VATICAN INSIDER EXAMINES EXORCISMS – ARCHBISHOP GETS TO KNOW DIOCESE BY GOING UNDERCOVER

Several things before I post this column before the long Memorial Day weekend….

First, I won’t be posting on Monday as that is one of the holidays I take each year. I hope all of you are able to celebrate in some splendid, memorable way and that, above all, you can do so as a family.

Secondly, in case you are curious about Melania Trump’s Twitter account, here it is: https://twitter.com/flotus  I have really enjoyed following her. And, of course, it is now public knowledge that she is the first Catholic First Lady since Jacqueline Kennedy!

Speaking of the First Lady: she has been in the news these last days, as has First Daughter Ivanka, for their headcovering in both Saudi Arabia and at the Vatican. Both praise and criticism (the latter not deserved as some people did not do their research on the topic) have surfaced and I hope to clarify matters:

RE: Saudi Arabia: head covering such as that worn by Saudi women is not required for foreigners and non-Arab women. I was told that White House staffers had asked about this as preparations for the trip were underway and were told that the women did not have to have their heads covered.

RE: The Vatican: Both women were perfectly dressed, head to toe, per Vatican protocol. I spoke to Vatican officials from the Secretariat of State on Wednesday evening and they assured me that the two women were protocol perfect. Pope Francis is said to be trying to relax some of the protocol but so far, most people, men and women, adhere to the current rules. There is an exception known as the “white privilege” for 7 reigning female Catholic monarchs (and the former queen of Spain) wherein they may wear white or ivory dresses, suits and head covering in the presence of the Holy Father.

Whether one is a visiting dignitary or simply a visiting citizen in a foreign country it is always a wise choice to study some of the culture – how people dress, the dos and dont’s of dressing and eating, what to wear in churches or other places of worship, even the correct use of hand gestures: a thumbs up may mean A-OK in one culture and be an insult in another.

Lastly, I hope you enjoy the rather amazing story about a bishop in the Philippines going undercover!

VATICAN INSIDER EXAMINES EXORCISMS

My special guests this weekend are Kathleen Beckman and Dr. Luis Sandoval from the Diocese of Orange in California. They were recently in Rome to attend a course on exorcism and exorcists at Regina Apostolorum, the Rome seminary of the Legionaries of Christ.

Kathleen is well known to so many as a prolific author, engaging speaker and retreat master and founder of Foundation of Prayer for Priests, to list just a few of her projects. In addition, we recently collaborated on the newly-released book, “When Women Pray.”

Dr. Sandoval, a Santa Ana physician who is board certified in psychiatry and family medicine also serves as an advisor to the Board of Directors for NAMI Orange County – NAMI is National Alliance for Mental Illness. The Diocese of Orange in fact sponsored a forum on mental illness in February this year: “How do we respond to mental illness in  our community?” I ask Dr. Sandoval about any possible connection between mental illness and a person who is possessed and undergoes an esorcism.

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio. Outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:00am (ET). On the SKY satellite feed to the UK and parts of Europe, VI airs on audio channel 0147 at 11:30 am CET on Saturdays, and 5:30am and 10pm CET on Sundays. It’s also available on demand on the EWTN app and on the website. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

ARCHBISHOP GETS TO KNOW DIOCESE BY GOING UNDERCOVER

Adding an unusual flavor to his pastoral ministry, a Catholic archbishop in the Philippines went undercover to personally find out how parishes under his jurisdiction deal with the poor.

Weeks before assuming his post as the new head of Lipa, Archbishop Gilbert Garcera disguised himself as a farmer and visited parish offices. The archbishop went to great lengths to make sure he wasn’t recognized, even wearing dirty and ragged clothes.  “I wanted to know how [parish] secretaries are dealing with the poor,” said the prelate. “I went into their offices and I know what is happening there,” he said.

The 58-year old archbishop said he was satisfied by what he saw, but added that some offices continue to face challenges in serving people.  To address issues in his archdiocese, Archbishop Garcera is conducting a survey “to better understand and meet the spiritual needs” of people, especially the youth.  He said the study will involve the clergy and lay people from the archdiocese’s 64 parishes and 40 church-run schools.

