Pope Francis to Curia: Your job is to be faithful

Vatican City, Feb 23, 2016 / 11:23 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis celebrated the feast of the Chair of St. Peter with a reflection and Mass for members of the Roman Curia, during which he told them to be faithful in their work, and to keep their eyes on Christ. “May our thought and our gaze be fixed on Jesus Christ, the beginning and end of every action of the Church. He is the foundation and no one may lay another,” the Pope told members of the Curia Feb. 22. He recalled the “expressive words” used by St. Augustine, who wrote that although the Church is agitated and disturbed by the upheavals of history, she “does not fall down, because she is built on stone, from which Peter’s name is derived.” “It is not the stone that derives its name from Peter, but Peter from the stone, just as it is not the name Christ that derives from Christian, but Christian from Christ,” he said, adding that the stone “is Christ, the foundation on which Peter too was built.” Pope Francis marked the feast of the Chair of St. Peter with a special Mass for the Jubilee of the Roman Curia, the Governorate and the Institutions of the Holy See in St. Peter’s Basilica. Before the Mass, all the participants gathered in the Paul VI Hall for a meditation on the theme “Mercy in our everyday life.” Afterward, they were led by the Pope in a procession through the Holy Door of St. Peter’s and into the basilica. In his homily, Pope Francis pointed to the day’s Gospel reading from Matthew, saying his question of “who do you say that I am?” is directed not only at Peter, but at each one of them. The question, Francis said, is both clear and direct, and therefore “it is not possible to escape or remain neutral, nor is it possible to postpone the answer or delegate it to someone else.” He explained that there is “nothing inquisitional” about the question, but that instead “it is full of love! The love of our only Master, who today calls us to renew our faith in him, recognizing him as the Son of God and the Lord of our life.” And the first person called to renew the profession of their faith, the Pope said, is himself, the Successor of Peter, since it is he “who bears the responsibility of confirming his brothers.” Francis then urged members of the Curia to allow grace to form in their hearts and mouths, so that they can both believe and profess the faith, and obtain salvation. It is from the profession of one’s faith that the task of responding to God’s call derives, the Pope said,   explaining that pastors above all are required to model themselves after the Lord, who cares for his flock. “We are called upon to be God’s collaborators in a task as fundamental and unique as bearing witness by our existence the strength of the grace that transforms and the power of the Spirit that renews,” he said. He prayed that the Lord would free them from all temptations that distance them from the core of their mission, and asked that they would “rediscover the beauty of professing our faith in the Lord Jesus.” When it comes to their mission, faithfulness in their ministry goes hand in hand with the mercy they hope to experience, he said, noting that in scripture the concepts of faithfulness and mercy “are inseparable.” “Where there is one there is the other, and it is precisely in their reciprocal nature and complementarity that we can see the very presence of the Good Shepherd,” Francis continued. The faithfulness required of them “is that of acting in accordance with Christ’s heart.” The Pope then encouraged members of the Curia, as the pastors of the Church, “to let the face of God the Good Shepherd illuminate us, purify us, transform us and restore us, fully renewed in our mission.” He prayed that they would feel, cultivate and practice “a strong pastoral sense” in their workplaces, particularly toward those whom them meet every day. “May no one feel neglected or mistreated, but may everyone be able to experience, especially here, the loving care of the Good Shepherd.” Pope Francis closed his homily by stressing that the faithfulness required of them is to act in accordance with Christ’s heart. “We must tend to our flock with a generous heart and become a model for all,” he said. “In this way, ‘when the Chief Shepherd appears,’ we will be able to receive ‘the crown of glory that will never fade away.’” Read more

The dignity of work – one company’s quest for the mentally ill

Denver, Colo., Dec 27, 2016 / 10:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- When Bayaud Enterprises was started in 1969 in Denver, Colorado, they had one thing on their mind: employment. But not just any kind of employment. They wanted to seek out individuals with chron… Read more

Father Lombardi steps down from Vatican Radio amid media reform

Vatican City, Feb 23, 2016 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As the process of reforming the Vatican’s communications is carried out, Fr. Federico Lombardi will step down as director of Vatican Radio at the end of the month, though he will continue to serve as director of the Holy See press office. A Feb. 22 communique from the Secretariat for Communications announced the decision, and that Alberto Gasbarri, director of administration at Vatican Radio, will also be leaving his post. Neither Gasbarri nor Fr. Lombardi, who has served Vatican Radio for 25 years, will be replaced. Gasbarri had coordinated papal trips for 40 years. The head of the Secretariat for Communications appointed Giacomo Ghisani, deputy director of the secretariat, as Vatican Radio’s interim legal representative and director of administration. Ghisani’s appointment is meant to ensure Vatican Radio’s “ordinary administration within the current context of review and restructuring of the Vatican’s media operations.” Gasbarri’s post as organizer of papal trips is to be taken over by Msgr. Marcelo Rueda Beltz, an official of the Secretariat of State. Vatican Radio’s director of programs, Fr. Andrzej Majewski, will continue to manage news for the service. The personnel changes are part of the reform and unification of Vatican media being undertaken by the Secretariat for Communications, which was established in June 2015 with Pope Francis’ motu proprio The current context of communications. The editorial department of the Secretariat for Communications will likely take over direction of Vatican Radio, and at the same time will manage the delivery of news and image contents for Vatican Television. At the moment, no director for the editorial department has been appointed yet, while the directors of the other departments were appointed Feb. 9. The Secretariat for Communications includes other two departments: the Theological-Pastoral department, headed by Natasha Govekar; and the Technology Department, chaired by Francesco Masci, who had previously been responsible for the technical side of the Vatican’s internet service. Govekar’s department is to take over the functions of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and the technology department is to centralize on one platform all the Vatican’s media departments. According to a source who took part in the reform process, there will be a new website which will include both radio and television content. The Secretariat for Communications’ editorial department will be in charge of news content. The secretariat is meant to unify all the Vatican’s media branches, which include the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; the Holy See Press Office; the Vatican Internet Service; Vatican Radio; Vatican Television; L’Osservatore Romano; Vatican Typography; the photo service; and Vatican Publishing House. Vatican Radio and Vatican Television are to be unified this year. The communique from the Secretariat for Communications noted that the two bodies already share resources and jointly provide some services. The communique adds that “the task that awaits us offers a great opportunity to evaluate in both entities the areas of excellence and our patrimony of multilingualism and multiculturalism.” Read more

Father Lombardi steps down from Vatican Radio amid media reform

Vatican City, Feb 23, 2016 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As the process of reforming the Vatican’s communications is carried out, Fr. Federico Lombardi will step down as director of Vatican Radio at the end of the month, though he will continue to serve as director of the Holy See press office. A Feb. 22 communique from the Secretariat for Communications announced the decision, and that Alberto Gasbarri, director of administration at Vatican Radio, will also be leaving his post. Neither Gasbarri nor Fr. Lombardi, who has served Vatican Radio for 25 years, will be replaced. Gasbarri had coordinated papal trips for 40 years. The head of the Secretariat for Communications appointed Giacomo Ghisani, deputy director of the secretariat, as Vatican Radio’s interim legal representative and director of administration. Ghisani’s appointment is meant to ensure Vatican Radio’s “ordinary administration within the current context of review and restructuring of the Vatican’s media operations.” Gasbarri’s post as organizer of papal trips is to be taken over by Msgr. Marcelo Rueda Beltz, an official of the Secretariat of State. Vatican Radio’s director of programs, Fr. Andrzej Majewski, will continue to manage news for the service. The personnel changes are part of the reform and unification of Vatican media being undertaken by the Secretariat for Communications, which was established in June 2015 with Pope Francis’ motu proprio The current context of communications. The editorial department of the Secretariat for Communications will likely take over direction of Vatican Radio, and at the same time will manage the delivery of news and image contents for Vatican Television. At the moment, no director for the editorial department has been appointed yet, while the directors of the other departments were appointed Feb. 9. The Secretariat for Communications includes other two departments: the Theological-Pastoral department, headed by Natasha Govekar; and the Technology Department, chaired by Francesco Masci, who had previously been responsible for the technical side of the Vatican’s internet service. Govekar’s department is to take over the functions of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and the technology department is to centralize on one platform all the Vatican’s media departments. According to a source who took part in the reform process, there will be a new website which will include both radio and television content. The Secretariat for Communications’ editorial department will be in charge of news content. The secretariat is meant to unify all the Vatican’s media branches, which include the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; the Holy See Press Office; the Vatican Internet Service; Vatican Radio; Vatican Television; L’Osservatore Romano; Vatican Typography; the photo service; and Vatican Publishing House. Vatican Radio and Vatican Television are to be unified this year. The communique from the Secretariat for Communications noted that the two bodies already share resources and jointly provide some services. The communique adds that “the task that awaits us offers a great opportunity to evaluate in both entities the areas of excellence and our patrimony of multilingualism and multiculturalism.” Read more

How the struggle against apartheid taught Cardinal Napier the value of collegiality

Washington D.C., Feb 22, 2016 / 05:18 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of the Church must be united under the Holy Father and not divided into factions, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban maintained Thursday at a lecture in which he shared lessons gleaned from South Africa’s effort to end apartheid. Bishops “should never be seen as pitted against each other in a contest or control over the Church, but rather they’re a college,” Cardinal Napier said Feb. 18 in Washington, D.C., where he was delivering the annual Cardinal Dearden lecture at the Catholic University of America. The lecture is meant to promote the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, and Cardinal Napier focused on the collegiality among bishops taught in Lumen gentium, the council’s 1964 dogmatic constitution on the Church. Cardinal Napier discovered the power of collegiality when he joined South Africa’s bishops’ conference and they united the Church in opposition to the racial segregation of apartheid, then a national policy. At their first plenary session in 1979, “I got the experience of what it means to be a bishop,” he said. South Africa’s bishops were already “committed to engage in what Pope Francis would now call pastors earnestly listening to each other, but also listening to the laity.” In the Church’s struggle against apartheid, he said the central question was, “How does the Church become involved in transforming society?” The bishops went to work. They opened Catholic schools to students of all races – which contrasted with the government’s policy of segregation at the time. In 1977 South Africa’s bishops issued a declaration of commitment on social justice and race relations within the Church, acknowledging that “the Catholic Church in South Africa is lagging behind in witness to the Gospel in matters of social justice,” and committing the Church to practicing de-segregation and social justice. Their challenge, as the bishops saw it, was transforming the minds of Catholics who accepted the prevailing segregation into believing that “each and every person … has equal dignity and worth.” This was done through promoting a vision of the Church that is “community serving humanity,” Cardinal Napier emphasized. The bishops and the faithful thus worked together to overcome widespread discrimination in South Africa through “becoming a real community of brothers and sisters” in Christ. These same principles of collegiality must be at work today in “reforming the Church, beginning with marriage and the family,” he insisted. “These are the foundation stones upon which the Church and society are built.” Cardinal Napier referred specifically to the bishops present at the recent Synod on the Family, but also spoke more broadly of the college of bishops in his talk. The bishops must be “walking together,” he said, “in a joint effort to make the Church a change-maker in modern society.” “I think it’s more about ourselves being one, from the bishops down,” he said of the Church, citing St. John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical on commitment to ecumenism, Ut unum sint. If the bishops splinter into factions, he added, then the faithful “will be split along the same lines.” Cardinal Napier noted that Pope Francis has emphasized collegiality in his work to “reform and renew the Church.” The Pope decided from the beginning of his pontificate “that the only way to get this [reform] happening would be to involve the college of bishops, of cardinals, right from the beginning,” he said. “Whatever influence we have on our society, we have to do it through that vision of being a community serving humanity,” Cardinal Napier concluded.   Read more

Kalamazoo bishop offers prayers, Mass in wake of shooting spree

Kalamazoo, Mich., Feb 22, 2016 / 12:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Paul J. Bradley of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Mich. offered his prayers and condolences for the victims of a shooting spree in the city that left six dead and at least two seriously inju… Read more

How Catholics remembered Justice Scalia at his funeral Mass

Washington D.C., Feb 22, 2016 / 10:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At a funeral Mass on Saturday, Catholics recalled the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as a man of deep faith that informed his public service. “He was God’s first,”… Read more

Mother Angelica still in ‘delicate’ condition, fellow nuns ask for prayers

Irondale, Ala., Feb 22, 2016 / 06:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The nuns of Mother Angelica’s monastery have thanked those who have prayed for the EWTN founder and have asked continued prayers for the 92-year-old nun. “Mother’s condition remains delicate and she receives devoted care day and night by her sisters and nurses,” the nuns of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery said in a Feb. 22 update. “Although she is most often sleeping, from time to time Mother will give a radiant smile. There is no doubt that her heart must be ‘on things above,’” the nuns said, referencing St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians. Mother Angelica founded Eternal Word Television Network in 1981. The organization would become EWTN Global Catholic Network. She headed the organization until the year 2000 and became one of the most influential Catholic women in the U.S. She suffered a stroke in 2001. She continues to live at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Ala. It was reported last November that Mother Angelica was placed on a feeding tube. “We want to extend a very special and heart-felt thank you to each of you who have been praying for Mother Angelica,” the nuns said. “Mother herself is regularly fortified by the sacraments. Please continue to keep her in your prayers. Each day is a gift!” Mother Angelica was able to pass through one of the special Holy Doors designated for the Catholic Church’s Year of Mercy. Pope Francis recently sent greetings to Mother Angelica Feb. 12 on the plane to Cuba. “God bless you, Mother Angelica!” the Pope said in a video taken by journalists on his flight. Near the end of 2015, all the friars of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word came to the monastery for the offering of a special Mass for Mother Angelica. EWTN Global Catholic Network, which includes Catholic News Agency, is the largest religious media network in the world. Read more

Pope Francis against the death penalty: criminals too have the right to life

Vatican City, Feb 21, 2016 / 03:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians must work to abolish the death penalty and improve prison conditions, Pope Francis said on Sunday. After praying the Angelus on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis called … Read more

When Pope Francis looks back at Mexico trip, he sees Our Lady of Guadalupe

Vatican City, Feb 21, 2016 / 08:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Sunday said the visit to Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was the “central point” of his spiritual pilgrimage to Mexico. He praised the witness of the Mexican faithful a… Read more




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