PAPAL AGENDA FOR WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES IN IRELAND

I arrived back in Rome this morning and Fiumicino Airport was anything but welcoming. I have no idea what a first time visitors thought because the wait in line for passport control was one hour! I have no idea how long it took for the multitudes behind me in line!

I spoke to a family from New Jersey waiting in line behind me, and said I only had one guess as to why it was taking so long. I told them August is the biggest months of the year for vacation time for Italians and the biggest holiday of August, perhaps the whole year, was this coming Wednesday, August 15, feast of the Assunta, the Assumption. I said I could only surmise that airport personnel were taking their sacred vacation time this week and, as we got to the booths where a fair number of agents usually make lines move at a good pace, I saw I was right. There was 1 (one) agent for European Union and Swiss passports and 4 – a mere 4 agents! – for the non-European Union passports. Hundreds and hundreds of us were standing on line as several planes from overseas had landed almost simultaneously.

A separate line and separate agents’ booths greeted visitors who had to present or get a visa to enter Italy. Snails move faster than that line did!

I did see signs that said that children under 14 years of age, thus, whole families with young children, had a separate and expedited entry. Sounds like a terrific idea.

I have to say that the idea of being so short-staffed at a critical time of the day for plane arrivals and critical time of the year for vacationers coming to Italy is inconceivable to me. I have been wondering all day: Will the shortage become even more critical on The Big Day – August 15?

The only positive side of my wait was that, for the first time in decades, my bag actually arrived at the carousel before I did. I always make sure I have a book to read when I wait for my luggage at Fiumicino!

PAPAL AGENDA FOR WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES IN IRELAND

The Holy See Press Office has announced Pope Francis’ schedule for his upcoming apostolic visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, August 25-26.

That journey begins on Saturday morning, August 25, when he departs Rome and arrives in Dublin at 10:30.

Official Welcome and Visit with Civil Authorities

The official welcome ceremony will take place at the presidential residence in Áras an Uachtaráin at 11:15, followed by a courtesy visit to the president. At Dublin Castle, Pope Francis will meet with civil authorities and members of the Diplomatic Corps at 12:10.

Dublin Castle:

Visit to the Cathedral and a Homeless Center

In the early afternoon, Pope Francis will visit Saint Mary’s Pro-Cathedral and greet those gathered. He will then go to the Capuchin Fathers’ Reception Center and will visit a number of homeless families in private.

St. Mary’s Pro-cathedral:

Festival of Families

The Holy Father will conclude his day with the Festival of Families at Croke Park Stadium set to begin at 7:30.

Croke Park Stadium:

Visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock

On Sunday, Pope Francis will travel to Knock to visit the Shrine and recite the Angelus.

Holy Mass in Phoenix Park and meeting with Bishops

After returning to Dublin, Pope Francis will preside over an afternoon liturgy at Phoenix Park after which he will meet with the bishops of Ireland in a convent of Dominican Sisters.

Departure

Following a 6:30 pm farewell ceremony, Pope Francis will depart for Rome where he is expected to land at Rome’s Ciampino airport at 11pm.

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BREAKING: BOSTON CARDINAL SETS UP INQUIRY INTO REPORTED ABUSE AT SEMINARY

BREAKING: BOSTON CARDINAL SETS UP INQUIRY INTO REPORTED ABUSE AT SEMINARY

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley issued the following statement August 10:

Earlier this week I was informed that two former seminarians of St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston had posted allegations on social media sites including the Archdiocese’s Facebook page that during their time at the seminary they witnessed and experienced activities which are directly contrary to the moral standards and requirements of formation for the Catholic priesthood.

At this time I am not able to verify or disprove these allegations. As Archbishop of Boston, with responsibility for the integrity of the seminary and its compliance with the Church’s Program for Priestly Formation, I am committed to immediate action to address these serious matters and have made the following decisions regarding St. John’s Seminary.

First, I have asked Msgr. James P. Moroney, Rector of St. John’s, to go on sabbatical leave for the Fall Semester, beginning immediately, in order that there can be a fully independent inquiry regarding these matters.

Second, I have appointed Rev. Stephen E. Salocks, Professor of Sacred Scripture, to serve as Interim Rector at St. John’s.

Third, I have appointed the Most Rev. Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, Dr. Francisco Cesareo, President of Assumption College and President of the USCCB National Review Board, which advises the USCCB on matters of child and youth protection policies and practices, and Ms. Kimberly Jones, CEO of Athena Legal Strategies Group to oversee an inquiry into the allegations made this week, the culture of the seminary regarding the personal standards expected and required of candidates for the priesthood, and any seminary issues of sexual harassment or other forms of intimidation or discrimination. The inquiry will be staffed by Mark Dunderdale, Esq., Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Professional Standards and Oversight.

I have directed this group to proceed with due seriousness of their assignment and as soon as possible to submit to me the findings of the inquiry and a set of recommendations to assure appropriate standards of professional behavior in compliance with Church teaching at all levels of seminary life. The faculty, staff and students at the seminary will be advised of my expectation that they will fully cooperate with the inquiry.

The allegations made this week are a source of serious concern to me as Archbishop of Boston. The ministry of the Catholic priesthood requires a foundation of trust with the people of the Church and the wider community in which our priests serve. I am determined that all our seminaries meet that standard of trust and provide the formation necessary for priests to live a demanding vocation of service in our contemporary society.

VATICAN INSIDER: CONVERSATION WITH AN IRAQI CARDINAL – POPE RECEIVES CHILEAN BISHOP AND HEAD OF NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PREVENTION OF ABUSE – HOLY FATHER WELCOMES FRANCISCAN MARCHERS

VATICAN INSIDER: CONVERSATION WITH AN IRAQI CARDINAL

Tune in to Vatican Insider this weekend for Part II of my conversation with Iraqi cardinal and Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Louis Raphael I Sako. We spoke the day after Pope Francis made him a cardinal in the June 28th consistory. We met at an international house for clergy and spoke for about a half hour. The patriarch and I have been friends since 2010, having first met in Kirkuk, Iraq when he was bishop of that diocese. We’ve met a number of times since, in Iraq, Lebanon and Rome and it was a joy to renew our acquaintance on this auspicious day for the Chaldean Church and faithful.

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 RECEIVES CHILEAN BISHOP AND HEAD OF NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PREVENTION OF ABUSE

Friday morning, August 10 at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis received Bishop Juan Ignacio González of San Bernardo, Chile and Ana María Celis Brunet, president of the National Chilean Council for the Prevention of Abuse and Accompaniment of Victims. The object of the encounter was to inform each other and exchange opinions on the steps being taken in Cbhile to face the cases of abuse and to prevent that they take place again. An important point in the conversation was about the suffering of the victims and their need to find consolation and reparation.

Pope Francis, who follows with interest every step forward taken by the Chilean Episcopal Conference, has expressed his desire that all questions be clarified in order to give a just response to each individual.

HOLY FATHER WELCOMES FRANCISCAN MARCHERS

Paloma G. Ovejero, vice director of the Holy See Press Office tweeted on Friday, August 10: The Pope this evening met with the young people of the 38th Franciscan March (Loreto-Assisi-Rome). After 117 kilometers on foot, they received three key words (from the Pope): “Path, grace, vocation.” Also an admonition: hypocrisy!

AN OPEN LETTER FROM YOUNG CATHOLICS

I spent one of the most fascinating afternoons imaginable in New York City yesterday, a city of countless fascinating places to visit.

In the company of two very dear friends, I visited – for the first time – Ground Zero.

Also for the first time, I visited the indescribably remarkable and compelling 911 Museum.

One of my friends, Maria, is a docent at the 911 Museum and if anyone could resurrect miracles out of mounds of rubble or somehow give life back to death, it is Maria.

Both Maria and our mutual friend Blanche (they’ve been friends since college) lost friends in 911 so there were many extremely poignant moments during our afternoon together.

I will tell you about that visit and do so as soon as possible, putting together all my memories, my feelings and the stories Maria told us, together with some photos.

Today, I’d really like you to focus on the following letter as the drama of the sex abuse crisis and reaction to the McCarrick scandal, seem to have no end.

AN OPEN LETTER FROM YOUNG CATHOLICS

Another excellent offering from First Things on the sad and sordid case of Archbishop McCarrick and the situation of sexual abuse by clergy in the Church.

These young people will make you think. They tell you of their love for the Church and for the good and faithful servants of the Lord and they tell you of their fears and hopes and their demands on Church leaders. These youth in their own ways are all leaders now, as you will see by their signatures, and will surely be even greater ones in coming years.

I hope and pray that the Holy Father and the October Synod of Bishops for youth put everything the young people have said in this Open Letter at the top of the synod agenda.

In fact, I hope and more than anything else that someone on the papal staff brings this to the attention of Pope Francis.

Here’s the First Things article:

Archbishop McCarrick’s predatory career would not have been possible without the culpable silence or active complicity of men at the highest levels of the Church. Revelations of his abuse have therefore gravely damaged the credibility of the whole Catholic hierarchy. Here a group of young Catholics speaks with one voice about the need for a cleansing fire.

Their statement is non-partisan, assuming nothing but the eternal validity of the Church’s teaching. They call for an independent investigation of who knew what and when, a new intolerance of clerical abuse and sexual sin, and public acts of penance by Catholic bishops. They promise to work and suffer for the Church, and to strive for holiness in their own lives. As children of the Church, they ask for fathers who honor the Father above. They are confident that their pleas are heard by God. They hope that they will likewise be heard by the priests and bishops who fear him.

“Dear Fathers in Christ,

In preparation for the upcoming Synod on Young People, the Vatican asked for reports from young Catholics around the world concerning their faith and the role the Church plays in their lives. Some of us are younger than others, but we were all children in the decades leading up to the sexual abuse crisis of 2002. In light of that experience and the recent revelations about Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, we answer the Church’s invitation to speak.

Our experiences have given us cause for gratitude, but also for anger.

We are grateful for the way good priests and bishops lay down their lives for us day after day. They say the Mass, absolve us from sin, celebrate our weddings, and baptize our children. Through their preaching, teaching, and writing, they remind us that Jesus Christ has conquered evil once and for all. Their daily sacrifices give us blessings of infinite worth. For all of this, we are profoundly thankful.

We are also angry. We are angry over the “credible and substantiated” report of Archbishop McCarrick’s abuse of a minor. We are angry over the numerous allegations of his abuse of seminarians and young priests. We are angry that “everybody knew” about these crimes, that so few people did anything about them, and that those who spoke out were ignored.

In addition, we have heard reports of networks of sexually active priests who promote each other and threaten those who do not join in their activities; of young priests and seminarians having their vocations endangered because they refused to have sex with their superiors or spoke out about sexual impropriety; and of drug-fueled orgies in Vatican apartments.

As Catholics, we believe that the Church’s teaching on human nature and sexuality is life-giving and leads to holiness. We believe that just as there is no room for adultery in marriages, so there is no room for adultery against the Bride of Christ. We need bishops to make clear that any act of sexual abuse or clerical unchastity degrades the priesthood and gravely harms the Church.

We are scandalized by the fact that men like Archbishop McCarrick have held positions of authority in the Church. Indeed, we are alarmed by reports that Pope Francis acted on McCarrick’s guidance in creating cardinals and appointing men to senior positions in the Church. Men McCarrick mentored and lived with are now important archbishops and heads of Vatican dicasteries.

We want to know what those men knew about McCarrick and when they knew it, especially since “everybody knew.” If the pope himself knew, we want to know that as well.

You are the shepherds of the Church. If you do not act, evil will go unchecked. As members of your flock, we therefore ask the following of you.

We ask you to agree to a thorough, independent investigation into claims of abuse by Archbishop McCarrick, both of minors and of adults. We want to know who in the hierarchy knew about his crimes, when they knew it, and what they did in response. This is the least that would be expected of any secular organization; it should not be more than we can expect from the Church.

We ask that the silence surrounding sexual impropriety in the Church be broken. We ask that bishops take clear action when priests flout the Church’s sexual teaching and that networks of sexually active priests be rooted out. We ask that good priests be given the freedom to tell their bishops what they know, without fear of reprisal. Along with these actions, we ask that bishops engage in formal acts of public penance and reparation.

We also commit to the following. We will refuse to be silent when we see or hear of sexual assaults taking place anywhere in the Church and by any person, clerical or lay. When those we know are assaulted, we will encourage the victims to come forward. We will stand with them until justice is done. We will not accept silence and inaction. Rather, we will publicly name and expose those who harm others and superiors who fail to take action when others are harmed.

We will likewise speak out when we discover clerical sexual impropriety. We will work to protect the good priests and seminarians who are threatened when they refuse to condone the sins of their fellow clerics, or when they speak out about them.

Above all, we pray for holiness in our Church and in ourselves. We pray for good priests and bishops who can lead us on to the vision of God. You constantly remind us that Jesus Christ is the fountain of mercy. Please do not forget that he is also the judge of the world.”

The letter is signed by 43 young people who contribute to various publications, including First Things, Commentary, National Review and Catholic Herald. They attend Catholic universities and public institutions. They hail from the U.S. and the UK. I have not listed their names for reasons of space but they are here: https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2018/08/an-open-letter-from-young-catholics

A PRAYERFUL VISIT TO THE INFANT OF PRAGUE

I wish my many Dominican friends throughout the world special blessings on this important day, the feast of their founder, St. Dominic! Blessings, good health, long lives – and continue being great preachers!

A PRAYERFUL VISIT TO THE INFANT OF PRAGUE

The celebrated statue of the Infant of Prague is known all over the world and countless faithful, and many curious tourists, come to see this statue of Jesus as a child and to say intercessory prayers before it.

On my recent trip to Prague, I spent quite some time in the church of Our Lady Victorious where the statue has its home, attending Mass, taking some photos and then praying before the statue, in particular for families, for people in need and all who asked me to pray for them. The story that follows is that told by the Discalced Carmelites.

The Church of our Lady Victorious was built between 1611 and 1613 in Renaissance and early Baroque style. It was dedicated to the Holy Trinity and was used by German speaking Lutherans.

After the battle of White Mountain that resulted in the victory of the Imperial and Catholic side in the Czech lands, Emperor Ferdinand II bestowed the church on the Order of Discalced Carmelites. The church was then consecrated to our Lady Victorious and a large monastery of Discalced Carmelites was built in the southern part of the church.

 

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The statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague was permanently placed in the church in 1641.

This altar is a genial theological picture that symbolizes that Jesus is God and human being at the same time. We see the heavenly Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the Spirit above him as dove.. There is also a statue of Our Lady, Jesus’ Mother on the left, one of St. Joseph on the right and Jesus between them this time as a human being, as a child.

The appearance of the church in the 18th century followed a uniform and well-thought-out concept and was furnished with the works of the best available artists. By decree of Emperor Joseph II, the monastery was dissolved in 1784. The Carmelites were forced to leave and the parish of the Church of Our Lady in Chains was transferred here.

Plaques expressing gratitude for favors received through the intercession of the Infant line the walls on both sides of the altar:

At the request of then Prague Archbishop Miroslav Vlk, the Discalced Carmelites returned to the church after 200 years on July 2, 1993. Since then, this pilgrimage place has been revived.

The Carmelite Sisters of the Child Jesus have been helping Carmelite brothers with the care of the church and the gracious statue of the Infant Jesus. This Infant of Prague, that is, Jesus represented as a child, comes, according to sources, from Spain. It was made there in the second half of the 16th century or earlier. It is made of wood covered with fabric and wax and is 47 cm (18 and half inches) high.

The Infant Jesus was brought from Spain by the Duchess Marie Manriquez di Lara who married Vratislav of Persnstein in 1556. Later she gave the statue to her daughter Polyxena as a wedding gift. After the death of her husband she donated it to the monastery Discalced Carmelites at the church of our Lady Victorious in 1628.

The statue is dressed in royal robes that were once decorated with precious jewels given as gifts by worshippers. The most valuable jewel (since lost) was a copy of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The crown that adorns the Infant Jesus is a gift from Pope Benedict XVI, who crowned the Infant Jesus during his visit to Prague in 2009.

The Infant Jesus blesses with his right hand, while in his left he holds a symbol of his rule over the world – an imperial orb topped with a cross.

Pope Benedict XVI visited the church in 2009. In his speech he stated that the infant Jesus of Prague demonstrated God’s closeness and mercy through his child’s tenderness. He prayed for children who are victims of violence and for broken families. As a gift, he brought the crown you see today on the Infant Jesus.

Dressing the statue of the Infant Jesus is an ancient custom and one of the manifestations of veneration. Most of the robes are gifts of gratitude. One of them, for example, was personally embroidered and given by Empress Maria Teresa.

The dozens of robes are displayed in the church museum. The Crown and the Imperial orb show Jesus’ divinity and his royal dignity. The color of the robe the Infant wears is guided by the color of the liturgical seasons. At Christmas time, to remember Jesus in his self-giving, we can see the Infant Jesus without his role in its original simplicity and beauty.

Prayer to the Infant of Prague:*
O Miraculous Infant Jesus! We beseech Thee to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts, prostrate before Thy sacred image. Let Thy tender heart, so inclined to pity, be softened at our prayers, and grant us that grace which we ardently implore (here make your request). Take from us the affliction and despair, the trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For the sake of Thy sacred infancy hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid that we may praise Thee with the Father and Holy Ghost forever and ever. Amen
(*50 days indulgence for each recitation)

 

 

 

 

A guide to the church and altars: https://www.pragjesu.cz/en/church-guide/

THE AUGUST SNOWFALL IN ROME – 30,000 ITALIAN YOUTH ON WALKING PILGRIMAGE TO ROME

August 6 is the feast of the Transfiguration and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Pope Paul VI who will be canonized in October. Pope Francis spoke of this at the Sunday Angelus, saying, “Forty years ago Blessed Pope Paul VI – the Pope of modernity – was living his last hours on this earth. He died in the evening of August 6, 1978. We remember him with great veneration and gratitude. From heaven, may he intercede for the Church and for peace in the world.”

This column might be Joan’s Rome lite tomorrow as I will be travelling much of the day. I’ll bring you what I can – if I can!

THE AUGUST SNOWFALL IN ROME

Every so often people write me to tell me they’ve read stories of snowfall in Rome in August, traditionally the hottest month of the year – perhaps together with July! The snowfall they read about has nothing to do with needing warm clothes when you visit Rome in August but has everything to do with one of the four papal basilicas in Rome, Our Lady of the Snows aka St. Mary Major.

The other three papal basilicas are St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s Outside the Walls and St. John Lateran. By the way, these four basilicas, with three others, constitute the 7 must-visit pilgrim churches in Rome. The remaining three: St. Sebastian, Holy Cross in Jerusalem (with relics of the crucifixion) and St. Lawrence – San Lorenzo al Verano.

Now about the snowfall:

The year was 358 A.D. John, a Roman patrician, and his wife, unable to have children, had been praying faithfully to the Virgin, asking her to give them a sign as to whom they should leave their enormous patrimony. The night of August 4-5, one of the hottest of the year, Mary appeared to the couple in a dream and requested that they build a church in her honor where snow would fall that night.

John and his wife went to tell their friend Pope Liberius of their dream and to their amazement discovered that the pontiff had had the same dream. That morning, August 5, one of Rome’s seven fabled hills, the Esquiline, was covered in snow, as witnessed by John, his wife, the Pope and his entourage, and a throng of Romans. Pope Liberius took a stick and traced the sign of the future basilica in the snow, a basilica which would be forever known as Our Lady of the Snows, in addition to the name it bears today, St. Mary Major, the greatest – and the oldest – Marian church.

The feast of Our Lady of the Snows was introduced that year and has been commemorated ever since on August 5. Each year, there are two celebrations on that day. In late afternoon during a liturgy, usually vespers, thousands of white flower petals, symbolizing the miraculous snowfall, are released through one of the square panels of the basilica’s glorious gilt ceiling. In the evening, about 9 pm, outside the basilica, white flower petals are showered down on the faithful who have gathered to commemorate that event.

If you are ever in Rome on August 5 go to St. Mary Major in mid-afternoon or about 9 at night to witness the snowfall and participate in a liturgy.

Here’s a brief Youtube video I did on my first visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9LTZk-k2k8

30,000 ITALIAN YOUTH ON WALKING PILGRIMAGE TO ROME

The initiative organized by the Italian bishops conference is in preparation for the Synod on young people in the Vatican in October and the World Youth Day in Panama in January.
By Robin Gomes (vaticannews.va)

More than 30,000 young people of some 200 Italian dioceses set out in groups Friday morning on a weeklong walking pilgrimage in the territories of their respective dioceses, an experience that will conclude in a mega rally in Rome next weekend with meetings with Pope Francis.

The National Service for Youth Ministry of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) has organized the initiative in view of the Synod of Bishops on young people scheduled for October in the Vatican.

Father Michele Falabretti who heads the Youth Ministry office explained that they wanted to add a special experience to their meeting with the Pope, hence the initiative called, “Per Mille Strade” (Through a thousand roads), a pilgrimage involving young people and those accompanying them and “Siamo Qui” (We Are Here), the encounter with Pope Francis on the last two days in Rome, August 11 and 12.

Pilgrimage through the world

To be able to make the most of the walking pilgrimage, each participant has been provided with a pilgrim’s kit containing both practical and spiritual items. This includes a pilgrim’s shoulder bag with items such as a headlamp for use at night, a hat, a portable water bag, a diary, a Gospel, a cross, a commentary booklet on the encounter between Jesus and the disciples, a small canvas with the image of the holy shroud, a map and an identification badge.

The young pilgrims have also been furnished with a log, where they will post their experiences as they pass through the various stages of their journey.

Fr. Falabretti said the purpose of the pilgrimage is to help young people step out of the beaten path, slow down and keep their eyes open to the testimonies of life and faith that they come across and to know about the stories of today’s man and his difficulties and hopes. This journey is to make the children think and feel as part of the Church, he said.

Rally with the Pope in Rome

After the pilgrimage across their respective dioceses, the youngsters will board buses, trains or other means to converge on Rome on Saturday, August 11, where they will hold an evening prayer vigil at Circus Maximus with the participation of the Holy Father.

The following day, Sunday, they will attend a Mass in St. Peter’s Square, at the end of which the Pope will hand them a missionary mandate and bless the Crucifix of St. Damien and Our Lady of Loreto which they will carry to the World Youth Day in Panama, next year.

The young people have been encouraged to remain connected by posting their experiences online on the social media that will be shared with all in real time as the pilgrimage progresses.

VATICAN INSIDER WELCOMES CHALDEAN PATRIARCH SAKO – POPE’S AUGUST PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE TREASURE OF FAMILIES

There are more wonderful stories to tell about my time in Prague, in particular the afternoon visit for Mass and prayer in the church of Our Lady Victorious, home to the celebrated statue known as the Infant of Prague. I’ve been preparing Vatican Insider for this weekend, among other projects, so don’t have time today for Prague adventures but I’ll set aside some time in coming days to continue my travelblogue © about the Infant of Prague, St. Vitus Cathedral and the wonderful Premonstratensian monastery of Zeliv! So stay tuned!

It’s unusually hot here in Rome, although as I write, it is 6:30 pm and the skies are dark and threatening. A little rain – or a lot of it! – might help the temps go down, though I’m not sure if it will bring down the high humidity. The weather has been a huge problem for millions and surely none more so than the homeless. Shelters here are being strained to the limits and there is no immediate relief in sight. Even if a storm occurs, temps will probably be back up within hours.

VATICAN INSIDER WELCOMES CHALDEAN PATRIARCH SAKO

My guest in the interview segment of “Vatican Insider” this week is Cardinal and Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon Louis Raphael I Sako. We spoke the day after Pope Francis made him a cardinal in the June 28th consistory. We met at an international house for clergy and spoke for about a half hour.


The patriarch and I have been friends since 2010, having first met in Kirkuk, Iraq when he was bishop of that diocese. We’ve met a number of times since, in Iraq, Lebanon and Rome and it was a joy to renew our acquaintance on this auspicious day for the Chaldean Church and faithful.


An alert: The residence for clergy has few public rooms for interviews and they all have the same drawback – small rooms very high ceilings and nothing to soften or reduce an echo when we speak. However, you will probably not notice that when you listen to Cardinal Sako’s message. This week it is Part I of our conversation.

Cardinal Sako was not new to the color red when he became a cardinal – his color as patriarch is red. Speaking on behalf of all the new cardinals, Patriarch Sako addressed the Pope at the start of the June 28th consistory. You will hear some of those remarks in our conversation this weekend.

“A number of Muslims have come to give me their best wishes, and they expressed their admiration for the opening of the Church and for your always being close to people in their concerns, fears and hopes.

”As far as I am concerned, I am the recipient of your special attention for the Eastern Churches and for the small flock at constitutes the Christians in the Middle East, in Pakistan and in other countries that are going through a difficult period because of wars and sectarianism and where there are still many martyrs. We pray and hope that your efforts to promote peace will change the hearts of men and women for the better and will contribute to assuring a dignified atmosphere for every person.”

“Naming one to the cardinalate is not a prize or a personal honor, as is sometimes thought but rather it is sending us into mission with a red habit (indicating) that we will give our life to the very end, even to the shedding of blood, bringing “Evangelii gaudium” –the gospel of joy – to everyone.”

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’S AUGUST PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE TREASURE OF FAMILIES

Pope Francis on Thursday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for August 2018, “For the treasure of Families”.
In his prayer intention for this month, Pope Francis says: “Together, let us ask Jesus that any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.”

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

The full text of his intention follows:

“When speaking of families, often the image of a treasure comes to my mind. Today’s rhythm of life, stress, pressure at work, and also the little attention paid by institutions, could put them in danger. It’s not enough to talk about their importance: it’s necessary to promote concrete means and to develop their role in society with a good family policy.Together, let us ask Jesus that any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.”

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity. (vaticannews.va)

Click here to see video: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-08/pope-francis-prayer-august-families.html#play