Home » Posts tagged 'Spain'

Pope leads prayers for an end to ‘inhuman violence’ of terrorism

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — “Let us beg the Lord, God of mercy and peace, to free the world from this inhuman violence,” Pope Francis prayed after a week of deadly terrorist attacks in Africa and Europe.

People pay tribute in Barcelona, Spain, Aug. 18, to victims on the site of a deadly van attack the previous day. (CNS photo/Quique Garcia, EPA)

Reciting the Angelus prayer at midday, the pope asked an estimated 10,000 people in St. Peter’s Square to pray in silence and then to join him in reciting the Hail Mary for the victims of the attacks the previous week in Burkina Faso, Spain and Finland.

At a restaurant in Ouagadougou Aug. 13, gunmen opened fire on people eating outside. Authorities in Burkina Faso said 18 people died and 20 were injured. The gunmen were believed to be part of a group known as “al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.”

In Spain, 13 people died after a van mowed down pedestrians Aug. 17 on Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas street and another woman died in a vehicle attack the next day in Cambrils. Five suspects were killed by police and other members of what authorities described as a 12-man terrorist cell were being sought.

In Turku, Finland, Aug. 18, two women were stabbed to death and eight other people were injured in what police described as a terrorist attack.

Among the pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square for the midday prayer were the 50 first-year students of the Pontifical North American College, the seminary in Rome sponsored by the U.S. bishops. Pope Francis gave them a shout out before wishing everyone in the square a happy Sunday.

In his main Angelus talk, the pope spoke about the day’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew about the Canaanite woman who persistently asks Jesus to heal her daughter.

“This woman’s interior strength, which allows her to overcome every obstacle, can be found in her maternal love and in her trust that Jesus can fulfill her request,” the pope said. “This makes me think of the strength of women. With their strength they are able to obtain great things. We’ve know many women like this.”

In the Gospel story, when the woman first cries out, Jesus seems to ignore her, the pope noted. But she is not discouraged and continues to call out to him.

In the end, Jesus recognizes her great faith and answers her request, the pope said. “Her insistence in invoking Christ’s intervention stimulates us never to be discouraged and not to despair when we are oppressed by the harsh trials of life.”

“The Lord does not turn away from our needs and, if sometimes he seems indifferent to our requests for help, it is to test us and strengthen our faith,” Pope Francis said. “We must continue to cry, like this woman: ‘Lord, help me. Lord, help me.’’”

Comments Off on Pope leads prayers for an end to ‘inhuman violence’ of terrorism

Pope, Catholic leaders urge prayers after terrorist attacks in Spain

By

Catholic News Service

Spanish church leaders urged prayers and national unity after two terrorist attacks left at least 19 people dead.

Pope Francis, U.S. bishops and others weighed in with prayers and rejection of the Aug. 17 attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, where cars drove into pedestrians. The Islamic State group claimed credit for the attacks. Fourteen were killed in Barcelona; one pedestrian and five suspects were killed in Cambrils.

Medics move an injured person after a van crashed into pedestrians in the Las Ramblas district of Barcelona, Spain, Aug. 17. Terrorists killed at least 12 and injured more than 50 others. (CNS photo/Quique Garcia, EPA)

“People are deeply shocked and saddened by this totally random event,” said Msgr. Josep Ramon Perez, dean of Barcelona’s Catholic cathedral. “While many are naturally asking what’s happening to the world to make such things possible, many also recognize that the most important response is to pray for peace.”

Thousands attended a midday vigil Aug. 18 in Barcelona’s Plaza de Catalunya, attended by Spanish King Felipe VI and government and political party leaders from across the country. Spanish police asked mourners not to bring bags or backpacks to the vigil, which was accompanied by parallel commemorations in Madrid and other cities, as well as at the European Union’s headquarters in Brussels.

Barcelona Cardinal Juan Jose Omella interrupted his retreat Aug. 17 to return to his city and be close to his people. The Archdiocese of Barcelona released photographs of him visiting victims of the attack at the hospital.

In a message to Cardinal Omella, Pope Francis denounced the “cruel terrorist attack” in Barcelona and said such “blind violence,” which sows death and pain, is “a great offense to the Creator.”

The papal message, sent by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, included prayers for the eternal repose of the dead, and for their families.

