|- The Church, universal and missionary, cannot be wrapped up in herself|
|- The Pope to the faithful: accompany me in Albania in prayer|
|- Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints|
|- Sixth meeting of the Council of Cardinals|
|- “Evangelii gaudium” and pastoral ministry: three day meeting in the Vatican|
|The Church, universal and missionary, cannot be wrapped up in herself|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The meaning of the terms “Catholic” and “apostolic” when we speak about the Church was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis at this morning's general audience in St. Peter's Square, attended by 50,000 faithful.
When we profess the Creed, we state that we believe in a Catholic and apostolic Church. “Catholic means universal”, said the Holy Father, “and a clear sign of this Catholicity is that she speaks all languages. This is none other than the effect of the Pentecost: indeed, it was the Holy Spirit that enabled the Apostles and the entire Church to communicate to all, to the very ends of the earth, the Good News of salvation and of God's love. Thus, the Church was born Catholic – that is, 'symphonic' since the beginning, and she cannot be otherwise, destined as she is for evangelisation and for encountering everyone”: The Pope, remarking that everyone is able to read the Word of God in his or her own language, again encouraged those present always to carry a copy of the Gospel and to read one or two passages each day.
“If the Church is born Catholic, it means that she was born to go forth, missionary”, continued Pope Francis. “If the Apostles had stayed in the Cenacle without going out to preach the Gospel, the Church would have remained there, in that city, in that country, in that room. It is what we express when we describe her as 'apostolic'. But they went forth. An apostle spreads the good news of Jesus' resurrection. This term reminds us that the Church, on the foundations of the Apostles and in continuity with them, is sent to proclaim the Gospel to all humanity, with the signs of the tenderness and strength of God. The Apostles went forth, they travelled the world, they founded new churches, they consecrated new bishops and in this way, we continue their work”.
“And this too derives from the Pentecost. Indeed, the Holy Spirit is able to overcome any resistance, to defeat the temptation to remain wrapped up in ourselves, an elect few, and to consider ourselves as the only ones destined to receive God's blessing. Imagine if a group of Christians were to consider itself in this way; they would die out. First in soul and then in body, as they would not be able to generate new life. They would not be apostolic. The Holy Spirit leads us towards our brothers, even to those who are far away in every sense, so that they can share with us the gift of love, peace and joy that the Risen Lord has left us”.
“What does it mean, for our communities and for each of us, to be part of a Church that is Catholic and apostolic? First of all, it means taking to heart the salvation of all humanity, not to be indifferent or removed from the fate of so many of our brothers, but rather to be open and in solidarity with them. It also means having a sense of the fullness, the completeness, the harmony of Christian life, always rejecting partial and unilateral positions that close us up in ourselves”.
Being part of the apostolic Church means “being aware that our faith is anchored in the proclamation and the witness of Jesus' Apostles, and therefore always being aware that were are sent out, in communion with the successors of the Apostles, with our hearts full of joy, to proclaim Christ and His love for all humanity”.
Pope Francis recalled the “heroic life” of all the missionaries who leave their homelands to take the Gospel to others, encouraging those present to give thanks to God for the missionaries the Church has had and will continue to need.
“Let us ask the Lord to renew in us the gift of His Spirit, so that every Christian community and baptised person may be an expression of the Catholic and apostolic Holy Mother Church”.
|The Pope to the faithful: accompany me in Albania in prayer|
Vatican City, (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, the Holy Father greeted those present in various languages. In his greetings in Arabic, he addressed the faithful of the Holy Land “from where the light of proclamation issued forth to the ends of the earth”, urging them always to be, “despite difficulties, courageous and joyful bearers of the Message of salvation, truth and blessing”.
Before his greetings in Italian, the Pope spoke about his trip to Albania this coming , and invited the faithful to accompany him in prayer. “I decided to visit this country because it has suffered greatly as a result of a terrible atheist regime and is now realising the peaceful co-existence of its various religious components”.
|Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience he authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:
- Blessed Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception (nee Adelaide Brando), Italian foundress of the Oblation Sisters of the Holy Sacrament (1856-1906);
- Venerable Servant of God Pio Alberto del Corona, Italian professed priest of the Order of Preachers, bishop of San Miniato and founder of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit (1837-1912);
- Venerable Servant of God Marie-Elisabeth Turgeon, Canadian foundress of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (1840-1881).