“I want to reflect on one question: What are you doing to shape the minds and consciences of our young people today,” said the prelate.  He said the result of the survey “will help us shape how we could continue to find ways to meet the needs of our people.”  The 58-year-old archbishop said he wants to make sure that everyone in his archdiocese finds a home and place in the Catholic Church.

Garcera was bishop of Daet from 2007 until February 2, 2017, when Pope Francis transferred him to Lipa in Batangas.  He was installed on April 21, taking over from Archbishop Ramon Arguelles who stepped down.  At his formal installation at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Batangas, Archbishop Garcera plans to visit the different parishes, besides visiting Catholic schools and parish organizations as well as examining existing programmes and improving services to the faithful.

“To be an archbishop, to be a bishop, to be a priest is not about position… it’s about pastoral charity. According to Pope Francis it’s about service,” Archbishop Garcera said.   He urged for prayers as he took up the reins of one of the largest archdioceses of the Philippines.  (Source: UCAN)

A POPE, A FIRST LADY AND A SLOVENIAN SWEET

A POPE, A FIRST LADY AND A SLOVENIAN SWEET

BIZELJSKO, Slovenia (Dallas News, AP contributing) — Thanks to Pope Francis and the U.S. first lady, a traditional Slovenian dish is hitting the headlines.

As Melania Trump approached and shook hands with the pontiff on Wednesday, Francis asked in Spanish through his interpreter and pointed toward President Donald Trump: “What do you give him to eat? Potica?”

She looked puzzled at first, as did reporters, apparently thinking the pope was talking about pizza.

But then the first lady seemed to understand that he meant potica (pronounced paw-tee’-tzah).

“Potica, ah yes,” the Slovenian-born first lady smiled before stepping aside, still looking a bit confused.

Slovenia’s public broadcaster carried the news on its website in its entertainment section. RTV Slo reported that the pope is a fan of Slovenia’s potica and that he regularly asks visitors from Slovenia about the roll cake.

Potica is a typical highly nutritious Slovenian festive strudel with nuts, poppy seeds, cottage cheese, chocolate, tarragon, leek or honey fillings. It has been prepared for more than 200 years in earthenware baking-dishes or directly in ovens.

Zdravka Balon, a restaurant owner in the small Slovenian town of Bizeljsko not far from Melania’s hometown of Sevnica, said that potica “is probably the most traditional Slovenian dish” besides “Kranjske” sausages.

“It was traditionally served during Christmas or Easter,” she said, adding that after losing some appeal, new versions are topped with chocolate and other additions.

Melania Trump, born Melanija Knavs, left Slovenia in her 20s to pursue an international modeling career. The last time she is believed to have visited her native country was in July 2002, when she introduced Donald Trump to her parents at the lakeside Grand Hotel Toplice in the resort town of Bled over a meal.

THE RECIPE –
Walnut potica
Ingredients: 1 1 / 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast, 1 / 4 cup white sugar, 1 / 4 cup milk lukewarm, 1 cup butter, softened 6 egg yolks, 1 1/3 cups milk, 5 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup melted butter, 1 cup honey, 1 1 / 2 cups raisins, 1 1 / 2 cups chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon.

Preparation: Dissolve yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 3 tablespoons of the flour in warm milk. Mix well, and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Cream the butter with the remaining sugar In a large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yeast mixture, remaining milk, 4 cups of flour and the salt; mix well. Add the remaining flour, 1 / 2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Lightly grease one or two cookie sheets. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll Out to 1 / 4to 1 / 2inch thickness. Spread each piece with melted butter, honey, raisins, walnuts and cinnamon. Roll each piece up like a jelly roll and pinch the ends. Place seam side down onto the prepared baking sheets. Let rise until double in volume. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Source: Zdravka Balon

POPE CALLS CHILDREN AT GENOA PEDIATRIC HOSPITAL

Today is Ascension Thursday and a holiday in the Vatican, so no news bulletin, no papal meetings, no press conferences, etc. I am betting that a number of you reading this column remember well when the entire Church marked Ascension Thursday on (gasp!) Thursday! It was a holy day of obligation, including Mass.

