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Sainthood causes advance, including layman who resisted fascism

June 17, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Vatican City, Jun 17, 2017 / 09:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Friday recognized the heroic virtue of six persons on the path to canonization, as well as the martyrdom of an Italian man who died from injuries of a beating he received while imprisoned in a concentration camp for resisting fascism.

The Pope met June 16 with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, giving his approval for the causes to move forward.

He recognized the martyrdom of Venerable Teresio Olivelli, a layman “killed in hatred of the Faith” Jan. 17, 1945, at the age of 29.

Venerable Olivelli was born in 1916. He graduated with a degree in law and went on to comment in papers on legal and social issues of the time before becoming a volunteer soldier in the Spanish Civil War and in World War II.

During the war, his views towards the Italian fascist regime of Benito Mussolini soured. He founded a newspaper dedicated to promoting the Christian message and tried to infuse a Christian message into the regime.

He later broke from it entirely after seeing the reality of the deportation of Jewish people as per racial laws. He became part of the Italian Resistance movement in Milan.

He was apprehended on April 27, 1944 and taken to a prison where he was tortured and beaten before being moved to another prison. On July 11 his name was added to a list of 70 inmates to be shot, but he fled and hid in a field until he was recaptured.

He was then transferred to a concentration camp in northern Italy before being moved to the Flossenburg and Hersbruck camps in Germany. While there he shared food rations with inmates and treated their injuries.

He died from injuries he received after defending a Ukrainian inmate from being attacked. He was kicked in the stomach and intestines and struck 25 times.

Olivelli’s beatification process began in 1988. Originally sought as a martyrdom, this was rejected because of doubts, though he was found to have lived a life of heroic virtue and was named ‘Venerable’ by Pope Francis in 2015.

Officials of the cause remained adamant that Olivelli was killed in hatred of his faith and therefore re-submitted a “positio” – a collection of documents submitted for sainthood causes – in 2016, hoping it would lead to his beatification without the usual required miracle.

Based on new findings it was approved by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and now by Pope Francis, affirming that he was killed “in hatred of the faith,” paving the way for his beatification.

Another cause moving forward is that of Sr. Maria degli Angeli, born Giuseppa Margherita Operte in Turin in 1871.

Born into a wealthy family, she experienced loss at the young age of 14 when her father and brother died within three months of each other. Left alone with her mother, they entered more deeply into the Christian life, becoming Third Order lay Carmelites.

When Giuseppa heard that a priest in a neighboring parish was circulating the rumor that she would open an institute for poor young girls, she took it as a sign of her calling and in 1894 opened the Institute of St. Joseph in a palace inherited from her parents.

She began a religious community of Third Order Carmelites who live an active apostolate according to the spirituality of the great reformers of Carmel, which since 1970 is called the Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa of Turin, and has two branches, one contemplative and one active.

She died in the monastery of Cascine Vica on Oct. 7, 1949, having lived an active life centered on contemplation.

The other persons declared ‘Venerable’ are: Bishop Antonio Jose de Souza Barroso of Porto (1854-1918); Bishop Jose de Jesus López y González of Aguascalientes, founder of the Congregation of the Maestro Catholic Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1872-1950); Bishop Agostino Ernesto Castrillo, OFM, of San Marco and Bisignano, (1904-1955); Fr. Giacomo da Balduina, OFM Cap., (1900-1948); and Sr. Umiltà Patlán Sánchez of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (1895-1970).

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UK party leader steps down, citing Christian faith

June 17, 2017 CNA Daily News 2

London, England, Jun 17, 2017 / 06:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After facing backlash for his Christian faith, the head of the UK’s Liberal Democratic Party announced his resignation on Wednesday, claiming that leading the party was becoming incompatible with living his faith.

“To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me,” said Tim Farron, noting he would hold his position until the parliamentary recess begins next month.

Farron’s announcement follows significant media attention surrounding his answers to press questions on abortion and homosexuality.

During the recent election, Farron had been asked repeatedly by reporters about his views on the morality of homosexual acts.

