ConAltriOcchi blog – 以不同的眼光看世界-博客

"C'è un solo modo di vedere le cose finché qualcuno non ci mostra come guardare con altri occhi" – "There is only one way to see things, until someone shows us how to look at them with different eyes" (Picasso) – "人观察事物的方式只有一种,除非有人让我们学会怎样以不同的眼光看世界" (毕加索)


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The “second step”. Perspectives of the Pope’s visit to Colombia

During the traditional inflight  press conference on his journey back to Rome at the end of his pilgrimage to Colombia,  Pope Francis replied to a journalist’s question regarding the possibility of another  visit to that Latin American country one day, saying:“I would at least like the motto of the journey to be ‘Let’s  take the second step”.

Let’s take the first stop was the motto of this pilgrimage and we can truly say that the Pope maintained this impetus: now an entire people is proceeding down the difficult road to reconciliation with faith.

In Colombia,  announcement of the Word of reconciliation is particularly urgent.  We have been entrusted with the Word, the ministry of reconciliation, Saint Paul reminds us in his Second Letter to the Corinthians.

Widening the horizon of his reflection, the Pope also recalled that reconciliation with Creation is   urgent: «we are arrogant, we do not want to see. But the scientists are very clear about the human influence on climate change»

We are living at a time of growing awareness of man’s misdeeds towards Creation.  Creation is deteriorating around us, withering under our blows.  There is urgent need for reconciliation between man and the universe; we should also recognize that an exaggerated Anthropocentrism , often transmitted by a certain Christian theology, has encouraged bad behaviour towards nature. In particular, it is Western man, who is cutting down his forests, suffocating in urban pollution, polluting his seas, who must regain his respect and love of nature.

During this extraordinary pilgrimage, Pope Francis reminded us that the Church is the sign, the watchman who tells us that it is possible, indeed it is in the nature of man, the image of God, to put love at the foundation of the collective experience. Reconciliation with Creation, among men, among peoples, among religions, will not be negated by history, because in Christ the reconciliation has already begun. “God has reconciled us to himself  by Jesus Christ and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2Cor5,18-20). Let us think about what has been entrusted to us ;we have not been entrusted with the ministry of war, of racism, of nationalism, of populism, of colonialism, we have been entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation.

Saying this we immediately realize that it must be said with a penitential attitude: we are not a reconciled community; Christians are divided; within the Church itself there is the diabolical seed of division.

But why haven’t we been reconciled?  Why doesn’t the Word of God find its rightful place in us?  God said to the prophet: “Thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me”(Ez 33,7).  At times we have announced words which did not issue from the mouth of God; we have said many things, saying they were the will of God and instead this wasn’t true, they were – and at times still are today –  words of power, ideology, moralism, words that win and thus we have become ministers of division. We must not say words that win but words which save.

The Word of the Gospel does not make war, it is not a word that wins but that saves, that loves and reconciles.  We have been entrusted with this Word.  Faith is not a competition, or the defence of any structure, but the road to pursue in history pending full communion with God who will be all in all.

Once again it is the little ones, the children  who can be the true teachers of reconciliation, the Pope reminds us, summarizing a journey which had just ended: “What most impressed me about the Colombians: in the four cities I visited there were always crowds on the streets; fathers and mothers holding up their children to let them see the Pope and so the Pope could bless them.  As if they were saying: “This is my treasure, this is my hope, this is my future. I believe this. ”.  The tenderness. The eyes of those fathers and mothers. Wonderful, wonderful! This is a symbol, the symbol of hope for the future.  A people capable of creating children and showing. A people which is capable of producing children and then showing them, as if they were saying:  “This is my treasure”,  is a people who has hope and has a future”.

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“Let us take the first step”: Pope Francis in Colombia

Departing on 6th September and until the 10th, Pope Francis will be a pilgrim of peace and reconciliation in Colombia. As usual, last night Pope Francis went to the basilica of Saint Mary Major to bring a floral tribute to the venerated icon of Mary Salus Populi Romani and invoke Her intercession for his imminent pilgrimage.

Let us take the first step” is the theme of this apostolic journey because other first steps are required after the signing of the peace agreement.   The Government of Colombia and Farc signed a new peace agreement in Cuba last November which took account of some requests from the Front after the first agreement reached in August after 52 years of war was rejected in a referendum held on 2nd October last.

