POPE’S JUNE PRAYER INTENTION: ‘FOR INCLUSIVE SOCIAL NETWORKS’ – PAPAL TELEGRAMS FOR THE PEOPLE OF GUATEMALA AND NICARAGUA – POPE TO JOURNALISTS: SERVE THE TRUTH, REVIVE HOPE, DON’T IGNORE THE PERIPHERIES

Some days are just so jam-packed with events, appointments, research, meetings, etc. that I realize it is dinner time – maybe a bit beyond – and I’ve not prepared a column. Yesterday was such a day and I apologize for an empty page. However, I always do post important news on my Facebook page. The rest of the week is filled with similar moments, and a lot of time dedicated to my weekend radio show, “Vatican insider” but I’ll do my best to keep you apprised of what’s new, what’s important and so on.

One big problem in my life is that I have been without gas since last Wednesday when a leak was discovered and the gas company came to turn it off and they’ve not done a thing since.

My American coffee machine broke so no way to make coffee and so far I’ve eaten out most nights, although today in a supermarket I did discover two meals I can make in a microwave. Italians love to really cook things the right way, not use a microwave! I like to find a bright side in a bad story and the bright side is: thank the Lord I do not have a gas water heater. A week without hot water! And it will be about another week.

In any event, Thursday was a Vatican holiday and our doorman had the day off so no one could access the building. Nothing happened Friday. Saturday was the Italian equivalent of our July 4 so naturally the gas company employees had the day off. Sunday is, of course, always a day off.

Monday, APSA (a Vatican administration that runs, among other things, the real estate office, the office to which I pay my rent) called and said someone from the gas company would be here between 11 and 1. That meant switching a few appointments around, including TV segments I had to tape

No one ever came.

The doorman rang up to say workers would be coming at 2:30 and start at my apartment. Carlo had called just after 1pm so that gave me time to run over to Pius XII Square to tape the TV segments and be back home for the gas people at 2:30.

About 3:15, Carlo called the company to ask where the workers were, they said they would not be coming after all and he asked why he had to call – why was he not informed no workers would be around! (The answer is; it’s Italy)

At least I could now go to the Gregorian University for my afternoon appointment with Fr. Alan Fogarty, SJ, president of the Gregorian University Foundation. We had a delightful visit – we’ve met on a few previous occasions – and I will be sharing that visit with you on Vatican Insider. After the interview we visited some Gregorian buildings as well as the Pontifical Biblical Institute., the Biblicum, shared a cappuccino and talked some more.

I did detour a bit on the way to get a bus home, stopping to pray at the nearby beautiful and very historical church of the XII Santissimi Apostoli (the Apostles James the Lesser and Philip are buried here!). I saw a priest hearing confessions and knew the Lord had given me a gift after the trials of earlier in the day. I didn’t even have to wait after the previous penitent had left and I enjoyed more time in this church.

By the time I got home and checked a few emails, I was beyond hungry and went to La Vittoria for dinner. A wonderful priest friend from the US had just arrived in Rome and was eating alone so we combined forces – and were later joined by Amb. Gingrich.

As Shakespeare said, “All’s well that ends well!”

The day ended well but the gas saga continues. Nothing was done today. I feel like sending my restaurant bills to Italgas!

POPE’S JUNE PRAYER INTENTION: ‘FOR INCLUSIVE SOCIAL NETWORKS’

Pope Francis on Tuesday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for June, which this month is “For inclusive and respectful social networks”.

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-06/pope-francis-june-prayer-social-networks.html#play
In his prayer intention for the month of June 2018, Pope Francis said: “Let us pray together that social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.”

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

The full text of the message follows:
The Internet is a gift of God, but it is also a great responsibility.
Communication technology, its places, its instruments have brought with it a lengthening of horizons, a widening, for so many people.
It can offer immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity.
May the digital network not be a place of alienation. May it be a concrete place, a place rich in humanity.
Let us pray together that social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

PAPAL TELEGRAMS FOR THE PEOPLE OF GUATEMALA AND NICARAGUA

Pope Francis has been busy in past days sending telegrams of condolences, one for a natural disaster and the other for the death of a cardinal.

In a telegram to Archbishop Nicolas Thevenin, the apostolic nuncio in Guatemala, Francis said he is praying for the dead and for all those affected by a powerful volcanic eruption in Guatemala in which at least 69 people have died. He said he was “deeply saddened to learn of the news of the violent eruption of the Volcano of Fire, which has claimed numerous victims, caused enormous material damage and affected a significant number of people who live in the area”.

The Pope also sent condolences for the death of Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo, SDB, archbishop-emeritus of Managua in Nicaragua. Cardinal Bravo died on Sunday at the age of 92. The Pope expressed his sorrow to the “beloved Archdiocese” of Managua upon receiving news of the Cardinal’s death, adding that the late-Cardinal Obando Bravo gave his life to the service of God and the Church.

POPE TO JOURNALISTS: SERVE THE TRUTH, REVIVE HOPE, DON’T IGNORE THE PERIPHERIES

Pope Francis on Monday met in the Vatican a delegation from the “Biagio Agnes” International Journalism Prize of Italy during which he urged journalists to serve the truth, revive hope and not to ignore the peripheries.

