Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup
Safeguard the world God created, Vatican asks Muslims

The Vatican’s annual message to Muslims at the end of Ramadan called on both Christians and Muslims to protect God’s creation.

“Our vocation to be guardians of God’s handiwork is not optional, nor is it tangential to our religious commitment as Christians and Muslims: it is an essential part of it,” said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Bishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Each year, the council for interreligious dialogue publishes a message to the world’s Muslims in preparation for the celebration of the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting. This year Ramadan ends on June 24.

The pontifical council chooses a theme annually to promote dialogue by “offering insights on current and pressing issues”.

The theme chosen for 2017 was Caring for Our Common Home, which echoes Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’.

The statement was released soon after President Donald Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.


Pope advises schoolchildren on growing up as term ends

As the school year came to an end, Pope Francis gave advice to young pupils to prepare them for the future.

“Life is a long series of hellos and goodbyes, so don’t be afraid to let go of the past; remember old friends, but keep moving and be open to the new,” Pope Francis told students. The schoolchildren were part of Communion and Liberation’s The Knights of the Grail educational initiative.

One pupil told the Pope she was scared to be leaving middle school, along with most of her best friends, as they head on to secondary school next year. “Why do I have to change everything? Why does growing up make me so afraid?” she asked him.

“Life is a constant ‘good morning’ and ‘farewell,’” the Pope said, with the goodbyes sometimes being for forever.

“You grow by encountering and by taking your leave,” he said.

“If you don’t learn to say goodbye well, you will never learn how to encounter new people.”

This moment of change in life is “a challenge”, he said, but “in life we have to get used to this journey of leaving something behind and encountering something new”.


Parents are first educators

The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN held a side event this month which focused on the role parents have in their children’s development. Archbishop Bernardito Auza said that parents are their children’s first educators, and help to form their values, responsibilities and ethical development.

The archbishop said: “Those interested in the good of children, mothers, fathers and society must work to strengthen parents, as individuals and as a loving unit,” he said, calling the family the “grammar school of human existence”.

He added that parenthood is in crisis as there is an increase in fatherless families, saying that: “Fatherhood in some places has been reduced to a biological act rather than a crucial relationship not only in the optimal development of children…”

The Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Initiative of the Catholic University of America, Dr Patrick Fagan, said that many times single-parent families are due to unavoidable injustices.

Dr Fagan said that the relationship between a mother and father is crucial to a child’s development.