FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WORLD YOUTH DAY IN PANAMA

Here’s a bit of background for the 2019 WYD in Panama – the five things you will want to know about this celebration as Pope Francis today wings his way west to a new adventure. However I’d add a sixth thing: When pronouncing the name of the country, the accent is placed on the final syllable, not the first, thus Panamà!

I’ll have to remember that when I next speak on radio!

Speaking of which: Here is a link to last weekend’s edition of Vatican Insider: https://soundcloud.com/ewtn-radio/vatican-insider-011919-alveda-king

And this weekend will be very special as well when my guest Alessandro Biciocchi and I speak of an opera written by a cardinal.

Speaking of Papal trips – just in: Responding to the questions of several journalists, the director “ad interim” of the Holy See Press Office Alessandro Gisotti affirmed:
“The Apostolic Journey to Japan is in the phase of being studied. As the Holy Father already said on other occasions, he has a great desire to go to this country. Regarding a possible visit to Iraq, as was already also affirmed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, on his return from visiting that country last December, the conditions do not exist at present for a visit by the Holy Father.”

Two days ago the Vatican published information for the journalists who will cover the Pope’s February 3-5 trip to the UAE (United Arab Emirates), including a link they must use to request local accreditation. In addition, local authorities notify the media that those who want to bring photographic/video equipment into the UAE, must register that equipment via a separate link. Using that same link, media may request authorization for photos / videos not connected to the travel events.

I have only covered a few papal trips (never on a papal plane but that is at the top of my bucket list!) but do not recall such explicit requests for permission to use photo/video equipment or the necessity to register each piece of equipment with local authorities or to register to take photos of non-papal visit places and events. Colleagues may correct me on this. I do know there are military areas in countries that are off-base to the media.

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WORLD YOUTH DAY IN PANAMA

Panama City, Panama, Jan 21, 2019 / 04:31 pm (CNA).- The 15th international World Youth Day is set to begin Tuesday, Jan. 22 in Panama City, Panama.


The massive gathering of Catholic youth, which takes place every two or three years, this year will be held for the first time in Central America.

Pope St. John Paul II established World Youth Day in 1985. The first international gathering was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1987.

The purpose of World Youth Day is threefold: a celebration of and putting trust in the young; giving young people a chance to make pilgrimage; and to give young people a chance to encounter the worldwide Catholic community.

The theme for this year’s gathering is taken from Mary’s affirmation of God’s will in Luke 1:38: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

The festivities in Panama end Jan. 27. Here are 5 things you need to know about this year’s World Youth Day (in Spanish, Jornada Mundial de la Juventud or JMJ).

1. How many pilgrims?
Past World Youth Days have typically been held during the northern hemisphere’s summer— August, July, etc. This year the event takes place during the southern hemisphere’s summer, and though Panama lies entirely in the northern hemisphere, it is going to be hot! The forecast for the week shows highs above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for most days.

The timing this year also means WYD is taking place during the school year for young people from the Northern Hemisphere, so it remains to be seen how many young people from the United States will be able to make it. At last count, 11,000 young people from the U.S. are registered. Around 36,000 US youths attended the last WYD in Poland, according to the U.S. bishops’ conference.

In addition to pilgrims, the United States is sending more than 30 bishops, including Cardinals Sean O’Malley of Boston, Blase Cupich of Chicago, and Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.

Alessandro Gisotti, interim Director of Vatican press office, said as of Jan. 18 that 150,000 young people from 155 countries had signed up as pilgrims, which would make for a smaller group than had attended in previous years— around 2 million pilgrims attended the last World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, and in 1995 an estimated 5 million attended in Manila, Philippines.

However, the international media coordinator for the Archdiocese of Panama has said more recently that at least 408,000 pilgrims have signed up, and the number is expected to grow. Organizers say they expect a crowd of at least 500,000 people for the final mass on Sunday, Jan. 27.

Paul Jarzembowski, World Youth Day national coordinator for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has said they have seen more young people in their 20s participating in this WYD, whereas in years past more of the pilgrims have been teenagers.

2. A man, a plan, a canal…Panama!
Panama is a small Central American nation of about 4 million people. Overall, the country is about 85% Catholic.

Most of the events will be held on Cinta Costera, a 64-acre peninsula jutting into the Panama Bay, which has been renamed Campo Santa Maria la Antigua for WYD.
Pilgrims are also encouraged to check out the historic district of Panama City, Casco Viejo, and to visit the seven historic churches located in the district: La Catedral Metropolitana, La Merced, San Francisco de Asís, San José, San Felipe de Neri, Santo Domingo, and Santa Ana.