The Pontiff also approved the votes of the Ordinary Session of the Cardinal and Bishop Fathers in favour of the canonisation of Blessed Joseph Vaz, Indian priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, founder of the Oratory of the Holy Cross of Miracles in Goa (1651-1711).
Finally, the Holy Father decided that a Consistory will be convoked shortly for the canonisation of Blessed Joseph Vaz and Blessed Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception, nee Adelaide Brando.
|Sixth meeting of the Council of Cardinals|
Vatican City, (VIS) – This morning, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., provided an update on the sixth meeting of the Council of Cardinals, which began on Monday, 15 September and will conclude this afternoon. As usual, the Holy Father was present at all sessions apart from this morning's, due to the general audience.
“In the previous meetings, the Cardinals had worked by examining all the Congregations and Pontifical Councils, but they had also assigned a significant amount of time to hearing the referring Commissions on economic and organisational questions (COSEA and CRIOR) and on matters pertaining to the economic Dicasteries. Work in this area may now be considered complete, following the constitution of the Council and the Secretariat for the Economy. The press conference held by Cardinal Pell in July focused on the results of this work and on the initiation of the activities of these new organs.
“Therefore, in this meeting the Council of Cardinals resumed work on the other Dicasteries. In the meantime, several contributions had been prepared by various members of the Council on the different issues within their sphere of competence, which were proposed or presented to the Council. During these days, the Council focused on two principal “hotspots”.
“The first includes the themes of the laity and the family. It is a very broad area, encompassing many issues, including for instance the role of women in society and in the Church, youth, childhood, or matters related to lay associations and movements, and so on.
“The second comprises themes linked to justice and peace, charity, migrants and refugees, health, and the protection of life and ecology, especially human ecology.
“As can be seen, the discussions therefore involved many of the major issues that fall within the competences of the current Pontifical Councils, and how to face them in a coordinated and integrated fashion.
“The Council of Cardinals, as we are aware, does not make decisions, but formulates proposals for the Pope, who certainly intends to consult in further depth, also with regard to the various Dicasteries, involving those in roles of responsibility. Therefore, the Council’s proposals will be studied further, and it is to be expected that the Pope will speak about them, for instance, during the meetings with the Heads of the Dicasteries, which are convoked regularly and will certainly take place in the coming months.
“A draft Introduction for the new Constitution was also drawn up and distributed.
“In order to speed up this new phase in the work of the Council, the coordinator Cardinal Maradiaga has prepared an overall plan to facilitate the organisation of the contributions and reflections already offered during the previous meetings and the integration of new ones.
“It may be assumed that, with the next two meetings of the Council (and ), the draft Constitution will reach an advanced stage of preparation, making it possible for the Pope to proceed with further consultations”.
With regard to the Commission for the Protection of Minors, the director of the Holy See Press Office commented that the appointment of the Secretary, Msgr. Robert Oliver, had been made public during recent days, adding: “In the next few weeks other very important aspects will be specified regarding the Statutes and further members of the Commission. It is expected that these will be clarified at the time of the next meeting of the Commission itself, scheduled for early October (4-5)”.
“With regard to the Commission on Vatican media, chaired by Lord Chris Patten, the first meeting will be held from at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. As a first meeting, it will be dedicated primarily to drawing up a framework for the common base of information necessary to enable the work of the members (several of whom are from contexts external to the Vatican), the planning of the work to be done over the coming months, and the method to be used. The Commission itself, during its first meeting, will establish its own strategy of communication. Therefore, interviews or communications will not be given prior to the meeting”, he concluded.
|“Evangelii gaudium” and pastoral ministry: three day meeting in the Vatican|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The international meeting “The Pastoral Project of 'Evangelii gaudium'”, organised by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, will be held in the Vatican from and will be attended by more than two thousand pastoral workers from seventy countries worldwide. Bishops, priests, catechists, consecrated persons, pastoral workers and members of associations and movements will explore in depth the content of the apostolic Exhortation that Pope Francis has indicated as the programmatic document of his papacy. Renowned speakers will discuss specific themes in relation to pastoral ministry and evangelisation. The meeting will culminate with an encounter with the Holy Father afternoon.
A detailed programme of the event can be found at www.novaevangelizatio.va