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Author Topic: Pope Francis  (Read 1436591 times)
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« Reply #1600 on: June 20, 2014, 07:20:55 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/articles/pope-francis-to-venture-into-mafia-stronghold-1403263415

Pope Francis to Venture Into Mafia Stronghold
June 20, 2014 7:23 a.m. ET

When Pope Francis visits the southern region of Calabria on Saturday, he will venture into the stronghold of one of the world's biggest criminal organizations—one whose tentacles allegedly extend into local churches there, according to Italian prosecutors.

The pope will visit the small town of Cassano Jonico, where a 3-year-old child, Nicola "Coco" Campolongo, was killed along with his grandfather in January, allegedly by Calabria's Mafia, known as the 'Ndrangheta.

Born in one of Europe's poorest regions, the 'Ndrangheta has proved far harder for prosecutors to crack than the better-known Sicilian Mafia. Tight family ties and a low profile have helped it proliferate in Italy and abroad, resulting in an estimated annual turnover of €53 billion ($72 billion), or about 3.5% of the Italian economy, according to the research firm Demoskopika.

Pope Francis has followed his predecessors in denouncing the Mafia. But his visit also throws a light on the relationship between the Catholic Church in Italy and the country's deeply rooted organized crime.

Traditionally 'Ndrangheta bosses proudly professed their Catholic faith, looking to "exploit the bond between the church and large swaths of populations in southern Italy," says Giuseppe Pignatone, a prosecutor who investigated Mafia cases in the region.
 

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« Reply #1601 on: June 21, 2014, 01:22:54 AM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/06/20/pope_francis_goes_to_calabria,_italy/1101964

Pope Francis goes to Calabria, Italy
20/06/2014

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis travels to Italy’s southern region of Calabria Saturday for a 12 hour pastoral visit that includes six stops, two speeches and an outdoor mass.  Upon his arrival Saturday morning in Castrovilla, the Pope will meet inmates and personnel at the “Casa Circondariale” prison where he will deliver his first address of the trip.

At 11:00 am, Pope Francis will fly by helicopter to the town of Cassano all’Jonio where he will be greeted by authorities and residents at the local stadium.  He will then pay a visit to the sick at the hospice centre “San Giuseppe Moscati.” Later, at the Cathedral of Cassano all’Jonio, the Pope will greet and address diocesan priests and religious.  The Holy Father will share lunch with the poor, as well as with young residents of the drug rehabilitation community “Saman.”  He will also visit the elderly at the “Casa Serena” retirement community and at the end of the day, celebrate an open-air Mass before returning by helicopter to the Vatican.
 
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« Reply #1602 on: June 21, 2014, 07:24:32 PM »

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pope-francis-makes-first-visit-mafia-stronghold-southern-italy-n137126

Pope Francis Makes First Visit to Mafia Stronghold in Southern Italy
First published June 21st 2014, 3:59 am 

Pope Francis made his first trip into a southern heartland of the Italian Mafia on Saturday, visiting a poverty-stricken town and comforting the detained father of a 3-year-old who was murdered in an alleged mob-related killing in January.

The pope’s first stop in the town of Cassano all'Ionio in the southern region of Calabria was the “Rosetta Sisca” penitentiary of Castrovillari, where he met with detainees, prison staff and their families.

"The Lord always forgives, always accompanies, always includes; let us understand it, let us forgive, let us accompany," the Pontiff told the inmates, according to the Vatican.

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Following a visit to a hospital for the terminally ill, the pontiff celebrated Holy Mass at Piana di Sibari, where he condemned the ‘Ndrangheta Mafia, which is centered in Cassano all'Ionio.

"Those who in their lives follow this path of evil, as mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated," Pope Francis said during the mass, according to Reuters.
 
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« Reply #1603 on: June 21, 2014, 07:28:55 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-addresses-prisoners-during-pastoral-visit-to

Pope addresses prisoners during pastoral visit to Calabria
2014-06-21 Vatican Radio



(Vatican Radio) The journey towards reintegration into society, said Pope Francis, demands an encounter with God who loves us, knows us, and forgives our sins.

This was one of the central themes of the Pope’s discourse to the inmates and staff of the district prison of Castrovillari, Calabria. Saturday’s visit to the prison was his first major encounter during his 12 hour pastoral visit to the southern Italian region.

In his address, the Holy Father said that while those in prison must always be treated according to their fundamental human dignity, efforts must also be made by the institution to facilitate effective reintegration into society. When this aim is not achieved, he said, the prison sentence becomes merely an instrument of punishment and retaliation that affects both the individual and society.
 
