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Pope Francis sends telegramme on death of Cardinal Meisner

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 22:02
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a telegramme upon the death of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne, who died on Wednesday at the age of 83. “With profound emotion I learned that, suddenly and unexpectedly, Cardinal Joachim Meisner was called from this earth by the God of mercy,” the Pope wrote. The Pope addressed his telegramme to Cardinal Rainer Woelki, current Archbishop of Cologne. He said Cardinal Meisner was “dedicated to the proclamation of the Good News” with “profound faith and sincere love for the Church”. “May Christ the Lord reward him for his faithful and intrepid efforts in favour of the good of people of East and West.” Pope Francis closed the telegramme by imparting his Apostolic Blessing on all who “commemorate the late Pastor with prayers and sacrifices”. With the death of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the College of Cardinals stands at 224, 121 of whom are Cardinal electors. (from Vatican Radio)...

Pope Francis sends letter in support of migration info portal

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 16:38
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a letter to the Italian news agency ANSA (Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata), expressing his approval and support for the new InfoMigrants news portal aimed at providing migrants with accurate information. was launched in March by ANSA, in coordination with France’s Media Monde and Germany’s Deutsche Welle, and publishes content in English, Arabic, and French. Pope: 'Project promotes integration' In the letter to ANSA’s Editor-in-Chief, Luigi Contu, Pope Francis said he learned “with pleasure” about the “important project”. The service seeks to provide migrants and prospective migrants with information regarding all aspects of the journey to Europe and life there once they have arrived. “I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the important project, and I hope, on the one hand, that it promotes the integration of these persons with all due respect for the laws of the countries which welcome them and, on the other, that it elicit within society a renewed commitment to an authentic culture of welcome and solidarity,” the Pope wrote. Opportunity for human growth He went on to describe the phenomenon of migration as an “opportunity for human growth”. "The presence of so many brothers and sisters who experience the tragedy of immigration is an opportunity for human growth, encounter, and dialogue between cultures in view of the promotion of peace and fraternity among peoples." Pope Francis assured those involved in the project his prayers and invoked the protection of God, “Father of all, that He may accompany all who are constrained to leave their homelands because of armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, famine, and oppressive regimes.” Finally, the Pope said he hoped migrants encounter “brothers and sisters under every sky, who share with them bread and hope along our common journey.” (from Vatican Radio)...

Pope Francis' prayer intention for July: 'Those distant from Christian faith'

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 01:04
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has released his video message accompanying his monthly prayer intention for July. This month’s intention is for those distant from the Christian faith: "that our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the beauty of the Christian life." The text of the video message reads: "Let us never forget that our joy is Jesus Christ — his faithful and inexhaustible love. When a Christian becomes sad, it means that he has distanced himself from Jesus. But then we must not leave him alone! We should offer him Christian hope — with our words, yes, but more with our testimony, with our freedom, with our joy. Let us pray that our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the beauty of the Christian life." The Pope's  Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer  developed the "Pope Video" initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity. (from Vatican Radio)...

Pope Francis makes donation to Greek Lesbos island after earthquake

Tue, 07/04/2017 - 17:54
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has donated 50,000 Euro in aid for victims of the 12 June earthquake on the Greek island of Lesbos, according to the Apostolic Nunciature of Greece. “It is an unexpected donation and concrete sign of the closeness and affection of [Pope] Francis for the population, which has been deeply tried by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake,” remarked Msgr. Massimo Catterin, chargé d affaires of the Nunciature. The Pope’s donation will be used to help out the Orthodox village of Vrisa, which was completely destroyed in the tremors. One 43-year old woman was killed by falling debris. Msgr. Catterin said the donation came “after Archbishop Nikólaos Printesis of Naxos, Andros, Tinos, and Mykonos, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Chios, had asked the Nunciature to inform the Holy Father of the situation on the island.” He said, “The Pope’s donation has great value, also from an ecumenical point-of-view, since those who will benefit the most are Orthodox faithful. Indeed, on Lesbos there are only 50 Catholics.” Msgr. Catterin said the decision on how to distribute the funds would be made when he and Archbishop Printesis visit Vrisa next week. “There is great recognition and appreciation towards the Pope on Lesbos. He knows the seismic emergency adds to the weight of the first emergency related to migrants.” (from Vatican Radio)...

Pope to FAO: int. cooperation must be rooted in solidarity

Mon, 07/03/2017 - 23:22
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday said that the Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO - must always be in a position to intervene when people do not have enough to eat. The Pope was addressing staff and employees of the Rome-based United Nations food agency gathered for their 40th General Conference.  FAO’s mission is to help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition across the globe. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni : In a message delivered by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of the Pope, Francis said that "When a country is incapable of offering adequate responses because its degree of development, conditions of poverty, climate changes or situations of insecurity do not permit this, FAO and the other intergovernmental institutions need to be able to intervene specifically and undertake an adequate solidary action." The urgency of his words echo FAO Director General José Graziano Da Silva’s dire revelation at the opening of the conference on Monday that the number of hungry people in the world has increased since 2015, reversing years of progress. Da Silva noted that FAO has identified 19 countries in a protracted crisis situation and said that almost 60 percent of the people suffering from hunger in the world live in countries affected by conflict and climate change. Thus, highlighting the right of every person to be free of poverty and hunger, the Pope said it depends on the duty of the entire human family to provide practical assistance to those in need and said there is an urgent need for solidarity to be the criterion inspiring all forms of cooperation in international relations. Pointing out that the difficulties posed by a world scenario in which wars, terrorism and forced displacements increasingly hinder efforts of cooperation, the Pope decried the fact that hunger and malnutrition are not only the result of natural or structural phenomena, but the result of a more complex condition of underdevelopment caused by the indifference of many or the selfishness of a few.   Promising to be present in person at FAO headquarters this coming October 16th  to mark World Food Day, Pope Francis made a symbolic contribution to the FAO programme that provides seeds to rural families in areas affected by the combined effects of conflicts and drought.   This gesture, he said, is offered in addition to the work that the Church continues to carry out, in accordance with her vocation to stand at the side of the earth’s poor and to accompany the effective commitment of all on their behalf.     (from Vatican Radio)...