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Just-war tests not met in North Korea situation, ethicists say

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The just-war criteria that would justify armed conflict with North Korea over its nuclear testing and threats to launch missiles have not been met, said ethicists interviewed by Catholic News Service.

Those criteria include right intention, last resort and proportionality.

Lightning strikes near Minot Air Force Base in Minot, North Dakota, Aug. 8. The Pentagon has put all U.S. military installations on alert in the wake of North Korea’s threats about using missiles. (CNS photo/U.S. Air Force via Reuters)

“Preventive war in North Korea would be morally unjustifiable,” said Gerard Powers, director of Catholic Peacebuilding Studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “That’s what the Trump administration is proposing, the preventive use of military force.

“As it was in Iraq, it is a major departure from international legal norms and ethics, and accepted ethical norms on the use of force,” he added. “Bellicose rantings by North Korea, or anyone else, don’t constitute just cause for the use of force.”

“Preventive was is a war of aggression. The possible use of nuclear weapons takes it to a whole new order of magnitude,” Powers continued. “The U.S. bishops have said for many years that nuclear war is morally impermissible. The Second Vatican Council said the destruction of whole cities, which is what would happen in a nuclear war, was a full condemnation. … That’s what would be inevitable if there were to be a nuclear war with North Korea.

“So a nuclear war would be morally reprehensible. Period.”

“If you look at the criteria of the (just-war) principles, there has to be just cause and the right intention. There has to be proportionality. We’re talking about going to war,” said Necla Tschirgi, a professor of human security and peacebuilding, at the University of San Diego.

“President (Donald) Trump has been threatening North Korea with extermination on the grounds that they have nuclear weapons,” Tschirgi added. “There’s a question of proportionality, a question of last resort, the criteria of probability of success, proper authority and all these things are really to be questioned very closely where we are in relationship with North Korea at this point in time.”

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, there are four conditions for a war to be just, all of which must be met: The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave and certain; all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective; there must be serious prospects of success; and the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders greater than the evil to be eliminated.

Tschirgi said the Vatican is currently considering whether any war can be considered just, given the power of modern weapons of war, such as the nuclear missiles at issue with North Korea.

“North Korea has nuclear capabilities,” Tschirgi told CNS. “Many administrations have been dealing with this problem through different strategies.”

Those strategies have been met with limited success. Western nations have complained that North Korea is unpredictable, but North Korea expert Andrew Yeo, an associate professor of politics at The Catholic University of America in Washington, said North Korea’s mindset is not that of other nations.

That, according to Yeo, can be traced to the Korean War of the early 1950s. North Korea signed the armistice to end the war, but South Korea refused, lest it be seen as legitimizing the North Korean government. South Korea hopes for a reunified Korea, which is opposite of the intent of the ruling Kim family of North Korea; Kim Jong Un has headed the north since the death five years ago of his father, Kim Jong Il.

North Korea embraces an “us against the world” mentality that makes it look askance at most foreign aid. Even the 1994-98 famine didn’t result in an opening to other nations, but Kim Jong Il allowed his countrymen to grow crops on their land to sell at strictly regulated markets. Since pay for all jobs in North Korea is severely stratified and pretty much frozen in place, lower-income Koreans put in less effort at their state-given jobs and more in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Yeo said.

“Their rationale is to survive and the best way to do that is through nuclear weapons,” he added about the country’s leaders. Engagement doesn’t work “because usually the assumptions in the past are if you engage with North Korea you start with a freeze and you get North Korea to halt its nuclear tests. Over time you might be able to reward North Korea with economic aid or humanitarian assistance.” Until now, though, Yeo said, no one has been able to convince North Korea that “there’s a better way forward than being a nuclear pariah state.”

Still, said Joseph Capizzi, a professor of moral theology at Catholic University, “we’re not at the situation where we’ve exhausted diplomacy, which seems to be gaining some traction. The Chinese are interested in exerting diplomatic force. North Korea seems to be backing away from its mention of Guam” as a target for one of its nuclear missiles.