Today we had a tweet from Pope Francis and piece of papal news from yesterday afternoon.

Pope Francis tweeted today: With the Ascension of Jesus, we participate in the fullness of life with God. Let us carry this in our hearts in our daily lives.

And this piece of news:

POPE CALLS CHILDREN AT GENOA PEDIATRIC HOSPITAL

(Vatican Radio) On Saturday, May 27th, Pope Francis will travel to the northern Italian city of Genoa for a one-day apostolic visit.

One of the highlights of the day will undoubtedly be represented by his meeting with sick children and their families in the “Giannina Gaslini” Paediatric Hospital.

Awaiting Francis’ visit, many of the little patients have been busy preparing small gifts and messages, but meanwhile,  the Pope himself decided to surprise them ahead of time with a personal greeting.

Linking-up live via telephone to a parish radio in Genoa that broadcasts a Wednesday weekly program especially dedicated to the children’s hospital, Pope Francis told the little patients that it is with joy that he is preparing to be with them.

“Dear children of the Gaslini Hospital in Genoa, I greet you all with affection” he said.

The Pope said he is coming to be close to them, to listen to them, and to bring the caress of Jesus.

“He is always close to us especially when we are in difficulty and in need. He always gives us trust and hope” he said.

Pope Francis concluded his call with assurances that he is praying for the sick children and their families, and as he always does, he asked them to pray for him!

 

LIFE, RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE ON AGENDA FOR POPE FRANCIS AND PRESIDENT TRUMP

LIFE, RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE ON AGENDA FOR POPE FRANCIS AND PRESIDENT TRUMP

(CNA/EWTN)After months of anticipation, Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump finally met at the Vatican Wednesday in a friendly encounter which included an emphasis on protection of life and freedom of conscience.

According to a May 24 Vatican communique, Pope Francis and Trump expressed satisfaction “for the good existing bilateral relations between the Holy See and the United States of America, as well as the joint commitment in favor of life, and freedom of worship and conscience.”

The Pope and Trump met at the Vatican May 24, at 8:30a.m., immediately before the weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

Trump arrived to Italy May 23 after stopping in both Saudi Arabia and Israel as part of his first international trip. He is also set to attend a NATO meeting in Brussels on May 25 and a G7 summit in Sicily on May 26 before returning to the U.S.

President Trump arrived to the Vatican via the side entrance by Casa Santa Marta around 8:15a.m. and was greeted by a group of Swiss Guards in the San Damaso courtyard. After stepping out of the car, Trump and First Lady Melania greeted Archbishop Georg Ganswein and other Vatican dignitaries before entering the Apostolic Palace. (photos:ansa; CTV)

Pope Francis and Trump smiled as they sat down at the Pope’s desk in the papal library. Pope Francis said, “Welcome!” and Trump responded, “Thank you very much, this is such a great honor.”

Smiling, Francis explained that he doesn’t speak English well and needs a translator, but added that he was “very happy to meet” Trump

After the cameras left the two began the private portion of their conversation, which lasted about 30 minutes. In addition to Pope Francis and Trump, only the Pope’s English translator, Msgr. Mark Miles, was present.

During the “cordial discussions,” the two expressed hope for peaceful collaboration between the government and the Catholic Church in the United States, that it may be “engaged in service to the people in the fields of healthcare, education and assistance to immigrants,” the Vatican communique stated.

Pope Francis and President Trump also exchanged views “on various themes relating to international affairs, the promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation and interreligious dialogue, with particular reference to the situation inthe Middle East and the protection of Christian communities.”

After their formal conversation, gifts were exchanged between Francis, Trump and the president’s official delegation. There were 12 people in his entourage, including First Lady Melania Trump; daughter Ivanka, Tump’s assistant and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, his assistant and senior advisor.

Also present for the meeting with Pope Francis were U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs H.R. McMaster and Louis Bono, American Chargé d’Affaires ad interim to the Holy See until Calista Gingrich us officially approved as ambassador.

