VATICAN DOCUMENT: MONEY MUST SERVE, NOT RULE – CHURCH LEADERS ASK PRAYERS FOR IRISH REFERENDUM ON ABORTION

Following is a brief and very good summary of a somewhat complex document presented today in the Holy See Press Office by Vaticannews.va and Vatican Radio’s Susy Hodges. Hopefully our leaders in Congress and banking institutions and other financial and economic bodies will see this document and read it attentively. That really sounds like wishful thinking, doesn’t it!

The second story comes from Ireland via a CNA/EWTN colleague.

VATICAN DOCUMENT: MONEY MUST SERVE, NOT RULE

Entitled ‘Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones: Considerations for an Ethical Discernment regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System’ the new document has been prepared by two major offices of the Holy See.
By Susy Hodges

The 15-page page document, jointly prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, was unveiled on Thursday at a news conference in the Holy See Press Office.

Love for integral good: the key to authentic development

The document begins by stressing the Church’s concern for the integral development of every person, saying “Love for the integral good, inseparable from love for the truth, is the key to authentic development.”

Turning to the state of the world’s economy, the document calls for more regulation of markets and financial systems, saying economic crises show they are not able to govern themselves and need a strong injection of morality and ethics. It also urges universities and business schools to educate the next generation of business leaders about ethics and not just profits.

The document goes on to say that profit for the sake of profit and not for the greater good is “illegitimate” and condemns what it called a “reckless and amoral culture of waste” that has marginalized “great masses of the world’s population, deprived them of decent labour and left them without any means of escape.”

Obsolete criteria continue to govern the world

The document also expresses regret over what it calls a failed opportunity to correct the failings within the world’s economic-financial systems.

“The recent financial crisis could have been the occasion to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and a new regulation of financial activities that would neutralize the predatory and speculative tendencies and acknowledge the value of the actual economy.”

While acknowledging “many positive efforts at various levels,” the document speaks of its regret that “there does not seem to be any inclination to rethink the obsolete criteria that continue to govern the world.”

On the contrary, it writes, “the response seems at times like a return to the heights of myopic egoism” that excludes any consideration of the common good or a concern “to spread wealth” and eliminate “the inequality so pronounced today.”

Money must serve, not rule!

What is at stake, said the document, is the authentic well-being of a majority of the men and women of our planet who are at risk of being “excluded and marginalized” from development while “a minority exploits and reserves for itself substantial resources and wealth.”

Warning that “selfishness makes everyone pay a high price,” the document says that if we want “the real well-being of humanity, money must serve, not rule!”

CHURCH LEADERS ASK PRAYERS FOR IRISH REFERENDUM ON ABORTION

Dublin, Ireland, May 17, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- With a referendum vote that could legalize abortion in Ireland just days away, the country’s clergy and Church leaders are asking the world for prayers.

In a video message posted to YouTube, Irish priest Father Marius O’Reilly appeals to Catholics and Christians around the world to pray for the country of Ireland ahead of the vote, particularly through praying the rosary and offering Masses.

O’Reilly noted that while other countries have legalized abortion through legislation or court decisions, “Ireland would be the first country in the world where the people would legalize abortion,” he said.

“We can’t allow that to happen. And so I’m making an appeal to you today – please come to our assistance. Pray the rosary for Ireland. Please have Masses offered for Ireland,” he said.

On May 25, Irish citizens will vote whether they want to repeal the country’s eighth amendment, which recognizes the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn child. Under current law, the practice of abortion in Ireland is illegal, unless the mother’s health is deemed to be endangered. Pro-life Irish citizens are encouraging a “no” vote on the referendum.

The eighth amendment was passed in Ireland in 1983, with upwards of 67 percent voter-approval. It reads, in part: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

Despite the high percentage of the population – 78 percent – that identifies as Catholic, polling has predicted that the vote will be close.

Two months ago, EWTN Ireland started a 54-day rosary novena campaign for the “affirmation of the inestimable value of every human life.”

The campaign’s website urges “all people of good will to join together in prayer in defence of unborn babies and their mothers. All those professing faith, and those professing secular values, are invited to join as one voice on behalf of the unborn babies and their mothers: to affirm the life of the most vulnerable who may be classed as terminally ill, disabled or ‘unwanted’.”

A Christian prayer and a secular affirmation were also included on the campaign’s site.

EWTN Ireland as well as many clergy are particularly urging Catholics to pray a nine-day rosary novena leading up to the vote, starting on Thursday, May 17 and ending on Friday, May 25, the day of the referendum.