Panama City, the capital of the county and home to about 1.5 million people in the metro area, is home to the world-famous Panama Canal, the waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Construction on the canal was completed in 1914 by the US Army Corp of Engineers, at a cost of the lives of nearly 28,000 workers who undertook the project. Today, nearly 14,000 ships cross through the canal each year, the majority bound for the United States.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez has been a strong supporter of the WYD effort ever since it was announced in 2016 that the next event would be held in his country.

“As a Panamanian,” he told Vatican News, “I feel honored that our country will be at the heart of the world for a few days, pumping the Pope’s message of hope, unity, solidarity and concern for those in need.”

3. Follow the action
For English-speaking pilgrims attending WYD, there are several special events that will be conducted in English while you’re down there.

For example, the USCCB along with the Knights of Columbus and the Fellowship of Catholic University Students are co-sponsoring an event called “Fiat” in Panama City on Jan. 23 at 7pm EST. The event will feature renowned Catholic speakers and musicians. The English and Spanish-speaking event will be livestreamed on FOCUS’ YouTube channel.

If you can’t make it to this year’s World Youth Day, there are several ways to follow along at home. The official hashtags for WYD this year, which you can follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are #Panama2019, #FranciscoEnPanama, and #JMJestáAqui / #WYDisHere. You can also follow @cnalive on Twitter and @catholicnewsagency on Instagram for updates from Panama City.

If you’d still like to attend an event in person, there are several WYD events taking place throughout the US at the same time as the international gathering in Panama. These include festivals with speakers, music and more in cities like Washington DC, Seattle, Honolulu, and others. The complete list can be found here.

4. Latin American saints and spirituality
Organizers of the event are already talking about the infectious energy of Panama City, and the likelihood that, especially with the appearance of the first pope from the Americas, the event will be very focused on a Latin American flavor of Catholicism. Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta of Panama City told Vatican News that he expects most of the pilgrims to come from Latin America.

Images of St Oscar Romero, a very popular and beloved Salvadoran archbishop, will likely be a very visible figure among the Latin American pilgrims. Romero, a tireless advocate for the poor, was assassinated while celebrating mass in 1980, likely by a right-wing death squad. Pope Francis canonized Romero late last year.

This is also the first World Youth Day to overlap with the World Meeting of Indigenous Youth, at which nearly 400 indigenous young people gathered ahead of the WYD celebrations in rural Panama.

5. A visit from Pope Francis
The big question everyone is asking: When will I get to see Pope Francis? Here are a few highlights from his schedule.

Pope Francis will arrive in Panama Wednesday, Jan. 23. The next day, Jan. 24, he will have a meeting with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez at 9:45 am, followed by a meeting with the Central American bishops at 11:15 and then a welcome ceremony to mark the beginning of World Youth Day at 5:30 pm, which will be held at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua.

On Jan. 25, he will meet with young detainees for a penitential service, and later that evening will preside over a “Via Cruces” (Way of the Cross) at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua.

On Saturday morning, Jan. 26, Pope Francis will dedicate the altar of the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria la Antigua, and that evening will lead a vigil with the young people in Metro Park. Finally, the following morning the Holy Father will preside over the closing mass for WYD at 8 am.

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FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WORLD YOUTH DAY IN PANAMA

Here’s a bit of background for the 2019 WYD in Panama – the five things you will want to know about this celebration as Pope Francis today wings his way west to a new adventure. However I’d add a sixth thing: When pronouncing the name of the country, the accent is placed on the final syllable, not the first, thus Panamà!

I’ll have to remember that when I next speak on radio!

Speaking of which: Here is a link to last weekend’s edition of Vatican Insider: https://soundcloud.com/ewtn-radio/vatican-insider-011919-alveda-king

And this weekend will be very special as well when my guest Alessandro Biciocchi and I speak of an opera written by a cardinal.

And speaking of Papal trips – just in: Responding to the questions of several journalists, the director “ad interim” of the Holy See Press Office Alessandro Gisotti affirmed:

“The Apostolic Journey to Japan is in the phase of being studied. As the Holy Father already said on other occasions, he has a great desire to go to this country. Regarding a possible visit to Iraq, as was already also affirmed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, on his return from visiting that country last December, the conditions do not exist at present for a visit by the Holy Father.”

