POPE DONATES RAUL CASTRO GIFT OF CRUCIFIX TO LAMPEDUSA – MEMBER OF COUNCIL FOR THE ECONOMY GIVES LECTURE ON FINANCIAL CHANGES IN THE VATICAN

POPE DONATES RAUL CASTRO GIFT OF CRUCIFIX TO LAMPEDUSA

What a lovely story this is!

Pope Francis, of course, receives many gifts throughout the year and many are re-gifted to others. For example, if he receives a stole or chasuble or chalice he will see that it is given to a priest in a poor parish. Some of the gifts, as you may know from my previous postings, become part of the two annual lotteries whose profits go to the office of the Papal Almoner to be used for charity.

The third annual lottery extraction will take place on February 2, 2016, feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple.  Each tickets costs 10 Euro and may only be bought at the Vatican. The public may buy tickets at Vatican post offices or in the Vatican Museums.  Prizes include: a car, a watch, a tandem bike, a bike, a table clock, a silver pen, a leather carryall, a chronograph, a black leather suitcase, a hand made rug, a ceramic table centerpiece, an electric coffee maker and 30 consolation prizes.

Click here to see the official color poster:  http://www.vaticanstate.va/content/dam/vaticanstate/documenti/locandina-lotteria-3-edizione.pdf

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is donating to the parish church of Lampedusa a crucifix that was gifted to him by President Raul Castro of Cuba during the recent papal visit to the Caribbean island. Measuring over 3 metres high, the crucifix is crafted from wooden oars tied with ropes to symbolize the reality of migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean by boat. Lampedusa is an island off the coast of Sicily whose shores receive the majority of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean sea by boat from Libya to Italy. The tiny island was also the first place in Italy that Pope Francis chose to visit after his election.

Pope Francis’ decision was announced by Cardinal Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento whose archdiocese includes Lampedusa. He made the announcement at Italy’s National Ecclesial Congress in Florence that was attended by the Pope on Tuesday.

On hearing of the Pope’s gift, the parish priest of Lampedusa Don Mimmo Zambito said the image of this crucifix symbolizes the mercy and humanity of Jesus Christ who triumphs over every conflict, knocking down walls and crossing borders.

The crucifix will be displayed in the Church of the Holy Cross in Agrigento for the local inauguration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy on December 11th and then will be taken on a pilgrimage across the archdiocese of Agrigento before taking up its final residence in the parish Church of Lampedusa.

MEMBER OF COUNCIL FOR THE ECONOMY GIVES LECTURE ON FINANCIAL CHANGES IN THE VATICAN

An article in the Notre Dame-St Mary’s College “Observer,” dated November 12, details the lecture given by Joseph Zahra, the vice coordinator of the Council for the Economy for the Holy See. His talk was titled, “Inside the Financial and Administrative Changes in the Vatican: What Pope Francis is Doing and Why.”

Here are a few paragraphs to whet your appetite and then a link to the entire article.

While many are aware of Pope Francis’ devotion to solving global problems, especially in regards to poverty, Joseph Zahra highlighted the pope’s sometimes overlooked commitment to amending the administrative and financial structure of the Vatican.

Zahra, the vice coordinator of the Council for the Economy for the Holy See, gave his lecture, titled “Inside the Financial and Administrative Changes in the Vatican: What Pope Francis is Doing and Why,” at the Eck Visitors Center Auditorium on Wednesday. The talk was sponsored by Mendoza College of Business and was open to the public. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington D.C. and CAPP-USA National Ecclesiastical Counselor, introduced Zahra to kick off the event.

Zahra began his lecture by clarifying the economic positions of Pope Francis. He said while many assume the pope promotes certain economic systems, the public’s speculations are not always true.(photo: NDSMC Observer)

JOSEPH ZAHRA

“Pope Francis’ words are either misinterpreted or else misunderstood by many, particularly in the business community,” Zahra said.

Zahra said the 1991 encyclical of Pope John Paul II, “Centesimus Annus,” emphasized the benefits of a free enterprise economy.

“The business economy has many positive aspects. It is based on human freedom, human freedom that is exercised in the economic field,” Zahra said. “Free culture, free markets and free policies create a free society.”

According to Zahra, the problem with the economy is the corrupt nature of mankind.