Despite their differing opinions on climate change, Pope Francis gave Trump a copy of his environmental encyclical Laudato Si’, as well as copies of his 2015 Apostolic Exhortation on the family “Amoris Laetitia” and his 2013 exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium.”

In addition to the customary gift of these three documents, Francis also gave President Trump a copy of his message for the 2017 World Day of Peace, saying: “I signed it personally for you.” Trump responded that he would be reading them.

The Pope also gifted the U.S. President with a medallion he said symbolized peace and unity, which, after the translator explained in English, he added in Spanish: “Have it so that you become an instrument of peace.” In response, Trump said that “we can use peace.”

On his part, President Trump gifted Pope Francis a set of books by Martin Luther King, Jr., saying: “I think you’ll enjoy them, I hope you do.”

Members of the delegation each received a medal and a rosary from the pontiff. When greeting Francis, First Lady Melania told him that she would afterward be visiting the hospital. Joking, the Pope asked her if they had given her potica, a traditional Slovenian dessert, to eat, to which she responded, “yes, potica,” as they both laughed.

Departing with a handshake, Trump said to Francis: “Thank you, thank you, I won’t forget what you said.”

After meeting with Pope Francis, Trump met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, as is customary for heads of state.

Pope Francis went immediately to begin the Wednesday general audience with thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.

After the meeting, First Lady Melania paid a visit to the Vatican-owned Pediatric hospital Bambino Gesu, also known as the “Pope’s hospital.”

Bambino Gesu sits next to the Pontifical North American College on top of Rome’s Gianicolo hill, and is among the most important pediatric hospitals in the world. Founded in 1869 by the Duchess Arabella Salviati, the hospital was donated to Pius XI in 1924, with the aim of giving it a more stable future.

At the same time, Trump’s daughter and high-profile adviser, Ivanka, will make her way to the Roman neighborhood of Trastevere to meet with the Community of Sant’Egidio to discuss efforts to oppose human trafficking.

The Sant’Egidio Community is often praised by Pope Francis for their work with the poor and refugees, in particular.

Ivanka is participating in each of the seven days of Trump’s first trip abroad as president, and was also present for the public portion of his meeting with Francis.

Before leaving with her father on his first international tour, Ivanka hosted an anti-human trafficking roundtable discussion at the White House May 17.

During her meeting with Sant’Egidio, she is expected to meet with several women who are victims of trafficking, and discuss various ways in which the Church and the U.S. government can collaborate on the issue.

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump met in the Vatican on Wednesday, discussing issues of peace, interfaith dialogue and religious freedom, as well as the role of the American Church in education, healthcare and support for immigrants.

The American leader spent half an hour in conversation with the Pope behind closed doors in the Apostolic Palace, before meeting with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States or foreign minister.

A statement from the Vatican press office said during the course of the cordial encounter, the two men discussed the good bilateral relations that exist between the U.S. and the Holy See. They also spoke of their “joint commitment in favour of life, religious liberty and freedom of conscience”.

The statement expressed the hope for a “serene cooperation between the State and the Catholic Church in the United States”, which is engaged in service to people “in the fields of health care, education and assistance to immigrants”.

Dialogue and negotiations

It said the Pope and the President also exchanged views on international affairs and on the promotion of peace through political negotiations and interfaith dialogue, mentioning especially the situation in the Middle East and the protection of Christian communities.

Trump, who was accompanied by his wife Melania, as well as his daughter and son-in-law, is on the third leg of a nine day presidential tour that has already taken him to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine.

Sistine chapel visit

After the papal audience, Trump was taken on a tour of St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, before meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

Melania Trump, meanwhile, visited Rome’s ‘Bambin Gesù’ Children’s Hospital, while the president’s daughter, Ivanka, was scheduled to meet with victims of trafficking together with members of Rome’s Sant’Egidio lay Catholic community.

Please find below the full statement from the Holy See Press Office:

This morning, Wednesday 24 May 2017, the Honorable Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, was received in Audience by the Holy Father Francis and subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed for the good existing bilateral relations between the Holy See and the United States of America, as well as the joint commitment in favour of life, and freedom of worship and conscience. It is hoped that there may be serene collaboration between the State and the Catholic Church in the United States, engaged in service to the people in the fields of healthcare, education and assistance to immigrants.

