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Cordiales coloquios del Papa Francisco y el presidente del Perú, a pocos meses de su próximo viaje al país

En la mañana de este viernes 22 de septiembre, el Santo Padre Francisco recibió en audiencia en el Palacio Apostólico Vaticano, al Presidente de la República de Perú, S.E. Sr. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard, que sucesivamente encontró al S.E. el Cardenal Pietro Parolin, Secretario de Estado, acompañado por el Mons. Antoine Camilleri, Subsecretario para las Relaciones con los Estados.

Según informa en un comunicado la Oficina de Prensa de la Santa Sede, los cordiales coloquios, transcurridos en un clima de cordialidad,  evidenciaron las buenas relaciones entre la Santa Sede y la República de Perú, que tendrán un momento significativo durante el próximo viaje apostólico del Papa Francisco a ese país.

Asimismo se abordaron varios temas de interés común, como la educación de los jóvenes, la protección del medio ambiente, el desarrollo y la lucha contra la pobreza. En este contexto, se ha recordado la contribución que la Iglesia ofrece a la sociedad peruana. Tema de la conversación también fueron algunas situaciones regionales e internacionales.

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope to EU Churches: Combat intolerance against migrants

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday urged Churches in Europe to step up efforts to combat intolerance, discrimination and xenophobia against migrants and refugees.

The pope’s words came in a meeting with national migration directors under the auspices of the Council of European Bishops Conferences or CCEE. He said he was saddened to see that Catholic communities in Europe were also defensive and unwelcoming towards migrants, justifying their attitudes on grounds of conserving their cultural and religious identity.


Pope Francis said we must recognize and understand this sense of unease, in light of the economic crisis which has left deep wounds in society. Furthermore, he said, governments and communities have been ill prepared to cope with large influxes of migrants, highlighting the limits of the European unification process.

Churches become more 'catholic'

But from an ecclesiological perspective, the pope said, the arrival of so many Christian brothers and sisters offers the Church in Europe an opportunity to become ever more ‘catholic’. He noted how many migrants and refugees have already enriched parishes in their host countries.

Ecumenical and interreligious dialogue

From a missionary perspective, he said, ministering to migrants offers new frontiers to announce the Gospel and to witness to our Christian faith, while showing profound respect for other faith traditions. These encounters are fertile ground for developing sincere ecumenical and interreligious relations, he said.

Welcome, protect, promote, integrate

Pope Francis also noted that in his message for next year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, he speaks in detail about the need to welcome, protect, promote and integrate all people on the move.  On the basis of these four verbs, he said, the Vatican office for migrants and refugees has published a 20 point action plan for local Churches seeking to promote best practices.

Constructive dialogue with governments

This action plan, he added, should be shared with all  European bishops conferences, helping to promote constructive dialogue with governments ahead of the Global Compact for Migration, due to be draw up and approved at a United Nations conference in 2018.

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis sends money for Mexico earthquake relief

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has given money to the earthquake relief effort in Mexico to help survivors and victims’ families in the worst hit areas of the country.

The Vatican said on Thursday that an initial contribution of 150.000 dollars would be sent through the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.

The money will be divided between emergency relief efforts in the dioceses worst hit by the earthquake. The 7.1 quake on Tuesday caused at least 250 deaths and widespread damage in the capital and surrounding areas.

The donation, which is intended to show the pope’s solidarity and spiritual closeness to those affected by the disaster, is a small part of the financial support being sent to Mexico through many bishops conferences and Caritas organisations.

(from Vatican Radio)

Spotlight on first American-born martyr in Church’s history ahead of his beatification

(Vatican Radio) Father Stanley Rother, the first American-born martyr in the history of the Church is being beatified in Oklahoma City on September 23rd. The U.S. priest was gunned down in Guatamala in 1981 shortly after taking the heroic decision to return to his mission parish in the Central American nation despite knowing his name was on a death list there.

Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda is the author of a biography about this American martyr, entitled, ‘The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run.’ She spoke to Susy Hodges about Father Stanley’s life, his mission and why it made such an impact on her.

Listen to this interview by Maria Scaperlanda: 

A U.S. Catholic writer and blogger, Scaperlanda was involved in collecting documentation for Father Stanley’s beatification cause.  She described how the priest grew up in a farming family and was used to being very “hands-on” when it came to tilling the land and fixing whatever was broken and he used those same skills to help the people in his mission parish in a remote area of Guatamala.

“Heart wrenching” decision

Asked about Father Stanley’s decision to return to his parish in Guatamala following a stay with his family in his native U.S. despite the death threats made against him Scaperlanda said it must have been “really really difficult ..... and heart wrenching” for him.  She likened it to Jesus’ mental torment in the Garden of Gethsamene shortly before his arrest and crucifixion.

“The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run”

Scaperlanda explained how the title for her book about Father Stanley “The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run” was taken from the priest’s words in a letter he wrote shortly before his return to Guatamala where he wrote that “a shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.”

“A great model for all Americans”

By choosing “to stand with his people” Father Stanley is “a model of faithful discipleship,” she said. He was an “ordinary man” who did “an amazing thing” and as such “can teach us to live holy lives.” This first U.S.-born martyr is “a great model for all Americans,” she said. 

(from Vatican Radio)

Ayuda del Santo Padre a México golpeado por el terremoto

(RV).- Tras el terremoto que golpeó con extraordinaria vehemencia México, causando - según los datos verificados, pero no definitivos - por lo menos 250 víctimas, así como daños materiales considerables, el Papa Francisco, a través del Dicasterio para el Servicio del Desarrollo Humano Integral, ha establecido enviar una primera contribución de 150 mil dólares para ayudar a las poblaciones en esta fase de emergencia.

Esta suma, que será distribuida, en colaboración con la Nunciatura Apostólica, entre las diócesis más afectadas por la calamidad, se empleará en obras de asistencia a las víctimas del terremoto y quiere ser una expresión inmediata del sentimiento de cercanía espiritual y aliento paterno hacia las personas y los territorios afectados, manifestado por el Santo Padre durante la Audiencia General del miércoles 20 de septiembre de 2017.

Esta contribución, que acompaña a la oración, especialmente dirigida a la Virgen de Guadalupe, en apoyo de la amada población mexicana, es parte de las ayudas que se están activando en toda la Iglesia Católica y que incluye, además de las diversas conferencias episcopales, numerosas organismos de caridad.

 (GM – RV)

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis: if you want mercy, know that you are sinners

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Mass on Thursday – the Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist – in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.

In remarks following the Readings of the Day, which included St. Matthew’s own account of his conversion and calling into discipleship, the Holy Father focused on the three stages of the episode: calling, feasting, and scandal.

Jesus had just healed a paralytic, when He met Matthew – a tax-collector, hence a figure despised by Jewish authorities and considered a traitor to his land and people – sitting at the customs desk.

Jesus looked at him and said, “Follow me,” and Matthew got up and followed Him

Recalling Caravaggio’s famous depiction of the scene, Pope Francis spoke of Matthew’s “sidelong look” with one eye on Our Savior and the other on his purse: a look that was even stand-offish, if not outright aggressive. Then, there was the merciful gaze of Jesus, which communicated such overwhelming love that the resistance of the man who wanted the money, “fails”: Matthew got up and followed Him.

Click below to hear our report

“It is the struggle between mercy and sin,” Pope Francis said

Jesus’ love was able to enter into the heart of that man, Matthew, because he “knew he was a sinner,” he knew “he was not loved by anyone,” and was even despised. It was precisely “that sinful conscience, which opened the door to the mercy of Jesus.” So, “[Matthew] left everything” and went on a new journey with Our Lord.

This is the encounter between the sinner and Jesus:

“This is the first condition of salvation: feeling oneself in danger. It is the first condition of healing: feeling sick. Feeling sinful is the first condition of receiving this gaze of mercy. But let us think of the look of Jesus, so beautiful, so good, so merciful. And we, too, when we pray, we feel this look upon us; it is the look of love, the gaze of mercy, the gaze that saves us. Do not be afraid.”

Matthew – like Zaccheus – feeling happy, invited Jesus to come home to eat. The second stage is indeed “the party” – one of festivity. Matthew invited friends, “those of the same trade,” sinners and publicans.

The Pope said this recalls the words of Jesus in Chapter XV of Luke’s Gospel: “There will be more feasting in Heaven for a sinner who converts than for one hundred just men who will remain just.” This is the feast of the Father's meeting, the feast of mercy. Pope Francis said that Jesus is profligate with mercy, mercy for all.

Then comes the third moment: that of scandal

The Pharisees saw that publicans and sinners were at table with Jesus, and said to His disciples, “How is your Master eating with publicans and sinners?” Thus, Pope Francis noted, “Always a scandal begins with this phrase: ‘But how come?’” He went on to say, “When you hear this sentence, it smells,” and “scandal follows.” They were, in essence, scandalized by “the impurity of not following the law.” They knew “the Doctrine” very well, knew how to go “on the way of the Kingdom of God,” knew “better than anyone how things ought to have been done,” but “had forgotten the first commandment, of love.” Then, "”hey were locked in the cage of sacrifices,” perhaps thinking, “But let's make a sacrifice to God, let us do all we have to do, “so we are saved.” In summary, they believed that salvation came from themselves, they felt safe. “"No,” said Pope  Francis. “God saves us, saves us Jesus Christ”:

“That ‘how come?’, which we’ve heard so many times from Catholics when they saw works of mercy. How come? Jesus is clear, He is very clear: ‘Go and learn.’ He sent them to learn, right? ‘Go and learn what mercy means. [That’s what] I want, and not sacrifices, for I did not come to call the righteous but the sinners.’ If you want to be called by Jesus, recognize yourself a sinner.”

If you would receive mercy, recognize yourselves as sinners

Francis exhorted us, therefore, to recognize ourselves as sinners, not guilty of “sin” in the abstract but guilty of “concrete sins”: so many “we all have committed them,” he said. “Let us look on Jesus with that merciful glance full of love,” he continued.

While still dwelling on the scandal, he noted that there are so many:

“There are so many, many – and always, even in the Church today. They say, ‘No, you cannot, it’s all clear, it’s all, no, no – those are sinners, we have to turn them away.’ Many saints have also been persecuted or suspected. We think of St. Joan of Arc, sent to the stake, because they thought she was a witch, and condemned her. A saint! Think of Saint Teresa, suspected of heresy, think of Bl. [Antonio] Rosmini. ‘Mercy I desire, and not sacrifices.’ And the door to meet Jesus is recognizing ourselves as we are: the truth [about orselves], [that we are] Sinners. And he comes, and we meet. It is very beautiful to meet Jesus.”

(from Vatican Radio)

Papa: Los católicos que se escandalizan por la Misericordia

(RV).- “La puerta para encontrar a Jesús es reconocerse pecador”. Lo dijo el Papa en su homilía de la Misa matutina celebrada en la capilla de la Casa de Santa Marta. En su reflexión del 21 de septiembre, Francisco se refirió a la conversión de San Mateo, en el día en que la Iglesia lo festeja.

Entre las etapas de la vicisitud: el encuentro, la fiesta y el escándalo. Jesús había curado a un paralítico y se encuentra con Mateo, sentado en el banco de los impuestos. Hacía pagar al pueblo de Israel para entregar después la recaudación a los romanos y por esta razón era despreciado y considerado un traidor de la patria.

Jesús lo miró y le dijo: “Sígueme”. Y él se levantó y lo siguió, tal como narra el Evangelio propuesto por la liturgia del día. Por una parte, la mirada de San Mateo, una mirada desalentada: miraba “de lado”, “con un ojo a Dios”, con el otro miraba “al dinero”, “aferrado al dinero como lo pintó Caravaggio”,  y también con una mirada hosca. Por otra parte, la mirada misericordiosa de Jesús que – dijo el Santo Padre – “lo miró con tanto amor”. La resistencia de aquel hombre que quería el dinero “cae”: se levantó y lo siguió. “Es la lucha entre la Misericordia y el pecado”, sintetizó el Papa.

El amor de Jesús pudo entrar en el corazón de aquel hombre porque “sabía que era pecador”, sabía que “nadie lo quería”, que era despreciado. Y precisamente “esa conciencia de pecador abrió la puerta a la Misericordia de Jesús”. Por tanto, “dejó todo y se fue”. Éste es el encuentro entre el pecador y Jesús.

“Es la primera condición para ser salvado: sentirse en peligro; la primera condición para ser curado: sentirse enfermo. Y sentirse pecador es la primera condición para recibir esta mirada de misericordia. Pensemos en la mirada de Jesús, tan bella, tan buena, tan misericordiosa. Y también nosotros, cuando rezamos, sentimos esta mirada sobre nosotros. Es la mirada del amor, la mirada de la misericordia, la mirada que nos salva. No tener miedo”.

