- Year XXVI - Num. 19
|- To the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: faith is not only knowledge committed to memory, but truth lived in love|
|- Two initiatives linked to the Jubilee: the Missionaries of Mercy and the translation to Rome of the relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and St. Leopold Mandic|
|- World Leprosy Day: combating disease and reintegrating survivors in society|
|- Other Pontifical Acts|
|To the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: faith is not only knowledge committed to memory, but truth lived in love|
Vatican City, (VIS) – "Mercy is the foundation of the life of the Church: the first truth of the Church, indeed, is Christ's love", were the opening words of the Holy Father's discourse to the participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whom he received in audience this morning in the Clementine Hall. The Pope went on to urge all the Christian people, both pastors and the faithful, to rediscover during this Jubilee the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as when, in the twilight of life, we are asked if we have given food to the hungry and given the thirsty water to drink, we will also be asked "if we have helped people to set their doubts aside, if we have committed ourselves to welcoming sinners, admonishing them and correcting them, if we have been able to combat ignorance, especially in relation to the Christian faith and the righteous life".
"In faith and in charity a cognitive and unifying relationship is established with the mystery of Love, which is God Himself. The effective mercy of God became, in Jesus, affective mercy, as He made Himself man for the salvation of mankind. The task entrusted to your Dicastery here finds its ultimate foundation and and adequate justification. Christian faith, indeed, is not only knowledge to be committed to memory, but also truth to live in love. Therefore, along with the doctrine of the faith, it is also necessary to safeguard the integrity of customs, particularly in the most delicate areas of life. Adhering to faith in the person of Christ implies both an act of reason and a moral response to His gift. In this respect, I thank you for all your commitment and the responsibility you exercise in treating cases of abuse of minors by members of the clergy".
"Safeguarding the integrity of faith and customs is a delicate task. Performing this mission well requires collegial commitment. … The correct synodality must be promoted at all levels of ecclesial life", added the Pope, citing in this respect the meeting organised by the Congregation with the Doctrinal Commissions of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe, enabling various doctrinal and pastoral challenges to be faced in a collegial way and thus inspiring in the faithful "a new missionary impulse and greater openness to the transcendent dimension of life, without which Europe runs the risk of losing its humanist spirit that it nevertheless loves and defends".
Another significant contribution of the Congregation to the renewal of ecclesial life was its study on complementarity between hierarchical and charismatic gifts, called upon to collaborate in synergy for the good of the Church and the world, and whose relationship evokes the Trinitarian root, the bond between the divine Word made flesh and the Holy Spirit, which is always a gift of the Father and the Son.
"It is precisely this root, if acknowledged and listened to humbly, that permits the Church to let herself be renewed at any time. … Unity and plurality are the seal of a Church that, moved by the Spirit, knows how to walk with a sure and faithful step towards the purpose that the Risen Lord has indicated to them throughout history. Here we see clearly how the synodal dynamic, if correctly understood, is born from communion and leads towards an increasingly implemented, deepened and extended, in the service of the life and the mission of the People of God".
|Two initiatives linked to the Jubilee: the Missionaries of Mercy and the translation to Rome of the relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and St. Leopold Mandic|
Vatican City, (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, and Msgr. Graham Bell, under-secretary of the same dicastery, presented two initiatives linked to the Jubilee Year: the Missionaries of Mercy and the temporary translation to Rome of the relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and St. Leopold Mandic.
"It is has been almost two months now since Pope Francis opened the Holy Door of St. Peter’s", said Archbishop Fisichella. "Since that moment, the Doors of Mercy have been opened all around the world. The incredible number of people who have registered for these events allows us to acknowledge how this insight of Pope Francis, his idea of having this Extraordinary Jubilee, has answered a true need of the people of God who are receiving this event of grace with great joy and enthusiasm. We can conclude from this participation that the Jubilee is being intensely lived in all the world and in every local Church, where this time of grace is being organised as a genuine form of renewal for the Church and as a particular moment of the new evangelisation".
"Every day we receive thousands of pictures and documents from around the world attesting to the commitment and the faith of believers", he continued. "Yet all of this activity has not stopped a substantial number of pilgrims from arriving in Rome during this period. According to the data available to us on a daily basis, as of today 1,392,000 people have participated in Jubilee events. An interesting detail is that 40 per cent of those who have attended come from abroad, speaking largely Spanish and French. We have registered pilgrims from Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Korea, Kenya, Mozambique, El Salvador, New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico, the Fiji Islands, Russia, Belarus, the Seychelles, the Ivory Coast, Chad, Kuwait, the U.S.A., Albania and from many other countries. I would like to reiterate that this is not the criteria by which to judge the actual outcome of the Jubilee. A Holy Year of mercy goes well beyond numbers, for it is intended to touch the hearts and the minds of people in order to assist them in coming to understand the ways in which God’s great love manifests itself in their daily lives. It is a time during which to assess our lives of faith and to understand how we are capable of conversion and renewal, both of which come from recognising the importance of remaining focused upon what is essential. In any case, a general evaluation of the Jubilee cannot be made after only two months but must be done at its conclusion. All of the other considerations at the moment are incomplete and temporary and, thus, do not merit particular attention".
