POPE TO CHAPLAINS ON INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW
Pope Francis on Thursday met participants of the Fifth International Course of Formation of Catholic Military Chaplains on International Humanitarian Law. He tells them to spare no effort to make sure the norms of international humanitarian law are accepted in the hearts of those entrusted to their pastoral care.
Greeting the participants of this week’s formation course entitled, “The Loss of Personal Freedom in the Context of Armed Conflicts: The Mission of the Military Chaplain,” Pope Francis began by reiterating the need “to reject the temptation of viewing the other as merely an enemy to be destroyed, and not as a person endowed with intrinsic dignity, created by God in his image.”
The violation of rights
He added that, “often, persons detained in the context of armed conflicts are victims of violations of their fundamental rights.”
How many civilians, the Pope said, “have been kidnapped, forcibly disappeared and killed. Among these, we can count numerous men and women religious of whom we hear nothing more…”
Pope Francis pointed out that “respect for the dignity and physical integrity of the human person, in fact, cannot depend upon the actions they have done, but is a moral duty to which every person and every authority is called.”
During his address, the Pontiff encouraged the ordinaries and military chaplains present, to spare no effort to make sure the norms of international humanitarian law are accepted in the hearts of those entrusted to their pastoral care.
The Pope stressed in particular the need for “an educational effort alongside that of families and Christian communities.” He further described how this “involves instilling the values of friendship, understanding, tolerance, goodness, and respect for all persons.” He also said, it meant, “forming young people who are sensitive to other cultures and their richness and committed to a global citizenship, in order to promote the growth of the one great human family.”
Concluding his address, Pope Francis highlighted the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
He said that on this 70th anniversary, he wanted to “reaffirm the importance the Holy See gives to international humanitarian law and to express the hope that its norms will be respected in every circumstance. …The latter should be further clarified and reinforced where appropriate, especially with regard to non-international armed conflicts, and in particular with regard to the protection of persons deprived of freedom because of these conflicts.” (Vatican News)
OPTIONAL MEMORIAL OF BLESSED VIRGIN MARY OF LORETO TO BE INSCRIBED IN ROMAN CALENDAR ON DECEMBER 10
The following decree was issued today by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments:
DECREE on the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto to be inscribed in the General Roman Calendar
Since the Middle Ages veneration for the Holy House of Loreto has been the origin of that particular shrine which still today is visited by many faithful pilgrims in order to nourish their faith in the Word of God made flesh for us.
This shrine recalls the mystery of the Incarnation, leading all those who visit it to consider “the fullness of time”, when God sent his Son, born of a woman, as well as to meditate both on the words of the Angel announcing the Good News and on the words of the Virgin in response to the divine call. Overshadowed by the Spirit, the humble handmaid of the Lord so became the dwelling place of divinity, the purist image of the holy Church.
Closely bound to the Apostolic See this shrine, praised by Popes and known throughout the world, has, over the years and no less than Nazareth in the Holy Land, been able to illustrate powerfully the evangelical virtues of the Holy Family.
In the Holy House, before the image of the Mother of the Redeemer and of the Church, Saints and Blesseds have responded to their vocation, the sick have invoked consolation in suffering, the people of God have begun to praise and plead with Mary using the Litany of Loreto, which is known throughout the world. In a particular way all those who travel via aircraft have found in her their heavenly patron.
In light of this, Pope Francis has decreed, by his own authority, that the optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on 10 December, the day on which the feast falls in Loreto, and celebrated every year. This celebration will help all people, especially families, youth and religious to imitate the virtues of that perfect disciple of the Gospel, the Virgin Mother, who, in conceiving the Head of the Church also accepted us as her own.
Therefore the new memorial must appear in all Calendars and Liturgical Books for the celebration of Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours; the relative texts are attached to this decree and their translations, approved by the Episcopal Conferences, will be published after confirmation by this Dicastery.
Anything to the contrary nothwithstanding.
From the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 7 October 2019, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary.
Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect – +Arthur Roche Archbishop, Secretary