Archive of November 13, 2013

Vatican bombing in WWII was work of Italian fascists, author says

Rome, Italy, Nov 13, 2013 (CNA) - Following the 70th anniversary of the bombing of the Vatican in World War II, the author of a new book on the affair has concluded that the attack was carried out by Italian fascist forces.

The circumstances of the Nov. 5, 1943 bombing were long unclear, as was the bombing itself: Vatican City was a neutral country during the war, whose sovereignty was violated by the attack.

The bombs were dropped around eight in the evening from a small plane, and they hit the laboratory of mosaics, Vatican Radio, the Vatican City administration building, the palace of the courts where diplomats lived during the war, and the house of the archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica.

While causing significant damage, there were no casualties to the attack. The office of then-Monsignor Domenico Tardini, deputy of the Secretariat of State, was completely devastated by the explosion.

Until now, the bombing had not been clarified. It was unknown who had bombed the neutral Vatican City and why. Speculation ranged from the Nazis, who were occupying Rome, to the Allies, who had already bombed Rome, to the fascists, allied with the Nazis in northern Italy.

“Bombs on the Vatican,” newly published in Italian and authored by Augusto Ferrara, seeks to shed light on the matter, and publishes for the first time photos of the attack.

In a conversation with CNA Nov. 5, Ferrara recounted that “after the bombing, an investigating commission was immediately formed to ascertain the responsibility for the bombing.”

The Vatican State Secretariat asked for an explanation from the embassies of Berlin, London, and Washington.

The Allies have been considered by many the most likely protagonists of the bombing, though both the English and Americans were surprised about the attack, according to correspondence published on Ferrara’s book.

Ferrara asserted that “after the bombing, a voice spread that the bombing was done from a Savoia Marchetti 79. That kind of plane, smaller than the Anglo-American ones, was part of the equipment of the Italian Social Republic.”

In July 1943, the Allies had invaded Italy, and that same month Mussolini was deposed as prime minister, and arrested. Then the Kingdom of Italy, under Mussolini's successor, Pietro Badoglio, and King Victor Emmanuel III, signed an armistice with the Allies on Sept. 3.

In response to this, the Nazis set up the puppet state the Italian Social Republic, led by Mussolini whom they had rescued from imprisonment. The Italian Social Republic controlled northern and central Italy, opposing the Allied push up the peninsula.

It was in the midst of this division between the Kingdom of Italy and the Italian Social Republic that Vatican City was bombed.

According to Ferrara, Vatican Radio was the main target of the bombing.

Fascists thought Vatican Radio “gave important information to the Allied Forces through its frequencies,” and this is the reason they decided to bomb it.

The plane which bombed the Vatican reportedly took off from the airport of Viterbo, a town 70 miles north of Rome.

Ferrara discovered that “the pilot was a sergeant Parmeggiani, who was ordered to drop the bombs by the prominent fascist Roberto Farinacci.”

That the attack was carried out by the Italian fascists, and not the Allies, is also suggested by a conversation between a priest of Rome, Fr. Giuseppe, and the Jesuit Pietro Tacchi Venturi, who was continuously in touch with Cardinal Luigi Maglione, Vatican Secretary of State.

The conversation is reported in the book “Skyways lead to Rome” by the historian Antonio Castellani.

According to Castellani, Fr. Tacchi Venturi lamented “the attack of the Americans” to Fr. Giuseppe, but Fr. Giuseppe replied, “they were not Americans, they were Italians.”

Fr. Giuseppe then underscored that “it was a Savoia Marchetti plane, with five bombs aboard to be thrown to the Vatican Radio station, since Farinacci was convinced that Vatican Radio transmitted military information to the Allied Forces.”

Following the attack on Nov. 5, 1943, Vatican City was bombed a second time, on March 1, 1944. At that time, six bombs were dropped, killing a worker in Piazza del Sant’Uffizio and injuring a Dutch Augustinian living at Santa Monica College. The attack seriously damaged the Palace of Sant’Uffizio, the Urban College of Propaganda Fide, and the Oratory of Saint Peter.

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Vatican Secretary of State expected in office on Saturday

Vatican City, Nov 13, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican City's Secretary of State, who has reportedly been ill, will arrive in Rome next Saturday to undertake his post, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state emeritus, announced Nov. 12.

Cardinal Bertone stated, “(I) had a phone call with my successor, Archbishop Parolin, who will take his post next Saturday.”

The former secretary of state's comment came at the conclusion of a presentation of his new book, published in Italian, called “Vatican Diplomacy in a Globalized World.” The book is a selection of his diplomatic interventions whilst secretary of state, a post he held from 2006 until Oct. 15 of this year.

It was announced on Aug. 31 that Archbishop Parolin would be replacing Cardinal Bertone as secretary of state. He was appointed Oct. 15, but was unable to take part in the ceremony by which he formally assumed his new position because he needed to undergo an urgent – though not grave – surgery, according to what Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, said during a media briefing that day.

It is understood that Archbishop Parolin, who is 58, has now fully recovered from his Oct. 15 surgery.

Since that day, no medical updates have been provided about the health conditions of the archbishop, purportedly to respect his right to privacy.

At first, Vatican sources spoke about a surgery for appendicitis, though other sources explained that Archbishop Parolin suffered from gallstones. Yet none of these rumors had been confirmed.

After that, it was rumored that Archbishop Parolin was ready to return to Rome and had fixed appointments for the week of Oct. 27. But Fr. Lombardi dismissed these rumors in an informal media briefing held Oct. 25.

At that time, Fr. Lombardi reported that the archbishop's surgery had taken place but would be followed by a convalescing period, without describing the surgery or specifying the length of time for recuperation.

According to several Vatican sources who asked for anonymity, Archbishop Parolin had spent some time in Rome in the week before that of Oct. 15.

Following that, he went back to his home tome of Schiavon, about an hour outside Venice. While there he went to the emergency room over a stomach ache, where the doctor, supposing he had appendicitis, planned his Oct. 15 surgery.

On further investigation, the sources report, the physician discovered that Archbishop Parolin in fact has cancer in his liver, and he was sent to a hospital in Padua.

According to a Vatican source who spoke to CNA Nov. 12 under conditions of anonymity, the cancer was not so grave as to require a transplant of the organ.

Archbishop Parolin underwent a surgery in which the part of liver affected by cancer was removed, and then remained in Padua to recover.

According to sources, no chemotherapy is needed, and Archbishop Parolin has just needed to undergo frequent medical checks.

On Nov. 11, the Vatican had announced that the secretary of state had sent a telegram on behalf of Pope Francis to the Filipino president, expressing the Holy Father's solidarity with those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

A Vatican delegation, which would usually be headed by the secretary of state, will on Nov. 14 go to the Quirinale, the official residence of the Italian president.

The visit will consist of a twofold dialogue: between Pope Francis and Italian president Giorgio Napolitano; and between Italy’s prime minister Enrico Letta and his Vatican counterparts, a delegation normally headed by the secretary of state.

In a media briefing held Nov. 12, the Quirinal Palace's press officer maintained that the Vatican has yet to communicate to Napolitano's office who will head its delegation.

The press officer asserted that it is probable the Holy See is waiting until the last minute, to see if Archbishop Parolin will be able to head the delegation.

Given Cardinal Bertone's announcement that the secretary of state will not be in Rome until Saturday, it has been suggested that the delegation will in fact be led by Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, the Secretariat of State's substitute for general affairs.

Prior to his appointment as secretary of state, Archbishop Parolin had been apostolic nuncio to Venezuela, a post he held from 2009.

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Portsmouth bishop to consecrate diocese at Year of Faith's end

Portsmouth, England, Nov 13, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has announced that as a conclusion to the Year of Faith, he will consecrate the diocese to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and has granted a plenary indulgence to his faithful who make the consecration for themselves.

“In asking everyone to consecrate themselves to the Heart of Jesus, I wish to strengthen our Christian identity, to renew our commitment to be disciples of Jesus Christ, to deepen our love for Christ's Church,” Bishop Egan wrote in a Nov. 12 message to the Diocese of Portsmouth.

“I want to ask everyone to put Jesus first, to acknowledge Him as their Lord, to profess Him alone to be the Way to human happiness, the Truth that sets us free, the Eternal Life for which we long.”

The Year of Faith, which began Oct. 11, 2012, will conclude Nov. 24, the feast of Christ the King. It was announced by Benedict XVI, who desired that it would foster fresh momentum in the new evangelization.

Bishop Egan noted that the diocese had planned to end the Year of Faith by rededicating itself to its patrons, Mary Immaculate and St. Edmund of Abingdon, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1233-1240.

“However, after prayer and reflection, I wish to modify this plan,” he said. “Instead, along with the rededication, I wish to invite everyone, both individually and in a communal act, to consecrate themselves through the Heart of Mary to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.”

The consecration, he emphasized, “is not simply an act of piety.” While noting that the British “have so much to thank God for,” he added that “we also recognise that many people in our society reject God, or they are indifferent towards Him, to their eternal destiny and to the role of religion in human living.”

These attitudes, he said, “are releasing powerful forces of chaos and moral malaise, which undermine our Catholic community,” and politicians, in a spirit of relativism, are leading the U.K. “further and further away from its Christian patrimony, and from those fundamental beliefs and values which until now have made us what we are.”

Emphasizing the importance of love for Christ and his Church, Bishop Egan said he chose In Corde Iesu, “In Jesus' heart”, as his episcopal motto “to make a clear statement and prayer, that Jesus Christ, that Christ alone, that serving Christ, would be absolutely central to everything I think, say and do.”

“I now invite you to do the same,” he told his flock.

The pastor recounted how an elderly man had told him of taking a bicycle tour around Wales when a teenager, and how he and his friends planned their route that they might attend Mass daily.

“That's an example of what I mean about putting Jesus first. Our faith is never a hobby, an add-on to anything else.”

Bishop Egan said that in baptism, “Jesus Christ has chosen you and me for a specific task and purpose. He has called us to be His servants, His apostles, His ambassadors … He wants us in prayer and through studying the Gospels to enjoy a personal-passionate friendship with Him and one day to be with Him forever in the happiness of heaven.”

“He wants us to be like Him, to be full of charity towards the poor and needy, and to work with urgent concern to correct injustice.”

The bishop went on to note the importance of both Confession and the Eucharist, before stating, “I wish to invite everyone to consecrate themselves, through the Heart of Mary to the Sacred Heart of Jesus” at Mass on Nov. 24.

“That means: put Christ first! Put yourself under His Word! Promise to live your life entirely In Corde Iesu!”

He also urged that at Catholic schools, the teachers and students undertake the consecration on the following Monday or Tuesday.

“As I consecrate and re-dedicate the Diocese, so every parish and school community and every individual member of the Diocese can make this consecration and rededication their own.”

To facilitate his people's participation in the act of consecration, Bishop Egan included, following his message, the prayer of consecration, the rededication to the diocesan patrons, special intercessions, and the Creed.

Having provided all the necessary texts, Bishop Egan noted that “for those who make this Consecration and Re-dedication in the prescribed manner” a plenary indulgence “can be obtained.”

He noted that, as under the usual conditions, to obtain the indulgence one must be in a state of grace by the act's end, have a disposition of complete detachment from sin, participate in Confession, receive the Communion, and pray for the Pope's intentions.

Bishop Egan noted that the Confession, Communion, and prayer for the Pope's intentions “may take place several days (up to 20) before or after the indulgenced act” and that “the prayer for the Pope's intentions is left to choice but an Our Father and a Hail Mary are suggested.”

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Baptism is a 'bath of regeneration,' says Pope

Vatican City, Nov 13, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - During his general audience, Pope Francis devoted his reflections to the sacrament of Baptism, stating that it opens the door to a journey of faith, and helps to sustain us along the way.

“This sacrament constitutes a true immersion in the death of Christ to rise with him in a new life. It is a bath of regeneration by water and the Spirit and that illuminates us with the grace of Christ,” the Pope expressed in his Nov. 13 address.

The pontiff offered his words to the thousands of pilgrims present in Saint Peter’s Square for his general audience earlier this morning.

“Dear brothers and sister,” he began, “I would like to continue our catechesis on the Creed by turning to the Sacrament of Baptism.”

Each Sunday when making the Profession of Faith, we pray the words “I believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins,” noted the Pope, adding that this Baptism is “the door of faith and the fountain of Christian life.”

It expresses “our relation with God as children, as well as the starting point of a path of conversion that lasts our whole life,” he explained, and it “constitutes a true immersion in the death of Christ” in order “to rise with him in a new life.”

Focusing on three main elements of the proclamation, Pope Francis explained first that the words “I confess” are a “solemn declaration” which “highlights the importance of Baptism and affirms our identity as children of God.”

“In the Sacrament,” continued the pontiff, “our faith is also linked to the remission of sins. When we confess our sins, we renew and strengthen our Baptismal identity.”

Baptism “illuminates us with the grace of Christ, so that we may also be light for others,” he went on to say, and it is in this sacrament that “God’s mercy intervenes in a powerful way to save us and forgive our sins, opening to us the doors to a new life.”

In the second part of the proclamation, when we confess our belief in “one Baptism,” the word for the sacrament “literally means immersion,” the Pope revealed, and through this process “we are immersed spiritually in the death of Jesus Christ and we rise with him as a new creation.”

“Regenerated by water and the Holy Spirit, we are illuminated by grace which dispels the darkness of sin.”

“For the forgiveness of sins,” reflected the Pope, referring to the third part of the proclamation he wished to specify, “Baptism forgives original sin and personal sin.”

“The door to a new life is opened and the mercy of God enters our lives,” he noted, warning that despite receiving the grace of the sacrament, “human weakness remains,” and that “our responsibility and our effort to fight each day against evil impulses and Satan’s action, which are always lurking,” are not “diminished.”

“The Church teaches us to confess our sins with humility” stressed the Pope, “because only in forgiveness, received and given, do our restless hearts find peace and joy.”

Pope Francis concluded his reflections by challenging those present, asking them “Brothers, are we conscience that Baptism is the fountain of our relationship with God? Is it a live reality for us?”

“Do we often reflect about this gift that we have received, this profound union with Jesus who gave His life for me,” he continued, “Do I trust in the love of God that dwells in the depths of my being?”

The pontiff then offered a few words in various languages to the 45,000 pilgrims present, and spent some minutes greeting the handicapped.

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Pope Francis most popular name online, survey says

Rome, Italy, Nov 13, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - A new global survey has revealed that Pope Francis has topped the list of names most mentioned on the internet so far this year, with his twitter account also receiving a high ranking on a list of most mentioned words.

“It’s official: Pope Francis is the most talked about person on the planet,” CNN’s “Belief Blog” co-editor Daniel Burke wrote in a Nov. 12 post.

“More folks have been chatting about the popular new pontiff online this year than Edward Snowden, Kate Middleton or even Miley Cyrus.”

The statistics, noted by Burke in his post, come from the 14th annual survey of the Global Language Monitor, which is a company based in Texas that tracks “top talkers” on the worldwide web.

According to Burke, the Monitor divides its research into the categories of “top words, top phrases and top names,” and base their research on the analysis of “English-language blogs, social media and 275,000 electronic and online news media.”

In this year’s survey, the Monitor found that Pope Francis came out as number one on the list of the most talked about names, followed by Obamacare, The National Security Agency, Edward Snowden, and Kate Middleton.

On the list of the most popular words mentioned online, the Monitor found that the Pope’s twitter handle, @Pontifex, came in fourth, stating that it was beat out by the words “404” – the code for a broken webpage – along with “fail” and “hashtag,” which is used to denote different topics on twitter.

President of the Global Language Monitor Paul Payack revealed that the words “’404’ and ‘fail’ got a big boost from the problematic launch of the Obama administration's website for purchasing health care under the Affordable Care Act,” Burke wrote.

In separate post written on the “Belief Blog” earlier this month, Burke spoke of the fact that the new pontiff seems to be gaining popularity even amongst atheists.

In light of the Pope’s “spontaneous acts of compassion,” Burke noted that Pope Francis has not only “earned high praise from fellow Catholics,” but that “even atheists love him.”

During a Nov. 7 video interview posted on the blog, Burke expressed his opinion that the pontiff’s popularity is growing because “we see a lot of religious leaders who talk about reaching out to the poor and the marginalized…but we finally see a religious figure who actually putting his hands on it, who's actually embracing these people physically.”

Burke then quoted several twitter posts from atheists written on the same day as the interview, including one by a woman who states that “I may be an atheist, but there's something about Pope Francis that makes me want to be Catholic. He's so inspiring.”

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Pope thanks boy for entrusting him to guardian angel

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov 13, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - A 16 year-old Argentine boy who suffers from chronic encephalopathy – a brain disorder – was moved by a letter from Pope Francis responding to a note that he had sent the pontiff a few days earlier.

The boy, Nicolas Marasco, is unable to speak, but was able to send a letter to Pope Francis, with the help of his parents, saying that he asks his guardian angel every night to watch over the Holy Father and assist him in his pontificate.

“Dear Francis, my name is Nicolas and I am 16.  Since I am unable to write you (because I still cannot speak or walk), I asked my parents to do it for me, because they know me best,” his letter said.

“I want to tell you that when I was seven years old, Father Pablo gave me First Communion at my school,” he continued, “and this year, in November, I will receive confirmation – something which gives me great joy.”

“Every night ever since you asked me, I pray to my guardian angel – whose name is Eusebio and who is very patient – to watch over you and help you. You can be sure that he is good at it because he watches over me and is with me every day.”

“I would very much like to go see you and receive your blessing and a kiss, just that,” the boy continued. “I send you many greetings and I continue praying to Eusebio to watch over you and give you strength.  Love, Nico.”

The Argentinean daily Clarin reported that Pope Francis was deeply moved by the letter from Nicolas.

He shared the story of the young boy during his visit to Assisi on Oct. 4, saying, “In this letter, in the heart of this boy, is beauty, love, the poetry of God.  God who reveals himself to the simple hearted, the little ones, the humble ones, those who we often consider to be the last.”

A few days later, Marasco received the Pope’s answer, which was also published in Clarin.

“Dear Nicolas, thank you so much for your letter. Thank you so much for praying for me. Your prayers are helping me to do my work, which is to bring Jesus to the people,” the Holy Father wrote. “For this reason, dear Nicolas, you are important to me.”

“And I want to ask you a favor. Keep helping me with your prayers, and also keep praying to Eusebio, who is surely friends with my guardian angel, who also watches over me.”

“Nicolas, thanks for your help,” the Pope continued. “I am praying for you. May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin watch over you. Affectionately, and with my Blessing, Francis.”

On Nov. 9, Marasco received the Sacrament of Confirmation, together with 16 of his classmates.

His mother, Marisa Mariani, told Clarin, “What has happened to us has made us realize that the simple things are what matter, a word of encouragement, someone who listens, someone who doesn’t look the other way, as we sometimes experience out on the street.”

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Church’s poverty work merits recognition, cardinal says

Baltimore, Md., Nov 13, 2013 (CNA) - Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston has said that the Catholic Church’s work in addressing poverty in the United States needs to be made “front and center” in people’s minds.

“The U.S. bishops’ conference is very engaged in all of these issues, in Catholic Relief Services, immigration, Catholic Charities, but unfortunately those kinds of things fade into the background,” the cardinal told the Boston Globe Nov. 11 at the U.S. bishops’ fall assembly in Baltimore.

He said the bishops need to give these issues prominence in public affairs “because that’s what being a Catholic is all about.” He said the Church is sometimes perceived as more engaged in “culture war” issues surrounding abortion and “gay marriage” than in caring for the poor. But this reputation, he charged, may be resulting from those seeking to distort the Church.

Cardinal O’Malley said the Church has always been far more involved in health care, education and social services rather than constitutional issues, adding that the Church may need to consider a campaign to raise awareness about poverty

However, he repeated concerns about government violations of religious liberty, such as the HHS mandate, which requires many Catholic organizations to provide employees access to sterilization and contraceptive drugs, including some abortifacients.

“The government is interfering in our ability to run a Catholic institution,” he told the Boston Globe, saying that if the government can mandate access to abortion counseling, “then what’s to stop them from next year saying … we want you to practice physician-assisted suicide, and to have abortions in your Catholic clinics?”

To the suggestion that non-exempt Catholic organizations shut down rather than comply with the mandate, the cardinal noted “closing the institutions down is also a danger for us.”

The cardinal said that the Church should not be silent about moral teachings, like the nature of marriage, while also ensuring that homosexual persons are “always, always, always welcome” in the Church.

Marriage between a man and a woman is “very important for family and for society,” he said, and Catholic proposals to defend marriage are not intended as “a way of trying to diminish the dignity of a homosexual person.”

Cardinal O’Malley also praised Pope Francis’ emphasis on “tenderness,” saying this is an antidote to excessive individualism and polarization in the contemporary world.

The Pope “talks about our need to take care of each other” and says “that we have responsibility for each other,” the cardinal explained.

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US bishops' new leaders commit to protecting human dignity

Baltimore, Md., Nov 13, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - The incoming leaders of the U.S. bishops’ conference voiced a commitment to reaching out in love to defend human life and dignity wherever it is threatened in the modern culture.

“We’re responding to where the need is,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., the president-elect of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

At a Nov. 12 press conference during the U.S. bishops’ annual fall gathering in Baltimore, he emphasized that the bishops must respond to “what is going on in our culture,” and where the needs and energies of the Church are at a given moment in time.

The archbishop responded to an earlier message delivered on behalf of the Pope by papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, which he characterized as “primarily a call to be pastoral.”

Pope Francis is challenging the U.S. Church, Archbishop Kurtz said, to “warm hearts and heal wounds,” while serving the needs of the preborn, elderly, migrants and others who are “voiceless and vulnerable,” particularly in the American “culture of indifference.”

The incoming bishops’ president stressed that he “would be reluctant to fit us into a category,” or any political or ideological camp, adding that issues of immigration, defense of marriage, a robust religious freedom, and protection of human life are all part of the Church’s response to threats against human dignity in society.

The archbishop stated that the American Catholics “are very much in solidarity with Pope Francis,” on addressing poverty.

He noted that the bishops’ conference “has been a steady stream of funding programs that are lifting people up from poverty,” as well as “finding ways to change structures that hold them back.”

Of particular focus, the Archbishop Kurtz said, is effort to “look at the disintegration of the family” and find ways to help strengthen marriage and family life in an effort to alleviate poverty. He noted that “one out of every five children are in poverty,” nationwide, and there are several studies linking poverty to a decline in “the solidity of the family.”

Upcoming synods on pastoral care and the family, scheduled for 2014 and 2015, will allow for a “robust consultation” on these topics, he explained.

The archbishop also addressed the Church’s efforts to defend religious freedom, saying that this is an essential part of the bishops’ “effort to support the dignity of the human person.”

“We know that faith enriches public life,” he explained. “Our effort is to have a robust expression of religious freedom in a way that acknowledges how important that is not only to the believer, but to and the good of our nation.”

He said that every effort “ to speak on behalf of the voiceless and vulnerable puts us in a position to potentially” open the door to a “good and healthy relationship” with the Obama Administration and other branches and levels of government.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, vice president-elect of the bishops’ conference, added that the Church “will never stand down from our defense of human person, particularly at the beginning and end of life, and at the end of life. That’s non-negotiable.”

At the same time, the U.S. Church will continue its “persistent” focus on fighting “the causes of poverty at the local levels,” and work to aid immigrants, he said.

On the topic of immigration, the cardinal explained that while there are those “on both sides of the aisle,” the ongoing question is based on “a significant aspect of our respect for the human person.” He added that because “the tempo and interaction on this issue has picked up,” there will likely be a more visible emphasis on immigration within the next several years.

“The resolve of all of our bishops is clear on the role of the immigrant,” said Archbishop Kurtz. “It’s really a question of human dignity.” He added that the bishops’ conference will be expanding its efforts to educate the laity on “the reason for our interest in immigration.”

Archbishop Kurtz highlighted this work, in addition to peace efforts in the Holy Land and around the world, as additional ways in which the Church works to promote and defend human dignity in its teaching and actions.

In carrying out these activities Cardinal DiNardo pointed to the Pope’s writings, speeches and actions during the Year of Faith, saying that they have placed an emphasis on “the credibility of faith, the encouragement of faith and the illumination that faith gives.”

“To my mind that’s something that the conference wants to see happening in all places,” he said, encouraging his fellow bishops to emphasize “good teaching, good witnessing and good pastoring.”

Archbishop Kurtz and Cardinal DiNardo were elected by the body of bishops on Nov. 12. Their three-year terms officially begin at the conclusion of the bishops’ meeting on Nov. 14.

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