We need to listen to Pope Francis’ appeal.


Venerato Babaine 2016_JPEGBy Venerato Deus Babaine, M.Afr

“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation, which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges… All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvement and talents” (n°14).

The earth is “our common home” is a beautiful statement. The word home, simple as it is, tells a great story about the life of any living creature. It provokes the sentiments of belonging, tranquillity and joyfulness revealed in Sacred Scripture in the book of Genesis “Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden…. and he placed there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad (Gen. 2:8-9, The African Bible). The themes in this short text are clear: the presence of a person on earth endowed with dignity, the soils that sustain vegetation, plenty of food and trees that provide an aesthetic milieu, abundance of life and possibility to discern the authenticity of life.

laudato-si-pope-francisWhen the Pope makes this appeal, he is deeply aware of some of the debates at various conventions held since the 1970s that have led to declarations and policies. These debates have seen shifts in the emphasis laid on certain topics. At the beginning, the stress was on development and its sustainability. The stress has now come to be on the earth itself and the impact that human action has had in these last centuries of industrialised development. This shift has forced a number of states to formulate polices regarding the environment and ecology and some have enshrined them in their national constitutions. Techno-science has given us more information. Religions are more aware of the material world. Inevitably, this has affected human consciousness and made it reflect seriously on the issues and to take action without exclusively basing themselves on faith or scientific grounds. Occurrences of floods, the melting of polar-ice or snow on some mountain tops in Africa, expansion of desserts, air and water pollution, rapid extinction of some fauna and flora species, depletion of bog-lands and wetlands, irregular seasons, all trigger despair and debate among housewives, herd boys , sailors, policy makers and techno-scientists. These events affect the safety, security and happiness of humanity.

It is said that our common home has enough for everybody’s need but not everybody’s greed. The Pope calls for a conversion to be more responsible and concerned about others. The encyclical mentions that the resources of the earth has been exploited to satisfy the greedy at the expense of the needy. It calls for a balanced life-style and moderation of human passions, which Hippocrates had mentioned before the era of Jesus. One important point, does not feature strongly; the population explosion. There are too many feet treading the earth and too many stomachs to fill. There is a remarkable population increase in every country. The more population grows the more facilities we need; more food and space are required. The animal population has also multiplied and they need more space and feedstuffs. Consequently, lamentations rise instead of praises. We need more space for living as well as for more food and water. In a long run, more rubbish will be generated leading to more pollution. The human population seems to claim more rights over the other members on the block.

If we are still inspired by the ‘Genesis concept’ of Eden, where it was all good, we have to design policies, adapt our catechesis and change our habits and create awareness among the earth’s inhabitants.

“This basic awareness would enable the development of new convictions, attitudes and forms of life. A great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set-out on the long path of renewal (n°202) Commitment to ecological concerns without the promotion of the human dignity is futile. The earth needs to be a home for all creatures.

We have to engage in matters of justice, advocacy for equal opportunities, provide a home for refugees and migrants. We need to respect and appreciate people’s cultures and traditions. We need to promote basic rights such as food, shelter and gender equality. Among us there should not be any segregation based on anything.

We need to cultivate a fascination for landscapes, vegetation, water, animals and fish. We have to contribute towards harmony in “our common home” by conserving or planting trees, cleaning our streets, or closing a water-tap. We have to engage neighbourhood communities in biodiversity protection campaigns by using modern media. We need to know more about the natural sciences to be able to pass it on to others and get a better understanding about the natural world.

 See: Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and human ecology.

PDF file: We need to listen to Pope Francis’ appeal

PDF file: Il nous faut écouter l’appel du Pape François.

Meeting Pope Francis Short Video Clip


Pope Francis with Stanley and RichardClick on the picture and see a short video clip from today’s audience with Pope Francis when he joked with us about losing a Superior General. A wonderful short video. Enjoy. Fraternally, Raymond McQuarrie, M.Afr

CHAPITRE, mercredi 08 juin 2016 (extrait de la lettre du père Gilles Barette)

« Ce matin, nous avons eu l’Eucharistie à 7 heures. Car dès 9 heures, tous les capitulants avaient rendez-vous au Vatican, près du bâtiment du Saint-Office, devenu Congrégation pour la Doctrine de la Foi. Conduits par Monseigneur Richard Baawobr, habillé en évêque, nous sommes passés par les détecteurs de métaux (nos ceintures, nos montres, notre monnaie) et la machine qui détecte si nous portons encore quelque chose qui pourrait être suspect. On nous a alors indiqué où aller pour prendre nos places réservées sur la place St-Pierre, entre la basilique et la grande place. Nous avons attendu en plein soleil pendant plus d’une heure avant que la papamobile conduisant le Pape ne surgisse derrière nous et fasse le tour de la place St-Pierre, s’arrêtant ici et là pour saluer des enfants, des handicapés, etc. Finalement, il est descendu de sa voiture, est monté sous le chapiteau au centre devant la porte sainte de la basilique. Pendant ce temps, des haut-parleurs transmettaient des informations en plusieurs langues: les différents groupes présents sur la place, et le déroulement de l’audience. (…)

Le Pape s’est alors déplacé pour aller prendre des photos avec certains groupes: des migrants d’un diocèse du sud de l’Italie, des sauveteurs en montagne accompagnés de leurs chiens, des personnes en chaise roulante ou souffrant d’une malformation physique, des aveugles, etc. Pendant ce temps, “il capitolo generale dei Padri Bianchi” a été appelé pour que nous allions prendre place au lieu où allaient être prises les photos.

