POPE FRANCIS ADDRESSES SYNOD OF CHALDEAN BISHOPS – (Vatican Radio) – Pope Francis Monday addressed the members of the Synod of the Chaldean Church, reminding them that “the only authority is the authority of service, the only power is the power of the Cross”. He spoke about the responsible use of authority in the Church, saying “journeying together is an easy concept to put into words, but not so easy to put into practice”. The Holy Father urged the prelates to “keep always before you the image of the Good Shepherd who is concerned for the salvation of his sheep …  May you imitate him: zealous in seeking the salus animarum of priests as well as laity, realizing full well that the exercise of communion sometimes demands a genuine kenosis, a self-basement and self-spoliation.” Francis lamented the situation caused by hatred sowed through terrorism, saying it has created “a great hemorrhage of faithful who leave the lands of their father.” The Pope affirmed the “complete support and solidarity of the Apostolic See in favour of the common good of the entire Chaldean Church”, as many Christians are displaced by violence. (more details tomorrow)

POPE RECEIVES GYPSY PEOPLE – (VIS, Vatican Radio) – This morning, in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the World Pilgrimage of Gypsy People, which gathered together Roma, Sinti and other itinerant peoples, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples in collaboration with the “Migrantes” Foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference and the “Migrantes” Office of the diocese of Rome and the Sant’Egidio Community. Pope Francis noted there was a strong growth in vocations to the priesthood and ‎religious ‎life from among the gypsy people, holding out an Indian bishop from among them as case in ‎point.  ‎‎“Today we have with us Bishop Devprasad Ganawa, a son of this people,” Pope Francis said, ‎pointing ‎to the first bishop from among the gypsies appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to Jhabua, ‎Madhya ‎Pradesh, in 2009 and then to Udaipur, Rajasthan, in 2012. His remark ‎came during the meeting with some 7000 gypsies from around the world. Monay was the final day of a ‎‎4-day ‎pilgrimage to Rome, to commemorate 50 years of the historic visit of Blessed Pope Paul ‎VI to a ‎gypsy ‎camp in Pomezia, near Rome.

FRANCIS MEETS MILITARY CHAPLAIN TRAINEES – (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday urged the “abolition of war” while meeting participants in a training course for military chaplains jointly organized by the Congregation for Bishops, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The course explored some of the current challenges of international humanitarian law regarding the protection of human dignity during internal armed conflicts and the so-called “new conflicts.” Pope Francis told the participants the issue is “unfortunately, very topical” due to the increased violence and armed conflicts in different parts of the world, such as Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. “In this age, in which we are experiencing a ‘piecemeal third world war ‘, you are called upon to supply the military and their families with the spiritual and ethical dimensions which help them to face the difficulties and often harrowing questions inherent in this peculiar service to their country and to humanity,” he said.

CHURCH LEADERS SIGN APPEAL FOR FRUITFUL COP 21 CONFERENCE – (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office a press conference was held to present the Appeal by by Cardinals, Patriarchs and Bishops from across the globe representing the continental groupings of national episcopal conferences, to the negotiators of the COP 21 in Paris (Conference of Parties), to be held from 30 November to 11 December this year. The initiative was promoted by the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”, inspired by the Holy Father’s Encyclical “Laudato si’” The appeal is issued by Cardinals, Patriarchs and Bishops from across the globe representing the continental groupings of national episcopal conferences and it is addressed to those negotiating the COP 21 in Paris, calling on them to work toward the approval of a fair, legally binding and truly transformational climate agreement. “Representing the Catholic Church from the five continents, we Cardinals, Patriarchs and Bishops have come together to express, on our own behalf and on behalf of the people for whom we care, the widely-held hope that a just and legally binding climate agreement will emerge from the negotiations of the COP 21 in Paris. We advance a ten-point policy proposal, drawing on the concrete experience of people across the continents, and linking climate change to social injustice and the social exclusion of the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens.”


PAPAL TELEGRAM UPON DEATH OF SLOVAK CARDINAL KOREC – (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky of Bratislava, president of the Episcopal Conference of Slovakia, for the death last Saturday of Cardinal Jan Chryzostom Korec, at the age of 91. The Pope remembers with profound emotion the archbishop emeritus of Nitra, a committed and generous pastor who throughout his long episcopal ministry was a “fearless witness of the Gospel and a tireless defender of the Christian faith and the rights of the person”. The cardinal, who was imprisoned for several years and prevented from freely exercising his episcopal mission, “did not let himself be intimidated, always giving a luminous example of strength and trust in divine providence, as well as faithfulness to the See of Peter”, Francis writes. “I thank the Lord for having given His Church this eminent priestly and episcopal figure, and raise fervent prayers to God that He might welcome in His eternal joy, after so much suffering, this good and faithful servant”.