“The (just-war) criterion we’re thinking through here is last resort,” Capizzi said. “Are we at last resort where the only means is military means? No.”

Since it has been 72 years since the only nuclear weapons were ever deployed in warfare, most people in the world have little idea of the destruction such a bomb would wreak.

“On the other hand,” Capizzi said, “there are people in North Korea, South Korea and parts of Vietnam who lived through the experience of civilian bombing that was associated with those campaigns, that it was similar enough that it would be in their memories and provoke significant anxiety about any contest between the United States and North Korea. 

“That’s a very important factor that looms in the background about the force, or threat of force, either by North Korea or the United States.”

     

Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison.

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Ex-Vatican diplomat: U.S., North Korea must return to negotiating table

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The United States and North Korea must return to the negotiating table and focus on improving the quality of life of their people rather than on the might of their advanced weaponry, said a former Vatican diplomat. Read more »

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New Trinity dome mosaic at national shrine will be ‘wonder to behold,’ says cardinal

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Builders, church leaders, choir members and journalists gathered atop eight floors of scaffolding, 159 feet high, in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Oct. 28 for the blessing of the workspace where a new mosaic will be installed on the shrine’s Trinity Dome.

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington addresses media and workers at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception prior Oct. 28 before blessing the shrine's Trinity Dome and the workers. A mosaic project to complete the dome is  scheduled to be finished in December 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington addresses media and workers at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception prior Oct. 28 before blessing the shrine’s Trinity Dome and the workers. A mosaic project to complete the dome is scheduled to be finished in December 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

“It will be a wonder to behold,” said Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of the dome, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year. The mosaic will depict the Trinity, Mary and 13 saints associated with the United States or the national shrine, the four evangelists and words from the Nicene Creed.

The finished dome also will mark the completion of the national shrine, according to the original architectural plans for the church set to mark its centennial in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the placement of its foundational stone.

During the blessing, Cardinal Wuerl offered prayers for the success of the project and the safety of the workers involved. He said the shrine puts into “image form” the message of the Gospel and does so “in a way that everyone can bask in its beauty.”

He said the finished dome, with its emphasis on American saints, will remind people of the “face of who we are and the face of God.” He also said it will reflect “living images of God and living images of everything we are capable of being.”

In introductory remarks, Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of the national shrine, stressed the parallels between the mosaic design on the dome and the very character of the shrine itself, representing a mosaic of Catholic parishioners from every corner of the globe.

He said a one-time collection for the dome work will take place on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017. The last time a national collection was done for the shrine was in 1953 when it was being built.

The mosaic work is being done at the Travisanutto Giovanni mosaic company in Spilimbergo, Italy, and will be shipped to the national shrine in 30,000 sections weighing 24 tons and composed of more than 14 million pieces of glass.

Cardinal Wuerl, who blessed the work site, the workers and those present, urged the group of about 90 people at the ceremony to be sure they touched the wall of the dome before they left “because you’ll never have a chance to do it again.”

Remind yourself, he said, that this is “the completion of a 100-year project” which reflects to whoever comes in this building that God is with us.

     

Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim.

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Nation, world need gifts Latinos have to offer, says Archbishop Gomez

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Catholic News Service

CHICAGO — Latino Catholics have many gifts and values to benefit the church and society and the time is now to embrace them and share them.

“America needs our gifts. Our world needs our gifts,” said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, at the opening of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders annual conference held Aug. 18-21 in downtown Chicago. Read more »

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United States’ refugee screening process is thorough, safe, says church official

By

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The extensive vetting process that all refugees undergo before arriving in the United States “screens out any possible threat of terrorism,” said the executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services.

A boy touches his crying father during a Nov. 19 protest by migrants from Pakistan and Morocco who blocked a section of the Greece-Macedonia border after Macedonia began granting entry only to refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. (CNS photo/Georgi Licovski, EPA)

A boy touches his crying father during a Nov. 19 protest by migrants from Pakistan and Morocco who blocked a section of the Greece-Macedonia border after Macedonia began granting entry only to refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. (CNS photo/Georgi Licovski, EPA)

“We believe the risk is nil and certainly when we look at this (process) under a microscope, these are the most vetted people that come into our country,” William Canny told Catholic News Service.

