C9 COUNCIL OF CARDINALS CONTINUES STUDY OF CURIA REFORM – POPE MEETS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, TALKS HOPE AT WEEKLY AUDIENCE – THERE’S ALSO THIS…..

C9 COUNCIL OF CARDINALS CONTINUES STUDY OF CURIA REFORM

A briefing was held at the Holy See Press Office this morning to summarize the 18th meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals that ended a three-day meeting that began Monday, February 13.

Press office Vice Director Paloma Garcia Ovejero noted that Pope Francis was not present for the second part of the Monday morning meeting because of the ad limina visit of the of Costa Rica. He was absent this morning due to the weekly general audience but will be present at the afternoon session of the C9. Following is the summary of this week’s meetings:

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On Monday and Tuesday the Cardinals concelebrated Mass with the Pope.

Following their first meeting on February 13, the Cardinals released the following statement through the Holy See Press Office:

The Council of Cardinals began its eighteenth session today.

At the beginning, Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, coordinator of the group, after greeting the Holy Father, thanked him on behalf of all the Members for his words in the Christmas address to the Roman Curia on 22 December 2016, acknowledging his encouragement and guidance for the work of the Council. In relation to recent events, the Council of Cardinals pledges its full support for the Pope’s work, assuring him at the same time of its adhesion and loyalty to the figure of the Pope and to his Magisterium.

The working sessions of the Council’s meeting took place each morning from 9:00-12:30, and each afternoon from 16:30-19:00; and were dedicated to further considerations concerning the different curial dicasteries. In particular, they continued the discussion on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide), the Congregation for Oriental Churches, and the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

The cardinals also began their examination of the “Diakonia of Justice,” and thus considerable time was dedicated to the tribunals: the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Segnatura, and the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

During the meetings, the Council also studied the process for the selection of candidates to the Episcopate.

Cardinal George Pell reported on his work at the Secretariat for the Economy, entrusted to him for the full realization of the economic reform requested by the Holy Father, with particular attention to the activity of personal formation and human resources.

The prefect for the Secretariat for Communications, Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, presented the current state of the reform of the communications of the Holy See, or the unification of Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Center in the dicastery entrusted to him. Meetings have been initiated with the Secretariat of State, the Secretariat for the Economy, APSA, and the Labor Office to accompany this new phase of the reform. Further, the plan for restructuring Vatican Radio frequencies, and the new policies for the world of social networks were presented. Finally, there was a reflection on the project for the beginning of the reform of the Vatican publishing house, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals will take place April 24-26, 2017.

POPE MEETS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, TALKS HOPE AT WEEKLY AUDIENCE

The Pope’s Wednesday morning meeting with the faithful took an interesting turn today when Pope Francis, before the start of the weekly audience in the Paul VI Hall, met separately with a group of indigenous attending the Third Indigenous Peoples’ Forum convened by IFAD, the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Noting that they have have come together “to identify ways of giving greater economic empowerment to indigenous peoples,” Francis said: “I believe that the central issue is how to reconcile the right to development, both social and cultural, with the protection of the particular characteristics of indigenous peoples and their territories. (photo: news.va)

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He went on to say, “This is especially clear when planning economic activities which may interfere with indigenous cultures and their ancestral relationship to the earth. In this regard, the right to prior and informed consent should always prevail, as foreseen in Article 32 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Only then is it possible to guarantee peaceful cooperation between governing authorities and indigenous peoples, overcoming confrontation and conflict.”

Those words were seen as indirect criticism of the Trump administration’s plan, over opposition from Indian groups, to allow the building of the multi-billion dollar Dakota oil pipeline. The Vatican has said this is not the case, according to media reports.

Later, in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father continued his weekly catechesis on Christian hope, saying that God’s peace, God’s love for us, remains with us, no matter what, even in fears, sufferings and disappointment. “Christian hope then is not based on who we are or what we are capable of, but on God’s love for each one of us. May we be instruments of hope, so that our greatest boast will be of a Father who excludes no one, but opens his home to all. And may we be a people who sustain one another with this message of Christian hope.”

THERE’S ALSO THIS…..

CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE HAS BEEN SENT TO GUAM to oversee a Church trial that is investigating accusations of sexual abuse by Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana. The former head of the Church’s supreme court, the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and the patronus of the Order of Malta, arrived today in Guam and will start meetings with witnesses Thursday morning. Cardinal Burke will preside a five-member “tribunal of the first instance” that was set up for this case last fall. Four other bishops acting as judges are also members of this tribunal. When Abp. Apuron, who claims he is innocent of the charges made as long ago as the 1970s, refused to resign, Pope Francis named a former Detroit auxiliary bishop as coadjutor, giving him full authority over the archdiocese. Bishop Michael Byrnes was named to this post last October by Pope Francis. Prior to that appointment, Pope Francis had named Abp. Savio Hon Tai Fai, secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization, to oversee the Catholic Church on Guam.

