“VATICAN INSIDER” EXPLORES VENERABLE ENGLISH COLLEGE – “BE NOT AFRAID” OF “OTHERS,” FOREIGNERS, OUTCASTS AND STRANGERS – NUNCIO TO FRANCE INVESTIGATED FOR ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULT

“VATICAN INSIDER” EXPLORES VENERABLE ENGLISH COLLEGE

Join me this weekend on Vatican Insider for Part II of my conversation with my special guest and friend, Msgr. Philip Whitmore, rector of the Venerable English College, the English seminary in Rome. It is truly a venerable institution with a history of over 600 years!

Msgr. Whitmore, rector since June 2013, is from the Archdiocese of Westminster, and before 2013 served in the Roman Curia, working first at the Congregation for Bishops and then at the Secretariat of State. He tells fascinating stories about the college, its amazing and very long history, the young men studying here, the historical Archives project, the summer residence of Pallazola and much more. Some very surprising facts as well.

This photo is from an audience in 2018 with Pope Francis – Msgr. Whitmore is to the Pope’s right as we look at the photo:

In case you missed them last week, here are photos of the seminary’s stunning chapel!

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“BE NOT AFRAID” OF “OTHERS,” FOREIGNERS, OUTCASTS AND STRANGERS

“Free from fear”: that is the theme of a 3-day meeting organized by the Migrantes Foundation, Italian Caritas, and the Jesuit-run Astalli Center for Refugees, to discuss reception structures for migrants.

The meeting is being held at the Fraterna Domus, a Welcome and Retreat Center near the town of Sacrofano, about 20 kilometers outside Rome. Consistent with his commitment to welcoming migrants, Pope Francis chose to open the meeting on Friday afternoon by celebrating Mass at the Fraterna Domus Center.

Do not be afraid
In his homily, the Pope focused on the readings chosen for the celebration, which he summed up in a single sentence: “Do not be afraid”.

Pope Francis used the image of the Israelites at the Red Sea, in the Book of Exodus, to illustrate how we are “called to look beyond the adversities of the moment, to overcome fear and to place full trust in the saving and mysterious action of the Lord”.

Free from fear
Turning to the Gospel of St Matthew, the Pope described the disciples crying out in fear at the sight of Jesus walking on the waters, and His response to them: “Courage, it is I, do not be afraid”. Reminding his listeners that “Free from fear” is the theme chosen for this meeting, Pope Francis said it is “through these biblical episodes that the Lord speaks to us today and asks us to let Him free us from our fears”.

Fear of others
“Faced with the wickedness and ugliness of our time”, said Pope Francis, we too, “are tempted to abandon our dream of freedom”. We are tempted to “shut ourselves off within ourselves”, he said, “in our fragile human security…in our reassuring routine”.
The Pope called this retreat into oneself, “a sign of defeat”, one that increases our fear of “others”, foreigners, outcasts and strangers. “This is particularly evident today”, he continued, with the arrival of migrants and refugees “who knock on our door in search of protection, security and a better future”.

Fear is legitimate
While recognizing that fear is legitimate, Pope Francis said it can lead us to “give up encountering others and to raise barriers to defend ourselves”. Instead, he continued, we are called to overcome our fear, knowing “the Lord does not abandon His people”. The encounter with the other”, said the Pope, “is also an encounter with Christ…even if our eyes have difficulty recognizing Him”. He is the one, said Pope Francis, “with ragged clothes, dirty feet, agonized faces, sore bodies, unable to speak our language”.

Overcoming fear
The Pope concluded his homily by suggesting we should “begin to thank those who give us the opportunity of this meeting, that is, the ‘others’ who knock at our door, and offer us the possibility of overcoming our fears, meeting, welcoming and assisting Jesus”.
And those “who have had the strength to let themselves be freed from fear”, he said, “need to help others do the same”, so they too can prepare themselves for their own encounter with Christ.

NUNCIO TO FRANCE INVESTIGATED FOR ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULT

Responding to the questions of journalists, interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, said: “The Holy See has learned in the press that an investigation has been initiated by the French authorities towards Monsignor Luigi Ventura, Apostolic Nuncio in Paris. The Holy See is awaiting the outcome of the investigations “.

CNA/EWTN news reports that Bishop Luigi Ventura, apostolic nuncio to France since 2009 and a long-time Vatican diplomat, is under investigation for alleged sexual assault.
The French newspaper Le Monde reported Friday that Ventura, 74, is being investigated by Paris authorities after he was accused late last month of having inappropriately touched a young male staffer of Paris City Hall.

