VATICAN INSIDER EXPLORES ENCYCLICAL “LAUDATO SI” – PAPAL AIDE TALKS ABOUT FRANCIS’ “VACATION” – IN BRIEF….

VATICAN INSIDER EXPLORES ENCYCLICAL “LAUDATO SI”

“Vatican Insider” this weekend welcomes Kishore Jayabalan, director of the Rome office of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty to talk about Pope Francis’ social encyclical “Laudato si.” So much has been written about this papal document – months before its publication and in the six weeks since its June 18 publication – and now we have a chance to better understand this lengthy document that Pope Francis himself has called a “social encyclical.” (photo. Acton website)

Kishore Jayabalan   1

The Acton website describes the institute this way: “The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is named after the great English historian, Lord John Acton (1834-1902). He is best known for his famous remark: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Inspired by his work on the relation between liberty and morality, the Acton Institute seeks to articulate a vision of society that is both free and virtuous, the end of which is human flourishing. To clarify this relationship, the Institute holds seminars and publishes various books, monographs, periodicals, and articles.”

Kishore’s impressive background includes a number of years at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace as an analyst for environmental and disarmament issues and desk officer for English-speaking countries. He earned a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he was executive editor of The Michigan Review and an economic policy intern for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Kishore also worked as an international economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C. and then graduated with an M.A. in political science from the University of Toronto.

Most impressive (for me!) is the fact that Kishore, during his graduate studies, was baptized and received into the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1996.

As you know, in the United States you can listen to Vatican Insider on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on Sirius-XM satellite radio. If you live 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 9:30 am (Eastern time) and re-airs Sundays at 4:30 pm (ET). Check for your time zone. Past shows are found in Vatican Insider archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

PAPAL AIDE TALKS ABOUT FRANCIS’ “VACATION”

Just a note today about how Pope Francis has been spending his so-called vacation. There were no weekly general audiences in July – they resume this coming Wednesday, August 5 – but he did have an event-filled trip to Latin America. Recited the Angelus on the Sundays he was in Rome and spoke to a handful of groups, including mayors from around the world.

Msgr. Guillermo Karcher, one of his assistants who is also a master of papal liturgical ceremonies spoke about the papal time off to Vatican Radio. The radio asked about the Pope’s summer holiday. He replied: “Summer holiday? What summer holiday? Despite his age, Pope Francis, 78, continues to work and study even during periods traditionally allocated to relax and rest.”

After the intense week he spent in Latin America, said Msgr. Karcher, Francis has “set to work on some important engagements that are coming up, starting with his visit to Cuba and the US.” “He is calm and content. Every morning when I look at him he seems happy. He is always busy working as I see he is always holding something, letters, correspondence: he always likes to reply himself.”

“He is spending this time keeping in touch with friends, the people he cares about. He is making the most of his free time, devoting it to this as well as to reading documents and upcoming projects.”

Msgr. Karcher said the Pope “does miss” the freedom of being able to go for a stroll among the people. “He was really used to taking walks and being with people. I am thinking of the Argentinian summer, of the month of January, which can be likened to this hot and muggy July: he spent his days visiting the slums of Buenos Aires, sharing the experience of this difficult and hot period of sacrifices with people. But he offers it to God and sees it as a moment to give to God. As Pope he is close in heart to those who suffer as a result of the heat which makes life impossible: just think of those shacks without fans…”

(JFL: By the way, Pope Francis has said on a number of occasions that he sympathizes with those who cannot go on vacation because of illness, lack of money, having to care for a relative, or other reasons.)

IN BRIEF….

PRELATES URGE FAIR AND JUST WAGES : The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by the president of Catholic Charities USA, called upon members of Congress to “advance legislation and policies that would ensure fair and just wages for all workers.” Noting that, “a full-year, full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage does not make enough to raise a child free from poverty,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and Sister Donna Markham said that Congress can promote the common good by “ensuring the federal minimum wage promotes family formation and stability.” Quoting St. John Paul II’s encyclical letter on the 100th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, they added that, “society and the State must ensure wage levels adequate for the maintenance of the worker and his family, including a certain amount for savings.”

PRAY FOR CHRISTIANS ON AUGUST 7: Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has asked “all Christians all over the world to join us in praying for peace and stability in Iraq in the first anniversary of the conquest by ISIS of the Christian villages of the Nineveh Plain on August 7.” The patriarch, who leads the Chaldean Catholic Church, published a prayer for the occasion. It begins: “Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us to pray to the Father in your name, and you assured us that whatever we asked for, we would receive. Therefore, we come to you with complete confidence, asking you to give us the strength to stand fast in this violent storm, to reach peace and security before it is too late.

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