Earlier this week, the party’s home affairs spokesman Brian Paddick – a prominent gay politician – resigned abruptly, citing concerns over opinions held by the party’s leadership.

Despite the Liberal Democrats gaining several parliamentary seats under Farron, he faced opposition from within his own party.

According to the Telegraph, one senior Liberal Democrat said Farron was “unhelpful during the campaign.”

He also said Farron’s “views [were] not compatible with being the leader of the Liberal Democrats.”

Simon Hughes, formerly the party’s deputy leader, said “it became unfairly difficult that Tim was put in the firing line and felt that he couldn’t adequately do justice to his faith while upholding the liberal values that he has argued for all his life.”

“It would be the same for people of other faiths who have strong faith views, where there are issues that are very controversial within that faith community,” he told the BBC.

Farron noted the “scrutiny” he faced when “asked about matters to do with my faith,” claiming he felt unable to remain Christian in the current environment and could not benefit the party in its mission of upholding everyone’s rights.

He said journalist had the right to question him as they saw fit, but that the scrutiny of his faith in the public eye drew away attention from the message of the Liberal Democratic Party.

“I felt guilty that this focus was distracting attention from our campaign, obscuring our message,” he said, identifying a major aspect of that mission as “defending the rights and liberties of people who believe different things to me.”

“In which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society,” he said.

He clarified that he disagrees with “Christians in politics who take the view that they should impose the tenets of faith on society,” saying that this is “counterproductive when it comes to advancing the gospel.”

Farron ended his address stating that he loved his party – a party he joined when he was 16 – and encouraged his successor to “fight for a Britain that is confident, generous and compassionate.”

“My successor will inherit a party that is needed now more than ever before. Our future as an open, tolerant and united country is at stake.”

 

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Pope Francis, German Chancellor discuss need to fight poverty, hunger

June 17, 2017 CNA Daily News 1

Vatican City, Jun 17, 2017 / 05:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Saturday, Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met at the Vatican, agreeing on the need to dedicate special attention to the responsibility of the international community in addressing issues of poverty and hunger.

According to a brief June 17 Vatican communique, the “cordial discussions” also included a conversation on the upcoming G20 meeting in Hamburg, as well as concern for the global threats of terrorism and climate change.  

The fourth formal meeting of the leaders, the exchange was friendly, the communique stating that the “good relations and fruitful collaboration between the Holy See and Germany were evoked.”

In a press conference following the audience, Merkel said that their conversation included a discussion of their unified desire that the world tear down walls and fight for international treaties, with a special emphasis on the plight in Africa.

Speaking of international treaties, in the press conference Merkel also expressed her disappointment at the United States’ departure from the Paris climate agreement.

In the meeting, Pope Francis expressed his condolences for the death of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who died on Friday. In a message to Merkel, the Pope said that he learned of the news of his death “with emotion.”

“I would like to express my condolences to your family members and to you and to all the German people who empathize with the ‘Chancellor of the Unity,’” he said. “Chancellor Kohl, who is a great and trusted European man, has worked with foresight and dedication for the good of people in Germany and in the neighboring European countries.”

Written in German, the telegram also stated the Pope’s wish that the “Merciful God” will reward him “for his tireless efforts in favor of unity of Germany and the union of Europe, as well as for his commitment to peace and reconciliation.”

The Lord gives eternal joy and life in heaven to those who have died, Francis said, imploring the consolation and blessing of God on the Kohl’s family and all who mourn him.

Near the end of their meeting, the Pope gifted Merkel a small bronze sculpture of an olive branch, symbolizing peace.

He also gave her the customary gift of copies of his environmental encyclical Laudato Si, his 2015 Apostolic Exhortation on the family “Amoris Laetitia,” and his 2013 exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” all in German.

For her part, Merkel gave the Pope a gift of three jars of the Argentinian dessert, Dulce de leche, along with a CD set of symphonic works by Beethoven.

Afterward, Merkel met with Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

The Pope and Merkel have met for formal audiences at the Vatican three other times: in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Their first encounter was exchanged in St. Peter’s Basilica May 19, 2013, for the occasion of the Pope’s official installation Mass as Bishop of Rome.

