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Rome Reports

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June 2017: Pope Francis names five new cardinals

The pope began the month of June with this meeting in the Circus Maximus of Rome with 50,000 pilgrims from 122 countries. They are from the “Charismatic Renewal” movement that is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary.

POPE FRANCIS
“It may be that your way of praying does not please some, but it is true that it is fully consistent with the biblical tradition. In the Psalms, for example, David dances before the Ark of the Covenant full of joy.”

Pope Francis asked them to work for peace in the world, by first by accepting the differences of the people around them. They achieved what few people can: they made the pope sing. 

In June, hundreds of children from areas affected by earthquakes in Italy arrived by train to the Vatican.

Pope Francis sat down with them to hear their stories. 

“They were difficult days.”

“Sure… Tell me. Why were they difficult? Tell me, tell me.”

“We had many difficulties because the houses and buildings collapsed. Also all of our schools.”

“What you have experienced is very terrible, it is a calamity. Is it true? It is a calamity. Tragedies hurt the soul. But, the Lord helps us recover. Do you all have faith in the Lord or not?”

“Yes!

At the beginning of the month, six bishops from Venezuela visited him to explain the country’s difficult situation first-hand.

“This is also a dossier where we show – well, up until the day we came, now there are more – the latest deaths in the Venezuela protests in the last few days.”

MSGR. DIEGO PADRÓN President, Venezuelan Episcopal Conference

“We, as an Episcopal Conference, certainly have all his support and all the support of the Holy See. Also that the Venezuelan people have all his closeness and also all of his support.”

At the end of the month, the pope celebrated 25 years as a bishop with this Mass with the cardinals that were in Rome. 

POPE FRANCIS
“To us today the Lord says the same, 'Arise! Look! Hope!' He tells us that it's not time to put our lives in retirement, to close our story, to summarize our story.”

As a matter of fact, Pope Francis named five more new cardinals at the end of the month. 

Among them was Gregorio Rosa Chávez, from El Salvador, and a collaborator of the martyr, Monsignor Romero; the Archbishop of Barcelona, Juan José Omella; and the first Swedish Catholic priest in many decades, Anders Arborelius.

POPE FRANCIS
“He does not call you to become 'princes' of the Church, to 'sit on his right or on his left.' He calls you to serve like Him and with Him."

After the ceremony, the new cardinals went to visit Benedict XVI, who blessed them with a big smile