To continue reading the lengthy but fascinating talk by Zahra, click here: http://ndsmcobserver.com/2015/11/speaker-explains-new-papal-financial-structures/

PRESS OFFICE ON LEAKS OF VATICAN DOCUMENTS – CONGREGATION ADDRESSES NEWS REPORTS ON ITS REAL ESTATE HOLDINGS

Pope Francis is back on Twitter!  Here is his November 12 tweet, the first since October 31:  As Christians, we are called to imitate the Good Shepherd and to help families experiencing difficulties.

PRESS OFFICE ON LEAKS OF VATICAN DOCUMENTS

Wednesday afternoon the following statement was released by the Holy See Press Office relative to news reports of alleged illicit financial activity by a Vatican office:

“In recent days articles have appeared in various media organs and news agencies that refer in a partial and imprecise fashion to the content of a confidential document, hypothesizing that in the past APSA has been exploited for an illicit financial activity. The Vatican’s judicial authority has opened an investigation in regard to the diffusion of this document. APSA (Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See) has always collaborated with the competent bodies, it is not the subject of an investigation and it continues to undertake its own activity with respect to norms in force.”

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI

Later Wednesday afternoon, the Holy See Press Office issued an additional statement on Wednesday that confirmed that a pair of Italian journalists are under investigation by Vatican police (the Gendarmeria), under the direction of judicial magistrates probing the leak of confidential documents that allegedly indicate mismanagement at high levels of the Roman Curia. (Vatican Radio)

Journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi each wrote a book released earlier this month, claiming to give details of what they describe as resistance to the Holy Father’s efforts to reform the machinery of central Church governance.

In his statement, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, said other officials are under scrutiny for possible involvement in the document leak as well.

Following is the full text of Fr. Lombardi’s statement, in Vatican Radio’s English translation:

The Vatican Gendarmeria, in its capacity as judicial police, had informed the Vatican judiciary of the operations of two journalists [Gianluigi] Nuzzi and [Emiliano] Fittipaldi, in connection with [their] possible participation in dissemination of reserved information and confidential documents – a crime under the Vatican City criminal code (Law n.IX SCV, of 13 July 2013 Art. 116b).

In the investigative activity already undertaken, the Judiciary has acquired elements of evidence of the fact of the two journalists’ involvement in the offense, who therefore are now under investigation.

The situations of other persons who, owing to their official positions, could have cooperated in the acquisition of the reserved documents in question, are also under investigation.

CONGREGATION ADDRESSES NEWS REPORTS ON ITS REAL ESTATE HOLDINGS

(VIS) – The following is the full text of the communique issued yesterday afternoon by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples on news relating to its ownership of real estate.

“The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, also known as ‘Propaganda Fide’, adheres fully to the Holy Father Francis’ line of thought and guidance with regard to the life and reform of the Roman Curia; in addition, it his committed to pursuing the institutional aims set forth in the Apostolic Constitution ‘Pastor Bonus’, as well as respecting the will of donors who over the years have contributed to its missionary work. Therefore, it welcomes all the administrative reforms anticipated by the Secretary for the Economy and submits all the budgets and final accounts to the latter.

“Certain insinuations on the part of certain sectors of the media, which circulate news not corresponding to the truth, are therefore unacceptable. It has been written, for example, that the Congregation offers luxury properties for rent at low prices as favours, and even that it hosts a spa or is the proprietor of the Hotel Priscilla.

“The real estate belonging to the Congregation, donated for the Missions, is rented at market value; there are exceptions in the case of situations of poverty. The aforementioned properties are rented in accordance with current Italian legislation, to which both the Congregation as the owner and the recipient are subject.

“The income deriving from the rent of these properties, for which regular tax is paid in Italy (in 2014 the Dicastery paid IMU – imposta municipale unica, property tax, of 2,169,200 euros in Rome alone) is destined principally for the maintenance of the Congregation, the Pontifical Urbanian University, the Pontifical Collegio Urbano, the missionary institutions and young Churches in the mission territories.

“Propaganda Fide is grateful to the benefactors who, with its help, make it possible for the Gospel to be announced and provide support for innumerable educational, social and healthcare initiatives in the poorest countries.

“We wish to clarify that, should such dissemination of false or biased information recur, this Congregation will be obliged to protect its image in the appropriate forums.”