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« Reply #1604 on: June 21, 2014, 07:32:58 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-the-joy-of-priesthood-and-the-beauty

Pope Francis: the joy of priesthood and the beauty of fraternity
2014-06-21 Vatican Radio



(Vatican Radio) “I have very much desired this meeting with you who bear the daily burden of parish work” Pope Francis said on Saturday, greeting the priests of the Diocese of Cassano all’Jonio.

In his address, the Holy Father spoke to the assembled clerics about “the joy of being a priest.” There is nothing more beautiful for a man than to be called to the priesthood, he said… called to follow Jesus, to be with Him, to bring Jesus to others, to bring them His Word and His forgiveness. Although the work of a priest is not always easy, drawing near to Jesus in the tabernacle can renew and re-animate priestly zeal. Stopping for a moment before the tabernacle can also lead priests to examine their consciences: “In the silence of prayer Jesus make us see if we are working as good workers, or if we have become a little like ‘employees;’ if we are open, generous ‘channels,’ through which His love, His grace can flow abundantly; or if instead we place ourselves at the centre, and so instead of being channels we become screens that do not help the encounter with God, with the light and the strength of the Gospel.”
 
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« Reply #1605 on: June 21, 2014, 07:43:49 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-mafiosi-are-excommunicated-not-in-communion-w

Pope: mafiosi are excommunicated, not in communion with God
2014-06-21 Vatican Radio



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis concluded his one-day trip to the southern Italian region of Calabria with strong words against the Calabrian mafia, calling it “adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.”

“Those who in their lives have taken this evil road, this road of evil, such as the mobsters, they are not in communion with God, they are excommunicated,” he said to applause.

The Pope made these statements on Saturday during the feast-day Mass he presided for Corpus Domini on the plains of the small town of Sibari, a once-important city in the Hellenistic period of Calabrian history.
 
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« Reply #1606 on: June 21, 2014, 07:54:18 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-condemns-calabrian-mafia-as-adoration

Pope Francis condemns Calabrian mafia as 'adoration of evil'
2014-06-21 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis concluded his one-day trip to the southern Italian region of Calabria with strong words against the Calabrian mafia, saying that it is "adoration of evil and contempt for the common good". He said those who have chosen the "evil road" as being "excommunicated"; the crowd responded with applause. He made these statements during his homily for the high mass for the feast of Corpus Domini in Sibari. Thousands attended the open-air mass under the hot sun.

Read the Vatican Radio translation of the Pope’s homily below:

On the feast of Corpus Domini, we celebrate Jesus “living bread that came down from heaven” (Jn 6,51), food for our hunger for eternal life, strength for our journey. I thank the Lord, who today allows me to celebrate Corpus Domini with you, brothers and sisters of this Church, which is in Cassano allo Jonio. Today’s feast is that on which the Church praises the Lord for the gift of the Eucharist. While on Holy Thursday, we recall its institution at the Last Supper, today thanksgiving and adoration predominate. And, in fact, it is tradition on this day to have the procession with the Blessed Sacrament. To adore Jesus Eucharist and to walk with him. These are the two inseparable aspects of today’s feast, two aspects that mark the entire life of the Christian people: a people that adores God and walks with him.

Before all else, we are a people who adores God. We adore God, who is love, who in Jesus Christ gave himself for us, offered himself on the cross to expiate our sins and by the power of this love he rose from death and lives in his Church. We do have no other God than this!

When adoration of the Lord is substituted by adoration of money, the road to sin opens to personal interest ... When one does not adore the Lord, one becomes an adorer of evil, like those who live by dishonesty and violence. Your land, which so beautiful, knows the signs of the consequences of this sin. The ‘ndrangheta (Calabrian mafia) is this: adoration of evil and contempt of the common good. This evil must be fought, must be expelled. It must be told no. The Church, which is so committed to educating consciences, must always expend itself even more so that good can prevail. Our children ask this of us. Our young people ask this of us, they, who need hope. To be able to respond to this demands, faith can help us. Those who in their lives have taken this evil road, this road of evil, such as the mobsters, they are not in communion with God, they are excommunicated.
 
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« Reply #1607 on: June 21, 2014, 10:06:30 PM »

Short video at the link

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 21, 2014
In Calabria, The Pope's Hit – "The Mafia Is Excommunicated"

 
Going further, and lifting his head from his prepared text, Papa Bergoglio said that "those who in their lives have taken this evil road, this road of evil, such as the mafiosi, they are not in communion with God – they are excommunicated!"