The discussions then enabled an exchange of views on various themes relating to international affairs and the promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation and interreligious dialogue, with particular reference to the situation in the Middle East and the protection of Christian communities.

 

MANCHESTER, WE GRIEVE WITH YOU…..

MANCHESTER, WE GRIEVE WITH YOU…..

POPE FRANCIS: Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a telegram expressing condolences to the victims of Monday night’s bombing of a concert venue in Manchester, England, and condemning the attack, in which at least 22 people were killed and 59 others injured.

His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester, and he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. He commends the generous efforts of the emergency and security personnel, and offers the assurance of his prayers for the injured, and for all who have died. Mindful in a particular way of those children and young people who have lost their lives, and of their grieving families, Pope Francis invokes God’s blessings of peace, healing and strength upon the nation.”

CARDINAL VINCENT NICHOLS: The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, has expressed his “shock and dismay” at the horrific attack at Manchester Arena on Monday, 22 May 2017. The following brief sentences were posted as individual tweets:

“My shock and dismay at the horrendous killing of young and innocent people in the Manchester Arena, last night, is I know, shared by all people of good will.

“I know too that Catholics and many others will be praying earnestly for those who have been killed, for the bereaved and for grieving loved ones.

“We pray in support of all those working so hard in response to this tragedy; the police and security forces, hospital staff, neighbours and friends and for all the people of Manchester.

“May God, in His mercy, strengthen and sustain us and keep us firmly united in the face of all evil.”

INDIAN CARDINAL OSWALD GRACIAS has condemned late Monday’s suicide bomb attack at a concert in Manchester, England, as “senseless violence.”  The blast took place as U.S. singer Ariana Grande was ending her concert at an arena in Manchester, killing at least 22 people and injuring many more.  “I am deeply pained by the attack on the innocent people in Manchester (as) most of them were young people and many were children,” the cardinal, archbishop of Bombay and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) said in a statement to AsiaNews. “We pray for them and entrust our innocent victims to the Merciful Love of God.”

“This senseless violence snatched away so many lives,” Cardinal Gracias grieved, adding, “the Church in Asia mourns the loss of lives, our hearts grieve with the families and we pray that God consoles them.”  While entrusting to “the mercy of God the innocent victims of this tragedy,” the Indian cardinal prayed for the injured.  “We renew our call for prayer for peace to Our Lady of Fatima, that the prayer for peace may arise in our hearts in the struggle between good and evil. Let us pray ever more fervently for Peace in our World”.

Cardinal Gracias prayed that through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, God may touch the hearts of those who have perpetrated this violence.  However, he said, “We must never lose our hope for peace; evil never conquers anything;  peace is the only answer – peace, which is a gift of God.  Let us all Prayer for Peace,” the cardinal urged.  (Source: AsiaNews)

ARCHBISHOP EAMON MARTIN, PRIMATE OF ALL IRELAND: The Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, has issued a statement offering condolences to the victims of Monday evening’s terror attack in Manchester, England, and condemning the act of violence in which at least 22 people were killed and 59 others wounded.

“I have sent a message this morning to Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, to express our shock and sorrow at the horrific bombing in Manchester last night.  Such a violent and brutal attack inflicts terror and long-lasting trauma on children and families and leaves a wound that can only be healed by compassion, love and solidarity. We are praying for the dead, the injured and for all affected by the bombing.  Such an awful attack challenges us all to resolve personally to build peace, solidarity and hope everywhere.  Only in this way can the hearts of those who plan and perpetrate such violent and pointless attacks be changed. I will remember the victims of this attack and their families in my Masses and prayers, and I know that the prayerful solidarity of people across Ireland goes to the people of Manchester at this sad time.”

BISHOP JOHN ARNOLD OF SALFORD, ENGLAND: Bishop John Arnold, has called for prayerful and concrete solidarity in the wake of a deadly terror attack on the 18 thousand-person capacity Manchester Arena in his diocese, where singer Ariana Grande had been performing for a crowd of mostly teenagers and young people.