ORDER OF MALTA GOVERNING COUNCIL TO CONVENE APRIL 29 TO ELECT NEW GRAND MASTER – The electing body will meet in the Order’s Magistral Villa in Rome. On 29 April the Council Complete of State, the Order’s constitutional body, will elect the next Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta (or, as provided for in the Constitution, a Lieutenant of the Grand Master, to hold office for a year). Following the resignation of the 79th Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing, on 28 January, the government of the Order of Malta – the Sovereign Council – met this morning in Rome, and established the April date.

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POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JUNE 2016 – HEALTH PROFESSIONALS “PERSONIFY” MERCY, SAYS FRANCIS – AGENDA FOR PAPAL TRIP TO POLAND FOR WYD 2016 – POPE AND C9 CARDINALS MEET, CONTINUE REFORM OF ROMAN CURIA – PRESS RELEASE FROM CONGREGATION FOR EVANGELIZATION

POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JUNE 2016

The papal prayer intention in video format as developed by the Apostleship of Prayer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLw0y7A90pg&feature=youtu.be&a

HEALTH PROFESSIONALS “PERSONIFY” MERCY, SAYS FRANCIS

Pope Francis Thursday addressed the Medical Associations of Spain and Latin America in the Clementine Hall, telling them that health professionals are the “true personification” of mercy. He also told them of his gratitude for those who, through dedication and professionalism, help those who suffer. (news.va photo)

Health officials

Francis said, “the identity of the physician relies not only on skills but mainly on a compassionate and merciful attitude towards those who suffer in body and spirit. Compassion is the very soul of medicine and compassion is not pity, it is suffering-with.”

The Holy Father observed that, “compassion is not always well received in our individualistic and highly technological culture because sometimes it is seen as a humiliation. There are even some who hide behind alleged compassion to justify killing a patient. True compassion does not marginalize, humiliate or exclude and doesn’t celebrate the passing away of a patient. No, this is the triumph … of the “culture of disposability” that rejects people who do not meet certain standards of health, beauty or utility.

“Health is one of the most precious gifts and everyone desires it,” Pope Francis said. “The biblical tradition has always highlighted the closeness between salvation and health, as well as their mutual and numerous implications. … Christian medical tradition has always been inspired by the parable of the Good Samaritan. It is identified with the love of the Son of God, who ‘went about doing good and healing all those who were oppressed’.”

Francis stressed that compassion “is the appropriate response to the immense value of the sick person, a response made of respect, understanding and tenderness, because the sacred value of the life of the patient does not disappear, nor is it ever darkened, but it shines with more splendor precisely in the person’s suffering and helplessness.” He added that, “fragility, pain and disease are a tough test for everyone, including medical staff; they are a call to patience, to suffer-with; therefore one cannot yield to the temptation to apply quick, merely functional and drastic solutions driven by false compassion or by criteria of efficiency or cost savings. At stake is the dignity of human life; at stake is the dignity of the medical vocation.”

AGENDA FOR PAPAL TRIP TO POLAND FOR WYD 2016

(Vatican Radio)  The Vatican on Thursday released the program for Pope Francis’ 27-31 July visit to Poland for the 31st World Youth Day celebrations.

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The Pope will depart from Rome’s Fiumicino airport at 2 p.m. and will arrive at the John Paul II airport of Balice-Krakow two hours later. After the welcome ceremony he will transfer to the Castle of Wawel, where he will address the civil authorities and diplomatic corps, followed by a courtesy visit to the president of the Republic. The Pope’s first day in Poland will conclude with a meeting with bishops in Krakow Cathedral.

In the early morning of Thursday 28 July he will visit the Convent of the Sisters of the Presentation on the way to the airport, and at 8.30 a.m. he will transfer by helicopter to Czestochowa where, in the monastery of Jasna Gora, he will pray in the chapel of the Black Virgin before celebrating Holy Mass in the Shrine of Czestochowa on the occasion of the 1,050th anniversary of the baptism of Poland. At 12.45 p.m. he will return to Krakow where he will address the young people gathered in Jordan Park.

On Friday 29 July he will transfer by helicopter to Oswiecim. At 9.30 he will visit Auschwitz and at 10.30 the camp of Birkenau, returning to Krakow where at 4.30 p.m. he will meet patients at the university paediatric hospital, and at 6 p.m. he will preside at the Via Crucis with young people in Jordan Park.

