AMAZON SYNOD TO CONSIDER POSSIBLE ORDINATION OF MARRIED MEN – CARDINAL PAROLIN TO NUNCIOS: “WE MUST BE UNITED WITH THE POPE”

I certainly hope that all the men reading this who are Fathers had a splendid celebration yesterday in the United States. Father’s Day in Italy is a wonderful celebration as it falls on the March 19 feast of St. Joseph! Every Father’s Day since Christmas 1992 when my Dad died, I actually spend a good deal of time going over more than half a century of memories.

Just a few highlights from those memories! Dad worked long hours for his own Dad but the family was all he knew when he came home – time to play with us, help us with homework, etc. He was an engineer and a great repairman and I have very vivid memories of how, as soon as I could walk, I’d follow him around the house to each project. And I always asked a lot of questions! And he always answered with just enough info for whatever age I was so that I’d understand (why, for example does a light bulb go on when you press a switch on a wall several feet away?!)

One of my favorite memories was when he’d occasionally have to go to work at the plant on a Sunday and I’d go with him and he’d teach me songs as we drove there, singing one line which I would then repeat, an so on. He had a wonderful voice, as did my Mom, and played the saxophone. I did not inherit those musical abilities and that’s why I am a lector in my parish, not in the choir!

He tried to reach me to dance when I was a toddler by putting on some danceable music and than I’d stand on his feet (shoeless, of course) and he’d hold my hand and guide each step. Oh, how I cherish that memory!

Dad was a great listener and a great teacher – almost always by example. As I said at the recent award ceremony at my university, I got my PhD at an early age – I got it from my parents: PhD – Passion, Hard work and Dreams. Dad exemplified each of those!

One of the truly unforgettable special memories I have of my Dad is the letter he wrote me on my 21st birthday when I was studying overseas. I still have that letter! He wrote how important it was to be a lady, to be feminine, to dress well, to have a moderated voice when speaking, to be interested in others, even how to use my eyes – it seemed like a how-to-flirt moment!

How great when Fathers have that kind of tenderness but also know how to show tough love!

Now to the news stories I’ve posted….

I guess we should not be surprised at the title and content of today’s first news story below – the publication of the Instrumentis Laboris (IL) or working document of the October 2019 synod for the Amazon. After all, didn’t Cardinal Walter Kasper tell a German publication (Frankfurter Rundschau) in an interview on June 4 that, if the Amazon bishops propose ordaining viri probati, married men of proven virtue, to the priesthood, the Pope would probably accept that in principle. His words traveled widely.

The IL was surely all written and translated by June 4 so the cardinal actually knew what it said. And he seemed to be telling the bishops, “All you have to do now is ask the Pope…he will probably consent.” So a done deal?!

Cardinal Kasper is the former head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. It seems that he, Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro (editor in chief of the Jesuit-affiliated journal La Civiltà Cattolica for the past 8 years) and Andrea Tornielli (editorial director of the Dicastery for Communication) are the three voices that most influence Pope Francis and also speak for him.

As to the second story, I found the title quite telling. Of all the quotes one could have taken from Cardinal Parolin’s address to apostolic nuncios, Tornielli chose “Cardinal Parolin To Nuncios: “We Must Be United With The Pope.”

I am surely not the only one who believes (actually, I feel certain) that those words are a swipe at publications by former nuncio to the United States, Abp. Carlo Maria Vigano!

Read on….

AMAZON SYNOD TO CONSIDER POSSIBLE ORDINATION OF MARRIED MEN

Vatican City, Jun 17, 2019 / 07:30 am (CNA).- The working document for the special assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian region, released Monday, recommends study of the possibility of ordaining married men in remote areas for the priesthood. (Vatican media photo)

“Stating that celibacy is a gift for the Church, we ask that, for more remote areas in the region, study of the possibility of priestly ordination of elders, preferably indigenous … they can already have an established and stable family, in order to ensure the sacraments that they accompany and support the Christian life,” paragraph 129 of the document released June 17 states.

This opens the door for the discussion of the ordination of viri probati — a term referring to mature, married men — during the Special Synod of Bishops from the Pan-Amazonian region to be held at the Vatican Oct. 6-27.

Canon law for the Latin Catholic Church prohibits the ordination of married men to the priesthood, with limited exceptions regarding the ordination of formerly Anglican and Protestant ecclesial leaders who have converted to Catholicism.