The director said the State Department screening procedure, which the White House posted on its website Nov. 20, is comprehensive and makes security its highest priority.

“We’re highly confident that it’s well done, that it screens out any possible threat of terrorism. Based on that, we’re very comfortable receiving these families, which by the way, are mostly women and children,” Canny said.

Questions about the possible entry into the U.S. by extremists tied to Islamic State militants who control large swaths of Syria and Iraq have been raised since a string of violent attacks in Paris Nov. 13 and the downing of a Russian jetliner over Egypt’s Sinai desert Oct. 31, all claimed by the organization.

Members of Congress, presidential candidates, state legislators and at least 31 governors have called for the federal government to stop the resettlement of Syrians, saying they feared for Americans’ security.

Republicans in the House of Representatives Nov. 19 secured a veto-proof majority, 289-137, on the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act that would block Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the U.S. unless they undergo strict background checks. The Senate was expected to vote on the bill the week of Nov. 30.

MRS helped resettle 376 Syrians nationwide between Aug. 15, 2012, and Nov. 24. The agency reported that it also has resettled 13,110 Iraqis since 2008.

The agency is under contract with the State Department to resettle about 30 percent of the 70,000 refugees the country accepts annually. In 2014, MRS resettled 20,875 refugees from around the world in the U.S. It is the largest nongovernmental resettlement agency in the world.

Simon Henshaw, principal deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, said at a Nov. 19 media briefing that the U.S. resettled 1,682 Syrian refuges in year ending Sept. 30.

Overall, more than 4 million Syrian refugees have fled their homeland since the Syrian civil war began in March 2011.

President Barack Obama has directed the State Department to prepare to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees during fiscal year 2016, which ends Sept. 30.

Henshaw called the effort a “modest but important contribution to the global effort to address the Syrian refugee crisis.”

Streams of Syrians have fled to Europe this year as their country’s civil war showed no signs of ending. Hundreds of thousands of people have made their way to Germany while other European nations have opened their borders, but to lesser numbers. Other countries, however, have denied entry to the refugees.

Religious and civil rights leaders in the U.S. have prevailed on federal officials to realize that providing humanitarian assistance to the refugees, including their resettlement, is a moral obligation.

The concerns raised by some U.S. elected officials focus almost exclusively on security. They point to the possibility that an extremist could get through the vetting process and eventually team up with other like-minded people to attack innocent civilians.

Henshaw said the refugee resettlement program prioritizes admitting the most vulnerable Syrians, including female-headed households, children, survivors of torture and people with severe medical conditions.

“We have, for years, safely admitted refugees from all over the world, including Syrian refugees, and we have a great deal of experience screening and admitting large numbers of refugees from chaotic environments, including where intelligence holdings are limited,” Henshaw said.

Jane E. Bloom, head of the U.S. office of the International Catholic Migration Commission, told CNS that many of the refugees her agency is resettling are severely injured and have been devastated by the war.

“We’re seeing a high number of cases that are burn victims, lost limbs, shrapnel injuries needing operations,” she said. “Most of the Syrians are traumatized by an act of war. They’ve lost family and friends.”

Refugees initially are selected for resettlement by the staff of U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. The ICMC, based in Geneva and with its U.S. office at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is one of the worldwide agencies working with UNHCR in processing people chosen for resettlement.

ICMC has worked in two refugee support centers in Istanbul and Beirut during the Syrian crisis. Another agency, the International Office of Migration, works with refugees at support centers in Jordan and Egypt.

Before the ICMC gets involved with any Syrians, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducts its own screening, Bloom said. After that step ICMC staff members begin vetting under State Department rules, collecting biographical and family information, and learning why a family fled their home in the first place, she explained.

“When it comes to vetting, refugees, and in particular Syrian refugees, are the most vetted I have come to work with in the last 30 years,” Bloom told CNS.