June 16, the evening prior to the audience, Merkel met at the German Embassy with Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, head of the Center for Child Protection (CCP) at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a member of the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors.

According to a tweet by Fr. Zollner, the two discussed the topic of the safeguarding of minors.

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Pope Francis expresses sorrow for victims of London Grenfell Tower fire

June 17, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Vatican City, Jun 17, 2017 / 04:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday Pope Francis expressed his sorrow for the victims of a devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in London, offering his condolences for the families of those who have died.

A June 17 telegram sent to Cardinal Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, stated that Pope Francis “was saddened to learn of the devastating fire in London and of the tragic loss of life and injury.”

The Pope “entrusts the souls of those who have died to the Lord’s loving mercy and offers his heartfelt condolences to their families,” it stated.

Signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the telegram went on to express the Pope’s appreciation “for the brave efforts of the emergency service personnel and all committed to supporting those who have lost their homes.”

Concluding, Francis also invoked upon the whole local community “God’s blessings of strength and peace.”  

On June 14, just after midnight, a fire began on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower located in north Kensington, a district of west London. The 24-story building is home to hundreds of people, and the fire blazed until early in the morning.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. A fire investigation report will not be released publicly until the opening of full inquests into those who have died, which could take years, the Guardian reports.

So far, 30 people are confirmed dead, while more than 70 people remain unaccounted for, and friends and family are scrambling to connect with their loved ones. As of Wednesday, some 70 people had been hospitalized for injuries sustained in the incident, including 20 people whose condition is critical.

Hundreds of others who escaped the flames have still lost their homes and all of their belongings, but Catholic parishes in the surrounding area have quickly begun receiving donations of food, clothes, and water to be distributed.

Saint Clemente, one nearby church, has seen such an outpouring that it has asked for future donations to be given to a church a few blocks away.

In the wake of the tragedy, grief has also led to anger at what has been perceived as a failure by authorities to take seriously the concerns of Grenfell residents prior to the fire, as well as a lack of official presence and coordination in the hours following.

Protests have gathered steam and on Friday demonstrators stormed Kensington town hall calling on authorities to provide financial support for victims and to rehouse residents within the borough.

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Is there a pontifical commission to reinterpret Humanae vitae?

June 16, 2017 CNA Daily News 2

Vatican City, Jun 16, 2017 / 05:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As rumors abound concerning a Vatican commission to reinterpret Humanae vitae in light of Amoris laetitia, the controversial president of the Pontifical Academy for Life has rejected these rumors.

“I can confirm that there is no pontifical commission called to re-read or to re-interpret Humanae vitae. However, we should look positively on all those initiatives, such as that of professor Marengo of the John Paul II Institute, which aim at studying and deepening this document in view of the 50th anniversary of its publication,” Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia told CNA.

Vatican reporter Marco Tosatti first reported in May, citing unnamed Vatican sources, that Pope Francis had, or was about to, form a “secret commission” to examine and suggest modifications to the Church’s teaching on contraception, as laid out in Bl. Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae.

And on Wednesday, Roberto de Mattei of Corrispondenza Romana reported that Msgr. Gilfredo Marengo, a professor at the John Paul II Institute, would coordinate the commission.

Corrispondenza Romana said the commission was composed of Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, head of the John Paul II Institute, Professor Philippe Chenaux, a professor of Church history at the Pontifical Lateran University, and Msgr. Angelo Maffeis, head of the Paul VI Institute in Brescia.

Citing Msgr. Marengo’s previous writings, de Mattei presented the priest as someone who would be in favor of reviewing Bl. Paul VI’s teaching against the use of contraceptives.

Speaking to CNA, Msgr. Marengo dismissed what he described as the “imaginative report” about him heading a commission to review Humanae vitae, and referred to his own writings on Amoris laetitia to “fully understand my theological path.”
 
He has written that Amoris laetitia shows Pope Francis’ path “toward a decentralization of doctrinal issues,” and that “whenever the Christian community falls into the error of proposing models of life derived from too-abstract and artificially constructed theological ideals, it conceives its pastoral action as the schematic application of a doctrinal paradigm.”

Msgr. Marengo told CNA that “the issue of a conciliation between Amoris laetitia and Humanae vitae is not in the agenda.”
 
“I have found it always harmful to invent answers to useless questions,” said Msgr. Marengo,  though he added that “theological and pastoral reflection have still a long way to go in order to gain a proper and fruitful understanding of both Paul VI’s and Pope Francis’ texts.”

Archbishop Paglia also told CNA that “there is in fact no doubt that the heart of Humanae vitae – the value of human procreation – is a theme on which we all need to reflect with much attention; the breaking of the marriage-family-procreation triptych is a risk which the Church and all of human society cannot take.”

The archbishop was appointed head of the Pontifical Academy for Life in 2016, and he has come under sharp scrutiny and criticism from former members who are concerned by his actions.

And while Archbishop Paglia was head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the dicastery organized seminars on marriage and family life in which many of the participants suggested a “penitential path” that would allow the divorced-and-remarried to receive sacramental Communion while still engaging in sexual relations. The seminars’ lectures were published with a foreword by Archbishop Paglia.

Interest in the reception of Humanae vitae is increasing, as the encyclical nears the 50th anniversary of its publication. In view of the anniversary, papers and studies on the text will be prepared and published.

A source in the Pontifical Lateran University, speaking on background, told CNA there is ongoing research in the university archives on the encyclical’s genesis.

It may be that what has been reported as a “papal commission” is one of the many study groups on Humanae vitae created as its major anniversary approaches.

In fact, the source at the Pontifical Lateran University told CNA that “many studies are underway” and that “Pope Francis has been informed of them, and has encouraged them.”

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US bishops urge caution as Senate considers health care bill

June 16, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Indianapolis, Ind., Jun 16, 2017 / 04:52 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The US bishops’ annual meeting included on Thursday a discussion on health care, focusing on efforts in Congress to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, chairman of the domestic justice and human development committee, focused on the underlying principles by which the bishops approach health care.

No law should “compel us or others to pay for the destruction of human life,” he said June 15, explaining respect for life, the first of the four “key principles.”

The other principles he enumerated were  true access for all, true affordability, comprehensive and high-quality coverage, and no repeal of the Affordable Care Act without an adequate replacement. He also mentioned the importance of conscience protections.

He said those seeking health care should be able to do so “in accord with their means” and noted that “immigrants continue to be left out of this equation in many ways.”

Speaking about true affordability, he noted the bishops’ concern regarding “structural changes in Medicaid that would leave large numbers of people at risk to losing access.”

The Senate is currently considering the American Health Care Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives in May as a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The US bishops have been cautious about the AHCA, saying in the past that it has “many serious flaws.”

Bishop Dewane enumerated four primary concerns of the bishops regarding the AHCA, staring with changes in Medicaid that would allow states to opt-out of important coverage.

He also discussed protection of the unborn, as the bill faces challenges in this respect in the Senate, and a lack of access to health care for migrants.

Finally, Bishop Dewane noted, “the House bill does not provide any conscience protections.”

The bishop stated that the committees related to health care would continue their collaboration, and to provide resources to bishops to help them “preach and teach” on the issue.

In closing his remarks, Bishop Dewane noted, “the teaching we bring to bear in the questions on health and health care do not fit neatly… into the single party platforms. Because of this, the Church has a unique voice.”

He emphasized that the bishops would continue work for those “most in need at all stages of life.”

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the US bishops’ conference, said discussion of health care “impacts nearly everyone in our society, but we as bishops strive to engage in this debate as a voice for the voiceless, for the poor, the sick, the unborn. There is still much to be done as the Senate considers a repeal and replacement for the Affordable Care Act.”

Among other bishops who spoke on the topic were Bishop George Thomas of Helena, who said we live in a time of “great gravity” as budget votes draw near which will affect Medicaid and nutritional assistance programs, and called for the bishops to work “by raising up a new degree of public consciousness.” Quoting Robert Frost, he implored the bishops that they “’choose the road less traveled’ for the sake of the people we have been ordained to serve.”

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago also took the floor, saying that “the state has a responsibility of creating solidarity in a country,” and noted that religious sisters working in health care should be consulted in further discussions. Bishop Dewane clarified that this has been the case already.

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego observed a “debasement of language” in the national health care debate, citing that while Bishop Dewane spoke of a “robust access,” the access being offered is only “access in theory, access if you’ve got enough money.”

He also noted that “health care is a fundamental human right,” but said the AHCA has been designed as “a house of sand which will deliberately fall apart in the coming years.” He also said that bishops should automatically oppose any bill which is projected to lower the number of people with access to health care.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City explained that under the Affordable Care Act, his local Church lost all its Catholic hospitals, and said that the ACA’s “Medicaid provisions were not sustainable by the states.”

He noted also that while the Obama administration had promised there would always be an option for a plan that did not offer abortions, that promise turned out to be false.

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US bishops ask forgiveness from survivors of clergy sex abuse

June 16, 2017 CNA Daily News 1

Indianapolis, Ind., Jun 16, 2017 / 12:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Beatitudes call us to own our responsibility for suffering in the world, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta preached on Wednesday at a Mass for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Through the Beatitudes, Christ “calls us to see with new eyes how to live in a world so continually filled with sorrow, injustice, and violence,” Archbishop Gregory preached during a June 14 Mass of Prayer and Penance for Healing of Survivors of Clergy Sex Abuse in Indianapolis.

Christ also teaches “how important it is to acknowledge our own share in causing or compounding the sorrows, suffering, and violence that often seem to surround us,” he added.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, said the Mass at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Indianapolis, on the first day of the bishops’ annual spring general assembly.

The Mass was celebrated in response to Pope Francis’ call that bishops’ conferences around the world hold a day of prayer and penance for the victims of clergy sexual abuse. The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors noted last year that a survivor of clerical child sexual abuse had proposed a universal day of prayer for all victims.

During the Mass, Cardinal DiNardo asked forgiveness from all the victims of sexual abuse in the Church.

“In solidarity with our brother bishops around the world, we acknowledge the sins that have occurred,” he said, “and ask forgiveness from, and healing of, those that have suffered abuse at the hands of those who should have been protecting and caring for them.”

At the end of the Mass, all the bishops present knelt and prayed a commemorative prayer for victims of clergy sex abuse.

Archbishop Gregory preached the homily on the Gospel for the day, Matthew 5: 17-19. The archbishop apologized on behalf of the conference for all the harm done to abuse survivors and for the scandal that resulted.

“At this Mass, we bishops humbly and sincerely ask for the forgiveness of those who have been harmed, scandalized, or disspirited by events that, even if they happened many years ago, remain ongoing sources of anguish for them, and for those who love them,” he said.

“We humbly seek forgiveness from the faith-filled people of our Church and from our society at large, and especially from those whose lives may have been devastated from our failure to care adequately for the little ones entrusted to us, and for any decision that we made or should have made that exacerbated the sorrow and the heartache that the entire Church has felt and continues to feel for what we have done, and for what we have failed to do,” he continued.

“We can never say that we are sorry enough for the share that we have had in this tragedy of broken fidelity and trust.”

Only in Christ can true healing be found, the archbishop insisted.

He said that “ultimately, it must be the Lord Himself Who heals and reconciles the hearts of those who live with the pain of God’s law unheeded.”

“For that grace, with sincere hearts, with contrite spirits, and with a renewed promise to protect, we simply pray this evening.”

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Stolen relic of St John Bosco’s brain recovered

June 16, 2017 CNA Daily News 1

Turin, Italy, Jun 16, 2017 / 10:57 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A relic of St. John Bosco, which had been stolen from an Italian basilica two weeks ago, has been recovered, the local Prosecutor’s Office reported.

An urn containing a relic of St. John Bosco’s brain was discovered missing on June 3. The reliquary was kept in the Basilica of John Bosco in Asti, the saint’s birthplace, fewer than 20 miles east of Turin.

According to Italian press reports, the alleged perpetrator of the crime is a 42-year old man with a criminal record, residing in Pirenolo, Turin. He was arrested by the Asti police. The suspect allegedly planned to sell the reliquary, which he believed to be of solid gold.

St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians, was a 19th century Italian priest who had a particular love and apostolate for at-risk and underserved youth. Today, the order serves youth throughout the world primarily in schools, homeless shelters, and community centers.

Fr. Enrico Stasi, provincial of the Salesians in Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta, thanked “the judiciary, all the police and all those who have contributed to the positive solution to this unpleasant affair.”

“It is consoling for the Salesians, for the Church in Turin and for the many friends of Don Bosco throughout the world who have abundantly demonstrated their closeness in this time,” he told Agenzia Info Salesiana.

In this regard, he said that “the occasion of the restitution and return of the relic to its original place will be for us and for the faithful another sign of the benevolence and blessing of Don Bosco for those who continue to keep his spirit alive in the world.”

The basilica has experienced some other minor thefts in recent weeks, though nothing of spiritual value.

Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin also commented on the missing relic, saying it was news “you would never want to hear, because it makes us think of a profound moral misery” that someone would steal something of spiritual and devotional value.

The archbishop told an Italian news source that he asked all of his priests to say a special prayer during their Pentecost Masses for the Salesian family and the recovery of the relic, so that it can “continue to be a point of devotion for the millions of faithful who come to the sanctuary dedicated to him.”

 

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Pope picks secretary for Dicastery on Integral Human Development

June 16, 2017 CNA Daily News 2

Vatican City, Jun 16, 2017 / 09:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Friday, the Vatican announced Pope Francis’ pick of human rights expert Fr. Bruno-Marie Duffé for secretary of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, making him the final piece of the leadership puzzle for the new department.

From the French diocese of Lyon, Fr. Duffé’s appointment completes a period of development for the dicastery, which went into effect Jan. 1 and combines the former Pontifical Councils for Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, and Healthcare Workers.

The new mega-dicastery is headed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, who since March 2013 had served as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Francis also formed a special Migrants and Refugees Section within the dicastery, with himself as head, at least for the time being.

With Fr. Duffé’s appointment, the leadership of the dicastery is finally complete. Previously, Fr. Duffé was a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Born on Aug. 21, 1951 in Lyon, France, Fr. Duffé, 65, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Lyon in 1981.

He holds a doctorate in political philosophy, a master’s in theology, and a diploma from the School of Advanced Social Studies of Science and the Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

He’s been a professor of moral theology and social doctrine of the Church at the Catholic University of Lyon and the Jesuit Center of Baume lex Aix since 1982.

From 1985-2004 he co-founded and later directed the Institute for Human Rights at the Catholic University of Lyon, actively contributing to the creation of the UNESCO Chair on minority rights.

He served as chaplain of the Regional Center for Cancer Control from 2004-2014, and co-chaired the Ethics Committee at Léon Bérard.  

Episcopal Vicar of “Family, Health and Society” since 2012, he works on the Diocesan Council of Solidarity, created in 2013. He also initiated a coordination for the migrant crisis for the Diocese of Lyon.

From 1999 to 2015 he visited Haiti, Rwanda, Kosovo, Ukraine, Algeria, Cameroon, Israel, and Palestine. In some of these countries, he accompanied groups of young people, students and teachers.

He speaks French, English, Spanish and Italian.

While the original name of the new congregation for Integral Human Development was initially expected to include the elements of the councils it will merge, the final choice is a reflection of Pope Francis’ own personal style and is reminiscent of themes he has spoken of frequently since his election.

In his Motu Proprio “Humanam progressionem,” signed Aug. 17, 2016 Pope Francis stressed that the Church is called to promote the integral development of the human person in the light of the Gospel, which “takes place by attending to the inestimable goods of justice, peace, and the care of creation.”

He approved the statutes for the new dicastery “ad experimentum,” explaining that it will be competent “particularly in issues regarding migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalized, the imprisoned and the unemployed, as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture.”

 

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