“We have victims, and we have people traumatized by these events, and we’ve got to take care of them,” said Bishop Arnold in an exclusive interview with Vatican Radio on the morning after the attacks.

The recently-elected Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, for calm and firm resolve. “We are grieving today, but we are strong,” Burnham said. “Today it will be business as usual, as far as possible in our great city.” The Mayor offered condolences and promises of support to grieving families, and praised the local citizenry, many of whom opened their doors to people stranded in the wake of the attack. “[T]his,” he said, “was the best possible message to those who seek to divide us.”

Bishop Arnold echoed Mayor Burnham’s call, saying, “We mustn’t allow our community life to be fractured by these events.”

POPE TO CHILDREN: YOU CAN BEST FOLLOW JESUS BY BRINGING HIM JOY

I posted yesterday about the five new cardinals named by Pope Francis at the Regina Coeli so no need to review that today. However, I want to tell you about his other big moment of the day – a visit to a parish outside of Rome. I think you’ll really enjoy his dialogue with young childten so offer Vatican Radio’s transcript of that event.

This afternoon I was briefly in Pza. Pio XII, the small piazza just in front of and adjacent to St. Peter’s Square. The Vatican has been busy preparing for the president’s visit to Pope Francis and the Vatican Wednesday morning. Platforms are going up in Pza. Pio XII for the media, some streets already have parking restrictions and that will get a lot worse by tomorrow evening.

Stay tuned –

POPE TO CHILDREN: YOU CAN BEST FOLLOW JESUS BY BRINGING HIM JOY

Sunday, after his surprise announcement at the Regina Coeli that he will create five new cardinals on June 28, Pope Francis went to the parish of San Pier Damiani ai Monti di San Paolo in Casal Bernocchi, Acilia, south of Rome. He was accompanied to a sports center where, as he usually does on parish visits, he met with children, young adults awaiting confirmation and youth who attend the center.

At about 4:15 pm he went directly to the parish where he greeted the sick, the Neocatechumenal community and the poor people assisted by the diocesan Caritas. Before celebrating Mass at 5:55 pm, the Pope confessed four penitents At Mass he delivered an off-the-cuff homily.

Following is the English transcript from Vatican Radio of the Q&A session the Pope had with children at the Sports Center :

Pope Francis, I would like to ask you what sport you practised at my age – I am 11. I would also like to know if you played football and, if so, in which position.

Pope Francis: When I was your age, I played soccer, but I wasn’t ‘bravo’ at playing soccer, and where I come from, they call you ‘pata dura,’ ‘stiff leg.’I was a ‘pata dura’ and that’s why I usually was the goalie, so I wouldn’t have to move around. It is not a curse, this, you can say it: pata dura , it is not a swear word.

Child: What can we do to help the world?

Pope Francis : It is a good question! You asked this: “What can we do to save, to help”. You said “to save the world”. But the world is large! Can a child – think, think carefully before answering – can a boy, a child, a girl, help in the salvation of the world? Can he or she do this, or not?

Children : He can’t…

Pope Francis : Can’t he do anything? Don’t you count at all? Can you or not?

Children : Yes, we can!

Pope Francis : Good! A bit louder, I can’t hear…

Children : [shouting] Yes, we can!
Pope Francis : And I would like to hear you, which of you is the best at answering this question. Think carefully: how can I help Jesus to save the world? How can I help Jesus to save the world? Raise your hands, those of you who want to answer. … Raise your hand if you want to answer. [Someone says: “With prayer”]. With prayer can we help Jesus to save the world? Can we, or not?

Children : We can!

Pope Francis : But what is happening? Are you all asleep?

Children : No! Pope Francis : Ah, the sun… the sun sends us to sleep. With prayer. Very good. Another thing. You…

Child : Respecting people.

Pope Francis : Respecting people. And people, should they be respected?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : Dad, mother, grandfather, grandmother: are they to be respected?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : And the people we do not know, are they to be respected?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : And the people who live on the street, the homeless, are they to be respected?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : Yes. Everyone, all people are to be respected. Shall we say it together?

Pope and children : All people are to be respected!

