Pope Francis said: ‘It’s evil not to do good!’

It is not enough for Catholics to not do bad things, they must counter evil by actively living out charity in the performance of good deeds, Pope told to the young people and others in St. Peter’s Square Sunday.

Pope Francis prayed the Angelus at St. Peter’s Square on Sunday with tens of thousands of pilgrims, including a large group of young Italians to whom the Pope spoke on Saturday evening.
In his address ahead of the Angelus the Holy Father said that, it is not enough simply not to do evil. But to be a good Christian, he said, “we must also adhere to goodness and do good.”The Italian young people, who had made a pilgrimage to Rome as a way to pray for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on youth, urging them to be “protagonists of the good!”
The Pope was reflecting on the Second day Reading, in which St. Paul tells the faithful not to sadden the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30-5:2).

'Do you do good?'

Pope said that,saddening the Spirit means not living according to the promises made at our Baptism, which are to renounce evil and adhere to good.He noted because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in every baptized person, Christians must strive to live their lives “in a coherent manner,” renouncing evil, temptation, and sin, saying “no” to a culture of death, and by adhering to the good and doing good.
He explained that many times he has heard people saying that they do not hurt anyone with their actions.
“Many times we hear some saying, ‘I don't hurt anyone.’ That’s fine,” the Pope francis said. “But do you do good?”
Pope said many people “do not do evil, but neither do they do any good”. These people pass their lives “in indifference, apathy, and lukewarmness."
He said that, this attitude of simply not doing evil is contrary to the Gospel and the nature of young people. And he gave them a simple formula for life:
“It’s good not to do evil. But it’s evil not to do good!”
Such an attitude is not good, also contrary to the Gospel and contrary to the character of young people, “who by nature are dynamic, passionate and courageous.”

Oppose evil

The Holy Father said that Christians must forgive and not hate; pray for our enemies and not hold a grudge; bring peace and not cause division. Above all, he said we must “interrupt others when we hear them speaking badly of someone else” and not just refrain from bad-mouthing others.
Pope Francis said that evil spreads “where there are no bold Christians to oppose it with goodness.”

“If we do not oppose evil, we feed it with our silence.”
Noting the walking pilgrimage many of those present had made to reach Rome, he said, “therefore, you are trained and I can tell you: walk in love!”

“Let’s walk together towards the next Synod of Bishops… May the Virgin Mary support us with her maternal intercession, so that each of us, every day, with deeds, can say ‘no’ to evil and ‘yes’ to good,” he concluded.

‘Death penalty against human dignity’: Fisichella

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, says Pope Francis’ change to the Catechism regarding the death penalty is true progress in which continuity with previous Church teaching.

Pope revised the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2267) on Thursday, declaring that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.”

Clarifying content of the faith

Writing in the Vatican’s Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Fisichella said that the change is “a true dogmatic progress with which the content of the faith is clarified”. He said this particular point of the faith “has been steadily matured to the point of making one understand the unsustainability of the death penalty in our time.”

Archbishop Fisichella highlighted three reasons given in the new text of the  Catechism of the Catholic Church for the change.

The most important, he said that, is the recognition of every person’s dignity, which is never lost, even when they commit very serious crimes.

He also notes the “positive” change in the awareness of the Christian people. States, he added, now have more effective systems of detention, “which exclude the danger and trauma of violence being done to innocent people” and allow for the possibility of a guilty person’s conversion and redemption.

Decisive step

Archbishop Rino Fisichella said the CDF’s letter accompanying the announcement notes this change is “in continuity with the previous Magisterium”.

“To guard the sacred deposit of faith does not mean to mummify it,” he writes, “but to conform it ever more to its own nature and allow the truth of faith to answer the questions of each generation.”

Calling the move a development in the “understanding of the Gospel”, he said Pope Francis has taken “a decisive step in the interpretation of a long-established doctrine”.

Contrary to Christian revelation

Archbishop Rino Fisichella said that the Church recognizes the “mixed feelings in the face of such violent and inhumane crimes” that can be lead to the decision to pass the death penalty.

“In defending the abolition of the death penalty, one does not forget the suffering of the victims involved, nor the injustice that has been perpetrated. Rather, it is expected that justice take its own decisive step, not taken out of rancour and vengeance, but from a sense of responsibility beyond the present moment.”

Voluntarily suppressing a human life,” he concluded, “ is contrary to Christian revelation.”

Pope’s representative in Nicaragua appeals for peace

The Pope Francis’ representative in Nicaragua, Archbishop Waldemar Stanisław Sommertag, has made an strong appeal for an end to the violence which has racked the country since on April 18th.

More than 360 people have died in conflict between forces of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and opposition protesters, who are calling for his resignation. President Ortega has been in power since 2007 and is on his third mandate, along with his wife Rosario Murillo, the Vice President.

Pope’s deep concern

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Apostolic Nuncio called it a “tragic moment” for the country.

“I wish to express, on behalf of the Holy Father and the Holy See, my deep concern for the grave situation the country is facing. Obviously, it is unacceptable to think that the dead and victims of violence can solve the political crisis and guarantee a future of peace and prosperity in Nicaragua,” he said.
Quick return to dialogue

Archbishop Sommertag said he and Pope Francis “weep for all the dead and pray for their families”.

“With all my human and spiritual strength, I appeal to the consciences of all to reach a truce and return quickly to a national dialogue to seek together an adequate solution to solve the crisis,” he said.
The Nuncio said the country places itself under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary and asks “for her help so that she may always guide our beloved Nicaragua.”