The working document, which calls for “a Church with an indigenous face,” further recommends that the synod identify “an official ministry that can be conferred upon women, taking into account the central role they play in the Amazonian church.”

Monsignor Fabio Fabene, Under-Secretary for the Synod of Bishops highlighted the document’s call for new lay ministries.

“In this sense, one wonders what official ministry can be conferred to the woman,” Fabene said at a Vatican press conference June 17.

He continued, “the document does not speak of the female diaconate, since the pope has already expressed himself on the subject in the Assembly of the Superiors General, declaring that the topic needs further study. In fact, the study commission set up in 2016 did not reach a unanimous opinion on the issue.”

The synod working document, entitled “Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology,” is divided into three sections on the Amazonian cultures, environmental and economic problems, and pastoral approaches for the Church in the region.

Calling for “an integral ecological conversion,” the document touches on the issues of migration, deforestation, urbanization, corruption, health, education, and Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation (PIAV).

The document stresses the importance of inculturation of indigenous cultures in the Catholic faith and the liturgy in the region, starting with engagement with indigenous spiritualities.

“It is necessary to grasp what the Spirit of the Lord has taught to these peoples over the centuries: faith in God the Father-Mother Creator, the sense of communion and harmony with the earth, the sense of solidarity with one’s companions … the living relationship with nature and ‘Mother Earth,’ the resilience of women,” paragraph 121 of the document states.

Recommending that the Church “recognize indigenous spirituality as a source of wealth for the Christian experience,” and the document calls for dialogue with “the Amazonian cosmovision” to be included in formation for religious life.

Monsignor Fabene described inculturation in the liturgy in the region as “a better integration of the symbols and celebratory styles of indigenous cultures … taking into account music and dance, languages and native clothes.”

“Recognition and dialogue will be the best way to transform the ancient relations marked by exclusion and discrimination,” paragraph 35 states. In several places, the document refers to “the wounds caused during long periods of colonization.”

“For this Pope Francis asked ‘humbly for forgiveness, not only for the offenses of his own Church, but for crimes against indigenous peoples during the conquest of so-called America.’ In this past, the Church has sometimes been complicit in the colonization and this has stifled the prophetic voice of the Gospel,” paragraph 38 states.

The document also stresses the importance of having greater respect for the dignity and rights of indigenous populations in the area today.

“The Church cannot but worry about the integral salvation of the human person, which involves promoting the culture of indigenous peoples, talking about their vital needs, accompanying movements and joining forces to defend their rights,” paragraph 143 states.

The synod document therefore recommends that Catholics in the region, “join the basic social movements, to prophetically announce a program of agrarian justice that promotes a profound agrarian reform, supporting farming organic and agroforestry.”

Participants in the special synod of the Amazon will include residential bishops and ordinaries of the nine Pan-Amazonian ecclesiastical territories in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname; the presidents of the seven bishops’ conferences of the Pan-Amazonian Region; members for the Roman Curia; the president of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM); and the members of the pre-Synodal Council.

Upon the working document’s publication June 17, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, said:

“The image of a Church with an Amazonian face, courageous in its prophetic proclamation of the Gospel in defense of Creation and of indigenous peoples, is the horizon towards which we are walking under the guidance of Pope Francis.”

CARDINAL PAROLIN TO NUNCIOS: “WE MUST BE UNITED WITH THE POPE”

In an interview with Vatican Radio the Cardinal Secretary of State speaks of the Pope’s recent meeting with Papal representatives.

By Andrea Tornielli (editorial director of the Dicastery for Communication)

Cardinal Pietro Parolin described Pope Francis’ meeting this week with Apostolic Nuncios and Permanent Observers as having taken place in a simple, positive and fraternal atmosphere.

Asked to assess the encounter, Cardinal Parolin said, “The balance sheet is certainly positive”.

He expressed his opinion that these meetings have a value in themselves because they are a moment of encounter between people who work with the same purpose, with the same spirit and in the service of the Church, and in particular of the Pope, “even if they do so at great distances from each other”.

He remarked on how the themes dealt with aroused much interest on the part of the participants, as manifested by the numerous interventions that took place.

Parolin also recalled a moment of “intense participation for the death of the apostolic nuncio to Argentina, Léon Kalenga, which saw us all united in prayer with the Holy Father during the celebration of the funeral”.

The Cardinal also pointed out that Pope Francis considers these meetings as so fruitful, that in 2013 he expressed his desire they be held every three years, thus the tradition continues.

