Tag - Vatican

Vatican announces initaitives for first World Day of Poor



(Vatican Radio) This Sunday, November 19th marks the first World Day of the Poor, which Pope Francis called for at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation on Tuesday announced a number of special events that are taking place throughout the week to highlight this annual initiative.

Listen to Philippa Hitchen’s report:



On Sunday morning in St Peter’s Basilica, some four thousand poor and needy people, accompanied by volunteers from Italy, France, Spain, Brussels, Luxembourg and Poland will take part in a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.

Following the Eucharist, 1.500 of the visitors will be invited to lunch in the adjacent Paul VI Hall, while the other 2.500 guests will be taken to lunch in some of the Catholic colleges, seminaries and charitable organisations in the vicinity of the Vatican.

Festive lunch in Paul VI Hall

Those dining in the Paul VI Hall will be served a meal of gnocchi with tomato sauce and veal stew with vegetables, plus tiramisu and coffee for desert, all prepared by papal chef Sergio Dussin from Bassano del Grappa in Italy’s northern Veneto region.

The Vatican police band and a children’s choir will provide background music for the festive lunch, which has been organised in collaboration with a number of local charity organisations and parishes.

Prayer vigil at St Lawrence Basilica

On the previous evening, Saturday 18th at 8pm, there will also be a prayer vigil in the ancient Rome Basilica of St Lawrence to remember volunteers all over the world who offer their services in support of the poor and marginalized.

Throughout the week of the 13th to 19th November, meanwhile, a mobile clinic has been set up just in front of St Peter’s Square offering free specialized medical services between the hours of 9am and 4pm.

Free medical services

A special booklet marking this first World Day of the Poor has also been published in six languages as a pastoral aid for dioceses and parishes worldwide who wish to take part in this important initiative.

(from Vatican Radio)



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The Vatican calls for integral nuclear disarmament



(Vatican Radio) The Vatican is calling for integral nuclear disarmament. According to the preliminary conclusions of a just-ended high level symposium entitled “Prospects for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament”, integral disarmament is both an urgent immediate need and a long-term process.

The symposium, organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development got underway as tensions escalated between the US and North Korea. 

It saw the participation of eleven Nobel peace laureates, top United Nations and NATO officials, leading experts, ‎heads of  major foundations and of civil society organizations, as well representatives of bishops conferences, Christian denominations and other faiths. Pope Francis addressed the gathering on Friday.

Wrapping up the symposium on Saturday, Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, read out the following preliminary conclusions

The Dicastery brought together religious leaders and representatives of civil society, officials of States and international organizations, noted academics and Nobel Laureates and students, to illuminate the connections between integral disarmament and integral development, and to explore the links among development, disarmament and peace.  As our Holy Father, Pope Francis, repeatedly reminds us, “everything is connected.” 

1.     The use and possession of nuclear weapons deserves condemnation since they are indiscriminate and disproportionate instruments of war. In addressing us, Pope Francis said, “If we also take into account the risk of an accidental detonation as a result of error of any kind, the threat of their use, as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned.” Similarly, reprehensible are tests of nuclear weapons and the fall out which contaminate the atmosphere and the oceans; as global public good their contamination could constitute crimes against humanity.

2.     Nuclear deterrence does not adequately address the challenges of security in a multi-polar world.  In March 2017 our Holy Father wrote in a message: “If we take into consideration the principal threats to peace and security with their many dimensions in this multipolar world of the twenty-first century as, for example, terrorism, asymmetrical conflicts, cybersecurity, environmental problems, poverty, not a few doubts arise regarding the inadequacy of nuclear deterrence as an effective response to such challenges.”

3.     Nuclear deterrence does not create a stable or secure peace; it contributes to fear and conflict.  As our Holy Father said to us: “Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security.”  They also create a culture of “mutual intimidation” in the international system.

4.     Spending on nuclear weapons wastes resources that are needed to address the root causes of conflicts and to promote development and peace. 

5.     The humanitarian impacts of the use of nuclear weapons are devastating and planetary.

6.     A world without nuclear weapons is possible. Pope Francis encouraged us to hope that “…progress that is effective and inclusive can achieve the utopia of a world free of deadly instruments of aggression…..”

7.     Peace is built on the foundation of justice. Integral disarmament and integral development are connected.  As Pope Francis recalled, Pope Paul VI “set forth the notion of integral human development and proposed it as ‘the new name for peace’.”

8.     Nuclear disarmament is a global issue, requiring a global response.  As Pope Francis wrote in March 2017:  “Growing interdependence and globalization mean that any response to the threat of nuclear weapons should be collective and concerted, based on mutual trust.”