In the cities the Pope will visit – Bogota, Villavicencio, Medellin and  Cartagena – he will address  several issues: to be the artisans of peace, promoters of life; reconciliation with God, with the Colombians, with nature;  Christian life as Discipleship; human dignity and human rights.

On Friday in Villavicencio, South of Bogota, the Pope will beatify two Colombian martyrs: the Bishop of Arauca, Mons. Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve and a priest, Pedro María Ramírez Ramos.

Monsignor Jesús Emilio Jaramillo was killed on 2nd October 1989 at the age of 73, while he was returning from a pastoral visit to the town of Fortul. His car was stopped by three armed guerillas belonging to the Domingo Laín Front of the National Liberation Army (ELN) who kidnapped the Bishop; his body was found on the road a day later with several gunshot wounds and without his cross and episcopal ring. Pedro María Ramírez, known as the“ Martyr of Armero” was a rural parish priest, much loved by his parishioners; he was 68 years old when he was beaten to death on 10th April 1948 by a group of Liberal Party supporters in Armero-Tolima because he was considered to be «a fanatical and dangerous conservative».

The Pope will make twelve discourses in which – as highlighted by Cardinal Parolin, who will accompany him – Francis will confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith: “ The Pope’s visit to Colombia is of a purely pastoral nature, like all the Pope’s visits to various Countries and, therefore,  has the aim, the intention – let us say – of confirming and encouraging his brothers and sisters in the faith, of vivifying their charity and spurring them on to live Christian Hope.  Naturally, the papal visit comes at a key moment in the life of the Country as a peace process has begun after fifty years of conflict and violence and this makes it particularly important.”

Both Pope Paul VI and Saint John Paul II had already visited Colombia in 1968 and 1986 respectively. Today it is a Latin American Pope who is arriving to sustain and encourage the difficult path towards Peace following more than 50 years of war between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), after the signing of the peace agreements last November. However. the situation still hangs in the balance.

Pope Francis is visiting Latin America for the fifth time.   He was in Brazil in July 2013, Ecuador, Bolivia e Paraguay in July 2015,  Cuba in September 2015 and Mexico in January 2016.

As always we will accompany him with our prayers.


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Pope Francis returns to Asia

The Holy See Press Office confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Bangladesh and Myanmar between late November and early December.

The press release informs that the detailed program will be announced later. Meanwhile, we know that the Pontiff will travel to Myanmar from 27 to 30 November, and then to Bangladesh, from 30 November to 2 December. A short trip, during which the Pontiff will visit the city of Nay Pyi Taw, capital of Myanmar since 2006, and the old capital Yangon, and later the city of Dakha, capital of Bangladesh.

This is the first time a pope goes to Myanmar, a Buddhist-majority country, largely following the ancient Theravada tradition. Christians account for about 6 percent of the population and Catholics for about 1 percent. Myanmar (formerly Burma) is best known in the West through the figure of Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize, currently Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country. Recently, news from Myanmar has also reported on Western media about perpetuated UN human rights violations against the Muslim minority of the Rohingya, forced to flee and seek shelter in Bangladesh. Just last Sunday at the Angelus, Pope Francis again appealed to help these populations.

Prior to Francis, St. John Paul II visited Bangladesh on November 19, 1986 as part of a longer apostolic pilgrimage including Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, the Seychelles and Singapore. During this trip, the Pontiff celebrated Mass with priestly ordination and gave a talk to various members of the Catholic Church in the country. He also met a Delegation of the Church in Burma.

Bangladesh is a Muslim-majority country, which gained independence through a secession from Eastern Pakistan in 1971. It is among the countries with the highest population density in the world. Christians are about 0.5 percent and Catholics 0.3. In the Consistory of November 19, 2016, Pope Francis created the first Cardinal of Bangladesh, in the name of Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario, Archbishop of Dhaka.

This apostolic journey also presents itself as a journey to the outskirts of the outgoing Church, towards the geographical and existential peripheries, which Pope Francis made us accustomed to. He is returning to Asia after apostolic journeys to the Republic of Korea (2014), and the Philippines and Sri Lanka (2015), as well as to the Holy Land and Turkey (2014) and Central Asia – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia (2016).