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For Immediate Release From Vatican News!

Vatican's Message For Ramadan Encourages Working Together For World Peace

The Vatican Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue releases its annual message for the Islamic month of Ramadan, urging all religious believers to extinguish "the fires of hatred, violence and war, and instead light the gentle candle of peace." By Antonella Palermo

The increasing number of conflicts in the world has led the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue to focus once again on the theme of working for peace in its annual Message for the Month of Ramadan and 'Id Al-Fitr addressed to our Muslim brothers and sisters.

The Message of "closeness and friendship" came out on Friday, 15 March, and features an appeal to both Christians and Muslims to "extinguish the fire of war and light the candle of peace."

The premise underlying the text comes from the observation of the "truly alarming" increase in conflicts: from military combat to armed clashes of varying intensity involving states, organized crime, armed gangs and civilians.

Some Rejoice In The "immoral" Arms Trade

The message dwells on the causes of conflicts by identifying the continued production and trade of arms as the main motive, which is accompanied by the "perennial human desire for domination, geo-political ambitions and economic interests."

While there are those who suffer "grievously from the devastating effects," it notes, there are also some who "cynically rejoice in the great economic profit deriving from this immoral commerce." It underscores this point by quoting Pope Francis, who once described this as "dipping a morsel of bread in the blood of our brother."

In War, EveryoneLloses

The Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, and the Secretary, Msgr. Indunil Kodithuwakku Janakaratne Kankanamalage, who signed the message, underscored on the other hand that "the desire for peace and security is profoundly rooted in the soul of every person of good will."

They note that the destruction of infrastructure and property makes life hopelessly difficult, if not impossible. And they highlight the troubling plight of the displaced and refugees forced to flee due to wars, while reiterating unequivocally, "every war is fratricide, useless, senseless, and dark" and that "in war, everyone loses."

Forming Consciences To Respect Life

The message for Ramadan recalls that all religions consider human life sacred and therefore worthy of respect and protection. It also welcomes the fact that the number of states that have the death penalty are decreasing year by year.

"A reawakened sense of the respect for this fundamental dignity of the gift of life will contribute to the conviction that war must be rejected and peace cherished."

The message appeals for consciences to be formed "to respect the absolute value of the life of each person and his or her right to physical integrity, security and a dignified life." This way forward will contribute to "the condemnation and rejection of war, any war and all wars."

United To Extinguish The Fire Of Hatred

The message concludes with an exhortation to look to the Almighty as the God of peace, the source of peace, and while peace is a divine gift, it is also the fruit of human efforts. It must be established and preserved.

The message emphasizes, "Let us join in extinguishing the fires of hatred, violence, and war, and instead light the gentle candle of peace, drawing upon resources for peace that are present in our rich human and religious traditions."
"May your fasting and other pious practices during Ramadan and the celebration of ‘Id al-Fitr that concludes it, bring you abundant fruits of peace, hope, and joy."


Pope: 'May The Jubilee Help The People Of God Live In Hope'

Addressing members of the Dicastery for Evangelization, Pope Francis reflects on the 2025 Jubilee of Hope and calls for a new approach to evangelization and the promotion a “spirituality of mercy” to overcome secularism. By Lisa Zengarini

“When evangelization is carried out with the anointment and the style of mercy, it receives a better hearing, and the heart opens more willingly to conversion.”

Pope Francis offered this reminder on Friday as he addressed the members of the Section for Fundamental Questions regarding Evangelization of the Dicastery for Evangelization meeting for its plenary assembly.

Evangelization In A Secularized World

The Pope started his speech, which was read by Monsignor Filippo Ciampanelli, with a reflection on the need for a new approach to evangelization in our secularized and individualistic world.

He remarked that over the past decades secularism has caused “enormous difficulties” which span “from the loss of the sense of belonging to the Christian community, to indifference regarding faith and its contents”.

These negative effects, the Pope noted, have been further accentuated by the new digital culture, which "also brings with it a vision of mankind that appears problematic when referring to the need for truth that resides in every person, joined with the need for freedom in interpersonal and social relationships."

“Therefore,” he said, “the major issue before us is to understand how to overcome the rupture that has occurred in the transmission of faith. To this end, it is urgent to recover an effective relationship with families and with formation centres.”

“In order to be transmitted, faith in the risen Lord, which is the heart of evangelization, requires significant experience lived within the family and the Christian community as an encounter with Jesus Christ who changes life. Without this encounter, real and existential, we will always be subject to the temptation to make faith a theory and not a testimony of life.”

In this regard, Pope Francis welcomed the new Directory for Catechesis released in 2020 by the then Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization as a “valid” and effective tool “not only for the renewal of the catechetical methodology", but above all “for the involvement of the Christian community as a whole.”

The Crucial Role Of Catechists

Emphasizing the crucial role of catechists, he expressed his hope “that bishops will be able to nurture and accompany vocations to this ministry”, especially among the young, “so that the gap between generations may be narrowed and the transmission of the faith may not appear as a task entrusted only to older people.”

“I encourage you to find ways for the Catechism of the Catholic Church to continue to be known, studied, and valued, so that it may respond to the new needs that manifest themselves with the passing decades.”

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/20...