By Robin Gomes

Meeting the 70-member delegation of the Biagio Agnes International Journalism Prize, ahead of this year’s awards in Sorrento June 22-24, the Pope said that theirs is a demanding job in an age marked by “digital convergence” and “media transformation.” During his journeys and other meeting, the Pope said he notes classic televisions and traditional radios alongside young people making news and interviews with mobile phones, and urged the foundation to continue being “educators of the new generations.”

In this task, Pope Francis particularly urged them to be mindful of the peripheries, the truth and hope.

Even though the nerve centres of news production are found in large centres, said the Pope, one must never forget the stories of people who live far away in the peripheries. Sometimes they are stories of suffering and degradation; other times they are stories of great solidarity that can help everyone to look at reality in a renewed way.

The Pope said a journalist needs to be very demanding with himself to avoid falling into the trap of a mentality of opposing merely for the sake of interests and ideologies. In today’s fast world, it is very urgent, he said, to pursue “in-depth research, confront and to be silent, when needed, rather than hurt a person or a group of people or delegitimize an event.” It is a difficult job he said, but it must help us become “brave and, I would say, also prophetic.”

The Holy Father said, a journalist should not feel satisfied just recounting an event in accordance with his or her free and conscious responsibility. It is a question of opening up areas of hope while denouncing situations of degradation and despair. A journalist, he said, is “called to keep open a space of exit, of meaning, of hope.”

Pope Francis expressed appreciation for a project of the Biagio Agnes Foundation which aims to investigate medical-scientific topics through accurate information to counteract the proliferation of “do-it-yourself” information and vague news on the web that attract the attention of the public much more than science.”

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MOTHER ANGELICA: TRIBUTES FROM CATHOLICS IN MEDIA

MOTHER ANGELICA: TRIBUTES FROM CATHOLICS IN MEDIA

News of the death on Easter Sunday of Mother Angelica, PCPA, foundress of EWTN and a paradoxically innovative “traditional” nun, brought swift tributes from religious and secular Catholics who work in media and were eager to share their memories and appreciations: (From National Catholic Register)

Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB: CEO, Salt and Light Catholic Television Network How fitting that Mother Angelica would be called home on Easter Sunday 2016. This great woman of faith, evangelical boldness and joyful courage was one of the Church’s great instruments of the First Evangelization and the New Evangelization. She did in her lifetime what Church leaders in the USA had attempted for many years and never succeeded: founding a Catholic television network and media outlet that would serve the world. I shall never forget my first meeting with her in 2001 as I prepared to lead World Youth Day 2002 in Canada. Her sage advice, encouragement and promise of prayers at that time, shortly before her debilitating stroke, revealed a woman of great faith and creativity. She remained steadfast and joyful in the midst of her own personal suffering in her early years and her long suffering at the end of her life. Now that the torch is passed to another generation of staff and colleagues, may we all learn from her zeal, loyal witness, ingenuity and deep faith in God and her trust in good people around her. May the Risen Lord and Eternal Word welcome her into the peace of God’s kingdom.

Bishop Christopher Coyne, Bishop of Burlington, VT One cannot help but admire Mother Angelica for her tenacity and her single-mindedness in creating EWTN. To think that this woman religious founded a small broadcast station in a garage of her monastery and was able to grow it into the broadcast and digital giant that EWTN is today is amazing. She certainly was a person of strong personality and opinions and even stronger faith. May the angels lead her into paradise and my the martyrs welcome her into eternal life.

Father Francis Hoffman (“Fr. Rocky”), Executive Director of Relevant Radio I remember the first time I saw Mother Angelica on TV. It was late night on the Joan Rivers Show in the ’80s. I thought she would be eaten alive, but within minutes she had Joan and the entire audience eating right out of her hand. Mother Angelica’s profound charity and faith, common sense and wit, her piety of a child balanced by her doctrine of a theologian — all of that — brought St. John Paul II’s New Evangelization to the airwaves at a moment when the Church in America needed a “W” in the witness column. Like Joan of Arc and Catherine of Siena, Mother Angelica once again showed that women are not second rate in the Church. May she rest in peace!

Janet E. Smith, moral theologian It was fun how quickly Mother Angelica and I hit it off in the few interviews I had with her.  During one interview, we were making jokes to the point that I teased her about there possibly being something stronger in her coffee cup than coffee. Luckily she seemed to enjoy that …

She had no time or inclination to put on airs, or to have any kind of false or formulaic piety. She met life head-on and resolutely moved forward in a complete no-nonsense fashion. Undoubtedly, others will speak of her ability to get an international Catholic TV station going when powerful bishops and their organizations could not do so.  She was a simple nun, with a profound faith, and one courageously dependent upon God’s grace to supply what was needed.  Her life and deeds were miraculous. I have great confidence that some day she will be declared to be a saint.

