VATICAN INSIDER: WHO IS THE MAN OF THE SHROUD? – COMING TO ROME? READ THIS FIRST!

It is Flag Day in America and I hope and pray every home has one flag flying from its roof or a flagpole or displayed inside a window! June 14 for decades was a big day in our family and in the entire neighborhood where I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, a day everyone indeed hung a flag!. I pray that the stars and Stripes are still important and meaningful for my fellow Americans!

VATICAN INSIDER: WHO IS THE MAN OF THE SHROUD?

In this week’s Vatican Insider, I present Part II of my special “Who is the Man of the Shroud?” – the Shroud being the cloth that is said to have wrapped Christ’s body in the tomb until his Resurrection. A story of science and faith…..

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://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 http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

COMING TO ROME? READ THIS FIRST!

There are a ton of new rules for tourists in the Eternal City and it would definitely behoove people to be informed. So read the story about the updated regulations (some went back to 1946!) and have some peace of mind. You don’t want Italians to give you a piece of their mind if you misbehave!

Here’s a great piece by Lonely Planet (you probably have a slew of their guidebooks if you travel a lot). https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2019/06/12/rome-new-tourist-rules/

I did have to look up the word busk, which means is to perform music or other entertainment in the street or another public place for monetary donations.

The Independent online also reports that, “ticket touts selling ‘skip the line’ tickets at some of the Eternal City’s biggest attractions, such as the Vatican Museums and Colosseum, are prohibited, as are those who dress up as Roman centurions around tourist hotspots and charge money for photos.”

(JFL: if they succeed in banning these touts, it would be a miracle – there are probably 40 or more at anyone time outside the colonnades of St. Peter’s Square! Often, as I walk over to Pio XII Square to film segments for EWTN, I will pass – or be “touted: by – two dozen of these guys. They drive most tourists crazy. To skip the line at the Vatican Museums, folks, just go to the official webpage and reserve a day and time!!)

In its story on the new rules, the online newspaper added that “some offences may just attract a slap on the wrist from police patrolling attractions, while others will incur a fine or a ban from the area where the offence took place.

Virginia Raggi, the mayor of Rome, told The Telegraph: “Rome is, and always will be, welcoming, but that does not mean tolerating bad behaviour and damage being done to our city.“

She said she would be writing to foreign embassies, asking them to make citizens aware of the new rules when visiting the city.

VATICAN INSIDER: WHO IS THE MAN OF THE SHROUD? – POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNS ‘SHAMEFUL ILL-TREATMENT’ OF WOMEN

VATICAN INSIDER: WHO IS THE MAN OF THE SHROUD?

In this week’s Vatican Insider, I have a special for you instead of the regular interview segment. This Sunday is Pentecost and the official end of the Easter Season but I have prepared a two-part story I call “Who is the Man of the Shroud?” – the Shroud being the cloth that is said to have wrapped Christ’s body in the tomb until his Resurrection – the start of the Easter season. Part II will air next week. (Images from http://www.shroud.com)

The Shroud:

The ventral image of the Shroud of Turin as it appears on the screen of a VP-8 Image Analyzer:

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://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 http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNS ‘SHAMEFUL ILL-TREATMENT’ OF WOMEN

Marking the Day for Life in England and Wales, dedicated this year to domestic abuse, Pope Francis issues an appeal to fight all forms of exploitation.

By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)

As the Catholic Church in England and Wales prepares to celebrate the Day for Life focusing on the theme of the Scourge of Domestic Abuse, Pope Francis has sent a message of greetings, support and participation.

In the message, signed on his behalf by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope said that as the bishops consider the theme of domestic abuse, “and in particular the shameful ill-treatment to which women are sometimes subjected (cf Amoris Laetitia, 54),” he prays that the efforts of the bishops to “support the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will bear much fruit and contribute to a growing commitment to fight against all forms of exploitation.”

“The responsibility to share the good news that every human life is beautiful and sacred is a noble calling,” said Pope Francis. He continued offering “his encouragement to all who strive to promote a culture of life, gladly imparting his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord.”

The 2019 Day for Life is being held in England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland on 16 June.

Commenting on the shocking statistics that reveal one in four women and about one in six men suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime, and that two women are killed every week in England by a partner or ex-partner, Bishop John Sherrigan who is responsible for the Day for Life in England and Wales said:

“These shocking statistics call us to fight against the scourge of domestic abuse. For those who are experiencing domestic abuse, the home is far from being a place of security and self-fulfillment. Too often it is a place of suffering, fear, degradation, and isolation.

