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Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Vatican: Pope's praise for Polish veterans

Pope's praise for Polish veterans
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has paid tribute to Polish military veterans who fought in the 1944 Battle of Montecassino. Former soldiers from the Polish army's Second Corps who are in Rome for the anniversary of the Second World War battle were greeted by the Pope at the Wednesday General Audience. Pope Francis praised the veterans who "fought for the freedom of your country and for other nations." He said their efforts and the "sacrifice of life" of their companions had helped bring peace to Europe and the whole world. The Battle of Montecassino involved four allied assaults of German defence posts over a four month period, resulting in tens of thousands of casualties on both sides. (Richard Paul Marsden) (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Francis greets newly accredited Ambassadors to the Holy See
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday morning greeted Ambassadors from Kazakhstan, Mauritania,Nepal, Niger, Sudan and Trinidad and Tobago who presented their letters of credentials to the Holy Father. Below please find the Pope's discourse to the news accedited Ambassadors.   Address of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Presentation of Credential Letters by the Ambassadors of Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Sudan and Trinidad and Tobago accredited to the Holy See           I am pleased to receive you on the occasion of the presentation of the Letters by which you are accredited as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your countries to the Holy See: Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Sudan and Trinidad and Tobago.  I offer a particular welcome to Mrs M'Haiham, the first Ambassador of Mauritania to the Holy See.  I would ask all of you kindly to convey my sentiments of gratitude and respect to your respective Heads of State, with the assurance of my prayers for them and for the peoples whom they represent.             The international scene is at present marked by great complexity, nor is it free of dark clouds.  This requires a greater awareness of the approaches and actions needed to pursue the path of peace and to lessen tensions.  Among the factors aggravating problems is an economic and financial system that, rather than being at the service of people, is set up principally to serve itself and to evade oversight by public authorities.  Those authorities are responsible for the common good, yet they lack the means necessary to moderate the disproportionate appetites of the few.             We also see a greater readiness to have recourse to force, not as a last resort but practically as one means among many, ready to be used without a full consideration of its consequences.             Yet another factor exacerbating conflicts is fundamentalism, the abuse of religion to justify a thirst for power, the manipulation of God's holy name to advance by any means possible one's own plans to gain power.             The response to these distortions and the risks they pose to world peace must be the creation of a responsible economic and financial system responsive to the needs of individuals and the communities in which they live.  Men and women, not money, must once more become the goal of the economy!  We must also confront differences with the courageous patience of dialogue and diplomacy, with initiatives of encounter and peace, and not with shows of force and its hasty and ill-advised use.  It is likewise essential to isolate those who seek to turn a religious affiliation or identity into a motive of hate for all others.  Those who befoul the image of God in this way need to be confronted by a concerted commitment to demonstrating that those who honour God's name save lives, not take them; they bring reconciliation and peace, not division and war; they show mercy and compassion, not indifference and brutality.  If we move decisively in this direction, the cause of peace and justice – the conditions of a balanced development for all – will make tangible progress.             Dear Ambassadors, I would like to express, through you, my greetings to the pastors and faithful of the Catholic communities present in your countries.  I encourage them to continue their witness of faith and to offer their generous contribution to the common good.             As you officially begin your new mission, I extend to you my best wishes and I assure you of the constant support of the various offices of the Roman Curia in the fulfilment of your responsibilities.  To this end, I willingly invoke upon you and your families, as well as all your fellow citizens, an abundance of divine blessings.   (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope: 'we must ask the Lord for the gifts of love and joy'
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has reminded believers that Jesus' love is infinite and true, unlike worldly passions that seek power and vanity. The Pope was speaking during Mass at the  Casa Santa Marta during which he pointed out that the Christian mission is to give joy and that God's love is at the core of a true Christian's life.  "As the Father loves me, so I also love you" said Pope Francis quoting from the Gospel reading of the day to highlight the fact that the Lord's love is infinite. He said the Lord asks us to stay close to Him and to observe His Commandments: "the Ten Commandments of course are the foundation, but we are also called to follow all the things that Jesus has taught us, the commandments of daily life that represent a Christian lifestyle. There are "passions" that distance us from the true love of Jesus Jesus's commandments, the Pope said, cover a very wide spectrum, but the core is one: "the love of the Father for Him, and His love for us". "There are other loves. The world itself offers many other loves: love of money for example, vanity, boastfulness, pride, love of power which can even lead to unjust actions to achieve more power…" he said. These loves, he continued, have nothing to do with the love of Jesus or of the Father. In fact these loves distance us from Jesus's love. God's love is infinite And emphasizing the fact that the Lord's love cannot be measured, Pope Francis said that unlike some worldly loves it is neither lukewarm nor tainted by "interest."      The Pope said that if we follow the "commandments that Jesus has given us" we will remain in Jesus' love and in the infinite love of the Father "which is the same thing". Perhaps the Pope said "we may ask: why do you remind us of this? Because the Lord's joy is in you and your joy must be complete." So, he said, "Jesus teaches us the way of love, of having an open heart, of loving without measure, putting other kinds of love aside". A Christian's mission is to obey God and to give joy to others "Love and joy are gifts we must ask the Lord for" he said and he told the story of a priest who was recently appointed a bishop. "He went to see his father, he said, to give him the news. His old father was a simple man, a humble worker who had never been to college, but he had the wisdom of life. He had two recommendations for his son: 'Obey and give joy to the people.'" We Christians, the Pope concluded - lay people, priests, consecrated, bishops - must give joy to the people; on the path to infinite love our Christian mission is to give people joy".  (from Vatican Radio)...
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