“Resettlement is the most powerful protection tool that we’ve got in our toolbox. So ICMC uses that very wisely and very preciously for those that are very vulnerable, those who are not officially protected within Lebanon and Turkey,” Bloom added.

In 2014 ICMC helped resettle 7,365 refugees to the U.S. from the support center for Turkey and Middle East, according to the agency’s annual report. The agency did not provide data on how many of those refugees were Syrians.

The screening process for any refugee can take 18 to 24 months or more to complete, according to the State Department. It involves gathering identifying documents, personal information and an explanation why a person or family fled in addition to a series of interviews. Iris scans and biometric data are gathered for Syrians and other Middle East people, the White House graphic showed.

Refugee families are fingerprinted and undergo a security screening that involves four U.S. agencies including the National Counterterrorism Center, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and State Department. Any one agency can deny entry for any reason.

Medical checks also are completed.

Once cleared, applicants are required to complete cultural orientation classes. They then are assigned to a U.S.-based nongovernment organization for resettlement. One such NGO is the bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services, which works in turn with local diocesan resettlement agencies, commonly run by Catholic Charities.

Locations selected for permanent resettlement are based on family reunification needs or the presence of an existing community of people from a given country, Canny said.

In total, the Syrian-born U.S. population stood at about 86,000 people in 2014, representing about 0.2 percent of the nation’s 42.4 million immigrants, according to a fact sheet released Nov. 24 by the Migration Policy Institute.

Using U.S. Census data, the institute found that the Syrian population grew by about 43 percent between 2010 and 2014. It attributed the increase primarily to the country’s civil war.

 

Information about the resettlement work of Migration and Refugee Services is online at http://www.usccb.org/about/migration-and-refugee-services/index.cfm. Information about the International Catholic Migration Commission is online at www.icmc.net. The federal process for screening refugees is outlined at 1.usa.gov/1OYqOfD.

 

 

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Vatican welcomes Iran’s historic nuclear deal, U.S. bishops urge Congress to ratify

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VATICAN CITY — The Holy See welcomed Iran’s historic nuclear deal and expressed hopes that more future breakthroughs be on the horizon on other issues.

An International Atomic Energy Agency inspector checks the uranium enrichment process inside Iran’s Natanz plant in 2014. The Vatican welcomed the July 14 announcement that Iran would restrict its nuclear program to peaceful purposes, so decades long international sanctions on the nation would be lifted.. (CNS photo/Kazem Ghane, EPA)

An International Atomic Energy Agency inspector checks the uranium enrichment process inside Iran’s Natanz plant in 2014. The Vatican welcomed the July 14 announcement that Iran would restrict its nuclear program to peaceful purposes, so decades long international sanctions on the nation would be lifted.. (CNS photo/Kazem Ghane, EPA)

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said that “the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program is viewed in a positive light by the Holy See.”

“It constitutes an important outcome of the negotiations carried out so far, although continued efforts and commitment on the part of all involved will be necessary in order for it to bear fruit,” he said in a written statement in response to reporters’ questions July 14.

“It is hoped that those fruits will not be limited to the field of nuclear program, but may indeed extend further,” he said, without specifying what other areas of progress the Vatican hoped to see.

Hours after the deal was announced, the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace also welcomed the agreement in a letter to members of the U.S. Congress.

Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, encouraged the lawmakers to “support these efforts to build bridges that foster peace and greater understanding” and said it signaled progress in global nuclear weapons nonproliferation.

“We hope that the full implementation of the agreement will gradually foster an environment in which all parties build mutual confidence and trust so that progress will be made toward greater stability and dialogue in the region,” the letter said. “In that spirit, our committee will continue to urge Congress to endorse the result of these intense negotiations because the alternative leads toward armed conflict, an outcome of profound concern to the church.”

Under the new deal, decades-long sanctions by the United States, European Union and the United Nations eventually would be lifted in exchange for an agreement by Iran to restrict its nuclear program to peaceful purposes.

The negotiations involved Iran and what is often referred to as the “P5+1,” or the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States —plus Germany.