On Saturday he will visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, where he will pass through the Door of Divine Mercy and confess several young people. After, at 10.30, he will celebrate Holy Mass for Polish priests, men and women religious, consecrated persons and seminarians in the St. John Paul II Shrine of Krakow. The Pope will lunch with several young people in the archiepiscopal residence and then in the evening will pass through the Holy Door in the Campus Misericordiae with various young people. There, at 7.30 p.m., he will give the opening address of the prayer vigil.

On Sunday 31 July, Francis will celebrate Mass for World Youth Day in the Campus Misericordiae, after which, at 5 p.m., he will greet the WYD volunteers, organising committee and benefactors in the Tauron Arena in Krakow. He will depart by air at 6.30 p.m., destined for Rome’s Ciampino airport, where he is expected to arrive at 8.25 p.m.

POPE AND C9 CARDINALS MEET, CONTINUE REFORM OF ROMAN CURIA

(Vatican Radio) The Council of Cardinals concluded three days of meetings in the Vatican on Wednesday, continuing their discussions on the ongoing reform of the different Vatican offices and institutions. The head of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi briefed journalists on the contents of the meetings, noting that Pope Francis was present for most of the time with the nine cardinals in the group.

Fr. Lombardi said a large part of the consultations was dedicated to discussing the reforms regarding the Secretariat of State, the Congregations for Catholic Education, for Oriental Churches, for the Clergy and for Bishops, as well as the Pontifical Councils for Culture, for Christian Unity and for Interreligious Dialogue.

He also noted that the results of previous consultations regarding the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for Worship and the Sacraments, for the Causes of Saints and for Consecrated Life, as well as the new Charity, Justice and Peace office, have been handed over to Pope Francis for his deliberations.

Fr. Lombardi said that the reforms were focused on the criteria of simplifying and harmonizing the work of the different offices, as well as exploring ways of decentralizing tasks to the different bishops conferences.

Lastly, he noted that Cardinal Reinhard Marx and Cardinal George Pell discussed questions relating to the Council and the Secretariat for the Economy, while Msgr. Dario Viganò reported on the continuing reform of the Vatican media offices, especially the process of integrating Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Center which is taking place this year.

The next meetings of the C9 group of cardinals are scheduled to take place on September 12th, 13th and 14th and December 12th, 13th and 14th.

PRESS RELEASE FROM CONGREGATION FOR EVANGELIZATION

(EWTN/CNA) From Guam, June 6, 2016 – After sex abuse and other allegations were leveled against Guam’s archbishop, Pope Francis on Monday appointed a Vatican official to be the local Church’s apostolic administrator while an investigation is carried out. On June 6, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, was appointed apostolic administrator “sede plena” of the Archdiocese of Agaña, which serves Catholics in Guam, a U.S. island territory in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The appointment was made shortly after Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agaña was accused of sexual abuse dating from the 1970s, and of failing to implement strong policies on the handling of clerical sex abuse. As apostolic administrator “sede plena,” Archbishop Hon will govern the archdiocese because its ordinary is incapable of doing so. Though Archbishop Apuron remains archbishop, he will not exercise his office while Archbishop Hon remains as apostolic administrator. In May, allegations surfaced against Archbishop Apuron. The accusations were raised by a former altar boy, who said that he was molested at age 12, when he spent the night at a rectory with then-Father Apuron. The alleged incident took place in the mid-1970s in Agat, a town located almost 13 miles southwest of Hagåtña, Guam’s capital, when Archbishop Apuron was a parish priest.

UPDATE FROM GUAM: The following statement from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples is from the website of the Catholic Archdiocese of Agana: http://www.aganaarch.org/8654/press-release-from-the-vatican-congregation-for-the-evangelization-of-peoples/

“The Holy Father in his concern for the good of the whole church and with due consideration for the good of the faithful in Guam has temporarily entrusted the administration of the Archdiocese of Agaña to His Excellency the Most Rev. Savio Hon Tai Fai, S.D.B, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who will be assisted by Rev. Fr. Tadeusz Jan Nowak, O.M.I..

“The priority of the Apostolic Administrator is to take stock of the present pastoral situation of the diocese; to identify the difficulties present among the clergy, religious, and lay faithful and to take urgent measures, at the earliest, in order to promote and restore unity and harmony in the local Church. The Apostolic Administrator, after carefully discerning the needs of the Archdiocese will take all necessary decisions to assure that this goal is being implemented. The Holy Father kindly asks for the trust and prayers of the local Church and sincerely hopes that the entire Catholic Community will put all of its energy in promoting unity, harmony, and stability of the Church.

“May Mary, Mother of the Church, assist with the same care she manifested at the very beginnings of the Church’s growth.