Decalogue of dos and don’ts
Regarding the content of the Pope’s address to the nuncios during which he issued a series of recommendations, some of which were seen by the media as reprimands, Cardinal Parolin noted that the media are always on the look-out for anything that might appear to contain controversy.

He said he doesn’t personally believe that one should limit oneself to focusing only on some aspects of a whole, and he pointed out that during his words of greeting to the Pope, he expressed the openness of those present to receive “every encouragement and also every correction that can serve to improve our service to the Church, to the Pope and to mankind”.

So, Parolin said, in this sense the Pope’s words must be read in a positive context, just as they were “welcomed and experienced by the participants”.

Unity, freedom, love
Regarding the part of his speech in which the Pope said a nuncio is called to be a “man of God”, a representative of the Church and of the Pontiff, thus it is inherently incompatible with his mission to “criticize the Pope, write blogs or join groups that are hostile to the Pope and to the Church.” Cardinal Parolin said there can never be a total uniformity of thought, and that there are issues that need to be discussed as upheld by the ancient axiom that says in necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas (“unity in necessary things; freedom in doubtful things; love in all things”).

He pointed out that as representatives of the Pope the nuncios feel free to say things to the Pontiff and, he said, Pope Francis is very open and well-disposed to receive comments, observations and reflections on various questions.
At the same time, he said, “we must try to maintain unity, which is the condition for the effectiveness of our action in the world”.

“We will be all the more effective if we are really united in the fundamental things. Therefore, above all as pontifical representatives, we must have this unity with the Pope and this adherence to his teaching that must then be translated concretely into attitudes of sharing his thought and his direction,” he said.

Finally, Cardinal Parolin described the part of dialogue that took place behind closed doors as very “open and frank.”

He said various topics were addressed and said the nuncios appreciated the Pope’s input “because he was not afraid to tackle delicate themes, talking about them with much frankness and openness”.

(JFL: And the Pope enjoyed lunch with the nuncios during their time in Rome – seemed to really enjoy it:

POPE FRANCIS MEETS WITH PAPAL AMBASSADORS – “ALL SPORTS ARE A CAUSE AND EXPRESSION OF JOY”

POPE FRANCIS MEETS WITH PAPAL AMBASSADORS

By Christopher Wells (Vatican news)

More than one hundred pontifical representatives – Apostolic Nuncios and Permanent Observers – met with Pope Francis on Thursday in the Vatican. The Holy Father convened similar Meetings of Pontifical Representatives in 2013 and 2016, and has expressed his desire that the triennial gatherings should continue in the future.

At the meeting in the Clementine Hall, Pope Francis elected to engage in a dialogue with the papal representatives rather than deliver a planned discourse. The text of the address, which he described as a “meditation… on the role of the nuncio,” was handed to the nuncios and permanent observers for further reflection.

Man of God and man of the Church
In the prepared remarks, the Holy Father offers papal representatives a kind of “Decalogue” of ten qualities that characterize a nuncio. The nuncio, he says, is a man of God, following God in all things; and a man of the Church. A nuncio does not represent himself, but the Church, and especially the Pope. He makes present and symbolizes the Holy Father, serving as a bridge connecting the Vicar of Christ and the people to whom he is sent.

Pope Francis says that the nuncio is a man of apostolic zeal, with “the duty of illuminating the world with the light of the Risen One, of bringing Christ to the ends of the earth”. At the same time, he must be a man “of mediation, of communion, of dialogue, and of reconciliation”, who must be impartial, seeking only justice and peace.

The nuncio must also be a man of initiative, able to recognize and meet the challenges of the present moment, avoiding both rigidity, and “hypocritical and chameleon-like flexibility”. Pope Francis says that the nuncio is also a man of obedience which, for a Christian and a nuncio, refers to “the call to follow the style of life of Jesus of Nazareth”.

A nuncio’s life must also be marked by prayer, the Pope says, which brings true “familiarity with Jesus,” Whom he is called “to communicate, to proclaim, to represent.” Pope Francis then reminds the papal representatives that “prayer, the path of discipleship, and conversion find in charity that is shared the verification of their evangelical authenticity.”

A Litany of Humility
Pope Francis concludes his “decalogue” for nuncios “with the virtue of humility,” sharing with the nuncios and permanent observers the “Litany of Humility” composed by Servant of God, Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val, a former Secretary of State under St Pius X.