Save The Children Decries 'Relentless Mental Harm' Suffered By Gaza Children

Save the Children warns of the "complete psychological destruction" Gaza children are suffering due to five months of war. The humanitarian organization appeals once again for a ceasefire and for emergency aid to be able to reach the people immediately. By Thaddeus Jones

With news of aid shipments finally arriving in Gaza on its shorelines, and from the skies through occasional air drops, aid agencies are still warning that much more is urgently needed to save lives. The primary means for massive aid to arrive is via land border crossings, but not nearly enough has been able to get through.

The charitable organization, Save the Children, among many other aid agencies, continues to sound the alarm on the lack of food and clean water that is causing "a catastrophic hunger crisis, with nearly every child in Gaza at risk of famine."

Renewed Appeal For Ceasefire

In a statement released this week, Save the Children appealed once again for "an immediate, definitive ceasefire to save and protect the lives of children in Gaza" and called on Israeli authorities "to allow the unfettered flow of aid and the resumption of entry of commercial goods into Gaza to prevent children from dying of starvation and disease."

Gaza's Ministry of Health reports that more than 30,717 people, including 12,550 children, have been killed since the violence erupted in retaliation for the 7 October attacks on Israel killing 1,200 people, including 33 children, and the taking of more than 240 hostages.

Psychological Destruction

Save the Children warned especially of the "relentless mental harm" being inflicted on the children in Gaza due to the intensity of five months of bombardments, deaths, destruction, and displacement, resulting now in starvation and disease. The charity warns that the latest escalation in violence has also brought about a total collapse of pre-existing mental health services in Gaza.

Not Too Late

Jason Lee, Save the Children’s Country Director for Palestine, says that no child should have to endure this horrific reality, saying "children in Gaza are going through a period of mass-scale shock and grief," while trying to flee from the violence and its deadlly aftermath. He add that with the right support, there is still hope children can receive the critical help and psychological support they need now, but "none of this is possible without an immediate, definitive ceasefire and safe, unfettered aid access so that humanitarians can provide the critical support needed.”

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/world/news/2...


South Sudan: Step By Step, Women Of The Gospel Weave Peace

It’s been a year since the ecumenical pilgrimage of Pope Francis to the war-torn country of South Sudan. The process of healing and reconciling after years of trauma is still in progress, and women religious are playing a significant role in it. By Sr. Paola Moggi, SMC

South Sudan is a very young nation; it was born on July 9, 2011, after decades of civil war. When a peace agreement was signed in January 2005, the war had left almost 5 million people displaced and 2.5 million dead, leaving a legacy of deep-rooted distrust among rival ethnic groups.

In January 2011, the historic referendum for the independence of the South took place despite mounting challenges. But when the Republic of South Sudan was born amid shouts of joy on July 9, the wounds of mistrust and fear were far from fully healed.

Religious women serving in the new-born nation were aware of this setback, and have been instrumental in promoting peace initiatives.

Beacons Of Hope

Since 2010, the Catholic Health Training Institute (CHTI) of Wau has fostered intercultural dialogue and helped students, both male and female, overcome deeply rooted prejudices.

It was set up by Solidarity with South Sudan, a joint venture of women and men religious, and has developed residential trainings for teachers and nurses and given special attention to food security, pastoral formation, and trauma healing.

The Institute’s first graduation ceremony took place in 2013, and by 2022, CHTI had graduated 181 trained nurses and 87 midwives.

Sr. Brygida Maniurka, a Franciscan Missionary of Mary from Poland, has worked at CHTI since February 2022. “Our students come from different tribes, States, religions, and speak different languages. CHTI constantly emphasizes respect for all cultures and tolerance of differences. Through various activities and exercises we forge bonds of friendship and promote peace and unity. Besides nursing and midwifery, our students learn the art of building relationships and working together,” said Sr Brygida.

She added that accompanying the students on their journey of growth takes many hours of dialogue, “but what a joy to see their transformation after 3 years!” she said.

“And our joy is even bigger when we hear words of praise about them from their home community and from the institution where they work,” added Sr. Brigyda.

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/...


Pope To Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital: 'Your Work Is A Mission'

Welcoming the community of the “Pope’s Hospital” in the Paul VI Hall Pope Francis encourages them to continue their “blessed work” of curing ill children from across the world.
By Lisa Zengarini

Around 3,000 people from the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital met with Pope Francis on Saturday to mark the 100th anniversary of the internationally renowned hospital being donated to the Vatican by the Salviati family.

Among them some 200 children and their parents, including children from countries at war, such as Ukraine and Gaza who are receiving the medical treatment they were unable to get in their home countries.

Expressing his warm gratitude to the Bambin Gesù staff and benefactors, Pope Francis reflected on the “richness” of this institution, underscoring three features: gift, care and community.


In his speech, which was read out by Monsignor Filippo Ciampanelli, he recalled that gift has underpinned its mission all along its history. An anecdote has it that the children of the Duchess Arabella Salviati who found the hospital in 1869, made their own piggy bank where they put money for the most destitute, for sick children and the most needy.

That story, noted the Pope, “tells us that this great work is also based on humble gifts, like that offered by those children for the benefit of their sick peers.”

And this generosity continues still today with the many benefactors who sponsor the hospital, which also welcomes needy children from all over the world regardless of their backgrounds, and has allowed the recent opening of a new Palliative Care Centre near Rome.

“In all of this,” the Pope remarked, “gift is an indispensable element of your being and your action.”

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/20...
Posted By: agnes levine
Monday, March 18th 2024 at 12:43PM
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