Mother Mary said at Fatima: "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the sure way which will lead you to God." St. Thomas Aquinas said: "The things we love tell us who we are!" With that in mind, I will try to post each day something about Our Blessed Lady, items about the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and public domain Catholic books too! I pray you enjoy my ministry!
Below are two albums of pictures that I created:
1. Our grand daughter Adrianna.
2. Tears of Mary!
MARY, OUR MOTHER
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The Moynihan Report: Letter #54: "My Brother Andrew"
March 20, 2013, Wednesday -- "My Brother Andrew"
key thing that Pope Francis did today was to greet Patriarch
Bartholomew I, ecumenical patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, based
in Constantinople, as "my brother Andrew."
Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter, the first Bishop of Rome. They
were fishermen together on the Sea of Galilee, 2,000 years ago.
Pope Francis, the successor of Peter, in 2013, is expressing the sense
of friendship he feels toward the Orthodox, a friendship which reaches
the level of fraternal feelings: the two men, Francis and Bartholomew,
are as the brothers Peter and Andrew.
patriarchs of Constantinople are considered the successors of the
Apostle Andrew, and the Popes of Rome are considered the successors of
the Apostle Peter
Bartholomew's' decision to travel to Rome for Pope Francis'
installation "is an extraordinary event in the history of Christianity,
and it is significant for reasons far beyond its novelty," writes George
E. Demacopoulos, PhD, of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center, Fordham
University, on website of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle.
occasion is being presented in the media as something that has not
happened since the ecclesiastical schism that separated Christian East
and Christian West in the eleventh century," Demacopoulos wrote. "But
that characterization is almost certainly wrong -- this is quite likely
the first time in history that a Bishop of Constantinople will attend
the installation of a Bishop of Rome. And this is a profoundly bold step
in ecumenical relations between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics,
one that could have lasting significance.
and foremost it is a powerful symbolic gesture for the cause of
Christian unity," he continued. "It demonstrates in unprecedented
fashion the extent to which the Ecumenical Patriarch considers the
relationship with the Roman Catholic Church to be a priority. For their
part, members of the Vatican staff have responded to this grand gesture
and have arranged for the reading of the Gospel at the installation to
be sung in Greek (rather than Latin) in recognition of the fact that the
Ecumenical Patriarch has taken this unprecedented step.
"The Christian world has been divided for so long that the
establishment of an authentic reunion will require courage, leadership,
and humility," he concluded. "It will also require a foundation in
common faith and concerns. Given Pope Francis' well-documented work for
social justice and his insistence that globalization is detrimental to
the poor, it would appear as though the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic
traditions have a renewed opportunity to work collectively on issues of
mutual concern. With our Lord's assistance, that common cause can be
transformed into more substantive theological work. But such work
requires a first step and it would appear as though Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew is willing to take such a step."
Note on the Urbi et Orbi Foundation at the Service of Pope Francis
note in passing that, together with about 30 other Catholics, along
with a number of Protestants and Orthodox, we recently launched the "Urbi et Orbi
Foundation," based in the United States, to work for greater unity
between Catholics and Orthodox. We have been seeking 100 "Founding
Members," each of whom donates $2,500, to launch our Foundation. Some of
you reading this have already become members. We will be working
closely with the new Pope, Francis, through the Vatican's Pontifical
Council for Promoting Christian Unity, to support Francis's efforts to
build bridges of trust between the East and the West. We will support a
number of initiatives, from direct charity (improved medical care for
abandoned children) to theological and cultural initiatives (lectures
and concerts). If you wish further information about this Foundation,
simply reply to this email and I will email back with full details. I
encourage you to consider joining with us in this work. —Robert Moynihan)
Pope Francis met today, the second day of his pontificate, with
"fraternal delegates" who ranged from representatives of other Christian
Churches and denominations, to representatives of Jewish, Muslim, and
other non-Christian communities.
Once again, as he has so often in these days, he asked for those present to pray for him.
One might almost say that today was the day of "Brother Francis" ("Fra Francesco") as much as it was of "Pope Francis."
The Encyclical on Faith
Francis also made reference in his remarks to these "fraternal
delegates" to "The Year of Faith" which was called by Pope Benedict XVI
last fall, and which will finish in November, on the Feast of Christ the
of the great questions of the new papacy right now is what Pope Francis
will decide to do about the encyclical on "faith" which Pope Benedict
had been preparing for this "Year of Faith," and had evidently nearly
finished. The text is said to contain many very beautiful passages. Will
Pope Francis make this encyclical his own? Could he even consider
publishing it under both his name and the name of his predecessor? Or
will he not publish it at all? We do not know.
