VATICAN INSIDER: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS AND “TERESA OF CALCUTTA. NO GREATER LOVE” – POPE FRANCIS GIVES INFLGHT PRESS CONFERENCE

VATICAN INSIDER: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS AND “TERESA OF CALCUTTA. NO GREATER LOVE”

Returning this week to the interview segment of “Vatican Insider” are Patrick Kelly, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and David Naglieri, writer and director of the film produced by the Knights, “Teresa of Calcutta: No Greater Love.”

Last week, we talked about what inspired the Knights of Columbus to do this film, how David was brought in as writer and director, and the stages of filming and some of the highlights.

This week we look at some of the challenges and highlights of filming this documentary, and I ask both Patrick and David if they learned something they never knew about Mother Teresa during the filming.

As I wrote after the Rome premiere: “Teresa of Calcutta’s love was a no-holds-barred love that embraced all of God’s children but absolutely above all, ‘the least of God’s children,’ the heart-wrenchingly poor and destitute, the forgotten and rejected ones such as the disabled, victims of leprosy, the starving, those who were left to die in the hovels they called home or on the streets of their villages or towns, on the peripheries of large, well-to-do urban centers where people truly did not care about the “people they could not see.”

I interviewed Patrick and David at one of the sports centers built in Rome by the Knights of Columbus. They have an office in Rome as well (another story for another day).

The movie premiered in Rome at the end of August and will be shown in 940 theaters in the United States for two days only, Monday, October 3 and Tuesday, October 4. Go to motherteresamovie.com for tickets.

The official website (where you can watch a trailer): Mother Teresa: No Greater Love Film – HOME (motherteresamovie.com)

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

POPE FRANCIS GIVES INFLGHT PRESS CONFERENCE

Yesterday, September 15, on his six-hour flight from Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan to Rome, Pope Francis gave an in-flight press conference to the 80 journalists who had accompanied him on his 38th international apostolic trip.

Here are two reports you might like to read that summarize the Q and A:

Pope: ‘Difficult to dialogue with those who started a war, but it must be done’ – Vatican News

Pope Francis: ‘The West has taken the wrong paths’ | Catholic News Agency

POPE TO KAZAKHSTAN CLERGY: ‘BEAR WITNESS TO JOY OF THE GOSPEL’ – POPE AT 7TH CONGRESS IN KAZAKHSTAN: ‘WE NEED PEACE, WOMEN, YOUNG PEOPLE’

Pope Francis departed Kazakhstan’s Nur-Sultan airport just before 5:20 pm local time this afternoon, and is due to arrive in Rome about 8 pm, Rome time. The nation’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was on hand to bid the Holy Father farewell.

This morning the Pope spoke to the Church’s bishops, clergy and religious men and women, and later made remarks at the concluding session of the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. Links to both of those events follow. There are some great photos and video in the first report.

Earlier, on Twitter and Facebook, I posted the wonderful, happy story of the family of 23 who musically entertained the Pope (video and photos): Muslim family of 23 plays for Pope Francis in Kazakhstan – Vatican News

POPE TO KAZAKHSTAN CLERGY: ‘BEAR WITNESS TO JOY OF THE GOSPEL’

In his address to the Church’s ministers in Kazakhstan, Pope Francis encourages bishops, priests, and religious men and women to embrace their spiritual inheritance with joy and “bear generous witness to it,” in order to testify to the promise of Christian hope.

By Sophie Peeters (vaticannews)

The strength in diversity of the Church and the richness in different experiences must be shared with others to witness to the living Church.

Pope Francis offered that encouragement in his address to Bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians and lay pastoral workers on Thursday morning at the Cathedral of the Mother of God of Perpetual Help in Nur-Sultan, Kazakstan. Pope to Kazakhstan clergy: ‘Bear witness to joy of the Gospel’ – Vatican News

POPE AT 7TH CONGRESS IN KAZAKHSTAN: ‘WE NEED PEACE, WOMEN, YOUNG PEOPLE’

In his concluding remarks at the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Pope Francis urges all religions and societies to involve women and young people in the quest for world peace.

By Francesca Merlo (vaticannews)

Concluding the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on his 38th Apostolic Journey abroad, Pope Francis thanked those present for coming from so many different parts of the world.

