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Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Vatican: Pope Francis sends condolences upon death of Helmut Kohl

Pope Francis sends condolences upon death of Helmut Kohl
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis sent his condolences on Saturday to German Chancellor Angela Merkel upon the death of her predecessor, former Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Helmut Kohl died on Friday at the age of 87, having served as Chancellor from 1982 to 1998. In a telegramme, the Pope sends his "heartfelt condolences" for the loss of the "Chancellor of Unity". "Chancellor Kohl, that great statesman and convinced European, worked with far-sightedness and dedication for the good of the German people and those in neighboring European countries." The Holy Father prayed that "Merciful God reward him for his tireless efforts in favour of the unity of Germany and the European Union, as well as for his commitment to peace and reconciliation." He closed the telegramme with a prayer that the Lord give him "eternal joy and life in the heavenly Fatherland" and extended to all who mourn ex-Chancellor Kohl the blessings of God. (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope's India visit could be postponed to 2018 – Card. Gracias ‎
It is very likely that the visit of Pope Francis to India and Bangladesh planned for the end of this year, could be postponed to next year, a prominent Indian Catholic Church leader said on Thursday.  In an interview to National Catholic Reporter (NCR) on June 15, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay said that discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government about a papal visit this year have taken longer than expected.  " I am beginning to lose hope about 2017 ," said the cardinal who is the president of both the Latin-rite bishops' group, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), as well as the  Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC).  "We are already in June. Even if they suddenly say, 'Come,' it is a pastoral visit ... [it] will take several months for the dioceses to prepare the people," Card. Gracias said.  "It should not just be a flash in the pan, he comes and goes," he said, explaining that when Pope St. John Paul II visited India in 1999, the Indian bishops "planned for almost a year before he came to make it effective." Pope Francis first hinted about a possible visit to India and Bangladesh in 2017 during and in-flight press conference on October 2, 2016, while returning from a visit to Azerbaijan.  Again in an interview to German weekly Die Zeit in March, the Pope spoke about his visit to India and Bangladesh, without giving dates.  Earlier, Bangladeshi Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario had told reporters that given the weather conditions of Bangladesh, October-November would be ideal for a papal visit.   Second papal visit to be postponed this year The India-Bangladesh visit would be the second papal visit to be postponed this year, after that of South Sudan.  Originally planned for autumn this year, the Vatican confirmed on May 30 that the visit to the war-torn African nation wound not  take place in 2017.  South Sudan's deteriorating security situation obviously appeared to be reason. Card. Gracias told NCR that working with the Indian government to prepare the papal visit has been "a little bit of ‎a difficult situation" as Modi's calendar has been filled up with state visits from other leaders .‎  ‎"We have to find a good spot where we can give the Holy Father his due importance and respect," Card. Gracias ‎said.‎  (Source: NCR) (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Angelus: Jesus food of eternal life
(Vatican Radio) In a sunny St Peter's Square on Sunday Pope Francis recalled the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ or Corpus Christi. Listen to our report:  Following the Angelus prayer and taking his cue from the Gospel of St John, the Holy Father reminded the pilgrims and tourists present that Jesus states that he is "the living bread which has descended from heaven. The Pope explained that the Father has sent him into the world as the food of eternal life, and for this reason he will sacrifice himself on the Cross, donating his body and shedding his blood. Pope Francis went on to say that "in the Eucharist, Jesus, as he did with the disciples of Emmaus, accompanies us, pilgrims in order to nourish faith, hope and charity in us; To comfort us in trials; To support us in our commitment to justice and peace. This solidarity, the Pope said, is everywhere. Feeding on Jesus in the  Eucharist, the Holy Father continued  "also means abandoning ourselves with confidence and letting ourselves be led by Him." The Pope also reminded the faithful that he would celebrate Mass in the Roman Basilica of St John Lateran on Sunday evening followed by a procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.   (from Vatican Radio)...
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