Francis X Rocca outlines the global challenges facing the new successor of St Peter
VATICAN CITY – The next pope will be taking the helm of a Church which now has a greater variety of forms of worship.
In his almost eight-year pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI worked to emphasise the liturgy’s continuity with the Church’s millennial traditions. He encouraged a revival of Eucharistic adoration and the use of Gregorian chant.
Most significantly, he lifted almost all restrictions on celebration of the Tridentine Mass, which had fallen practically out of use amid the modernising reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council.
“And now let us begin this journey, bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which is the one that leads all the churches in charity. A journey of fraternity, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world so that this might be a great brotherhood. I hope that this journey of the Church that we begin today, and in which my Cardinal Vicar here present will assist me, will be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.” - Pope Francis
Vatican City, 13 March 2013 (VIS) - Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., was elected as Supreme Pontiff, the 265th successor of Peter, and has chosen the name Francis.
The Cardinal proto-deacon Jean-Louis Tauran made the solemn announcement to the people at 8:12pm from the external Loggia of the Hall of Blessings of the Vatican Basilica following the white “fumata” which occurred at 7:06pm.
Following are the words pronounced by Cardinal Tauran:
Vatican City, 13 March 2013 (VIS) – Following is the official biography of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an Ordinary of their own rite, was born on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires. He studied as and holds a degree as a chemical technician, but then chose the priesthood and entered the seminary of Villa Devoto. On 11 March 1958 he moved to the novitiate of the Company of Jesus where he finished studies in the humanities in Chile. In 1963, on returning to Buenos Aires, he obtained a degree in philosophy at the St. Joseph major seminary of San Miguel.
Between 1964 and 1965 he taught literature and psychology at the Immacolata College in Santa Fe and then in 1966 he taught the same subjects at the University of El Salvador, in Buenos Aires.
Times listed are for Rome, with Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and Singapore Time (SGT) in parentheses
3:45pm (EDT: 10:45am, SGT: 10:45pm) -- Transfer from the Domus Sanctae Marthae to the Apostolic Palace.
4:30pm (EDT: 11:30am, SGT: 11:30pm) -- Procession from the Pauline Chapel to the Sistine Chapel.
4:45pm (EDT: 11:45am, SGT: 11:45pm) -- Oaths, meditation by Cardinal Prosper Grech, first ballot, if they choose to vote.
7:15pm (EDT: 2:15pm, SGT: nextday, 2:15am) -- Vespers in the Sistine Chapel.
7:30pm (EDT: 2:30pm, SGT: nextday, 2:30am) -- Transfer to the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
8pm (EDT: 3pm, SGT: nextday, 3am) -- Dinner.
It is most gratifying to see our Sunday Masses well-attended, with a significant number of Catholics regularly attending daily Mass.
The growing number of altar servers is testament to a healthy family environment which actively propagates the faith among the young. The encouragement of parents to their sons to participate in this ministry gives hope that we will have an increase in priestly vocations in future.
Myriad programmes organised by the Church that nurture the spiritual growth of the community are often well received.
It is most heartening that we have a significant core of faithful practising Catholics who are actively engaged in the life of the Church. The vibrancy of the faith is palpable and this augurs well for the Catholic Church in Singapore.
This is in stark contrast to the Catholic Church in America and Europe where church attendance among the Catholic population has dwindled to as low as 10 percent, and the closures of countless parishes caused by the sex-abuse scandal among the clergy is cause for alarm.
UNITED NATIONS – Despite threats on many sides and prophesies of its extinction, the traditional family remains a vital resource for society, according to speakers at a UN event on Feb 15.
The panel was held in conjunction with the 51st session of the UN Commission for Social Development. It was sponsored by the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations and the Pontifical Council for the Family.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, council president, said the family is “the fundamental unit of human society. It is where the generations meet, love, educate, support each other and pass on life from age to age”.
The family is “the source of social capital and the birthright of all humanity,” he said, adding that the stability of any society in fact depends on the “stability of the families from which it springs”.
“Family is the school of society, the way to learn to be together with others,” he continued. “If you don’t learn to experience solidarity there, it’s really difficult to have a city or a society.”
He said the “natural family” is comprised of mother, father and children. Notwithstanding the many attacks against it, the natural family “comes first in the hearts of the world’s peoples ... and the great majority of young people look forward happily to marriage as a lifelong faithful union with their husband or wife”.
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