One of my favorite days during the years has always been June 14 when we celebrate Flag Day in America. Maybe because it was just as summer began and summer was marked by vacation time, bar-b-ques, beach parties and cookouts, July 4th and our independence. Everywhere you went, you’d find an American flag; wherever a flag could be hung or unfurled or simply placed in the sand at a beach, there it was, the Stars and Stripes.
There were then and are today rules for displaying the flag. I remember always having a flag on our home. We took it down at night because a flag could not be displayed at night unless a light was shining on it.
My heart breaks today when I read of people being unable to display the US flag at their home because of homeowers association regulations, or regulations from some other group.
Today I wish all my fellow Americans a Happy Flag Day, whether it is waving in the wind at your home or you are wearing a flag pin.
POPE FRANCIS: GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE IS SOURCE OF HOPE
Before he began today’s general audience just before 9:30 in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis paid a visit to the Paul VI Hall to greet sick people and their family members.
According to Vatican Radio which records such papal remarks, the Holy Father greeted to the sick, “Good morning to you all! Please be seated, be seated… Today we will hold the audience in two different places, but we will be joined by the maxi-screen, and so you will be more comfortable here, because in the square it is very hot! It will be a Turkish bath today!
“Thank you very much for coming,” continued the Pope, “And afterwards, listen to what I will say, but with the heart joined to those who are in the square: the Church is like this. A group here, a group there, but all united. And who unites the Church? The Holy Spirit. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to unite us all here today, in this audience. Veni, Sancte Spiritus … Our Father… Hail Mary…
”And now, I give you my blessing……Thank you, and pray for me! Do not forget! And we will continue to see each other…
A half hour later, Francis reached St. Peter’s Square, addressing groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and around the world on the theme of Christian hope.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” he began. “In our catechesis on Christian hope, we have found the source of that hope in God’s unconditional love, revealed for us in the coming of the Son and the gift of the Holy Spirit. None of us can live without love. Happiness comes from the experience of knowing love, freely given and received.
Francis went on to say, in very comforting words, “So much unhappiness in our world is born of the feeling of not being loved for our own sake. Faith teaches us that God loves us with an infinite love, not for any merit of our own, but out of his sheer goodness. Even when we stray from him, God seeks us out, like the merciful father in the parable of the prodigal son, offers us forgiveness, and restores us to his embrace.
The Pope explained that, “In the words of Saint Paul: ‘While we still were sinners, Christ died for us’ so that we might become beloved sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. Through the resurrection of Jesus and the grace of the Holy Spirit, we become sharers in God’s own life of love. May all of us find in God’s embrace the promise of new life and freedom. For in his love is the source of all our hope.”
C9 OFFERS SERIOUS PROPOSALS FOR DECENTRALIZATION OF ROMAN CURIA
At 13.00 today, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, gave a briefing on the twentieth meeting of the Council of Cardinals attended by the Holy Father Francis. The Council of Cardinals met with the Holy Father for three days: Monday 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 June. All members of the Council were present apart from Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston.
Pope Francis was absent this morning owing to the general audience.
The working sessions took place in the morning from 9.00 to 12.30, and in the afternoon from 16.30 to 19.00, and were dedicated to further consideration of the ways in which the Roman Curia can better serve the local Churches. For example, a larger consultation board made up also of members from consecrated life and the laity, for candidates proposed for appointment as bishop.
Among other proposals, the possibility of transferring some functions from the Roman Dicasteries to the local bishops or episcopal councils, in a spirit of healthy decentralization. For example, the transfer from the Congregation for the Clergy to the Episcopal Conference for examination and authorization for: the priestly ordination of an unmarried permanent deacon; the passage to new marriage for a widowed permanent deacon; the request for priestly ordination by a widowed permanent deacon.
The Cardinals gave further consideration to various Dicasteries of the Curia, in particular the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The Council studied and reread texts proposed for submission to the Holy Father regarding the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue; the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches; the Dicastery for Legislative Texts; and three tribunals: the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Segnatura and the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.
Cardinal George Pell provided an update on the work of the Secretariat for the Economy, of which he is the president. Particular attention was paid to the steps ahead made in the process of planning of economic resources and in monitoring financial plans for the first trimester of 2017 which have substantially confirmed, with few exceptions, the budget data. Shortly the budget process will begin for 2018, and the monitoring for the second trimester of 2017.
The prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, presented a report on the state of the reform of the communication system of the Holy See; he illustrated the economic and management progress of the SPC, demonstrating positive results. He then explained the projects in the realization phase of the new communication system, in accordance with the Holy Father’s recent address on the occasion of the Dicastery’s first Plenary.
The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals will take place on 11, 12 and 14 September 2017. (Holy See Press Office)