Click here to read that litany and to see a slide show of the papal meeting with nuncios:  https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-06/pope-meets-with-papal-representatives.html

(JFL: Taking part in the meeting are the 103 Pontifical Representatives, of whom 98 are Apostolic Nuncios (papal ambassadors) and 5 are Permanent Observers. On the final day, June 15, another 46 retired Apostolic Nuncios have also been invited.

“ALL SPORTS ARE A CAUSE AND EXPRESSION OF JOY”

Pope Francis this morning welcomed members of the Council of the International Skating Union to the Vatican and, in brief remarks, noted that, “the aim of your Union is not only to promote ice skating worldwide, but above all to allow more and more people to experience the beauty of this sport. All sports are in fact a cause and an expression of joy: “the joy of exercising, of being together, of being alive and rejoicing in the gifts the Creator gives us each day”

Francis noted that, “this is true in a particular way for those who skate. Skating offers an exhilarating experience of life and freedom of movement, together with training in discipline, teamwork and the pursuit of personal excellence.

“Traditionally, the Pope added, “skating has also been an inclusive sport, erasing social barriers and open to people of every age. I would encourage your efforts to ensure that the joy of skating will also mark even highly competitive events.”

The Holy Father encouraged the union, saying “the values of respect, courage, altruism, balance and self-control learned in sport are a precious preparation for success in running the race of life. Sport, in a word, is always meant to be at the service of humanity. … May God bless you and your work!”

“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)

WEBSITE STANDS BEHIND STORY ABOUT BOLIVIAN CARDINAL-ELECT – NEW APOSTOLIC NUNCIO ARRIVES IN SOUTH KOREA

WEBSITE STANDS BEHIND STORY ABOUT BOLIVIAN CARDINAL-ELECT

This is a follow-up to what I posted yesterday about the news broken in a tweet by Edward Pentin that the Bolivian cardinal-elect, retired Bishop Toribio Ticona, is reported to have a “wife” and “children.” The original story appeared in Adelante La Fe. Pentin has asked the Vatican to respond to this: no answer as I write these words. (https://joansrome.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/vatican-asked-to-confirm-if-bolivian-cardinal-elect-is-married-with-children/)

I re-read the original article in Spanish and also followed the comments and tweets on the story. One reader asked: what is the source for this story?

I saw an answer to this question written by one Miguel Angel Yanez who is, it seems, the director (editor, moderator)) of Adelante La Fe. Following is his tweet – and following that is my translation:

Miguel Angel Yáñez Moderador emma • hace 2 días
Las fuentes somos nosotros, que hemos dado la noticia en exclusiva. Está totalmente documentada, sólo por motivos de confidencialidad no podemos publicar ni revelar las fuentes. Esto es un tema sobradamente conocido en su diócesis y del cual tienen pleno conocimiento las autoridades, incluida la nunciatura en Bolivia.

YANEZ: “We are the sources who gave that news in exclusive. It is totally documented, only for reasons of confidentiality we cannot publish or reveal the sources. This is a matter that is more than well known in his diocese, about which the authorities are fully aware, including the nunciature in Bolivia.”

I tried to tweet the following in response to his tweet: This is too important not to have the truth – la verdad. Faithful Catholics have a right to know. Please furnish concrete details. At this point, confidentiality could be damaging to far more people than just one “family.”

I also tried to reach him via Facebook but had to send a friend request – no answer as I write these words. (Just about to hit POST when I heard from Yanez – in a word, he stands 100% behind the Adelante La Fe story)

In the meantime Adelante la Fe has posted an update in answer to the statement made yesterday afternoon by Bishop Ticona (see below).

To summarize and translate just the first lines, the update says: “The information is totally truthful and has been in the public domain at all levels in the diocese of Oruro for many years now. The nunciature in Bolivia (and the site shows a photocopy of a page of a nunciature document with names blacked out to protect confidentiality) for some days now has a detailed two-page report made under oath that details the names of witnesses, houses where the couple lived and including the school of the children. This is not a question of rumors but of first hand witnesses, including neighbors.”

Specific school names and home addresses are then outlined, as is the name of the pharmacy where the family bought medicines (witness given by the pharmacist). The website notes that, since the publication of this news, there are many who are trying to silence the witnesses.

The last sentence before the photo of the nunciature document (with a seal); “This is the truth and only the truth, no matter who may disagree.”