“We have travelled this road together,” he said. The Holy Father added that the members’ commitment in the service of dialogue over the course of the conference is more valuable than ever “when the problems of the pandemic have been compounded by the utter folly of war.” Pope at 7th Congress in Kazakhstan: ‘We need peace, women, young people’ – Vatican News

 

A CAPITAL NAME CHANGE? – POPES OF PEACE VISIT KAZAKHSTAN

A CAPITAL NAME CHANGE?

There has been one very interesting development during Pope Francis’ visit to Kazakhstan and its capital Nur-Sultan for the inter-religious meeting. The capital was named Astana until three years ago when the current president Tokayev agreed to change the name to Nur Sultan to honor his predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev who led the country for three decades after declaring independence from what was once the USSR, the Soviet Union.

It seems that the nation’s capital will once again be named Astana.

The first indication was a tweet today from President Tokayev’s press secretary that said, “The president of Kazakhstan supports the initiative of members of parliamentary to rename the capital of the country from Nur Sultan to Astana.”

It seems the president was informed of this initiative by the MPs who had put forth this proposal, having talked among themselves, and also to citizens who supported the name change during a referendum.

The June referendum called for constitutional changes, one of which, according to a bill written by parliament, will be the name change of the nation’s capital.

The Vatican always prepares a fascinating, informative booklet for the journalists covering a papal trip. In that booklet, the name Nur Sultan is used for the capital, as it is in Vatican news reports, thus suggesting that the name change has not officially taken place.

POPES OF PEACE VISIT KAZAKHSTAN

St. John Paul II was the first pontiff to visit this central European nation, visiting shortly after the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001. At the time, he applauded the peaceful coexistence of religions and ethnicities such as Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian, and many others, within the country. The capital of Kazakhstan in 2001 was Astana.

At the September 23 Angelus, John Paul said: “To Mary I entrust all of you: Christians and non-Christians, believers and non-believers. She is the Mother of all, because Christ her Son is the Saviour of all. May Mary help all of you, dear Brothers and Sisters, to accomplish in your daily lives Christ’s command: “Love one another”, which is the guiding theme of this pastoral visit of mine. To the perpetual help of the Queen of peace I also entrust the countries bordering Kazakhstan, and I greet especially the pilgrims who have come today from those lands to demonstrate their faith and affection.”

Pope Francis’ trip to Kazakhstan shared one aspect with Pope John Paul’s trip that took place right after the 9-11 attacks in the US, Pope Francis trip took place just after the 21st anniversary of those attacks. (Vatican photo)

In words spoken at the end of today’s Mass, the Holy Father pointed to areas of the world marked by violence and war, especially Ukraine, and stressed that the world must never grow accustomed to war or resigned to its perceived inevitability. “The one solution is peace and the only way to arrive at peace is through dialogue. …What still needs to happen, and how many deaths will it still take, before conflict yields to dialogue for the good of people, nations and all humanity?”

Inviting prayers from everyone so that the world can learn to create peace, Francis said, “I thank all those who believe in this. I thank all of you, and all those men and women who are heralds of peace and unity!”

Francis had said Sunday at the Angelus that his trip would be a “pilgrimage of peace. … It will be an opportunity to meet a great many religious representatives and to dialogue as brothers and sisters, animated by our common desire for peace, peace for which our world is thirsting.”

POPE FRANCIS BEGINS HIS APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KAZAKHSTAN – A FUTURISTIC NUR-SULTAN READY TO WELCOME POPE FRANCIS TO KAZAKHSTAN – POPE’S PRESENCE IN KAZAKHSTAN TO HELP ‘MAP WAY OUT OF CONFLICTS’

I am following Pope Francis’ trip to Kazakhstan as many of you are – on television and online for news reports. Television brings the living, colorful, in-the-moment images, as I know you have seen today and will for the next two days. Below are three stories from Vatican news about the papal trip to Kazakhstan, including video, photos and commentary.

A preview of the trip was given last night on EWTN News Nightly by EWTN’s Alexey Gotovsky of our Rome office: EWTN News | News from a true Catholic perspective

POPE FRANCIS BEGINS HIS APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KAZAKHSTAN

Pope Francis departs from Rome’s Fiumicino airport aboard the papal plane bound for Nur-Sultan, as he begins his Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

The papal plane took off from Rome’s Fiumicino airport on Tuesday at 7:36 AM with Pope Francis aboard, along with a compliment of around 80 journalists in the papal entourage.

The Pope’s 38th Apostolic Journey abroad takes him to the Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, where he is expected to arrive at around 5:45 PM local time (GMT+6) after a roughly 6.5-hour flight.

His first official visit comes soon afterwards on Tuesday as he makes a courtesy visit to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, before meeting with the country’s authorities, civil servants, and diplomatic corps. FOR MORE: Pope Francis begins his Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan – Vatican News

A FUTURISTIC NUR-SULTAN READY TO WELCOME POPE FRANCIS TO KAZAKHSTAN

As Pope Francis prepares to depart for Kazakhstan on Tuesday, our correspondent in Nur-Sultan takes a look at his upcoming participation in the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, as well as the small Catholic community’s great joy to receive the Holy Father.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov – Nur-Sultan (vaticannews)

Catholics and non-Catholics alike in the immense Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan are preparing and looking forward to welcoming Pope Francis to their country on Tuesday.

Pope Francis will embark on his 38th Apostolic Visit abroad, marking his 57th country visited and his fourth Apostolic Journey since the beginning of the year.

Working day and night

“They have been working day and night,” Fr. Pawel, a Franciscan priest, told Vatican News during a visit to the pavilion where the Holy Father’s Mass will be held for the nation’s Catholics, though not only Catholics will be present.

According to the rector of the Cathedral where the Pope will meet bishops, clergy, religious, and those pursuing vocations on Thursday, not only the Catholics are greatly anticipating the Mass, but even Kazakhs of other faiths.

To some non-Catholics, Pope Francis is like a father

He says even some Muslims will be there. “When I inquired as to their reasoning or interesting in being present, they said to me ‘Pope is Papa.’ He is also like a father to us.” FOR MORE: A futuristic Nur-Sultan ready to welcome Pope Francis to Kazakhstan – Vatican News

POPE’S PRESENCE IN KAZAKHSTAN TO HELP ‘MAP WAY OUT OF CONFLICTS’

As Pope Francis prepares to take part in an interfaith congress in Kazakhstan, Professor Azza Karam, Secretary General of Religions for Peace, says the Pope can help religious leaders map out ways of resolving and avoiding conflicts.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

“Pope Francis is a faith leader whom many others, even outside the Catholic community, tend to listen to and respect very highly.”

The Secretary General of Religions for Peace, Prof. Azza Karam, offered that insight into the Pope’s footprint in interreligious dialogue.

Prof. Karam spoke to Vatican News ahead of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan, on 13-15 September, which will see him participate in the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan.

Nearly 100 delegations are expected to attend from 60 nations, representing Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and other religions.

Pope a ‘spokesperson for peace’

Pope Francis will join religious leaders in seeking to plot a course for humanity’s renewal in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, amidst numerous wars and conflicts across the globe.”Pope Francis has positioned himself by virtue of his speech and what he symbolizes to be, in some respects, the spokesperson of what peace should look like in people’s ordinary lives, but also on the level of government.” FOR MORE: Pope’s presence in Kazakhstan to help ‘map way out of conflicts’ – Vatican News

FRANCIS PRAYS AT ST MARY MAJOR FOR TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN – CARDINAL PAROLIN: WAR IS NEVER INEVITABLE

FRANCIS PRAYS AT ST MARY MAJOR FOR TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN

As is his custom both before and after making an apostolic journey, Pope Francis today prayed before the beloved Roman image of Salus populi romani in the basilica of St. Mary Major.

The Holy Father departs tomorrow for Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, to attend and address the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions that will be held here on September 14 and 15. This is his 38th apostolic trip abroad and the 57th country he will have visited.

St. John Paul II was the first pontiff to visit this central European nation, arriving shortly after the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001. At the time, he applauded the peaceful coexistence of religions and ethnicities, such as Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian, and many others, within the country. (Vatican media photo)

CARDINAL PAROLIN: WAR IS NEVER INEVITABLE

On the eve of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan, the Vatican Secretary of State looks at the war in Ukraine with hopes that the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which the Pope will attend, might become an opportunity for encounter and dialogue, and underscores the fruitful diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Kazakhstan.

By Massimiliano Menichetti (vaticannews)

Everything is ready on the eve of Pope Francis’ 38th Apostolic Journey outside Italy. The destination is Kazakhstan and participation in the VII Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The international background of the event includes the ongoing, tragic war in Ukraine and many other conflicts around the world.

Once again, Pope Francis at Sunday’s Angelus in St. Peter’s Square asked for everyone to continue praying the people suffering from the war in Ukraine. He also thanked those involved in the journey’s preparations who made possible this trip to the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, where the focus will be on the capital, Nur-Sultan.

The predominantly Muslim country is home to a small Catholic community that awaits the arrival of the Pope with hope. The busy program is condensed into three days with five addresses he will give.

Ahead of the Pope’s departure on Tuesday, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sat down with Vatican Media to explore various themes of the Journey.

For full interview: Cardinal Parolin ahead of Pope’s Kazakhstan visit: ‘War is never inevitable’ – Vatican News

 

OF CARDINALS, CONSISTORIES AND COURTESY VISITS – THE PAPAL DAY IN L’AQUILA: HOPE AND HUMILITY, RUINS AND RELICS

OF CARDINALS, CONSISTORIES AND COURTESY VISITS

Following the consistory ceremony Saturday in which the new cardinals were created, the new red hats welcomed family and friends in what are known here as courtesy visits, most of which took place in the Paul VI Hall, with several in the Hall of Blessings in the Apostolic Palace.

The Hall of Blessings or Aula delle Benedizioni is a very grand hall above the atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica – the room behind the five large windows and the central loggia or balcony on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica.

I have been here many times but the first was the most special. It was March 1961. I was spending an academic year studying French in Fribourg, Switzerland and our spring break was six weeks long, including three in Italy. Our time in Rome included a papal audience with Pope John XXIII who held occasional audiences in the Hall of Blessings. The Paul VI Hall, of course, was only built by John’s successor, Paul, and named for him.

In the atrium of the Paul VI Hall, I met Cardinal McElroy of San Diego who, on Sunday at 5 pm, presided at Mass at St. Patrick’s in Rome, the church for Catholic Americans and English-speaking Catholics. He was joined by American Cardinals Edwin O’Brien, Wilton Gregory, Roger Mahony, Blasé Cupich, Daniel diNardo and Joseph Tobin. Numerous bishops were present as well.

Several of us on the parish council were asked to welcome guests to St. Patrick’s for the Mass, including a very large contingent of Catholics from all parts of California. Of all the cardinals present, the only one I did not know before the weekend was Cardinal McElroy. I have known all of the American cardinals now in Rome for the consistory for many years. (Cardinal McElroy celebrates Mass of Thanksgiving in Rome | Catholic News Agency)

Saturday at the courtesy visits, I had some fascinating encounters with a number of cardinals and I wanted to bring those stories to you today, along with photos. However, recently I’ve had huge problems uploading photos to my laptop and do not know if it is the fault of the laptop or my phone. I’ll bring you that report tomorrow.

THE PAPAL DAY IN L’AQUILA: HOPE AND HUMILITY, RUINS AND RELICS

Sunday, Pope Francis went to L’Aquila in central Italy to preside at Mass and open the Holy Door of Santa Maria di Collemaggio basilica for the 728th edition of the Celestine Pardon, an annual August celebration that dates to Pope Celestine V who is buried in this church. One of the final acts in his 5-month papacy was to issue an edict stating that Popes could resign. And Celestine did so promptly upon publishing this edict in December 1294.

Pope opens Holy Door (EWTN-CNA image Daniel Ibanez)

Forward a bit: 719 years later Benedict XVI resigned, having prayed at Celestine’s tomb in 2009 after the L’Aquila earthquake, leaving his pallium atop the tomb. In some of the most moving moments of his visit to L’Aquila, Francis also prayed for some time Sunday before his predecessor’s tomb.

Earlier at Mass, in his homily, Pope Francis recounted off the cuff how that morning, the helicopter pilot could not land the plane as planned due to fog and that, after circling many times, he “finally found a small opening in the fog” and landed. Remarking on that incident, Francis suggested that even when fog seems to shroud our lives, God will find a hole, an opening.

I found the Holy Father’s homily beautiful but also intriguing (as you will see below), especially his remarks on Pope Celestine’s resigning the papacy, an act that Francis called “one of humility.”

Is that something to think about? If the Pope resigns, is that an act of humility? And if he does not resign?

POPE IN L’AQUILA: “FAITH ILLUMINATES PAIN AND DRIVES EFFORT TO REBUILD”:  Pope Francis travelled 100 kilometers to the central Italian city of L’Aquila 13 years after a devastating earthquake killed 309 people, and he encouraged residents to continue rebuilding their lives with faith in God. He kicked off his pastoral visit by meeting civil authorities and families of the victims of the 2009 earthquake, which struck in the middle of the night on April 6, 2009. Around 66,000 people were left homeless and 309 people were killed in the wake of the quake and subsequent tremors. On Sunday, Pope Francis followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who made a visit less than a month after the earthquake, on 28 April 2009. The Pope also visited the ruins of the Cathedral of St. Maximus, which was partially destroyed by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake. (Pope in L’Aquila: ‘Faith illuminates pain and drives effort to rebuild’ – Vatican News

POPE FRANCIS AT MASS:  During Mass in the central Italian city of L’Aquila for the occasion of the “Celestinian Pardon,” Pope Francis recalled God’s power to accomplish all things, along with the courageous witness, often misunderstood, of Pope Celestine V who resigned in 1294. Noting that he celebrates Mass on “a special day,” that of “the Celestinian Pardon,” the Holy Father explained that the relics of Pope Celestine V… are preserved in L’Aquila. He said that Pope Celestine “humbled himself,” finding favour with God. “We erroneously remember Celestine V as he ‘who made a great refusal’, according to the expression Dante used in his Divine Comedy. But Celestine V was not a man who said ‘no’, but a man who said ‘yes’.” In fact, the Pope noted, there is no other way to accomplish God’s will, than to assume the strength of the humble. (Pope at Mass in L’Aquila: ‘God can accomplish all things’ – Vatican News)

VATICAN INSIDER: MSGR. TOM POWERS, NEW RECTOR AT NORTH AMERICAN COLLEGE – POPE ON L’AQUILA VISIT: “FORGIVENESS ONLY WEAPON AGAINST WAR” – POPE ASKS NORTH KOREA REGIME FOR INVITATION TO VISIT

VATICAN INSIDER:   MSGR. TOM POWERS, NEW RECTOR AT NORTH AMERICAN COLLEGE

Welcome to Vatican Insider on this final weekend of August and what a weekend it promises to be in Rome! My guest this week in the interview segment is Msgr. Tom Powers, the new rector of the Pontifical North American College and a wonderful friend of many years! In Part I of our talk, he tells how he was invited to be rector, looks back a bit at his own years in Rome as a seminarian under two rectors, now Cardinals, Edwin O’Brien and Timothy Dolan and explains exactly what the duties of a rector are.

The new seminarians had just arrived and Msgr. Powers spoke about how they all met and exchanged inspirational vocation stories. He spoke of the vocation stories as “moments of God’s grace.” He said “my work here, our work here, is to form men to the heart of Christ.” Among his powerful remarks were his words on answering the call this past spring to become the rector, saying: “My priesthood has been one of saying yes to the Church.”

Photo taken in rectory where he was pastor before coming to Rome:

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

POPE ON L’AQUILA VISIT: “FORGIVENESS ONLY WEAPON AGAINST WAR”

Pope Francis speaks to a local news publication of L’Aquila ahead of his pastoral visit on Sunday, and says it is harder to forgive than to make war, in reference to the Celestinian Pardon that he will inaugurate while in the central Italian city.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

“It takes more strength to forgive than to wage war… Forgiveness is the only possible weapon against all war.”

Pope Francis offered that message on Friday in an interview with “Il Centro”, a local news publication in L’Aquila.

He is scheduled to make a pastoral visit to the central Italian city in the Abruzzo region on Sunday morning, where he will open the holy door of the annual Celestinian Pardon.

Overcoming evil with good

Referring to the war in Ukraine and other conflicts, the Pope recalled that “evil is never overcome by evil, but only with good.”

Forgiveness, he said, requires great interior and cultural maturity, as well as a culture of peace.

“Without this effort,” said the Pope, “we will remain stuck in the logic of evil, which is beholden to the promotion of the self-interests of those who take advantage of conflicts to enrich themselves.”

Pope Celestine V, who instituted the Celestinian Pardon in 1294, “knew how to promote humility and love for the poor,” he said, adding that our contemporary society can learn much from these attitudes.

Mystery of suffering

Asked about the devastating earthquake of 2009 that killed 309 people, Pope Francis recalled that, “pain and suffering are always a mystery.”

“Jesus Himself experienced this darkness of feeling alone and defeated. But at the same time, he taught us that it is precisely in these moments when everything seems lost that we can make an unexpected gesture: entrust ourselves to the Lord!”

The Pope added that there can be no rebirth in the wake of destruction without the act of entrusting ourselves to the Lord.

However, he said, our interior certitude in God’s mercy is a gift which must be requested and “protected from everything that would seek to snuff it out.”

Praising a Church close to the poor

Pope Francis then praised the many ways in which the local Church in L’Aquila has reached out to support the poor and those who have suffered due to the earthquake.

Many houses and buildings still need to be rebuilt in the city, including the Catholic Cathedral.

“I thank the city’s pastors,” said the Pope. “And I especially thank all priests and men and women religious who, along with lay people, have sought to rebuild, an effort which involves not only homes but also the soul itself of the people.”

“We cannot go very far if we walk alone. Unity alone can allow us to make truly difficult changes. We must leave behind all those things which divide us and hold up instead everything which unites us.”

Encouragement in the faith

Pope Francis concluded the interview with “Il Centro” by saying that he comes to encourage the people of L’Aquila in their faith.

“Humility, love, closeness, forgiveness, and mercy truly are the best way to proclaim the Gospel to the men and women of today and of all times.”

POPE WILLING TO GO TO NORTH KOREA IF INVITED

Pope Francis has expressed willingness to visit North Korea, asking the regime to invite him to the country.

In an interview with KBS at the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall on Wednesday, the pontiff said he is willing to travel to North Korea upon receiving the invitation, which he will not reject.

Pope Francis, the 266th head of the Roman Catholic Church, has repeatedly indicated that he is willing to visit North Korea, but it is rather unusual that he has requested an invitation from North Korea using such direct and strong rhetoric.

The pope devoted a considerable part of the 30-minute interview to the subject of war and peace, while citing weapons production a major concern.

He prayed that God will be with all people, both in South and North Korea. He asked South Koreans, in particular, to work for peace as they are well aware of what a war is like, having experienced the pain of armed conflict.

The interview will air on KBS 1 TV at 8:30 p.m. on Friday and at 10 p.m. on September 1. (source: Pope Francis Asks for Invitation to Visit N. Korea l KBS WORLD)

POPE AT AUDIENCE: CANADA, A PENITENTIAL VISIT “LIKE NO OTHER” – POPE FRANCIS ON 2ND ANNIVERSARY OF BEIRUT EXPLOSION

Pope Francis resumed the weekly general audience today, welcoming pilgrims in the air-conditioned Paul VI Hall, given the extremely high temperatures in Rome. He walked into the hall from an adjacent anteroom, walking slowly and using a cane. Pilgrims were delighted to have the Holy Father once again in their midst!


POPE AT AUDIENCE: CANADA, A PENITENTIAL VISIT “LIKE NO OTHER”

Pope Francis resumed the weekly Wednesday general audience after a July break, and dedicated his catechesis to his recent Apostolic Journey to Canada, a penitential pilgrimage dedicated to embracing indigenous peoples who suffered injustices over the centuries.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov (vaticannews)

The audience was held in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall due to the intense summer heat in the Italian capital.

During his catechesis, the Pope recalled his “penitential pilgrimage” to the North American country, focused on healing and reconciliation with the nation’s indigenous peoples who suffered attempts to erase their culture and identity.

These injustices were perpetrated in the infamous historic government-funded residential schools system, with the cooperation of many members of the local churches.

In his remarks, the Pope remembered his time in Edmonton, Quebec, and his stop in the Arctic city of Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut Territory.

A “penitential” visit like no other

The Holy Father said it was “a visit like no other.”

“In fact, the main motivation was to meet the indigenous peoples to express to them my closeness and my sorrow, and to ask for forgiveness – to ask for forgiveness – for the harm done to them by those Christians, including many Catholics, who in. the past collaborated in the forced assimilation and enfranchisement* policies of the governments of the time.”

In this sense, the Pope explained, his journey “was undertaken in Canada to write a new page,” and continue to walk together, always closer, with the indigenous peoples.

The Pope pointed out how apropos the motto of “Walking Together” was for the journey.

Repentance and reconciliation

Much analysis, the Pope suggested, “shows that, on the one hand, some men and women of the Church have been among the most decisive and courageous supporters of the dignity of the indigenous peoples, coming to their defence and contributing to raising awareness of their languages and cultures.”

“But, on the other hand,” he added, “there was unfortunately no shortage of those (who) participated in programmes that today we understand are unacceptable and contrary to the Gospel.”

In this sense, he reiterated, this visit was penitential, and even if there were many joyful moments, “the meaning and tone of the whole was one of reflection, repentance and reconciliation.”

Rejecting mindset of colonization and promoting indigenous

In Edmonton, he said, there was an honest and sorrowful remembrance of the past, which continued in Quebec with “a plea” for reconciliation born of hope through Christ, and concluded, in Iqaluit, with confident trust in the “healing” made possible by the power of the Risen Lord to make all things new.

The Church’s desire, as it explicitly acknowledged the wrongs of the past, the Holy Father suggested, rejects the mindset of colonization, and esteems and promotes the indigenous cultures.

Pope Francis concluded by praying, “May the fortitude and pacific action of the indigenous peoples of Canada be an example for all indigenous peoples not to close themselves up, but to offer their indispensable contribution for a more fraternal humanity, that knows how to love creation and the Creator, in harmony with creation, in harmony between you all.”

* (“Enfranchisement” was the process of changing the civil status of Indigenous peoples from “Indians” to full Canadian citizens – a process of assimilation that often came at the expense of their indigenous identity. Originally voluntary, enfranchisement became compulsory in 1876 and remained so into the 1960s.)

POPE FRANCIS ON 2ND ANNIVERSARY OF BEIRUT EXPLOSION

During his weekly general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis recalled the second anniversary of the devastating Beirut Port explosion.

Speaking of the “dear Lebanese people, “ he told pilgrims, “I pray that everyone may be consoled by faith, comforted by justice and truth, which can never be hidden. I hope that Lebanon, with the help of the international community, will continue on the path of rebirth, remaining faithful to its vocation to be a land of peace and pluralism, where communities of different religions can live in fraternity.”

In fact, it was on August 4. 2020 that an explosion occurred at the Beirut port that was so powerful that it killed over 215 and injured thousands, and so extensive that massive damage was caused to area buildings, stores, offices, and churches. Beirut will be rebuilding for years. (vatican media)

To read more: Pope Francis recalls second anniversary of Beirut Port explosion – Vatican News

 

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR AUGUST: FOR SMALL BUSINESSES – AGENDA FOR PAPAL TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN IN SEPTEMBER

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR AUGUST: FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Pope Francis releases his prayer intention for the month of August, urging special prayers for small businesses.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov (vaticannews)

As August kicks off, Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to pray for small and medium-sized businesses, so that “in the midst of economic and social crisis, they find ways to continue operating, and serving their communities.”

The Pope released his monthly prayer intention on Tuesday in a video prepared by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. (NB: video ahs English subtitles)

In the message, he recognizes the “courage, effort and sacrifice” of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, and acknowledges that they are among the most affected by “the grave socio-economic crisis,” brought to new heights by wars and the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.

According to statistics for 2021 from the World Bank, one in four companies lost half of their volume of sales because of the global pandemic. Further exacerbating their reality is that they do not receive adequate public assistance.

Constant sacrifices and hard work to help others

In his video message, the Pope praised those who through their workshops or shops “invest in life,” by “generating well-being, opportunities and work.”

The Holy Father acknowledged their hard work and constant sacrifices made, in order to invest in the common good.

“Stores, workshops, cleaning businesses, transportation businesses, and so many others. The ones that don’t appear on the world’s richest and most powerful lists, and despite the difficulties, they create jobs, fulfilling their social responsibility.”

The Holy Father concluded his video message remembering the value of small businesses.

“Let us pray for small and medium-sized businesses, hard hit by the economic and social crisis, so they may find ways to continue operating, and serving their communities.”

The ‘great importance’ of small businesses

Father Federic Fornos, S.J., the International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Network, reflected on the intention.

“The crises that we are going through, are—as the Pope says—a ‘Noah moment,’” he said, are “an opportunity to build something different. In this sense, small and medium-sized businesses are of great importance, with their creative force and their capacity to contribute solutions from the bottom up.”

“Without them, it would not have been possible to make it through the COVID crisis, and they continue to be necessary now. This is why it is important to pray for them.”

Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and Pope Video

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is a Vatican foundation, with the mission of mobilizing Catholics through prayer and action in response to the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church. Founded in 1844 as the Apostleship of Prayer, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network currently is present in 89 countries and is made up of more than 22 million Catholics. The Pope Video is an official global initiative with the purpose of disseminating the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions.

AGENDA FOR PAPAL TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN IN SEPTEMBER

Kazakhstan’s capital of Nur-Sultan is a 6 ½ hour flight from Rome. The return flight is 7 ½ hours. The country is 4 hours ahead of Italy.

FYI: The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation will be the focal point of the Pope’s attendance at the conference. It has been a top tourist and visitors’ site since 2006, offers unique cultural and religious exhibits and spaces for meetings and cultural encounters. One of the more unusual facts is its diagonal moving elevator inside, one of only several in the world. It is also called the Pyramid of Peace and Reconciliation.

TUESDAY, 13 September 2022 Rome – Nur-Sultan

07:15 Departure by airplane from Rome/Fiumicino international airport to Nur-Sultan

17:45 Arrival at Nur-Sultan international airport

17:45 – 18:30   Official welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in Nur Sultan

18:45 Courtesy visit to the president of the republic

19:30 Meeting with the authorities, civil society and the diplomatic corps at the Qazaq concert hall. Address of the Holy Father

WEDNESDAY, 14 September 2022 Nur-Sultan

10:00   Silent prayer of religious leaders. Opening and plenary session of the “VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions” at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. Address of the Holy Father

12:00   Private meetings with various religious leaders at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation

16:45 Holy Mass in the Expo Grounds. Homily of the Holy Father

THURSDAY, 15 September 2022   Nur-Sultan – Rome

09:00 Private meeting with members of the Society of Jesus at the Apostolic Nunciature

10:30 Meeting with bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians and pastoral workers in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral. Address of the Holy Father

15:00 Reading of the Final Declaration and Conclusion of the Congress at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. Address of the Holy Father.

16:15 Farewell ceremony at Nur-Sultan international airport

16:45 Departure by airplane from Nur-Sultan international airport to Rome

20:15 Arrival at Rome/Fiumicino international airport

POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT KAZAKHSTAN IN SEPTEMBER

POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT KAZAKHSTAN IN SEPTEMBER

Pope Francis will make his 38th Apostolic Journey abroad to Kazakhstan in mid-September, visiting the city of Nur-Sultan on the occasion of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov (vaticannews)

In a statement on Monday, Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office announced: “Accepting the invitation of the civil and ecclesial authorities, Pope Francis will make the announced Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan from 13-15 September this year, visiting the city of Nur-Sultan on the occasion of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.”

The Congress is to be held in the Kazakh capital.

The theme of this year’s event will be “The Role of Leaders of World and Traditional Faiths in the Socio-Spiritual Development of Humanity after the Pandemic”.

Pope Francis with the media on papal flight from Canada:

Every three years, religious leaders from around the world gather at the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, in Nur-Sultan.

In 2003, former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev called for the first such Congress.

He drew inspiration from Pope St. John Paul II’s 1986 Day of Prayer for Peace convened in the Italian hill town of Assisi, which brought together various religions and leaders to promote interreligious dialogue, peace and harmony.

The ‘Spirit of Assisi’ meetings became an annual tradition held each year in a different city in Europe.

Pope’s continued interest in visiting

In early April, the Pope spoke about this possible journey during a live video conversation he held with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

On the return flight from his Apostolic Visit to Canada, the Pope reiterated his hope to go.

“For the moment, I would like to go to Kazakhstan. That wouldn’t be too rigorous of a journey,” he said.

He reaffirmed his interest in being present at the congress of religions, and observed that it would likely not be overly physically demanding.

Quick facts about Kazakhstan

On 16 December 1991, Kazakhstan gained its independence from the former Soviet Union.

According to the Pew Research Center, the country is at least 70% Muslim, and about 25% Christian, of which less than 1% is Catholic.

St. John Paul the II was the first Pope to visit Kazakhstan, 22-25 September 2001, with the motto of “Love one other.”