Phone Call to Benedict
yesterday afternoon, the Vatican confirmed, Pope Francis made a phone
call to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to express his good wishes on the
Pope Emeritus' saint's day — the Feast of St. Joseph (March 19). Francis
conveyed to Emeritus Pope Benedict his, and the Church's, gratitude for
the Pope emeritus' service. It was a long and cordial phone call.
has attentively followed the events of recent days, including watching
the events on television, in particular the Mass of inauguration of the
new pontiff's Petrine ministry yesterday, and Benedict assured his
successor of his continued closeness in prayer.
The two will meet in Castel Gandolfo on Saturday, March 23.
A Second Dossier for Francis to Read?
Interestingly, it was reported today in Avvenire,
the daily paper of the Italian bishops' conference, that, in addition
to the 300-page secret dossier on the "Vatileaks" affair that Emeritus
Pope Benedict has left to Pope Francis, there is also another text by Benedict himself which Benedict has "left on his desk" for the new Pope to read.
The news comes from a normally reliable source -- Archbishop Loris Capovilla,
who was the personal secretary of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963). However,
Capovilla is now 98 years old, so it is possible that he may have
confused the Vatileaks dossier with this other text, although Capovilla
says quite directly that "it is not the Vatileaks dossier."
Here is the text from this morning's Avvenire in a interview of Capovilla by Marco Roncalli. Capovilla says: "In
ogni caso – e non stiamo parlando dei dossier Vatileaks – Benedetto XVI
ha lasciato sulla scrivania del suo successore qualcosa come trecento
pagine scritte personalmente da lui, così mi è stato detto da Roma." ("In
any case -- and I am not talking about the Vatileaks dossier --
Benedict XVI has left on the desk of his successor something like 300
pages written personally by him, so I have been told by Rome.")
ends his interview by wondering whether Pope Francis is already reading
this long text left, it appears, by Pope Benedict.
Also today, just prior to the larger meeting, Pope Francis received in separate, smaller audiences:
-- Her Excellency Dilma Vana Rousseff, president of Brazil, with an entourage,
-- His Holiness Bartholomew I, Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople,
-- Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, and
-- Claudio Epelman, executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress.
In Argentina, Pope Francis Hosted Russian Orthodox Icons
the meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion: On March 18, Monday, a
delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate headed by Metropolitan Hilarion of
Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for
External Church Relations (DECR), arrived in Rome to attend the
enthronement of Pope Francis. Hilarion and Bishop Sergiy of
Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administrative
Secretariat, were met at the airport by the Rev. Milan Žust, S.J., of
the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and hieromonk
Antoniy (Sevryuk), rector of the Church of St. Catherine in Rome and
secretary of the administration of the Moscow Patriarchate’s parishes in
of the delegation were accommodated at the Domus Santa Marta, where the
new Pope is residing. A short meeting with Pope Francis took place at
the refectory. The Pope warmly greeted Metropolitan Hilarion who
introduced members of the delegation and conveyed cordial best wishes to
Pope Francis from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All
Pope said that he had offered special prayers for Patriarch Kirill at
the divine service as it is a commemoration day of St. Cyril of
Jerusalem according to the Julian calendar.
Francis also thanked Metropolitan Hilarion for the exhibition of
Russian icons held in Buenos Aires last autumn with the St. Gregory the
Theologian Charity Foundation’s assistance. The future Pope visited the
exhibition and has warm recollections of it.
"I also ask of you the kindness of a special prayer for myself, so that
I might be a Pastor in harmony with Christ's heart.”
Here is a more detailed report on the noon meeting with the "fraternal delegates" from the Vatican Information Service (VIS):
POPE FRANCIS: "YOUR PRESENCE IS A TANGIBLE SIGN OF COOPERATION FOR COMMON GOOD OF HUMANITY"
Vatican City, 20 March 2013 (VIS) –
Early this afternoon in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic
Palace, Pope Francis received fraternal delegates, that is,
representative envoys of Churches, Ecclesial Communities, and
international ecumenical organizations, as well as representatives of
non-Christian Religions, who have come to Rome for the inauguration of
his ministry as Bishop of Rome and successor of the Apostle Peter.
