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Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Vatican: Pope Francis addresses Korean Council of Religious Leaders

Pope Francis addresses Korean Council of Religious Leaders
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday met with the Korean Council of Religious Leaders in the Vatican stressing the importance of interreligious dialogue directed towards a future of peace and hope. Listen to our report: In his prepared remarks to the Korean Council of Religious Leaders, the Pope highlighted the importance and often, as he put it, challenging path of interreligious dialogue. This dialogue between religions, noted the Pope, "consists of contacts, encounters and cooperation, a challenge directed towards the common good and peace." He went on to say that, "such dialogue must always be both open and respectful if it is to be fruitful."  Pope Francis told those present, "the world is looking to us; it asks us to work together and with all men and women of good will." The world, continued the Pope, "looks to us for answers and a shared commitment" on a range of issues, such as, the sacred dignity of the human person, the hunger and poverty which still afflict too many peoples, the rejection of violence, and, not least of all, the crisis of hope. "We have, therefore, a long journey ahead of us, observed the Holy Father, one he said, that must be undertaken with humility and perseverance, not just by raising our voices but by rolling up our sleeves, to sow a future of hope." Below please find the English translation of the Pope's address to the Korean Council of Religious Leaders   Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Korean Council of Religious Leaders 2 September 2017   Dear friends from the Korean Council of Religious Leaders, I am pleased to welcome you for this meeting.  You have travelled a long way to come to Rome on your interreligious pilgrimage, and I thank you for your presence here.  I am grateful to Archbishop Kim Hee-jong for proposing this visit and for his kind words.  As I said in Seoul: "Life is a journey, a long journey, but a journey which we cannot make by ourselves. We need to walk together with our brothers and sisters in the presence of God" (Meeting with Religious Leaders, 18 August 2014).  Here we are today taking another step on this journey together! As you know, particularly since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has tirelessly embarked upon the often challenging path of dialogue.  The Church, in a special way, has encouraged dialogue with followers of other religions.  Today too she "urges her sons and daughters… with prudence and charity… to acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral values found among them, together with their social life and culture" (Nostra Aetate, 2).  Because interreligious dialogue consists of contacts, encounters and cooperation, it is an endeavour that is precious and pleasing to God, a challenge directed towards the common good and peace. Such dialogue must always be both open and respectful if it is to be fruitful.  Open, that is to say warm and sincere, carried forward by persons willing to walk together with esteem and honesty.  Respectful, because mutual respect is at once the condition and the goal of interreligious dialogue: indeed it is in respecting the right to life, physical integrity and fundamental freedoms, such as those of conscience, religion, thought and expression, that the foundations are laid for building peace, for which each of us is called to pray and work.  The world is looking to us; it asks us to work together and with all men and women of good will.  It looks to us for answers and a shared commitment to various issues: the sacred dignity of the human person, the hunger and poverty which still afflict too many peoples, the rejection of violence, in particular that violence which profanes the name of God and desecrates religion, the corruption that gives rise to injustice, moral decay, and the crisis of the family, of the economy and, not least of all, the crisis of hope. We have, therefore, a long journey ahead of us, which must be undertaken with humility and perseverance, not just by raising our voices but by rolling up our sleeves, to sow the hope of a future in which humanity becomes more human, a future which heeds the cry of so many who reject war and implore greater harmony between individuals and communities, between peoples and states.  Religious leaders are thus called upon to initiate, promote and accompany processes for the welfare and reconciliation of all people: we are called to be heralds of peace, proclaiming and embodying a nonviolent style, a style of peace, with words clearly different from the narrative of fear, and with gestures opposed to the rhetoric of hatred. Dear friends, may this meeting strengthen us on our journey.  Seeing you here as pilgrims reminds me of my pilgrimage to the beautiful land of Korea, for which I remain grateful to God and to the beloved Korean people.  I constantly pray that God will bestow upon them the gifts of peace and fraternal reconciliation.  May our mindfulness of the friendship and the good things we have received from one another grant us the strength to move forward together, with the help of God.  Thank you. (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Angelus: renewed prayers for those hit by US and South Asia floods
(Vatican Radio) During his Angelus address in St Peter's Square on Sunday, Pope Francis renewed his spiritual closeness to the populations of South Asia, which are still suffering the consequences of devastating floods. This summer over 1,000 people died in floods across South Asia and the United Nations says at least 41 million people in Nepal, India and Bangladesh have been affected by landslides and exceptional rainfall. The Holy Father also had words of comfort for the residents of Texas and Louisiana in the US suffering as a result of Hurricane Harvey which has caused material damage and displaced thousands of people. The Pope asked Mary the Most Holy, consoler of the afflicted, to obtain "from the Lord the grace of comfort for the whole Texan community in these painful circumstances." The Holy Father will travel to Columbia on Wednesday on a 5 day Apostolic journey and taking his leave on Sunday, he thanked all those for their good wishes ahead of the visit. (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope Angelus: The temptation to follow a Christ without a Cross
(Vatican Radio) Before the recitation of the Angelus Prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis delved into the meaning of this Sunday's Gospel reading, telling pilgrims in St Peter's Square that, "there is always the temptation to follow a Christ without a Cross, rather, to teach God the right path,". He was referring to the passage where Jesus, "reveals to the disciples that he will suffer, be killed and rise again in Jerusalem and he is reproached by Peter because he cannot accept that all this will happen to the Messiah." Jesus, said the Pope, "responds with a reproach in turn: "Get behind me, Satan! You are scandalized, because you do not think according to God, but according to men! " The Holy Father went on to say, "at that point, the Master addresses all those who followed him, clearly presenting the way to go:" The Lord says, "if anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, take up his Cross, and follow me ". Again, even today, noted the Pope, "the temptation is to follow a Christ without a Cross, rather, to teach God the right path." But, Pope Francis underlined,  "Jesus reminds us that his way is the way of love, and there is no true love without self-sacrifice." Jesus, commented the Pope, exhorts that "whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my cause will find it". The Holy Father explained that, "in this paradox there is the golden rule that God has inscribed into human nature created in Christ: the rule that only love gives meaning and happiness to life." (from Vatican Radio)...
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