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Monday, January 27, 2014


Vatican City, 27 January 2014 (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:


- Servant of God Pietro Asua Mendia, Spanish diocesan priest, killed in hatred of the faith in Liendo, Spain in 1936.


- Servant of God Giuseppe Girelli, Italian diocesan priest (1886-1978).

- Servant of God Zacarias of St. Theresa (ne Zacarias Salterain Viscarra), Spanish professed priest of the Order of Discalced Carmelites (1887-1957).

- Servant of God Marcelle Mallet, Canadian foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Quebec (1805-1871).

- Servant of God Maria Benita Arias, Argentine foundress of the Servants of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (1822-1894).

- Servant of God Margerita De Brincat, Maltese foundress of the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus (1862-1952).

- Servant of God Seraphine (nee Noemy Cinque), Brazilian professed nun of the Congregation of Adorers of the Blood of Christ (1913-1988).

- Servant of God Elisabetta Sanna, Italian laywoman and professed Tertiary of the Order of Minims of St. Francis (1788-1857).


Vatican City, 26 January 2014 (VIS) – The beginning of Jesus' public life, starting from “Galilee of the Gentiles”, as it was called by the prophet Isaiah, was the topic of Pope Francis' reflection during this Sunday's Angelus, attended by thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Jesus' mission, he said, “did not set out from Jerusalem, the religious, social and political centre, but rather began in a peripheral zone, an area regarded with disdain by the most devout Jews, on account of the presence in the region of various foreign populations. For this reason, the prophet Isaiah referred to it as 'Galilee of the Gentiles'”.

“It was a border area, a transit zone where people of different races, cultures and religions encountered one another. Galilee therefore became a symbolic place for the opening of the Gospel to all peoples. From this point of view, Galilee resembles today's world: the co-presence of various cultures, the need for comparison and encounter. We too are immersed every day in a 'Galilee of the Gentiles', and in this type of context we can become fearful and give in to the temptation to build barriers, to feel more secure, more protected. But Jesus teaches us that the Good News He brings is not reserved for a part of humanity, but rather is to be communicated to all. It is a joyful proclamation, destined to all those who await it, but also to those who perhaps no longer await anything, or who no longer have even the strength to seek and to ask”.

Setting out from Galilee, Jesus “teaches us that no-one is excluded from God's salvation; on the contrary, God prefers to begin in the periphery, with those who are last in line, to reach everyone. He teaches us a method, His method, which however expresses the content, the mercy, of the Father. … We are all invited to heed this call, to come out of our own comfort zone and reach out to the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel”.

Jesus began his mission “not only from a location far from the centre, but also with men one might describe as having a 'low profile'. To choose his first disciples and future apostles, he did not seek in the schools of scribes or among doctors of the Law, but among simple people committed to preparing themselves for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Jesus goes to call them where they work, on the banks of the lake: they are fishermen. He calls them and they follow Him, immediately. They leave their nets and go with Him; their lives become an extraordinary and fascinating adventure”.

“The Lord calls today too! The Lord passes along the streets of our everyday lives. Today, too, in this very moment, the Lord passes through the squares. He calls us to go with Him, to work with Him for the Kingdom of God, in the 'Galilees' of our times”.


Vatican City, 27 January 2014 (VIS) – Following the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father recalled that “today is World Leprosy Day; this disease, although in regression, unfortunately still affects many people causing grave suffering. It is important to maintain solidarity with these brothers and sisters”, and asked those present to assure their prayers for all those who are afflicted.

Francis prayed for those affected by the violence in Ukraine, and for little Coco Campolongo, the three-year-old boy killed last week, burned inside a car in Cassano all'Jonio.

The Pope also mentioned that, over the next few days, millions of people from the far East, including Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese, will celebrate the new lunar year. He expressed his wish to all of them for a celebration full of joy and hope.

Before greeting all the pilgrims present in the square, the Pontiff dedicated some words to Maria Cristina of Savoy, proclaimed a Blessed last Saturday in Naples. “A woman of profound spirituality and humility, she took upon herself the suffering of her people, becoming a true mother to the poor”, he said. “Her extraordinary example of charity demonstrates that the good life of the Gospel is possible in all environments and irrespective of social status”.

Finally, two young people from Catholic Action read a message of peace to the Pope, for the conclusion of the “Caravan of Peace”. Pope Francis then released two doves from the window of his study as a symbol of peace.


Vatican City, 25 January 2014 (VIS) – This morning the Pope received in audience representatives of the CIF (Centro Italiano Femminile – Italian Women's Centre), on the occasion of their congress. This organisation was established in 1944 for the purpose of co-ordinating women and associations of a Christian nature to contribute to the reconstruction of the country through democratic participation, human advancement and solidarity. Currently the CIF proposes to act with institutions for the full exercise of the rights of citizenship and collaboration with women from diverse cultural backgrounds. It works in the civil, social and cultural fields in order to contribute to the construction of a democracy of solidarity and co-existence based on respect for human rights and the dignity of the person, in accordance with Christian spirit and principles, the Italian Constitution and laws, and European and international legislation.

