Following is a Vatican News summary of the address today by Pope Francis to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.

For the full 5400-word address in English, click here:

An informative note from the Secretariat State explains that currently 183 States have diplomatic relations with the Holy See. To the aforementioned States must be added the European Union and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. There are 89 Embassy Chanceries based in Rome, including those of the European Union and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The offices of the League of Arab States, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are also based in Rome.


In his annual address to members of the diplomatic corps at the beginning of the New Year, Pope Francis says the heightening of tensions between Iran and the United States “risks… compromising the gradual process of rebuilding in Iraq, as well as setting the groundwork for a vaster conflict”.
By Christopher Wells (vaticannewsva –  updated at 11:32)

Pope Francis focused on the virtue of ‘hope’ in his annual greetings to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. Hope, he said, “is an essential virtue for Christians, to inspire our way of approaching the times that lie ahead”.

Noting that “peace and integral human development are… the principal aim of the Holy See in its involvement in the field of diplomacy”, the Pope’s speech focused heavily on calls for dialogue and for concerted international action on various issues facing the world today.

Apostolic Visits an opportunity for dialogue
The Pontiff recalled his numerous Apostolic Visits over the course of the past year, beginning with the journey to Panama for World Youth Day. “It is always a joy and a great opportunity to meet young people”, he said. “They are the future and hope of our societies”.

He acknowledged the “grave crimes” committed against young people by adults, including members of the clergy, and noted that, with the Meeting for the Protection of Minors in the Church, “the Holy See has renewed its commitment to bring to light abuses already committed and to ensure the protection of minors”.

He highlighted the need for adults to assume their “proper educational responsibilities”, and noted the upcoming event on “Reinventing the Global Compact on Religion”. The Pope likewise said that the “epochal change” we are now experiencing calls for the creation of an “educational village” for forming human relationships, while noting the primary right of families to educate, and of churches and communities to assist them in the task.

Combatting climate change
In the context of being open to dialogue with young people, and listening to their concerns, the Pope raised the issue of climate change, with calls for ecological conversion on the part of all. He lamented the lack of commitment of the international community in addressing the challenges facing our common home. Ecology was an important theme of the Synod on the Amazon, the Pope said, which was primarily an ecclesial event.

Pope Francis also highlighted the “proliferation of political crises” in countries in the Americas, mentioning Venezuela in particular. Although rooted in diverse causes, these crises, he said, are linked by inequality, injustice, corruption and poverty. It is necessary, he said, to establish a “culture of dialogue” to respond to those issues.

Mutual understanding and peaceful coexistance
On his second journey in 2019, Pope Francis travelled to the United Arab Emirates, where he signed the Document on Human Fraternity with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, focused on fostering mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence. He emphasized the need to train future generations in interreligious dialogue.

During his visit to Morocco, the Holy Father signed a joint appeal, with King Muhammed VI, on Jerusalem – a holy city for the world’s three great monotheistic religions, which, the Pope said, should be a symbolic place of peaceful coexistence.

International commitment to peace

The Pope called on the international community to be engaged in the peace process, not only in the Holy Land, but throughout the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. He pointed in particular to the war in Syria, and ongoing conflicts in Yemen and Libya. And in view of the heightened tensions between Iran and the United States, he renewed his appeal “that all the interested parties avoid an escalation of the conflict and ‘keep alive the flame of dialogue and self-restraint’, in full respect of international law”.

He also encouraged the international community to address the plight of migrants seeking asylum, whose legitimate needs must be identified, while noting once again, how the Mediterranean Sea has become “a vast cemetery”. The Pope called on world leaders to find lasting solutions to the crisis of forced migration, at the same time praising those countries that have generously sought out ways “to share the burden of resettling refugees”.

The importance of dialogue and the culture of encounter
Pope Francis also recalled his visits to the Eastern European nations of Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Romania, where he experienced “the importance of dialogue and the culture of encounter”. He highlighted “the importance of dialogue and respect for international law in resolving the ‘frozen conflicts’ that persist” in Europe, taking note of situations in the western Balkans and the southern Caucasus, including Georgia; and encouraging ongoing talks for the reunification of Cyprus. He also expressed his appreciation for efforts to resolve the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“Dialogue, not arms, is the essential way to resolve disputes”, he insisted.

