Pope says entrepreneurship needed in face of 'scandalous poverty'


Vatican City, Nov 7, 2018 / 04:47 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis spoke of the need for creative entrepreneurship in the face of “scandalous poverty” Wednesday, stressing the importance of generosity with one’s possessions.

“If there is hunger on earth, it is not because food is missing!” Pope Francis said in St. Peter’s Square Nov. 7.

“What is lacking is a free and far-sighted entrepreneurship, which ensures adequate production, and a solidarity approach, which ensures fair distribution,” he continued.

“Possession is a responsibility,” Francis stressed. "The ownership of a good makes the one who owns it an ‘administrator of Providence.’”

“The possession of goods is an opportunity to multiply them with creativity and use them with generosity, and thus grow in love and freedom,” he said.

Quoting the catechism, Pope Francis said, “Man, using created goods, must consider the external things that he legitimately possesses, not only as his own, but also as common, in the sense that they can benefit not only him but also others.”

The pope’s remarks on entrepreneurship and ownership came during a reflection on the seventh commandment, “Thou shall not steal.” In recent months, Pope Francis has dedicated his weekly general audiences to a series of lessons and reflections on the Ten Commandments recorded in the scriptural books of Exodus and Deuteronomy.

“‘Do not steal’ means: love with your goods, take advantage of your means to love as you can. Then your life becomes good and possession becomes truly a gift. Because life is not the time to possess, but to love,” Francis said.

In a departure from his prepared remarks, he said, “If I can give … I am rich, not only in what I possess, but also in generosity.”

“In fact, if I cannot give something, it's because that thing has me -- I'm a slave!” he added.

Pope Francis reflected upon St. Paul’s letter to St. Timothy, which says, “For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.”

Christ “enriched us with his poverty,” Pope Francis said.

“While humanity struggles to get more, God redeems him by making himself poor: the Crucified Man has paid for all an inestimable ransom from God the Father, ‘rich in mercy,’” he continued.

The love of money leads to vanity, pride, and arrogance, the pope warned, adding that “the devil enters through the pockets.”

During his general audience, the pope greeted pilgrims from around the world, including a particular greeting for the participants of the first International Men’s Meeting in Rome.

The pope also mentioned that this weekend will mark the 100th anniversary of the independence of Poland and said, “May you always be accompanied by the protection of Mary Queen of Poland and the blessing of God!”


Archbishop Scicluna named adjunct secretary of CDF


Vatican City, Nov 13, 2018 / 09:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis Tuesday appointed Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta as adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

According to a Nov. 13 announcement, Scicluna, 59, will take up the Vatican position while remaining head of the Archdiocese of Malta, which he has led since February 2015.

The archbishop’s appointment as adjunct secretary makes him joint second in command of the CDF with secretary Archbishop Giacomo Morandi under prefect Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer. Among the congregation’s leaders is also under-secretary Fr. Matteo Visioli.

Scicluna, who served as the Vatican’s sexual abuse prosecutor before becoming a bishop in 2012, has continued to have a high-profile role in addressing clerical sexual abuse. He was appointed by Pope Francis to conduct an an apostolic visitation of the Chilean abuse crisis earlier this year.

He also helped establish the Church’s first response to the 2002 sexual abuse crisis, and his work in the field is considered landmark.

Scicluna’s nomination to a high position within the CDF takes place in advance of a Vatican meeting on child protection, which will bring together bishops from all over the world.

According to comments from Scicluna in October, the February meeting on abuse is the time to address “not just the issue of prevention but also of accountability” and the meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss how to tackle issues “on the ground.”

He told CNA in September that the CDF asked bishops’ conferences to prepare guidelines countering abuse in 2001, and most have complied. He added that all existing guidelines have been now screened by the Vatican.

The February 2019 meeting of bishops is “a response to people’s expectation that we move from documents to actions,” he said.

It is not certain which Vatican department will be responsible for the organization of the meeting on abuse prevention, though it will likely fall to the CDF.

In January 2015, Scicluna was made a member of a special doctrinal board established within the CDF in 2014 to handle appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse.

Scicluna also served for 10 years, until 2012, as the promoter of justice of the CDF under then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. From 1995-2002 he was deputy promoter of justice in the Apostolic Signatura.

The archbishop was born in Toronto to Maltese parents in 1959, though his family returned to Malta before his first birthday.

Before the start of his Vatican career, Scicluna was defender of the bond and promoter of justice at the Metropolitan Court of Malta, and a professor of pastoral theology and canon law at Malta’s archdiocesan seminary.


Pope Francis marks World War I centenary with message of peace


Vatican City, Nov 11, 2018 / 05:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The bells of St. Peter’s Basilica rang out in unison with thousands of other church bells around the world Sunday as Pope Francis commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War I.

“While we pray for all the victims of that terrible tragedy, let us say forcefully: invest in peace, not on war!” Pope Francis said at the end of his Angelus address Nov. 11.

The memory of World War I should be a warning to “reject a ‘culture of war’ and seek every legitimate means to put an end to the conflicts that still bleed several regions of the world,” he said and added, “It seems that we do not learn.”

Francis quoted Pope Benedict XV, an advocate for peace during WWI, who denounced the war as “useless slaughter” in his 1917 peace plan. As pope throughout the entirety of the first world war, Benedict wrote five encyclicals and three apostolic exhortations concerning peace.

Around 17 million people, soldiers and civilians, were killed during the Great War. November 11, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice between Germany and the Allies in France, which ended World War I in 1918.

At 1:30 p.m. in Rome, the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica tolled in honor of this centenary in coordination with church bells all over Europe and around the world.

The pope noted that the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours falls on Armistice Day, calling the soldier saint’s act of cutting his cloak in half to share with a poor man a “gesture of human solidarity” that points toward “the way to build peace.”

Francis focused the message of his Angelus address on the poor widow in Matthew’s Gospel, who gives two coins that make up her entire livelihood in her offering to the Temple.

“In this humility, she performs an act charged with great religious and spiritual significance,” he said. “That gesture, full of sacrifice, does not escape the attentive gaze of Jesus, who indeed sees in it the total gift of self, which he wants to teach his disciples.”

“The scales of the Lord are different from ours. He weighs people and their actions differently: he does not measure quantity but quality, he searches the heart and looks at the purity of intentions,” Francis explained.

When we are tempted to seek the attention of others through our altruism, we should think of this poor woman, Francis said. “It will do us good: it will help us to get rid of the superfluous, to focus on what really matters, and to remain humble.”
“The Virgin Mary, a poor woman who gave herself totally to God, sustains us in the purpose of giving the Lord and our brothers not something of ourselves, but ourselves, in a humble and generous offering,” he said.

As Pope Francis prepares to celebrate the second World Day of the Poor next Sunday, mobile medical clinics are set up near Saint Peter’s Basilica to treat anyone in need of general and specialized medical care, including cardiology, dermatology, and ophthalmology Nov. 12 - 18.