Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup
 concern, urges Vatican

Left unchecked, unbridled greed and a thirst for profit leads down a slippery slope that endangers the earth and all who live on it, especially indigenous populations, a Vatican official said.

Msgr Fernando Chica Arellano, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Programme, called on world leaders to make human beings, and not material gain, as their primary concern.

“If this priority is not clear, we will leave withered lands, depleted seas, polluted air, wastelands where beautiful orchards used to flourish as an inheritance to future generations,” Msgr Chica said at the Fourth Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum.

The theme of the conference, held at the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s headquarters in Rome, focused on “promoting indigenous people’s knowledge and innovations for climate resilience and sustainable development”.

In his address, Msgr Chica said that the world must not view indigenous people as minorities but rather as “authentic interlocutors” who correctly instruct humanity about the “harmonious and fruitful relationship between human beings and nature, reminding us that man does not have absolute power over creation”.


 encourages peace in
 to leaked letter

Pope Francis sent a letter to Nicolas Maduro responding to a recent invitation to mediate in the Venezuelan political crisis, according to an Italian newspaper.

On February 13, the Milan daily newspaper Corriere Della Sera published a report saying that the Pope had written to Mr Maduro reiterating his desire for the avoidance of violence in the country.

According to the article, the Pope wrote earlier this month that previous peace efforts in Venezuela were “interrupted because what had been agreed in the meetings was not followed by concrete gestures to implement the agreements”.

“The Holy See clearly indicated what were the conditions for dialogue to be possible” in December 2016 in “a series of requests”, it went on to say.

The Holy See did not comment on the letter, citing the private nature of the correspondence. The report only quoted fragments of the alleged letter, including Francis’ reiteration of his desire to “avoiding any form of bloodshed”.


Pope says prayer and community go hand in hand

Prayer is not just a private and intimate dialogue between a person and God, but rather an opportunity for Christians to bring the needs of others before the Lord, Pope Francis said.

“There is no room for individualism in the dialogue with God,” the Pope said during his weekly general audience. “There is no display of one’s own problems as if we were the only ones in the world who suffer. There is no prayer raised to God that is not the prayer of a community of brothers and sisters.”

Arriving at the Paul VI audience hall, the Pope was welcomed by the sound of a children’s choir singing a song based on his own teaching of the three words that are important for family life: “please”, “thank you” and “sorry”.

Continuing his series of talks on the “Our Father”, the Pope said, “avoids falsehood; with God, it is impossible to pretend. It is impossible! In front of God, there is no trick that has power. This is how God knows us: naked in our conscience. And it isn’t possible to pretend.”