Yesterday, the Bolivian Episcopal Conference released a statement by Bishop Toribio Ticona. Here is the CNA story from Bolivia:

La Paz, Bolivia, May 29, 2018 / 12:25 pm (CNA).- In a statement Tuesday, Bolivian bishop and Cardinal-elect Toribio Ticona strongly denounced rumors that he has a wife and children.

“As a result of the false accusation which is being spread in the media regarding my private life, it is my duty to declare and emphatically make clear that its content does not correspond to the truth,” Bishop Ticona said in a statement released by the Bolivian Bishops’ Conference.
The bishop said he interprets the rumors as an attack not only against himself, but against Pope Francis, who recently chose him to be elevated to the position of cardinal.

“If these accusations persist, I will have no problem filing a libel lawsuit against those promoting or propagating this,” he said.

Ticona said that similar rumors surfaced in 2011, but “ended up being simple calumny.”

“Personally, I am happy that these accusations should come out at this time, in order to definitively close the case,” he added.

Earlier this week, the blog Adelante la Fe reported that “It is a well-known fact that while (Ticona) was serving his office in Corocoro, he was living (as husband and wife) with a lady in Oruro’s chancery. She and her children are proud to be called wife and children of the Patacamaya bishop, as Bishop Toribio Ticona is also known.”

However, in a May 29 article in Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, journalist Franca Giansoldati reported that the Vatican has carried out “deep investigations” of the claims, which found that “nothing is true” regarding the rumors.

The Vatican has not yet responded publicly to the claims.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis announced that he would be holding a June consistory to create 14 new cardinals who express the “universality” of the Church. Francis made particular note of his election of Bishop Ticona along with two other bishops, saying that they “have distinguished themselves for their service to the Church.”

Ticona, 81, is Bishop Emeritus of the Cora Cora Prelature in Bolivia, and has been described as a charismatic figure and an advocate for the poor.
Upon being named a cardinal by Pope Francis, Ticona said it was “a great surprise” and that he thanked God for the honor.

Ticona was born to a poor Bolivian family in 1937, and worked as a shoe shiner, newspaper vendor and a mayor. Influenced heavily by the Belgian priests at his home parish, Ticona entered San Cristóbal seminary in 1960 and on January 29, 1967 was ordained a priest.

He was named Auxiliary Bishop of Potosí in 1986, and in 1992 was made the Prelature of Cora Cora in La Paz.

After learning of his election as a cardinal, the Bolivian Bishops’ Conference said that, “Bishop Toribio embodies the vocation of a humble priest who serves. Our Church joins in giving thanks to the Lord for this gift.”

NEW APOSTOLIC NUNCIO ARRIVES IN SOUTH KOREA

A news story on a happier note by Robin Gomes (Vatican news):

Archbishop Alfred Xuereb of Malta, Apostolic Nuncio to South Korea conveyed Pope Francis’ blessing and wishes for the Church and for peace and reconciliation on the peninsula, and pledged to further the unity of the country’s Catholics and pastors with the Holy See.

Archbishop Xuereb, the Holy See’s new Apostolic Nuncio to South Korea and Mongolia, arrived in Seoul on May 27 at the start of his diplomatic mission in South Korea.

Korean bishops and representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK) welcomed him at Incheon International Airport where he addressed a press conference.

Commitment to Church

“The prime role of a nuncio,” he said, “is to help worshippers and pastors at local churches. I will meet with bishops in Korea as soon as possible and listen to what they have to say.”

“I will also work to more closely unify the Holy See and the Korean church,” the Maltese archbishop said.

He said that during a farewell Mass with Pope Francis in the Vatican on Thursday, the Holy Father send his apostolic blessing to the Korean bishops and faithful.

Korean peace and reconciliation
He said that the Pope is well informed about the situation on the Korean peninsula and has great hopes that the peace and reconciliation talks that started with the April 27 summit at the Truce Village of Panmunjom will continue and be successful so that future generations will have a peaceful and prosperous future.

“He told me, ‘Please assure the Korean people and also the bishops that he will continue praying that future generations will have a future of stability and prosperity,’” the 59-year old archbishop said during Sunday’s press conference. “As a papal representative in South Korea,” he said, “I will convey his thoughts and wishes to authorities in Korea.”

In the Vatican since 2000, Archbishop Xuereb has served Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. On February 26, Pope Francis appointed him archbishop and Apostolic Nuncio to South Korea and Mongolia. Pope Francis consecrated him bishop on March 19 in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica.