Vol. XIX, No. 10
News and Views
“Consecrated life is prophecy,” Pope Francis said in his address to the 82nd General Assembly of the Union of Superior Generals of male religious orders last November 13. At the end of that meeting, the pope declared 2015 the Year for Consecrated Life.
In his Angelus message on February 2, Pope Francis confirmed that 2015 will be the Year for Consecrated Life. “The consecrated are a sign of God in the different areas of life,” said the Holy Father; “they are leaven for the growth of a more just and fraternal society, they are the prophecy of sharing with the least and the poor. Thus understood and lived, consecrated life appears as what it really is: a gift from God, a gift of God to the Church, a gift of God to His People! Every consecrated person is a gift for the People of God on its journey.”
The special year began on the Solemnity of the Purification, February 2, 2015, and concludes November 21, the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Vatican II decree on religious life, Perfectae Caritatis.
Vatican officials outlined plans for the special year at a press conference January 31. Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Religious, said that the Year of Consecrated Life is designed to help religious face the future with confidence; and he encouraged members of religious orders to rediscover the original charisms of their communities, as set forth in their founding.
Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, secretary of the Congregation, mentioned that plans will include a series of international meetings; and said that during the year “it is hoped that the Holy Father will promulgate a new apostolic constitution on contemplative life to replace Sponsa Christi, promulgated by Pope Pius XII in 1950.”
On January 13, the following notice was posted on the Vatican Facebook page, facebook.com/news.va:
Dear friends, we have been notified by many readers that there are stories currently circulating all over the Internet spreading statements by Pope Francis with regard to a number of issues, concerning the Bible’s content, the relations between religions, the renewal of the Church’s doctrine, and even the calling of an alleged “Third Vatican Council,” which are FALSE. These statements were spread by unknown sources. Therefore, we would like to alert all readers to be careful and not to trust too soon news about the pope that are not from the Vatican.
There are also many unidentified trolls on social networks that try to put false information in circulation, taking advantage of the fact that it is easy to “throw the stone and hide the hand.”
Many are also not aware that all Facebook profiles of Pope Francis/Jorge Maria Bergoglio are not official pages and they have not been authorized to officially represent the pope, therefore they should clearly state they are just “fan pages.”
We encourage all readers to check the official Vatican media sources for further confirmation of Pope Francis’s statements, or even to check what exactly he said with reference to specific issues.
If the statements attributed to the Pope by any media agency do not appear in the official media sources of the Vatican, it means that the information they report is not true.
Below is a list of the official Vatican media which you should use as valid reference to be sure that any reported statement referred to the pope is true:
• News.va: a news aggregator portal, it reports the news and information from all the Vatican media in one website, available in five languages: news.va
• L’Osservatore Romano (newspaper): osservatoreromano.va
• Vatican Radio: radiovaticana.va
• VIS (Vatican Information Service): vis.va
• Holy See Press Office: vaticanstate.va/ content/vaticanstate/en/altre-istituzioni/ sala-stampa-santa-sede.html
• PopeApp: the official app for smartphones dedicated to the pope — (Available from the App Store or Google Play – Click here for more information
• @Pontifex: the official Twitter profile of the pope
The only official Facebook profiles representing the Holy Father and the Vatican are those from News.va and the Vatican media (see the above list of Vatican media).
We would like to thank you all for your kind attention as well as for your notifications and suggestions. Please do share this information as much as possible with your contacts! Thank you very much!