Como Zaqueo, también Mateo sintiéndose feliz invitó después a Jesús a comer a su casa. La segunda etapa es, en efecto, precisamente “la fiesta”. Mateo invitó a sus amigos, “los del mismo sindicato”, pecadores y publicanos. Seguramente en la mesa, hacían preguntas al Señor y Él respondía. Al respecto el Papa puso de manifiesto lo que Jesús dice en el Capítulo XV del Evangelio de San Lucas: “Habrá  más fiesta en el Cielo por un pecador que se convierte que por cien  justos que permanecen justos”. Se trata de la fiesta del encuentro con el Padre, la fiesta de la Misericordia”.  En efecto, Jesús “derrocha Misericordia”, por todos, dijo Francisco.

Y el tercer momento: el del “escándalo”. Los fariseos ven que los publicanos y pecadores se sentaron a la mesa con Jesús. Y decían a sus discípulos: “¿Por qué su Maestro come junto a los publicanos y a los pecadores?”. “Siempre un escándalo comienza con esta frase: ‘¿Por qué?’”, destacó el Papa. “Cuando ustedes escuchen esta frase, sepan que huele mal” – subrayó – “detrás viene el escándalo”. Se trataba de la “impureza de no seguir la ley”. Conocían perfectamente “la Doctrina”, sabían cómo ir “por el camino del Reino de Dios”, conocían “mejor que todos cómo se debía hacer” pero “se habían olvidado del primer mandamiento del amor”. Y, por tanto, “fueron encerrados en la jaula de los sacrificios”, tal vez pensando: “Pero hagamos  un sacrificio a Dios”, hagamos  todo lo que se debe hacer, “así nos salvamos”. En síntesis, creían que la salvación venía de ellos mismos, se sentían seguiros. “¡No! Nos salva Dios, nos salva Jesucristo”, reafirmó Francisco.

“Ese ‘cómo es posible’ que tantas veces hemos oído entre los fieles católicos cuando veían obras de misericordia. ¿Por qué? Y Jesús es claro, es muy claro: “Vayan a aprender”. Y los ha enviado a aprender, ¿no? “Vayan y aprendan qué quiere decir misericordia – (aquello que) Yo quiero – y no sacrificios, porque Yo, en efecto, no he venido a llamar a los justos, sino a los pecadores”. Si tú quieres que Jesús te llame, reconócete pecador”.

Por último el Pontífice exhortó a reconocerse pecadores, no de modo abstracto sino con “pecados concretos”: con tantos, porque “todos nosotros los tenemos”, dijo. “Dejémonos mirar por Jesús con esa mirada misericordiosa y llena de amor”, pidió. Y deteniéndose una vez más en el escándalo, añadió:

“Hay tantos, tantos… Y siempre, también hoy en la Iglesia. Dicen: “No, no se puede, está todo claro, es todo, no, no… Son pecadores aquellos, debemos alejarlos”. También muchos santos han sido perseguidos y considerados sospechosos. Pensemos en Santa Juana de Arco, condenada a la hoguera porque pensaban que era una bruja. ¡Una santa! Piensen en Santa Teresa, a la que sospechaban de herejía; piensen en el Beato Rosmini. “Misericordia, Yo quiero, y no sacrificios”. Y la puerta para encontrar a Jesús es reconocer cómo somos, la verdad. Pecadores. Y Él viene, y nos encontramos. ¡Es tan hermoso encontrar a Jesús!”.

(María Fernanda Bernasconi - RV).

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope: "Church will apply firmest measures against those who abuse minors"

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has reiterated his pledge to combat the evil of clerical sex abuse affirming that at all levels, the Church will continue to respond applying the firmest of measures to “all those who have betrayed their call and abused God's children.

Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:

He was addressing members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors gathered for their Plenary Assembly.

The Commission is an institution that was established by the Pope to propose initiatives that ensure that crimes that have occurred are no longer repeated in the Church.   

In prepared remarks and after having listened to the greetings of Commission President, Cardinal O’Malley and other members of the Commission, Pope Francis said “I wish to share with you the profound pain I feel in my soul for the situation of abused children, as I have had occasion to do recently several times”. 

Painful experience for the Church

Describing the sex abuse scandal as a terrible evil for the whole of humanity, the Pope said it has also been a very painful experience for the Church: “We are ashamed of the abuses committed by holy ministers, who should be the most trustworthy”. 

“Let me say quite clearly that sexual abuse is a horrible sin, completely opposite and in contradiction to what Christ and the Church teach us” he said. 

Recalling the fact that he has had the privilege of listening to the stories that victims and survivors of abuses have wanted to share, Pope Francis observed that meetings such as these continue to nourish the personal commitment of all involved in the Commission to do everything possible to combat this evil and eliminate it. 

