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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

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Pope receives German president in private audience ‎
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany in a private audience in the Vatican on Monday.  The Holy See's Press office issued a statement saying Steinmeier later met Vatican Secretary ‎of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin along with Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher . During the "cordial talks", the Press Office said, the two sides expressed satisfaction over the good relations and fruitful relations between the Holy See and Germany, and between Church and the institutions in the country.  They also expressed appreciation for the positive inter-religious and ecumenical dialogue, especially between Catholics and Protestants during the 5th centenary of the Lutheran Reformation.  Monday's talks also touched upon some issues of common interest, such as the economic and religious situation in Europe and in the world, with special reference to the phenomenon of migration and the promotion of the culture of welcome and solidarity.  (from Vatican Radio)...
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Schedule of Pope Francis' apostolic visit to Myanmar, Bangladesh
The Vatican on Tuesday released the schedule of Pope Francis' apostolic visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh.   The two-nation papal visit was announced earlier by the Vatican on August 28.  ‎After visiting Myanmar, Nov 27 to 30 , he will proceed to neighbouring Bangladesh,  Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 . He is scheduled to land in Yangon , Myanmar in the afternoon on Nov. 27, where he will be given an official welcome.  The following afternoon (Nov. 28) he will fly to the capital Nay Pyi Taw , where after meeting the president, government officials and the diplomatic corps, he will fly back to Yangon  at night.   On Nov. 29 the Holy Father will celebrate his first public Mass, meet the Buddhist supreme council and Myanmar's bishops.  Pope Francis will wrap up his Myanmar with a Mass for young people on Nov. 30 and fly to neighbouring Bangladesh in the afternoon.  After a welcome ceremony at Dhaka airport, the Pope will pay homage to Bangadesh's martyrs and father of the nation.  He will then pay courtesy visit to the president and address the diplomatic corps.  On Dec. 1, the Pope will celebrate a public Mass with priestly ordination, meet the prime minister, the country's bishops and representatives of various religions and Christian Churches.  On the last day, Dec. 2,  the Pope will visit a home run by the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa, address priests, religious seminarians and novices.  Before flying back to Rome in the evening, he will meet the young people.    (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope at Mass: 'God's omnipotence is manifested in His mercy'
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Tuesday reminded the faithful that God's infinite mercy prevails over all, but he warned against rigidity and invited Christians to always open their hearts. The Pope was speaking during morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta . Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni Reflecting, for the second consecutive day, on a reading from the Book of Jonah, Pope Francis concluded that it is God's mercy that opens our hearts and wins over everything.  Recalling the story of the prophet Jonah whom – he said – "was a stubborn man who wanted to teach God how to do things" he described him as "sick with rigidity", "a starved soul". In the Bible story, the Pope said, the Lord asks Jonah to convert the city of Nineveh. First the prophet refuses to do so and runs away; then he carries out God's orders "and he does it well". But still, Francis observed, Jonah is "angry" and indignant because the Lord shows forgiveness towards the people who, with open hearts, showed repentance. Rigidity is an obstacle "Those who have stubborn souls do not understand what God's mercy is" he said.  They are like Jonah, he continued, they do not know how to open their hearts to the Lord. He described them as "faint-hearted" - with little hearts that are closed to mercy - and attached to issues of naked righteousness: "they forget that the justice of God became flesh in his Son, it became mercy and forgiveness; they forget that God's heart is always open to forgiveness". Something else they forget, the Pope added, is that "the omnipotence of God is manifested primarily in His mercy and forgiveness". God's omnipotence is primarily manifested in in His mercy "It is not easy to understand God's mercy, it is not easy. Much prayer is needed because it is a grace" he said. And, Francis noted, we are so accustomed to the tit-for-tat attitude - that kind of attitude that implies that justice means paying for what you did, but – he said: "Jesus paid for us and continues to pay." Referring again to the story of the Jonah, he said that God could have abandoned the prophet to his stubbornness and to his rigidity. Instead, he went to talk to him and convinced him; he saved him just as he saved the people of Nineveh. The God of patience who know how to open hearts "He is the God of patience, He is the God who knows how to give a caress, who knows how to open hearts". Pope Francis pointed out that the message at the heart the prophetic Book is to be found in the dialogue between prophecy, penance, mercy and faint-heartedness or stubbornness. And, he said, it is in the fact that God's mercy always prevails because His omnipotence is manifested in His mercy. I advise you, Francis concluded, to read the Book of Jonah today: "it is very small, only three pages, and see how the Lord acts, how His mercy transforms our hearts, and thank the Lord for being so merciful". (from Vatican Radio)...
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