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Pope Francis’ Message for World Mission Sunday 2019: “Baptised and Sent”

The Social Communications Committee produced a podcast on What is Mission. Take time to listen to it. English: Bahasa Malaysia: World Mission Sunday in 2019 falls on 20 October. Instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926, the annual day encourages prayers, cooperation and help for missions as well as reminding Christians about the fundamental missionary character of the Church and of every baptised person. The full text of the message: (English) Dear Brothers and Sisters, For the month of October 2019, I have asked that the whole Church revive her missionary awareness and commitment as we commemorate the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV (30 November 1919). Its farsighted and prophetic vision of the apostolate has made me realise once again the importance of renewing the Church’s missionary commitment and giving fresh evangelical impulse to her work of preaching and bringing to the world the salvation of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again. The title of the present Message is the same as that of October’s Missionary Month: Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World. Celebrating this month will help us first to rediscover the missionary dimension of our faith in Jesus Christ, a faith graciously bestowed on us in baptism. Our filial relationship with God is not something simply private, but always in relation to the Church. Through our communion with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we, together with so many of our other brothers and sisters, are born to new life. This divine life is not a product for sale – we do not practise proselytism – but a treasure to be given, communicated and proclaimed: that is the meaning of mission. We received this gift freely and we share it freely (cf. Mt 10:8), without excluding anyone. God wills that all people be saved by coming to know the truth and experiencing his mercy through the ministry of the Church, the universal sacrament of salvation (cf. 1 Tim 2:4; Lumen Gentium, 48). The Church is on mission in the world. Faith in Jesus Christ enables us to see all things in their proper perspective, as we view the world with God’s own eyes and heart. Hope opens us up to the eternal horizons of the divine life that we share. Charity, of which we have a foretaste in the sacraments and in fraternal love, impels us to go forth to the ends of the earth (cf. Mic 5:4; Mt 28:19; Acts 1:8; Rom 10:18). A Church that presses forward to the farthest frontiers requires a constant and ongoing missionary conversion. How many saints, how many men and women of faith, witness to the fact that this unlimited openness, this going forth in mercy, is indeed possible and realistic, for it is driven by love and its deepest meaning as gift, sacrifice and gratuitousness (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-21)! The man who preaches God must be a man of God (cf. Maximum Illud). This missionary mandate touches us personally: I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptised man and woman is a mission. People in love never stand still: they are drawn out of themselves; they are attracted and attract others in turn; they give themselves to others and build relationships that are life-giving. As far as God’s love is concerned, no one is useless or insignificant. Each of us is a mission to the world for each of us is the fruit of God’s love. Even if parents can betray their love by lies, hatred and infidelity, God never takes back his gift of life. From eternity he has destined each of his children to share in his divine and eternal life (cf. Eph 1:3-6). This life is bestowed on us in baptism, which grants us the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, the conqueror of sin and death. Baptism gives us rebirth in God’s own image and likeness, and makes us members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. In this sense, baptism is truly necessary for salvation for it ensures that we are always and everywhere sons and daughters in the house of the Father, and never orphans, strangers or slaves. What in the Christian is a sacramental reality – whose fulfillment is found in the Eucharist – remains the vocation and destiny of every man and woman in search of conversion and salvation. For baptism fulfils the promise of the gift of God that makes everyone a son or daughter in the Son. We are children of our natural parents, but in baptism we receive the origin of all fatherhood and true motherhood: no one can have God for a Father who does not have the Church for a mother (cf. Saint Cyprian, De Cath. Eccl., 6). Our mission, then, is rooted in the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of the Church. The mandate given by the Risen Jesus at Easter is inherent in Baptism: as the Father has sent me, so I send you, filled with the Holy Spirit, for the reconciliation of the world (cf. Jn 20:19-23; Mt 28:16-20). This mission is part of our identity as Christians; it makes us responsible for enabling all men and women to realise their vocation to be adoptive children of the Father, to recognise their personal dignity and to appreciate the intrinsic worth of every human life, from conception until natural death. Today’s rampant secularism, when it becomes an aggressive cultural rejection of God’s active fatherhood in our history, is an obstacle to authentic human fraternity, which finds expression in reciprocal respect for the life of each person. Without the God of Jesus Christ, every difference is reduced to a baneful threat, making impossible any real fraternal acceptance and fruitful unity within the human race. The universality of the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ led Benedict XV to call for an end to all forms of nationalism and ethnocentrism, or the merging of the preaching of the Gospel with the economic and military interests of the colonial powers. In his Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, the Pope noted that the Church’s universal mission requires setting aside exclusivist ideas of membership in one’s own country and ethnic group. The opening of the culture and the community to the salvific newness of Jesus Christ requires leaving behind every kind of undue ethnic and ecclesial introversion. Today too, the Church needs men and women who, by virtue of their baptism, respond generously to the call