“Domestic abuse is often a hidden problem, and our aim is for anyone experiencing domestic abuse to feel able to have the confidence to seek help within the Church setting. We want to raise awareness in our churches which would be a step towards addressing this serious moral and social problem.”

He pointed to the good work carried out by the National Board of Catholic Women and other groups, saying that it is of vital importance.

The proceeds from the Day for Life collection held in parishes will be used for the promotion of the dignity of the human person through the distribution of grants. This will help to develop networks and work with others to support projects against domestic violence.

VATICAN INSIDER: PART III -THE HOLY SEE’S CELEBRATED DIPLOMATIC CORPS

Pope Francis is in Romania this weekend and returns to Rome on Sunday. I am in Illinois and leave tomorrow for Notre Dame, Indiana for the banquet at my alma mater, St. Mary’s of Notre Dame, where I will be given the 2019 Alumna Achievement Award. The weekend will be a mini reunion of family and Chicago area friends, including a celebratory dinner Sunday in the Windy City. I will take photos, of course, and try to have someone do a Facebook Live if that is possible. Be back with you on Monday!

An incredible number of you responded to my Facebook page post on Wednesday when I announced my trip and the award!  I wish it was humanly possible to respond individually so this big GRAZIE MILLE will have to do!

VATICAN INSIDER: PART III -THE HOLY SEE’S CELEBRATED DIPLOMATIC CORPS

This weekend on Vatican Insider, my guest in the interview segment is Abp. Francisco Javier Lozano, former apostolic nuncio or papal ambassador. We conclude our three part conversation this weekend. Previous segments were aired May 17 and May 24.

Ordained a priest in Rome in 1968, Archbishop Lozano has Doctorates in Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law. He was called to Rome to study at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy of Rome and in his early years worked in the nunciatures of Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia and Guatemala.

From 1984 to 1994 he was Head of the Latin America-Spain Department of the Vatican’s Secretary of State under Pope John Paul II. Abp. Lozano was eventually Apostolic Nuncio in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Romania and Moldova. He speaks Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, English, Serbo-Croatian, German, Russian and Romanian. Listen to learn more about the Vatican’s celebrated diplomatic corps.

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://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 http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

VATICAN INSIDER: THE HOLY SEE’S CELEBRATED DIPLOMATIC CORPS – POPE FRANCIS: FOSTER A CULTURE THAT RECOGNIZES THE VALUE OF LIFE

Monday is, of course, Memorial Day and it a holiday for EWTN employees so this page may be dark that day but I hope to have something special for you on Tuesday. Wednesday, I depart for Chicago and will explain the special nature of that trip on Tuesday as well. In the meantime, have a lovely holiday weekend, stay warm and dry and safe and drive safely!

As you will see in the story below, Pope Francis today had some very special words about the value of life when he addressed members of the Institute Hospitals of the Innocents based in Florence, Italy. Papal words on life are always much-needed in today’s world and I just wish we had had similar pronouncements, specifically about being pro-life in a pro-abortion world, from the Holy Father or Italian prelates for last Saturday’s 9th Italian March for Life. Not a word from anyone a week ago. However, as they say, “Better late than never!”

VATICAN INSIDER: THE HOLY SEE’S CELEBRATED DIPLOMATIC CORPS

This weekend on Vatican Insider, my guest in the interview segment is Abp. Francisco Javier Lozano, former apostolic nuncio or papal ambassador. We continue a conversation begun last weekend in VI. Ordained a priest in Rome in 1968, the archbishop has Doctorates in Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law. He was called to Rome to study at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy of Rome and in his early years worked in the nunciatures of Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia and Guatemala.

From 1984 to 1994 he was Head of the Latin America-Spain Department of the Vatican’s Secretary of State under Pope John Paul II. Abp. Lozano was eventually Apostolic Nuncio in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Romania and Moldova. He speaks Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, English, Serbo-Croatian, German, Russian and Romanian. Listen to learn more about the Vatican’s celebrated diplomatic corps.

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://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 http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

POPE FRANCIS: FOSTER A CULTURE THAT RECOGNIZES THE VALUE OF LIFE

Pope Francis on Friday met with members of the Institute Hospitals of the Innocents based in the Italian city of Florence as it marks its 600th anniversary. In his prepared remarks the Pope stressed that “we need a culture that recognizes the value of life.”

The Hospital of the Innocents was built by Filippo Brunelleschi in the fifteenth century and is located in the historic city of Florence. It was the first institution of its kind in Europe designed to care for and raise orphaned or abandoned children.

