VATICAN INSIDER: A MORNING WITH ALVEDA KING – SWEDISH CARDINAL ARBORELIUS NAMED SWEDE OF THE YEAR

I am going to attempt to post a normal column today on my blog and then nourish the hope that I can re-post it, as I have done for a few years now, on Facebook. I did not think things could be worse than a dying computer but now it seems a new computer has even more issues. An extremely poor Internet connection has made all my problems worse and I have pleaded with TIM, the Italian phone company to remedy things asap.

Today my main challenge is linked to my keyboard. All the keys that are not letters, with the exception of the period, comma and exclamation mark keys, when pressed, are something other than what is shown on the key. If I want a punctuation key, any punctuation, it is trial and error. I tried to write Joan-s Rome and, as you see, the apostrophe has been replaced by a dash.

I went online this morning and found a Microsoft help site and tried their recommendation of simultaneously pressing the Function and Block Numbers keys and that worked. It is not working now. Trying to write without symbols and punctuation is nigh on to impossible.

Just two stories for this column today, given that my task is so difficult.

Congratulations to Cardinal Arborelius, by the way….read on!

VATICAN INSIDER: A MORNING WITH ALVEDA KING

Please join me this weekend on Vatican Insider when my very special guest is also a good friend, Alveda King. You may have seen her posts and my reposts of her blogs and Facebook live video about our visit last Saturday in my home. We were joined by two friends of ours for a morning of conversation, a Christmas panettone and some coffee …. coffee I had brought back from Hawaii.

I think the small size of our elevator stunned Alveda…

Some photos Bob Lalonde took at the papal audience…


Alveda, if you do not know her and have not seen her on her frequent appearances on Foxnews, is an American activist, author, former college professor and former state representative in the Georgia House of Representatives. She is a niece of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the founder of Alveda King Ministries. Alveda currently serves as a Pastoral Associate and Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, the African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Among her many talents and ministries, Alveda is also a voice for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, sharing her testimony of two abortions, God’s forgiveness, and healing.

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 http://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=

SWEDISH CARDINAL ARBORELIUS NAMED SWEDE OF THE YEAR

Swedish Cardinal Anders Arborelius, archbishop of Stockholm, has been named 2017 Swede of the Year by a 7-person jury, the first time a Catholic prelate has received the honor.

This award has been given every year since 1984. In early years, the main criteria for selecting Swede of the Year was that the person in question had played a prominent part in news reports that year and it was a leading service news show, Rapport, that made the selection. Since 2006, a leading Swedish news magazine, Fokus, has been responsible for selecting Swede of the Year via an independent jury that makes the actual selection.

Since 2006 the criteria has been changed to show a willingness to find candidates who are not just well known or celebrated people but people who are both interesting and challenging.

Here is what the jury stated regarding the 2017 selection of Cardinal Arborelius….

“Nineteen years ago, the Swede of the Year stepped into a role that no Swede had played since the 16th century. This year he became the first Swede ever to wear the red biretta. The Swede of the Year has already made history, but he is also a person who, even since his appointment in 1998, has been part of Swedish public debate. To represent the Catholic Church in a country whose identity is mainly secular and otherwise Lutheran, requires a fearless attitude. As bishop of the diocese of Stockholm, the Swede of the Year also plays an essential role in bringing native Swedes and immigrant Swedes together. The Swede of the Year is Anders Arborelius, bishop and cardinal.”

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Joan 1, Technology 0

Just a line to share the news that, while I have a new computer and the improved technology has made my life better, there are still wrinkles to iron out. I am winning the technology battle but one of the still-to-be-resolved issues is that I can access my blog on WordPress but I cannot enter to add, correct, or change a text or add photos. For now,I can post via iPad, but with some limitations….thanks for understanding! I am posting on Facebook so pay a visit! Grazie!

JOAN 1, TECHNOLOGY 0

My new computer is up and running but there are many wrinkles yet to be ironed out, programs installed, etc. In any case, i am in better shape than yesterday and trying to conquer all that is new in technology.

Of the many things I cannot do as I have done on my previous computer, one is posting a column on Joan’s Rome….I can access my blog on WordPress but cannot enter to write, correct, post photos, etc. thus, these few words, posted via my iPad, with its various limitations, are an alert that this column may not always be be updated daily.

I am keeping up with people and news and events on Facebook so you can go there daily….thanks for understanding!

TECHNOLOGY 1, JOAN 0

After multiple attempts to post even a brief line on my blog, using my near-death computer and an auxiliary notebook that I have, both of which have failed me ignominiously in the last 48 hours, i have turned to my iPad which has proved to be a more faithful companion in these difficult days. This brief note is to explain my absence Friday and my likely absence tomorrow in this column. I have been able to post ….to re-post, actually….some news stories on Facebook to keep you informed but have not been able to post my Joan’s Rome column, photos, etc.

And that has been a shame because, for example, I had an amazing day yesterday in my home, sharing coffee, a Christmas panettone and great conversation with Alveda King! I will get those photos to you as soon as my new computer is up and running with all the new programs installed, etc. Alveda and I first met a few years ago through Priests for Life when Father Frank Pavone was marking the 20th anniversary of that organization he founded. Joining Alveda and me were Bob LaLonde of PFL and Geoffrey Stickland who helps the PFL Rome office and is one of the organizers of a conference Alveda is in town to attend, the Forum of Catholic-inspired NGOs.

She did a Facebook live in my office where I interviewed her for Vatican Insider and I did share that on Facebook today. She also posted a great blog about her trip to Rome…..her first time!…. and I will post a link to that as soon as possible.

In late afternoon yesterday, I interviewed Msgr. Robert Vitillo, director general of ICMC, the International Catholic Migration Commission. We had a truly amazing conversation about the work ICMC does throughout the world with millions of refugees, migrants and internally displaced peoples. (IDP)

Tuesday should be a thumbs-up day for the new computer, although I fully realize there will be many new things I will have to learn and that may take some additional time. I have a wonderfully talented friend, Alessandro, who works for SKY Italia and he has been a genius in assisting me technically over the years. I am counting on Alessandro….and St. Gabriel and St. Francis de Sales!

Hope you are having a fruitful Advent, a wonderful weekend and that December 8, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception was an especially meaningful feast for you.

CATHOLIC PATRIARCHS TO TRUMP: CONTINUE RECOGNIZING INTERNATIONAL STATUS OF JERUSALEM

CATHOLIC PATRIARCHS TO TRUMP: CONTINUE RECOGNIZING INTERNATIONAL STATUS OF JERUSALEM

FROM: PATRIARCHS AND HEADS OF LOCAL CHURCHES IN JERUSALEM

TO: President Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America

Jerusalem, December 6, 2017

Dear Mr. President,

We are fully aware and appreciative of how you are dedicating special attention to the status of Jerusalem in these days. We are following with attentiveness and we see that it is our duty to address this letter to Your Excellency.

On July 17, 2000, we addressed a similar letter to the leaders who met in Camp David to decide the status of Jerusalem. They kindly took our letter into consideration. Today, Mr. President, we are confident that you too will take our viewpoint into consideration on the very important status of Jerusalem. Our land is called to be a land of peace. Jerusalem, the city of God, is a city of peace for us and for the world. Unfortunately, though, our holy land with Jerusalem the Holy city, is today a land of conflict. Those who love Jerusalem have every will to work and make it a land and a city of peace, life and dignity for all its inhabitants. The prayers of all believers in it—the three religions and two peoples who belong to this city—rise to God and ask for peace, as the Psalmist says: “Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see!” (80.14). Inspire our leaders, and fill their minds and hearts with justice and peace.

Mr. President, we have been following, with concern, the reports about the possibility of changing how the United States understands and deals with the status of Jerusalem. We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division.

We ask from you, Mr. President to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all. Our solemn advice and plea is for the United States to continue recognizing the present international status of Jerusalem. Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm. We are confident that, with strong support from our friends, Israelis and Palestinians can work towards negotiating a sustainable and just peace, benefiting all who long for the Holy City of Jerusalem to fulfil its destiny. The Holy City can be shared and fully enjoyed once a political process helps liberate the hearts of all people, that live within it, from the conditions of conflict and destructiveness that they are experiencing. Christmas is upon us soon. It is a feast of peace. The Angels have sung in our sky: Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to the people of good will. In this coming Christmas, we plea for Jerusalem not to be deprived from peace, we ask you Mr. President to help us listen to the song of the angels. As the Christian leaders of Jerusalem, we invite you to walk with us in hope as we build a just, inclusive peace for all the peoples of this unique and Holy City. With our best regards, and best wishes for a Merry Christmas.

Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator, Latin Patriarchate

+Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
+Archbishop Anba Antonious, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem

+Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate

+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

+Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
+Msgr. Georges Dankaye’, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

 

PAPAL APPEAL FOR JERUSALEM – POPE EMPHASIZES “BRIDGES OF DIALOGUE” IN MEETING WITH PALESTINIANS – COMMUNIQUE FROM PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

Today’s stories all concern the Holy Land and, in a special way, Jerusalem, given the indications by the Trump administration that the U.S. will declare Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel and announce plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, thus making it the only nation in the world with ties to Israel that has its embassy in Jerusalem.

I published the first story on my blog and Facebook page the instant it happened.

The second story is a summary of the Pope’s remarks to a group of Palestinians following their meeting yesterday in the Vatican with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The third story is the communiqué from the pontifical council about yesterday’s meeting, The breaking news in that communiqué was the announcement that the two sides decided to establish a Joint Working Group for Dialogue, through the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding. The Pope was told about the joint group this morning at the general audience and, said the communiqué, he “expressed his joy for the establishment of the Joint Working Group, wishing it success in its mission.”

PAPAL APPEAL FOR JERUSALEM

Pope Francis said these words at the end of the general audience this morning in the Paul VI Hall. It certainly is a speedy Vatican response to news coming from the Trump administration about the status of Jerusalem.

Following is my translation of his appeal made in Italian:

“My thoughts now turn to Jerusalem. In this regard, I cannot be silent about my very deep concern for the situation that has been created in recent days, and at the same time I make a heartfelt appeal that it becomes everyone’s commitment to respect the status quo of the city in conformity with the pertinent United Nations resolutions.

“Jerusalem is a unique city sacred for Jews, Christians and Muslims and in it they venerate the Holy Places of their respective religions, and it has a special vocation to peace.

“I pray the Lord that this identity will be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and of the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence will prevail to avoid adding new elements of tension to a world panorama already convulsed and marked by so many cruel conflicts.”

POPE EMPHASIZES “BRIDGES OF DIALOGUE” IN MEETING WITH PALESTINIANS

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis, before his general audience on Wednesday, greeted a Palestinian delegation hosted by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

He told them that it was his hope “that your consultations may help to open a space of sincere dialogue for the benefit of all the members of Palestinian society, and the Christian community in particular, given its small numbers and the challenges it faces, especially with regard to emigration.”

The Holy Father emphasized that, “for the Catholic Church, it is always a joy to build bridges of dialogue with communities, individuals and organizations,  adding that it was a particular joy to do so with Palestinian religious and intellectual leaders.” Dialogue, said the Pope, “takes place at every level: with ourselves through reflection and prayer, in our families, in our religious communities, between different religious communities, and also in civil society.”

He noted that the primary condition of that dialogue was “reciprocal respect and a commitment to strengthening that respect for the sake of recognizing the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be.”

The Pope remarked that the Holy Land was for Christians “the land par excellence of dialogue between God and mankind.”  He also highlighted the fact that the culmination of this dialogue took place in Nazareth between the Angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary.

The Holy Father went on to say, “that dialogue continues in a unique way between Jesus and his people, in representation of humanity as a whole.”

Concluding his greeting, Pope Francis recalled the “kindness that the Authorities of the State of Palestine have shown to the Christian community, acknowledging its place and its role in Palestinian society.”

COMMUNIQUE FROM PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

On Tuesday, December 5 2017, a meeting took place in Rome between the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Palestinian Commission for Interreligious Dialogue.

The delegation of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue was headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president. The Palestinian Commission for Interreligious Dialogue was headed by Shaykh Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Supreme Judge of the State of Palestine and President of the same Commission.

The other participants from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue were H.E. Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, Secretary, and Monsignor Khaled Akasheh, Bureau Chief for Islam.

The other members of the Palestinian Delegation were Mr Ziad Al-Bandak, Minister and Counsellor to the President for Church Affairs, Mr Adnan Al-Husseini, Governor of Jerusalem and Member of the Higher Islamic Council, Mr Issa Kassissieh, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to the Holy See, and Mr Ammar Al-Nisnas, Counsellor of the Embassy.

The two sides decided to establish a Joint Working Group for Dialogue, through the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding.

The two delegations were pleased to meet with His Holiness Pope Francis, on Wednesday December 6, who expressed his joy for the establishment of the Joint Working Group, wishing it success in its mission.