A Vatican statement Feb. 15 said that it was made aware of the French authorities’ investigation of the envoy through the press and is “awaiting the outcome of the investigations.”
The alleged assault is said to have taken place in Paris’ City Hall Jan. 17, during a reception for the annual New Year address of Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo. The address is usually given to diplomats, religious leaders, and civil society members, with a role by the apostolic nuncio.
The claim against Ventura was brought to French authorities by Paris City Hall six days after it allegedly took place. The alleged victim has not been identified. (To continue: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-ambassador-under-investigation-for-sexual-assault-71198)

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MAY FRANCE FOSTER SEARCH FOR PEACE, HUMAN DIGNITY, RESPECT FOR LIFE AND COMMON GOOD – BE MODELS OF LOYALTY, HONESTY, HARMONY, HUMANITY, POPE TELLS ATHLETES – VATICAN FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY ISSUES 2016 REPORT

Pope Francis tweeted today: Jesus asks to be looked in the eye, to be acknowledged, to be loved.

MAY FRANCE FOSTER SEARCH FOR PEACE, HUMAN DIGNITY, RESPECT FOR LIFE AND COMMON GOOD

The Holy Father sent the following telegram to Emmanuel Macron, the newly-elected president of the French Republic. Elected on May 7, President Macron, 39, was sworn in last Sunday. (photo news.va)

“On the occasion of your investiture as president of the French Republic, I send you my very cordial wishes for the exercise of your high office in the service of all your compatriots. I pray that God support you so that your country, faithful to the rich diversity of its moral traditions and its spiritual heritage marked also by the christian tradition, may always endeavor to build a more just and fraternal society. With respect for difference and attention to those in situations of vulnerability and exclusion, may it contribute to the cooperation and solidarity between nations. May France continue to foster, in Europe and throughout the world, the search for peace and the common good, respect for life and the defense of the dignity of every person and of all peoples. I heartily invoke the Lord’s blessing upon you and all the inhabitants of France. Francis

BE MODELS OF LOYALTY, HONESTY, HARMONY, HUMANITY, POPE TELLS ATHLETES

Pope Francis Tuesday welcomed the players, coaches and staff of Italian football teams, Juventus and Lazio as they are about to meet in the final game of the national soccer championship, and told them they have a big responsibility towards their fans, especially the youngest.

As public fgures, you have a certain responsibility, said Francis, who is a big fan of the sport called soccer in the U.S, and football is most of the rest of the world. He explained that “champions are role models for many young fans,” and thus, in every game, he said, you must show discipline, balance and respect for rules and regulations. (photo news.va)

“He, who through his behavior, puts all of this into practice, provides a good example for his followers, and this is what I wish for each of you: to be witnesses of loyalty, honesty, harmony and humanity” he said. He did note that violence sometimes occurs in football stadiums, disrupting games and spoiling what should be enjoyable moments: for all.

He wished both teams a “great match” when they play Wednesday evening in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

VATICAN FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY ISSUES 2016 REPORT

This morning at the Holy See Press Office, a press conference presented the 2016 Annual Report of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria – AIF) on supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism as well as prudential supervision. Presenters included René Brülhart and Tommaso Di Ruzza, respectively president and director of AIF.

Following is the press release that reviews the activities and statistics of AIF for the year 2016. It includes a significant fostering of international cooperation of the Vatican competent authority with its foreign counterparts to fight illicit financial activities, and a consolidation of the reporting system as well as a further strengthening of the regulatory framework have been some of the key achievements in 2016.

“International cooperation is a precondition to fight financial crimes and the Vatican is fully committed to it,” said René Brülhart, AIF president. “In 2016, AIF has seen a significant increase of bilateral cooperation with competent authorities of other jurisdictions and will continue to be an active partner to combat illicit financial activities globally.”

“The number of suspicious activity reports (SARs) by different reporting subjects decreased in comparison to 2015 (207 in 2016, 544 in 2015). But the number of SARs was still higher than in previous years, indicating an ever-increasing and effective implementation of reporting requirements by supervised entities,” said Tommaso Di Ruzza, AIF director. “In parallel, SARs show an improvement in terms of quality with a positive impact on the reports AIF disseminated to the Vatican Promoter of Justice, which are leading to domestic prosecution, and on the international cooperation with foreign FIUs, registering a notable development.”

In 2016, 22 reports have been submitted for further investigation by Vatican judicial Authorities. The number of cases of bilateral cooperation between AIF and foreign FIUs has increased from 81 in 2013, to 113 in 2014, to 380 in 2015 and 837 in 2016.