to leave behind home, family, country, language and local Church, and to be sent forth to the nations, to a world not yet transformed by the sacraments of Jesus Christ and his holy Church. By proclaiming God’s word, bearing witness to the Gospel and celebrating the life of the Spirit, they summon to conversion, baptise and offer Christian salvation, with respect for the freedom of each person and in dialogue with the cultures and religions of the peoples to whom they are sent. The missio ad gentes, which is always necessary for the Church, thus contributes in a fundamental way to the process of ongoing conversion in all Christians. Faith in the Easter event of Jesus; the ecclesial mission received in baptism; the geographic and cultural detachment from oneself and one’s own home; the need for salvation from sin and liberation from personal and social evil: all these demand the mission that reaches to the very ends of the earth. The providential coincidence of this centenary year with the celebration of the Special Synod on the Churches in the Amazon allows me to emphase how the mission entrusted to us by Jesus with the gift of his Spirit is also timely and necessary for those lands and their peoples. A renewed Pentecost opens wide the doors of the Church, in order that no culture remain closed in on itself and no people cut off from the universal communion of the faith. No one ought to remain closed in self-absorption, in the self-referentiality of his or her own ethnic and religious affiliation. The Easter event of Jesus breaks through the narrow limits of worlds, religions and cultures, calling them to grow in respect for the dignity of men and women, and towards a deeper conversion to the truth of the Risen Lord who gives authentic life to all. Here I am reminded of the words of Pope Benedict XVI at the beginning of the meeting of Latin American Bishops at Aparecida, Brazil, in 2007. I would like to repeat these words and make them my own: “Yet what did the acceptance of the Christian faith mean for the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean? For them, it meant knowing and welcoming Christ, the unknown God whom their ancestors were seeking, without realising it, in their rich religious traditions. Christ is the Saviour for whom they were silently longing. It also meant that they received, in the waters of Baptism, the divine life that made them children of God by adoption; moreover, they received the Holy Spirit who came to make their cultures fruitful, purifying them and developing the numerous seeds that the incarnate Word had planted in them, thereby guiding them along the paths of the Gospel… The Word of God, in becoming flesh in Jesus Christ, also became history and culture. The utopia of going back to breathe life into the pre-Columbian religions, separating them from Christ and from the universal Church, would not be a step forward: indeed, it would be a step back. In reality, it would be a retreat towards a stage in history anchored in the past” (Address at the Inaugural Session, 13 May 2007: Insegnamenti III, 1 [2007], 855-856). We entrust the Church’s mission to Mary our Mother. In union with her Son, from the moment of the Incarnation the Blessed Virgin set out on her pilgrim way. She was fully involved in the mission of Jesus, a mission that became her own at the foot of the Cross: the mission of cooperating, as Mother of the Church, in bringing new sons and daughters of God to birth in the Spirit and in faith. I would like to conclude with a brief word about the Pontifical Mission Societies, already proposed in Maximum Illud as a missionary resource. The Pontifical Mission Societies serve the Church’s universality as a global network of support for the Pope in his missionary commitment by prayer, the soul of mission, and charitable offerings from Christians throughout the world. Their donations assist the Pope in the evangelisation efforts of particular Churches (the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith), in the formation of local clergy (the Pontifical Society of Saint Peter the Apostle), in raising missionary awareness in children (Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood) and in encouraging the missionary dimension of Christian faith (Pontifical Missionary Union). In renewing my support for these Societies, I trust that the extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 will contribute to the renewal of their missionary service to my ministry. To men and women missionaries, and to all those who, by virtue of their baptism, share in any way in the mission of the Church, I send my heartfelt blessing. From the Vatican, 9 June 2019, Solemnity of Pentecost FRANCIS (Mandarin)   教宗方济各 2019 年世界传教节文告 「受洗者和被派遣者:基督的教会在世界传教」 亲爱的兄弟姐妹们: 2019 年 10 月,我要求全体教会善度一段体现传教精神的特殊时期,以纪 念本笃十五世教宗颁布《夫至大》通谕一百周年(1919 年 11 月 30 日) 。 先教宗使徒建议的先知性远见卓识让我确认了今天更新教会传教任务、本 着福音精神重振宣讲的使命、把死而复活的耶稣基督的救恩带给全世界仍 然是很重要的。 文告的标题与 10 月传教月的主题是一样的:「受洗者和被派遣者:基督的 教会在世界传教」。举行传教月,首先有助于我们重新找到我们坚持耶稣基 督信仰的传教意义,这信仰是无偿领受的圣洗的恩典。我们作为儿女属于 天主从来都不是个人行为,永远都是教会的:从与天主,圣父、圣子和圣 神的共融,一个崭新的生活和许多其它兄弟姐妹一起诞生了。这神圣的生 命不是待售的产品——我们不强迫他人改教,而是要奉献、传播、宣讲的 财富:这就是传教的意义。我们白白领受了这一恩典、我们也要白白地分 施(参见:玛 10,8),不能将任何人排除在外。天主要所有人都得救,得 以认识真理、得益于救恩的普世圣事,即教会感受祂的慈悲。(参见:弟前 2,4、3,15;梵蒂冈第二届大公会议《教会宪章》48) 教会在世界传教:在耶稣基督内的信德赐予了我们一切事物的正确尺度, 使我们用天主的眼睛和心灵去审视世界;望德给我们开启了我们真正参与 的永生的永恒前景;我们在圣事、在手足之爱中预先感受的爱德激励着我 们直到极地去(参见:米 5,3;玛 28,19;宗 1,8;罗 10,18)。一个走 出去直到天涯海角的教会,要求持续性的和永久的传教皈依。多少圣人、 多少信德的男女老少给我们作出了见证;向我们展示出这种无限的开放、 这慈悲的走出去是可能的、可行的。而慈悲的走出去是爱及其奉献、牺牲 和无偿内在逻辑的紧迫推动力(参见格后 5,14-21)!宣讲天主的人要做天 主的人。(参见:《夫至大》通谕) 这是与我们密切相关的派遣:我永远是一个传教使命;你永远是一个传教 使命;每一名受洗者都是一个传教使命。爱的人便行动起来、被推动着走 出自我、被吸引和吸引、为他人奉献并编织孕育生命的关系。因着天主的 爱,没有任何人是毫无价值和微不足道的。我们每个人都是在世界的一个 传教使命,因为是天主之爱的成果。尽管我的父亲和我的母亲用谎言、仇 恨和不忠背叛了爱,天主永远也不会减少赐予生命的恩典,永远将祂神圣 和永恒的生命赐予祂的儿女们。(参见:弗 1,3-6) 这生命在圣洗圣事中传播给了我们,圣洗赐予了我们在战胜了罪恶和死亡 的胜利者耶稣基督内的信仰、使我们在天主的形象和肖像内再生、将我们 纳入了基督的奥体,也就是教会。就此而言,圣洗也就是救恩真正必要的, 因为确保我们是儿女,永远都是、无论身在何处,在天父的家里,我们永 远都不是孤儿、陌生人或者奴隶。身为基督徒是圣事现实——其满全是圣 体,是等待皈依和救恩的每个人男女老少的圣召和命运。事实上,圣体圣 事是成为现实的天主恩典的承诺,使人在圣子内成为天主的儿女。我们是 我们亲生父母的孩子,但在圣洗内给了我们原始的父性和真正的母性:如 果一个人没有教会这位母亲就不能有天主这位父亲。(参见:圣齐普里亚诺 的《教会的合一》4) 由此,在天主的父性中和教会的母性中奠定了我们传教的根基,因为在圣 洗圣事内,是耶稣在逾越节的委任中表达的与生俱来的派遣:正如父派遣 了我,为了世界的修和我也派遣充满了圣神的你们(参见:若 20,19-23; 玛 28,16-20)。基督徒肩负着这一派遣,以便任何一个人都不会错过身为 义子的圣召的宣讲;对人性尊严、每一个人类生命从受孕到自然死亡的内 在价值的确定性。肆虐的世俗主义,当积极地、文化性地拒绝天主在我们 历史中的父性活动时,就会阻碍在相互尊重每个人的生命中体现的各种真 正的普世性友爱。没有耶稣基督的天主,每一种差异都会沦为地狱般的威 胁、使人类不可能有任何友爱的接纳和富有成效的团结。 天主在耶稣基督内赐予的救恩的普世性目标,让本笃十五世要求克服各种 民族主义和种族中心的封闭;克服宣讲福音和殖民国家及其经济、军事利 益的各种混淆。《夫至大》通谕中,教宗指出了教会传教事业神圣的普世性, 要求摆脱各自祖国和各自种族的独家专属。