Tuesday, March 26, 2013

POPE FRANCIS TO WASH FEET OF PRISONERS - LATEST FROM VATICAN

(Vatican Radio image SHARE) POPE FRANCIS WANTS “IN COENA DOMINI” MASS TO BE SIMPLE AND INTIMATE
Vatican City, 26 March 2013 (VIS) – The Mass of the Lord's Supper that Pope Francis will celebrate on Holy Thursday in the chapel of the Casal del Marmo Penitential Institute for Minors (IPM) will be, by his express desire, very simple, as reported by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. Concelebrating with the Holy Father will be Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, and Fr. Gaetano Greco, chaplain of the Institute.
Around 10 girls and 40 boys will take part in the Mass. The Pope will wash the feet of 12 of them, who will be chosen from different nationalities and diverse religious confessions. The youth will also say the readings and the prayers of the faithful.
After the Mass, the Pope will meet with the youth and the IPM's personnel in the Institute's gym. Around 150 persons are expected to attend, including the Minister for Justice, Paola Severino, accompanied by the Head of the Department of Justice for Minors, Caterina Chinnici, the Commander of the Institute's Penitentiary Police, Saulo Patrizi, and the Institute's director, Liana Giambartolomei.
The youth will give the Pope a wooden crucifix and kneeler, which they made themselves in the Institute's workshop. The Holy Father will bring Easter eggs and “colomba” (the traditional Italian Easter cake in the shape of a dove) for all.
Given the intimate nature of the pastoral visit, journalists will be restricted to the area outside the building and no live coverage will be transmitted.
 
FRANCIS WISHES BLESSED PESACH TO CHIEF RABBI OF ROME'S JEWISH COMMUNITY AND ASKS THAT HE PRAY FOR HIM
Vatican City, 26 March 2013 (VIS) – Pope Francis sent a telegram to the Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community in Rome, Dr. Riccardo Di Segni, with his greetings for the Jewish celebration of Pesach, or Passover, which began at sundown yesterday evening.
The Bishop of Rome thanked Rabbi Di Segni for his presence at the celebrations of the beginning of his pontificate and asked him to extend the pontiff's “best wishes for the great Feast of Pesach” to the entire Jewish community of Rome.
“May the Almighty, who freed his People from slavery in Egypt in order to lead them to the promised land, continue to deliver you from all evil and to accompany you with his blessing. I ask you to pray for me, while I assure you of my prayers for you, confident that we can deepen our ties of mutual esteem and friendship.”
The telegram was published on the home page of the Roman Jewish community's website, with the information that Rabbi Di Segni had been greatly pleased to receive the pontiff's greetings and that he will soon thank the Pope when it is his turn to send the Pope his best wishes for the upcoming Easter celebration.
 
IN THEIR EASTER MESSAGE, HEADS OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES IN JERUSALEM RECALL VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE AND OPPRESSION
Vatican City, 26 March 2013 (VIS) – In their Easter message, the leaders of the Christian Churches of Jerusalem invite the faithful around the world to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, extending an ecumenical appeal to visit those churches and to “walk with the living stones of this land, following in the footsteps of the Risen Christ”. The text continues: “The Christian presence here, in the Mother City of our faith, remains a beacon of the light of the Risen Christ that the first disciples were witness to in front of the empty tomb.”
“We invite all people of faith and good will in the world, particularly those in positions of authority, to strive for justice and peace among nations. We especially pray for Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel, Egypt, Iraq, and all those places suffering political upheaval. We pray for all victims of violence and oppression, for prisoners, for those who live without security, fugitives, and refugees, especially those here in our land.”
The Christian leaders conclude by asking all those who cannot make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land “to sustain the people of this land in their prayers,” emphasizing that the Christina presence in the region continues to decline.
 
ARCHBISHOP CHULLIKATT BEFORE THE UN: A TREATY BANNING ARMS TRANSFERS WHERE HUMAN RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED
Vatican City, 26 March 2013 (VIS) - Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, issued a statement calling for the adoption of a treaty banning the transfer of arms when violations of humanitarian or human rights are taking place. The statement was read during the Final Conference of the UN's Arms Trade Treaty, which is taking place in New York until 28 March.
In his message, the archbishop urged “delegations to work together in a consensual manner in order to achieve a historic treaty to control the international trade in arms.” He recalled that, since the start of negotiations, the Holy See has called for “a strong, effective and credible Arms Trade Treaty which will have a real and lasting impact on all people longing to live in a more secure and safe world”.
The statement asserted that “the Holy See has stressed that a responsible international arms trading system should provide strong protections against the transfer of arms to countries where such arms are being used against civilian populations in violation of internationally agreed humanitarian and human rights laws. Further, the Holy See has urged delegations to reorient the regulation of the trade in arms from one which is controlled through the lens of sheer economic interests to one which places overriding importance on human concerns and protecting human life and families.”

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