Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

Apostolic Nuncio: 'Card Parolin to build bridges and dialogue in Russia'

(Vatican Radio)  Cardinal Pietro Parolin travels to Russia for a state visit on 21-24 August out of a desire to "build bridges and increase mutual understanding and dialogue" and to "multiply opportunities of encounter" with the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Vatican's Apostolic Nuncio to the Russian Federation, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, made that assessment of the Secretary of State's trip in an interview with Susy Hodges.

Listen to the full interview:

Archbishop Migliore said the Holy See "is following with attention and concern the various crises underway throughout the world."

Cardinal Parolin's four-day visit to Russia, he said, offers a way "to contribute to a peaceful resolution" to those crises, as he will call "for goodwill, opportunities, and understanding among the main actors on the international scene."

Turning to the relationship between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, Archbishop Migliore said Pope Francis' meeting with Patriarch Kirill in Havana in February 2016 "led to an important new stage in the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church".

"It is now a question of walking together in the Gospel footsteps, multiplying opportunities for fraternal encounter, exchange of views and experiences, proclamation of the Gospel, and cooperation in the service to human society."

Archbishop Migliore said Cardinal Parolin was invited by "top Russian authorities" and that he would meet President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov.

He will also meet with Patriarch Kirill and the Catholic bishops and community.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin's visit to Russia is seen as a completion of the tour he has made of the region over the past few years.

Since his appointment as Secretary of State in 2013, Cardinal Parolin has visited Belarus, the Caucasus nations, the Baltic countries, and Ukraine.

Spanish bishops condemn ‘deplorable terrorist attack’ in Barcelona

(Vatican Radio)  The Catholic bishops of Spain have condemned the terrorist attack in Barcelona’s city center, which killed at least 13 people and injured more than a hundred others on Thursday.

Listen to Devin Watkins’ report:

In a statement released shortly after the terrorist attack in Barcelona on Thursday, the Spanish Bishops’ Conference strongly condemned all terrorism and offered prayers for the victims.

They called it a “lamentable and detestable act”.

“Before this mournful and detestable act, the Spanish Bishops’ Conference wishes, first of all, to express its solidarity and prayer for all the victims and their families. We also convey our support for the whole of society under attack by these actions, in this case the citizens of Barcelona, as well as for the Security Forces.”

The Spanish bishops went on to condemn “every demonstration of terrorism” as “an intrinsically perverse practice, completely incompatible with a just, reasonable, and moral view of life.”

Terrorism, they say, “not only gravely infringes the right to life and liberty, but is also an example of the most terrible form of intolerance and totalitarianism”.

Turning to the victims of Thursday’s attack, the bishops invite all the faithful “to pray that God grant them eternal rest” and that “He return the injured to health and grant consolation to their families”.

Finally, the Spanish bishops pray that “these despicable actions may never be repeated.”

Vatican Weekend for August 20th, 2017

Vatican Weekend for August 20th, 2017 features our weekly reflection on the Sunday Gospel reading, “There’s more in the Sunday Gospel than Meets the Eye,” plus our resident Vatican watcher Joan Lewis reviews the past week’s events in the Vatican.

Listen to this program produced and presented by Susy Hodges:

Catholic humanitarian worker on rewards of his job

(Vatican Radio) Michael O’Riordan, a Catholic humanitarian official, spoke about the ongoing severe food and hunger crisis in South Sudan and about the challenges and rewards of his job. O’Riordan is the Emergency Programme Manager in South Sudan for CAFOD, the Catholic Church’s aid agency for England and Wales and its Irish counterpart, Trocaire. His remarks coincided with World Humanitarian Day celebrated each year on August 19th and which pays tribute to aid workers who often risk their own lives to bring help to millions of needy people across the globe. The celebration is also to rally support for people affected by crises around the world. O’Riordan was interviewed by Susy Hodges.

Listen to the interview with Michael O’Riordan who works for the Catholic aid agencies, CAFOD and Trocaire:  

O’Riordan has been based in South Sudan since earlier this year when the first news of a famine in the war-torn country emerged. He said that although the famine since then has been largely pushed back thanks to humanitarian aid, the people there are still facing starvation and hunger and the threat of a new famine has not receded.