文化和团体向着耶稣基督救恩 新意的开放,要求克服不当的种族性和教会性封闭内倾。今天,教会也继 续需要(那些)因着他们的圣洗圣事慷慨响应走出去召叫的男男女女,离 开自己的家、自己的家庭、自己的祖国、自己的语言、自己的地方教会。 他们被派到人们中、到尚未被耶稣基督的圣事及其圣教会改变的世界里。 在宣讲天主圣言、见证福音、庆祝圣神生命的同时,他们呼唤皈依;在尊 重每个人的个人自由、与被派遣地人民的文化和宗教对话中为他人傅洗、 奉献基督的救恩。由此,教会始终需要的向外邦人传教,为全体基督徒的 持久性皈依进程做出了根本的贡献。在耶稣复活内的信仰、圣洗性的教会 派遣、走出各自的地理和文化以及自己的家;需要从罪中得救、摆脱个人 和社会邪恶,都需要到天涯海角去传教。 天主圣意让世界传教节欣逢亚马逊地区教会特别主教会议的举行,使我强 调耶稣用祂的圣神恩典交给我们的传教事业对那片土地及其居民们仍然具 有现实意义、仍然是必要的。一个更新的五旬节打开了教会的大门,不让 任何一种文化封闭于自我、不让任何民族被孤立,而是向着信仰的普世性 共融敞开。任何人都不要封闭在自我内,禁锢于自身的种族和宗教归属内。 耶稣的复活打破了世界、宗教和文化的狭隘界限,同时召叫他们在尊重男 人和女人的尊严中成长,迈向越来越圆满的向着复活上主的真理的皈依, 祂赐予所有人真正的生命。 本笃十六世教宗 2007 年在巴西阿帕雷西达我们拉丁美洲主教会议开幕式 上的讲话使我想到了这一建议,在此,我想重申并借用这些话:「对拉丁美 洲和加勒比海地区国家而言,接受基督信仰意味着什么?对他们来说,意 味着认识和接受了基督,那是他们的祖先在不知情的情况下在自身丰富宗 教传统中探索的未知的天主。基督是他们默默渴望的救世主。还意味着因 着圣洗圣事的水领受了永生,使他们成为天主的儿女;此外还领受了圣神, 祂使他们的文化丰富、净化他们的文化并让降生成人的圣言放在他们中的 无数胚芽和种子茁壮起来,由此指引他们迈向福音的道路。 (……)天主的 圣言,在耶稣基督内降生成人的同时,也造就了历史和文化。重新回到前 哥伦布时代宗教;把他们和基督、和普世教会分裂开来的乌托邦式幻想不 是一个进步,而是退步。事实上,这是固定在过去的历史时刻的退化。」 (2007 年 5 月 13 日开幕式上的讲话) 让我们把教会的传教事业托付给我们的慈母玛利亚。和她的圣子一起,从 降生成人起,童贞便行动起来,她让自己完全参与到了耶稣的使命中,这 使命,在十字架下也变成了她自己的使命:作为教会的母亲配合在圣神内、 在信仰内孕育天主的新儿女。 最后,我想简要谈谈宗座传教善会,在《夫至大》通谕中它就已经被提为 传教工具。宗座传教善会以一个全球性网络来展示他们为教会普世性的服 务,这一全球性网络用遍布全世界的基督徒的祈祷、传教宣传和爱德来支 持教宗的传教任务。他们的奉献帮助教宗在地方教会的福传(宗座信仰传 播善会)、地方司铎的培育(圣伯多禄宗徒善会)、教育全世界孩子们的传 教意识(宗座圣婴善会)和基督徒信仰的传教培育(宗座传教联盟)。再次 重申我对上述善会支持的同时,我祝愿 2019 年 10 月的特别传教月能为更 新他们为我的职责的传教服务做出贡献。 我由衷地降福男女传教士们、降福所有因着各自圣洗圣事的力量以各种方 式参与传教的人、降福教会的传教事业。 方济各 梵蒂冈 2019 九年 6 月 9 日,圣神降临瞻礼 (中文翻译:信仰通讯社) (Bahasa Malaysia) Perutusan Bapa Suci sempena Hari Misi Sedunia 2019 Hari Misi Sedunia pada 2019 jatuh pada tanggal 20 Oktober. Dirasmikan oleh Pope Pius XI pada 1926, perayaan tahunan itu mendorong doa, kerja sama, dan bantuan untuk misi selain mengingatkan umat Kristian mengenai sifat asas Gereja dan setiap orang yang telah dibaptis untuk menjalankan misi. Teks lengkap perutusan Bapa Suci: Saudara dan saudari yang terkasih, Untuk bulan Oktober 2019, saya telah meminta agar seluruh Gereja menghidupkan semula kesedaran dan komitmennya sebagai misionari bertepatan dengan peringatan seratus tahun Surat Apostolik Maximum Illud yang ditulis oleh Pope Benedict XV (30 November 1919). Visi kerasulan itu yang berpandangan jauh dan bernubuat itu telah menyedarkan saya semula tentang kepentingan untuk membaharui komitmen Gereja sebagai misionari dan memberi dorongan injili baharu untuk tugas penginjilannya dan membawa kepada dunia keselamatan Yesus Kristus, yang telah mati dan bangkit kembali. Judul bagi perutusan ini sama dengan tema Bulan Misi pada Oktober: Dibaptis dan Diutus: Gereja Kristus dalam Misi di Dunia. Meraikan bulan ini akan membantu kita pertama sekali untuk menemukan kembali dimensi misionari dalam iman kita kepada Yesus Kristus, iman yang diberikan kepada kita dalam pembaptisan. Hubungan kita dengan Allah bukanlah sesuatu yang sekadar bersifat peribadi, tetapi sentiasa dalam hubungan dengan Gereja. Melalui persekutuan kita dengan Allah, iaitu Bapa, Putera dan Roh Kudus, kita dilahirkan untuk kehidupan baharu, bersama dengan begitu ramai saudara dan saudari kita. Kehidupan ilahi ini bukan produk untuk dijual – kita tidak mengamalkan proselitisme – melainkan khazanah yang harus diberikan, disampaikan dan diwartakan: itulah makna misi. Kita menerima kurnia ini secara percuma dan kita membahagikannya juga secara percuma (lihat Matius 10:8), tanpa mengecualikan sesiapa pun. Allah menginginkan semua orang diselamatkan dengan mengenali kebenaran dan mengalami belas-kasihNya melalui pelayanan Gereja, iaitu sakramen keselamatan yang universal atau sejagat (lihat 1 Timotius 2: 4; Lumen Gentium, 48). Gereja sedang menjalankan misi di dunia. Iman kepada Yesus Kristus memampukan kita untuk melihat segala sesuatu dalam perspektif yang betul, apabila kita memandang dunia dengan mata dan hati Allah sendiri. Harapan membuka kita kepada keabadian kehidupan ilahi yang kita sama-sama miliki. Kasih, yang kita dapat rasai dalam sakramen-sakramen dan dalam persaudaraan, mendorong kita untuk pergi ke hujung bumi (lihat Mikah 5:4; Matius 28:19; Kisah Para Rasul 1: 8; Roma 10:18) . Gereja yang bergerak ke sempadan paling jauh memerlukan pertaubatan misionari yang konsisten dan berterusan. Berapa ramai orang kudus, berapa ramai lelaki dan wanita yang beriman, menjadi saksi kepada hakikat bahawa keterbukaan tanpa batas ini, penginjilan dalam belaskasihan ini, sememangnya mungkin dan realistik, kerana ia didorong oleh kasih dan maknanya yang paling mendalam sebagai kurnia, pengorbanan dan bersifat percuma ( lihat 2 Korintus 5:14-21)! Orang yang berkhutbah tentang Allah seharusnya menjadi abdi Allah (lihat Maximum Illud). Mandat misionari ini menyentuh kita secara peribadi: Saya sentiasa satu misi; anda sentiasa satu misi; setiap lelaki dan wanita yang telah dibaptis adalah satu misi. Orang yang bercinta tidak pernah duduk diam; mereka ditarik keluar dari diri mereka sendiri; mereka ditarik dan mereka pula menarik orang lain; mereka memberikan diri mereka kepada orang lain dan membina hubungan yang memberi kehidupan. Dalam kasih Allah, tidak ada orang yang tidak berguna atau tidak bermakna. Setiap daripada kita adalah misi kepada dunia kerana setiap daripada kita adalah buah kasih Allah. Jika pun ibu bapa dapat mengkhianati kasih mereka dengan pembohongan, kebencian dan perselingkuhan, Allah tidak pernah mengambil balik kurnia kehidupanNya. Sejak abadi lagi Allah sudah menentukan agar setiap daripada anak-anakNya menikmati kehidupanNya yang ilahi dan kekal abadi (lihat Efesus 1: 3-6). Kehidupan ini diberikan kepada kita dalam pembaptisan, yang memberi kita kurnia iman kepada Yesus Kristus, yang menakluki dosa dan kematian. Pembaptisan memberi kita kelahiran baharu menurut gambaran dan rupa Allah sendiri, dan menjadikan kita anggota Tubuh Kristus, iaitu Gereja. Dari logik ini, pembaptisan benar-benar perlu untuk keselamatan kerana ia memastikan bahawa kita selalu dan di mana-mana sahaja adalah putera dan puteri dalam rumah Bapa, dan bukan yatim piatu, orang asing atau hamba. Realiti bersifat sakramen dalam orang Kristian ini - dengan penggenapannya yang dijumpai dalam Ekaristi - tetap menjadi panggilan dan takdir setiap lelaki dan wanita yang mencari pertaubatan dan keselamatan. Sebab pembaptisan memenuhi janji kurnia Allah yang menjadikan setiap orang putera atau puteri di dalam Putera. Kita adalah anak-anak kepada ibu bapa kandung kita, tetapi dalam pembaptisan, kita menerima asal mula bagi semua kebapaan dan keibuan sejati: tidak ada orang yang dapat memiliki Allah sebagai Bapa tanpa memiliki Gereja sebagai ibu (lihat Saint Cyprian, De Cath. Eccl. , 6). Maka itu, misi kita berakar dalam kebapaan Allah dan keibuan Gereja. Mandat yang diberikan oleh Yesus yang Bangkit pada Hari Paska adalah tersirat di dalam Pembaptisan: sebagaimana Bapa telah mengutus Aku, demikianlah Aku mengutus kamu, penuh dengan Roh Kudus, untuk perdamaian dunia (lihat Yohanes 20:19-23; Matius 28:16-20). Misi ini merupakan sebahagian daripada identiti kita sebagai orang Kristian; ia menjadikan kita bertanggungjawab untuk memungkinkan semua lelaki dan wanita merealisasikan panggilan mereka untuk menjadi anak-anak yang diangkat Bapa, untuk mengenali martabat diri dan untuk menghargai nilai intrinsik setiap kehidupan manusia, dari kandungan hingga kepada kematian yang semulajadi. Sekularisme yang berleluasa pada hari ini, apabila ia menjadi penolakan budaya yang agresif terhadap sifat kebapaan Allah yang aktif dalam sejarah kita, merupakan halangan kepada persaudaraan manusia yang tulen, yang menemui ekspresi dalam rasa saling hormat-menghormati kehidupan setiap orang. Tanpa Tuhan Yesus Kristus, setiap perbedaan menjadi ancaman yang menyedihkan, yang tidak memungkinkan sebarang penerimaan persaudaraan yang nyata dan kesatuan yang menghasilkan buah di dalam umat manusia. Kesejagatan keselamatan yang ditawarkan oleh Allah dalam Yesus Kristus mendorong Pope Benedict XV untuk membuat seruan agar semua bentuk nasionalisme dan etnosentrisme dihentikan, atau penggabungan pemberitaan Injil dengan kepentingan ekonomi dan tentera kuasa penjajah. Dalam Surat Apostolik beliau, Maximum Illud, Bapa Suci menyatakan bahawa misi Gereja yang universal menuntut diketepikan idea-idea keanggotaan yang bersifat eksklusif di dalam negara dan kumpulan etnik kita sendiri. Pembukaan budaya dan masyarakat kepada kebaharuan Yesus Kristus yang menyelamatkan menuntut agar kita meninggalkan semua jenis introversi etnik dan eklesia yang tidak wajar. Pada hari ini juga, Gereja memerlukan lelaki dan wanita, menerusi pembaptisan, yang menyahut seruan untuk meninggalkan rumah, keluarga, negara, bahasa dan Gereja tempatan, dan untuk diutus ke negara-negara, ke dunia yang belum diubah oleh sakramen-sakramen Yesus Kristus dan GerejaNya yang kudus. Dengan mewartakan firman Allah, menjadi saksi kepada Injil dan meraikan kehidupan Roh Kudus, ia menyeru kepada pertaubatan, pembaptisan dan menawarkan keselamatan Kristiani, dengan mengambil kira kebebasan setiap orang dan dalam dialog dengan budaya dan agama bangsa-bangsa yang kepadanya mereka dikirim. Dengan itu missio ad gentes, yang sentiasa penting bagi Gereja, menyumbang dengan cara yang asas kepada proses pertaubatan yang berterusan dalam semua orang Kristian. Kepercayaan kepada peristiwa Yesus pada Hari Paska; misi eklesia yang diterima dalam pembaptisan; pengasingan geografi dan budaya dari diri kita dan kampung halaman sendiri; keperluan bagi keselamatan dari dosa serta pembebasan dari kejahatan peribadi dan sosial: semua ini menuntut misi yang sampai ke hujung bumi. Kebetulan bagi ulang tahun keseratus ini dengan perayaan Sinod Khusus tentang Gereja-gereja di Hutan Amazon memungkinkan saya untuk menekankan bagaimana misi yang diamanahkan kepada kita oleh Yesus dengan kurnia RohNya juga tepat pada waktunya dan perlu untuk bumi itu dan bangsa-bangsa di sana. Pentekosta yang diperbaharui membuka lebar pintu Gereja, agar tidak ada budaya yang terus tertutup dan tidak ada orang yang terputus daripada persekutuan kepercayaan yang sejagat. Orang tidak harus terus tertutup dalam kepentingan kendiri, dengan merujuk diri kepada persekutuan etnik dan gamanya sendiri. Peristiwa Yesus pada Hari Paska menerobos batas dunia, agama dan budaya yang sempit, memanggil mereka untuk berkembang dalam penghormatan kepada martabat lelaki dan wanita, dan menuju ke arah pertaubatan yang lebih mendalam kepada kebenaran Tuhan Yang Bangkit yang memberikan kehidupan yang tulen kepada semua orang. Di sini saya diingatkan kepada kata-kata Pope Benedict XVI pada awal mesyuarat Uskup-Uskup Amerika Latin di Aparecida, Brasil, pada 2007. Saya ingin mengulangi kata-kata ini dan menjadikannya kata-kata saya sendiri: “Namun apakah makna penerimaan kepercayaan Kristian bagi bangsa-bangsa di Amerika Latin dan rantau Caribbean? Bagi mereka, ia bermakna mengenali dan mengalu-alukan Kristus, Allah tidak dikenali yang telah dicari oleh leluhur mereka, tanpa menyedarinya, dalam tradisi agama mereka yang kaya. Kristus adalah Penyelamat yang mereka rindukan di dalam hati. Ia juga bermakna bahawa mereka menerima, dalam air Pembaptisan, kehidupan ilahi yang menjadikan mereka anak-anak Allah melalui pengangkatan; selain itu, mereka menerima Roh Kudus yang datang untuk menyuburkan budaya mereka, memurnikan mereka dan mengembangkan banyak benih yang ditanam oleh Firman yang menjadi manusia di dalamnya, dengan demikian menuntun mereka pada laluan Injil … Firman Allah, dengan menjadi manusia di dalam Yesus Kristus, juga menjadi sejarah dan budaya. Utopia untuk kembali dan menghembus kehidupan kepada agama-agama pra-Columbus, memisahkan mereka dari Kristus dan dari Gereja yang universal, bukanlah satu langkah ke depan: bahkan, ia adalah langkah ke belakang. Dalam realiti, ia adalah satu kemunduran menuju tahap dalam sejarah yang berpaksikan masa lalu” (Ucapan di Sesi Sulung, 13 Mei 2007: Insegnamenti III, 1 [2007], 855-856). Kita mempercayakan misi Gereja kepada Maria Bonda kita. Dalam persatuan dengan Putera bonda, sejak saat Inkarnasi, Perawan Yang Terberkati memulakan ziarahnya. Maria terlibat sepenuhnya dalam misi Yesus, misi yang menjadi miliknya di kaki Salib: misi untuk bekerja sama, sebagai Bonda Gereja, dalam membawa putera dan puteri Allah yang baharu ke dalam kelahiran dalam Roh dan iman. Saya ingin menyimpulkan dengan kata-kata singkat tentang Karya Misi Kepausan, yang sudah diusulkan dalam Maximum Illud sebagai sumber daya misionari. Karya Misi Kepausan melayani kesejagatan Gereja sebagai jaringan dukungan global bagi Bapa Suci dalam komitmen beliau kepada misi melalui doa, jiwa misi, dan pemberian amal dari orang-orang Kristian di seluruh dunia. Sumbangan mereka membantu Bapa Suci dalam upaya evangelisasi Gereja-gereja tertentu (Persatuan Kepausan untuk Pengembangan Kepercayaan), dalam pembentukan kepaderian tempatan (Persatuan Kepausan Rasul Saint Peter), dalam usaha meningkatkan kesedaran tentang misi pada anak-anak (Persatuan Kepausan bagi Zaman Kanak-kanak Misionari) dan dalam mendorong dimensi misi dalam kepercayaan Kristian (Kesatuan Misionari Kepausan). Dalam membaharui dukungan saya kepada persatuan-persatuan ini, saya percaya bahawa Bulan Misi Luar Biasa pada Oktober 2019 akan menyumbang kepada pembaharuan khidmat mereka sebagai misionari kepada pelayanan saya. Kepada para misionari lelaki dan wanita, dan kepada semua orang yang mengambil bahagian dengan apa jua cara dalam misi Gereja, menerusi pembaptisan mereka, saya memberi pemberkatan saya yang mendalam. Dari Vatikan, 9 Jun 2019, Hari Raya Pentekosta FRANCISThe Social Communications Committee produced a podcast on What is Mission. Take time to listen to it. English: Bahasa Malaysia: World Mission Sunday in 2019 falls on 20 October. Instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926, the annual day encourages prayers, cooperation and help for missions as well as reminding Christians about the ...