Two days ago the Vatican published information for the journalists who will cover the Pope’s February 3-5 trip to the UAE (United Arab Emirates), including a link they must use to request local accreditation. In addition, local authorities notify the media that those who want to bring photographic/video equipment into the UAE, must register that equipment via a separate link. Using that same link, media may request authorization for photos / videos not connected to the travel events.

I have only covered a few papal trips (never on a papal plane but that is at the top of my bucket list!) but do not recall such explicit requests for permission to use photo/video equipment or the necessity to register each piece of equipment with local authorities or to register to take photos of non-papal visit places and events. Colleagues may correct me on this. I do know there are military areas in countries that are off-base to the media.

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WORLD YOUTH DAY IN PANAMA

Panama City, Panama, Jan 21, 2019 / 04:31 pm (CNA).- The 15th international World Youth Day is set to begin Tuesday, Jan. 22 in Panama City, Panama.

The massive gathering of Catholic youth, which takes place every two or three years, this year will be held for the first time in Central America.

Pope St. John Paul II established World Youth Day in 1985. The first international gathering was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1987.

The purpose of World Youth Day is threefold: a celebration of and putting trust in the young; giving young people a chance to make pilgrimage; and to give young people a chance to encounter the worldwide Catholic community.

The theme for this year’s gathering is taken from Mary’s affirmation of God’s will in Luke 1:38: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

The festivities in Panama end Jan. 27. Here are 5 things you need to know about this year’s World Youth Day (in Spanish, Jornada Mundial de la Juventud or JMJ).

1. How many pilgrims?
Past World Youth Days have typically been held during the northern hemisphere’s summer— August, July, etc. This year the event takes place during the southern hemisphere’s summer, and though Panama lies entirely in the northern hemisphere, it is going to be hot! The forecast for the week shows highs above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for most days.

The timing this year also means WYD is taking place during the school year for young people from the Northern Hemisphere, so it remains to be seen how many young people from the United States will be able to make it. At last count, 11,000 young people from the U.S. are registered. Around 36,000 US youths attended the last WYD in Poland, according to the U.S. bishops’ conference.

In addition to pilgrims, the United States is sending more than 30 bishops, including Cardinals Sean O’Malley of Boston, Blase Cupich of Chicago, and Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.

Alessandro Gisotti, interim Director of Vatican press office, said as of Jan. 18 that 150,000 young people from 155 countries had signed up as pilgrims, which would make for a smaller group than had attended in previous years— around 2 million pilgrims attended the last World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, and in 1995 an estimated 5 million attended in Manila, Philippines.

However, the international media coordinator for the Archdiocese of Panama has said more recently that at least 408,000 pilgrims have signed up, and the number is expected to grow. Organizers say they expect a crowd of at least 500,000 people for the final mass on Sunday, Jan. 27.

Paul Jarzembowski, World Youth Day national coordinator for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has said they have seen more young people in their 20s participating in this WYD, whereas in years past more of the pilgrims have been teenagers.

2. A man, a plan, a canal…Panama!
Panama is a small Central American nation of about 4 million people. Overall, the country is about 85% Catholic.

Most of the events will be held on Cinta Costera, a 64-acre peninsula jutting into the Panama Bay, which has been renamed Campo Santa Maria la Antigua for WYD.
Pilgrims are also encouraged to check out the historic district of Panama City, Casco Viejo, and to visit the seven historic churches located in the district: La Catedral Metropolitana, La Merced, San Francisco de Asís, San José, San Felipe de Neri, Santo Domingo, and Santa Ana.

Panama City, the capital of the county and home to about 1.5 million people in the metro area, is home to the world-famous Panama Canal, the waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Construction on the canal was completed in 1914 by the US Army Corp of Engineers, at a cost of the lives of nearly 28,000 workers who undertook the project. Today, nearly 14,000 ships cross through the canal each year, the majority bound for the United States.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez has been a strong supporter of the WYD effort ever since it was announced in 2016 that the next event would be held in his country.

“As a Panamanian,” he told Vatican News, “I feel honored that our country will be at the heart of the world for a few days, pumping the Pope’s message of hope, unity, solidarity and concern for those in need.”

3. Follow the action
For English-speaking pilgrims attending WYD, there are several special events that will be conducted in English while you’re down there.