9.      Integral disarmament is both an immediate urgent need and a long-term process.  In March 2017 Pope Francis made clear:  “Achieving a world without nuclear weapons involves a long-term process, based on the awareness that ‘everything is connected’ within the perspective of an integral ecology (cf. Laudato Si’, 117, 138). The common destiny of mankind demands the pragmatic strengthening of dialogue and the building and consolidating of mechanisms of trust and cooperation, capable of creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.”

10.  Dialogue is essential.  This dialogue must be inclusive, engaging both nuclear States and non-nuclear States, and involving civil society, international organizations, governments and religious communities.  In particular, the Catholic Church is committed to advance this dialogue at all levels.

11.  Call upon States that have not yet done so, to consider signing and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

12.  Most importantly, let us commit our efforts to the call for integral nuclear disarmament to prayer by all!

Everything is connected; and everyone is connected.  Together we can rid the world of nuclear weapons, invest in integral human development, and build peace.  These preliminary conclusions do not represent the end of the conversation, but rather the beginning of future dialogue and action.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Vatican weekend for October 29th, 2017



Vatican Weekend for October 29th, 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:



(from Vatican Radio)



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Vatican releases logos for Pope Francis’ visit to Bangladesh, Myanmar



(Vatican Radio)  The Vatican on Monday released the official logos for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The Pope travels to Myanmar (also known as Burma) on 27-30 November and to Bangladesh on 30 November-2 December 2017.

Myanmar logo

The logo for his visit to Myanmar depicts Pope Francis releasing a white dove from within a heart drawn in the colors of Myanmar’s flag: yellow, green, and red.

An outline of Myanmar’s landmass sits beside the Pope within the heart, while the motto for his journey is shown above: “Love & Peace”.

Bangladesh logo

The logo for Pope Francis’ visit to Bangladesh has colored streamers in the shape of a dove, with a cross raised over a water lily (Bangladesh’s national flower) within it.

Above, the official motto for the Apostolic Journey, “Harmony and Peace”, is written in red.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Vatican on migration: an opportunity for development and fraternity



(Vatican Radio) The integration of migrants and refugees in host nations can and must become an opportunity for new understanding, broader horizons and greater development for everyone.

This message was at the heart of a statement released on Monday by Father Michael Czerny at the UN in New York during an Informal Thematic Session in New York  to gather substantive input and recommendations to inform the Global Compact on Migration

Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:



Father. Michael Czerny, who is the Undersecretary of the Section for Migrants and Refugees in the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development – which answers directly to  Pope Francis himself – focused his intervention on the need to promote a culture in which the consequences and impacts of migration become an opportunity for “human growth, encounter and dialogue in view of the promotion of peace and fraternity among peoples.”   

Pointing out that no one should ever be forced to leave his or her home due to lack of development or peace and that tragically the reasons that compel millions to go on the move today are to be found in endemic poverty, hunger, violence, inadequate work, environmental degradation, weak and corrupt institutions, Fr Czerny said that whether the effects of migration become a gain – for them, their families, their countries of destination and hopefully one day perhaps their countries of origin – depends on the extent to which  they are welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated.

That gain – he continued – hinges “on whether migrants and refugees are helped to transition from objects of emergency care to dignified subjects of their own development” and are permitted to use the education, skills, ambitions, experiences and cultural wisdom they already have, as well as those that could be enhanced through further schooling and training for the development of society.

For this desired win-win to occur, he concluded, migrants must first be received and treated as human beings, with dignity and respect for their rights, and they must be protected against all forms of exploitation and from being permanently cast-away, whether socially, economically or legally.

 

(from Vatican Radio)



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Italy drought: Vatican turns off fountains to save water



(Vatican Radio) The drought that is affecting the city of Rome and the surrounding areas of the capital has led the Holy See to take measures to save water.

The Governorate of Vatican City State has decided to turn off all the fountains, both the external ones located in St. Peter’s Square, and the interior fountains including those in the Vatican Gardens.

The move is in line with the teachings of Pope Francis in his Encyclical on creation Laudate Si.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Vatican Museums launches “Museums at Work” initiative



(Vatican Radio)  The Vatican Museums have launched a new scientific-cultural initiative entitled “Museums at Work” to show visitors the process of restoring a work of art.

Taking place over the coming months in Room XVII of the Vatican Pinacoteca, the “Museums at Work” programme seeks to show the public “the everyday activities of the Pope’s Museums”.

The initiative presents the restoration of the triptych of “The Virgin bestows her belt to Saint Thomas, The Mass of Saint Gregory, and Saint Jerome Penitent” (1497) by Viterbo Antonio del Massaro.

The Vatican Museums’ website says the triptych is “a painting possibly destined for an important Roman monastic community with strong doctrinal interests and particular devotion to the Virgin and to the Fathers of the Church.”

Restoration efforts for the triptych were financed by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts.

(from Vatican Radio)



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