POPE FRANCIS SENDS VIDEO MESSAGE TO UN CLIMATE ACTION SUMMIT – POPE MAKES SURPRISE VISIT TO “NUOVI ORIZZONTI” COMMUNITY

POPE FRANCIS SENDS VIDEO MESSAGE TO UN CLIMATE ACTION SUMMIT

Pope Francis sent a video message to participants at the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, taking place in New York on September 23. Following is the complete text of that message:

Greetings to participants at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019.

I would like to thank the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, for convening this meeting and for drawing the attention of Heads of State and Government – and of the entire international community and world public opinion – to one of the most serious and worrying phenomena of our time: climate change.

This is one of the principal challenges we have to face. To do so, humanity is called to cultivate three great moral qualities: honesty, responsibility and courage.

With the Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015, the international community became aware of the urgency and need for a collective response to help build our common home. However, four years after that historic Agreement, we can see that the commitments made by States are still very “weak”, and are far from achieving the objectives set.

Along with so many initiatives, not only by governments but by civil society as a whole, it is necessary to ask whether there is a real political will to allocate greater human, financial and technological resources to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and to help the poorest and most vulnerable populations, who suffer the most.

While the situation is not good and the planet is suffering, the window of opportunity is still open. Despite everything. Let us not let it close. Let us open it with our determination to cultivate integral human development, to ensure a better life for future generations. “Although the post-industrial period may well be remembered as one of the most irresponsible in history, nonetheless there is reason to hope that humanity at the dawn of the twenty-first century will be remembered for having generously shouldered its grave responsibilities.”

With honesty, responsibility and courage we have to put our intelligence “at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral”, capable of placing economy at the service of the human person, building peace and protecting the environment.

The problem of climate change is related to issues of ethics, equity and social justice. The current situation of environmental degradation is connected with the human, ethical and social degradation that we experience every day. This forces us to think about the meaning of our models of consumption and production, and the processes of education and awareness, to make them consistent with human dignity. We are facing a “challenge of civilization” in favor of the common good. This is clear, just as it is clear that we have a multiplicity of solutions that are within everyone’s reach, if we adopt on a personal and social level a lifestyle that embodies honesty, courage and responsibility.

I would like these three key words – honesty, courage and responsibility – to be at the heart of your work today and tomorrow. Thank you very much.

(The video message, shortly before being transmitted to the United Nations in New York, was reduced for reasons of time. Click here to see the 5-minute video in Spanish with English subtitles: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-09/pope-francis-videomessage-climate-action-summit-united-nations.html#play)

POPE MAKES SURPRISE VISIT TO “NUOVI ORIZZONTI” COMMUNITY

In a gesture underlining his admiration for its work, Pope Francis spent the morning at the “Nuovi Orizzonti” (New Horizons) Community, founded by Chiara Amirante in 1993 with the intention of assisting people in need and of taking action in areas of particular social hardship. Accompanied by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, he visited the Cittadella Cielo (Heavenly City) of the Now Horizons Community in Frosinone, about an hour from Rome.

According to notes from Vaticannews, the Holy Father arrived about 9.40 am and was welcomed into the auditorium by the participants gathered in prayer. After a brief speech by Chiara Amirante and testimonies of a young man and a young woman, Italian singer Andrea Bocelli and his son, invited to the meeting, performed the song “Follow me” and described their commitment in the community.

This was followed by some interventions and questions by young people and adults who changed their lives after meeting the Christian faith through the New Horizons Commnity. The Holy Father answered questions addressed to him, speaking for some time off the cuff. At 12:20 pm, at the end of the meeting, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the participants which included songs by Andrea Bocelli, at communion time and the end of Mass.

In a background piece, Vaticannews noted that the work of this community include rehabilitation from substance abuse and various forms of addiction, shelter to street children and aid to young people in difficulty. The Community also assists prostituted women, and provides support for anyone who has been rejected, excluded, marginalized – sometimes by their own families.

The projects of the Community
What started out as Chiara Amirante’s own outreach mission to the poor and destitute on the streets of Rome has grown to become an international community, present in many countries around the world.

The projects of “Nuovi Orizzonti” now include over 200 training centers involving around 30,000 collaborators. Their activities include a mission of street evangelization, and a program that aims at the integral reconstruction of the human person, uniting elements of psychology and spirituality.

The Pope and the Community
Pope Francis has admired the work done by New Horizons for some time. On June 8th this year, to mark the Community’s 25th anniversary, he made a personal phone call, sent a letter of congratulations, and recorded a video message expressing his affection and encouragement to the more than 3,000 people gathered to celebrate the event.

“Never lose your memory,” said the Pope in that message. “In your memory you will meet God: the God who has accompanied you, who has made you grow.”

“Nuovi Orizzonti” is registered as a non-profit organization, and is recognized by the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. Its headquarters and international center is in Frosinone, about one hour’s drive south of Rome.

