June 1, 2014, Sunday — In the stadium

Pope Opens Charismatic Meeting

Pope Francis today told a crowd of more than 50,000 in a packed Roman sports stadium that the devil hates and wishes to destroy the family. (Bishops from around the world will gather in Rome in October to discuss challenges facing families today.)

Francis told the crowd of about 52,000 Catholic charismatics that when he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires, at first he didn’t “share” the way the exuberant charismatic Catholics prayed there. “I thought you were more like a samba school,” the Pope said, drawing laughter.

But he came to later to realize that “charismatic renewal is a great force” for the Church, Francis said.

Pope Francis was addressing the 37th National Convocation of Italy’s “Renewal in the Spirit,” held in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

During his main discourse, Pope Francis said members of the charismatic renewal had “received a great gift from the Lord.”

He said that when he thinks of members of the charismatic movement, a particular image of the Church comes to mind. “I think of a great orchestra, where every instrument is different from the other, and the voices are also different; but all are necessary for the harmony of the music,” he said.

The Pope said that, like in an orchestra, no one in the Renewal can think of themselves as being more important than another, or consider think of themselves as a leader. “You have only one leader, only one lord: the Lord Jesus,” Francis said.

Francis emphasized that adoration of God is fundamental. “Adore God,” he said. “Seek sanctity in the New Life of the Spirit.”

The Holy Father concluded his discourse by inviting the charismatics of the world to celebrate their 2017 Jubilee at the Vatican.

Earlier, during his Regina Coeli prayer at noon today, Francis appealed for peace in Africa and in Ukraine.

“It is with a very sad heart that I pray for the victims of continuing tensions in some regions of the Ukraine, and in the Central African Republic,” Francis said  in St. Peter’s Square. “I renew my appeal to all those involved, that they may overcome misunderstandings and search patiently for dialogue and peace.”


Encounter in Minsk

Meanwhile, in Minsk, Belarus, an important Catholic-Orthodox dialogue opens tomorrow morning.

The fourth “Catholic-Orthodox Forum” will bring together about two dozen Catholic and Orthodox bishops to discuss the challenge of religious pluralism and secularism in our time, and to explore how Catholics and Orthdoox can bear common witness to Christian values. The gathering will continue all week.

Here is a list of the participants:

Inviting Church
His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Sluzk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus

Orthodox Delegation
His Eminence Metropolitan Prof. Dr. Gennadios of Sassima, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Orthodox Forum Chairman
The V. Rev. Tertiary Patriarchal Deacon Dr. Theodoros Meimaris, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Orthodox Forum Secretary
His Eminence Metropolitan Dr. Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Patriarcate of Moscow, President of the Department for External Church Relations
His Grace Bishop Porfyrios of Eger, Patriarchate of Serbia
His Grace Bishop Dr Silouanos in Italy, Patriarchate of Romania
The V. Rev. Archimandrite Vakhtang, Patriarchate of Georgia
His Eminence Metropolitan Dr. Vasilios of Constantia-Ammochostos, Church of Cyprus
His Eminence Metropolitan Prof. Dr Chrysostomos of Messinia, Church of Greece
His Eminence Metropolitan Dr. Georgios of Michalovce and Kosice, Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia

Orthodox Advisors
His Eminence Archbishop Prof. Dr. Job of Telmessos, Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe, Ecumenical Patriarchate
V. Rev. Mitred Archpriest Vladimir Bashkirov, Dr.prom. of Theology, Department of Theology and history of Church, Institute of Theology BSU
V. Rev. Constantin Miron, Holy Metropolitanate of Germany
Rev. Prof. Dr. Augustinos Bairachtaris, University Ecclesiastical Academy of Heraklion, Crete
Prof. Andrey Danilov, Dr.prom. of Theology, Doctor of Philosophy, Institute of Theology BSU
Lecturer Dr. Christos N. Tsironis, Faculty of Theology, Aristotle University of Thessalonica

Catholic Delegation
His Eminence Péter Cardinal Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, CCEE President,Bishops’ Conference of Hungary, Catholic Forum Chairman
Reverend Monsignor Duarte da Cunha, CCEE General Secretary, Catholic Forum Secretary
His Eminence Vinko Cardinal Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo, Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina
Most Reverend Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, Archbishop of Minsk-Mohilev, Bishops’ Conference of Belarus
Most Reverend Paolo Pezzi, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God of Moscow, Bishops’ Conference of the Russian Federation
Most Reverend Luigi Bressan, Archbishop of Trento, Bishops’ Conference of Italy
Most Reverend Javier Martinez, Archbishop of Granada, Bishops’ Conference of Spain
Most Reverend Roland Minnerath, Archbishop of Dijon, Bishops’ Conference of France
Right Reverend Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, Bishops’ Conference of the Nordic Countries
Right Reverend Virgil Bercea, Bishop of Oradea, Bishops’ Conference of Romania
Right Reverend Johan Bonny, Bishop of Antwerp, Bishops’ Conference of Belgium
Right Reverend Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick, Bishops’ Conference of Ireland
Right Reverend Krysztof Nitkiewicz, Bishop of Sandomierz, Bishops’ Conference of Poland
Right Reverend Matthias Heinrich, Auxiliary Bishop of Berlin, Bishops’ Conference of Germany

Most Reverend Claudio Gugerotti, Apostolic Nuncio in Belarus
Reverend Father Hyacinthe Destivelle, Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the Unity of Christians.

The Forum is supported in part by a grant from the “Urbi et Orbi Foundation,” which seeks to support projects that further Catholic-Orthodox understanding and collaboration.

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