Church and religion
Pope Video – July 2017
Vatican city, July 5th, 2017 (PWPN). The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is releasing the July The Pope Video, in which Francis calls us to be close to people who have distanced themselves from Christ, and underlines the importance of joy in promoting the Gospel message. The Supreme Pontiff, in this month’s The Pope Video asks that Christians who have distanced themselves from the faith not be left alone. The Holy Father emphasizes the importance of transmitting joy as a way of accompanying people who, for whatever reason, have distanced themselves from the Gospel message and Christ’s teachings. He stresses that when a Christian becomes sad, it is a sign that he has distanced himself from Jesus. With more than 2.2 billion Christians in the world, Francis proposes to go beyond the concrete reality of the Catholic Church and again calls our attention to accompanying those who might be living a crisis of faith. Among his exhortations, the Pope also urges us to offer a path of hope through our personal testimony and the use of our freedom. “The concern expressed here by the Pope is not new,” said Jesuit Father Frédéric Fornos, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement. “In 2013, in his encyclical Lumen Fidei — carrying on the work of Benedict XVI — Francis warned of the danger of losing the faith. ‘There is an urgent need,’ the Pope said at the beginning of that document, ‘to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim.’ The full script of the video: Let us never forget that our joy is Jesus Christ — his faithful and inexhaustible love. When a Christian becomes sad, it means that he has distanced himself from Jesus. But then we must not leave him alone! We should offer him Christian hope — with our words, yes, but more with our testimony, with our freedom, with our joy. Let us pray that our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the beauty of the Christian life.
Pope Video – June 2017
Vatican, June 8th, 2017 (PWPN). The June edition of the The Pope Video, from the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, is focused on the elimination of the arms trade. Its release follows just days after Francis met with the president of the United States, asking him to work for world peace. Pope Francis begins the video declaring, “It is an absurd contradiction to speak of peace, to negotiate peace, and at the same time, promote or permit the arms trade.” He thus alludes not only to the problem itself, but to the hypocrisy of governments that resist a real commitment to resolving this global issue. During the video, which highlights the double-speak between signing peace agreements and continuing to sell arms to perpetuate unnecessary wars, the Pope puts forward this unsettling question: “Is this war or that war really a war to solve problems or is it a commercial war for selling weapons in illegal trade and so that the merchants of death get rich?” According to a study from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the commercial arms trade is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War. The increase has been caused by the conflicts in the Middle East, the tensions in the South China Sea, and the perception of the threat Russia poses to its neighbors. The majority of arms sales comes from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom. Germany, Spain and Italy, meanwhile, are among the main manufacturers, while Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey are among the main buyers. “The Pope’s request this month is forceful,” said Jesuit Father Frédéric Fornos, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement. “We need cooperation and commitment, to urge world leaders to firmly commit to putting an end to the arms trade. There are so many dark strategic, industrial, and political interests that result in the death of so many innocent victims around the world. Do we know which industries in our countries benefit from the arms trade?” Below, find the complete script of the video It is an absurd contradiction to speak of peace, to negotiate peace, and at the same time, promote or permit the arms trade. Is this war or that war really a war to solve problems or is it a commercial war for selling weapons in illegal trade and so that the merchants of death get rich? Let us put an end to this situation. Let us pray all together that national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade which victimizes so many innocent people.