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Pope Francis’ Message for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2019

“It is not just about migrants” Dear Brothers and Sisters, Faith assures us that in a mysterious way the Kingdom of God is already present here on earth (cf. Gaudium et spes, 39). Yet in our own time, we are saddened to see the obstacles and opposition it encounters. Violent conflicts and all-out wars continue to tear humanity apart; injustices and discrimination follow one upon the other; economic and social imbalances on a local or global scale prove difficult to overcome. And above all it is the poorest of the poor and the most disadvantaged who pay the price. The most economically advanced societies are witnessing a growing trend towards extreme individualism which, combined with a utilitarian mentality and reinforced by the media, is producing a “globalisation of indifference”. In this scenario, migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking have become emblems of exclusion. In addition to the hardships that their condition entails, they are often looked down upon and considered the source of all society’s ills. That attitude is an alarm bell warning of the moral decline we will face if we continue to give ground to the throw-away culture. In fact, if it continues, anyone who does not fall within the accepted norms of physical, mental and social well-being is at risk of marginalisation and exclusion. For this reason, the presence of migrants and refugees – and of vulnerable people in general – is an invitation to recover some of those essential dimensions of our Christian existence and our humanity that risk being overlooked in a prosperous society. That is why it is not just about migrants. When we show concern for them, we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays. “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” (Mt 14:27). It is not just about migrants: it is also about our fears. The signs of meanness we see around us heighten “our fear of ‘the other’, the unknown, the marginalised, the foreigner... We see this today in particular, faced with the arrival of migrants and refugees knocking on our door in search of protection, security and a better future. To some extent, the fear is legitimate, also because the preparation for this encounter is lacking” (Homily in Sacrofano, 15 February 2019). But the problem is not that we have doubts and fears. The problem is when they condition our way of thinking and acting to the point of making us intolerant, closed and perhaps even – without realising it – racist. In this way, fear deprives us of the desire and the ability to encounter the other, the person different from myself; it deprives me of an opportunity to encounter the Lord (cf. Homily at Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 14 January 2018). “For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?” (Mt 5:46). It is not just about migrants: it is about charity. Through works of charity, we demonstrate our faith (cf. Jas 2:18). And the highest form of charity is that shown to those unable to reciprocate and perhaps even to thank us in return. “It is also about the face we want to give to our society and about the value of each human life... The progress of our peoples... depends above all on our openness to being touched and moved by those who knock at our door. Their faces shatter and debunk all those false idols that can take over and enslave our lives; idols that promise an illusory and momentary happiness blind to the lives and sufferings of others” (Address at the Diocesan Caritas of Rabat, 30 March 2019). “But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight” (Lk 10:33). It is not just about migrants: it is about our humanity. Compassion motivated that Samaritan – for the Jews, a foreigner – not to pass by. Compassion is a feeling that cannot be explained on a purely rational level. Compassion strikes the most sensitive chords of our humanity, releasing a vibrant urge to “be a neighbour” to all those whom we see in difficulty. As Jesus himself teaches us (cf. Mt 9:35-36; 14:13-14; 15:32-37), being compassionate means recognising the suffering of the other and taking immediate action to soothe, heal and save. To be compassionate means to make room for that tenderness which today’s society so often asks us to repress. “Opening ourselves to others does not lead to impoverishment, but rather enrichment, because it enables us to be more human: to recognise ourselves as participants in a greater collectivity and to understand our life as a gift for others; to see as the goal, not our own interests, but rather the good of humanity” (Address at the Heydar Aliyev Mosque in Baku, 2 October 2016). “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father” (Mt 18:10). It is not just about migrants: it is a question of seeing that no one is excluded. Today’s world is increasingly becoming more elitist and cruel towards the excluded. Developing countries continue to be drained of their best natural and human resources for the benefit of a few privileged markets. Wars only affect some regions of the world, yet weapons of war are produced and sold in other regions which are then unwilling to take in the refugees produced by these conflicts. Those who pay the price are always the little ones, the poor, the most vulnerable, who are prevented from sitting at the table and are left with the “crumbs” of the banquet (cf. Lk 16:19-21). “The Church which ‘goes forth’... can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast” (Evangelii Gaudium, 24). A development that excludes makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. A real development, on the other hand, seeks to include all the world’s men and women, to promote their integral growth, and to show concern for coming generations. “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all” (Mk 10:43-44). It is not just about migrants: it is about putting the last in first place. Jesus Christ asks us not to yield to the logic of the world, which justifies injustice to others for my own gain or that of my group. “Me first, and then the others!” Instead, the true motto of the Christian is, “The last shall be first!” “An individualistic spirit is fertile soil for the growth of that kind of indifference towards our neighbours which leads to viewing them in purely economic terms, to a lack of concern for their humanity, and ultimately to feelings of fear and cynicism. Are these not the attitudes we often adopt towards the poor, the marginalised and the ‘least’ of society? And how many of these ‘least’ do we have in our societies! Among them I think primarily of migrants, with their burden of hardship and suffering, as they seek daily, often in desperation, a place to live in peace and dignity” (Address to the Diplomatic Corps, 11 January 2016). In the logic of the Gospel, the last come first, and we must put ourselves at their service. “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). It is not just about migrants: it is about the whole person, about all people. In Jesus’ words, we encounter the very heart of his mission: to see that all receive the gift of life in its fullness, according to the will of the Father. In every political activity, in every programme, in every pastoral action we must always put the person at the centre, in his or her many aspects, including the spiritual dimension. And this applies to all people, whose fundamental equality must be recognised. Consequently, “development cannot be restricted to economic growth alone. To be authentic, it must be well-rounded; it must foster the development of each man and of the whole man” (SAINT PAUL VI, Populorum Progressio, 14). “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God” (Eph 2:19). It is not just about migrants: it is about building the city of God and man. In our time, which can also be called the era of migration, many innocent people fall victim to the “great deception” of limitless technological and consumerist development (cf. Laudato Si’, 34). As a result, they undertake a journey towards a “paradise” that inevitably betrays their expectations. Their presence, at times uncomfortable, helps to debunk the myth of a progress that benefits a few while built on the exploitation of many. “We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved. They are an occasion that Providence gives us to help build a more just society, a more perfect democracy, a more united country, a more fraternal world and a more open and evangelical Christian community” (Message for the 2014 World Day of Migrants and Refugees). Dear brothers and sisters, our response to the challenges posed by contemporary migration can be summed up in four verbs: welcome, protect, promote and integrate. Yet these verbs do not apply only to migrants and refugees. They describe the Church’s mission to all those living in the existential peripheries, who need to be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated. If we put those four verbs into practice, we will help build the city of God and man. We will promote the integral human development of all people. We will also help the world community to come closer to the goals of sustainable development that it has set for itself and that, lacking such an approach, will prove difficult to achieve. In a word, it is not only the cause of migrants that is at stake; it is not just about them, but about all of us, and about the present and future of the human family. Migrants, especially those who are most vulnerable, help us to read the “signs of the times”. Through them, the Lord is calling us to conversion, to be set free from exclusivity, indifference and the throw-away culture. Through them, the Lord invites us to embrace fully our Christian life and to contribute, each according to his or her proper vocation, to the building up of a world that is more and more in accord with God’s plan. In expressing this prayerful hope, and through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Way, I invoke God’s abundant blessings upon all the world’s migrants and refugees and upon all those who accompany them on their journey. From the Vatican, 30 April 2019 Francis Source: Libreria Editrice Vaticana “It is not just about migrants” Dear Brothers and Sisters, Faith assures us that in a mysterious way the Kingdom of God is already present here on earth (cf. Gaudium et spes, 39). Yet in our own time, we are saddened to see the obstacles and opposition it encounters. Violent conflicts and ...
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We are on FORMED! Sign up here!

What is FORMED? FORMED is a platform providing access to may Catholic faith materials. Our Archdiocese has subscribed and paid for use of this platform for all of us in Kuching Archdiocese. You can register and use this platform to study, listen and watch the resources made available to us. Click the image below to register... it's free! What is FORMED? FORMED is a platform providing access to may Catholic faith materials. Our Archdiocese has subscribed and paid for use of this platform for all of us in Kuching Archdiocese. You can register and use this platform to study, listen and watch the resources made available to us. Click the ...
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Kuching Archdiocesan Ministry of Deliverance and Exorcism – Who are they?

Did you know that the Archdiocese of Kuching has our very own ministry of exorcism and deliverance? For your information, Fr Larry Tan, SJ and Friar Don Don Ramerez, OFM have been appointed as exorcists of the Archdiocese of Kuching. Here are the brochures in three languages, produced by KAMODE (Kuching Archdiocesan Ministry of Deliverance and Exorcism). Please download and read. For English: Download here. For BM: Download here. For Mandarin: Download here.Did you know that the Archdiocese of Kuching has our very own ministry of exorcism and deliverance? For your information, Fr Larry Tan, SJ and Friar Don Don Ramerez, OFM have been appointed as exorcists of the Archdiocese of Kuching. Here are the brochures in three languages, produced by KAMODE (Kuching Archdiocesan ...
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Creating a safe environment in the church and protection of our children and vulnerable

In support of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Kuching Archdiocese has initiated a series of talks organised throughout its parishes to raise awareness and a sense of responsibility among the clergy, religious and laity as a proactive effort by the church in creating a safe environment and protection of children and the vulnerable under its care. Concurrent to the above, the Priests in October 2018 and the Archdiocese Pastoral Council Board Meeting on 8 December 2018, have agreed to proceed with implementing the declaration of good behaviour by all those who are ministering to children and minors in Sunday schools, mission schools, parish ministries such as youth, and altar servers. This is an initial step by priests, religious, parish councillors, lay leaders and youth leaders to safeguard and protect the young and vulnerable. On 23 - 24 March, the Archdiocese of Kuching organised a seminar on ‘Safeguarding our children and setting up of Professional Standard Office (PSO) protocol’ which was facilitated by Fr William Michael, Raymund Jagan and Christopher Kushi Kotska, the PSO Team from the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur. The seminar was attended by priests, seminarians, religious, parish councillors, educators/teachers, youth ministers from Kuching, Sibu and Miri Diocese. Topics covered included Canon Law on Child Protection, Malaysian Child Protection Laws covering sexual offences against children, the national support networks and ministries that provide expertise in handling of cases. Kuching Archdiocese PSO interim committee was also formed to work with Kuala Lumpur in the setting up of PSO. Later this month in July, the Archdiocese of Kuching will be initiating the signing of a Declaration of Good Behaviour. Archbishops and priests will take the lead in their monthly Priests’ Meeting on 17 July, to be followed by Parish Pastoral Councillors, Sisters, Catechists, Sunday School Teachers, Campus and Youth Leaders as our commitment towards safeguarding our young and vulnerable and creating a safe environment in our Church and ministries. Mewujudkan persekitaran yang selamat dalam gereja serta pelindungan bagi golongan bawah umur dan golongan yang lemah dan tertedah Dalam usaha untuk menyokong Komisi Kepausan bagi Pelindungan Golongan Bawah Umur, Keuskupan Agung Kuching telah memulakan siri ceramah yang dianjurkan di semua parokinya untuk menimbulkan kesedaran dan rasa tanggungjawab di kalangan paderi, religius dan jemaat awam sebagai satu usaha yang proaktif oleh Gereja bagi mewujudkan persekitaran yang selamat serta pelindungan bagi kanak-kanak serta golongan yang lemah dan terdedah di bawah naungannya. Selari dengan perkara di atas, golongan paderi pada Oktober 2018 dan Mesyuarat Lembaga Majlis Pastoral Keuskupan Agung pada 8 Disember 2018 telah bersetuju untuk melaksanakan deklarasi bagi kelakuan baik oleh semua mereka yang melayani kanak-kanak dan golongan bawah umur di sekolah Hari Minggu, sekolah misionari, dan ministri paroki seperti belia dan pelayan altar. Ini merupakan langkah pertama oleh paderi, religius, ahli majlis paroki, ketua jemaat awam dan ketua belia untuk melindungi dan memelihara golongan muda serta golongan yang lemah dan terdedah. Pada 23-24 Mac, Keuskupan Agung Kuching telah menganjurkan sebuah seminar mengenai ‘Melindungi anak-anak kita dan penubuhan protokol Pejabat Standard Profesional (PSO)’ yang dimudah cara oleh Father William Michael, Raymund Jagan dan Christopher Kushi Kotska, Pasukan PSO dari Keuskupan Agung Kuala Lumpur. Seminar tersebut dihadiri paderi, seminarian, religius, ahli majlis paroki, pendidik/guru serta pelayan belia dari Keuskupan Miri, Sibu dan Kuching. Topik yang dirangkumi termasuk Undang-undang Gereja (Canon Law) mengenai Pelindungan Kanak-kanak, Undang-undang Pelindungan Kanak-kanak Malaysia yang meliputi kesalahan seksual terhadap kanak-kanak, rangkaian sokongan kebangsaan serta kementerian yang menyediakan kepakaran dalam usaha mengendalikan kes. Jawatankuasa sementara PSO Keuskupan Agung Kuching juga dibentuk untuk bekerja dengan Kuala Lumpur dalam usaha menubuhkan PSO. Menjelang hujung bulan Julai, Keuskupan Agung Kuching akan memulakan usaha menandatangani Deklarasi Kelakuan Baik. Uskup agung dan paderi akan mendahului usaha ini dalam Mesyuarat Paderi bulanan mereka pada 17 Julai, disusuli ahli Majlis Pastoral Paroki, Sister, Katekis, Guru Sekolah Hari Minggu serta ketua-ketua Belia dan Kampus sebagai komitmen kita untuk melindungi golongan yang muda, lemah dan terdedah selain mewujudkan persekitaran yang selamat dalam Gereja dan ministri kita. 鑄造一个安全的教會環境及保護我們的兒童和弱小者 古晋总教区支持宗座保护未成年人委员会,已在各堂区启动一系列的讲座,以提高神职人员、修士修女及平信徒的警觉性和责任感,作为教会在塑造一个安全的环境和保护其照顾下的儿童和弱小者的积极的努力。 与此同时,司铎们于2018年10月间,总教区牧灵议会于2018年12月8日的理事会议上,都已同意展开实行所有在主日学、教会学校、堂区职务如青年、辅祭员等参与儿童和未成年人事工的人士宣发行为良好的声明。这是司铎、修士修女、堂区议会成员、平信徒领袖和青年领袖们在捍卫和保护未成年人走出的第一步。 3月23至24日,古晋总教区举办了一个「捍卫我们的儿童及成立专业标准办事处(PSO) 协议」研讨会。研讨会由吉隆坡总教区的专业标准鑄造一个安全的教會環境及保護我們的兒童和弱小者办事处由威廉·麦克神父 (Fr William Michael) 、列蒙·扎甘 (Raymund Jagan) 和克里斯多弗·谷西·科斯卡(Christopher Kushi Kotska) 组成的团队主持。出席这个研讨会的是来自古晋、诗巫和美里教区的司铎、修生、修士、修女、堂区议会成员、教育工作者/教师、青年事工。研讨会探讨的课题包括关于保护儿童的教会法、涵盖对儿童性侵的马来西亚保护儿童法律,国家支援网络和提供处理个案的专门知识的部门。古晋总教区也组成了专业标准办事处临时委员会以和吉隆坡一起成立专业标准办事处。 古晋总教区将在七月较后时展开签署行为良好声明书。总主教们和司铎们将在7月17日的司铎常月会议中带头签署,接下来是堂区牧灵议会成员、修士修女、传道员、主日学老师、 校园及青年领袖,作为我们对捍卫我们的未成年者,及在我们的教会内和各事工内塑造一个安全的环境的承诺 Prepared by Archdiocesan Pastoral Council In support of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Kuching Archdiocese has initiated a series of talks organised throughout its parishes to raise awareness and a sense of responsibility among the clergy, religious and laity as a proactive effort by the church in creating a safe environment and ...