For example, the USCCB along with the Knights of Columbus and the Fellowship of Catholic University Students are co-sponsoring an event called “Fiat” in Panama City on Jan. 23 at 7pm EST. The event will feature renowned Catholic speakers and musicians. The English and Spanish-speaking event will be livestreamed on FOCUS’ YouTube channel.

If you can’t make it to this year’s World Youth Day, there are several ways to follow along at home. The official hashtags for WYD this year, which you can follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are #Panama2019, #FranciscoEnPanama, and #JMJestáAqui / #WYDisHere. You can also follow @cnalive on Twitter and @catholicnewsagency on Instagram for updates from Panama City.

If you’d still like to attend an event in person, there are several WYD events taking place throughout the US at the same time as the international gathering in Panama. These include festivals with speakers, music and more in cities like Washington DC, Seattle, Honolulu, and others. The complete list can be found here.

4. Latin American saints and spirituality
Organizers of the event are already talking about the infectious energy of Panama City, and the likelihood that, especially with the appearance of the first pope from the Americas, the event will be very focused on a Latin American flavor of Catholicism. Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta of Panama City told Vatican

News that he expects most of the pilgrims to come from Latin America.
Images of St Oscar Romero, a very popular and beloved Salvadoran archbishop, will likely be a very visible figure among the Latin American pilgrims. Romero, a tireless advocate for the poor, was assassinated while celebrating mass in 1980, likely by a right-wing death squad. Pope Francis canonized Romero late last year.

This is also the first World Youth Day to overlap with the World Meeting of Indigenous Youth, at which nearly 400 indigenous young people gathered ahead of the WYD celebrations in rural Panama.

5. A visit from Pope Francis
The big question everyone is asking: When will I get to see Pope Francis? Here are a few highlights from his schedule.

Pope Francis will arrive in Panama Wednesday, Jan. 23. The next day, Jan. 24, he will have a meeting with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez at 9:45 am, followed by a meeting with the Central American bishops at 11:15 and then a welcome ceremony to mark the beginning of World Youth Day at 5:30 pm, which will be held at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua.

On Jan. 25, he will meet with young detainees for a penitential service, and later that evening will preside over a “Via Cruces” (Way of the Cross) at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua.

On Saturday morning, Jan. 26, Pope Francis will dedicate the altar of the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria la Antigua, and that evening will lead a vigil with the young people in Metro Park. Finally, the following morning the Holy Father will preside over the closing mass for WYD at 8 am.

POPE FRANCIS DEPARTS FOR WYD IN PANAMA – EN ROUTE TO PANAMA, FRANCIS PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE JOURNALIST – PAPAL AGENDA IN PANAMA

Keep up with World Youth Day 2019 here: http://www.ewtn.com/wyd2019/

Also here, especially for live streaming:

For English Language commentary, EWTN Vatican Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/EWTNVatican/

For Spanish Language commentary, EWTN Vaticano Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ewtnvaticano/

POPE FRANCIS DEPARTS FOR WYD IN PANAMA

Pope Francis departed Wednesday for Panama where he will participate in the events of the 34th World Youth Day. This marks the Pope’s first journey in 2019.

The Pope departed on an Alitalia flight from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport at 9.51am (local) and is scheduled to land in Panama at around 10:30 p.m. Italian time. Upon arrival at Panama’s Tocumen International Airport, the Pope will go directly to the Apostolic Nunciature, where he will stay for the duration of the visit.

His journey will get underway in earnest on Thursday with an official welcome at the Presidential Palace and a meeting with authorities and diplomats. Later in the day, Pope Francis will meet with Bishops from Central America. The highlight of Thursday, however, will be the opening of the World Youth Day ceremony at the Coastal Belt at 17.30 local time.

In a tweet before his departure the Pope said, “I am leaving for the World Youth Day in Panama. I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church.”

The theme for World Youth Day 2019 is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

EN ROUTE TO PANAMA, FRANCIS PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE JOURNALIST

Exchanging words of greeting with journalists aboard the papal flight to Panama, Pope Francis remembered Russian journalist, Alexej Bukalov, who died last December.
By Andrea Tornielli (vaticannews)

“A man of great humanity” able to provide a synthesis with the style of Dostoevsky: Pope Francis was visibly moved when speaking these words after greeting journalists on the plane to Panama. He was remembering Alexej Bukalov, Rome correspondent of the TASS news agency and veteran journalist of papal flights. Bukalov, who followed papal journeys right up until the most recent one, passed away on 28 December last, aged 78.

