Vatican Roundup

Vatican expresses hopes for a US presidency of peace

The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, has sent congratulations to Donald Trump on his election as President of the US and expressed hopes that his tenure will be one to bring peace and well-being.

“We give our best wishes to the new president, so that his government can be really fruitful,” Cardinal Parolin said in a message issued November 9. “We assure him of our prayers, so that the Lord may enlighten him and support him in the service of his country, and of course, also in serving the well-being and peace of the world.

“I think that today,” the cardinal added, “there is a need for everyone to work to change the world’s situation, that is one of severe laceration, and of serious conflict.”

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, meanwhile, has pledged to “work closely” with President-elect Trump “as well as both houses of Congress, as we seek to really promote the good of all”.

In a statement, conference president Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville offered his congratulations to Mr Trump and his prayers that all political leaders will now “rise to the responsibilities entrusted to them with grace and courage”.


Pope issues message of ‘inclusion’

Pope Francis has stressed the importance of “inclusion” during his last Saturday audience before the closing of the Year of Mercy. 

Addressing pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, the Pontiff said that “God’s mercy, which excludes no one, challenges us to be merciful and open to the needs of others, especially the poor and all those who are weary and burdened…We, who have experienced that love and mercy, have a part to play in his saving plan, which embraces all of history. In his mercy, God calls all men and women to become members of the body of Christ, which is the Church, and to work together, as one family, in building a world of justice, solidarity and peace.”


The Pope went on to challenge the faithful to demonstrate love and inclusion to all without “classifying” others on the basis of faith, language, race or culture, and to “embrace” the person before us.

Referencing the surroundings of St Peter’s Square, he concluded: “The arms of the great colonnade surrounding this square symbolise that embrace. They remind us not only of the Church’s mission to the human family, but also of our own call to bear faithful witness to God’s inclusive love through the mercy, love and forgiveness we show to others.”


Ennio Morricone leads Vatican concert for the poor

The Pope Paul VI Hall at the Vatican has played host to a special fundraising concert for the poor led by Oscar-winning Italian composer Ennio Morricone.

Responsible for memorable scores for films such as The Mission and Once Upon a Time in the West, the legendary conductor directed the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra and the National Academy of Saint Cecilia Chorus for the ‘With the Poor and for the Poor’ event. The evening included many of the compositions that have made him most famous.

All proceeds from the night are set to benefit Pope Francis’ Sign of Charity for the Jubilee, which includes the construction of a new Cathedral in Moroto in Uganda and an Agricultural School in Burkina Faso.