POPE FRANCIS SENDS VIDEO GREETINGS AHEAD OF UAE VISIT

Did you hear about this great real estate deal in Sicily! “Local officials on southern Italy’s island of Sicily have put dozens of hilltop homes on the market for €1 ($1.29 USD). Yes, that translates to just over one American dollar – for villas with panoramic views of the Mediterranean on a fertile patch of land dubbed the “Earthly Paradise.” This shocking real estate proposition is aimed at reviving a community that, like many other rural spots in Italy, has suffered from depopulation in recent years as locals relocate to metropolitan areas.”

What’s the catch? Maybe a lot of us should get together and do this! https://www.foxnews.com/real-estate/homes-in-sicily-are-selling-for-1

POPE FRANCIS SENDS VIDEO GREETINGS AHEAD OF UAE VISIT

In a video message sent on Thursday, Pope Francis greets the people of the United Arab Emirates, and looks forward to marking a new step in the history of inter-religious relations.
By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

Pope Francis travels to Abu Dhabi from February 3 to 5 to participate in an inter-religious meeting and to celebrate Mass.

In his video message, the Pope said he is looking forward to visiting the UAE, calling it “a land that seeks to be a model of coexistence, human brotherhood, and encounter between different civilizations and cultures”.

In the UAE, the Holy Father said, many people “find a safe place to work and live freely, while respecting diversity.”

Gratitude for invitation
Pope Francis thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for inviting him to participate in an interreligious meeting on “Human Brotherhood”.

He then expressed his gratitude to other UAE Authorities for their “generous hospitality and fraternal welcome”.

“I thank my friend and dear brother the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and all those who aided in the preparation of the meeting, for their courage and desire to affirm that faith in God unites and does not divide,” he said.

Faith brings people closer
Pope Francis said faith in God brings people closer despite their differences, and “distances us from hostility and aversion.”

The Pope said he looks forward to writing “a new page in the history of relations between religions, confirming that we are brothers and sisters, even though we are different.”

Finally, Pope Francis called the UAE “a land of prosperity and peace, a land of sun and harmony, a land of coexistence and encounter”. And he invited the people of the United Arab Emirates to pray for him.

To listen to video as Pope speaks in Italian, with several words in Arabic: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-01/pope-francis-uae-videomessage-before-visit.html#play

POPE FRANCIS SENDS VIDEO MESSAGE TO U.S. BISHOPS

POPE FRANCIS SENDS VIDEO MESSAGE TO U.S. BISHOPS

Video Message of His Holiness Pope Francis To the General Assembly of the USCCB 14-17 November 2016

Dear Brother Bishops,

I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak to you.  Just a year ago, I was with you during my Pastoral Visit to the United States.  There I was impressed by the vitality and diversity of the Catholic community.  Throughout its history, the Church in your country has welcomed and integrated new waves of immigrants.  In the rich variety of their languages and cultural traditions, they have shaped the changing face of the American Church.

In this context, I would commend the coming Fifth National Hispanic Pastoral Encuentro.  The celebration of this Fifth Encuentro will begin in your Dioceses in this coming January and conclude with a national celebration in September 2018.

In continuity with its predecessors, the Encuentro seeks to acknowledge and value the specific gifts that Hispanic Catholics have offered, and continue to offer, to the Church in your country.  But it is more than that.  It is part of a greater process of renewal and missionary outreach, one to which all of your local Churches are called.

Our great challenge is to create a culture of encounter, which encourages individuals and groups to share the richness of their traditions and experiences, to break down walls and to build bridges.  The Church in America, as elsewhere, is called to “go out” from its comfort zone and to be a leaven of communion.  Communion among ourselves, with our fellow Christians, and with all who seek a future of hope.

We need to become ever more fully a community of missionary disciples, filled with love of the Lord Jesus and enthusiasm for the spread of the Gospel.  The Christian community is meant to be a sign and prophecy of God’s plan for the entire human family.  We are called to be bearers of good news for a society gripped by disconcerting social, cultural and spiritual shifts, and increasing polarization.

It is my hope that the Church in your country, at every level, will accompany the Encuentro with its own reflection and pastoral discernment. In a particular way, I ask you to consider how your local Churches can best respond to the growing presence, gifts and potential of the Hispanic community.  Mindful of the contribution that the Hispanic community makes to the life of the nation, I pray that the Encuentro will bear fruit for the renewal of American society and for the Church’s apostolate in the United States.

With gratitude to all engaged in the preparation of the Fifth Encuentro, I assure you of my prayers for this important initiative of your Conference.  Commending you, and the clergy, religious and lay faithful of your local Churches, to the prayers of Mary Immaculate, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and peace in the Lord.

For Spanish text, click here: http://www.news.va/es/news/video-mensaje-del-papa-a-la-asamblea-general-de-la