Aggression against Catholic Church

On Tuesday, the police and pro-government militias took control of the Masaya, a suburb of the capital Managua, which had become a symbol of resistance to President Ortega.

The Catholic Church in Nicaragua has also become a target of threats and attacks on the part of security forces.

Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, Archbishop of Managua, was attacked by pro-government activists on July 9th, together with Archbishop Sommertag and an auxiliary of Managua, Bishop Silvio Báez.

In a separate incident, Bishop Abelardo Mata of Estelí narrowly avoided an attack last week.

Despite these acts of aggression, the bishops of Nicaragua have followed Pope encouragement and continue to call for a return to dialogue with President Ortega’s government. The bishops also condemn “the lack of political will on the part of the government to dialogue in sincerity and seek real paths towards democracy.”

“Australia Catalogue” highlights the role of Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums this week hosted the launch of a significant event that is part of its mission to build bridges and understanding between diverse peoples and cultures. The presentation by Museums Director Barbara Jatta, of an important text entitled “Australia. The Vatican Museums indigenous collection.”

The catalogue in question lists and examines the collection of artwork and artifacts of the Aborigenes of Australia within the Vatican’s Ethnological “Anima Mundi” Museum.
Co-published by the Vatican Museums and “Aboriginal Studies Press” the launch was possible thanks to the collaboration of the Australian Embassy to the Holy See that was keen to point out how each individual part of the catalogue has been produced in close contact with the aboriginal communities, in accordance with the philosophy of reconnection that characterizes both the recent history of the Australian territory, and the section of the Vatican Museums that houses the ethnological collections.

Linda Bordoni spoke to Barbara Jatta about the meaning of the event and about the spirit of collaboration and “reconnection” it expresses.
Importance of collaboration
Jatta highlights the fact that the catalogue became a reality thanks to what she describes as “a very important collaboration between the Vatican Museums and the Embassy of Australia to the Holy See”, but also with Australian culture in a wider sense.

“It is the first catalogue dedicated to Australia that the Vatican has produced and I think it is a very, very important part of our mission of ‘reconnection’ with the peoples and the cultures that are behind the objects displayed in our ethnological museum, ‘Anima Mundi’, which is one of the parts and one of the great collections of the Vatican Museums.

Why is it important
Jatta explained that this kind of project allows us to undertake a journey of reconnection with peoples and learn to understand what is behind an object. She said it is a way to “enter deeply into the history, the heart and the soul of a people”.

“I believe that art builds bridges: some of the deep meanings [in a work of art] are so similar even although the culture may be different” she said.

She explained that often the core values expressed through art by incredibly diverse cultures are often very similar to each other and they provide bridges that express a common intent and common spirit.

“Anima Mundi”
“Anima Mundi” of course means “Soul of the World” and Jatta confirmed that the ethnological section of the Museums is most certainly not considered of secondary importance.

She pointed out that it was called “Anima Mundi” before her arrival at the Museums but that she wholeheartedly approves of the choice.

She said it was the original curator of this part of the Museum, Father Nicola Mapelli, who chose the and added that it is very important for the Vatican Museums.

Jatta also noted that Pope Francis himself approves of it “because it is very much in line with what Pope Francis wants the mission of the Museum to be” and explained that the launch of the

Australia Catalogue is also part of this mission.

Pope Francis and the Vatican Museums
Pope Francis, Jatta said, wants the Museums to be a bridge between different peoples and different cultures.

“He wants it to be, she concluded, a place where people can meet each other on common themes in terms of history, of art and also of faith”.

Cardinal Parolin: Papal visit to Ireland a mission of hope

Ahead of the Papal Journey, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, addressed a number of key issues including, clerical sexual abuse in Ireland and elsewhere, the importance of the family in society today and the contribution of Christian families in the life of the Church.

Below find the transcript of the interview.

Cardinal Parolin, Pope Francis is coming to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families. This theme is increasingly central to his Pontificate. What can we expect even after the Synods and Amoris Laetitia?

I think that the Holy Father will first of all reaffirm the Gospel of the family, which was the theme of the Synod of the Bishops – the families. The Gospel of the families means to focus and to underline the essential place of the family in society and in the Church today. And then to support the mission of the family in today’s world, a mission of love, a mission of fidelity, a mission of educating and generating lives. But I am sure that the same presence of the Holy Father will be this encouragement for families in their efforts to strive for bringing love in this world and to really help individuals and societies to reach that happiness that everybody is looking for.

What is, in your opinion, the greatest contribution that Christian families can give to the Church today and also to those who don’t have a personal experience of the faith?

I think that, as I was saying before, it is important to give witness to the joy of the Gospel and this is especially the possibility and the capacity to reach out to others in love, that is what is bringing happiness in this world - in front of a world which experiences many times, and it is a great problem  today - loneliness and isolation. Then the family has the mission and the role to bring this sense of communion and this sense of love, this sense of respect for the life of the individual and of the community. I think that is the essential contribution which can be brought to the world by the family and by Christian families.

Delicate topics such as migration, family crises and the reception of homosexual persons will also be addressed at the Dublin Meeting. What does the Church have to say today to those who do not share its values ​​and its vision of the world?

Yes, of course, the Church has to continue to propose the truth and the beauty of the Gospel on the family with, respect, with great attention; but it has to continue to do so and especially to give example. I think that it is important then to accompany people in their situation as the Pope said since the beginning of his pontificate that the Church is a field hospital. We have the chance to take care of people, to accompany them, especially starting from listening to them and to establish a dialogue with them.