After thanking the journalists who will be reporting on his activities and words in the next few days in Panama, for the intense work they will be carrying out, the Pope said with audible emotion: “This is the first flight in which a colleague of yours, Alexei Bukalov of TASS news agency, to whom I was very close, is missing.”

“He was a man, Francis added, of great humanity. A kind of humanity that is not afraid of plumbing the lowest depths of human nature, and of ascending to the Divine. A man capable of providing a synthesis in the style of Dostoevsky.”

The Pope then asked everyone to observe a moment of silence in memory of the Russian journalist and concluded with the Lord’s prayer. The journalists reacted to the Pope’s tribute to their colleague with a round of warm applause.

Before the papal greeting, papal trip organizer, Monsignor Mauricio Rueda Belz, introduced Alessandro Gisotti, the “ad interim” Holy See Press Office Director, on his first papal journey in this role.

PAPAL AGENDA IN PANAMA

Pope Francis is in Panama from January 23 to 27, for the 34th World Youth Day that started on January 22nd.
Pope Francis’ schedule in Panama:

Wednesday, 23 January 2019
ROME-PANAMA
9:35 Departure by air from Rome/Fiumicino for Panama
16:30 Arrival at Tocumen International Airport in Panama
Official welcome
16:50 Transfer to the Apostolic Nunciature

Thursday, 24 January 2019
PANAMA
9:45 Welcome ceremony at the main entrance of Palacio de las Garzas – Presidency of the Republic
Courtesy visit to the President of the Republic in Palacio de las Garzas – Presidency of the Republic
10:40 Meeting with the Authorities, with the Diplomatic Corps and with Representatives of Society in Palacio Bolivar – Ministry of Foreign Affairs
11:15 Meeting with Central American Bishops in the Church of San Francisco de Asis
17:30 Welcome ceremony and opening of WYD at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua – Cinta Costera

Friday, 25 January 2019
PANAMA
10:30 Penitential liturgy with young detainees in the Centro de Cumplimiento de Menores Las Garzas de Pacora
11:50 Transfer by helicopter to the Apostolic Nunciature
17:30 Via Crucis with young people at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua – Cinta Costera

Saturday, 26 January 2019
PANAMA
9:15 Holy Mass with the dedication of the altar of the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria la Antigua with priests, consecrated persons and lay movements
12:15 Lunch with young people in the San José Major Seminary
18:30 Vigil with young people at Campo San Juan Pablo II – Metro Park

Sunday, 27 January 2019
PANAMA-ROME
8:00 Holy Mass for World Youth Day at Campo San Juan Pablo II – Metro Park
10:45 Visit to the Casa Hogar del Buen Samaritano
Angelus
16:30 Meeting with the WYD volunteers in the Rommel Fernandez Stadium
18:00 Farewell ceremony at Panama International Airport
18:15 Departure by air for Rome

Monday, 28 January 2019
PANAMA-ROME
11:50 Arrival at Rome-Ciampino International Airport

WHAT DID THE VATICAN KNOW AND WHEN? THE BISHOP ZANCHETTA CASE

WHAT DID THE VATICAN KNOW AND WHEN? THE BISHOP ZANCHETTA CASE

The following was released early this afternoon by the Holy See Press Office:

“In response to the questions raised by a few journalists on the matter pertaining to Bishop Zanchetta, the ad interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, has affirmed:

“In reference to the articles published recently by several news sources, as well as to some misleading reconstructions, I resolutely repeat what was stated this past 4 January. In addition, I emphasize that the case is being studied and when this process is over, information will be forthcoming regarding the results.”

Here is Gisotti’s full January 4 statement about the case of Argentinean Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta:

“Bishop Zanchetta was not removed from the diocese of Oran (Argentina). It was he who resigned. The reason for his resignation is linked to his difficulty in managing relations with the diocesan clergy and very tense relations with the priests of the diocese. At the time of his resignation there had been accusations of authoritarianism against him, but there had been no accusation of sexual abuse. The problem that emerged then was linked to his inability to govern the clergy.

“After his resignation he spent a period of time in Spain. After the period in Spain, in consideration of his capability for management, he was appointed councilor of APSA [Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See].

“No charges of sexual abuse had arisen at the time of appointment as advisor. The accusations of sexual abuse date back to this fall (2018). On the basis of these accusations and the news recently reported by the media, the bishop of Oran has already assembled some testimonies that are yet to come to the Congregation for Bishops. If the elements to proceed are confirmed, the case will be referred to the special commission of the bishops. During the investigation, Msgr. Zanchetta will abstain from work.”

