My guest this weekend on “Vatican Insider” is Dr. Tom Hilgers who, together with his wife Sue, founded the Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction. The Institute was Tom’s answer to Paul VI’s call in 1968 in his encyclical “Humanae vitae” for the medical profession and others to become involved in the development of women’s health services that are consistent with Catholic teaching and in “accord with faith and right reason.” Humanae vitae – a seed planted in the mind of a young medical student that became an institute now present on all continents except Antarctica!

Tom and Sue were in Rome for the October 19 beatification of their “mentor,” Pope Paul VI and Tom read one of the Prayers of the Faithful at that Mass.

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Tom took these photos at the October 19 beatification of Paul VI –

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(Vatican Radio) On Friday, Pope Francis met with a group of 7,000 participants at the World Congress of Accountants, whose four-day meeting in Rome ended yesterday. The Pope’s speech highlighted the need to always put man at the center of life, including and perhaps foresmost, economic affairs.

He told his guests that “It is an important moment to address the problems affecting your profession today, to renew the understanding of the fact that it is also a service to the community. And, within your Congress, you desired to insert this moment, that recalls you to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as a perennial source of inspiration for personal and social renewal.

“The current socio-economic climate poses, in a pressing manner, the question of work,” said Francis. “The question of work: this is key. From your professional observation, you are well aware of the dramatic reality of so many people whose employment is precarious, or who have lost their jobs; of so many families that pay the consequences; of so many young people seeking their first job and dignified work. There are many of them, especially immigrants who, forced to work ‘under the table’, lack the most elementary juridical and economic safeguards.”

The Pope pointed out that, “there is a great temptation to defend one’s own interests without being concerned with the common good, without paying too much attention to justice and legality. Everyone … is called to play a positive, constructive role in the day-to-day development of their own work, knowing that behind every identity card there is a story, there are many faces. In such work … the Christian professional every day draws from prayer and from the Word of God the strength first of all to do their own work well, with competence and wisdom; and then “to go beyond,” which means going to meet the person in difficulty.”

ope Francis noted that “economy and finance are dimensions of human activity and can be occasions of encounter, of dialogue, of cooperation, of recognized rights and services rendered, of dignity affirmed in work.” But, he stressed, “for this it is necessary to always place the human person, with his dignity, at the center, in contrast to the dynamics that tend to approve everything and place money at the summit. When money becomes the end and the reason of every activity and of every initiative, the utilitarian optic and the savage logic of profit, which does not respect persons, prevails, with the resulting widespread fall of the values of solidarity and respect for the human person. “

The Holy Father said, “If we are to improve and hand on to future generations the environmental, economic, cultural, and social patrimony we have inherited, we are called to take up the responsibility to work for a globalization of solidarity . a word that risks being run out of the dictionary” but “is a duty that springs from the same network of interconnections that are developed with globalization. And the social doctrine of the Church teaches us that the principle of solidarity is implemented in harmony with that of subsidiarity.


(VIS) – The Holy See Press Office published the program for Pope Francis’ Januiary 12-19 trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

The Holy Father will depart from Rome’s Fiumicino airport on Monday, January 12 at 7 p.m. and will arrive in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, on Tuesday the 13th at 9 a.m. Following the welcome ceremony he will meet with the country’s bishops at the archbishop’s residence, after which he will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Republic. The day will conclude with an interreligious meeting at the Bandaranaike Memorial.

On Wednesday, January 14, during a Mass to be celebrated at 8.30 a.m. at the Galle Face Green, he will canonize Blessed Joseph Vaz and will then transfer by helicopter to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary at Madhu, returning to Colombo by helicopter.

Thursday will begin with a visit to the chapel of Our Lady of Lanka in Bolawalana, after which the Pope will leave Sri Lanka and depart by air at 9 a.m. for Manila, the capital of the Philippines, where he will be officially received at 5.45 p.m.

On Friday, January 16, Francis will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Philippines in the presidential palace, followed by an address to the authorities and the diplomatic corps. At 11.15 a.m. in the cathedral of the Immaculate Conception he will celebrate Mass with bishops, priests and consecrated persons. His final activity on Thursday will be an encounter with families in the Arena Mall of Asia.

On Saturday, January 17, he will transfer by air to Tacloban International Airport where he will celebrate Mass, followed by lunch with survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. In the afternoon he will bless the Pope Francis Center for the Poor and will meet priests, consecrated persons, seminarians and families of the typhoon survivors in the cathedral of Palo. He will then return to Manila.

Sunday, January 18, he will meet with the religious leaders of the Philippines at Manila’s St. Thomas University and later gather with young people at the university sports field. The day will conclude with a Mass celebrated in Rizal Park.

On Monday, January 19, the Pope will conclude his trip, leaving from Manila at 10 a.m. The aircraft carrying the Holy Father is expected to land in Rome’s Ciampino airport at 5.40 p.m.


(VIS) – This morning, in the Holy See Press Office, a conference was held to present the Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and new communities. Promoted and organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity on the theme “The Joy of the Gospel: a missionary joy,” the Congress will be held from November 20-22 in the Maria Mater Ecclesiae Pontifical College, Rome.

The speakers in the conference were Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Bishop Josef Clemens, council secretary; Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement; and Jean-Luc Moens, president of Fidesco, young volunteers in evangelisation and development projects, and member of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum.”

Cardinal Rylko remarked that the Pontifical Magisterium has perceived in the phenomenon of movements “a current of grace, a gift and a timely response from the Holy Spirit to the serious challenges that today’s world poses to the mission of the Church”. He recalled that, for St. John Paul II, movements constituted a “reason for hope for the Church and for mankind”, and were seen by Pope Benedict XVI as “new incursions of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church, powerful ways of living faith, a healthy provocation, of which the Church is always in need, and ‘creative minorities’, decisive for the future of humanity”. He added that Pope Francis, in this respect, is in perfect harmony with his predecessors.

The Congress will be attended by approximately 300 laypersons – founders, moderators and general delegates – representing around a hundred movements and new communities, with a broad international dimension. They will be joined by a large number of pastors, bishops and priests.