Pope Francis : And a person who isn’t good to me, must I respect him?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : Are you sure?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : But wouldn’t it be better just to give him a slap?

Children : No!

Pope Francis : Really?

Children : Yes.

Pope Francis : Good: even a person who is not good to me must be respected.

Pope and children : Even a person who is not good to me must be respected.

Pope Francis : And a person who has done me harm, think carefully about this: what must I do? If a person has done harm to me, can I do harm to him?

Children : No!

Pope Francis : No. It is not nice. Can I telephone the mafia to ask them to do something?

Children : No…

Pope Francis : You aren’t convinced… Can we do this?

Children : No!

Pope Francis : Can we make agreements with the mafia?

Children : No!

Pope Francis : No! Even those [who do harm] must be respected. You have answered well. You see in how many ways we can help Jesus save the world. And this is good, it is very good! And if I have done my homework and my mother lets me go out and play with my friends, or have a match, is this good?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : Playing – think hard – playing, playing well, does this help Jesus save the world?

Children : Yes…

Pope Francis : You are not convinced…

Children : Yes!
Pope Francis : Yes! Because joy helps Jesus save the world. Let us all say it together.

Children : Joy helps Jesus save the world

Pope Francis : Joy is something very beautiful, very beautiful. You, today, are you joyful?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : Yes? Are you joyful?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : And this is very good. And I think that with this I have answered to “what can I do to help Jesus save the world?”. And so think about it, later, always. Another question was: how did I become aware of my vocation. Every person has a place in life. Jesus wants one person to get married, to have a family; he wants another to be a priest, another to be a nun… But each one of us has a path in life. And for the majority it is for them to be like you, to be like everyone, to be like your parents: lay faithful who have a beautiful family, who raise their children, who make faith grow. … And I was in a family: we were five brothers and sisters and we were happy. Father went to work, and came home from work – in that time there was work – and we played. Once – this will make you laugh, but do not do what I am telling you! – we had a competition to play at being parachutists, and we took an umbrella and went onto the terrace, and one of my brothers was the first to jump off, down from the terrace. He survived, only just! These are dangerous games. But we were happy. Why? Because father and mother helped us to get along, at school, and they were also concerned with us. It is very good, very good. Listen well: it is very good in life to be married, it is very good. And it is very good to have a family, a father and a mother, to have grandparents, aunts and uncles. Do you understand? It is very good, it is a grace. And each one of you has parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, a family. And why don’t we greet them now? Let’s applaud them, all of them [applause]. Your parents make sacrifices for you, to let you grow, and this is a good thing, a beautiful vocation: having a family. But there is another vocation: being a nun, being a priest. And one day I felt – all of a sudden – I was sixteen and I felt that the Lord wanted me to be a priest. And here I am! I am a priest. This is the answer. You feel it in your heart: when a boy feels warmth in his heart, and then that warmth goes further, and he feels love for a girl, and then they get engaged and then they marry, that is what it is like in your heart when the Lord says to you: “You must go ahead on the path to become a priest”.  And that is what I felt. Just as we feel the good things in life. Because it is a beautiful thing! Do you understand? Good, you must be tired of staying here, the sun is strong.

Children : No!

Pope Francis : Now there is a bit of a breeze, but… I don’t remember: if someone is not good to me, must I give him a slap?

Children : No!

Pope Francis : Ah, I had forgotten. And must I pray for the people who hate me?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : Yes, yes: pray for those who are not good to me, for this… I must pray. And must I be obedient to my mother and father?

Children : Yes!

Pope Francis : I, or my neighbour?

Children : Everyone!

Pope Francis : Ah, everyone! Someone said “I”.

Children : I!

Pope Francis : I must obey my mother and father: everyone!

Children : I must obey my mother and father.

Pope Francis : It is very important, because they make sacrifices for us. Do you understand?

Children : Yes.

Pope Francis : Very good. And now, what shall we do?