The massive crowd responded by erupting into applause and cheers. Video:
 
In January, the Mafia murder of a 3 year-old boy in a Cassano car-bombing sparked outrage across Italy and saw Francis deliver prayers and a rebuke for the perpetrators at his Sunday Angelus. Prior to today's Mass, the Pope met the grandparents and father of the young victim, Coco Campolongo. On another front, Papa Bergoglio's "Mob hit" comes a day after Francis made global headlines for decrying the legalization of "any type of drug" as "a veiled way of surrendering to the phenomenon" of addiction in society.

Back to today, while canonists will take pains to emphasize that the "excommunicated" statement is by no means a formal decree with legal effect, in terms of the symbolics and public perception, its potency would be difficult to overestimate. For purposes of context, when a veteran prosecutor of Mob cases relayed last year that Francis had rattled 'ndrangheta amid his attempts to reform the Vatican's "power centers" – an agenda which "put [the Pope] at risk" – the official noted that "the church has never excommunicated a mobster."

As the thought has likely crossed the mind of not a few Italian bishops, they now have the clearance to proceed with it. Repeating an earlier word, the Mafia theme is fairly certain to resurface on July 5th, when Francis visits Campobasso, home to Italy's most outspoken prelate against the syndicates, Archbishop Giancarlo Bregantini.
 
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« Reply #1608 on: June 21, 2014, 10:11:17 PM »

Video:  Mass of Pope Francis in the Plain of Sybaris (Calabria)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dbqrocbDjY

Messa di Papa Francesco nella Piana di Sibari (Calabria)
Streamed live on June 21, 2014
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« Reply #1609 on: June 22, 2014, 08:34:13 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/06/22/pope’s_angelus_address_make_your_life_a_gift_for_others/1102048

Pope’s Angelus address: Make your life a gift for others
22/06/2014

(Vatican Radio) God’s love is without limits, and to follow Him, in the Eucharist, is to make our own life a gift.

These were some of the reflections made by Pope Francis during his weekly Angelus address this Sunday.


Speaking to the crowds which nearly filled Saint Peter’s Square on the hot July morning, the Pope focused on the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – or Corpus Christi – celebrated in many parishes this Sunday.

The Gospel reading for this feast is taken from John, and focusses on Christ’s discourse on the “Bread of Life” which He delivered in the synagogue at Capernaum.

“Jesus stresses that he did not come into this world to give something,” the Pope said, “but to give himself, his life as nourishment for all those who have faith in Him.”
 
After reciting the Angelus prayer in Latin, Pope Francis recalled that 26 June is the United Nations International Day in support of victims of torture . Saying that every form of torture is a “very grave sin,” the Pope invited Christians to commit themselves to its abolishment, and to offer their support for its victims and their families.

Finally, after greeting the many other pilgrims and local Italians who had gathered in Saint Peter’s Square, the Pope wished everyone a good Sunday, and asked for their prayers.
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« Reply #1610 on: June 23, 2014, 12:01:53 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-francis-lambastes-mobsters-says-mafiosi-are-excommunicated/2014/06/21/4384dfcc-f97a-11e3-8aa9-dad2ec039789_story.html

Pope Francis lambastes mobsters, says mafiosi ‘are excommunicated’
June 21

 
Vatican spokesman Ciro Benedettini said the pope’s stern words did not constitute a formal decree of canon law regarding excommunication. Rather, he said it was more of a direct message to members of organized crime that they had effectively excommunicated themselves, reminding them that they could not participate in church sacraments or other activities because they had distanced themselves from God through their criminal actions.

Vatican spokesman Ciro Benedettini said the pope’s stern words did not constitute a formal decree of canon law regarding excommunication. Rather, he said it was more of a direct message to members of organized crime that they had effectively excommunicated themselves, reminding them that they could not participate in church sacraments or other activities because they had distanced themselves from God through their criminal actions.

Still, the use of the highly charged word by a pope was significant because many members of organized crime in Italy see themselves as part of a religious, cultlike group, take part in sacraments, go to church and, in some cases, have also found complicity by some clerics in the south.

The pope, Benedettini said, was trying to “isolate mafiosi within their own communities,” sending a message that they should not in any way be looked up to as “men of honor.”

In 1993, Pope John Paul II warned members of the Sicilian Mafia that they would “one day face the justice of God.” The mafia responded several months later with bomb attacks against several churches in Rome.
 
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« Reply #1611 on: June 23, 2014, 10:39:11 PM »

Video at the link

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-stops-car-to-bless-young-disabled-woman-28467/

Pope Francis stops car to bless young disabled woman

Rome, Italy, Jun 23, 2014 / 10:19 am (CNA).- During his June 21 pastoral visit to the region of Calabria in southern Italy, Pope Francis stopped the car that was transporting him to see a young disabled woman and her family on the side of the road.

A video posted online by a family in the southern Italian region of Calabria depicts the encounter with the Holy Father.

The Pope passed by the highway near the family’s house as he returned from Cassano allo Jonio, where he spoke out against the mafia.

The Vatican’s news.va website reported that family members waited with banners reading, 'Please Pope stop here to see an angel who has been waiting for you', and 'Please come and bless little Roberta'.

When the Pope saw their signs, he asked for his car to stop, and immediately went to greet and bless the people.

Once the vehicle stopped, the Holy Father descended, approached the woman, who was laying on a moving stretcher, blessed her, kissed her and greeted her family and the children around her.

The young woman – Roberta – is disabled and cannot travel far from her home, because she is dependent upon a machine to breathe, according to news.va.
 
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« Reply #1612 on: June 23, 2014, 10:49:00 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/06/23/pope_at_mass_do_not_be_hypocrites_who_judge_others/1102083

Pope at Mass: do not be hypocrites who judge others
23/06/2014

(Vatican Radio)  Those who judge others are wrong to do so.  Eventually, God will judge them in the same way. Only God is our  "sole judge;" and those who find themselves judged by others can always rely on a defender in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That’s what Pope Francis said in his morning homily at Monday’s Mass in the Santa Marta guesthouse in the Vatican.  Tracey McClure reports:
 
Those who unjustifiably assume the role of magistrate will fall victim to their own lack of mercy: this is what happens to those who judge a brother. In his homily, Pope Francis referred to Monday’s Gospel reading in which Jesus warned his disciplines against the hypocrisy behind  judging others when you, yourself may not be blameless.

“The person who judges,” the Pope said, “is wrong, is mistaken and is defeated” because he assumes God’s place: He who is the one and only judge.” Jesus’ accusation of “hypocrite,”  Pope Francis pointed out, is addressed to all of us who hastily judge others.  “God,” on the other hand, said the Pope, “takes his time” when handing down judgment.
 

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« Reply #1613 on: June 24, 2014, 11:27:35 AM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/06/24/pope_calls_john_the_baptist_a_model_for_christians_today/1102114

Pope Francis calls John the Baptist a model for Christians today
24/06/2014

(Vatican Radio) John the Baptist as a model for Christians today: that was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at Mass in the Santa Marta chapel on Tuesday morning, the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist. Describing him as ‘the greatest of the prophets’, the Pope summed up the three key vocations of John in three words: ‘prepare’, ‘discern’ and ‘diminish’.

Firstly Pope Francis said John was a man who prepared the way for Jesus without taking any of the glory for himself. People sought him out and followed him because he was a powerful preacher, the Pope noted, but when asked if he was the Messiah, John replied that he was just “a voice” who had come “to prepare the way of the Lord.”

The second vocation of John the Baptist, Pope Francis said, was to discern, among so many good people, who was the true Messiah. When John saw Jesus passing by, he said to the disciples , “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”. The disciples looked, but let Jesus go on, so John repeated to them the next day, “Look, this is God’s chosen one!” The third vocation of John the Baptist, Pope Francis said, is to diminish himself so that the Lord may grow in the hearts of others.
 
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« Reply #1614 on: June 25, 2014, 01:49:17 PM »

Video at the link

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-stops-car-to-bless-young-disabled-woman-28467/

Pope Francis stops car to bless young disabled woman

Rome, Italy, Jun 23, 2014 / 10:19 am (CNA).- During his June 21 pastoral visit to the region of Calabria in southern Italy, Pope Francis stopped the car that was transporting him to see a young disabled woman and her family on the side of the road.

A video posted online by a family in the southern Italian region of Calabria depicts the encounter with the Holy Father.

The Pope passed by the highway near the family’s house as he returned from Cassano allo Jonio, where he spoke out against the mafia.

The Vatican’s news.va website reported that family members waited with banners reading, 'Please Pope stop here to see an angel who has been waiting for you', and 'Please come and bless little Roberta'.

When the Pope saw their signs, he asked for his car to stop, and immediately went to greet and bless the people.

Once the vehicle stopped, the Holy Father descended, approached the woman, who was laying on a moving stretcher, blessed her, kissed her and greeted her family and the children around her.

The young woman – Roberta – is disabled and cannot travel far from her home, because she is dependent upon a machine to breathe, according to news.va.
 


what an incredible moment in the life of Roberta --
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« Reply #1615 on: June 25, 2014, 09:41:26 PM »

And the mother was moved to tears because Pope Francis stopped to bless and kiss her  an angelic monkey  Awesome experience for both of them!

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« Reply #1616 on: June 25, 2014, 09:52:40 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-holds-weekly-general-audience

Pope Francis holds weekly General Audience
2014-06-25 Vatican Radio



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience on Wednesday – the last before the suspension of the event for the summer. The Holy Father dedicated his catechetical reflections to the second installment in his series on the Church. Specifically, Pope Francis focused on the Church’s public and universal nature, and in particular on the importance of belonging to the Church.

 
Pope Francis discussed three main points in connection with the theme of belonging: that it is impossible to be a Christian “by oneself”; that belonging to the Church means being formed by members who have in their own turn received the faith – that is to say – to be part of a living tradition; that the Church – the community of faith – is the essential and necessary mediator of grace, including the grace of knowledge of and relationship with the Lord.

“There are those who believe you can have a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside of the communion and the mediation of the Church,” said Pope Francis. “These are,” he went on to say, “dangerous and harmful temptations.” It was a theme to which he returned in the English-language summary that was read out after his main catechesis in Italian. “Our relationship with Christ is personal but not private; it is born of, and enriched by, the communion of the Church.”
 

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« Reply #1617 on: June 25, 2014, 09:59:05 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/06/25/statement_on_franciscan_friars,_legionaries/1102175

Statement on Franciscan Friars, Legionaries
25/06/2014

(Vatican Radio) In a statement released on Wednesday, the Director of the Holy See Press Office spoke about the situation of two religious orders, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, and the Legionaries of Christ, based on information received from the Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
 
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« Reply #1618 on: June 25, 2014, 10:06:42 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/06/25/abp_tomasi_defends_family_at_un/1102160

Abp Tomasi defends family at UN
25/06/2014

(Vatican Radio) Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Permanent ******* of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, spoke on the topic of the family during the 26th Session of the Human Rights Council.

The delegation for the Holy See, Archbishop Tomasi said, “supports the importance given by the United Nations to the twentieth anniversary observance of the International Year of the Family.” He said, “This significant event was recently highlighted in a special way, on 15 May 2014, during the International Day of Families, under the theme: ‘Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals’.” 

In his statement, Archbishop Tomasi said that the delegation of the Holy See “believes that despite past or even current challenges, the family… is the fundamental unit of society. It continually exhibits a vigor much greater than that of the many forces that have tried to eliminate it as a relic of the past, or an obstacle to the emancipation of the individual, or to the creation of a freer, egalitarian and happy society.”

Most people, he said, “find unique protection, nurture, and dynamic energy from their membership in a strong and healthy family founded upon marriage between a man and a woman.” Archbishop Tomasi also noted that “ample evidence has demonstrated that the best interest of the child is assured in a harmonious family environment in which the education and formation of children develop within the context of lived experience with both male and female parental role models.”

Archbishop Tomasi strongly affirmed “The family is the fundamental cell of society where the generations meet, love, educate, and support each other, and pass on the gift of life, ‘where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another’. This understanding of the family has been embraced throughout history by all cultures.”

Concluding his address, Archbishop Tomasi said, “, the Holy See Delegation firmly maintains that the family is a whole and integral unit, which should not be divided or marginalized. The family and marriage need to be defended and promoted not only by the State but also by the whole of society. Both require the decisive commitment of every person because it is starting from the family and marriage that a complete answer can be given to the challenges of the present and the risks of the future. The way forward is indicated in the fundamental human rights and related conventions that ensure the universality of these rights and whose binding value need to be preserved and promoted by the International Community.”

Below, please find the complete text of the Statement of Archbishop Silvano Tomasi:
 

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« Reply #1619 on: June 26, 2014, 01:55:52 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/06/26/pope_to_roaco_continue_work,_pray_for_families_/1102193

Pope to ROACO: continue work, pray for families
26/06/2014

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches – ROACO – on Thursday. In remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered during the audience, Pope Francis confirmed his closeness to all the Churches of the East. He also recalled his recent visit to the Holy Land, saying, “My pilgrimage was a great source of consolation, but also of encouragement and a renewed sense of responsibility for the advancement of full unity among Christians and of dialogue between religions.”

The Holy Father especially remembered the Christian communities in Iraq and Syria. “The Catholic Church is close to them,” he said. The Pope went on to say, “The Church is likewise close to our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land and the Middle East, but also to the beloved people of Ukraine in the critical situation in which they find themselves, and to the people of Romania.”
 
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