The novena website Pray More Novenas, which sends out daily reminders for various prayers, has also begun a novena through the intercession of the Irish Our Lady of Knock specifically for the abortion referendum.

There is also a prayer and fasting initiative, inspired by Sr. Briege McKenna (O.S.C.) that calls for Masses and days of prayer and “medically safe” fasting to be offered for the “Reparation, Conversions of hearts and Protection of the 8th amendment.”

Pro-life group Human Life International has asked for the offering of 1,000 Masses for the referendum, and has a form on their website where the Masses offered for this intention may be added to the calendar.

In his video, Fr. O’Reilly recalled Pope John Paul II’s 1979 visit to the country, during which he urged Irish citizens to defend life.

“He said to the Irish people ‘you must protect life;’ he knew what was coming down the road. And so the Irish people took this very, very seriously and rosary crusades began all around the country,” O’Reilly said.

This also led to the proposal of the constitutional amendment that is currently in place, which gave equal protection to mother and child “so that Ireland would be a country that in the constitution would say that the unborn child has a right to life.”

“This was an incredible gift from God for our country because it meant that the politicians couldn’t just bring in abortion when they wanted. They would have to put it to the people,” he added. “And so we fought it for years and years and now in 2018 we’re being asked to vote on abortion.”

The Ancient Order of Hibernians, a Catholic Irish-American men’s fraternity, has asked its members to set aside May 18 as a day of prayer in solidarity with the Save the 8th Campaign.

“Every prayer for a ‘No’ vote is a compassionate plea to spare Ireland the pain America has suffered for 45 years,” Ancient Order of Hibernians National President James F. McKay said, alluding to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decisions that mandated legal abortion across the country.

He encouraged prayers invoking the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Fatima to “save Ireland’s mothers and unborn from the evils of abortion.”

He also encouraged immediate social media outreach as well as discussions with family and friends about “the importance of protecting the unborn.”

Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Neb. used his May 18 column in the Southern Nebraska Register to ask readers to join him in prayer that the people of Ireland will choose life.

“I pray that the people of Ireland will see that the legalization of abortion in countries around the world has not made women free. That abortion has only caused more violence, more ruin, and more despair,” Bishop Conley said.

The bishop said the Catholic faith “has long given the Irish people an acute and attentive sense of human dignity, human rights, and justice,” but Ireland has secularized in part due to “Church leaders who failed to give authentic and faithful witness to the Gospel.”

Conley, who spent a semester in Ireland as a 20-year-old recent Catholic convert, said “my introduction to the day-to-day practice of my newfound Catholic faith was in Ireland.”

“It has now been over 40 years since I spent those four delightful months in Ireland, but I still remember vividly the strong faith of the Irish people and how Catholicism ran deep in the Irish soil and soul. I owe so much to the Irish people for nurturing me in my Catholic faith. And we, as a country, owe so much to the Catholic Church in Ireland for bringing that same faith to these shores.”

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FR. LOMBARDI: REFLECTIONS ON ECONOMIC MATTERS OF THE HOLY SEE

FR. LOMBARDI: REFLECTIONS ON ECONOMIC MATTERS OF THE HOLY SEE

Tomorrow,  November 5, two books are due out that purport to show, via confidential and private Vatican documents and interviews, growing opposition in the Vatican to Pope Francis’ ongoing reforms in the Roman Curia, as well as allege excesses in spending, especially on residences for some prelates.

As I noted in my blog Monday, November 2, with the news of two arrests made in the Vatican of people accused precisely of leaking such documents, one of the books, “Merchants in the Temple,” is by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi who, in 2012, penned a book, “His Holiness,” that reproduced confidential letters and memos to and from Benedict XVI and his personal secretary and others that, according to the Vatican, violated the Pope’s right to privacy. He had previously aired these on an Italian television program. It was revealed in May 2012 that the Pope’s personal butler was the author of the thefts and the person who gave the documents to Nuzzi. This eventually led to the affair being called “Vatileaks.” The butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested, underwent a trial and was subjected to house arrest, but later pardoned by Pope Benedict.

The second volume is “Avarice: Documents Revealing Wealth, Scandals and Secrets of Francis’ Church.” It was written by Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi who writes for the Italian weekly, L’Espresso, which has previously published leaked Vatican documents, including the letter by 13 cardinals to Francis at the start of the 2015 synod. That was leaked by L’Espresso staffer Sandro Magister but later proven not to be the original letter. Nor were all 13 signatories names correct.