Archbishop Fisichella described two signs of the Holy Father's concrete witness of mercy. On, he opened the Door of Charity in the homeless shelter, “Don Luigi di Liegro”, where he celebrated Holy Mass in the refectory. On January 15, he visited first the “Bruno Buozzi” nursing home for the elderly in Torrespaccata, Rome, then the Casa Iride where he spent time with those in vegetative states who are being assisted by their families. "These signs possess a symbolic value before all of the many needs that are present in society today", he emphasised, "intended to stir in all of us a greater awareness of the many situations of need in our cities and to offer a small response of caring and aid".
Following these reflections on the first two months of the Jubilee, the prelate presented two upcoming special events. The first is the presence in Rome of the reliquaries containing the relics of St. Leopold Mandic and St. Pio of Pietrelcina. "Such an occasion is of great significance for it is an unprecedented event, given the stories of these two saints who spent their lives in the service of the mercy of God. Fr. Leopold (1866-1942) was canonised by St. John Paul II on December 16, 1983 and is less well known than St. Pio. Yet, his hunger for holiness spread beyond the Church of Padua, where he lived the major part of his life and where his memory and his relics remain. Originally from Croatia, this Capuchin father dedicated all of his life to the confessional. For almost thirty years, he spent from ten to fifteen hours a day in the secrecy of his cell, the very place which became a confessional for thousands of people who found in their relationships with him the privileged witness of forgiveness and of mercy. Some of his brothers noted that he was 'ignorant and too lenient in forgiving everyone without discernment'. Yet, his simple and humble response to this charge leaves one speechless: 'Should the Crucified blame me for being lenient, I would answer Him: Lord, you gave me this bad example. I have not yet reached the folly of your having died for souls'".
St. Pio (1887-1968), canonised in 2002 by St. John Paul II, "does not require lengthy presentation. This simple Capuchin friar spent his entire life at San Giovanni Rotondo without ever leaving that town. Certainly, during his life, some in Rome caused him to suffer, but his holiness always prevailed. In the silence of obedience, he also became a privileged witness of mercy, dedicating all of his life to the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are grateful to the Capuchin Fathers and to the Bishops of the Dioceses of Padua and Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo for having responded so graciously to the wish of the Pope that the relics of these two saints remain in Rome for a period of time during the Jubilee".
"The program is quite simple", he explained. "The urns containing the relics will arrive in Rome on where they will be placed in the Church of San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura. The church will be open to the faithful starting at with a celebration of reception. The relics will remain in San Lorenzo until the following day, during which time there will be a number of celebrations reserved for the vast extended Franciscan Family. An all-night vigil is being organised in the Jubilee Church of San Salvatore in Lauro, which will begin at on . The prayer will continue until the following day, , with various celebrations and will conclude with Holy Mass at presided by His Excellency Michele Castoro, the Archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo. At , a procession with the two urns containing the relics will begin from San Salvatore in Lauro and then proceed the entire length of Via della Conciliazione in order to arrive at the parvis of St. Peter’s Basilica. There, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, will receive the relics and after a moment of prayer, will then accompany the relics into the Basilica where they will be placed in the central nave before the Altar of the Confession for people to venerate. The relics will remain in St. Peter’s for veneration until the morning of when, after the Holy Mass of thanksgiving at at the Altar of the Chair, they will be returned to their original homes. It is opportune to note that on , Ash , the Basilica will remain closed in the morning for the General Audience and then, in the afternoon, Holy Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica to mark the beginning of Lent. Thus, those who wish to venerate the relics are kindly asked to choose to do so on one of the previous days and to follow along the Jubilee reserved walkway in order to e nter through the security check point as rapidly as possible".
The second event is the celebration that will take place on Ash , when the Holy Father will give the mandate to the Missionaries of Mercy. "As attested to in the Bull of Indiction, Misericordiae vultus, the Missionaries are to be a 'sign of the Church’s maternal solicitude for the People of God, enabling them to enter the profound richness of this mystery so fundamental to the faith. There will be priests to whom I will grant the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See, so that the breadth of their mandate as confessors will be even clearer. They will be, above all, living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon. They will be missionaries of mercy because they will be facilitators of a truly human encounter, a source of liberation, rich with responsibility for overcoming obstacles and taking up the new life of Baptism again. They will be led in their mission by the words of the Apostle: ‘For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all’”.