Father Robert Reed, president/CEO the Catholic TV Network Mother Mary Angelica once served on our board, so I’m proud to say she remains part of the history of both the CatholicTV Network and EWTN. When I was studying Television Management at Boston University I was moved to write on Mother’s savvy and inspired contribution to Catholic Media. Who among us, including Mother, could have predicted the exponential growth of that media so far beyond the TV screen or the the desperate need in these days to catechize and inspire. Thank you for your faithful leadership and strength, Mother Angelica!

Mother Mary Assumpta Long, OP, Prioress General, Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist I had the privilege of knowing Mother Angelica over many years and the unique experience of being with her on her live TV programs. She was tremendously generous in offering free time on EWTN to those who wanted to promote the truths of the Catholic Church she so loved.

Father Mitch Pacwa, SJ, EWTN television host One of the most important things about her is that she was not an actress. When you saw her at the show, there was no difference from what she was like off the air. She and I played off one another very well because I could tease her where others couldn’t. I remember there was another priest who would come on and started teasing her, and she said to him — on live TV — “Who do you think you are, Father Mitch Pacwa? Settle down.”

Her love of Christ was the most important component of her life. Nothing else mattered to her, and she didn’t worry about a thing except being faithful to Christ. It was the number one issue for her, hands down. She didn’t care who you were or what you said — if it contradicted the faith, she’d shut you down, even if you were ordained clergy …

She was someone with a high school education and came from a contemplative background, which points out that for her prayer was listening to Jesus. She had something to say because she listened to him.

She was still able to speak a little bit until about 2002 or 2003, and she said, “This is my purgatory.” The sisters had told me that for recreation she liked to watch DVDs of I Love Lucy.  So I brought her some DVDs of The Jack Benny Show. They had to cut it off because she was laughing so hard she was having trouble breathing.

Alice von Hildebrand, philosopher When one meets a person whose one concern is to serve God and his Church, fearing neither difficulty nor suffering, persecution nor ridicule, it marks one for life. I dedicated my recent book, Memoirs of a Happy Failure, to her. She started from nothing. Everything was against her. But she trusted that with his help, she could spread the Gospel to the world through EWTN. It edges on the miraculous.

WHAT POPE FRANCIS DID NOT SAY

WHAT POPE FRANCIS DID NOT SAY

Contrary to headlines in the news and to pundits on television who gleefully announced that last Wednesday “Pope Francis stunned the world when he opened the doors to divorce in the Church,” POPE FRANCIS DID NOT USE THE WORD DIVORCE in his weekly audience talk on the wounds that harm families.

He used the word SEPARATION.

Here is the original paragraph in Italian from his June 24 catechesis that is being twisted by the media:

“E’ vero, d’altra parte, che ci sono casi in cui la separazione è inevitabile. A volte può diventare persino moralmente necessaria, quando appunto si tratta di sottrarre il coniuge più debole, o i figli piccoli, alle ferite più gravi causate dalla prepotenza e dalla violenza, dall’avvilimento e dallo sfruttamento, dall’estraneità e dall’indifferenza.”

Here is the English translation:

“It is true that there are cases in which separation is inevitable. Sometimes it can become even morally necessary, precisely when it comes to subtracting the weaker spouse, or small children, from more serious injuries caused by arrogance and violence, by humiliation and exploitation, by extraneousness (non-involvement) and by indifference.”

After the Pope delivers his weekly catechesis in Italian at a general audience, that talk is summarized and translated into 7 other languages. At no time, in any language, did Pope Francis use the word “divorce.” He spoke solely of “separation.”

Here is the entire official English language summary from Wednesday’s audience:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: We know well that every family on occasion suffers moments when one family member offends another. Through our words, actions, or omissions, instead of expressing love for our spouse or children, we can sometimes diminish or demean that love. Hiding these hurts only deepens such wounds, leading to anger and friction between loved ones. If these wounds are particularly deep, they can even lead a spouse to search for understanding elsewhere, to the detriment of the family, especially children. Being one flesh, any wounds that spouses suffer are shared by their children, born of their flesh. When we remember how Jesus warned adults not to scandalize little ones (cf. Mt 18:6), we better understand the vital responsibility to maintain and protect the bond of marriage which is the foundation of the human family. We thank God that although these wounds may lead some to separation, even then many men and women remain true to their conjugal bond, sustained by faith and by love for their children. For those who enter into so-called irregular situations, we must reflect on how best to help and accompany them in their lives. Let us ask the Lord for a strong faith to see with his eyes the reality of family life, and for a deep love to approach all families with his merciful heart.

French: Ce sont les enfants qui souffrent profondément de ces séparations.

Italian: E’ vero, d’altra parte, che ci sono casi in cui la separazione è inevitabile.

German: Freilich gibt es auch Fälle, wo eine Trennung der Ehepartner zum Schutz des schwächeren…

Spanish:  En algunos casos, la separación es inevitable, precisamente para proteger al cónyuge más débil o a los hijos pequeños.

From Arabic into Italian: ‎Preghiamo per tutte le famiglie separate…

So, I ask: Could anything be clearer? So let’s stop putting words in the Pope’s mouth. And, folks, if you read that the Pope said something and it doesn’t sound right, go to the source. Go to the Vatican’s www.news.va and you’ll find what the Holy Father really said, not what the media wishes he had said!