Pope Francis, it said, also prayed that God “would help us continue working with determination for peace and harmony in the world.”

In an interview Aug. 18, Msgr. Perez said Barcelona’s cathedral and neighboring churches had been closed after the attack as part of a security lockdown, forcing visitors and pilgrims to remain inside until late evening.

“The terrorists who carried out this action have nothing to do with ordinary people here,” Msgr. Perez said, noting that “local Muslims are just as shocked and horrified as everyone else.”

Candles, flowers and messages of solidarity were placed in memory of victims at various city locations.

Meanwhile, the Tarraconense bishops’ conference, grouping Catholic bishops from Spain’s Catalonia region, said members were “completely dismayed” by the “barbarity of the attack and the contempt it implies for human life and its dignity,” adding that Barcelona and its inhabitants had always been “committed to the cause of peace and justice.”

In an Aug. 18 interview with the Spanish church’s COPE news agency, Cardinal Ricardo Blasquez, president of the Madrid-based bishops’ conference, said Spaniards would be “especially beaten” after the Barcelona outrage, which had “inflicted a wound on everyone.” He urged citizens to remember that Muslims were “the main victims” of Islamic State and not to “criminalize” them for the attack or “identify terrorism with Islam.”

“Far from being terrorist violence, the true road to building a future of peace, now and forever, lies in respect for all people,” Cardinal Blasquez said.

Following the first attack, Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, said the bishops’ conference “unequivocally condemns this morally heinous act and places itself in solidarity with the people of the Archdiocese of Barcelona and Spain at this terrible time of loss and grief.”

“Terrorist attacks on innocent civilians can never be justified,” he said. “To directly attack innocent men, women and children is utterly reprehensible.”

The attack is the latest of several in which trucks and vans had been driven at high speed through pedestrian zones in Europe.

In an Aug. 18 message, Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, president of the bishops’ conference in neighboring France, said the Barcelona atrocity was “an insult to the Creator,” and would unite Catholics in their determination that “evil will not have the last word.”

In Nice, France, in July 2016, 86 people were killed and 458 injured in a similar attack with a 19-ton truck.

The Las Ramblas attack was Spain’s worst since March 2004, when Islamist militants detonated 10 bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and injuring more than 1,800.

Comments Off on Pope, Catholic leaders urge prayers after terrorist attacks in Spain

Pope names new cardinals from Mali, Spain, Sweden, Laos, Salvador

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis announced he will create five new cardinals June 28; the new cardinals-designate come from Mali, Spain, Sweden, Laos and El Salvador.

Unusually, the group of prelates announced by the pope May 21 includes an auxiliary bishop whose archbishop is not a cardinal; he is Cardinal-designate Gregorio Rosa Chavez, 74, the current auxiliary bishop of San Salvador.

Cardinal-designate Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador, pictured in a 2015 photo, is one of five new cardinals Pope Francis will create at a June 28 consistory. (CNS photo/Octavio Duran)

Cardinal-designate Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador, pictured in a 2015 photo, is one of five new cardinals Pope Francis will create at a June 28 consistory. (CNS photo/Octavio Duran)

The other churchmen who will receive red hats are: Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako, Mali, 73; Archbishop Juan Jose Omella of Barcelona, Spain, 71; Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, Sweden, 67; and Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, apostolic vicar of Pakse, Laos, 73.

After briefly talking about the day’s Gospel reading, leading the crowd in St. Peter’s Square in reciting the “Regina Coeli” prayer and greeting various groups present, instead of wishing everyone a good Sunday and a good lunch, the normal procedure at the noon prayer, Pope Francis made his announcement.

The five new cardinals coming from “different parts of the world demonstrates the catholicity of the church spread across the globe,” Pope Francis said. And the practice of assigning to each of them a church in Rome “expresses that the cardinals belong to the Diocese of Rome,” which, as St. Ignatius of Antioch explained, “presides in charity over all the churches.”

Pope Francis said that June 29, the day after the consistory and the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the new cardinals would concelebrate a Mass with him, the entire College of Cardinals and new archbishops from around the world.

“We entrust the new cardinals to the protection of Sts. Peter and Paul,” Pope Francis said, praying that with St. Peter they would be authentic servants of communion in the church and that with St. Paul they would be “joyful proclaimers of the Gospel.”

