Vatican City, Sep 16, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Catholics should not be indifferent to politics, Pope Francis said, but should offer their suggestions, as well as prayers that their leaders may serve the common good in humility and love.
In his Sept. 16 daily homily at Santa Marta, the Pope rejected the idea that “a good Catholic doesn’t meddle in politics.”
“That’s not true. That is not a good path,” he said, according to Vatican Radio. “A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of himself, so that those who govern can govern.”
“None of us can say, ‘I have nothing to do with this, they govern,’” Pope Francis told those present for the Mass. Rather, citizens are responsible for participating in politics according to their ability, and in this way are responsible for their leadership.
“Politics, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good,” he explained. “I cannot wash my hands, eh? We all have to give something!”
He noted that it is sometimes common for people to speak only critically of their leaders, to complain about “things that don’t go well.”
Instead of simply complaining, we should offer ourselves – our ideas, suggestions, and most of all our prayers, the Holy Father said.
Observing that prayer is “the best that we can offer to those who govern,” he pointed to St. Paul’s letter to Timothy inviting prayer for the conversion and strong leadership of those in authority.
Even if they believe certain politicians to be “wicked,” Christians should pray “that they can govern well, that they can love their people, that they can serve their people, that they can be humble,” he said.
At the same time, the Pope reflected on the role of those who hold political power, stressing the need for humility and love.
Reflecting on the Gospel of the centurion who humbly and confidently asked for the healing of his servant, the Holy Father explained that “a leader who doesn’t love, cannot govern – at best they can discipline, they can give a little bit of order, but they can’t govern.”
In addition, he emphasized, “You can’t govern without loving the people and without humility!”
“And every man, every woman who has to take up the service of government, must ask themselves two questions: ‘Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?’”
“If you don’t ask those questions, your governance will not be good,” Pope Francis continued. “The man or woman who governs – who loves his people is a humble man or woman.”
Bombay, India, Sep 16, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - A reliquary containing a cloth with a drop of blood from Blessed Pope John Paul II will be displayed for veneration in a Marian Basilica in the Archdiocese of Bombay, India.
Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, the apostolic nuncio to India, presented the relic to Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay at Mount Mary’s Basilica at Bandra.
Archbishop Pennacchio was in the archdiocese on an official two-day visit.
“The nuncio’s visit marks an important faith factor to reconfirm the growth of faith and mission activity of evangelization,” said Father Antony Charanghat, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Bombay.
He told CNA that receiving the relic during the current Year of Faith “is a twin joy.”
People in India have great “love, affinity and memory” of Pope John Paul II, as a result of his 1986 apostolic visit to the country, Fr. Charanghat said.
“People of all faith recognized him as an enduring Pope and a great leader.”
Known for his world travel and outreach to youth, among other things, Bl. John Paul II died in 2005 and will be canonized next spring.
The relic of the beatified Pope was presented to the rector of Mount Mary’s Basilica at the end of a Sept. 8 Mass.
Attended by more than 8,000 people, the Mass concluded a novena and festival of Mary’s Nativity, celebrated throughout the country by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
In his homily, the nuncio reflected on the Virgin Mary, to whom Pope John Paul II had a great devotion.
He defended Catholics’ veneration of Mary, noting that “we honor her precisely because she is the ‘best disciple’ the most transparent example of what it means to follow Jesus and to do God’s will.”
“Rightly understood, devotion to Mary helps us to be God-centered, as she was,” the nuncio explained, “and it will not take us away from Christ, but it will lead us to better follow the path of Jesus.”
Mary helps teach us our faith, he said, as “our sister, our ‘Mother of faith,’ our fellow disciple.”
Washington D.C., Sep 16, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - U.S. leaders are offering prayers for the nation following a shooting at the Navy Yard in southeast Washington, D.C., that left 13 dead and about a dozen more injured.
“I join people of all faiths across our community in praying for the people killed and wounded in the attack at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C,” said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, adding that he is also praying for first responders and for family and friends of the victims.
“While many facts are still unknown, our most powerful tool right now is prayer,” the Washington cardinal said in a Sept. 16 statement. “The Church always calls us to prayer, particularly in moments of crisis. It is what we do best because it is what the Lord asks us to do.”
At about 8:20 a.m. on Sept. 16, numerous shots were fired at the D.C. facility, which contains the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command.
Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier confirmed that at least 13 people were killed in the shooting, including one shooting suspect, identified by the FBI as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a military contractor from Texas. Authorities are asking the public for help in finding more information on Alexis and the shooting.
Police initially said that they were looking for two more potential suspects, but later said they had found and cleared one of the individuals, leaving the other possible suspect at large.
Washington Mayor Vincent Gray told reporters that the motive for the shooting is unclear.
The base and surrounding public schools were placed on lockdown for several hours, according to the Department of the Navy and D.C. city officials.
As the nation confronts “yet another mass shooting,” President Barack Obama said in a Sept. 16 press conference, “we send our thoughts and prayers to all at the Navy Yard who’ve been touched by this tragedy.”
“We thank them for their service. We stand with the families of those who’ve been harmed. They’re going to need our love and support.”
The president said authorities are investigating the shooting in order to “make sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible” and prevent similar acts of violence.
Military Archbishop Timothy M. Broglio said he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the news.
Noting that he has “often visited and celebrated the Eucharist” at the base's chapel, he added that he “prayed for the victims, the wounded, and their families at the noon Mass at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center.”
Archbishop Broglio urged society to “restore the notion of respect for life into the fabric of the Nation,” in order to prevent such acts in the future.
“When the uniqueness of the human person created in the image and likeness of God is universally recognized, the possibility of a mass shooting is more remote,” he said.