Furthermore, the transitional period to implement the requirements established by the prudential regulatory framework expired in 2016 and the domestic system – based on Title III of Law n. XVIII dated 8th October 2013 and AIF Regulation on “Prudential supervision of entities carrying out financial activities on a professional basis” n. 1 dated 13th January 2015 –, has been further strengthened with the issuance of new Circulars on accounting standards and statistical reporting requirements.   About AIF The Financial Information Authority is the competent authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State for supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism as well as prudential supervision.

Established by Pope Benedict XVI with the Apostolic Letter in form of Motu Proprio of 30 December 2010, AIF carries out its institutional activities in accordance with its new Statute introduced by Pope Francis with Motu Proprio of 15 November 2013 and Law No. XVIII of 8 October 2013.

In 2016, AIF signed MOUs with supervisory Authorities and FIUs of Austria, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Panama, Poland and Russia. In previous years, AIF had already signed MOUs with Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Cuba, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, San Marino Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

AIF has been a member of the Egmont Group since 2013.

 

PAPAL SPOKESMAN ON “SENSELESS VIOLENCE” OF BASTILLE DAY ATTACK – POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNS “BLIND VIOLENCE” OF ATTACK IN NICE – VATICAN INSIDER TALKS WITH DEACON DAN BORNE

Heartfelt condolences to the citizens of France as they mourn the deaths of 84 people – peoples whose lives were cut short by a despicable act of terrorism last night in Nice, France, as the French were celebrating their national holiday, la fete de la Bastille! I add prayers to my condolences!

FRANCE  1FRANCE 2

PAPAL SPOKESMAN ON “SENSELESS VIOLENCE” OF BASTILLE DAY ATTACK

We awoke this morning to this message from Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi: “Throughout the night we have followed with great concern the terrible news from Nice. On behalf of Pope Francis, we join in solidarity with the suffering of the victims and of the entire French people this day that should have been a great holiday. We condemn in the strongest way every demonstration of senseless violence, of hatred, terrorism and any attack against peace.”

POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNS “BLIND VIOLENCE” OF ATTACK IN NICE

Pope Francis sent a telegram to Bishop Andre Marceau of Nice, France in which he condemned the July 14 terror attack and expressed his profound sadness and spiritual closeness to the French people. The telegram was sent on his behalf by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The message noted that, as France was celebrating Bastille Day, its national day “blind violence has once again hit the nation,” whose victims include many children. Pope Francis once again “condemned such acts” and expressed his “profound sadness and his spiritual closeness to the French people.”

The Holy Father “entrusts to the Mercy of God those who have lost their lives” and he shares “the pain of the bereaved families” and also expressed his sympathy to those wounded.  The Pope concluded by imploring from God the gift of “peace and harmony” and invoking “divine blessings on the families affected by this tragedy and all the people of France.”

VATICAN INSIDER TALKS WITH DEACON DAN BORNE

Welcome to Vatican Insider on this mid-July weekend! After the news and Q&A, stay tuned for the interview segment when I present Part II of my conversation with Deacon Dan Borné of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was in Rome for the Jubilee of Deacons and I invited Dan and his wife Lissette, who was a reader at the papal Jubilee Mass – to my home for a mini-Jubilee along with three other deacons and their wives. We all learned a lot that night and I hope you learn more about the permanent diaconate as you listen to Dan explain it.

I also want to tell you that I’m leaving on vacation on July 19 for a few weeks. However, you will not be bereft of entertainment or information as I’ve prepared “The Best Of….” Vatican Insider for the period I’m gone!

By the way, if you are already on vacation, enjoy every moment. Relax, enjoy family and friends, and perhaps even slow down on social media use – it is amazing how much fuller and more enjoyable life becomes when eople, not gadgets, are first!

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 channel 130 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 9:00 am (Eastern time). 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 FOR YOUR TIME ZONE. Past shows are in VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

 

A ROMAN TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN IN FRANCE

A ROMAN TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN IN FRANCE

Just a brief note to accompany these photos taken yesterday afternoon by Ryan Muldoon, a friend from New York who is a first year seminarian at the North American College.  We met at a bus stop as I was on my way to an early evening Mass and he was returning to NAC from an afternoon of visiting churches in Rome. Ryan also stopped by Pza. Farnese, site of the French embassy, and this is what he saw – the tribute of Romans to their brothers and sisters in France after the horrendous, barbaric attacks in Paris on Friday.

French Embassy 1  French embassy 3

French Embassy 2