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Vatican City, 5 June 2015 (VIS) – Missionary activity is the paradigm of all the work of the Church, said Pope Francis to the participants in the general assembly of the Pontifical Missionary Societies (PMS), and reiterated that the announcement of the Gospel is “the first and constant concern of the Church, her essential task, her greatest challenge, and the source of her renewal. … Without the restlessness and anxiety of evangelisation it is not possible to develop a credible and effective pastoral ministry uniting proclamation and human promotion”.

Therefore, the members of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and the national directors of the PMS have the difficult task of opening up to “the broad and universal horizons of humanity, its geographical and http://extended-aftercare.com/canadian-pharmacies-for-viagra above all human boundaries”, accompanying the life of the young Churches throughout the world and encouraging the People of God to fully live the universal mission. “You know the wonders that the Holy Spirit works for humanity through these Churches, often with scarce resources and even through the difficulties and persecutions they suffer for their faith and their witness to the Word of God and in defence of humanity. In those human peripheries the Church is required to go into the streets, towards the many brothers and sisters of ours who live without the strength, light and buy chinese herbal levitra consolation of Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to welcome them, without horizons of meaning and of life”.

The Pope emphasised that the PMS, on account of their characteristic charism, are attentive and sensitive to the needs of mission territories and, in particular, the poorest human groups. “They are instruments of communion between Churches, promoting and implementing the sharing of people and economic resources. They are committed to supporting seminarians, presbyters and women religious of the young Churches in mission territories in the Pontifical Colleges. Faced with such a beautiful and important task, faith and love of Christ have the capacity to lead us everywhere to announce the Gospel of love, fraternity and justice. This is achieved through prayer, evangelical courage and getting cialis the witness of the beatitudes”.

However, he warned, “be careful not to give in to the temptation to become a non-governmental organisation, an office for the distribution of ordinary and extraordinary aid. Money helps but can also become the ruin of the Mission. Functionalism, when it is placed in the centre or occupies a major space, as if it were the most important issue, will lead you to ruin, as the first way to die is to take the 'sources' for granted – that is, He Who inspires the Mission. Please, with all your plans and programmes, do not cut Jesus Christ out of missionary work, which is His work. A Church that is reduced to pursuing efficiency of the party apparatus at all costs is already dead, even though the structures and programmes in favour of the clergy and 'self-employed' laity could last for centuries”.

“True evangelisation is not possible without the sanctifying energy of the Holy Spirit, the only one able to renew, revive and give impetus to the Church in her bold outreach to evangelise all peoples”, concluded the Pope.

Vatican City, 5 June 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram of condolences on behalf of the Holy Father to Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu of Konongo-Mampong, president of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference, for the many victims of the explosion and subsequent fire in a petrol station in Accra.

“Deeply saddened to learn of the tragic incident at a petrol station in Accra in which so many people died or were seriously injured, the Holy Father sends heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the deceased and injured, to the authorities and to the entire nation. His Holiness commends the souls of the departed to Almighty God and willingly invokes the divine gifts of consolation and strength upon those who mourn and upon all who have been affected by this tragedy”.

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis celebrated Mass on the steps of Rome’s Cathedral Basilica of St. John Lateran on Thursday evening, ahead of a torchlight procession to St Mary Major to mark the feast of Corpus Domini – the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Our Savior.

 Listen to our report:

 

In his homily, Pope Francis focused on the Eucharist as spiritual nourishment, and on the Eucharistic feast as a moment to celebrate the freedom to worship God fittingly. “[On T]he feast of Corpus Domini, we have the joy not only of celebrating this mystery [of the Eucharist], but also of praising Him and singing in the streets of our city. May the procession we will make at the end of the Mass, express our gratitude for all the journey that God has allowed us to make through  the desert of our poverty, to take us out of slavery, by nourishing us with His love through the Sacrament of his Body and the Blood.”

The Holy Father concluded with a call for solidarity with all those who have not such freedom. “In a little while,” he said, “we shall walk along the way, let us perceive ourselves in communion with our many brothers and sisters who do not have the freedom to express their faith in the Lord Jesus. Let us feel ourselves united with them, let us sing with them, praise with them, adore with them. And we venerate in our hearts those brothers and sisters from whom the sacrifice of their lives has been required for fidelity to Christ: let their blood, united to that of the Lord, be a pledge of peace and reconciliation for the whole world.”

After communion and the Holy Father’s blessing, the congregation sang the Pange lingu and began to make its way down the via Merulana, about a mile, through the heart of the city, with Our Lord in the Eucharist. Pope Francis met the faithful at St Mary Major, which welcomed the Eucharistic Lord with pealing bells and the Tantum ergo.

Then he offered Eucharistic Benediction, and the gathered faithful made the final acclamations and sang the hymn, sub tuum Praesidium, imploring the protection of Our Lady, and then the people left, going off into the night.

 

Below we publish a Vatican Radio translation of Pope Francis' Homily for the feast of Corpus Domini:

In the Last Supper, Jesus gives His Body and his Blood by means of the bread and the wine, to leave us the memorial of His sacrifice of infinite love. With this viaticum full to overflowing with grace, the disciples have everything they need for their long journey through history, to extend the kingdom of God to everyone. Light and strength will be for them the gift that Jesus made of Himself, sacrificing Himself voluntarily on the Cross. This Bread of Life has come down to us! The Church is in unending awe before this reality – an awe that endlessly nourishes contemplation, adoration, memory. This is seen in a beautiful text of today’s Liturgy, the Responsory of the second reading of the Office of Readings, which says: “See in this bread the body of Christ which hung upon the cross, and in this cup the blood which flowed from His side. Take His body, then, and eat it; take His blood and drink it, and you will become His members. The body of Christ is the bond which unites you to him: eat it, or you will have no part in him. The blood is the price he paid for your redemption: drink it, lest you despair of your sinfulness.”

We ask ourselves what it means today, to be torn from Him, to despair – as cowards – of our sinfulness [what is this cowardliness – svilirci – of which Christ speaks to us through the Church at prayer]?

We are torn from Him when we are not obedient to the Word of the Lord, when we do not live brotherhood between us, when we race to occupy the first places, when we find the courage to witness to charity, when we are unable to offer hope. The Eucharist allows us to be not torn from Him, for it is the bond of communion, is the fulfillment of the Covenant, a living sign of the love of Christ who humbled and annihilated Himself for us, that we might remain united. By participating in the Eucharist and by feeding on it, we are inserted into a way that does not admit divisions. The Christ present in our midst, in the signs of bread and wine, requires that the power of love exceed every laceration, and at the same time that it become communion with the poor, support for the weak, fraternal attention to those who are struggling to carry the weight of everyday life.

And what it means for us today “svilirci” – to be cowardly, to despair of our sinfulness, that is, to let our Christian dignity be watered down, [or to adulterate it ourselves]? It means to let ourselves be affected by the idolatries of our time: appearance, consumption, the self at the center of everything; but also being competitive, arrogance as the winning attitude, the idea that one never need admit to a mistake or to find oneself in need. All this demeans us, makes us mediocre, lukewarm, insipid Chris...

(Vatican Radio) “Peace be with You” is the motto chosen by Pope Francis for his visit on June 6 to Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Pope’s 8th Apostolic Journey abroad consists in a one-day visit to Sarajevo which sees an intense Papal schedule of commitments and events including the celebration of Mass, an inter-religious and ecumenical encounter, and a meeting with the youth.

On the eve of the Pope’s departure, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State spoke to CTV – the Vatican Television Center – about the visit which the Pope himself has said aims to confirm the faith of Catholics, support ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, and encourage peaceful coexistence in the nation

In the interview, Cardinal Parolin highlighted the importance of the chosen motto and its logo that depicts a stylized sign that unites the cross, the white dove as a symbol of peace, and a triangle which represents the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The colours – he said – are those of the national flag;  there is a reference to the Catholic community which is mostly made up of Croats; whilst the motto itself with the words “Peace be with You” are the first words ones that the Risen Christ addressed to his disciples.

The Pope – Cardinal Parolin said – travels to the land that St John Paul II described at the “Jerusalem of Europe” as a pilgrim of dialogue and peace.

Questioned about the current situation in the Nation, Cardinal Parolin recalled the “consequences of the war that afflicted Bosnia and Herzegovina” and that saw “over a hundred thousand deaths and a huge number of people who were displaced from their homes”.

The consequences of the war – he said – have had a huge impact especially on the Catholic community that “between the beginnings of the ‘90s to date has almost halved, from eight hundred thousand to four hundred thousand people”.

The situation is such – Parolin pointed out – that “in some of the parishes there are only a few families left” and most of the faithful are elderly.

He also commented on the fact that because of high unemployment and lack of opportunity, many young people continue to migrate, and this phenomenon is coupled with a general demographic drop that also affects the dwindling Catholic community.

The Cardinal then focused on the “complexity of the country’s political system” where power is shared between representatives of different ethnic origins: Bosnian, Serb and Croat.

At an administrative level the representatives give life to the Bosniak Federation, The Srpska Republic and the Brčko District.

The country's presidency, rotated between the three communities every eight months, is currently held by the representative of the Bosnian Serbs. All three leaders will meet with Pope Francis on Saturday morning.

Cardinal Parolin said the complexity of this scenario means that it is necessary to achieve equality at all levels – political, cultural and social - for all citizens, while recognizing their own specific identities, independently from numbers. This – he said – is a condition that would favour peace, and at the same time, with the help of the international community, it would support the nation’s natural aspiration to be integrated into the European Union.

In this sense – he said – “it could be of example for the many situations that continue to exist in the world where diversity is not conjugated and accepted, becoming reason for conflict and contrast, instead of mutual wealth”.

Cardinal Parolin concluded expressing his hope that the Pope’s visit to Sarajevo may “not only contribute to the common good and improvement of the situation in the country, but also be an invitation to all men and to all Nations to rediscover the reasons of peace, reconciliation and progress, be they human, spiritual and material”.

(from Vatican Radio)

(Vatican Radio) The President of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People has called European refugee policy “less human” and “less Christian”, adding that Europe has never had a proper immigration programme, but instead tries to “patch up” emergency situations.

Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio was speaking about the EU’s reaction to the recent migration crisis, which he said ignores the root causes of migration.

“What is the cause of immigration and refugees? For immigration, poverty. For refugees, war,” he said. “Until there is an end to poverty and war, nothing will change.”

Cardinal Veglio said it is the Church’s mission help the “most poor, the most dispossessed, abandoned”, and said these are the migrants.

“If the Church did not do these things, then truly she betrays her mission,” he said.

(from Vatican Radio)
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