Vol. 18 No. 2
January 20 - February 2, 2014
Pope: Christians have not been chosen for ‘small things’
VATICAN City, Jan. 17, 2014—In his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis urged youth to listen to the call of God, stating that this is often faced with obstacles and requires “going against the tide.”“We Christians were not chosen by
the Lord for small things; push on
-wards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals!” the pontiff remarked in his Jan. 17 message to youth.The 51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations is slated to occur on May 11, 2014, which is the fourth Sunday of Eas-ter, and will be dedicated to the theme: “Vocations, Witness to the Truth.”Beginning his address with the image in Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus states that “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few,” the Pope highlighted that what Jesus is asking of the Church “concerns the need to increase the num-ber of those who serve his Kingdom.”Reciting St. Paul’s words in his First Letter to the Corinthians, Pope Francis observed that we Christians “are God’s
eld,” which “is why wonder rst arises
in our hearts over the plentiful harvest which God alone can bestow.”Emphasizing how we are “possessed” by God through his “steadfast love,” the pontiff explained that everything we have “comes from him and is his gift: the world, life, death, the present, the future…”“Christ, therefore…continually sum-mons us by his word to place our trust in him, loving him ‘with all the heart, with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’” he said, quoting the Gospel of Matthew.“Therefore every vocation, even within the variety of paths, always re-quires an exodus from oneself in order to center one’s life on Christ and on his Gospel.”“Both in married life and in the forms of religious consecration, as well as in priestly life, we must surmount the ways of thinking and acting that do not conform to the will of God,” explained the Pope, adding that “it is an exodus that leads us on a journey of adoration of the Lord and of service to him in our brothers and sisters.”“He never abandons us,” the pontiff noted, “He has the fulfilment of his plan for us at heart, and yet he wishes to achieve it with our consent and co-operation.”Pope Francis then highlighted how even today Jesus is among us, seeking to draw close to everyone, “beginning with the least,” and to heal our wounds.The pontiff then extended an invita-tion to all youth “to listen to and follow Jesus, and to allow yourselves to be transformed interiorly by his words, which ‘are spirit and life.’”Echoing the words of Mary to the servants of the wedding feast in Cana “Do whatever he tells you,” the Pope explained that this attitude “will help you to participate in a communal jour-ney” that is able to bring out the best in those around us.“A vocation,” he explained, “is a fruit
that ripens in a well cultivated eld
of mutual love that becomes mutual service, in the context of an authentic ecclesial life.”“No vocation is born of itself or lives
for itself. A vocation ows from the
heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love.”This “high standard” of living as a Christian “means sometimes going against the tide and also encountering obstacles, outside ourselves and within ourselves,” noted the Pope, adding that Jesus warns us in the Gospel that “the good seed of God’s word is often snatched away by the Evil one, blocked by tribulation, and choked by worldly cares and temptation.”
“All of these difculties could dis
-courage us, making us fall back on seemingly more comfortable paths,” noted the pontiff, however “the true joy of those who are called consists in believing and experiencing that he, the Lord, is faithful.”Only with him can we “walk, be disciples and witnesses of God’s love, open our hearts to great ideals, to great things,” the Pope observed, highlight-ing that “we Christians were not chosen by the Lord for small things.”He then implored the “bishops, priests, religious, Christian communi-ties and families” to “orient vocational pastoral planning in this direction,” and to accompany youths “on pathways of holiness.”Concluding his message, the pontiff asked that all “dispose ourselves” to having “good soil” in our hearts “by listening, receiving and living out the word, and thus bearing fruit.”“The more we unite ourselves to Jesus through prayer, Sacred Scrip-ture, the Eucharist, the Sacraments celebrated and lived in the Church and in fraternity,” he observed, “the more there will grow in us the joy of cooperating with God in the service of the Kingdom of mercy and truth, of justice and peace.”“And the harvest will be plentiful, proportionate to the grace we have meekly welcomed into our lives. With this wish, and asking you to pray for me, I cordially impart to you all my Ap-ostolic Blessing.”
Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square before the Wednesday general audience October 30, 2013
M a r t a J i m é n e z / C N A
Pope says abortion, hunger, environmental damage threaten peace
VATICAN CITY, Jan. 13, 2014—Pope Francis said world peace requires the defense of human dignity from violations such as world hunger, human traffick-ing and abortion.The pope made his remarks Jan. 13 in his first annual address to the Vatican dip-lomatic corps, offering a survey of world conflicts and crises he said were caused by “envy, selfishness, rivalry and the thirst for power and money.”Speaking in the Apostolic Palace’s Sala Regia, the vast “royal hall” where popes tradi-tionally received Catholic mon-archs, Pope Francis spoke of what he has frequently called a “throwaway culture” exempli-fied by widespread food waste that leaves children starving or malnourished.“Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food or disposable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as if they were unnecessary,” the pope said. “It is horrifying just to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see
the light of day; children being
used as soldiers, abused and
killed in armed conflicts; chil
-dren turned into merchandise in that terrible form of modern slavery called human traffick-ing, which is a crime against humanity.”The pope also lamented what he called rising num-bers of “broken and troubled families,” which he attributed to both moral and material factors: the “weakening sense of belonging so typical of today’s world” as well as the “adverse conditions in which many families are forced to live, even to the point where they lack basic means of sub-sistence.”Noting the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan in November, Pope Francis warned against “greedy ex-ploitation of environmental resources,” and quoted what he said was a popular adage: “God always forgives, we sometimes forgive, but when nature—cre-ation—is mistreated, she never forgives!”Most of the pope’s speech was devoted, as usual for the occasion, to geopolitical prob-lems in different regions of the world.The pope called for an end to the almost three-year old civil war in Syria, voicing hope for upcoming peace talks and praising neighboring Leba-non and Jordan for accepting refugees from the conflict. He also noted what he called “sig-nificant progress” in ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.Pope Francis lamented the “exodus of Christians from the Middle East and North Africa,” as well as violence between Muslims and Christians in Ni-geria and the Central African Republic.Without specifying coun-tries, the pope noted sectarian tensions in Asia, “where grow-ing attitudes of prejudice, for allegedly religious reasons, are tending to deprive Christians of their liberties and to jeopar-dize civil coexistence.”The pope recalled his July visit to the southern Mediter-ranean island of Lampedusa, an entry point for immigrants without legal permission to enter Europe, and voiced sym-pathy with those who, “in the hope of a better life, have undertaken perilous journeys which not infrequently end in tragedy.”“I think in particular of the many migrants from Latin America bound for the United States,” he said, “but above all those from Africa and the Middle East who seek refuge in Europe.”After his speech, the pope personally greeted the attend-ing ambassadors and their spouses. The Holy See has full diplomatic relations with 180 nation-states, the European Union and the Sovereign Mili-tary Order of Malta, as well as “relations of a special nature” with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Pope Francis poses for a photo with ambassadors to the Holy See during a meeting at the Vatican Jan. 13.
C N S / P a u l H a r i n g
New cardinals highlight Global South, pastoral experience
VATICAN City, Jan. 13, 2014—The 19 men chosen to be named cardinals in February stress Pope Francis’ attention on the peripheries of the Church, and that appointment to a major diocese no longer automatically comes with a “red hat.”The 19 will be elevated to car-dinal at a consistory held Feb.
22; three will be over the age of
80, and thus ineligible to vote in the election of the next Pope.Of the 16 voting cardinals, nine come from South America, Africa, and Asia, thus increasing the weight of the “Global South” in the college of cardinals.There are only three cardinals from the “north of the world” who administer dioceses, while four officials of the Roman Curia are being appointed by virtue.Archbishops Pietro Parolin,
Secretary of State; Beniamino
Stella, Prefect of the Congrega-
tion for the Clergy; and Gerhard
Müller, Prefect of the Congrega-tion for the Doctrine of the Faith, all receive the cardinalate by
virtue of their ofce, according
to “Pastor bonus,” the docu-ment governing the Curia.Archbishop Lorenzo Baldis-seri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, will also be appointed a cardinal. Upon his election as Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis had given his own red biretta to Archbishop Baldisseri.Archbishop Baldisseri’s name was read second in the list of new cardinals, a seemingly im-portant signal.The list customarily follows strict rules of precedence: cu-
rial cardinals are listed rst, by
order of importance. That Arch-bishop Baldisseri was named second, behind only the Secre-tary of State, may be a signal of Pope Francis’ increasing focus on synodality.
In choosing his rst round of
cardinals, Pope Francis wanted to highlight the pastoral experi-ence, it seems.Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec was for ten years a missionary in Colombia as part
of the Pius X Secular Institute;
Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro is known for his
tireless presence in parishes;
Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul was a par-ish priest in his diocese for 28
years; and Archbishop Philippe
Ouedraogo of Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso, served as a priest for 23 years before being conse-crated a bishop.Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago de Chile, a Salesian, worked in many of the pastoral and educational struc-tures linked to his congregation.Pope Francis’ appointments also give strong signals against careerism in the Church, and clericalism.In the past, it was taken for granted that being bishop of certain dioceses brought with it a cardinal appointment. This practice led to “ecclesiastical lobbies,” advocating that cer-tain men be given particular dioceses of curial appointments.Yet Pope Francis decided not to award some Vatican di-casteries, nor some important dioceses, with “red hats.”In Italy, neither the Archbish-op of Turin nor the Patriarch of Venice were named. Also excluded were the archbishops of Malines-Brussels, Tokyo, and Bangkok.On the other hand, Pope Francis granted the Philippines a second cardinal of voting age, choosing Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato, one of the poorest regions of the country.Three countries received their
rst cardinal: from Haiti, Bishop
Chibly Langlois of Les Cayes,
who is only 55; from Nicaragua,
Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes
Solorzano of Managua; and
from Ivory Coast, Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan.Among the non-voting car-dinals, honored were Arch-bishop Loris Capovilla, Prelate Emeritus of Loreto, 98, who was
secretary to Bl. John XXIII; Arch
-bishop Emeritus Kelvin Felix
of Castries, in the Antilles; and
Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Sebastian Aguilar of Pamplona and Tudela.Of the cardinals-to-be, five
are from Latin America; two are from Asia; two are from Africa;
one is North American, and six are European.While the number of voting cardinals was set by Paul VI at 120, Pope Francis’ appointments will have surpassed the limit by
two; but by the end of the year,
20 cardinals will have reached their 80th birthday. Since the election of Pope Francis, nine have already passed 80.
