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Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.
World

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.
Pope Francis

Cardinal Parolin to preside at liturgy before peace signing between Colombia and FARC

September 20, 2016. Colombia's government has invited the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to preside over a liturgy before the ceremony to unite representatives from the Colombian government and the FARC, in Cartagena de Indias. The liturgy will take place before the ceremony related to agreements of Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC. It will be next Monday, September 26, and dozens of heads of state are scheduled to attend. In the liturgy, Parolin will "ask God to enlighten each Colombian to work conscientiously and with complete freedom, so that in a responsible and informed way, they can participate in making decisions that concern the common good of the entire country, which is so dear to Pope Francis."
Pope Francis

Pope Francis pays tribute to Father Jacques Hamel

September 13, 2016. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Jacques Hamel, the priest murdered in France by two terrorists on July 26 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. It will be held on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 a.m inside the chapel of his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The bishop from Diocese of Rouen along with 80 pilgrims from the same diocese will be present.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' calendar from September to November

SEPTEMBER Sunday 25, 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Catechists. Friday 30 to Sunday 2 October: Apostolic trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan. OCTOBER Saturday 8: At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Marian vigil. Sunday 9, 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Marian Jubilee. Sunday 16: 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.15 in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and canonisation of Blesseds Salomone Leclercq, José Sanchez del Rio, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, and Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity. Monday 31 to Tuesday 1 November: Apostolic trip to Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. NOVEMBER Friday 4: At 11.30 in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year. Sunday 6, 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Prisoners. Sunday 13, 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of the Homeless. Sunday 20, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy.

What did the Pope say to the country's leaders? Check out his speech

2015-07-08

READ FULL SPEECH: 
 
Dear Friends,

 
I am pleased to be with you, men and women who represent and advance the social, political and economic life of this country. 

As I entered this church, the Mayor of Quito gave me the keys to the city.  So I can say that here, in Saint Francis of Quito, I feel at home.  His expression of affectionate closeness, opening your doors to me, allows me to speak, in turn, about a few other keys: keys to our life in society, beginning with family life.


Our society benefits when each person and social group feels truly at home.  In a family, parents, grandparents and children feel at home; no one is excluded.  If someone has a problem, even a serious one, even if he brought it upon himself, the rest of the family comes to his assistance; they support him.  His problems are theirs.  Should it not be the same in society? 

 Our relationships in society and political life, though, are often based on confrontation and the attempt to eliminate our opponents.  My position, my ideas and my plans will move forward if I can prevail over others and impose my will.  Is this the way a family should be?  In families, everyone contributes to the common purpose, everyone works for the common good, not denying each person’s individuality but encouraging and supporting it. 

 The joys and sorrows of each are felt by all.  That is what it means to be a family!  If only we could view our political opponents or neighbors in the same way we view our children or our spouse, mother or father!  Do we love our society?  Do we love our country, the community which we are trying to build?  Do we love it in the abstract, in theory?  Let us love it by our actions more than by our words!  In every person, in concrete situations, in our life together, love always leads to communication, never to isolation.

This feeling can give rise to small gestures which strengthen personal bonds.  I have often spoken the importance of the family as the primary cell of society.  In the family, we find the basic values of love, fraternity and mutual respect, which translate into essential values for society as a whole: gratitude, solidarity and subsidiarity. 

Parents know that all their children are equally loved, even though each has his or her own character.  But when children refuse to share what they have freely received, this relationship breaks down.  The love of their parents helps children to overcome their selfishness, to learn to live with others, to yield and be patient.  In the wider life of society we come to see that "gratuitousness” is not something extra, but rather a necessary condition of justice.  Who we are, and what we have, has been given to us so that we can place it at the service of others.  Our task is to make it bear fruit in good works.

The goods of the earth are meant for everyone, and however much someone may parade his property, it has a social mortgage.  In this way we move beyond purely economic justice, based on commerce, towards social justice, which upholds the fundamental human right to a dignified life.  The tapping of natural resources, which are so abundant in Ecuador, must not be concerned with short-term benefits.  As stewards of these riches which we have received, we have an obligation toward society as a whole and towards future generations. 

 We cannot bequeath this heritage to them without proper care for the environment, without a sense of gratuitousness born of our contemplation of the created world.  Among us today are some of our brothers and sisters representing the indigenous peoples of the Equatorial Amazon.  That region is one of the "richest areas both in the number of species and in endemic, rare or less protected species…  it requires greater protection because of its immense importance for the global ecosystem… it possesses an enormously complex biodiversity which is almost impossible to appreciate fully, yet when [such woodlands] are burned down or leveled for purposes of cultivation, within the space of a few years countless species are lost and the areas frequently become arid wastelands” (cf. Laudato Si’, 37-38).  

 Ecuador – together with other countries bordering the Amazon – has an opportunity to become a teacher of integral ecology.  We received this world as an inheritance from past generations, but also as a loan from future generations, to whom we will have to return it!

 Out of the family’s experience of fraternity is born solidarity in society, which does not only consist in giving to those in need, but in feeling responsible for one another.  If we see others as our brothers and sisters, then no one can be left out or set aside.

Ecuador, like many Latin American nations, is now experiencing profound social and cultural changes, new challenges which need to be faced by every sector of society.  Migration, overcrowded cities, consumerism, crises in the family, unemployment and pockets of poverty: all these factors create uncertainty and tensions which threaten social harmony.  Laws and regulations, as well as social planning, need to aim at inclusion, create opportunities for dialogue and encounter, while leaving behind all forms of repression, excessive control or loss of freedom as painful past memories.  Hoping in a better future calls for offering real opportunities to people, especially young people, creating employment, and ensuring an economic growth which is shared by all (rather than simply existing on paper, in macroeconomic statistics), and promoting a sustainable development capable of generating a solid and cohesive social fabric

Finally, the respect for others which we learn in the family finds social expression in subsidiarity.  To recognize that our choices are not necessarily the only legitimate ones is a healthy exercise in humility.  In acknowledging the goodness inherent in others, even with their limitations, we see the richness present in diversity and the value of complementarity.  Individuals and groups have the right to go their own way, even though they may sometimes make mistakes. 

 In full respect for that freedom, civil society is called to help each person and social organization to take up its specific role and thus contribute to the common good.  Dialogue is needed and is fundamental for arriving at the truth, which cannot be imposed, but sought with a sincere and critical spirit.  In a participatory democracy, each social group, indigenous peoples, Afro-Ecuadorians, women, civic associations and those engaged in public service are all indispensable participants in this dialogue.  The walls, patios and cloisters of this city eloquently make this point: rooted in elements of Incan and Caranqui culture, beautiful in their proportions and shapes, boldly and strikingly combining different styles, the works of art produced by the "Quito school” sum up that great dialogue, with its successes and failures, which is Ecuador’s history.  Today we see how beautiful it is.  If the past was marked by errors and abuses – how can we deny it! – we can say that the amalgamation which resulted radiates such exuberance that we can look to the future with great hope.

The Church wishes for her part to cooperate in the pursuit of the common good, through her social and educational works, promoting ethical and spiritual values, and serving as a prophetic sign which brings a ray of light and hope to all, especially those most in need. 

Thank you for being here, for listening to me.  I ask you please to carry my words of encouragement to the different communities and groups which you represent.  May the Lord grant that the civil society which you represent will always be a fitting setting for experiencing and practicing these values of which I have spoken.     


RMR