The Church to respond at all levels with the firmest measures 

“That is why, I reiterate today once again that the Church, at all levels, will respond with the application of the firmest measures against all those who have betrayed their call and abused the children of God” he said. 

The Pope stressed that the disciplinary measures must apply to all those who work in the institutions of the Church, but he pointed out that “the primary responsibility lies with Bishops, priests and religious”: those who have received from the Lord the vocation to offer their lives to serving the Church and this includes “the vigilant protection of all vulnerable children, young people and adults”. 

“For this reason, the Church irrevocably and at all levels seeks to apply the principle of "zero tolerance" against sexual abuse of minors” he said.

The Pope recalled his Motu Proprio entitled “As a Loving Mother” that was promulgated on the basis of a proposal by the Commission and in reference to the principle of responsibility in the Church. He said it addresses the cases of Diocesan Bishops, Eparches and Superior Generals of religious institutes who, through negligence, have carried out or omitted acts that may have caused serious harm to others, whether individuals or a community as a whole (see Article 1).

He said that over the last three years, since its establishment the Commission has consistently emphasized the most important principles guiding the Church's efforts to protect all vulnerable children and adults, thus fulfilling the mission entrusted to it as a "consultative function in the service of the Holy Father", offering its experience "in order to promote the responsibility of particular Churches in the protection of all minors and vulnerable adults" (Statute, Article 1).

Pope Francis said he was delighted to learn that many particular Churches have adopted the Commission’s recommendation for a Day of Prayer, and for dialogue with victims and survivors of abuses, as well as with representatives of victim organizations. 

“It is also encouraging to know how many Episcopal Conferences and Conferences of Superior Generals have sought your advice regarding the Guidelines for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults” he said. 

Value of sharing best practices

He emphasized the value of sharing best practices - especially for those Churches that have fewer resources for this crucial work of protection – and encouraged the Commission to continue its collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples “so that these practices may be inculturated in the different Churches around the world”.

Lastly, Pope Francis praised the many initiatives that offer opportunities for learning, education and training promoted by the Commission as well as the fact that a presentation made last week to new bishops has been so favorably received.

“These educational programs offer the kind of resources that will enable Dioceses, Religious Institutes and all Catholic institutions to adopt and implement the most effective materials for this work”.

The Church: a place of piety and compassion 

The Pope concluded his address highlighting the fact that the Church is called to be a place of piety and compassion, especially for those who have suffered. 

“For all of us, the Catholic Church remains a field hospital that accompanies us on our spiritual journey. It is the place where we can sit with others, listen to them and share with them our struggles and our faith in the good news of Jesus Christ. I am fully confident that the Commission will continue to be a place where we can listen with interest to the voices of the victims and the survivors. Because we have much to learn from them and their personal stories of courage and perseverance” he said.

(from Vatican Radio)

El Papa a la Comisión para la Protección de los Menores: “La Iglesia lugar de piedad y compasión”

(RV).- “La Iglesia está llamada a ser un lugar de piedad y compasión, especialmente para los que han sufrido. Para todos nosotros, la Iglesia Católica sigue siendo un hospital de campo que nos acompaña en nuestro itinerario espiritual”, lo dijo el Papa Francisco en su discurso a los miembros de la Comisión Pontificia para la Protección de los Menores, a quienes recibió en Audiencia el tercer jueves de septiembre.

En su discurso entregado, el Santo Padre saludó y agradeció a los miembros de esta Comisión Pontificia al comienzo de su Asamblea Plenaria, al mismo tiempo que les manifestó su aprecio por las reflexiones presentadas, ya que ellas, “han expresado muy bien el papel que pensé para la Comisión cuando la formé hace tres años – afirmó el Papa – un servicio que confío en que seguirá siendo de gran ayuda en los próximos años para el Papa, la Santa Sede, los Obispos y los Superiores Mayores de todo el mundo”.

El abuso sexual es un pecado horrible

Hoy, señaló el Pontífice, deseo compartir con ustedes el profundo dolor que siento en el alma por la situación de los niños abusados. “El escándalo del abuso sexual – precisó el Papa – es verdaderamente una ruina terrible para toda la humanidad, y que afecta a tantos niños, jóvenes y adultos vulnerables en todos los países y en todas las sociedades”. Sentimos vergüenza, agregó el Santo Padre, por los abusos cometidos por ministros sagrados, que deberían ser los más dignos de confianza. Pero también, dijo, hemos experimentado un llamado, que viene directamente de nuestro Señor Jesucristo: acoger la misión del Evangelio para la protección de todos los menores y adultos vulnerables. En este sentido, afirmó el Papa, “permítanme decir con toda claridad que el abuso sexual es un pecado horrible completamente opuesto y en contradicción con lo que Cristo y la Iglesia nos enseñan”. Por ello, los animo a seguir alimentando su compromiso personal de hacer todo lo posible para combatir este mal y eliminar esta ruina de entre nosotros.