(CNA/ EWTN News)
Consistory of cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica, Nov. 4, 2012.
Tagle tells faithful: New Year is about shunning materialism, restoring peace
MANILA, Jan. 16, 2014—For the top churchman of the Manila Archdiocese, welcoming 2014 is not only about the worldly celebration of raucous festivities. Above all the noise, what matters is the holistic preparation of oneself in facing a new year ahead.Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Car-dinal Tagle, in his homily during the New Year’s Eve mass held at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish, called on the Filipino faithful to uncover the true essence of New Year by shunning materialism, imitating the Blessed Mother, and fostering peace and fraternity with others.“True blessing comes from our relation-ship with the Lord, for this relationship leads us to everlasting peace and happi-ness,” he said in the vernacular.Tagle emphasized that no amount of material wealth could sustain individuals during the darkest and most trying times, noting that true blessedness could only be attained through the Divine.“Do not seek for blessings detached from the Lord. If the happiness we seek is sepa-rate from Him, it might only give temporary happiness and blessedness,” he said.
Suffering from devastation
Tagle urged the faithful to look on in-dividuals who felt the wrath of natural calamities that struck the nation late last year, noting that even if they nearly lost everything, they still manage to smile and feel hopeful because of their strong faith.“Look at our brothers and sisters who have lost almost everything—their live-lihood, shelter, and even loved ones in Leyte, Samar, and Capiz. Even if they have suffered a lot, some of them are still filled with hope because of their relationship with the Lord. Everything may vanish but if you are connected with Him, you will experience being happy,” he said.The senior prelate urged the faithful to shun materialism, noting that the cel-ebration of New Year is not measured by material richness.He also called on the youth to “develop a relationship with God” and for the elders to set an example to others that true bless-ing is manifested through Christ being alive in one’s words and actions.“It is okay if you won’t receive new shoes, new bags, and all other new things this New Year…Young people nowadays are led to the misconception that blessing is mani-fested by signature and quality things. The elders should set the example that blessing is simply Christ living in us,” he said.
Tagle called on the faithful to express gratitude to Mary who heeded the call of the Lord, paving the way to the blessed-ness of all mankind. He also urged them to imitate her acts in bringing Christ closer to others.“Like Mary, let us heed the call of the Lord to for us to become a source of bless-ing to others…The greatest blessing is Jesus who came to us through the Blessed Mother. We, her children, should be like her, we bring Jesus to other people,” he said.Tagle also urged the youth to bring Christ to their peers instead of introducing them to various kinds of vices.“Our dear youth, instead of cigarettes, li-quor, and drugs, bring Christ to your peers. He is that one blessing who will never fade away and vanish. This is the greatest blessing we can give to our friends, to our family, to our nation,” he said.
Restore peace, brotherhood
In welcoming the new year, Tagle said that it is also important to restore peace through fraternal relationship, since all are brothers and sisters in Christ.Echoing the words of Pope Francis, Tagle said: “If we are to scrutinize all conflicts, violence, and the lack of peace, these are rooted to the absence of brotherhood among us. The way we treat each other nowadays lacks a sense of fraternity. Judg-ment is always tainted by distrust as we perceive others as a threat.”“Even among nations, we compete with one another. We even compete against each other. We bear the mentality that as long as it is favorable on our end, we do not care about what it will bring to oth-ers,” he added, noting the words of the Supreme Pontiff.“Restore peace through brotherhood and sisterhood. We all share one Father, Mother, and we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. If we live in peace with God, we will live as brothers and sisters to one another. Let us strive to achieve this as a way toward peace,” Tagle said.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urges the faithful to strengthen their relationship with God and not put their faith on eeting things that can cloud their moral perspective.
A n g e l o B a c a n i / R C A M L e w i s A s h t o n G l a n c y / C N A