The pope also prayed that “with their witness and their counsel,” the new cardinals would “support me more intensely in my service as bishop of Rome, pastor of the universal church.”

With five new cardinals, the College of Cardinals will have 227 members, 121 of whom are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave. The number of electors exceeds by one the limit of 120 set by Blessed Paul VI. The next cardinal to turn 80 will be Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, retired president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, who will celebrate his birthday Feb. 3.

The Vatican released brief biographical notes about the five who will be inducted into the college in June:

  • Cardinal-designate Zerbo was born Dec. 27, 1943, in Segou and was ordained to the priesthood there in 1971. He earned a license in Scripture studies from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and then returned to Mali as a pastor and professor at the seminary in Bamako.

Ordained a bishop in 1988, he served first as auxiliary bishop of Bamako and then was named bishop of Mopti. He has led the Archdiocese of Bamako since 1998.

According to the Vatican, “he played an active role in the Mali peace negotiations” and has worked for solidarity and reconciliation among the nation’s citizens.

  • Cardinal-designate Omella was born in the small town of Cretas April 21, 1946, and did his seminary studies in Zaragoza as well as Louvain, Belgium, and Jerusalem. He was ordained in 1970. In addition to parish work in Spain, he spent a year as a missionary in then-Zaire, now Congo.

Ordained a bishop in 1996, he served as auxiliary bishop of Zaragoza and later as bishop of Barbastro-Monzon, then bishop of Calahorra and La Calzada-Logrorio. Pope Francis named him archbishop of Barcelona in 2015.

He has long been a member of the Spanish bishops’ commission for social questions and served two terms as commission president. He is a member of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops.

  • Cardinal-designate Arborelius hosted Pope Francis’ visit to Sweden in October as part of an ecumenical commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Born in Sweden Sept. 24, 1949, he joined the Catholic Church at the age of 20. A few years later, he entered the Discalced Carmelites, took vows in 1977 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1979.

Ordained bishop of Stockholm in 1998, he became the first native Swedish bishop in Sweden since the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, according to the Vatican.

  • Cardinal-designate Mangkhanekhoun was born April 8, 1944, in Laos. The Vatican did not say in what city, but did say he was educated and did seminary studies in Laos and Canada.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1972 by the apostolic vicar of Vientiane, he was instrumental in training catechists and was known for his pastoral visits to remote mountain villages.

In October 2000, he was named apostolic vicar of Pakse and was ordained a bishop six months later. Since February, he also has served as apostolic administrator of Vientiane, which currently is without a bishop.

  • Cardinal-designate Rosa Chavez was born Sept. 3, 1942, in Sociedad, El Salvador. He studied at San Jose de la Montana Seminary in San Salvador, earned a degree in social communications and studied at the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1970 in San Miguel and served overlapping and sometimes simultaneous terms as the bishop’s secretary, pastor of a parish and director of the diocesan radio station. From 1977 to 1982, he served as rector of San Jose de la Montafia Seminary in San Salvador, a position that brought him into regular contact and close collaboration with Blessed Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, who was assassinated in 1980.

He was named auxiliary bishop of San Salvador in 1982. Currently, in addition to his duties as auxiliary bishop, he serves as pastor of the Church of St. Francis in the capital, president of Caritas El Salvador and president of Caritas in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Comments Off on Pope names new cardinals from Mali, Spain, Sweden, Laos, Salvador

Pope names archbishops of Madrid, Valencia

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis reassigned two prominent Spanish bishops, giving a new leader to the country’s largest diocese and leaving a vacancy at the head of the Vatican’s liturgical office.

The Vatican announced Aug. 28 that the pope had named Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra as the new archbishop of Madrid and Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera to be archbishop of Valencia, in eastern Spain.

Archbishop Osoro, 69, had served as archbishop of Valencia since 2009. To replace him there, Cardinal Canizares, 68, leaves his job as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments; his successor has not been announced.

In Madrid, Archbishop Osoro replaces Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, who at age 78 is three years past the standard retirement age for bishops.

During his 20 years as archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Rouco was elected to a record four three-year terms as president of the Spanish bishops’ conference. Archbishop Osoro is currently vice president of the conference.

Archbishop Osoro was born in Castaneda, in northern Spain, May 16, 1945. He studied at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, where he earned a joint degree in philosophy and theology. He later earned degrees in science and adult education from Madrid’s Complutense University and a degree in pedagogy from the University of Salamanca. He was ordained in 1973.

He was appointed bishop of Orense in 1996 and archbishop of Oviedo in 2002 before Pope Benedict XVI moved him to Valencia.

Born in Utiel, Oct. 15, 1945, Cardinal Canizares was ordained in 1970 after training at the local seminary and studying at the Pontifical University of Salamanca and Madrid’s Pastoral Institute. He later taught theology at both schools for two decades, while running San Gerardo Parish in Madrid.

Appointed bishop of Avila in March 1992, Cardinal Canizares drafted documents for the Spanish bishops’ conference on subjects ranging from ecclesiology and the sacraments to sexual and medical ethics.

He was named archbishop of Granada in December 1996 and was transferred to Toledo six years later.

Cardinal Canizares served as vice president of the Spanish bishops’ conference from 2005 to 2008. Pope Benedict made him a cardinal in 2006 and named him prefect of the worship congregation two years later.

 

Comments Off on Pope names archbishops of Madrid, Valencia

Spain’s bishops praise abdicating king’s work for democracy

By

Catholic News Service

OXFORD, England — King Juan Carlos of Spain received a tribute from the country’s bishops after he announced his decision to abdicate in favor of his son.

The executive committee of the Span’s bishops’ conference described the work of the outgoing 76-year-old king as having “extraordinary value” because of his work on behalf of democracy during his 39 years on the throne.

A pool picture released by the Spanish Royal Household June 2 shows Spain’s King Juan Carlos delivering a speech to explain the reasons of his abdication on a TV broadcast after the abdication was announced by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. (CNS photo/Borja, Spanish Royal Household via EPA)

“All Spanish bishops recognize and appreciate the work of His Majesty the King, Don Juan Carlos, and his generous gifts and contributions to Spain’s recent history, particularly to establishing and consolidating democratic life, which was especially relevant during the political transition,” the bishops’ committee said in a June 2 statement.

It said Crown Prince Felipe de Borbon y Grecia, Prince of Asturias, who will succeed his father, had “proved his qualifications and competence” to continue the monarchy’s “constitutional service.”

Meanwhile, Archbishop Julian Barrio Barrio of Santiago de Compostela, praised the king’s “affection” for the western Catholic shrine and close ties with the city, as well as his periodic attendance at Mass in the city’s historic cathedral.

“I feel utmost respect for his decision,” the archbishop said in a June 3 message posted on the archdiocesan website.

King Juan Carlos, who assumed the monarchy when it was restored after the 1975 death of 36-year dictator Gen. Francisco Franco, was widely acclaimed for backing parliamentary democracy in Spain, and facing down an attempted February 1981 military coup by Franco supporters.

However, public support for the monarchy slumped in the last five years when the king’s eldest daughter, Infanta Cristina, and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, were investigated for alleged embezzlement of public funds, and when Juan Carlos broke a hip on a lavish April 2012 hunting trip to Botswana during Spain’s economic recession.

In his June 2 televised announcement, the king said he had taken the throne hoping Spaniards would “become protagonists of their own destiny,” in “a modern democracy, fully integrated into Europe.”

He added that he felt “pride and gratitude” that Spain had since achieved, “in times of great uncertainty and difficulty, a long period of peace, freedom, stability and progress.” He said he believed the new generation could “justly claim a starring role in forging the future.”

Meanwhile, the Catholic Communion and Liberation organization welcomed the Juan Carlos’ summons to a younger generation, and said it expected the new king to “promote true coexistence” and “inspire in all of us a radical desire to affirm the other person.”

“One generation assumed its responsibility 39 years ago, leaving behind old divisions and building a society no longer based on the view that other was an enemy to be eliminated,” the group said in a June 3 communique.

“In the same way, a new generation is now called to express its desire for true coexistence, excluding the aggressive and sterile dialectic, which has eroded our democracy in recent years.”

Vatican Radio said King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia had discussed Spain’s economic crisis and “current issues regarding the church’s mission in society” during an April 28 Vatican audience.

The 75-year-old queen was to receive a Path to Peace prize June 3 in New York from the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt

 

Comments Off on Spain’s bishops praise abdicating king’s work for democracy
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.