El principio de “tolerancia cero”

“Hoy – reiteró una vez más el Obispo de Roma – que la Iglesia, en todos los niveles, responderá con la aplicación de las más firmes medidas a todos aquellos que han traicionado su llamado y han abusado de los hijos de Dios”. Las medidas disciplinarias que las Iglesias particulares han adoptado es responsabilidad primordial de los Obispos, sacerdotes y religiosos, de aquellos que han recibido del Señor la vocación de ofrecer sus vidas al servicio, incluyendo la protección vigilante de todos los niños, jóvenes y adultos vulnerables. “Por esta razón – afirmó el Papa – la Iglesia irrevocablemente y a todos los niveles pretende aplicar contra el abuso sexual de menores el principio de tolerancia cero”.

Esfuerzos de la Iglesia para proteger a todos los menores

Durante los últimos tres años, señaló el Papa Francisco, la Comisión ha enfatizado continuamente los principios más importantes que guían los esfuerzos de la Iglesia para proteger a todos los menores y adultos vulnerables. “Me llenó de alegría – dijo el Pontífice – saber que muchas Iglesias particulares han adoptado vuestra recomendación para una Jornada de Oración, y para un diálogo con las víctimas y supervivientes de abusos, así como con los representantes de las organizaciones de víctimas”. También es alentador saber cuántas Conferencias Episcopales y Conferencias de Superiores Mayores han buscado vuestro consejo con relación a las Directrices para la protección de menores y adultos vulnerables en todo el mundo.

La Iglesia lugar de piedad y compasión

Antes de concluir su discurso, el Papa Francisco alentó a seguir llevando adelante las diferentes oportunidades de aprendizaje, educación y formación que realiza la Comisión. En este sentido dijo el Papa, “la Iglesia está llamada a ser un lugar de piedad y compasión, especialmente para los que han sufrido. Para todos nosotros, la Iglesia Católica sigue siendo un hospital de campo que nos acompaña en nuestro itinerario espiritual”. Es el lugar donde podemos sentarnos con otros, escucharlos y compartir con ellos nuestras luchas y nuestra fe en la buena nueva de Jesucristo. Por ello, señaló el Pontífice, confío plenamente en que la Comisión seguirá siendo un lugar donde podamos escuchar con interés las voces de las víctimas y de los supervivientes. Porque tenemos mucho que aprender de ellos y de sus historias personales de coraje y perseverancia.

(Renato Martinez – Radio Vaticano)

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis receives Italian Antimafia Parliamentary Commission

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with the Italian Antimafia Parliamentary Commission in the Vatican.

In his prepared remarks to the group, the Holy Father began by recalling 3 high profile figures killed by the mafia, Magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who were killed 25 years ago and Servant of God, Rosario Livatino, killed on September 21, 1990.


The Pope, during his address underlined how “corruption always finds a way to justify itself, presenting itself as the "normal" condition, the solution for those who are "shrewd", the way to reach ones goals.” The Pope went on to say that, “it has a contagious and parasitic nature, because it does not nourish what good produces, but how it subtracts and robs.”

Authentic Politics

Authentic politics, said Pope Francis, “the one we recognize as an important form of charity, works instead to ensure a future of hope and to promote the dignity of each person. It is precisely because of this, he added, that it sees the struggle against mafias as a priority, since they steal the common good, taking away peoples hope and dignity.

Fighting mafias, the Holy Father continued, means not only repressing them. “It also means reclaiming, transforming, building, and this entails two levels of commitment.”

The first is the political one, through greater social justice, because mafias, he said,  put themselves forward as an alternative system in the area where rights and opportunities are lacking: work, home, education, and health care.

Economic commitment

The second level of commitment, said the Pope is the economic one, through the correction or removal of those mechanisms that generate inequality and poverty everywhere.

This dual level, political and economic, noted Pope Francis, presupposes another no less essential element, that is the construction of a new civil consciousness, the only one that can lead to true liberation from mafias.


(from Vatican Radio)