On behalf of those present, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople,
Bartholomew I, greeted the Pope, recalling the “elevated, serious, and
difficult task” that his ministry bears with it. He also reiterated the
need for the Churches to shun worldly distractions and to work on the
unity between Christians.
Francis, who listened to the words of the Patriarch seated on an
armchair rather than the throne that is customarily used in the
Clementine Hall, thanked Bartholomew I, calling him “my brother Andrew,”
since the patriarchs of Constantinople are considered the successors of
the Apostle Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.
then said that, thanks to the presence at yesterday's Mass of
representatives of the various communities, he felt “in an even stronger
way, the prayer for unity among the believers in Christ and [glimpsed]
prefigured in some way, its full realization, which depends on God's
plan and our sincere cooperation.”
“I begin my apostolic ministry,” he continued, “in this year that my
venerated predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, with a truly inspired
intuition, proclaimed the Year of Faith for the Catholic Church. With
this initiative, which I wish to continue and which I hope serves as a
stimulus for each of us in our journey of faith, he wanted to
commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council,
proposing a type of pilgrimage to what is essential for every Christian:
a personal and transforming relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of
God, who died and rose again for our salvation. The heart of the
Council's message lies precisely in the desire to proclaim this
ever-valid treasure of the faith to the persons of our time.”
Francis then recalled the image and words of Pope John XXIII at the
opening of the Council: “The Catholic Church considers it her duty to
actively work so as to bring about the great mystery of that unity for
which Jesus Christ prayed so ardently to His Father in heaven on the eve
of his sacrifice.”
continued saying: “Yes, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we all
feel intimately joined in our Saviour's prayer at the Last Supper, to
his call: 'ut unum sint'. Let us call on our merciful Father that
we may fully live that faith that we received as a gift on the day of
our Baptism and to be able to witness to it freely, joyfully, and
courageously. This will be the best way we can serve the cause of unity
among Christians, a service of hope for a world that is still marked by
divisions, differences, and rivalries.”
“For my part, I wish to assure you, following in the path of my
predecessors, of my firm will to continue on the path of ecumenical
dialogue ... I ask you to take my cordial greetings and assurance of my
remembrance in the Lord Jesus to the Churches and Christian Communities
that you represent here. I also ask of you the kindness of a special
prayer for myself, so that I might be a Pastor in harmony with Christ's
Then, addressing the representatives of the Jewish communities, he
emphasized “the very special spiritual bond” that they have with
Quoting the Vatican II declaration Nostra Aetate
(1965), he said: “'The Church of Christ acknowledges that ... the
beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the
Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets.' … I am confident that, with the
help of the Almighty, we can profitably continue that fraternal dialogue
that the Council hoped for and that has been carried out, bearing not
few fruits, especially over the last few decades.”
The Pope then greeted those belonging to other religious traditions,
first of all the Muslims who “adore the one, living, and merciful God
and who call upon Him in prayer.”
addressing all those gathered, he said: “I really appreciate your
presence. In it I see a tangible sign of the desire to grow in mutual
respect and cooperation for the common good of humanity.”
“The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of the promotion of
friendship and respect between men and women of different religious
traditions. I want to repeat this: the promotion of friendship and
respect between men and women of different religious traditions.”...
Church “is also aware of the responsibility that we all bear to this
our world, to all of creation, which we should love and protect. And we
can do much for the good of the poorest, of the weak and suffering, to
promote justice and reconciliation, to build peace. But, above all, we
must keep alive the thirst for the Absolute in the world, not allowing a
one-dimensional vision of the human person, in which humanity is
reduced to that which it produces and consumes, to prevail. This is one
of the most dangerous pitfalls of our times.”
“We know how, in recent times, violence has produced an attempt to
eliminate God and the divine from the horizon of humanity, and we feel
the value of witnessing in our societies to the original openness to the
transcendent that is inscribed in the human heart. In this, we also
feel close to all men and women who, although not claiming to belong to
any religious tradition, still feel themselves to be in search of truth,
goodness, and beauty, God's Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, and who are
our precious allies in the effort to defend human dignity, in building a
peaceful coexistence between peoples, and in carefully protecting
(end VIS report)
"Think nothing else but that God ordains all, and where there is no love, put love, and you will draw love out." --St. John of the Cross
Francis's schedule for the next few days
On Saturday, 23 March, he will go to Castel Gandolfo to meet with Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and have lunch with him.