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Theme chosen for 2017 World Communications Day

September 29, 2016. The theme for the 2017 World Communications Day has officially been announced. Coming from the book of Isiah, the theme is: "Fear not, for I am with you: communicating hope and trust in our time.”
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.

Complete Text of the Pope's Speech to the youth in Kenya

2015-11-27

Why do divisions, wars and death occur?Fanaticism and divisions among young people? Why is there that desireto destroy? In the first page of the bible, afterall those wonderful things that God had done, a brother killsanother brother. The spirit of evil takes us to destruction. And thespirit takes us to a lack of unity. It takes us to tribalismcorruption and drugs. It takes us to destruction out of fanaticism.How do we make it such that fanatical idealism doesn’t rob us of abrother or sister. There is a word that might seem uncomfortable tothe ear but i don’t want to avoid it.

A man or a woman loses their humanitywhen they forget how to pray. Because they feel powerful. Becausethey don’t feel the need to ask the Lord for help, in the face ofso many tragedies. 

Life is full of difficulties. Are theredifferent ways of looking at difficulties? Does it stop you, or doyou regard them as as real opportunity? To all of you is open thechoice. For me, is this a path of destruction or an opportunity toovercome this difficulty for me, my family, this country? Young people: we don’t live inheaven, we live on earth. And earth is full of difficulties andinvitations that will lead you astray to evil. But there is somethingall of you have. The capacity to choose. Which path do you want tochoose? Which of these two do I want?

There are some other difficulties youmention. And before that a question. Do you want to overcomechallenges or be overcome by them? Are you like the sportsman who comehere. Or those who sold the tickets to others andput the money in their pockets. You have to choose.

Tribalism. It can destroy. It can meanhaving your hands hidden behind your backs. And have a stone in eachhand to throw to others. Tribalism can only be overcome with yourear, your heart, and your hand.

Ask yourselves: What is your culture?Why are you like this? Why do your cousins have these customs? Dothey feel inferior or superior? Once we’ve heard the response in ourears than it passes to our hearts and then I extend my hand. If youdon’t dialogue with each other then you’re going to have divisionlike a worm that grows in society

Yesterday was pronounced as a day ofprayer and reconciliation. I want to invite you all today, to theyoung, to invite Lineth and Manuel to come up now, and that we holdeach other’s hands, let’s hold hands together. Let’s stand upas a sign against tribalism. We are all a nation, that’s how ourhearts must be.

Tribalism isn’t just raising ourhands today, it’s an expression of our desire, our hearts, and thistribalism is a work we must carry out every day against thistendency. You have to listen to others, it’s a work of opening yourheart.

On the question of corruption, I askmyself, can we justify corruption just for the mere fact thateveryone is corrupt? How can we be christians and overcome this evilof corruption? In my country (Argentina) a young 20 year old dedicated himself topolitics. He studied with great vigor he went here and there and heobtained a job. And one day he had to decide: about which things hehad to buy. And he asked for three quotes. He studied these threequotes and chose the cheapest, the easiest, and he took it to hisboss so his boss could sign off on it and he said: "Why do you choosethis one?" "Because you have to choose what is easiest forthe finances of a country." "No, you have to choosethat which gives more money in your pocket". "But I came to carry outpolitics for the good of the nation!". And theboss replied: "I do politics to rob". One example...

And it’s not just inpolitics, in all areas of life, also in the Vatican. These are casesof corruption. Corruption is something that eatsinside, like sugar. Sweet, we like it, it’s easy. And then we endup in a bad way. So much sugar that we end up being diabetic or ourcountry ends up being diabetic. Each time when we accept a bribe andwe put it in our pockets, we destroy our hearts. we destroy ourpersonalities, and we destroy our country. Please, don’t developthat taste for that sugar which is called corruption. You might say‘but Holy Father, I see many who are corrupt. I see so many peoplewho are sold. Just for a little bit of money. Without worrying aboutthe livelihood of others.’

As in everything you have to make astart. If you don’t want corruption in lives, hearts and country,start now, yourselves. Because if you don’t start than the personthat’s beside you won’t start.

Corruption moreover takes away our joy,our peace. Corrupt people don’t live in peace. What I’m about totell you really happened. In my city, my home town, a man died and weall knew that he was corrupt. I asked a few days after, ‘how didthe funeral go’? And a lady with a great sense of humor replied:‘they couldn’t close the coffin properly because they wanted toput inside the coffin all the money he had robbed.’

What you rob through corruption willstay here. But also, what will remain is that the hearts of many menand women are wounded by these examples of corruption. What willremain behind was all the lack of good that could have been done. Itwill remain in the children who suffer. Young people: corruption is not a pathto life, it’s a path to death.

There was one question, how to usemeans of communication, to spread the message of Christ, and topromote good initiatives so that you can make a difference. The firstmeans of communicating is the words, the smiles, the gestures. Thefirst gesture is being close to others. The first gesture to tryinglook for friendship with others. If you speak well among yourselves thenyou can accept each other as brothers and sisters, even if you’refrom different tribes. If you’re closest to the poor to those whoare abandoned to...those who are completely rejected, those gesturesof communication are much more contagious than any channel on TV.

These questions and these thoughts canhelp you. But ask Jesus from your hearts, pray to the Lord. So thathe can give you the strength to destroy tribalism and hold eachothers hand as brothers and sisters. So that you have the courage tonot be corrupted, Offering yourselves for others, by offering agestures, a word a smile your expressions of closeness.

In response to Manuel’s questions, Iam worried about the first thing he said. What can we do to stopyoung people being recruited into radicalization? What can we doafter they have been recruited to try to get them to come back? 

Toanswer this we have to ask why do young people full of ideals allowthemselves to be radicalized in this way? They leave their friends,their tribe, their country. They leave their lives behind in order tolearn how to kill. This is question which you yourselves must pose toall people in authority. 

If a young woman or man has no work, cannotstudy, what can he or she do? A life of delinquency, falling intodrug abuse, or even into suicide. In Europe the statistics of suicideare not published. They get involved or seduced into an activitywhich leads them into a bad path. The first thing we have to do tostop a young person from being recruited is education and work. If a young person has no work than whatfuture awaits him or her? And that’s where the idea of beingseduced or recruited comes in. Even if there are small opportunities,without them what can they do? That is the danger. It’s a socialdanger which is beyond us and it’s even beyond the country becauseit depends on an international system that is unjust. It’s theinjustice of having an economic system where the person is not thecenter but rather the god of money.

Pray! But do it really hard. God ismuch stronger than any recruitment champaign. And then, speak withtenderness, understanding and love and with great patience to invitethem to come watch some football, to walk with you, to be together inyour group, don't allow them to remain on their own.

Transitory things that end updestroying you. A question Manuel asked. It’s a question that aprofessor in theology might ask. How can we understand that God isour father, how to see his hand in the tragedies of life, how can wefind God’s peace? This question men and women all over the worldask themselves. And they can’t find the reason. And there are somequestions that you can turn around in your minds over and over againand never find the answer. How can I see the hand of God in tragedy?I was going to say there’s just one response but no, there’s noresponse. There is a path. To look at the Son of God. God endureddeath to save all of us. God became a tragedy. God allowed himself tobe destroyed on the cross.

When you don’t understand something,when desperation hits you then look at the cross. That is the greatfailure of God, that is the destruction of God, and it’s achallenge to our faith. And this is hope, because history did not endin that failure. Rather it’s in the resurrection of Christ thatrenewed all of us.

I am going to tell you somethingpersonal, somethingprivate. In my pocket I always carry two thing: a rosary to praysomething which seems odd, this is here is the history of God’sfailure, it’s the way of the cross, a small way of the cross, asJesus suffered and when they condemned him right up to where he wasburied with these two things I do the best I can. And thanks to thesetwo things, I never lose hope.

A last question from our theologianfriend Manuel, what word can you offer to young people who don’texperience love in their families. How is it possible to come out ofthis experience?

Everywhere, there are abandonedchildren, either at birth or as life progressed they were abandonedand they don’t feel love from their families.

This is why family is so important.Defend the family. Defend the family always. everywhere there’s notonly kids who are abandoned but also elderly are abandoned with noone to visit to them with no-one to love them.

How do you come out of this verynegative experience? There is one remedy, one remedy alone, to comeout of these experiences. To do that which you did not receive. Ifyou didn’t receive understanding, then be understanding withothers.

If you felt pain of loneliness comeclose to those who are alone, flesh is cured by flesh and God becameflesh in order to cure us, let’s do the same ourselves.

Well then, before the umpire sounds thebell, it’s time to close. I thank you from my heart, first that youcame, second that you allow me to speak in my mother tongue. I amreally grateful you prayed so many rosaries for me. And please, I askyou to pray for me. Because I too need those prayers and very muchso. I count on your prayers and before leaving, if we stand now andpray to our heavenly father who has only one defect - he can’t stopbeing a father.

God bless you all, the Father, the Sonand the Holy Spirit. Thank you very much!