Pope Francis’ Message to Rabbis: A Fruitful Dialogue

Zenit

“A moment of fruitful dialogue,” is how Pope Francis welcomed the ever growing “friendly and fraternal “ relations that link the Catholic Church and the Jewish world. Since the Conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate, he said “we have deepened our mutual knowledge and intensified our bonds of friendship.”

The Holy Father received in audience the representatives of the Conference of European Rabbis, of the Rabbinical Council of America and of the Commission of the Grand Rabbinate of Israel, in dialogue with the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism, with professor Riccardo di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome, on Thursday, August 31, 2017.

On this occasion, the delegation handed the Pontiff a document it elaborated entitled “Between Jerusalem and Rome,” a text addressed to Catholics that, ”if it doesn’t hide the theological differences of our faith traditions” it “expresses, nevertheless, the firm will to collaborate more closely today and in the future.”

After the words of greeting of Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the Pope pronounced the following discourse.

HG/VMF

Pope Francis’ Address

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I offer a cordial welcome to all of you, and in a special way to the representatives of the Conference of European Rabbis, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in dialogue with the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

I thank Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt for his kind greeting in your name. In our shared journey, by the graciousness of the Most High, we are presently experiencing a fruitful moment of dialogue. This is reflected in the Statement Between Jerusalem and Rome which you have issued and which you present to me today.

This document pays particular tribute to the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration Nostra Aetate, whose fourth chapter represents the “Magna Charta” of our dialogue with the Jewish world. Indeed, the ongoing implementation of the Council’s Declaration has enabled our relations to become increasingly friendly and fraternal.

Nostra Aetate noted that the origins of the Christian faith are to be found, in accordance with the divine mystery of salvation, in the Patriarchs, in Moses and in the Prophets. It also stated that, given the great spiritual heritage we hold in common, every effort must be made to foster reciprocal knowledge and respect, above all through biblical studies and fraternal discussions (cf. No. 4).

Consequently, in recent decades, we have been able to draw closer to one another and to engage in an effective and fruitful dialogue. We have grown in mutual understanding and deepened our bonds of friendship. The Statement Between Jerusalem and Rome does not hide, however, the theological differences that exist between our faith traditions.

All the same, it expresses a firm resolve to collaborate more closely, now and in the future. Your document is addressed to Catholics, speaking of them as “partners, close allies, friends and brothers in our mutual quest for a better world blessed with peace, social justice and security”.

It goes on to say that “despite profound theological differences, Catholics and Jews share common beliefs” and also “the affirmation that religions must use moral behavior and religious education – not war, coercion or social pressure – to influence and inspire”. This is most important: may the Eternal One bless and enlighten our cooperation, so that together we can accept and carry out ever better his plans, “plans for welfare and not for evil”, for “a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11).

On the occasion of your welcome visit, I would like to express to you and to your communities beforehand my best wishes for the Jewish New Year which will begin in a few weeks. Shanah tovah! Once more I thank you for coming and I ask you to remember me in your prayers. Finally, I would invoke upon you, and upon all of us, the blessing of the Most High for the shared journey of friendship and trust that lies before us. In his mercy, may the Almighty bestow his peace upon us and upon the entire world. Shalom alechem!

Pope and Patriarch: A common declaration for a shared world

Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis
CRUX

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew have issued a joint statement to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Archdeacon John Chryssavgis, Bartholomew’s theological advisor on environmental issues, says the message comes at a time of global crisis and international instability.

[Editor’s note: This commentary was written for L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, to appear along with the joint statement of Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople for the World Day of Care for Creation. With the permission of the author, it also appears here in English.]

The world that we share – the ground we tread, the air we breathe, the water we savor – unites us in a very tangible and profound way. Despite our diverse religious or racial differences, the earth provides a basis of solidarity and the ground of harmony for all people, all creatures, and all things.

It comes, then, as no surprise that the spiritual heads of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches are able to profess with one mind and one voice the sacredness of God’s creation and to proclaim the need to respect and protect its resources for the benefit of all people, especially the vulnerable among us. Continue reading

Church in India marks day of prayer for creation

Nirmala Carvalho
CRUX

Indian Cardinal Telesphore Toppo said “tribal Catholics in India have impressed in their hearts that they are God‘s people and the children of Mother Earth, a people with its own voice, its own dignity and its own security.” He was one of several Indian bishops who marked the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – celebrated on September 1.

MUMBAI, India – Tribal cultures in India respect nature, and celebrate her gifts, according to the first Indian Cardinal from a tribal background.

Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, said “to be true witnesses of Christ, we must respond to the ecological crisis through a deep spiritual conversion, which necessarily implies a sensitivity to the tribal and the most marginalized parts of society: migrants, landless peasants and day laborers.” Continue reading

Pope, Patriarch: ‘Cry of the earth’ and cry of the poor are one voice

Inés San Martín
CRUX

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew released a joint statement to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on Sept. 1. They both say that they’re convinced there’s no sincere and enduring solution to the ongoing ecological crisis unless “the response is concerted and collective, unless the responsibility is shared and accountable, unless we give priority to solidarity and service.”

ROME – In a joint statement from Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on Sept. 1, the two said that what’s happening in the world today reveals a “morally decaying scenario, where our attitude and behavior towards creation obscures our calling as God’s co-operators.”

They call on those “in positions of social and economic, as well as political and cultural, responsibility to hear the cry of the earth, and to attend to the needs of the marginalized.”

Those leaders, Francis and Bartholomew write, are called to “respond to the plea” of millions, and support “the consensus of the world for the healing of our wounded creation.” Continue reading

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims September 3, 2017, as a National Day of Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey and for our National Response and Recovery Efforts

//www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/b9f85f22-8f3a-11e7-9c53-6a169beb0953

White House

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE VICTIMS OF HURRICANE HARVEY AND FOR OUR NATIONAL RESPONSE AND RECOVERY EFFORTS

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Hurricane Harvey first made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Rockport, Texas, on the evening of August 25, 2017.  The storm has since devastated communities in both Texas and Louisiana, claiming many lives, inflicting countless injuries, destroying or damaging tens of thousands of homes, and causing billions of dollars in damage.  The entire Nation grieves with Texas and Louisiana.  We are deeply grateful for those performing acts of service, and we pray for healing and comfort for those in need.

Americans have always come to the aid of their fellow countrymen — friend helping friend, neighbor helping neighbor, and stranger helping stranger — and we vow to do so in response to Hurricane Harvey.  From the beginning of our Nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need, to ask for God‘s blessings and guidance.  This tradition dates to June 12, 1775, when the Continental Congress proclaimed a day of prayer following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and April 30, 1789, when President George Washington, during the Nation’s first Presidential inauguration, asked Americans to pray for God’s protection and favor.  

When we look across Texas and Louisiana, we see the American spirit of service embodied by countless men and women.  Brave first responders have rescued those stranded in drowning cars and rising water.  Families have given food and shelter to those in need.  Houses of worship have organized efforts to clean up communities and repair damaged homes.  Individuals of every background are striving for the same goal — to aid and comfort people facing devastating losses.  As Americans, we know that no challenge is too great for us to overcome.

As response and recovery efforts continue, and as Americans provide much needed relief to the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are reminded of Scripture’s promise that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  Melania and I are grateful to everyone devoting time, effort, and resources to the ongoing response, recovery, and rebuilding efforts.  We invite all Americans to join us as we continue to pray for those who have lost family members or friends, and for those who are suffering in this time of crisis.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 3, 2017, as a National Day of Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey and for our National Response and Recovery Efforts.  We give thanks for the generosity and goodness of all those who have responded to the needs of their fellow Americans.  I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers today for all those harmed by Hurricane Harvey, including people who have lost family members or been injured, those who have lost homes or other property, and our first responders, law enforcement officers, military personnel, and medical professionals leading the response and recovery efforts.  Each of us, in our own way, may call upon our God for strength and comfort during this difficult time.  I call on all Americans and houses of worship throughout the Nation to join in one voice of prayer, as we seek to uplift one another and assist those suffering from the consequences of this terrible storm.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

 

DONALD J. TRUMP

Pope, Patriarch: Care for creation includes respect for people

Hannah Brockhaus
Catholic News Agency

.- Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew sent a joint message Friday for the World Day of Care for Creation, which says that we have lost sight of our responsibility for God’s creation, including our fellow human beings.

“The human environment and the natural environment are deteriorating together, and this deterioration of the planet weighs upon the most vulnerable of its people,” stated the message, published by the Vatican Sept. 1.

“The impact of climate change affects, first and foremost, those who live in poverty in every corner of the globe. Our obligation to use the earth’s goods responsibly implies the recognition of and respect for all people and all living creatures.” Continue reading

U.S. Catholics and Protestants agree: 500 years after Reformation, they have more in common than not

Emily McFarlan Miller
CRUX

According to a new survey, more Protestants reported they believe salvation comes through a mix of faith and good works (52 percent) — the traditionally Catholic position — than through “faith alone” (46 percent). That belief — “sola fide” in Latin — is one of five “solas” that form the backbone of Protestant Reformers’ beliefs.

The theological differences that led to the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago have dwindled since in both the United States and Western Europe.

That’s the finding of a Pew Research Center survey released Thursday (Aug. 31), weeks before late October’s 500th anniversary of the schism in western Christianity.

Among U.S. Protestants, many seem unaware of the differences, voicing beliefs today that are more traditionally Catholic than they are Protestant.

“I think it’s fair to say the differences between the two groups have diminished to a degree that might have shocked Christians of earlier centuries,” said Greg Smith, associate director of research at Pew Research Center.

“Maybe it’s not a huge surprise in the context of modern-day United States, but if you look back at the longer term – at the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – that would be quite surprising to a Christian of 300, 400, 500 years ago.” Continue reading

Texas Governor Abbott Declares Sunday a Day of Prayer

WHEREAS, Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast on Friday, August 25, 2017, causing massive destruction along the Coastal Bend before moving up the Texas coast into Central and Southeast Texas resulting in unprecedented flooding and tragic loss of life; and

WHEREAS, Texans have remained strong throughout this ordeal, with neighbor helping neighbor by wading into the flood waters or sorting through wind damage to rescue fellow Texans; and

WHEREAS, the people of Texas are grateful for the outpouring of support and resources from around the country and around the world that have been sent to Texas to assist with the damage as we begin the process of healing and rebuilding; and

WHEREAS, throughout our history, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer; and

WHEREAS, it is right and fitting that the people of Texas should join with their fellow residents and with others from across the country and around the world to seek God’s wisdom for ourselves and our leaders and ask for His merciful intervention and healing in this time of crisis;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of Texas, pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim Sunday, September 3, 2017, as a Day of Prayer in Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers on that day for the safety of our first responders, public safety officers, and military personnel, healing of individuals, rebuilding of communities and the restoration of the entire region struck by this disaster.

GREG ABBOTT
Governor

Pope asks world leaders to listen to ‘cry of the Earth’

AP

 Pope Francis is urging world leaders to “listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor” and take measures to protect the environment.

Francis made the appeal Wednesday in announcing that he and the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew I, would be releasing a joint statement on care for God’s creation on Friday.

In 2015, Francis designated Sept. 1 as the church’s day for prayer for the environment, framing care for the planet as a moral issue.

In his announcement Wednesday, Francis urged everyone to be respectful and responsible toward the environment: “We also appeal to those who have influential roles to listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer the most from ecological imbalance.”

WCC leaders meet Pope Francis in Rome

Source:

 In an audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican, the World Council of Churches Central Committee moderator, Dr Agnes Abuom, and WCC General Secretary,  Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, discussed how Christian unity is vital in bringing a true sense of justice to issues the world is facing today.

In his remarks Revd Olav said, “We are very grateful for the very constructive and fruitful meeting with Pope Francis today. We are living in a time when the purpose and the objectives of the ecumenical movement are highly relevant. Based on these realities, there is a need for a new search for unity, he said. “Through the many dimensions of its work, the WCC contributes to the unity of the church, and the unity that the WCC is able to express, in turn, contributes to the unity of humankind.” Continue reading