In his address, Pope Francis thanked the CIF for its work over the last sixty years and for the example its members have given regarding the role of women in society and in the ecclesial community, observing that during recent decades, “alongside other cultural and social transformations, also the identity and role of women in the family, in society and in the Church has seen significant changes, and in general the participation and responsibility of women has increased”.

In this process, he recalled, “discernment on the part of the Magisterium of the Popes” has been, and still is, important, especially the publication in 1988 of Blessed John Paul II's Apostolic Letter “Mulieris dignitatem” on the dignity and vocation of women, and his Message for the 1995 World Day for Peace on the theme “Women: teachers of peace”. He continued, “I too have considered the indispensable contribution of women in society … I have rejoiced in seeing many women sharing some pastoral responsibility with priests in accompanying people, families and groups, as in theological reflection, and I have expressed my hope that greater room can be made for a more capillary and incisive female presence in the Church”.

“If in the world of work and in the public sphere a more incisive contribution by the female gender is important, then this contribution also remains indispensable within the domain of the family, which for Christians is not simply a private space, but rather that 'domestic Church' whose health and prosperity is a condition for the health and prosperity of the Church of society itself”, he added. “At this point it is natural to ask: how is it possible for women to increase their effective presence in many contexts within the public sphere, in the world of work and in places where the most important decisions are made, and at the same time maintaining their presence and preferential and entirely special attention in and for the family? Here it is the field of discernment that, aside from reflection on the reality of women in society, presupposes assiduous and persistent prayer”.

“It is in dialogue with God, enlightened by prayer, that the Christian woman continually searches to answer the Lord's call, in the reality of her situation. This is a prayer that is always supported by the maternal presence of Mary. She, who cared for her divine Son, who propitiated his first miracle at the wedding at Cana, who was present on Calvary and at the Pentecost, shows you the road to take to deepen the meaning and role of women in society and to be fully faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and to your mission in the world”.


Vatican City, 25 January 2014 (VIS) – Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” will visit the areas struck by the typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda on 8 November last year, on behalf of Pope Francis, as a gesture of consolation and spiritual closeness to the population, which now faces the task of reconstruction following the damage wrought by this natural disaster, and also to promote the network of assistance which is already active in these areas.

The mission, according to a press release by “Cor Unum”, will take place from 26 to 31 January, and it will be marked by three moments of special significance: a meeting with Filipino bishops, gathered in their Episcopal Conference in those days; an encounter with the president of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, and a visit to the area of Tacloban, which was most severely affected by the typhoon.

In the context of the visit, Cardinal Sarah will present, in the name of the Holy Father and through “Cor Unum”, a plan for the new building of an orphanage and a rest home for the elderly. The building will include, among other things, a small convent for the nuns, a chapel and a dispensary.

According to recent reports by Caritas Philippines / Nassa, typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda caused over 5,500 deaths, more than 26,000 injuries, and almost 2,000 missing persons. Around 3,8 million people, belonging to more than 851,000 families, were left homeless. In total, 12 million people suffered damage or losses of various types, in 574 towns and cities, and now there are fears of epidemics.

As soon as the Holy Father received the news, he decided to make a first contribution, through “Cor Unum”, of 150,000 dollars in emergency aid for the population, in support of the work carried out to assist those left homeless or otherwise affected by the floods, to be added to the funds contributed by the Church as a whole, the local Churches, parishes throughout the world, the Caritas network, and other national and diocesan agencies engaged in charitable works.


Vatican City, 25 January 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

- Fr. Jose Gabriel Funes, S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory, accompanied by Fr. Jozef Marian Maj, S.J., deputy managing director.

- Bray Barnes, president of the International Catholic Conference of Scouting, accompanied by Roberto Cociancich and Rev. Jacques Gagey.


Vatican City, 25 January 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Mamfe, Cameroon, presented by Bishop Francis Teke Lysinge, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya, co-adjutor of the same diocese.
- appointed Rev. Antonio Suetta as bishop of Ventimiglia-San Remo (area 715, population 157,150, Catholics 151,500, priests 101, permanent deacons 8, religious 268), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Loano, Italy in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Lateran University and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum "Regina Apostolorum", Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including vicar and administrator of the parish of Ceslo-Arzeno d'Oneglia, administrator and priest of the parish of Caravonica, priest and provost of Borgo Verezzi, and director of the diocesan Caritas. He was chaplain of the Prison of Imperia, co-founder and president of the social co-operative “Il Cammino”. He taught fundamental theology, ecclesiology and and Mariology in the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences and major seminary. Since 2005 he has held the role of diocesan bursar; and has served as rector of the diocesan seminary of Albenga-Imperia since 2011 and canon of the Cathedral Chapter since 2009. He succeeds Bishop Alberto Maria Careggio, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon having reached the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Professor Vincenzo Buonomo as advisor to Vatican City States. Professor Buomono is office chief of the Pontifical Representation at the United Nations Organisations and Entities for Food and Agriculture – F.A.O., I.F.A.D., and P.A.M., and director of the degree program in law at the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome.
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