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Saturday, 11 November 2017

The Vatican: Pope Francis bans the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican

Pope Francis bans the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is putting a stop to the sale of cigarettes and tobacco inside Vatican City State. A statement released on Thursday by Greg Burke ,  Director of the Holy See Press Office, explained that the Holy See "cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people."   Citing the World World Health Organization statistics that smoking causes more than seven million deaths worldwide every year, he said cigarettes will not be sold at the Vatican as from the beginning of next year. Burke acknowledged that the sale of cigarettes has been a source of revenue for the Holy See, but he said "no profit can be legitimate if it is costing people their lives." "Although the cigarettes sold to employees and pensioners in the Vatican at a reduced price are a source of revenue for the Holy See, no profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk" the statement said. He added that the sale of large cigars would continue for the time being because the smoke is not inhaled. (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope addresses disarmament conference
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis addressed the participants in an international symposium on disarmament and development on Friday. The two-day event has been organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, in order to address issues that are critical both in themselves and in the light of the complex political challenges of the current international scene. In remarks prepared for the participants and delivered shortly after noon on Friday in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, Pope Francis said nuclear weapons,  "exist in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race." He went on to say, "Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security." Click below to hear our report "International relations," he continued, "cannot be held captive to military force, mutual intimidation, and the parading of stockpiles of arms.  They cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence between members of the human family, which must rather be inspired by an ethics of solidarity (cf. Message to the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons , 27 March 2017)."  Pope Francis also addressed the need to recover a sense of the proper end of scientific enterprise, saying, "[T]rue science is always at the service of humanity," even though, "in our time we are increasingly troubled by the misuse of certain projects originally conceived for a good cause."  Noting that this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio , in which Bl. Paul VI articulated the idea of integral human development and proposed it as "the new name of peace", Pope Francis said, "We need, then, to reject the culture of waste and to care for individuals and peoples labouring under painful disparities through patient efforts to favour processes of solidarity over selfish and contingent interests." Solidarity also goes hand-in-hand with integrating the individual and the social dimensions through the application of the principle of subsidiarity, in view of the need to promote human beings in the indissoluble unity of soul and body, of contemplation and action. "In this way," continued Pope Francis, "progress that is both effective and inclusive can achieve the utopia of a world free of deadly instruments of aggression, contrary to the criticism of those who consider idealistic any process of dismantling arsenals."   The Holy Father concluded, saying, "The Church does not tire of offering the world this wisdom and the actions it inspires, conscious that integral development is the beneficial path that the human family is called to travel," encouraging participants to carry forward this activity with patience and constancy, in the trust that the Lord is ever at our side, and asking God to bless each of the participants and their efforts in the service of justice and peace. (from Vatican Radio)...
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Pope sends video message to CEI conference on Amoris laetitia
Pope Francis sent a video message on Saturday morning, to the participants in a conference organized by the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) on the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris laetitia . Below, you will find the full text of the Holy Father 's remarks, in our English translation.   ******************************************* Dear brothers and sisters, good morning! I cordially greet all of you who attend the third International Symposium on the Apostolic Exhortation,  Amoris Laetitia , convened by the Office for Pastoral Care of the Family of the Italian Bishops' Conference. The theme you have proposed:  The Gospel of Love between Conscience and Norm , is of great importance, and can illuminate the path that the Churches in Italy are taking, in order to respond to the  desire for family  that emerges in the soul of the young generations. Love between a man and a woman is obviously among the most generative human experiences; it is the leaven of a culture of  encounter, and introduces to the present world an injection of sociality. Indeed "the good of the family is decisive for the future of the world and of the Church.  (Amoris laetitia , 31)" The family born of marriage creates fruitful bonds, which reveal themselves to be the most effective antidote against the individualism that currently runs rampant; however, along the journey of marital love and family life there are situations that require arduous choices, which must be made with rectitude. In the domestic reality, sometimes there are concrete knots to be addressed with prudent conscience on the part of each. It is important that spouses, parents, be not left alone, but accompanied in their commitment to applying the Gospel to the concreteness of life. On the other hand, we know well that "we are called to form consciences, not to pretend to substitute them. ( Ibid ., 37)" The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which is always to be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of the individual with respect to the relations that he entertains in life. As I said recently to the Pontifical Academy for Life, "There are those who even speak of ego-latry, that is, of a true worship of the ego, on whose altar is sacrificed everything, including the dearest affections. This perspective is not harmless: it molds a subject that looks constantly in the mirror, until it becomes incapable of turning its eyes to others and the world. The spread of this attitude has most serious consequences for all the affections and ties of life. (5 Oct., 2017)" This is a "pollution" that corrodes souls and confounds minds and hearts, producing false illusions. Romano Guardini, in a text on the subject of conscience, indicates the way to the search for the true good. He writes: "From this imprisonment in myself I am free only if I find a point, which is not my ego: a height higher than myself; something solid and working in my interior – and behold! Here we are come to the core [...] that is, to religious reality. That good [...] is something alive. [...] It is the fullness of worth, which belongs to the selfsame living God. ( La coscienza , Brescia 1933, 32-33)" In the very depths of each one of us there is a place wherein the Mystery reveals itself, and illuminates the person, making the person the protagonist of his story. Conscience, as the II Vatican Council recalls, is this, "most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths. ( GS  16)" To the Christian falls the task of being vigilant, so that in this sort of tabernacle is no want of divine grace, which illuminates and strengthens married love and parental mission. Grace fills the  amphorae  of human hearts with an extraordinary capacity for gift, renewing for the families of today the miracle of the wedding feast at Cana. Commenting on that Gospel episode, I have been able to say that, "By transforming into wine the water of the jars used 'for the Jewish rites of purification' (Jn 2:6), Jesus preforms an eloquent sign: he transforms the Law of Moses into the Gospel, bearer of joy. (Gen. Audience, June 8, 2016)" Jesus points in particular to the medicine of mercy, which cures the hardness of the heart, restoring the relationship between husband and wife, and between parents and children. Dear Brothers and Sisters, I wish all the best for your work in this Symposium. Let the Church in Italy help to assimilate and develop  Amoris laetitia 's content and style; may she contribute to the formation of family group animators in parishes, associations, and movements; may she support the journey of so many families, helping them to live the joy of the Gospel, and to be active cells in the community. I bless you, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. (from Vatican Radio)...
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