This January 21 CNA/EWTN report from Buenos Aires in the National Catholic Register challenges the time line in the above press office statement:

“In an exclusive report from The Associated Press, the former vicar to Argentine Bishop Gustavo Oscar Zanchetta said that the Vatican had had information about sexual-abuse allegations against Bishop Zanchetta for several years.

“This contradicts a Vatican statement made just weeks ago in which it was said that the Holy See had only gained knowledge of sexual-abuse allegations against Bishop Zanchetta a few months ago.

“Bishop Zanchetta resigned as bishop of Orán, Argentina, on Aug. 1, 2017, slightly more than four years after his appointment there. At the time, he cited health problems and “difficulty in managing relations with the diocesan clergy and in very tense relations with the priests of the diocese” and “an incapacity to govern the clergy.”

“About four months after his resignation, Bishop Zanchetta was appointed by Francis to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) in December 2017. The APSA manages the Holy See’s assets and real estate holdings.

“On January 4, 2019, the Vatican announced that it had first received accusations of alleged sexual misconduct against Bishop Zanchetta only a few months ago, in the fall of 2018.

“Alessandro Gisotti, interim Holy See press officer, said Jan. 4 that, ‘at the time of his resignation, there had been against (Bishop Zanchetta) accusations of authoritarianism, but there had been against him no accusation of sexual abuse. … The accusations of sexual abuse date to this autumn (2018)’.

“But Father Juan Jose Manzano, Zanchetta’s former vicar, told the AP that the Vatican received complaints against Bishop Zanchetta in both 2015 and 2017 for alleged “obscene behavior,” misconduct and sexual harassment of adult seminarians and naked selfies found on his phone.

“Father Manzano, who now is a parish priest in Argentina, told the AP that he and several other diocesan officials alerted the Vatican in 2015 of Bishop Zanchetta’s concerning behavior. He said he sent the Vatican the naked selfies and other compromising images that had been found on the bishop’s phones.

“’In 2015, we just sent a ‘digital support,’ with selfie photos of the previous bishop in obscene or out-of-place behavior that seemed inappropriate and dangerous’,” he told the AP. The 2015 complaint against Bishop Zanchetta was not issued as an official canonical complaint, Father Manzano noted.

“It was an alarm that we made to the Holy See via some friendly bishops. The nunciature didn’t intervene directly, but the Holy Father summoned Zanchetta, and he justified himself saying that his cell phone had been hacked and that there were people who were out to damage the image of the Pope.”

“Father Manzano said that, for a time after being summoned to the Vatican, Bishop Zanchetta’s behavior seemed to improve. But then it worsened, and he would allegedly visit the seminary “at all hours,” get drunk with seminarians, and travel with them alone, often without the permission of the rector of the seminary.

To continue reading; http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/former-vicar-vatican-knew-about-sex-abuse-allegations-against-argentine-bis

SWISS GUARDS DEBUT HELMETS MADE BY 3D PRINTER

What a fun story today from the Swiss Guards! I have contacted them for some photos of the new black helmets and the day’s events. Am waiting to see what they might send me but in the meantime, here is their anniversary story along with some photos I took of a Swiss Guard swearing-in ceremony. I was at their 500th anniversary celebrations in May of 2006 and have attended swearing-in ceremonies in both the Vatican’s San Damaso courtyard (the traditional venue) and inside the Paul VI Hall when weather is inclement.

SWISS GUARDS DEBUT HELMETS MADE BY 3D PRINTER

The Pontifical Swiss Guards, founded in 1506 by Pope Julius II, issued a communiqué today noting that, on the occasion of the 513th anniversary of the foundation of the Swiss Guard Corps on January 22, 2019, the new helmets, manufactured in synthetic ASA with a 3D printer, will be worn.

In addition, the first clip of the video series “1506 – the Pontifical Swiss Guard story is told” will air online with the theme “Service of Honor.”

As is tradition, January 22nd was celebrated with the Eucharistic celebration in the church of Santa Maria della Pietà in Campo Santo Teutonico. The religious of the Fatebenefratelli order, who serve at the Vatican Pharmacy as well as at the Vatican’s Department of Health and Hygiene Services, were invited as guests of honor.

