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(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is holding a symposium this week to mark twenty five years since the publication of Saint John Paul II's social encyclical “ Centesimus Annus". In an effort to find out more about this social encyclical  Veronica Scarisbrick speaks to a Professor of Social Teaching at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas here in Rome. He's Dominican Alejandro Crosthwaite:  It was 1987 when Pope John Paul II promulgated his social encyclical "Sollicitudo Rei Socialis". In this document he highlighted changing circumstances, both within the debtor nations and in the international financial market:"...At a time when  the instrument chosen to make a contribution to development had turned into a counterproductive mechanism. This because  debtor nations, in order to service their debt, found themselves obliged to export the capital needed for improving or at least maintaining their sta...
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis’s journey Saturday 16 April to the Greek island of Lesbos is a show of solidarity for migrants “who are people; they have a history, they have dreams, they have names.” That’s according to Fr. Leon Kiskinis, the only Catholic parish priest on the island.  He told Vatican Radio's Francesca Sabatinelli that migrants need “to be treated with dignity, as human beings.”The International Migration Organization estimates that since the beginning of this year, more than 170,000 migrants and refugees have made the treacherous journey by sea to Greece and Italy.Since Pope Francis was elected to the papacy, Fr. Kiskinis says, he has always shown his closeness to "those on the margins, those deprived of their dignity."  He recalls that the Pope’s first journey at the start of his pontificate was to the Italian island of Lampedusa in solidarity with the tens of thousands of refugees arrivi...
(Vatican Radio) The initiative "transformative cooperation between value-based investors" promoted by the European Movement in Italy (CIME), the European Partners for Environment (EPE), and the Centre for Studies on Federalism (CSF), took place at the headquarters of the French Institute - Center Saint Louis in Rome on the morning of April 15th.Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, gave the opening speech on "Sustainable Finance and Care in the light of Laudato si’."The Conference will be preceded, on April 14, by a meeting of European experts called upon to finalize the text of the draft "Declaration of Rome", the 2016-2021 agenda and the basic document.This initiative falls within the wider framework of the European Movement in Italy which intends to urge both the national and the European authorities to a change of course in the European integration process, to ensure dialogue and permanent con...
A leading Catholic Church authority in Thailand, invited to the inauguration of a mosque, had called for promoting peace and harmony saying differences should not be a cause of conflict.  "We need to build more solid bridges and destroy the walls of hatred and prejudice that divide us,” said Mgr Andrew Thanya Vissanu Anan, deputy general secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand, who attended the inauguration of a new mosque at Bangkok’s Islamic Centre earlier this week.  Speaking at a seminar after the ceremony, he focused on inter-faith dialogue and the role of Christianity and Islam in a country where 93 per cent of the population is Buddhist.  The former under-secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue urged participants to undertake joint efforts to promote peace and harmony among various confessions, noting that "it is possible" to build a multicultural and pluralistic socie...
(Vatican)  Pope Francis on Friday appointed Indian Cardinal George Alencherry a member of the Vatican’s ‎Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.  The Cardinal, who is Major  Archbishop of ‎Ernakulam-Angamaly, is the head of the eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, based in southern ‎India’s Kerala state.  Besides his latest appointment, ‎Cardinal Alencherry who will turn 71 next week, April 19, is also member of the Vatican’s ‎Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Oriental Churches and the ‎International Council for Catechesis at the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.  ‎Elected the leader of Syro-Malabar  Catholics on May 24, 2011, he was made ‎cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, at the consistory of 14 Oct, 2012.  
(Vatican Radio) A major international conference sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is hosting a conference this weekend looking at the 25th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s landmark social encyclical letter Centesimus annus.Centesimus annus was itself an anniversary marker: celebrating the 100th anniversary of the seminal Papal piece of writing on social matters in the modern world, Rerum novarum, by Pope Leo XIII in 1891.Centesimus annus was written at a moment of massive change and upheaval in politics and economics in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in the midst of an unprecedented increase in wealth and standards of living across the globe that were threatened by corrupt and exploitative interests. Its purpose was to welcome a vision of morally ordered liberty in the service of the human person. Now, scholars, policymakers and political leaders from around the world are  gathered in the Vatican to take stock of political,...
(Vatican Radio) Monsignor Janusz S. Urbanczyk, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), on Thursday said “a weakening of the freedom of religion” has led to the “discrimination and intolerance against Christians within the OSCE region.”He was speaking during a meeting on “Policies and Strategies to Further Promote Tolerance and Non-Discrimination” taking place in the 57-nation security organization’s Vienna headquarters.“Particularly worrisome is the fact that across the OSCE region a sharp dividing line seems to be drawn between religious belief and religious practice: Christians are frequently reminded in public discourse or even in the courts, that they can believe whatever they like in private, and worship as they wish in their own churches, but they simply cannot act on those beliefs in public,” – Msgr. Urbanczyk said. – “This is a deliber...
(Vatican Radio) The Holy See on Thursday said it has become “outdated” to speal about minority and majority communities when it comes to discrimination, “since victims of  intolerance  and  discrimination may belong to either.”Monsignor Janusz S. Urbanczyk, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), was speaking at the OSCE Permanent Council.“In  particular, in the case of Christians, it is recognized that they are  suffering  violations of their rights also where they are a majority, often in ways that go unnoticed,” Msgr. Urbanczyk said. “Therefore,  all forms of religious intolerance and  discrimination  need  to  be  carefully  identified  and  equally  addressed,  avoiding  any improper selectivity or hierarchical approach.”The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Eur...
(Vatican Radio) The Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Archbishop Arthur Roche, said Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris laetitia (the Joy of Love), is one of the “best documents I have read.”In the document, Pope Francis offers support to married couples, and urges pastors to be understanding when dealing with people in difficult marital situations.Listen:  “It’s very easily read – and it’s a very joyful read – because it’s a very encouraging message that the Holy Father is giving to the world on marriage and the family,” Archbishop Roche told Vatican Radio.“It’s a light in a very obscure world which really doesn’t believe in the family and in marriage as much as the Church does, so it will be of enormous encouragement to people throughout the world as they make their steps towards marriage – particularly young couples who live in a...
(Vatican Radio) On 14th April, The Embassy of the Czech Republic to the Holy See together with the Sovereign Order of Malta presented a photographic exhibition which focuses on more than 30 years of humanitarian crises.The exhibition entitled, “The Devil within Us”, shows 53 photographs by Czech photographer, Jan Sibik. During the opening, a discussion about ‘humanitarian crises at the international level’ took place ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit in May.Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni attended the event and spoke to Albrecht Boeselager, Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order of Malta who said “the result of the evil atrocities in the world”, must be talked about. The Order of Malta is currently present in 120 countries worldwide aiding those who are victims of armed conflict and natural disaster.Speaking ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, the Grand Chancellor expressed his hope that the visit would &...
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