"Thus, the Missionaries of Mercy are a select number of priests who have received from the Pope the charge to be privileged witnesses in their respective Churches of the extraordinariness of this Jubilee event", explained the archbishop. "It is only the Pope who nominates these Missionaries, not the Bishops, and it is he who entrusts them with the mandate to announce the beauty of the mercy of God while being humble and wise confessors who possess a great capacity to forgive those who approach the confessional. The Missionaries, who come from every continent, number over 1,000. I am delighted to announce that there are Missionaries coming from many distant countries and, among these, some of which have a uniquely significant importance such as: Burma, Lebanon, China, South Korea, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Burundi, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Latvia, East Timor, Indonesia, Thailand, and Egypt. There will also be Oriental Rite priests".
"We have received a great response for participation but must place a limit on the large number of requests in order to ensure that the specific sign value, one which expresses how truly special the initiative is, be maintained", he remarked. "All of the Missionaries have received the permission of their respective diocesan Bishops or Religious Superiors and will make themselves available to those requesting their services throughout the entirety of the Jubilee but, most especially, during the Lenten Season. There will be seven hundred Missionaries arriving in Rome. Pope Francis will meet with them on in order to express his feelings regarding this initiative which will certainly be one of the most touching and significant of the Jubilee of Mercy. On the following day, only the Missionaries of Mercy will concelebrate with the Holy Father, during which time they will receive the 'mandate', as well as the faculty to absolve those sins reserved to the Holy See. An interesting story may help to capture the pastoral interest that this initiative has garnered around the world. Father Richard from Australia will visit 27 communities in his rural Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle where there is only one church and no priests in residence. Traveling in a camper, he will journey from community to community as a 'Missionary of Mercy on Wheels'! This is but an example of the way in which the Jubilee is meant to reach all, allowing everyone to touch the closeness and the tenderness of God".
Finally, other Jubilee events are planned. The first Jubilee Audience will be held in St. Peter’s Square on . "Pope Francis has responded generously to the many requests he has received from pilgrims who wish to meet him. Consequently, one a month has been added to the official calendar for a special audience, one which will be in addition to the regular Audiences. This first audience already has 20,000 people registered. Another event of particular interest is the Jubilee for the Curia, the Governorate, and Institutions connected to the Holy See to be held on . This celebration will begin with a reflection given by Fr. Marco Rupnik at in the Paul VI Hall. After this meditation, there will be a procession through St. Peter’s Square which will pass through the Holy Door. Holy Mass will then be celebrated by Pope Francis at ".
"The Jubilee continues to follow its course and we are certain that, in accord with the desires of Pope Francis, it will be an important opportunity to live out in our daily lives the mercy which the Father constantly extends to all of us”, concluded the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
|World Leprosy Day: combating disease and reintegrating survivors in society|
Vatican City, (VIS) – Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, has written a message for the 63rd World Leprosy Day, the theme of which this year is "To live is to help to live".
"This Day … constitutes for everyone an opportunity to continue with the fight against this terrible infection, as well as to weaken the ostracism that often burdens the people who carry its unmistakable signs", writes the prelate. "This is a marginalisation that can be traced back to a natural sense of self-defence in relation to a disease which at one time was incurable, and to an almost ‘ancestral’ fear which, however, today no longer has any reason to exist given that leprosy can be defeated and those who have been cured of it can go back to living".
"Making its own the commitment of the Church to caring for people with leprosy and supporting those who have been cured of it, and in order to increase the sensitivity of men and women of good will, our Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, cooperating, respectively, with the Sasakawa Foundation and the Raoul Follereau Foundation, has organised two study days which will be held on in the Vatican. At that event, those taking part will be able to be present at the celebration of the Eucharist presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square on , on the occasion of the Jubilee for the Sick and Disabled".
"We must feel ourselves committed to finding a new impetus against this disease, broadening activities involving information and prevention, but above all fostering, as a gesture of true ‘com-passion’, the social and occupational reintegration of those who have been cured of it and who – despite the fact that they carry the marks of this disease on their bodies – have maintained intact their dignity as persons", concludes Msgr. Zimowski.
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA);
- Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity;
- Archbishop Luciano Suriani, apostolic nuncio in Serbia.
|Other Pontifical Acts|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father:
- appointed Msgr. Luigi Mansi as bishop of Andria (area 799, population 139,977, Catholics 138,000, priests 89, permanent deacons 7, religious 104), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Cerignola, Italy in 1952 and was ordained a priest in 1975. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Lateran University and a doctorate in theological anthropology from the Pugliese Theological Faculty. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles in the diocese of Cerignola-Ascoli Satriano, including vice rector of the episcopal seminary, rector of the diocesan seminary, head of vocational pastoral ministry, director and lecturer in theology at the diocesan Institute of Religious Sciences and the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of the Pontifical Lateran University, master of ceremonies, episcopal chancellor and parish priest. He is currently episcopal vicar for pastoral ministry, and member of the episcopal council, the presbyteral council and the college of consultors. In 1991 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness. He succeeds Bishop Raffaele Calabro, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- elevated Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, to the dignity of bishop.