At the end of Mass, the Swiss Guards marched towards the guard headquarters, exiting the Arch of the Bells and crossing St. Peter’s Square. This was to commemorate the arrival at St. Peter’s Square of Swiss mercenaries on January 22, 1506, the year the Corps was founded. After return to their headquarters there was a military event during which, for the first time, the guards wore the new black ASM synthetic helmets produced with a 3D printer in Switzerland.

On the same day, the first clip of the series “1506 – the Swiss Guard story is told” aired on the guards’ social media channels with the theme “Service of Honor.” After the Christmas clip that attracted much interest, the Swiss Guard will transmit further information on the life of the Corps.

This first clip shows the Swiss Guards during the preparation of a reception of a head of state, in this case the arrival of the President of the Helvetic Confederation, Mr. Alain Berset: https://youtu.be/zl2vpROxQmE

During the year, the Swiss Guard will air clips on a specific topic on the 20th of each month.

JFL: The Swiss Guard website is available in three of the languages of Switzerland (German, French and Italian) and also in English: http://www.guardiasvizzera.va

Following is a slideshow of some photos I took at a May 6 Swiss Guard Swearing-in ceremony

 

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JANUARY 21: ST. AGNES, BABY LAMBS AND THE PALLIUM

JANUARY 21: ST. AGNES, BABY LAMBS AND THE PALLIUM

Usually on the morning of January 21, the liturgical memory of St. Agnes, two lambs, blessed earlier in the morning in the Roman basilica named for this saint, are presented to the Pope for a blessing and prayer but I did not see any such story today about the lambs being brought to Pope Francis.

I’ve always loved this story and this feast day and write about it every year on this day. While I have no news concerning baby lambs in the papal household on January 21, 2019, I’ll tell the story anyway!

The lambs are raised by the Trappist Fathers of the Abbey of the Three Fountains. When their wool is shorn, the Sisters of St. Cecelia weave it into the palliums that, on the June 29th feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, are given to new metropolitan archbishops as signs of their office.

The pallium is a white woolen circular band embroidered with six black crosses which is worn over the shoulders and has two hanging pieces, one in front and another in back. Worn by the Pope and by metropolitan archbishops, it symbolizes authority and expresses the special bond between the bishops and the Roman Pontiff. In a 1978 document, “Inter Eximina Episcopalis,” Pope Paul VI restricted its use to the Pope and metropolitan archbishops. Six years later, Pope John Paul decreed that it would be conferred on the metropolitans by the Pope on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Usually in attendance at the January 21 ceremony in the Apostolic Palace are 21 people, including two Trappist fathers, several nuns, two canons of the Chapter of St. John, the dean of the Roman Rota, and two officials from the Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, and a number of other invited guests.

The baby lambs, under one year of age, are normally tucked into wicker baskets, and both lambs and baskets are adorned with red and white ribbons and flowers, white to symbolize purity and red to signify the blood of a martyr. In 2004 St. John Paul II blessed the lambs during a general audience in the Paul VI Hall as both the audience and St. Agnes’ feast day occurred on a Wednesday. (Photo CNA 2016)

Agnes died about 305 and is buried in the basilica named for her on Rome’s Via Nomentana. Historical accounts vary about the birth, life and manner of death of Agnes but generally it isrecounted that, in order to preserve her virginity, she was martyred at a very young age, probably 12. She is usually depicted with a lamb because the Latin word so similar to her name, agnus, means “lamb.” The name Agnes is actually derived from the feminine Greek adjective hagné meaning “chaste, pure.”

A couple of years ago I was intrigued by the January 21 press office communiqué about this event. It had been slightly altered since the announcement the previous day that the Pope would bless “two live baby lambs.” Naturally it was the word “live” that intrigued me – as if he might bless lambs that were no longer alive. That word did not appear the day of the blessings!

In 2011, L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican paper, carried an interview with Sr. Hanna Pomniaowska, one of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth who prepares the lambs every year for their Vatican visit. This order of nuns has been preparing the baby lambs for over 130 years and it was their founder, Blessed Frances Siedliska, who started this custom in 1884. Up to that date another order of nuns had prepared the lambs but it became difficult when the nuns began to age. At that time the Sisters of the Holy Family took over the duties.

Two lambs are brought to the sisters on January 20 by the Trappist Fathers of Tre Fontane (Three Fountains). The nuns then bring the lambs to the top floor of their residence where there is a terrace with a laundry room where the lambs are washed with delicate soap usually used for children until their wool is white as the driven snow and they are dried with a hair dryer that, in recent years, has replaced the towels they once used.

