“VATICAN INSIDER” TO FEATURE CATHOLIC EDUCATION CONGRESS
Tune in this weekend to “Vatican Insider” when I welcome Dr. Dan Guernsey, director of K-12 programs at the Cardinal Newman Society. He is an educator who has worked at every level of Catholic education for 25 years from K-12 to university president.
Dr. Guernsey is in Rome for the World Congress organized by the Congregation for Catholic Education to commemorate two Vatican Documents on Education, the 50th anniversary of “Gravissimum educationis” and the 25th of “Ex corde Ecclesiae (Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities). The congress theme is “Educating today and tomorrow: a renewing passion.”
In 2012, some fifty experts from around the globe met in Rome to identify problems regarding education in Church-run schools and universities all over the world, and to make some suggestions to relaunch important educational activities carried out by many Catholic institutions. The Rome Congress is four days long, and Pope Francis meets participnats on Saturday.
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=
POPE FRANCIS WELCOMES PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE
Pope Francis today welcomed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who later met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
The Vatican communqiue on the meeting said discussions were “cordial” and “were dedicated principally to matters connected with the situation of conflict in the country. In this respect the hope was shared that, with the commitment of all the interested Parties, political solutions may be favored, starting with the full implementation of the Minsk Accords.”
The Vatican noted that, “at the same time, concern was expressed regarding the difficulties of facing the humanitarian crisis, with particular reference to access for specialised organisations to areas affected by hostilities, to healthcare, to the exchange of prisoners, and the economic and social repercussions of the conflict, experienced throughout the territory.
Lastly, said the communique, “the meeting provided an opportunity to highlight the important role of the Church in society, as well as the contribution of the Greek Catholic and Latin rite communities to the life of the country.”
BE OBSESSED BY THE WORDS OF JESUS, NOT MONEY OR POWER
Every morning that he says Mass in the Santa Marta chapel, Pope Francis’ homilies are recorded by Vatican Radio, which transcribes them into Italian and translates them into other languages. Those translations are then put on the News.va website. The Holy Father had a powerful homily yesterday that I placed here in its entirety, a talk about Jesus who weeps at man’s inhumanity to man, at his desire for war, at his seeming lack of desire for peace.
In his homily today, the Pope said the Church must not be obsessed by money or power, nor worship “holy bribes.” Instead her strength and joy should come from the words of Christ. Following are extracts from Vatican Radio’s report.
The Holy Father reflected on the reading from Maccabees, which tells of the people’s joy following the reconsecration of the Holy Temple that had been destroyed by pagans and those obsessed by worldliness. The people of God celebrated, they rejoiced because they had rekindled “their true identity.” Francis explained that “those who indulge in worldliness do not know how to celebrate – they can’t celebrate! At most, the worldly spirit can provide amusement, it can provoke excitement, but true joy can only come from faith in the Covenant.” Pope Francis noted that at the time of the Maccabees, worldly desire “displaced the Living God,”adding that now, it is happening “in another way altogether.”
“The Gospel says the chief priests and scribes had changed things. They had dishonored and compromised the Temple. They had dishonored the Temple! The Temple was a symbol of the Church. The Church will always – always! – be subject to the temptation of worldliness and power. Jesus did not say ‘No, do not do this inside. Go outside instead.’ He said ‘You have made it a den of thieves!’ And when the Church enters into such a state of decline, the end is bad. Very bad indeed.”
“There is always a danger of corruption within the Church,” continued the Pope. “This happens when the Church, instead of being devoted to faith in Our Lord, in the Prince of Peace, in joy, in salvation, becomes dominated by money and power. This is exactly what happens here, in this Gospel reading.”
Pope Francis noted that “Jesus did not chase the priests and scribes away from the Temple; he chased away those who were doing business there, the businessmen of the Temple. The chief priests and scribes were involved in their dealings: this is ‘holy bribery’! The Gospel is very clear. It says: “The chief priests and scribes wanted to kill Jesus, along with the elders of the people’. …Jesus’ strength is to be found in his words, in his love. And where Jesus is, there is no room for worldliness. There is no room for corruption! This is a challenge for each and every one of us; this is the struggle the Church has to face every day.”
“We must pray for the Church,” said Francis. “We must hold in our hearts today’s martyrs, who suffer and die, so as not to be ensnared by worldly desires, by obsession, by apostasy. Today! Today, there are more martyrs of the Church than there ever were before. Let’s think about that. It does us good to think about them. And also to pray that we may never fall into the trap of worldliness, where we will be obsessed only by money and power.”