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Pope Francis’ Message on 53rd World Communications Day

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis For the 53rd World Communications Day Dear Brothers and Sisters, Ever since the internet first became available, the Church has always sought to promote its use in the service of the encounter between persons, and of solidarity among all. With this Message I would like to invite you once again to reflect on the foundation and importance of our being-in-relation and to rediscover, in the vast array of challenges of the current communications context, the desire of the human person who does not want to be left isolated and alone. The metaphors of the net and community Today's media environment is so pervasive as to be indistinguishable from the sphere of everyday life. The Net is a resource of our time. It is a source of knowledge and relationships that were once unthinkable. However, in terms of the profound transformations technology has brought to bear on the process of production, distribution and use of content, many experts also highlighted the risks that threaten the search for, and sharing of, authentic information on a global scale. If the Internet represents an extraordinary possibility of access to knowledge, it is also true that it has proven to be one of the areas most exposed to disinformation and to the conscious and targeted distortion of facts and interpersonal relationships, which are often used to discredit. We need to recognise how social networks, on the one hand, help us to better connect, rediscover, and assist one another, but on the other, lend themselves to the manipulation of personal data, aimed at obtaining political or economic advantages, without due respect for the person and his or her rights. Statistics show that among young people one in four is involved in episodes of cyberbullying. In this complex scenario, it may be useful to reflect again on the metaphor of the net, which was the basis of the Internet to begin with, to rediscover its positive potential. The image of the net invites us to reflect on the multiplicity of lines and intersections that ensure its stability in the absence of a centre, a hierarchical structure, a form of vertical organisation. The net works because all its elements share responsibility. From an anthropological point of view, the metaphor of the net recalls another meaningful image: the community. A community is that much stronger if it is cohesive and supportive, if it is animated by feelings of trust, and pursues common objectives. The community as a network of solidarity requires mutual listening and dialogue, based on the responsible use of language. Everyone can see how, in the present scenario, social network communities are not automatically synonymous with community. In the best cases, these virtual communities are able to demonstrate cohesion and solidarity, but often they remain simply groups of individuals who recognise one another through common interests or concerns characterised by weak bonds. Moreover, in the social web identity is too often based on opposition to the other, the person outside the group: we define ourselves starting with what divides us rather than with what unites us, giving rise to suspicion and to the venting of every kind of prejudice (ethnic, sexual, religious and other). This tendency encourages groups that exclude diversity, that even in the digital environment nourish unbridled individualism which sometimes ends up fomenting spirals of hatred. In this way, what ought to be a window on the world becomes a showcase for exhibiting personal narcissism. The Net is an opportunity to promote encounter with others, but it can also increase our self-isolation, like a web that can entrap us. Young people are the ones most exposed to the illusion that the social web can completely satisfy them on a relational level. There is the dangerous phenomenon of young people becoming "social hermits" who risk alienating themselves completely from society. This dramatic situation reveals a serious rupture in the relational fabric of society, one we cannot ignore. This multiform and dangerous reality raises various questions of an ethical, social, juridical, political and economic nature, and challenges the Church as well. While governments seek legal ways to regulate the web and to protect the original vision of a free, open and secure network, we all have the possibility and the responsibility to promote its positive use. Clearly, it is not enough to multiply connections in order to increase mutual understanding. How, then, can we find our true communitarian identity, aware of the responsibility we have towards one another in the online network as well? We are members one of another A possible answer can be drawn from a third metaphor: that of the body and the members, which Saint Paul uses to describe the reciprocal relationship among people, based on the organism that unites them. "Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each to his neighbour, for we are members one of another" (Eph 4:25). Being members one of another is the profound motivation with which the Apostle invites us to put away falsehood and speak the truth: the duty to guard the truth springs from the need not to belie the mutual relationship of communion. Truth is revealed in communion. Lies, on the other hand, are a selfish refusal to recognise that we are members of one body; they are a refusal to give ourselves to others, thus losing the only way to find ourselves. The metaphor of the body and the members leads us to reflect on our identity, which is based on communion and on "otherness". As Christians, we all recognise ourselves as members of the one body whose head is Christ. This helps us not to see people as potential competitors, but to consider even our enemies as persons. We no longer need an adversary in order to define ourselves, because the all-encompassing gaze we learn from Christ leads us to discover otherness in a new way, as an integral part and condition of relationship and closeness. Such a capacity for understanding and communication among human persons is based on the communion of love among the divine Persons. God is not Solitude, but Communion; he is Love, and therefore communication, because love always communicates; indeed, it communicates itself in order to encounter the other. In order to communicate with us and to communicate himself to us, God adapts himself to our language, establishing a real dialogue with humanity throughout history (cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, 2). By virtue of our being created in the image and likeness of God who is communion and communication-of-Self, we carry forever in our hearts the longing for living in communion, for belonging to a community. "Nothing, in fact, is as specific to our nature as entering into a relationship one with another, having need of one another," says Saint Basil. The present context calls on all of us to invest in relationships, and to affirm the interpersonal nature of our humanity, including in and through the network. All the more so, we Christians are called to manifest that communion which marks our identity as believers. Faith itself, in fact, is a relationship, an encounter; and under the impetus of God's love, we can communicate, welcome and understand the gift of the other and respond to it. Communion in the image of the Trinity is precisely what distinguishes the person from the individual. From faith in God who is Trinity, it follows that in order to be myself I need others. I am truly human, truly personal, only if I relate to others. In fact, the word "person" signifies the human being as a "face", whose face is turned towards the other, who is engaged with others. Our life becomes more human insofar as its nature becomes less individual and more personal; we see this authentic path of becoming more human in one who moves from being an individual who perceives the other as a rival, to a person who recognises others as travelling companions. From a "like" to an "amen" The image of the body and the members reminds us that the use of the social web is complementary to an encounter in the flesh that comes alive through the body, heart, eyes, gaze, breath of the other. If the Net is used as an extension or expectation of such an encounter, then the network concept is not betrayed and remains a resource for communion. If a family uses the Net to be more connected, to then meet at table and look into each other's eyes, then it is a resource. If a Church community coordinates its activity through the network, and then celebrates the Eucharist together, then it is a resource. If the Net becomes an opportunity to share stories and experiences of beauty or suffering that are physically distant from us, in order to pray together and together seek out the good to rediscover what unites us, then it is a resource. We can, in this way, move from diagnosis to treatment: opening the way for dialogue, for encounter, for "smiles" and expressions of tenderness... This is the network we want, a network created not to entrap, but to liberate, to protect a communion of people who are free. The Church herself is a network woven together by Eucharistic communion, where unity is based not on "likes", but on the truth, on the "Amen", by which each one clings to the Body of Christ, and welcomes others. From the Vatican, 24 January 2019, the Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales. Franciscus Message of His Holiness Pope Francis For the 53rd World Communications Day Dear Brothers and Sisters, Ever since the internet first became available, the Church has always sought to promote its use in the service of the encounter between persons, and of solidarity among all. With this Message I would like to invite ...
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Chancery Notice: Presbyteral Ordination

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