The Pope said the Holy See “has followed the European project with great interest” from its earliest beginnings, and noted the 50th anniversary of its presence as an observer at the Council of Europe. The Holy See, he said, “emphasizes and inclusive process of growth inspired by a spirit of participation and solidarity”. Calling to mind the fire at Notre Dame, which showed that “even what seems so solid can be fragile and easily destroyed”, he cautioned Europe against losing “that sense of solidarity that for centuries has set it apart”.

Pope Francis said the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall reminds us “how easy it is to erect barriers”. But, he continued, “rather than walls of hatred, we prefer bridges of reconciliation and solidarity”.

Signs of peace and reconciliation in Africa
The Pontiff was also able to visit Africa in the course of the past year, where he was “able to see signs of peace and reconciliation”, including an agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Mozambique; security replacing instability in Madagascar; and peaceful coexistence between members of different religions in Mauritius.

However, looking at other parts of the continent, the Pope said, “it is painful to witness, particularly in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria, continuing episodes of violence against innocent people, including many Christians persecuted and killed for their fidelity to the Gospel”. Here, too, he appealed to the international community to work together, calling on it to work not only to eliminate “the scourge of terrorism”, but also “to implement practical strategies” for reducing poverty, improving healthcare, favouring development and humanitarian aid, as well as good governance and civil rights.

Pope Francis spoke of the necessity, as well, of encouraging “initiatives to foster fraternity among all local cultural, ethnic, and religious groups, particularly in the Horn of Africa, in Cameroon, and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”, in the face of continuing violence.

Hopes for a visit to South Sudan
He noted, too, the need to address the issue of internal displacement, expressing support for the work of the United Nations High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement. In this regard, Pope Francis said his thoughts turn also to Sudan and the Central African Republic, with the hope that both countries can embrace peace. “My thoughts also turn to South Sudan”, the Pope said, “which I hope to be able to visit in the course of this year”.

The Pope’s final journey in 2019 took him to east Asia, where he visited Thailand with its harmony of various ethnic groups with different philosophies, cultures, religion.

No to nuclear weapons
In Japan, the Holy Father “experienced the pain and horror that we human beings are capable of inflicting on one another” especially in hearing the voices of survivors of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “True peace”, Pope Francis said, “cannot be built on the threat of a possible total annihilation of humanity by nuclear weapons”. He repeated “a world ‘without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary’”, and encouraged the work of the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, taking place later this year.

As he concluded his review of his journeys throughout the year, the Pope said he is thinking of a nation he had not had the opportunity to visit: Australia, which has been hard hit by serious wildfires throughout the country. “I would like to assure the Australian people, especially the victims and all those in the areas devastated by the fires, of my closeness and my prayers,” he said.

Founding principles of UN remain valid
Finally, Pope Francis noted that 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. The Pope insisted that the foundational principles of the organization – the desire for peace, the pursuit of justice, respect for the dignity of the human person, and humanitarian cooperation and assistance – remain valid today, and should form the basis for international relations.

Referencing the Encyclical Pacem in terris, by St John XXIII, Pope Francis said, “We wish to reaffirm the resolve of the entire human family to work for the common good as a criterion for moral action, and a goal inspiring each country to cooperate in guaranteeing the existence and peaceful security of all others”. And he affirmed, too, that human rights are “intrinsically grounded in human nature itself”. In this context, he said, “there is a clear need to move once again towards an overall reform of the multilateral system, beginning with the UN system”.

Concluding his remarks, the Pope recalled that this year is the 500th anniversary of the death of the great artist Raphael. Greeting the “people of Italy”, he expressed his “prayerful hope” that they might “recover the spirit of openness that exemplified the Renaissance”.

A special word to women
And noting the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, the Pope said he wanted to address “a special word to all women, 25 years after” the Beijing conference on women in 1995. “It is my hope, he said, that the invaluable role of women in society may be increasingly acknowledged worldwide, and that all forms of injustice, discrimination, and violence against women come to an end”.

Finally, the Holy Father said that the Assumption of Mary “also invites us to look ahead to the completion of our earthly journey, to that day when justice and peace will be re-established”. And reaffirming his own commitment, and that of the Holy See, to that goal, he renewed his “cordial best wishes for a new year rich in hope and in every blessing”.



