Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Saint November 25 : St. Catherine of Alexandria : Patron of Educators, Librarians, Mechanics, Nurses, philosophers, secretaries, unmarried

St. Catherine of Alexandria
Feast: November 25
Feast Day:
November 25
287, Alexandria, Egypt
305, Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai
Patron of:
Aalsum, apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters, spinners, etc.), archivists, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, maidens, mechanics, millers, nurses, philosophers, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, teachers, theologians, University of Paris, unmarried girls, haberdashers, wheelwrights

From the tenth century onwards veneration for St. Catherine of Alexandria has been widespread in the Church of the East, and from the time of the Crusades this saint has been popular in the West, where many churches have been dedicated to her and her feast day kept with great solemnity, sometimes as a holy-day of obligation. She is listed as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of mankind among the saints in Heaven; she is the patroness of young women, philosophers, preachers, theologians, wheelwrights, millers, and other workingmen. She was said to have appeared with Our Lady to St. Dominic and to Blessed Reginald of Orleans; the Dominicans adopted her as their special protectress. Hers was one of the heavenly voices heard by St. Joan of Arc.
Artists have painted her with her chief emblem, the wheel, on which by tradition she was tortured; other emblems are a lamb and a sword. Her name continues to be cherished today by the young unmarried women of Paris.
Yet in spite of this veneration, we have few facts that can be relied on concerning Catherine's life. Eusebius, "father of Church history," writing around the year 320, had heard of a noble young Christian woman of Alexandria whom the Emperor ordered to come to his palace, presumably to become his mistress, and who, on refusing, was punished by banishment and the confiscation of her estates. The story of St. Catherine may have sprung from some brief record such as this, which Christians writing at a later date expanded. The last persecutions of Christians, though short, were severe, and those living in the peace which followed seem to have had a tendency to embellish the traditions of their martyrs that they might not be forgotten.
According to the popular tradition, Catherine was born of a patrician family of Alexandria and from childhood had devoted herself to study. Through her reading she had learned much of Christianity and had been converted by a vision of Our Lady and the Holy Child. When Maxentius began his persecution, Catherine, then a beautiful young girl, went to him and rebuked him boldly for his cruelty. He could not answer her arguments against his pagan gods, and summoned fifty philosophers to confute her. They all confessed themselves won over by her reasoning, and were thereupon burned to death by the enraged Emperor. He then tried to seduce Catherine with an offer of a consort's crown, and when she indignantly refused him, he had her beaten and imprisoned. The Emperor went off to inspect his military forces, and when he got back he discovered that his wife Faustina and a high official, one Porphyrius, had been visiting Catherine and had been converted, along with the soldiers of the guard. They too were put to death, and Catherine was sentenced to be killed on a spiked wheel.
When she was fastened to the wheel, her bonds were miraculously loosed and the wheel itself broke, its spikes flying off and killing some of the onlookers. She was then beheaded. The modern Catherine-wheel, from which sparks fly off in all directions, took its name from the saint's wheel of martyrdom. The text of the of this illustrious saint states that her body was carried by angels to Mount Sinai, where a church and monastery were afterwards built in her honor. This legend was, however, unknown to the earliest pilgrims to the mountain. In 527 the Emperor Justinian built a fortified monastery for hermits in that region, and two or three centuries later the story of St. Catherine and the angels began to be circulated.
1 Alexandria, the great Egyptian city at the mouth of the Nile, was at this time a center of both pagan and Christian learning. Its Christian activities centered around the great church founded, according to tradition, by the Apostle Mark, with its catechetical school, the first of its kind in Christendom.
2 Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, who lived through all the vicissitudes of the years before and succeeding the Edict of Toleration and died about 340, wrote the first history of the Church.
3 Maxentius was one of several rival emperors who struggled for mastery during the first dozen years of the fourth century. Like the others, he tried to crush what he considered the dangerous institution of the Catholic Church. Some historians are of the opinion that Catherine suffered under his father, Maximian.


Latest #News of #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee

  • The Pope meets the Board of Directors of the IOR and appoints a new Director
  • First hearing in trial for the disclosure of confidential information
  • Other Pontifical Acts

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The Pope meets the Board of Directors of the IOR and appoints a new Director

Vatican City, 24 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning, at around 10.30, the Holy Father visited the premises of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) where he spoke with the Board of Directors for approximately twenty minutes, during which he communicated the appointment of the new Director general, Dr. Gian Franco Mammi, to be assisted by Dr. Giulio Mattietti pending the selection of a new Deputy Director.

First hearing in trial for the disclosure of confidential information

Vatican City, 24 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning, at 10.30 a.m. at the Vatican City State Tribunal, the first hearing in the criminal trial of Msgr. Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, Nicola Maio, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, accused of offences connected to the disclosure of reserved information and documents.

The defendants were all present, accompanied by their respective lawyers: Emanuela Bellardini for Msgr. Vallejo Balda, ex officio; Agnese Camilli for Francesca Chaouqui, ex officio; Rita Claudia Baffioni for Nicola Maio, ex officio; Lucia Musso for Emiliano Fittipaldi, private; and Roberto Palombi for Gianluigi Nuzzi, private.

The representative for the injured party, i.e. the Holy See, was not present.

The panel of judges was composed of Professor Giuseppe Della Torre, president; Professor Piero Antonio Bonnet, judge; Professor Paolo Papanti-Pelletier, judge; and Professor Venerando Marano, substitute judge.

The Office of the promotor of justice (the prosecutor's office) was represented by the promotor, Professor Gian Piero Milano, and the adjunct promotor, Professor Roberto Zannotti.

After the reading of the criminal charges by the chancellor, the president communicated that he had forwarded to the Court of Appeal the request for the appointment of two further private lawyers by Nuzzi and Msgr. Vallejo Balda, for eventual authorisation.

Two preliminary objections were heard, by Bellardini regarding the time limits for evidence for the defence, and – following a declaration by Fittipaldi – from Musso on the nullity of the writ served on Fittipaldi due to a lack of precision regarding the alleged offences.

The promotor of justice, in the person of Professor Zannotti, responded to the second objection, arguing that the intention was not to violate the freedom of the press, but that the defendant was required to respond regarding the activities conducted to obtain the published information and documents, and that this had been specified in the writ.

The panel of judges, after a meeting in the chamber lasting three quarters of an hour, rejected the two objections present and established the date of the next hearing, to be held on Monday 30 November at 9.30 a.m., during which the questioning of defendants will commence, starting with Msgr. Vallejo Balda, followed by Francesca Chaouqui, and then the other defendants. Various hearings are expected to be held during that week.

The hearing was closed before midday.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 24 November 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Fr. Steven Joseph Lopes as ordinary bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of “The Chair of St. Peter”, United States of America. The bishop-elect was born in Fremont, United States of America on 22 April, and was ordained a priest in 2001. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and is currently an official of the secretariat of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He succeeds Bishop Jeffrey N. Steenson, whose resignation from the pastoral ministry of the same Personal Ordinariate in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Fr. Paul McAleenan and Msgr. John Wilson as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Westminster (area 3,634, population 4,831,000, Catholics 485,300, priests 600, permanent deacons 18, religious 1,289), England.

Bishop-elect McAleenan was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Westminster, including parish vicar and parish priest. He is currently canon of Westminster Cathedral.

Bishop-elect Wilson was born in Sheffield, England in 1968, was baptised in the Anglican Communion and received in the Catholic Church in 1985. He was ordained a priest in 1995. He holds a bachelor's degree in theology and religious studies from the University of Leeds, England, a bachelor's degree in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, a licentiate in moral theology from the Alphonsianum of Rome and a doctorate in ethics from the University of Durham, England. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles in the diocese of Leeds, including parish vicar, professor of moral theology, episcopal vicar for evangelisation, and apostolic administrator. He is currently parish priest in Wakefield, Yorkshire. In 2011 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. November 24, 2015

Memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 504

Reading 1DN 2:31-45

Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar:
“In your vision, O king, you saw a statue,
very large and exceedingly bright,
terrifying in appearance as it stood before you.
The head of the statue was pure gold,
its chest and arms were silver,
its belly and thighs bronze, the legs iron,
its feet partly iron and partly tile.
While you looked at the statue,
a stone which was hewn from a mountain
without a hand being put to it,
struck its iron and tile feet, breaking them in pieces.
The iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once,
fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer,
and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace.
But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain
and filled the whole earth.

“This was the dream;
the interpretation we shall also give in the king’s presence.
You, O king, are the king of kings;
to you the God of heaven
has given dominion and strength, power and glory;
men, wild beasts, and birds of the air, wherever they may dwell,
he has handed over to you, making you ruler over them all;
you are the head of gold.
Another kingdom shall take your place, inferior to yours,
then a third kingdom, of bronze,
which shall rule over the whole earth.
There shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron;
it shall break in pieces and subdue all these others,
just as iron breaks in pieces and crushes everything else.
The feet and toes you saw, partly of potter’s tile and partly of iron,
mean that it shall be a divided kingdom,
but yet have some of the hardness of iron.
As you saw the iron mixed with clay tile,
and the toes partly iron and partly tile,
the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.
The iron mixed with clay tile
means that they shall seal their alliances by intermarriage,
but they shall not stay united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
In the lifetime of those kings
the God of heaven will set up a kingdom
that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people;
rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms
and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever.
That is the meaning of the stone you saw hewn from the mountain
without a hand being put to it,
which broke in pieces the tile, iron, bronze, silver, and gold.
The great God has revealed to the king what shall be in the future;
this is exactly what you dreamed, and its meaning is sure.”

Responsorial PsalmDANIEL 3:57, 58, 59, 60, 61

R. (59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“You heavens, bless the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

AlleluiaRV 2:10C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 21:5-11

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”

Saint November 24 : St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions : Martyrs of #Vietnam

Feast: November 24
Feast Day:November 24
1785 in Vietnam
21 December 1839 in Hanoi, Vietnam
19 June 1988 by Pope John Paul II
Vietnamese priest and martyr and companion of St. Peter Thi. Andrew was arrested and beheaded on Dcember 21, 1839, with Peter Thi during the harsh anti-Christian persecutions. He was canonized in 1988.(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints)

Monday, November 23, 2015

#PopeFrancis Special Video Message "...to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ.." for Visit to #Africa - FULL TEXT - Video

 Pope Francis on Monday sent a video message to the people of Kenya and Uganda. The Holy Father will visit Kenya and Uganda, as well as the Central African Republic (CAR), from 25-30 November. (Vatican Radio)
The full transcription Pope Francis' video message may be found below:
Dear Friends, As I prepare to visit Kenya and Uganda later this month, I send a word of greeting and friendship to you and your families. I look forward to this time we will have together. I am coming as a minister of the Gospel, to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ and his message of reconciliation, forgiveness and peace. My visit is meant to confirm the Catholic community in its worship of God and its witness to the Gospel, which teaches the dignity of every man and woman, and commands us to open our hearts to others, especially the poor and those in need. At the same time I wish to encounter all the people of Kenya and Uganda, and to offer everyone a word of encouragement. We are living at a time when religious believers, and persons of good will everywhere, are called to foster mutual understanding and respect, and to support each other as members of our one human family. For all of us are God’s children. A highlight of my visit will be my meetings with young people, who are your greatest resource and our most promising hope for a future of solidarity, peace and progress. I know that many people are working hard to prepare for my visit, and I thank them. I ask everyone to pray that my stay in Kenya and Uganda will be a source of hope and encouragement to all. Upon you and your families I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!

Arrests made in Murder of Pastor's Pregnant wife - RIP Amanda Blackburn - a young Mother - age 28 - Please Pray

The Indianapolis Police have arrested a teenager on Monday in the death of Indiana pastor’s wife Amanda Blackburn. 18-year-old Larry Taylor whom, detectives believe entered the front door of the Blackburn home, which had been left unlocked. Jalen Watson and Diano Gordon, are also being held for suspected participation the crime. It is believed Taylor sexually assaulted and killed the pastor’s wife.  Davey Blackburn founded Resonate Church three years ago to “see a contagious movement of God spread throughout Indianapolis.” The couple gave birth to a baby boy last year named Weston. They were expecting their second child, a girl. On Nov. 10, when Davey Blackburn came home from the gym, he found his wife, 28, lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head. She was rushed to the hospital, and was declared brain dead. Blackburn was removed from life support, and both she and her 12-week-old baby Evie died.  “Amanda made it her life’s calling to love and serve everyone she knew. Even more, she has made it her life’s mission to see as many people as possible come to know Jesus as their personal Savior,” Davey Blackburn said in a statement. “I know that in her death and legacy even more people will come to a saving faith in Christ.”

#BreakingNews at least 113 Dead at Mine Collapse in Myanmar - 100 Missing - Please Pray

Jade mine collapses in Kachin: at least 113 dead, a hundred missing
Military, police and security teams are at work trying to find survivors. The incident occurred on November 21 at 3am. A landslide swept the makeshift shelters of a group of improvised miners. They live looking for fragments of the mineral among waste.

Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Military, police, security teams and many volunteers are still at work trying to find survivors in the rubble of a jade mine in Kachin State, northern Myanmar. On November 21 the mine collapsed in a terrible accident. At least 113 bodies have been recovered so far from the Hpakant quarry. However, about a hundred are still missing and the death toll looks set to increase.
According to some sources, a large pile of debris, scraps of extraction work in the quarry, succumbed suddenly, overwhelming the shelters of some "improvised miners" who live in the area.

In fact, most of the victims are poor people living next to the mine who search for marketable fragments  among processed. At the moment there is no reliable information on the reasons that caused the accident, the most serious in the history of the country.

Official security sources report that the collapse occurred at 3 am on Nov. 21, when a huge pile of debris broke loose and headed downstream. The landslide swamped at least 70 temporary dwellings and there occupants.

The northern Kachin State is one of the most important centers for jade extraction. In fact the Burmese military junta - in power until 2010 - built its (huge) riches on trade in the precious stone. Recently, activists and experts have reported that mining companies dedicated to the extraction of jade, with the complicity of leading Burmese army officials, perpetrated "the biggest theft in terms of natural resources in modern history."

According to advocacy group Global Witness the value of jade produced is at least three times higher than the 12.3 billion dollars of jade sold to China, the final recipient of almost all of the jade exports  from Myanmar.
The precious gems market has also complicated the already difficult process of democratization of the country, with the lack of transparency and the involvement of key figures linked to the military dictatorship.

In particular Hpakant (950 km north-east of Yangon), in Kachin State, has been scene of a bloody war between the army and rebels.  This is the world’s most important center for jade mining.  In fact Burmese authorities have imposed severe restrictions on access to the area, refusing entry to foreigners.

The condition of the exploitation of workers employed in the mines and the terrible conditions in which they operate is one of the many unresolved issues that will face the new government, led by Democratic icon Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the vote on 8 November. In addition to the condition of the workers, the intensive exploitation of the quarries has also caused enormous problems of land pollution and serious environmental damage.Shared from AsiaNewsIT

Latest #News of #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee

VIS news - Holy See Press Office
  • Audience with the governor general of Antigua and Barbuda
  • The Pope's video messages to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic
  • Angelus: the Christian's power and strength is in the Cross
  • Attack in Mali: the Pope strongly condemns “senseless violence”
  • The true educator must take risks
  • Audience with the governor general of Antigua and Barbuda

Vatican City, 23 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the governor general of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions, emphasis was placed on the good bilateral relations, strengthened during recent years by the appointment of an Ambassador to the Holy See. Attention then turned to the contribution offered by the Catholic Church to the promotion of the protection of the human person, as well as in the sectors of education and assistance to those most in need, and the hope of a fruitful mutual collaboration was expressed.

Finally, the parties considered some themes of regional and global relevance, with particular reference to migratory flows and climate change.

The Pope's video messages to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic

Vatican City, 23 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning Pope Francis' video messages filmed in preparation for his apostolic visit to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic from 25 to 30 November were broadcast in the three countries.

In the message destined for Kenya and Uganda, after greeting the families of both countries, the Holy Father says, “I am coming as a minister of the Gospel, to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ and His message of reconciliation, forgiveness and peace. My visit is meant to confirm the Catholic community in its worship of God and its witness to the Gospel, which teaches the dignity of every man and woman, and commands us to open our hearts to others, especially the poor and those in need”.

“At the same time”, he continues, “I wish to encounter all the people of Kenya and Uganda, and to offer everyone a word of encouragement. We are living at a time when religious believers, and persons of good will everywhere, are called to foster mutual understanding and respect, and to support each other as members of one human family. For all of us are God's children. A highlight of my visit will be my meetings with young people, who are your greatest resource and our most promising hope for a future of solidarity, peace and progress”.

In his message to the Central African Republic, the Holy Father greets all members of the population with affection and joy, regardless of their ethnic origin or religion. “It will be the first time in my life that I come to the African continent, so beautiful and so rich in its nature, people and cultures; and I look forward to great discoveries and enriching encounters”, he reveals.

“Your country has for too long now experienced a situation of violence and insecurity, of which many of you are innocent victims. The objective of my visit is, first and foremost, to bring you, in the name of Jesus, the comfort of consolation and hope. With all my heart I hope that my visit may contribute, in one way or another, to healing your wounds, and opening the way to a brighter future for Central Africa and all her inhabitants”.

“The theme of this trip will be: passing to the other side. It is a theme which invites your Christian communities to look resolutely ahead, and to encourage each person to renew his relationship with God and his brothers, to build a more just and fraternal world. I will have the joy of opening for you – a little in advance – the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which will I hope offer a providential opportunity for authentic forgiveness, for giving and receiving, and for rebirth in love”.

“I come to you as a messenger of peace”, he concludes. “I wish to support interreligious dialogue to foster peaceful coexistence in your country; I know this is possible, as we are all brothers”.

Angelus: the Christian's power and strength is in the Cross

Vatican City, 22 November 2015 (VIS) – On the Solemnity of Christ the King, celebrated on the last Sunday of the liturgical year, the Pope devoted his reflection before today's Angelus prayer to the difference between Jesus' reality and that of the world, referring to the Gospel passage that narrates his appearance before Pilate, in which He affirms that He is King, but that His kingdom “is not of this world”.

“This does not mean that Christ is the king in another world, but rather that He is a different kind of king”, explained Francis. “Here there is a contraposition of two types of logic. Worldly logic is based on ambition and competition; it fights with the weapons of fear, bribery and the manipulation of consciences. The logic of the Gospel, that is, the logic of Jesus, is instead expressed in humility and gratitude. It is affirmed silently but effectively with the force of truth. The kingdoms of this world are at times sustained by arrogance, rivalries, oppression; whereas Christ's is a 'kingdom of justice, of love and of peace'”.

Jesus reveals Himself as King in the crucifixion, demonstrating the “surprising gratuitousness of love”. While the Cross may seem to some to be a failure, it is rather “the failure of sin that sin is a failure. In the failure of human ambitions, there is the triumph of the cross, there is the gratuitousness of love. … For a Christian, to speak of power and strength means to make reference to the power of the cross, and the strength of Jesus’ love: a love that remains firm and complete, even when faced with rejection, and which is shown as the fulfilment of a life committed entirely to the benefit of humanity”.

Paradoxically the truth of Jesus is indeed the challenge posed to him with irony by his adversaries: “He can’t save Himself!” “If Jesus had come down from the cross, he would have given in to the temptations of the Prince of this world. Instead, He does not save Himself so as to be able to save others, to give his life for us, for each one of us”. … One of the wrongdoers who was crucified with Him the 'good thief', understood this well, and pleaded with him, 'remember me when you enter your kingdom'. This criminal this was a criminal was a corrupt person, who had been condemned to death for all the brutalities he had committed in his life. But he saw love in Jesus' attitude and in His humility. Jesus' majesty does not oppress us, but rather frees us from our weaknesses and miseries, encouraging us to walk the path of the good, of reconciliation and forgiveness”.

“Faced with so many lacerations in the world, so many wounds in the flesh of man, let us ask the Virgin Mary to sustain us in our commitment to imitating Jesus, our King, making His kingdom present with gestures of tenderness, of understanding, of mercy”.

After the Angelus prayer, the Pope mentioned that yesterday in Barcelona, Spain, Federico de Berga and 25 companion martyrs were beatified. They had been “assassinated during the ferocious persecution of the Church during the last century. They were priests, young men who had professed their faith and were awaiting ordination, and lay brethren belonging to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Let us entrust to their intercession the many brothers and sisters of ours who unfortunately in our times, in many parts of the world, are still persecuted for their faith in Christ”.

Finally, the Holy Father commented that on Wednesday he will begin his apostolic trip to Africa to visit Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic, and he asked all present to pray for this trip, so that it may be a sign of love for all. “Together, let us ask Our Lady to bless these dear lands, so that there may be peace and prosperity there”.

Attack in Mali: the Pope strongly condemns “senseless violence”

Vatican City, 22 November 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram on behalf of the Holy Father to Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako, Mali, following the terrorist attack against a hotel in which 27 people lost their lives. The following is the full text of the message:

“Saddened to learn of the tragic attack in Bamako, His Holiness Pope Francis joins in prayer with the suffering of the mourning families and of the people of Mali. He entrusts all the victims to God's mercy, and prays that He welcome them in His light. He expresses his deepest sympathy with the injured and their families, asking the Lord to bring them comfort and consolation in their suffering. Appalled by this senseless violence, which he strongly condemns, the Holy Father implores of God the conversion of hearts and the gift of peace, and invokes the abundance of divine blessings on all those affected by this tragedy”.

The true educator must take risks

Vatican City, 21 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Paul VI Hall the Holy Father received the participants in the World Congress “Educating today and tomorrow: a renewing passion”, promoted by the Congregation for Catholic Education. The congress, held in Rome from 18 to 21 November, commemorated fifty years since “Gravissimum educationis”, the Conciliar declaration on Christian education, and the 25th anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution “Ex corde Ecclesiae” on the Catholic university.

During the encounter, the Pope heard testimonies from Catholic schools and universities from around the world, and answered three questions. The first was on how educational institutions, present in a diverse range of nations, can be truly Christian. “It is not possible to speak of Catholic education without speaking of humanity, as Catholic identity is God made man”, Francis answered. “Going ahead in terms of attitudes, full human values, opens the door to the seed of Christianity. Faith then follows. Educating in a Christian fashion is not only about catechesis: this is just a part. … It involves educating the young and children in human values in all realities, and one of these is transcendence. … For me, the greatest crisis in education, from a Christian perspective, is closure to transcendence. We are not open to transcendence. It is necessary to prepare hearts so that the Lord manifests Himself”.

In response to the second question, on the meaning of the culture of encounter for all people involved in the promotion of education, Francis said, “It means taking risks. An educator who does not take risks is not able to educate. A father and mother who do not risk do not educate their children well. Risking in a reasoned way. What does this mean? It means learning to walk. The true educator must teach managed and reasonable risk”.

The final question related to the future challenges posed to the educator by the current moments of war, which, the Pope said, required them to become patient builders of peace. “The greatest failure of an educator is to educate 'behind walls'. … The walls of a selective culture, the walls of a culture of safety, the walls of a well-off social sector that does not move ahead”. He concluded by encouraging all educators to think about how they can bring mercy into the field of education. “How can we ensure that the Father's Love, specially emphasised in this Year of Mercy, finds its way into our educational work?”.

Communique from the Holy See Press Office

Vatican City, 21 November 2015 (VIS) – The Vatican City State Tribunal has notified the defendants and their lawyers of the request for indictment by the Office of the Promotor of Justice, after the completion of the preliminary phase of the current proceedings for the wrongful disclosure of reserved information and documents, and of the consequent Decree of Indictment issued by the president of the Tribunal on 20 November.

The following is an extract of the Decree, which was signed by the Promotor of Justice Gian Pietro Milano, and the adjunct Promotor of Justice Roberto Zannotti.