The U.S. Congress and Iranian authorities would still need to review the agreement.

In January and in April, Pope Francis had expressed hopes that negotiations would end in an agreement. In his Easter message April 5, he said he hoped preliminary talks then underway would “be a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world.”

 

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Havana to Philly: Pope’s schedule in Cuba and United States highlights families, charity, tolerance

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — In word and deed, Pope Francis will take his vision of a Catholic’s approach to family life, parish life, charity, economics, immigration and good governance to Cuba and the United States during a Sept. 19-27 visit.

Visiting both Cuba and the United States on the same trip not only acknowledges his role in encouraging detente between them, but will give Pope Francis an opportunity to demonstrate that while different political and cultural challenges face Catholics in both countries, the Gospel and its values are the same.

Pope Francis leaves after celebrating Mass marking the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 29. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis leaves after celebrating Mass marking the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican June 29. (CNS/Paul Haring)

On June 30, the Vatican published the detailed schedule of Pope Francis’ Sept. 19-22 visit to Cuba and his Sept. 22-27 visit to the United States.

For Pope Francis, one of the key values Catholics in the U.S. and Cuba share is the obligation to “go out,” proclaiming the Gospel and bringing God’s mercy to the poorest and most disadvantaged people.

The standard of living in the United States may be exponentially higher than in Cuba, but in Pope Francis’ vision that only increases the responsibility of U.S. Catholics to reach out and to share. He will demonstrate what he means when he meets homeless people in Washington Sept. 24, children and immigrant families at a Catholic school in Harlem when he visits New York Sept. 25, and prisoners Sept. 27 in Philadelphia.

The closing Mass for the World Meeting of Families will follow the papal meeting with prisoners. The World Meeting of Families international congress Sept. 22-25 and the celebration of families with the pope Sept. 26-27 were the initial reason for the papal visit.

With the Catholic Church’s constant concern for promoting strong families and with the world Synod of Bishops on the family set to start one week after the papal visit, marriage and family life are expected to be topics throughout the pope’s visit to both Cuba and the United States.

Long before the Vatican released the full trip itinerary, it had confirmed certain parts of it: U.S. President Barack Obama will welcome the pope to the White House Sept. 23; that afternoon, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and canonize Blessed Junipero Serra; the pope will address a joint meeting of Congress Sept. 24, becoming the first pope to do so; and Pope Francis will address the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 25. It is thought the pope may bring up some of the points he made in his recent environmental encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” given that world nations will come together just a few months later for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in the hopes of reaching global agreement on reducing greenhouse gases.

The pope also is expected to emphasize the contributions of U.S. Catholics to society, defend religious liberty and support the church’s right to uphold its teaching, including in its employment practices. He will use his visit to ground zero in New York as an occasion for an interreligious gathering.

The pope will spend three days in Cuba visiting three different cities, including the popular Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre.

He will hold the usual meetings with President Raul Castro, young people, families and religious as well as celebrate Mass and vespers all three days. But he also will bless the cities of Holguin and Santiago de Cuba — blessing Holguin from a panoramic hilltop and pilgrimage site called Cross Hill.

It will be his third visit to the Americas after Brazil in 2013 and Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay in July, and his 10th trip abroad since his election in 2013.

Here is the schedule for the trip. All times are local unless otherwise indicated.

Saturday, Sept. 19 (Rome, Havana)

  • 10:15 a.m. (4:15 a.m. EDT), Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino airport for Havana.
  • 4:05 p.m. Arrival ceremony at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport. Speech by pope.

Sunday, Sept. 20 (Havana)

  • 9 a.m. Mass in Havana’s Revolution Square. Homily by pope. Recitation of the Angelus.
  • 4 p.m. Courtesy visit with Cuba’s President Raul Castro in Havana’s Palace of the Revolution.
  • 5:15 p.m. Celebration of vespers with priests, religious and seminarians in Havana’s cathedral. Homily by pope.
  • 6:30 p.m. Greeting to young people at the Father Felix Varela cultural center in Havana. Remarks by pope.