Today, it is an institute that promotes the rights of children and adolescents through a number of services and activities. In addition to residential and educational activities, the Institute also carries out the most recent research and monitoring activities on the condition of children.

In the Vatican on Friday, Pope Francis met with members of the Institute of the hospital and in prepared remarks to those gathered, he stressed that the best of care should be given to the poor, the vulnerable and those living on the peripheries of society.

Among the most vulnerable people, the Pope added, “we must take care of the many rejected children, robbed of their childhood and their future; minors who face desperate journeys to escape from hunger or war.”

He emphasized the plight of mothers whose children do not see the light of day because they “are subject to economic, social and cultural conditioning that pushes them to renounce that wonderful gift that is the birth of a child.”

“How much we need a culture that recognizes the value of life”, the Pontiff said, “a culture that recognizes in every face, even the smallest, the face of Jesus.”

The Pope underlined the importance making sure that “no mother finds herself in the position of having to abandon her child.”

We must also ensure, he continued, “that in the face of any event, even tragic, that may separate a child from his parents, there are facilities and paths of care in which the child is always protected and cared for…”

VATICAN INSIDER: A PAPAL NUNCIO AND THE VATICAN’S CELEBRATED DIPLOMATIC CORPS – NEWS IN BRIEF: FRIDAY, MAY 17 – COMMUNIQUE FROM TRIBUNAL OF THE APOSTOLIC SIGNATURA

Check your local listings for EWTN’s coverage tomorrow, Saturday, May 18, of Italy’s 9th March for Life

Here’s a lovely story: Before the terrorist attack, Sri Lankan Catholics were remembered for their beautiful religious art. Five hundred years ago, the Christian converts of Sri Lanka earned considerable respect from the Portuguese missionaries. This was partly due to their enthusiasm for the new faith, but mostly because of their creative skills. https://aleteia.org/2019/05/17/before-the-terrorist-attack-sri-lankan-catholics-were-remembered-for-their-beautiful-religious-art/?utm_campaign=NL_en&utm_source=daily_newsletter&utm_medium=mail&utm_content=NL_en

PS. Did you know that Sri Lanka (Serendib as it used to be, then Ceylon) gave its name to the English word “serendipity”?

VATICAN INSIDER: A PAPAL NUNCIO AND THE VATICAN’S CELEBRATED DIPLOMATIC CORPS

My guest this week in the interview segment is Archbishop Francisco Javier Lozano, apostolic nuncio or papal ambassador. Ordained a priest in Rome in 1968, he has Doctorates in Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law. He was called to Rome to study at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy of Rome and in his early years worked in the nunciatures of Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia and Guatemala.

In his Rome home with many of his famous Russian icons –

From 1984 to 1994 he was Head of the Latin America-Spain Department of the Vatican’s Secretary of State under Pope John Paul II. Abp. Lozano was eventually Apostolic Nuncio in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Romania and Moldova. He speaks Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, English, Serbo-Croatian, German, Russian and Romanian.

This is a bike that Pope John Paul gave him after his apostolic voyage to Uruguay, Chile and Argentina March 31-April 12, 1987:

Biking, tennis and golf were his sports preferences!

Listen to Part I to learn more about the Vatican’s celebrated diplomatic corps.

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://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 http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

NEWS IN BRIEF: FRIDAY, MAY 17

POPE FRANCIS MET WITH PARTICIPANTS IN THE SOCIETY OF AFRICAN MISSIONS ongoing General Assembly, and praised their “courageous missionary zeal.” The Society of African Missions is a missionary order of priests who serve Catholics in Africa, often in rural areas, as well as communities of African origin in other parts of the world. Francis urged them to persevere in serving victims of war and human trafficking, and he prayed with the priests for Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli, who was abducted last year in Niger. The Pope thanked the missionaries for their “great work of evangelization” in places where the Christian community is still fragile and for their special attention to migrants. “These new pastoral horizons are a sign of the vitality of the Holy Spirit at work in you.”

THE HOLY FATHER RECEIVED MEMBERS OF THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS on the 40th anniversary of its founding. “I am pleased to meet you,” said Francis, “and to share with you the intent to defend and promote life, starting from those who are most defenseless or in need of assistance because they are sick, or elderly, or marginalized, or because they face existence and ask for be welcomed and looked after. To all of them, in different ways, you provide an irreplaceable service whenever, as health workers, you offer them the care they need or the closeness that sustains them in their fragility.”

COMMUNIQUE FROM TRIBUNAL OF THE APOSTOLIC SIGNATURA

“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith communicated on January 29, 2019 the resignation of Rev. Fr. Hermann Geissler, FSO, to the office at the same Congregation and the request of the same (person) that the canonical process be continued, deeming the accusation against him not true. At the Apostolic Signatura, to which the Holy Father, at the request of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had entrusted that cause, the administrative penal process was celebrated. A College was formed consisting of five Members of the Supreme Tribunal itself, who, meeting on May 15th, issued the decree of acquittal of the accused, not having been proven with due moral certainty, after a careful examination of the matter, the configuration of the alleged serious crime.”

(JFL: The Apostolic Signatura is one of the Church’s three tribunals and is similar to a supreme court as it is the highest judicial authority in the Church, although the Pope “is the supreme ecclesiastical judge and final point of appeal for any ecclesiastical judgment.” The responsibilities of this tribunal are laid out in Pope John Paul’s 1988 Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus”: http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19880628_pastor-bonus-roman-curia.html#TRIBUNALS
Pope Francis and his cardinal advisors are currently writing a new constitution, and it will be interesting to see of the competencies of the Signatura remain or if they are in some way changed or added to)

VATICAN INSIDER: A PAPAL DOCUMENT ON NORMS FOR SEX ABUSE CASES

VATICAN INSIDER: A PAPAL DOCUMENT ON NORMS FOR SEX ABUSE CASES

Welcome to another edition of Vatican Insider on this beautiful weekend when we celebrate Mother’s Day. Congratulations to all who are mothers and grandmothers and godmothers and everyone who is in some way a mother’s helper!

This weekend, instead of an interview, I have prepared a special for you on the just released Apostolic Letter by Pope Francis, a motu proprio on new norms for the entire church on sex abuse cases. The special presentation is taken from an explanation of the motu proprio by the editorial director of the Dicastery for Communications, a piece featured on the Vaticannews site. When you think of the topic of this papal letter – the sex abuse scandal that has convulsed the Church around the world – I felt it fitting to bring you this news. It is a very important document that I want everyone to know about.

Entitled “NEW NORMS FOR THE WHOLE CHURCH AGAINST THOSE WHO ABUSE OR COVER UP”, Pope Francis’ Motu proprio, “Vos estis lux mundi”, establishes new procedures for reporting abuse and violence, and ensures that Bishops and Religious Superiors are held accountable for their actions. It includes the obligation for clerics and religious to report abuse. Every Diocese must have a system that allows the public to submit reports easily.

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://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 http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes).

VATICAN INSIDER TAKES YOU TO THE VIA LUCIS – CARDINAL PAROLIN: POPE BRINGS PEACE, UNITY TO BULGARIA & NORTH MACEDONIA

Pope Francis departs Sunday for a three-day trip to Bulgaria and North Macedonia. You will be able to follow much of that trip on EWTN’s televised coverage as well as consulting the Vatican media website. Cardinal Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin spoke about that trip to Vaticannews (see below).

As you may know from reports I have done, 6 of the 12 apostles are buried in Rome: Peter, Simon, Jude, (these first three are all in St. Peter’s Basilica!) James the Lesser, Philip and Bartholomew.

Today is the feast day of Saints James and Philip whose remains are in the beautiful church known as Santissimi Apostoli – Most Holy Apostles – just yards from Rome’s famed Piazza Venezia. Run by the Friars Minor Conventual, this church dates from the 6th century. Dedicated originally to St. James and St. Philip, it is now dedicated to all the Apostles and its full name is Santi 12 Apostoli.

St. James the Lesser (we also have St. James the Greater, of course, in Santiago di Compostela, Spain) served as the first bishop of Jerusalem and was martyred there. Thrown from the roof of the temple but still alive, his enemies chose to stone him to death. Tradition says he was buried on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem, the city whose shepherd he had been.

As to St. Philip, tradition says that about the year 80 he was arrested in Hieropolis, nailed by his feet to a tree, upside down, just like St. Peter, and finally beheaded. His grave for centuries was the focus of Christian pilgrimages. In the 6th century, Emperor Justinian II moved his relics to Constantinople and, through various iterations, they came to the catacombs in Rome and then to the Church of the Twelve Apostles.

VATICAN INSIDER TAKES YOU TO THE VIA LUCIS

In place of the usual intervew segment this week on Vatican Insider, I have prepared a special on the Via Lucis, a very beautiful post-Easter tradition that not enough people know about.

The Way of the Cross, the Via Crucis, follows the course of Jesus’ passion, death, and burial; it is observed, as we all know, by the devotion to the Stations of the Cross, a collection of 14 images found in virtually all Catholic churches.

The Way of Light,Via Lucis – also known as the Stations of the Resurrection – celebrates the most joyful time in the Christian liturgical year, the 50 days from Easter (the Resurrection) to Pentecost (descent of the Holy Spirit).

Via Lucis – First Station


The Via Lucis is a wonderful tradition and I explain its history and take you through the Stations.

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://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 http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

CARDINAL PAROLIN: POPE BRINGS PEACE, UNITY TO BULGARIA & NORTH MACEDONIA

The Vatican’s Cardinal Secretary of State looks ahead to Pope Francis’ 29th Apostolic Journey abroad, which takes him to Bulgaria and to North Macedonia from 5 to 7 May.

By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)

During Pope Francis’ Apostolic Visit to the Balkan nations of Bulgaria and North Macedonia, Cardinal Pietro Parolin says the Pope will be highlighting “that which unites”.

Speaking to Vatican News on the eve of the Pope’s departure, Cardinal Parolin pointed to the logo and motto of the trip to Bulgaria, which is “Pacem in Terris” – Peace on Earth – the title of an encyclical by Pope St. John XXIII, the first visitor and Apostolic Delegate to the country.

“The Pope will be a bearer of peace, a witness to the Risen Christ,” the Cardinal explained, and since we are in Easter time, we remember the apparitions of the Risen Jesus to his disciples when his first greeting was “Peace be with you. Peace I leave you; my peace give you”.

Parolin added that the theme of peace, which was central to John XXIII’s pontificate, will be built upon by Pope Francis with those attitudes of which John XXIII was a witness: “the search for friendship, gentleness, amiability, encounter with the other,” and the capacity to highlight what unites more than what divides.

“These great features of the figure and the Pontificate of John XXIII had already emerged at the time when he was Papal Nuncio in Bulgaria; I believe that it is along these lines that the contribution of Pope Francis during this journey will be placed,” he said.

Ecumenism

With an eye to the Pope’s schedule in Bulgaria that lists a moment of prayer before the Throne of Saints Cyril and Methodius, a meeting with representatives of different religious denominations, and a visit to Patriarch Neophyte – the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church – the Cardinal noted that the visit shines the spotlight on some particularly significant figures of the present and past, such as those of the two Saints: the brothers Cyril and Methodius.

They were saints of the Church of the first millennium, the Cardinal said, a Church that was still undivided but where tensions were already being experienced and which would ultimately lead to fracture and division.

The witness they provide in their search for unity, in their desire to evangelize new peoples using new methods and new languages, Parolin said, adds meaning to the Pope’s encounter with the people of Bulgaria that is to take place in a dimension of ecumenical fraternity, “recognizing each other as brothers in the one Lord”, and at the same time striving to overcome the divisions and the tensions that still exist.

It speaks, he said, of the desire to pursue the Christian mission to bring the Gospel to the world, certain that the effect of this evangelization will be all the more profound and incisive the more united we are, proclaiming together the Word of salvation that the Lord has entrusted to us.

Migrants and refugees
Pope Francis is also scheduled to visit a refugee camp during his journey. Cardinal Parolin recalled the four verbs chosen by the Pope in calling for solidarity and action regarding migrants and refugees: “Welcome, Protect, Promote and Integrate”.

He pointed out that Pope Francis carries forward this teaching with concrete gestures and never tires of bearing witness to this important issue during almost all of his journeys and in many other situations and occasions as well.

“Here, too, he wants to underline this aspect, taking into account that protecting also means defending and protecting the dignity of each of our brothers and sisters who find themselves in a situation of vulnerability and often of marginalization,” he said.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta
In North Macedonia, the Pope will visit the city of Skopje, birthplace of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, focusing attention on the poor.

Together with John XXIII and Saints Cyril and Methodius, Cardinal Parolin said Mother Teresa is clearly a dominant figure of this journey.

“When I was in Macedonia a few years ago, I was able to see how much affection and devotion there is towards Mother Teresa. Naturally, this attention towards the poor, the marginalized, towards those who find themselves in need, translates into something very concrete,” he said.

Mother Teresa, he recalled, compared herself to “just a drop in the ocean, noting however, the ocean would be less because of that missing drop”.

Cardinal Parolin said the Pope is bound to make that teaching his own and insist on asking the faithful to put charity into action.

Challenges and opportunities
“I believe”, Cardinal Parolin said, “there are no challenges, but opportunities in this journey”, especially taking into account the geographical and historical reality of Bulgaria, which, he said, is a crossroads of meetings and peoples, and the multi-ethnic and multi-religious society in North Macedonia.

Once again, he concluded, it is an occasion to launch the theme of the culture of encounter and of the mutual richness provided by diversity.