The Promotor of Justice, with regard to articles 353, 355 and 359 of the Code of Penal Procedure, requests His Excellence the President of the Tribunal to issue, against the persons indicated as follows: Lucio Angel Vallejo, born in Villamediana de Iregua, Spain on 12 June 1961; Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, born in Cosenza, Italy on 18 December 1981; Nicola Maio, born in Benevento on 2 March 1978; Emiliano Fittipaldi, born in Naples on 13 November 1974 and Gianluigi Nuzzi, born in Milan on 3 June 1969, a decree of summons to trial.

Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui and Nicola Maio for the offence defined in art. 248 CPP (this latter as substituted by art. 25 of Law IX of 11 July 2013), “because within the Prefecture for Economic Affairs and COSEA they associated in order to form a criminal organisation, with own autonomous composition and structure, organised by Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, with the objective of committing further crimes of disclosure of information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the State”.

All the aforementioned, accused of the crime set forth in articles 63 and 116 bis of the CPP (this latter introduce by Law IX of July 2013), “as, in collaboration with each other, Vallejo Balda in his role as Secretary General of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs, Chaouqui as member of COSEA, Maio as collaborator with Vallejo Balda for issues relating to COSEA, Fittipaldi and Nuzzi as journalists, illegally procured and subsequently disclosed information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the State; in particular, Vallejo Balda, Chaouqui and Maio obtained such information through their respective roles in the Prefecture for Economic Affairs and in the COSEA; whereas Fittipaldi and Nuzzi solicited and applied pressure, especially to Vallejo Balda, to obtain reserved documents and information, which they used in part to prepare two books published in Italy in November 2015”.

The crimes were committed in Vatican City between March 2013 and November 2015.

Decree of trial

Following the request for trial presented by the Promotor of Justice, the president of Vatican City State Tribunal, Giuseppe Dalla Torre, issued the decree establishing for 24 November 2015, at 10.30, the first hearing in the trial against the defendants Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, Nicola Maio, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, specifying that if they do not appear they will be judged in absentia.

At the same time the panel of judges will be composed as follows: Professor Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president; Professor Piero Antonio Bonnet, judge; Professor Paolo Pappanti-Pelletier, judge; Professor Venerando Marano, substitute judge.

The decree establishes that the evidence for the defence must be submitted by 12.30 on 28 November 2015, while the citaiton of texts will be reserved to subsequent provisions.

Cardinal John Atcherley Dew to take possession of his titular church

Vatican City, 23 November 2015 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Sunday, 29 November, at 10.30 a.m., Cardinal John Atcherley Dew, archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand, will take possession of the title of Sant'Ippolito (Via di Sant'Ippolito, 56).


Vatican City, 21 November 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Hatem Seif El Nasr, ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, presenting his credential letters;

- Archbishop Henryk Jozef Nowacki, apostolic nuncio in Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway;

- Msgr. Francesco Follo, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO).

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 23 November 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:

- Msgr. Tadeusz Litynski as bishop of Zielona Gora – Gorzow (area 14,814, population 1,160,000, Catholics 989,000, priests 641, religious 283), Poland. Msgr. Litynski is currently auxiliary of the same diocese. He succeeds Bishop Stefan Regmunt, whose resignation upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- Bishop Rafael Sandoval Sandoval, M.N.M., of Tarahumana, Mexico, as bishop of Autlan (area 14,744, population 357,000, Catholics 341,000, priests 120, religious 192), Mexico.

On Saturday 21 November, the Holy Father appointed:

- Msgr. Nuno Manuel dos Santos Almeida as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Braga (area 2,857, population 964,800, Catholics 886,700, priests 465, permanent deacons 12, religious 676), Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in Viseu, Portugal in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Catholic University of Porto, and has served as parish priest in various parishes in the diocese of Viseu, president of the Priestly Fraternity of Viseu, and member of the college of consultors and the presbyteral council.

- Bishop Francisco Mendoza De Leon as coadjutor of the diocese of Antipolo (area 1,828, population 3,958,820, Catholics 3,153,824, priests 178, religious 811), Philippines. Bishop De Leon is currently auxiliary of the same diocese.

- Bishop David William V. Antonio, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, Philippines, as apostolic administrator “sede plena” of the apostolic vicariate of San Jose in Mindoro, Philippines.