and as parish priest and delegate for the archdiocese of Florence for the lay apostolate. He is currently a parish priest, member of the college of consultors, episcopal vicar for the Florentine clergy and professor of theology in the Central Italy Faculty of Theology.

- confirmed the election of Rev. Sarkis Davidian as Armenian bishop of Ispahan (Catholics 2,000, priests 1, religious 12), Iran. The bishop-elect was born in 1943 in Aleppo, Syria and was ordained a priest in 1970. He has served as parish priest in France and Lebanon, and currently exercises his ministry as pastor in Armenia.

- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Cebu, Philippines, presented by Bishop Emilio L. Bataclan, upon reaching the age limit.

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