Pope Francis today addressed members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See in what is an annual address usually held the second Monday of January. He highlighted the lights and shadows of the world but principally focussed this year’s message on two topics – the theme of security and peace and “religiously motivated violence,” particularly “on the fundamentalist-inspired terrorism that in the past year has also reaped numerous victims throughout the world: in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, the United States of America, Tunisia and Turkey.”

The diplomats represent 182 nations and include 88 ambassadors who are full time residents in Rome. The newest member accredited to the Holy See, as Pope Francis specifically mentioned in his opening remarks, was the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. He spoke of various bilateral agreements and concordats and pointed out that, “in the context of the Holy See’s commitment to the obligations assumed by the aforementioned Agreements, the Comprehensive Agreement with the State of Palestine, which took effect a year ago, was fully implemented.”

The Holy See also has relations with numerous international institutions and agencies such as the United Nations.

Pope Francis began his remarks by noting that, “A century ago, we were in the midst of the First World War. A ‘useless slaughter’ in which new methods of warfare sowed death and caused immense suffering to the defenceless civil population.  In 1917, the conflict changed profoundly, taking on increasingly global proportions, while those totalitarian regimes, which were long to be a cause of bitter divisions, began to appear on the horizon.  A hundred years later, it can be said that many parts of the world have benefited from lengthy periods of peace, which have favoured opportunities for economic development and unprecedented prosperity.  For many people today, peace appears as a blessing to be taken for granted, for all intents an acquired right to which not much thought is given.  Yet, for all too many others, peace remains merely a distant dream.  Millions of people still live in the midst of senseless conflicts.  Even in places once considered secure, a general sense of fear is felt.  We are frequently overwhelmed by images of death, by the pain of innocent men, women and children who plead for help and consolation, by the grief of those mourning the loss of a dear one due to hatred and violence, and by the drama of refugees fleeing war and migrants meeting tragic deaths.” (photo


This, he said, is why he was devoting his address to the theme of security and peace.”

Francis explained that “Peace is a positive good, ‘the fruit of the right ordering of things’ with which God has invested human society; it is ‘more than the absence of war’. Nor can it be ‘reduced to the maintenance of a balance of power between opposing forces’. Rather, it demands the commitment of those persons of good will who “thirst for an ever more perfect reign of justice.”

“In this regard,” he said, “I voice my firm conviction that every expression of religion is called to promote peace. …. We know that there has been no shortage of acts of religiously motivated violence, beginning with Europe itself, where the historical divisions between Christians have endured all too long. …..”

“Sadly, we are conscious that even today, religious experience, rather than fostering openness to others, can be used at times as a pretext for rejection, marginalization and violence.” Naming the places that had experienced terrorism in the past year, the Pope said, “These are vile acts that use children to kill, as in Nigeria, or target people at prayer, as in the Coptic Cathedral of Cairo, or travelers or workers, as in Brussels, or passers-by in the streets of cities like Nice and Berlin, or simply people celebrating the arrival of the new year, as in Istanbul.

“We are dealing with a homicidal madness which misuses God’s name in order to disseminate death, in a play for domination and power.  Hence I appeal to all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God’s name.”

For the entire papal address, click here:




The papal prayer intention in video format as developed by the Apostleship of Prayer:


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. ( 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.”


(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.


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.


(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.


(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:

“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.



I posted some stories and lot of travel and other info about the Holy Year in Rome on my Facebook page over the weekend, so you might want to pay a visit:

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, quoting the lyrics to Davis Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” sent out this tweet to commemorate the singer who died yesterday at the age of 69 after 18 months of fighting cancer: “Ground Control to Major Tom Commencing countdown, engines on Check ignition and may God’s love be with you (David Bowie).”


Pope Francis on Sunday, during Mass in the Sistine Chapel, baptized 26 babies – 13 boys and 13 girls. This is always a special annual event as parents, god-parents and other family members wait with bated breath for this most important moment in the life of their child – and also wait to see if theirs will be the first baby to cry during the ceremony! In fact, as several babies were heard crying, Pope Francis told the mothers should feel free to feed their children whenever they are hungry. (photo:


The Holy Father had celebrated Mass in the chapel for the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. He told parents to nurture the faith, saying, “Don’t forget that the greatest inheritance you can give to your children is the faith. Try to see that it is not lost, nurture it and leave it as an inheritance.” In his homily, which was brief and off-the-cuff, Francis told parents that in bringing their children to the chapel to receive baptism, they are imitating the act of Mary and Joseph, who, 40 days after Jesus’ birth, brought him to the temple to present him to God.

Pope Francis noted that eventually the infants baptized will grow up to be parents themselves, and will ask the same thing for their own children. Future parents, he said, will ask for “the faith, the faith that is given in baptism, the faith that today brings the Holy Spirit into the hearts, souls and lives of these, your children.”

Later, at the noon Angelus, the Pope highlighted the baptism ceremony in the Sistine Chapel and asked the faithful in St. Peter’s Square: “Do you know the date of your baptism? If not, I will give you a homework assignment: Go home and find the date of your baptism – talk to your parents, god-parents or other relatives, perhaps even the parish.”

The Holy Father has previously asked the same question on a number of occasions, mostly at a Sunday Angelus.

Francis had a special blessing for all children recently baptized, and included adults and young people who are preparing or have recently received the Sacraments of Christian Initiation.


In a lengthy speech lasting over 30 minutes, Pope Francis today gave his annual address to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. Currently, 180 States, the European Union, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Permanent Mission of the State of Palestine are accredited to the Holy See. After being greeted in the Sala Regia by the new dean of the diplomatic corps, Armindo Fernandes do Espirito Santo Vieira, ambassador of Angola, Francis addressed the assembled diplomats. (photo:


He looked at the year just past and highlighted its lights and shadows in a broad international overview. Though the greater part of his talk focused on the migration issue, he also addressed the arms trade, inter-religious dialogue, the need to overcome indifference, the “throwaway” culture so prevalent today, achieving “peace through religious experiences authentically lived,” terrorism and a theme very dear to him, especially in this Jubilee Year – mercy.

The Pope highlighted certain agreements concluded within the last year by the Holy See. He spoke of his trips, country by country. He spoke of the importance of the Jubilee of mercy and the quality of mercy.

He urged the ambassadors to reflect on “the poor, the marginalized and the ‘least’ of society,” noting the “grave crisis of migration we are facing, in order to discern its causes, to consider possible solutions, and to overcome the inevitable fears associated with this massive and formidable phenomenon, which in 2015 has mainly concerned Europe, but also various regions of Asia and North and Central America.”

“Many of the causes of migration could have been addressed some time ago. … Much could be done to end these tragedies and to build peace” but we must have the courage to question “entrenched habits and practices,” including “the arms trade, the provision of raw materials and energy, investment, policies of financing and sustainable development.” There must be “mid-term and long-term planning which is not limited to emergency responses” aime at providing “effective assistance for integrating migrants in their receiving countries” as well as promoting “the development of their countries of origin through policies inspired by solidarity.”

Francis asked the diplomats to attempt to “discern the causes and map out solutions” to the migratory emergency.

He said, “Europe must continue to take in migrants despite the massive landings and fears of terrorism” that “seem to shake” Europe’s welcome system: Europe must overcome “fears for security” and “not lose the foundations of its humanistic spirit.” He specifically thanked Italy as having “saved so many lives in the Mediterranean.”

The Holy Father also appealed for an end to “people trafficking, which turns human beings into a commodity, especially the weakest and most defenseless. … The images of children dead at sea are indelibly impressed in our minds and hearts.”

Francis noted that “we all look with hope to the important steps taken by the international community to reach a political and diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria, to put an end to the suffering, which has lasted too long, of the population.”

On terrorism, he said only “common action” can defeat terrorism and extremism. “Only a distorted ideological form of religion can think that justice is done in the name of the Almighty by deliberately slaughtering defenseless persons, as in the brutal terrorist attacks which occurred in recent months in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.”

On another topic, he spoke to the national anti-usury board and called on the Holy Spirit to help “fight with all [our] force to defeat the widespread social plagues of usury and gambling.” This board is a consultative body that aims to coordinate efforts to fight usury and loan-sharking in all their forms.

The entire 4,010-word address may be found here: