MAY FRANCE FOSTER SEARCH FOR PEACE, HUMAN DIGNITY, RESPECT FOR LIFE AND COMMON GOOD – BE MODELS OF LOYALTY, HONESTY, HARMONY, HUMANITY, POPE TELLS ATHLETES – VATICAN FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY ISSUES 2016 REPORT

Pope Francis tweeted today: Jesus asks to be looked in the eye, to be acknowledged, to be loved.

MAY FRANCE FOSTER SEARCH FOR PEACE, HUMAN DIGNITY, RESPECT FOR LIFE AND COMMON GOOD

The Holy Father sent the following telegram to Emmanuel Macron, the newly-elected president of the French Republic. Elected on May 7, President Macron, 39, was sworn in last Sunday. (photo news.va)

“On the occasion of your investiture as president of the French Republic, I send you my very cordial wishes for the exercise of your high office in the service of all your compatriots. I pray that God support you so that your country, faithful to the rich diversity of its moral traditions and its spiritual heritage marked also by the christian tradition, may always endeavor to build a more just and fraternal society. With respect for difference and attention to those in situations of vulnerability and exclusion, may it contribute to the cooperation and solidarity between nations. May France continue to foster, in Europe and throughout the world, the search for peace and the common good, respect for life and the defense of the dignity of every person and of all peoples. I heartily invoke the Lord’s blessing upon you and all the inhabitants of France. Francis

BE MODELS OF LOYALTY, HONESTY, HARMONY, HUMANITY, POPE TELLS ATHLETES

Pope Francis Tuesday welcomed the players, coaches and staff of Italian football teams, Juventus and Lazio as they are about to meet in the final game of the national soccer championship, and told them they have a big responsibility towards their fans, especially the youngest.

As public fgures, you have a certain responsibility, said Francis, who is a big fan of the sport called soccer in the U.S, and football is most of the rest of the world. He explained that “champions are role models for many young fans,” and thus, in every game, he said, you must show discipline, balance and respect for rules and regulations. (photo news.va)

“He, who through his behavior, puts all of this into practice, provides a good example for his followers, and this is what I wish for each of you: to be witnesses of loyalty, honesty, harmony and humanity” he said. He did note that violence sometimes occurs in football stadiums, disrupting games and spoiling what should be enjoyable moments: for all.

He wished both teams a “great match” when they play Wednesday evening in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

VATICAN FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY ISSUES 2016 REPORT

This morning at the Holy See Press Office, a press conference presented the 2016 Annual Report of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria – AIF) on supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism as well as prudential supervision. Presenters included René Brülhart and Tommaso Di Ruzza, respectively president and director of AIF.

Following is the press release that reviews the activities and statistics of AIF for the year 2016. It includes a significant fostering of international cooperation of the Vatican competent authority with its foreign counterparts to fight illicit financial activities, and a consolidation of the reporting system as well as a further strengthening of the regulatory framework have been some of the key achievements in 2016.

“International cooperation is a precondition to fight financial crimes and the Vatican is fully committed to it,” said René Brülhart, AIF president. “In 2016, AIF has seen a significant increase of bilateral cooperation with competent authorities of other jurisdictions and will continue to be an active partner to combat illicit financial activities globally.”

“The number of suspicious activity reports (SARs) by different reporting subjects decreased in comparison to 2015 (207 in 2016, 544 in 2015). But the number of SARs was still higher than in previous years, indicating an ever-increasing and effective implementation of reporting requirements by supervised entities,” said Tommaso Di Ruzza, AIF director. “In parallel, SARs show an improvement in terms of quality with a positive impact on the reports AIF disseminated to the Vatican Promoter of Justice, which are leading to domestic prosecution, and on the international cooperation with foreign FIUs, registering a notable development.”

In 2016, 22 reports have been submitted for further investigation by Vatican judicial Authorities. The number of cases of bilateral cooperation between AIF and foreign FIUs has increased from 81 in 2013, to 113 in 2014, to 380 in 2015 and 837 in 2016.

Furthermore, the transitional period to implement the requirements established by the prudential regulatory framework expired in 2016 and the domestic system – based on Title III of Law n. XVIII dated 8th October 2013 and AIF Regulation on “Prudential supervision of entities carrying out financial activities on a professional basis” n. 1 dated 13th January 2015 –, has been further strengthened with the issuance of new Circulars on accounting standards and statistical reporting requirements.   About AIF The Financial Information Authority is the competent authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State for supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism as well as prudential supervision.

Established by Pope Benedict XVI with the Apostolic Letter in form of Motu Proprio of 30 December 2010, AIF carries out its institutional activities in accordance with its new Statute introduced by Pope Francis with Motu Proprio of 15 November 2013 and Law No. XVIII of 8 October 2013.

In 2016, AIF signed MOUs with supervisory Authorities and FIUs of Austria, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Panama, Poland and Russia. In previous years, AIF had already signed MOUs with Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Cuba, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, San Marino Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

AIF has been a member of the Egmont Group since 2013.

 

Advertisements

GERMAN TEAM DONATES 1 MILLION EUROS TO POPE FOR CHARITY – THE CHURCH: THE BODY OF CHRIST, A MASTERPIECE OF THE SPIRIT

Please include a wonderful friend of mine in your prayers – say an extra ‘Ave’ for Bishop Daniel Thomas who will be installed today at 2pm as the eighth bishop of Toledo in Ohio. I had hoped beyond hope to be among the faithful joining him and what promises to be a huge crowd of priests, bishops and cardinals but that was not to be (but I will be able to watch in Rome on EWTN!). We first met in 1991 when both of us were among a fairly sizeable number of Americans who, in late 1990 and throughout 1991, were called to Rome to work for the Roman Curia: he was at the Congregation for Bishops and I was at the Vatican Information Service (VIS).

God sit on your shoulder, my good friend!

As Pope Francis reminded us this morning at the general audience, “Today we celebrate the liturgical legacy of St. John Paul II. He invited everyone to open their doors to Christ. He reminded everyone about Divine Mercy. Let’s not forget his spiritual legacy. May it push us to reflect and work towards the good of the Church and of society.”

In fact, today is the first time that the Universal Church marks this liturgical memory. In his honor, Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, where John Paul II was hospitalized on a number of occasions during his nearly 27-year pontificate, is naming a chapel for the late pontiff and new saint. There was a Mass at 5 pm in the second floor chapel of the hospital during which a reliquary of St. John Paul’s blood was placed in the chapel.

GERMAN TEAM DONATES 1 MILLION EURO TO POPE FOR CHARITY

Shortly before going to St. Peter’s Square for the weekly general audience, Pope Francis, a huge soccer fan, welcomed the Bayern Munich team to the Vatican after its 7-1 victory last night over Roma Champions League. Meeting the players and coaches and CEO Karl Heinz Rummenigge in a small room adjacent to the Paul VI Hall, he told them that they “played a wonderful game.” (L’Osservatore Romano photos – also on Bayern webpage)

Bus with German team

The team gifted the Pope with a ball and a signed jersey with No. 1 on the front and “Francis” across the back. At this point, Pope Francis has quite a collection of jerseys.

POPE FRANCIS - BAYERN SOCCER TEAM -1

CEO Rummenigge then announced that the German football club intends to donate to the Holy Father 1 million euros in proceeds from a future friendly match for charitable purposes. Rumminegge told Pope Francis it would be up to him to use the money “to help people in need wherever they are in the world and regardless of their faith,” according to the team’s website (here it is in English – it has a great slideshow: http://www.fcbayern.de/en/)

The website quoted Francis as admitting to “surprise” at the club’s victory margin over Roma the night before. He said, “Football is good and healthy, and a good role model for children as a team sport.”Francis also revealed during the audience that he had been in Mexico to see Rummenigge play in the 1986 World Cup.

POPE FRANCIS - BAYERN SOCER TEAM  2

No details about the meeting were released by the Vatican, other than stating the Pope met the team at 9:30 am.

THE CHURCH: THE BODY OF CHRIST, A MASTERPIECE OF THE SPIRIT

At today’s general audience, Pope Francis continued his series of catechesis on the Church, and began by saying, “We now consider what it means to say, with Saint Paul, that the Church is ‘the Body of Christ’. Just as our body is one, but made up of many members, so it is with Christ and the Church. Through Baptism we are made one with Christ in the mystery of his death and resurrection; all of us become sharers in the Holy Spirit and members of a mystical body of which the Risen Christ is the head. Paul uses the image of marital love to illustrate this great mystery: just as a husband and wife are one flesh, so it is with Christ and the Church.

The Holy Father defined the Church as “a masterpiece of the Spirit that instils in all the new life of the risen Christ, placing us side by side to serve and support one another, thus making of us one body, built in communion and love”. He emphasized, however, that it is not just “a body built in the Spirit – the Church is the Body of Christ. This is not just a figure of speech. It is what we truly are! It is the great gift that we received on the day of our Baptism!” (ANSA Photo)ANSA-Francis AG airline

The Pope noted that it would be good to remind ourselves more often of what we are and of what the Lord Jesus has made of us. “We are His body,” he stated, “a body that nothing and nobody can snatch away from him and that He fills with all His passion and love just as a husband loves his wife” He stated that divisions, jealousies, misunderstandings, and marginalizations “are not good because, instead of building up and growing the Church as the Body of Christ, it is fractured into many pieces and dismembered.”

Francis paraphrased some advice that Paul gave to the Corinthians when they were facing difficulties, saying this is apt advice for us today: “We should not be jealous but, in our communities, we should appreciate the gifts and qualities of our brothers and sisters. We should draw near to and participate in the suffering of the poor and the most needy. We should express our gratitude to all. Finally,” he concluded, “we should not consider ourselves as superior to others but should, in charity, think of ourselves as members of one another, living and giving of ourselves to the benefit of all.”

At the end of the catechism, during the language greetings of pilgrims, Pope Francis had special words for the employees of Meridiana airlines, based in the Tempio-Ampurias Diocese of Sardinia, Italy, who were at the audience. In fact, they held up a banner expressing the difficult moment of uncertainty regarding their jobs. “I hope,” he told them, “that you can reach an equitable solution that takes into account, above all, the dignity of the human person and the essential needs of the families. I send this appeal to all those responsible: please, no family without a job!”