This is background for what follows:

(VIS) – The following are reflections by Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, regarding a new chapter in discussions on the economic matters of the Holy See.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI

“As is known, a significant part of what has been published is the result of the disclosure of reserved information and documents, and therefore of an illicit activity that must therefore be prosecuted forthwith by the competent Vatican authorities. But this is not what we now wish to speak about, given that it is already the object of much attention.

Now, instead, we are interested in considering the content of the disclosures. It can be said that it consists mostly of information that is already known, although often less widely and with less detail, but above all it must be noted that the documentation published relates mostly to an significant effort to gather data and information, initiated by the Holy Father himself in order to carry out a study and reflection on the reform and improvement of the administrative situation of Vatican City State and the Holy See.

The COSEA (Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See), from whose archive the majority of the published information originates, was instituted by the Pope for the purpose on 18 July 2013 and then dissolved after the fulfilment of its task.

This is not, therefore, information obtained against the will of the Pope or of the heads of the various institutions, but generally information obtained or provided with the collaboration of these same institutions, for a common positive purpose.

Naturally, a great deal of information of this type must be studied, understood and interpreted with care, equilibrium and attention. Often the same data can give rise to different readings.

An example is that of the situation of the Pension Funds, in relation to which a series of very different evaluations has been expressed, from those who speak with concern of a large “gap”, to those that provide instead a reassuring interpretation (as resulted from the official Communiqués published authoritatively through the Holy See Press Office).

Clearly there is then the issue of the destination and use of goods belonging to the Holy See. Although regarded in their entirety they appear extremely extensive, they are in fact aimed at supporting over time the vast range of service activities managed by the Holy See or connected institutions both in Rome and in different parts of the world.

The origins of the ownership of these goods are varied, and the suitable instruments for knowing their history and development have been available for some time (for example, it would be useful to refer to the economic agreements between Italy and the Holy See in the context of the Lateran Pacts and the work of establishing an effective administration carried out by Pius XI with the assistance of excellent and expert collaborators, a work commonly recognised as wise and far-sighted, also in terms of investments abroad and not only in Rome or Italy).

With regard to Peter’s Pence it is necessary to observe that it is employed for various purposes, also in situations, according to the judgement of the Holy Father, in which it may be given trustfully by the faithful in support of his ministry. The Pope’s works of charity for the poor are certainly one of the essential uses, but is certainly not the intention of the faithful to exclude the possibility that the Pope himself may evaluate situations of urgency and the way of responding, in the light of his service for the good of the universal Church. The Pope’s service also includes the Roman Curia, as an instrument of his service; his initiatives outside the Diocese of Rome; communication of his teaching to the faithful in different parts of the world, including the poor and distant; and the support of the 180 Pontifical diplomatic representations throughout the world, which serve the local Churches and intervene as the main agents for distributing the Pope’s charity in the various countries, as well as the Pope’s representatives in local governments. The history of Peter’s Pence illustrates this clearly.

These issues return to the fore periodically, but are always occasions for curiosity and polemics. It is necessary to study the situations and specific problems in detail and with professionalism, so as to be able to recognise much that is entirely justified, normal and well-managed (much more than is generally assumed and systematically excluded from the type of publication under consideration here) including the payment of taxes due, and to distinguish where there are problems to be corrected, ambiguities to be clarified, and genuine improprieties or illegal acts to be eliminated.

This was precisely the aim of the arduous and complex task initiated at the Pope’s behest with the constitution of the COSEA, which completed its work some time ago, and with the decisions and initiatives which are still in the process of development and implementation (or which are at least in part followed up by recommendations from the same COSEA at the end of its work). The reorganisation of the economic Dicasteries, the appointment of the Reviser general, and the regular working of the competent institutions for the supervision of economic and financial activities, etc., are an objective and incontrovertible reality.

The publication in bulk of a large quantity of different forms of information, in large part linked to a phase of work by now complete, without the necessary possibility of further clarification and objective evaluation instead produces the result – unfortunately largely intentional – of creating the contrary impression, that of a permanent reign of confusion, lack of transparency or indeed the pursuit of particular or inappropriate interests.

Naturally this does not in any way account for the courage and commitment with which the Pope and his collaborators have faced and continue to face the challenge of improving the use of temporal goods in the service of the spiritual. This, instead, is what would be more greatly appreciated and encouraged in the correct work of providing information to respond appropriately to the expectations of the public and the needs of truth. The path of good administration, correctness and transparency continues and proceeds without uncertainties. The is evidently Pope Francis’ wish and the Holy See has no lack of those who collaborate loyally and to the best of their abilities”.