“Very thin and emaciated”

O’Riordan described how everywhere they went they saw people who are “malnourished, very thin and even emaciated” in some of the remoter areas. Among the children the health situation was worse with “very very high” rates of acute malnutrition, he said.

“Utterly reliant" on food aid

The humanitarian official said these are people who are “utterly reliant on food” coming from aid agencies to get by and the problem is made worse by an “ongoing cholera outbreak.”

Another problem cited by O’Riordan was what he described as an “apathy” towards those who are suffering  …. a lessening  of sympathy towards the plight of others” by many people in the richer nations who are not so generous with aid donations as in the past.

Humanitarian aid "gives hope"

Asked about the rewards of his job, O’Riordan said it was “the simple gratitude” shown by those they are helping.  He described humanitarian aid as not just giving food or other relief supplies to the needy but more importantly “giving hope” to those who might otherwise feel they have been “forgotten or abandoned.”

Photo by David Mutua of CAFOD. 

Vatican Weekend for August 19th, 2017

Vatican Weekend for August 19th, 2017 features a report on Pope Francis’ Angelus address on the Feast of the Assumption where he reflected on the role of Mary, U.S. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo denounces the evils of racism in an interview with us about the violent clashes in Charlottesville, on World Humanitarian Day, a Catholic humanitarian worker speaks about the challenges and rewards of his job and whilst Rome continues to be gripped by an ongoing drought, we look back at the key role past popes played in helping to ensure a constant flow of fresh clean water through the aqueducts and fountains of the eternal city.

Listen to this program produced and presented by Susy Hodges:

 

Vatican releases logo, motto of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Peru

(Vatican Radio)  The Vatican has released the official logo and motto for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Peru, which takes place on 18-21 January 2018.

Listen to Devin Watkins' report:

“United for Hope” (Unidos por la esperanza) is the official motto for the Journey, signifying that the encounter will be “a great feast of hope to be received in unity”.

Logo

The logo expresses the Pope’s closeness to the Peruvian people and his accompaniment of their journey of faith.

Two outstretched hands under the motto and date of the visit evoke the colors of the Peruvian and Vatican flags: red and yellow, respectively.

They form the shape of wings as a sign of prayer, praise, and joy for the arrival of Pope Francis in Peru.

To the left, Pope Francis joyfully reaches out of a map of Peru in a sign of closeness to the country and of unity with it.

Third papal visit to Peru

Pope Francis becomes the second Pope to visit Peru, following Pope St. John Paul II’s two visits in 1985 and 1988.

Thirty years then since the last papal visit, Peru requested that Pope Francis journey there, in order to strengthen the bond between God and his Peruvian people and to aid in “a new missionary awakening” in the country.

Pope Francis sends condolences for ‘cruel’ Barcelona terror attack

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Friday sent a telegram expressing his condolences for the victims of the terrorist attack on Barcelona, in which at least 13 people died and more than a hundred were injured.

Listen to our report:

Pope Francis expressed his “deepest sympathy” for the victims of Thursday’s terrorist attack on Barcelona “Las Ramblas Boulevard” with a telegram to the city’s Archbishop, Cardinal Juan José Omella.

The telegram was signed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin.

Pope Francis condemned the “blind violence” manifested in the attack, saying it is “a grave offense to the Creator”.

He prayed for those who “lost their lives to such an inhuman act”.

“In these moments of sorrow and pain,” the Pope “wishes also to offer his support and closeness to the many injured, to their families, and to all Catalan and Spanish society,” it read.

Turning to the future, Pope Francis said he raises his “prayers to the Most High that He help us continue to work with determination for peace and harmony in the world.”

Finally, the Holy Father imparted his Apostolic Blessing “upon all the victims, their families, and the beloved Spanish people”.

Please find below the official English translation of the telegram:

CARDINAL JUAN JOSÉ OMELLA Y OMELLA
ARCHBISHOP OF BARCELONA

FOLLOWING THE NEWS OF THE CRUEL TERRORIST ATTACK THAT HAS SOWN DEATH AND PAIN IN LAS RAMBLAS IN BARCELONA, POPE FRANCIS WISHES TO EXPRESS HIS DEEPEST SYMPATHY FOR THE VICTIMS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES TO SUCH AN INHUMAN ACT, AND OFFERS PRAYERS FOR THEIR ETERNAL REPOSE. IN THESE MOMENTS OF SORROW AND PAIN, HE WISHES ALSO TO OFFER HIS SUPPORT AND CLOSENESS TO THE MANY INJURED, TO THEIR FAMILIES, AND TO ALL CATALAN AND SPANISH SOCIETY.

THE HOLY FATHER ONCE AGAIN CONDEMNS BLIND VIOLENCE, WHICH IS A GRAVE OFFENCE TO THE CREATOR, AND RAISES PRAYERS TO THE MOST HIGH THAT HE HELP US CONTINUE TO WORK WITH DETERMINATION FOR PEACE AND HARMONY IN THE WORLD.

WITH THESE WISHES, HIS HOLINESS INVOKES UPON ALL THE VICTIMS, THEIR FAMILIES AND THE BELOVED SPANISH PEOPLE HIS APOSTOLIC BLESSING.

CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN
SECRETARY OF STATE OF HIS HOLINESS

Pope sends condolences to victims of Portugal accident on Madeira

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent his condolences to the victims of a tragic accident on the Portughese island of Madeira, in which 13 people died and nearly 50 were injured.

A tree fell on a group of Catholic faithful as they prepared to participate in a procession to celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on Tuesday.

Pope Francis conveyed his grief for the loss of life to Bishop José Carrilho of Funchal in a telegramme signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

The Pope expressed his distress at the many dead and wounded “in the misfortunate accident at Our Lady of the Mount Parish” and entrusted “our deceased brothers and sisters to the mercy of God”.

Pope Francis also asked Bishop Carrilho to convey his grief to their families and to the injured.

Pope Francis prays for Barcelona victims

(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke has said that Pope Francis was greatly disturbed by what had happened in Barcelona.

He also said that the Pope prayed for the victims and expressed his closeness to the Spanish people in particular the injured and the families of the victims.

13 people were killed in the terror attack on Thursday in the popular Las Ramblas area of the city when a white van zigzagged at high speed down the busy avenue thronged with tourists, knocking down pedestrians.

Spain mounted a sweeping anti-terror operation on Friday.

As security forces hunted for the van's driver, who was seen escaping on foot, police said they had killed five attackers on Thursday night in Cambrils, a town south of Barcelona, to thwart a "terrorist attack" using explosive belts.

Thursday's carnage was the latest in a string of attacks in the past 13 months in European cities including Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm.

 

Philippine Bishops alarmed by high 'war on drugs' deaths

Catholic bishops expressed serious concerns after the Duterte administration’s intensified campaign that has left at least 81 people dead in four days— 32 of them from the simultaneous police raids in Bulacan province on Tuesday, the highest death toll in a day in the government’s war on drugs.

Bishop Jose Oliveros of Malolos said they are alarmed by the increasing number of drug-related killings in the diocese as most of them are ‘extrajudicial killings’.  The prelate also questioned the motive of the police for the killings that all took in one day.

“We do not know the motivation of the police why they had to do the killings in one day, maybe to impress the President who wanted more,” he said.

Dozens more of alleged drug dealers and petty criminals were killed in different parts of Metro Manila the following days. At least 28 suspected drug pushers and users were killed on Wednesday in Manila after they reportedly fought back against police operatives.

In Caloocan City on the same day, teenager Kian Loyd Delos Santos, a Grade 11 student, was killed in an alleged shoot out with policemen.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of the Kalookan diocese again lamented the continuous killings of alleged drug offenders. During the time of the dictatorship, he said that “communist” was the “convenient label and justification” for abductions and killings. “Now, it’s ‘drug suspects’. I don’t know of any law in any civilized society that says a person deserves to die because he or she is a “drug suspect,” Bishop David said.

The incoming Vice President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also made a warning against those who support targeted killings of criminal suspects. “You might be surprised to find your name in the list one of these days. Anyone can be listed as a ‘drug suspect,” said Bishop David.

Instead of killing suspects, Oliveros, whose diocese has been running a drug-rehabilitation center since 1990, appealed to the government to focus on rehabilitating them. “I wish the government would give priority to the rehabilitation program and treat drug addiction more as a sickness rather than a crime,” he said. (CBCPNews)