The nuns are careful to completely dry the lambs so that, at their tender age, they do not fall sick. The room is well heated. After the lambs are dried they are placed in a tub that is covered with straw and closed with canvas so they don’t catch cold. A meal of straw is fed to the lambs who then spend the night in the laundry.

The morning of January 21, the nuns place two small capes on the lambs, one is red to indicate St. Agnes’ martyrdom and the other is white to indicate her virginity. There are also three letters on each mantle: S.A.V. (St. Agnes Virgin) and S.A.M. (St. Agnes Martyr). The sisters weave crowns of interlocking red and white flowers, place them on the baby lambs’ heads, and then put the lambs in a decorated basket. The lambs are tied so they don’t escape. In fact, one of them did escape a few years back, jumping up and running from the altar at St. Agnes basilica.

In the morning the lambs are brought to St. Agnes Basilica where they are placed on the altar and blessed. Following this ceremony, two papal sediari or chair bearers bring the lambs in a van to the Vatican where they are presented to the Holy Father. It is usually the sisters who are celebrating a jubilee of religious vows who are present in the papal residence.

(Here’s a link to a Catholic News Agency story on the 2016 blessing by Francis – there’s also a video: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-celebrates-saint-agnes-with-blessing-of-lambs-40276)

PANAMA PREPARING TO WELCOME POPE FOR WORLD YOUTH DAY

PANAMA PREPARING TO WELCOME POPE FOR WORLD YOUTH DAY

Pope Francis leaves Wednesday for Panama, his 26th trip outside of Italy, to celebrate the January 22-27 World Youth Day 2019 during which, among other events, he will give seven speeches and celebrate Masses and a penitential liturgy.

Francis will dedicate the altar of Panama’s recently restored 400-year-old cathedral, hold a meeting and break bread with bishops from Central America, and also share a meal with some of the youth at WYD – this is now a traditional event at these celebrations with Pope Francis. In yet another tradition, he will visit a prison and also go to an HIV center. The Holy Father will be in Panama until January 27th.

The youth day theme is: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Reports from Panama City say that a massive power outage hit Panama on Sunday (Jan 20), three days before the arrival of Pope Francis for a World Youth Day festival, authorities said. The electric power company ETESA said service to various parts of the country had been affected by “an event in the integrated national system.”

“Teams are working to re-establish service as soon as possible,” the company said on Twitter.

ETESA, which gave no details on the cause of the outage, said power would be restored gradually.

Despite the outage, the capital city’s Tocumen International Airport and the busy and vital Panama Canal were able to activate backup systems and maintain normal operations, authorities said.

But water supplies were affected in several parts of the country. The water treatment plant serving Panama City was among those knocked out, the country’s Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers said on Twitter.

Linda Bordoni of Vaticannews reports that hundreds of thousands of young people are converging on Panama City to participate in the 34th World Youth Day, an event that was established by Pope St. John Paul II in 1984.

She presents an interview with Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez who revealed that preparations to host the event kicked off on July 31, 2016 when Pope Francis wrapped up the World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, with the announcement that Panama City had been chosen as the next venue.

Describing his people as “noble and hard-working” and “full of faith and hope,” he said that since 2009, when the country was preparing to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the establishment of the first Catholic diocese on the American continent, many began to dream of the possibility of a papal visit to Panama. That dream, he said, has finally come true.

The President also noted that to welcome the Pope – not for a pastoral visit to a particular country – but for an event that gathers thousands of young people from all over the world in one place, is perfectly in keeping with Panama’s vocation to be a bridge and a mediator.

Once again, he said, Panama will be the country that “builds bridges between nations and cultures, a meeting point, a starting point for Pope Francis’s message that will be spread from here to all corners of the earth.”

President Varela went on to explain that as well as prepare from a logistic and organizational point of view, so that the pilgrims will be able to experience this gathering with the Pope in the best possible way, authorities have also tried their best to make sure that they will be able to enjoy what their “small, great nation” has to offer.

“Everything is ready,” he said, “mobility, health and emergency plans are already being communicated to the general public.” A new subway line is working, transportation has been increased and new pedestrian routes have been inaugurated.

“As a Panamanian,” he concluded, “I feel honored that our country will be at the heart of the world for a few days, pumping the Pope’s message of hope, unity, solidarity and concern for those in need.” (interview courtesy vaticannews).