Quand le Pape est arrivé à nous, il a souri et a posé une question: « Savez-vous ce qu’il faut faire pour se débarrasser d’un Supérieur Général? » Nous ne savions pas. Alors il a dit: « Farlo un vescovo: en faire un évêque ». Après avoir salué Richard Baawobr et notre nouveau Supérieur Général Stan Lubungo, le Pape a dit sur un ton sérieux maintenant. « Vous, Missionnaires d’Afrique, faites un très bon travail dans les jeunes Églises. Votre témoignage est magnifique, plein de la radicalité de l’Évangile, continuez avec courage ». Et photos, puis photos. Nous nous sommes alors retirés et sommes rentrés à la maison de la Via Aurelia. »

Pope Francis and Stan - Rome 2016Pope and Chapter

Pope Francis listed 15 “ailments” of the Vatican Curia


Christopher-Chileshe--2014Dear Confreres,

In a few hours time, we shall be celebrating the feast of Christmas. I was wondering why this year I have taken till now without writing something special to you the confreres.

But now I realize that I can as well share or pass on the reflections of Pope Francis with the Roman Curia as they prepare for Christmas. Find in attachment the examination of conscience which Pope Francis used with the Roman Curia yesterday. It is a must read. I have sort of made a summary to make the reading easy for our own use and reflection.

I saw this last night and read up to ailment number two, only to find that it was speaking about me, on my desk around 22 hours! I am sure that many of us will begin by seeing our leaders out there, the Curia, the Generalate and the Provincialate; but looking closely, we soon realize that these 15 ailments are indeed about all of us as a Church.

As we move towards this Joyful day of His birth, let us simply acknowledge our brokenness. As in any ailment acceptance almost immediately brings about healing. Acceptance puts any ailment in place. We have seen how even the worst health condition such as cancer, AIDS, even Ebola can be contained once they are met with acceptance. So too with each of these ailments in our ways of living Church and Faith today.

I wish you all a Happy and Joyful Christmas!

Frateranlly yours,

Christopher Chileshe, M.Afr – Provincial SAP

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE-EMPLOYEESVATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis listed 15 “ailments” of the Vatican Curia during his annual Christmas greetings to the cardinals, bishops and priests who run the central administration of the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church. Here’s the list.

1) Feeling immortal, immune or indispensable. “A Curia that doesn’t criticize itself, that doesn’t update itself, that doesn’t seek to improve itself is a sick body.”

2) Working too hard. “Rest for those who have done their work is necessary, good and should be taken seriously.”

3) Becoming spiritually and mentally hardened. “It’s dangerous to lose that human sensibility that lets you cry with those who are crying, and celebrate those who are joyful.”

4) Planning too much. “Preparing things well is necessary, but don’t fall into the temptation of trying to close or direct the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which is bigger and more generous than any human plan.”

5) Working without coordination, like an orchestra that produces noise. “When the foot tells the hand, ‘I don’t need you’ or the hand tells the head ‘I’m in charge.'”

6) Having ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s.’ “We see it in the people who have forgotten their encounter with the Lord … in those who depend completely on their here and now, on their passions, whims and manias, in those who build walls around themselves and become enslaved to the idols that they have built with their own hands.”

7) Being rivals or boastful. “When one’s appearance, the color of one’s vestments or honorific titles become the primary objective of life.”

8) Suffering from ‘existential schizophrenia.’ “It’s the sickness of those who live a double life, fruit of hypocrisy that is typical of mediocre and progressive spiritual emptiness that academic degrees cannot fill. It’s a sickness that often affects those who, abandoning pastoral service, limit themselves to bureaucratic work, losing contact with reality and concrete people.”

9) Committing the ‘terrorism of gossip.’ “It’s the sickness of cowardly people who, not having the courage to speak directly, talk behind people’s backs.”

10) Glorifying one’s bosses. “It’s the sickness of those who court their superiors, hoping for their benevolence. They are victims of careerism and opportunism, they honor people who aren’t God.”

11) Being indifferent to others. “When, out of jealousy or cunning, one finds joy in seeing another fall rather than helping him up and encouraging him.”

12) Having a ‘funereal face.’ “In reality, theatrical severity and sterile pessimism are often symptoms of fear and insecurity. The apostle must be polite, serene, enthusiastic and happy and transmit joy wherever he goes.”

13) Wanting more. “When the apostle tries to fill an existential emptiness in his heart by accumulating material goods, not because he needs them but because he’ll feel more secure.”

14) Forming ‘closed circles’ that seek to be stronger than the whole. “This sickness always starts with good intentions but as time goes by, it enslaves its members by becoming a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body and causes so much bad — scandals — especially to our younger brothers.”

15) Seeking worldly profit and showing off. “It’s the sickness of those who insatiably try to multiply their powers and to do so are capable of calumny, defamation and discrediting others, even in newspapers and magazines, naturally to show themselves as being more capable than others.”

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, 1st January 2014


copertina-enFraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace

In this, my first Message for the World Day of Peace, I wish to offer to everyone, individuals and peoples, my best wishes for a life filled with joy and hope. In the heart of every man and woman is the desire for a full life, including that irrepressible longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced.

Fraternity is an essential human quality, for we are relational beings. A lively awareness of our relatedness helps us to look upon and to treat each person as a true sister or brother; without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society and a solid and lasting peace. (…)

The ever-increasing number of interconnections and communications in today’s world makes us powerfully aware of the unity and common destiny of the nations. In the dynamics of history, and in the diversity of ethnic groups, societies and cultures, we see the seeds of a vocation to form a community composed of brothers and sisters who accept and care for one another. But this vocation is still frequently denied and ignored in a world marked by a “globalization of indifference” which makes us slowly inured to the suffering of others and closed in on ourselves. FULL TEXT

Address of Pope Francis to the new Ambassadors – human trafficking


papa-francescoHuman trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free the victims and stop this increasingly aggressive crime which threatens not only individuals but the basic values of society and of international security and justice, to say nothing of the economy, and the fabric of the family and our coexistence.

What is called for, then, is a shared sense of responsibility and firmer political will to gain victory on this front. Responsibility is required towards those who have fallen victim to trafficking in order to protect their rights, to guarantee their safety and that of their families, and to prevent the corrupt and criminals from escaping justice and having the last word over the lives of others. Suitable legislative intervention in the countries of origin, transit and arrival, which will also facilitate orderly migration, can diminish this grave problem.  FULL TEXT 

Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis


banners-EVANGELII-GAUDIUM-ENApostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World
1. THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.
I. A JOY EVER NEW, A JOY WHICH IS SHARED
2. The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.
3. I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”.
Full text in English (571 KB – 76 pages)
Summary in French / Français (146 KB)

Encyclical Letter Lumen Fidei of The Supreme Pontiff Francis


Lumen-Fidei-cover-montageThe light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46). Saint Paul uses the same image: “God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts” (2 Cor 4:6). The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality; its rays cannot penetrate to the shadow of death, the place where men’s eyes are closed to its light. “No one — Saint Justin Martyr writes — has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun”. FULL TEXT        Texte en français

Pope Francis and Mission Nowadays


Pope Brazil visitChers confrères,
Le Père Julien Cormier me demande de vous faire parvenir un texte du Pape François qui nous aidera à réfléchir sur la mission, notre mission et la vie de l’Église.
Vous trouverez ce texte en pièce jointe (en français et en anglais). 
Merci !
Marc Beaudry, M.Afr
Le pape François et la mission aujourd’hui
“Although Pope Francis was speaking about the situation in Latin America, Catholics in other parts of the world may well find much of what Francis had to say recognizable in their contexts, too.”
A. Introduction de Julien Cormier : Le pape, la mission et les M.Afr (en français)
B. Présentation (in English) de John Allen du National Catholic Reporter
C. Présentation (en français) d’Anita Bourdin, Agence Zenit
D. Discours du Pape aux évêques du CELAM à Rio (en français)
E. Address from the Pope to the CELAM Bishops in Rio (in English)
READ MORE
pope_francis_brazil.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxAddress of Pope Francis to Ambassadors on the world of finance and economics – 16th May 2013

Address of Pope Francis to Ambassadors on the world of finance and economics – 16th May 2013


ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCISQuotations from the address:
… Consequently the financial crisis which we are experiencing makes us forget that its ultimate origin is to be found in a profound human crisis. In the denial of the primacy of human beings! We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old (cf. Ex 32:15-34) has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.
The worldwide financial and economic crisis seems to highlight their distortions and above all the gravely deficient human perspective, which reduces man to one of his needs alone, namely, consumption. Worse yet, human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away. We have started a throw-away culture. This tendency is seen on the level of individuals and whole societies; and it is being promoted! In circumstances like these, solidarity, which is the treasure of the poor, is often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and the economy. While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good. A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules. Moreover, indebtedness and credit distance countries from their real economy and citizens from their real buying power. Added to this, as if it were needed, is widespread corruption and selfish fiscal evasion which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The will to power and of possession has become limitless…
there is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and farsightedness, taking account, naturally, of their particular situations. Money has to serve, not to rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ’s name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centred ethics in the world of finance and economics…
FULL ADDRESS
ALSO
Pope Francis Shakes up the Ambassadors Meeting and Addresses Economic Issues
Discours du Pape François au sujet de la dictature de l’économie