Monday, Sept. 21 (Havana, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, El Cobre)

  • 8 a.m. Departure by air for Holguin, Cuba.

— 9:20 a.m. Arrival at Holguin’s Frank Pais International Airport.

  • 10:30 a.m. Mass in Holguin’s Revolution Square. Homily by pope.

— 3:45 p.m. Blessing of the city of Holguin from Cross Hill (Loma de la Cruz).

  • 4:40 p.m. Departure by air for Santiago de Cuba.
  • 5:30 p.m. Arrival at Santiago de Cuba’s Antonio Maceo International Airport.
  • 7 p.m. Meeting with bishops at the seminary of St. Basil the Great in El Cobre.
  • 7:45 p.m. Prayer to Our Lady of Charity with bishops and the papal entourage in the Minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre.

Tuesday, Sept. 22 (El Cobre, Santiago de Cuba, Washington)

  • 8 a.m. Mass in the Minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. Homily by pope.
  • 11 a.m. Meeting with families in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption in Santiago de Cuba. Speech by pope. Blessing of the city from the outside of the cathedral.
  • 12:15 p.m. Farewell ceremony at Santiago de Cuba’s International Airport.
  • 12:30 p.m. Departure for Washington.
  • 4 p.m. Arrival at Andrews Air Force Base. Official welcome.

Wednesday, Sept. 23 (Washington)

  • 9:15 a.m. Welcoming ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. Speech by pope, followed by a courtesy visit with Obama.
  • 11:30 a.m. Meeting with U.S. bishops in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. Speech by pope.
  • 4:15 p.m. Mass and canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Homily by pope.

Thursday, Sept. 24 (Washington, New York)

— 9:20 a.m. Visit to the U.S. Congress. Speech by pope.

— 11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and meeting with homeless people. Greeting by pope.

  • 4 p.m. Departure by air to New York.
  • 5 p.m. Arrival at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
  • 6:45 p.m. Celebration of vespers with priests, men and women religious in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Homily by pope.

Friday, Sept. 25 (New York)

  • 8:30 a.m. Visit the headquarters of the United Nations. Greeting and speech by pope.
  • 11:30 a.m. Interreligious meeting at the ground zero 9/11 Memorial. Speech by pope.
  • 4 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Elementary School in East Harlem and meeting with children and immigrant families. Speech by pope.
  • 6 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden. Homily by pope.

Saturday, Sept. 26 (New York, Philadelphia)

  • 8:40 a.m. Departure by air to Philadelphia.
  • 9:30 a.m. Arrival at Philadelphia’s International Airport.
  • 10:30 a.m. Mass with Pennsylvania’s bishops, priests, men and women religious at Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul. Homily by pope.
  • 4:45 p.m. Meeting for religious liberty with the Hispanic community and immigrants at Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. Speech by pope.
  • 7:30 p.m. Festival of Families and prayer vigil at Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Speech by pope.

Sunday, Sept. 27 (Philadelphia)

  • 9:15 a.m. Meeting with bishops taking part in the World Meeting of Families at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Speech by pope.
  • 11 a.m. Visit with prisoners at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. Speech by pope.
  • 4 p.m. Closing Mass of the VIII World Meeting of Families at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Homily by pope.
  • 7 p.m. Greeting to the organizing committee, volunteers and donors at Philadelphia’s International Airport. Speech by pope.
  • 7:45 p.m. Farewell ceremony.
  • 8 p.m. Departure for Rome.

Monday, Sept. 28 (Rome)

  • 10 a.m. (4:45 a.m. EDT). Arrival at Rome’s Ciampino airport.

 

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Archbishop Vigano papal nuncio to the U.S.

October 19th, 2011 Posted in Featured Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 70, to be the new nuncio to the United States.

In his most recent position, the Italian archbishop had served for two years as secretary-general of the commission governing Vatican City. He succeeds the late Archbishop Pietro Sambi in Washington.

Just minutes after his assignment was announced Oct. 19, Archbishop Vigano told Catholic News Service he hoped to get to the United States in time for the U.S. bishops’ general assembly Nov. 14-16.

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