Nations obliged to ‘care for poor’, Pope says
Nations, like individuals, have a “solemn duty” to care for the poor and to work together to promote development, Pope Francis told a group of ambassadors beginning their service at the Vatican.
International cooperation for development and for peace-making tap into a common, universal desire to experience real fraternity, the Pope told the new ambassadors from Thailand, Norway, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Luxembourg, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
The nine ambassadors, who presented their letters of credential to Pope Francis on May 23, do not reside in Rome, but serve as their country’s representatives to the Vatican while simultaneously holding other posts, mostly as ambassadors to other European nations.
“As we face increasingly complex global challenges,” the Pope told them, “it is right to underline the importance of fraternity, for striving together to ensure just and peaceful coexistence is not merely a socio-political strategy but is an example of that solidarity which runs deeper than a mutual desire to achieve a shared goal.”
“The pressing need to be attentive to the poorest of our fellow citizens is a solemn duty,” Pope Francis said, and it is “eloquently expressed when, respectful of legitimate diversity, we are united in promoting their integral human development”.
Church must assist struggling expectant mothers
To fight a throwaway culture that pressures women to view abortion as the only alternative to a difficult pregnancy, the Catholic Church must be ready to assist, accompany and care for expectant mothers and their families, said US Cardinal Kevin Farrell.
The cardinal, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, opened a Vatican conference on protecting life on May 23.
Catholics, Cardinal Farrell said, must have a more “pastoral orientation” to fulfil the Christian obligation to “take care of another in a loving and caring manner in accordance with our view of human life: that every man and every woman is created in the image and likeness of God”.
“One of the greatest challenges to every mother is the thought that the child in the womb may be diagnosed with a grave illness,” he said. “It is at such moments that the Church and indeed all people of good will must be prepared and ready to assist the mother and her family as a loving mother that the Church is always called to be.”
The two-day conference, titled ‘Yes to Life: Caring for the Precious Gift of Life in its Frailness’, featured experts in the field of prenatal care and medicine as well as religious men and women.
Vatican financial fraud still at large
The Vatican’s Financial Information Authority have said in their annual report that they continue to catch cases of fraud involving the city state’s financial institutions, including a case of money laundering.
The report, presented to journalists last week, showed that there were 56 Suspicious Activity Reports filed with the AIF in 2018, down from 150 in 2017.
SARs filed over the last three years have led the AIF to investigate cases of money laundering and financial fraud within Vatican financial entities.
Among these appears to be the case of Argentine Msgr Patrizio Benvenuti, who was arrested and charged with financial fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering in 2016.
Sums worth around €9 million were seized from Benvenuti’s non-profit organisation, Kepha Invest.
It is believed he defrauded some 300 people out of around €30 million.