Well, let us pray. In the first question we spoke about prayer. Now let us pray for each other. Everyone, hold hands. Like brothers, like friends. Hold each other by the hand. And let us pray to Our Lady, who is our Mother: Ave O Maria… And now I will give the blessing to all of you. In silence, each one of you, think of your parents, of your relatives, your friends; think also of your enemies, of the people who hate you or do not wish you well. And may this blessing descend upon them too, upon everyone. [Blessing] Thank you!

POPE FRANCIS ANNOUNCES 5 NEW CARDINALS FROM MALI, LAOS, SWEDEN, SPAIN AND EL SALVADOR

Before I go to the report about the five new cardinals named today by Pope Francis, I have another piece of news about a late cardinal known by many of us who worked in the Roman Curia when he headed a pontifical council: The mortal remains of Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, former president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and archbishop emeritus of Medellín, Colombia, who died in Rome nine years ago, were transferred to Colombia, the country of his birth, at the request of Pope Francis to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The cardinal’s body arrived on Monday May 15, 2017. Archbishop Ricardo Tobon Restrepo of Medellín celebrated the liturgical ceremony of the reception of the body. The late cardinal was buried in the Crypt of the Archbishops in the metropolitan cathedral.

POPE FRANCIS ANNOUNCES 5 NEW CARDINALS FROM MALI, LAOS, SWEDEN, SPAIN AND EL SALVADOR

In a surprise announcement after praying the Regina Coeli this afternoon, Pope Francis said he would hold a consistory to create new cardinals on June 28, naming five bishops and archbishops from Mali, Laos, Sweden, Spain and El Salvador, once again going to the “periphery” as well as to lands where Catholics are a minority,

The future cardinals are Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako, Mali; Archbishop Juan Jose Omella of Barcelona, Spain; Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, Sweden; Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, apostolic vicar of Pakse, Laos; and Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez in San Salvador, El Salvador.

With the five new cardinals, the College of Cardinals will total 227, 121 of whom are cardinal electors, that is, under the age of 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave.

A CNA/EWTN report by Elise Harris notes that, during his Regina Coeli address Sunday, Pope Francis announced to pilgrims that he will be holding a June 28 consistory to create 5 new cardinals he said represent the “catholicity” of the Church.

“Brothers and sisters, I wish to announce to you that Wednesday, June 28, I will hold a consistory for the nomination of 5 new cardinals,” the Pope said May 21, adding that “their origin from different parts of the world manifests the catholicity of the Church, spread throughout the earth.”

The day after the consistory, on the June 29 Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, the new cardinals will concelebrate Mass with Pope Francis in St. Peters Basilica alongside the new metropolitan archbishops named during the previous year, who traditionally receive the pallium from the Pope on that day.

The five new cardinals appointed by Pope Francis are: Archbishop Jean Zerbo, of Bamako, Mali; Archbishop Juan José Omella of Barcelona, Spain; Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, Sweden; Bishop José Gregorio Rosa Chávez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador and Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, Apostolic Vicar of Pakse, Laos and Apostolic Administrator of Vientiane.

True to Francis’ style, the new appointments represent not only the weight key European dioceses such as Stockholm carry, but also the Pope’s acute attention to the peripheries.

A key example of this is the appointment of a cardinal to communist Laos. In 2015 Pope Francis advanced the causes of canonization of 12 potential saints, two of whom were martyred by communist revolutionaries in Laos in 1960.

The Pathet Lao defeated the royalist forces in 1975, and Laos has been a communist state ever since. Foreign missionaries were expelled or fled that year, and now fewer than two percent of Laotians are Christian.

Also noteworthy is his appointment of San Salvador’s auxiliary bishop, marking the first time he has tapped an auxiliary as cardinal. Bishop Chávez was chosen over his Archbishop, Jose Luis Escobar Alas, for the red hat, showing that Francis, as seen in his previous appointments, is willing to skip over “cardinal sees.”

San Salvador is also the diocese Bl. Oscar Romero led before being shot during Mass in 1980. He was recognized as a martyr and beatified in 2015. Chávez is known to have been a close collaborator of Romero before the archbishop’s death.

Rumors have been going around that Romero will be canonized sometime this year, however, so far there has been no confirmation.

All of the new cardinals are under 80, and therefore eligible to vote in the next conclave.