mercoledì 8 aprile 2020

LE VRAI VISAGE DE DIEU - THE SON OF GOD - EL ROSTRO DE DIOS - DAS ANTLITZ GOTTES - IL VOLTO DI DIO

Caduta di Gesù - Maria Pia De Angelis

Pope Francis: Dear Brothers and Sisters: At this time of anxiety and suffering caused by the current pandemic, we all face uncertainty and may ask where God is to be found in this situation. During these days of Holy Week we can find solace in the account of the Passion of Jesus. Our Lord also faced questions, with many wondering whether he really was the promised Messiah. It was only after his death that a centurion confirmed that Jesus truly was the Son of God. He did this after seeing Christ suffer silently on the cross, which teaches us that God’s power is revealed in humble and self-sacrificial love. We, like the disciples, may have preferred the Lord to manifest his strength by resolving our problems according to our own measure of what is right. Yet the death and resurrection of Jesus show that while earthly power passes away, only love endures forever. Dear brothers and sisters, let us draw courage from our crucified and risen Lord, who embraces our fragility, heals our sins, and draws us close to him, transforming our doubts into faith and our fears into hope.

Frères et sœurs, durant ces semaines d’appréhension pour la pandémie qui cause tant de souffrances dans le monde, beaucoup s’interrogent sur la présence et l’action efficace de Dieu face à ce mal. Le récit de la Passion de Jésus nous est d’un grand secours. Déjà, les contemporains de Jésus se posaient beaucoup de questions le concernant, se demandant s’il est vraiment le Messie. Et c’est un étranger, le centurion romain, au pied de la croix, qui reconnaît en Jésus le Fils de Dieu. Nous sommes invités à chercher le vrai visage de Dieu. Dieu s’est complètement révélé sur la croix à Pâques. Ainsi la croix est la cathèdre de Dieu. Il nous faut donc regarder en silence le Crucifié et découvrir qui est notre Seigneur. Pour nous libérer des préjugés sur Dieu, contemplons le Crucifié et ouvrons l’Evangile. Car c’est dans l’affirmation du centurion romain qu’est proclamée solennellement l’identité de Jésus. Sur la croix, Dieu se révèle tout puissant dans l’amour, car il est l’Amour. Le pouvoir de ce monde passe, mais l’amour demeure. Ainsi, les interrogations angoissantes sur le mal trouvent dans le Ressuscité de solides réponses qui nous empêchent de faire naufrage.

En este tiempo de preocupación por la pandemia que está afectando al mundo, podríamos pensar que Dios está ausente, que no se interesa por nosotros y por nuestro sufrimiento.
Ante estas preguntas que afligen nuestro corazón, nos ayuda la narración de la Pasión de Jesús, que nos acompaña en estos días. La Pasión nos habla de un Jesús pacífico, indefenso, no de un Mesías potente y vencedor, como se lo imaginaban los seguidores que, confundidos y asustados, lo abandonaron, tenían miedo. Cuando Jesús muere es el centurión romano, que había sido testigo de sus sufrimientos en la cruz, de su perdón y de su amor infinito, precisamente él es quien declara: «Verdaderamente este hombre era Hijo de Dios», y con estas palabras manifiesta que, en esa aparente derrota, Dios está presente verdaderamente.
A Dios no es posible conocerlo y alcanzarlo con nuestro esfuerzo personal. Es Él quien ha venido a nuestro encuentro y se nos ha revelado en el misterio pascual de Jesús, en su muerte y resurrección. Contemplando a Jesús en la cruz vemos el rostro de Dios, que se revela como es: Omnipotente, pero en el amor, porque Él es amor; que no condena, sino que abre sus brazos para abrazar nuestra fragilidad, y la transforma dándonos vida nueva.

Liebe Brüder und Schwestern, in dieser Zeit der Pandemie stellen wir uns viele Fragen. Vielleicht fragen wir uns auch, wo Gott ist und warum er nicht eingreift. Eine Hilfe ist uns hier die Leidensgeschichte Jesu, in der sich ebenso viele Fragen verdichten. Die Menschen, die dem Herrn bei seinem Einzug in Jerusalem zujubeln, fordern am Ende seine Kreuzigung. Jesus erfüllt nicht ihre Erwartungen eines Messias als politischer Befreier. Der Hauptmann hingegen, der hört, wie Jesus am Kreuz allen vergibt, sagt: »Wahrhaftig, dieser Mensch war Gottes Sohn« (Mk 15,39). Auf uns allein gestellt können wir Gott nicht erkennen, deswegen ist er uns nahegeworden und hat sich im Ostergeheimnis vollkommen offenbart. Das Kreuz ist der Lehrstuhl Gottes, wo wir die Züge seines Antlitzes lernen: für uns breitet er die Arme aus, lässt er sich entblößen, gibt er sein Leben und nimmt unser Böses, unsere Sünden auf sich. Schauen wir auf das Kreuz, um uns von Vorurteilen über Gott zu befreien. Wie wir im Evangelium sehen, wollte Jesus nicht, dass die Menschen den wahren Gott, der demütige Liebe ist, mit falschen Vorstellungen verwechseln. Am Kreuz erkennen wir: Gott ist allmächtig in der Liebe. Alle Macht der Welt vergeht, doch die Liebe bleibt. Die Botschaft von Ostern ist, dass Gott alles zum Guten wenden kann.

Possiamo chiederci oggi: qual è il volto vero di Dio? Di solito noi proiettiamo in Lui quello che siamo, alla massima potenza: il nostro successo, il nostro senso di giustizia, e anche il nostro sdegno. Però il Vangelo ci dice che Dio non è così. È diverso e non potevamo conoscerlo con le nostre forze. Per questo si è fatto vicino, ci è venuto incontro e proprio a Pasqua si è rivelato completamente. E dove si è rivelato completamente? Sulla croce. Lì impariamo i tratti del volto di Dio. Non dimentichiamo, fratelli e sorelle, che la croce è la cattedra di Dio. Ci farà bene stare a guardare il Crocifisso in silenzio e vedere chi è il nostro Signore: è Colui che non punta il dito contro qualcuno, neppure contro coloro che lo stanno crocifiggendo, ma spalanca le braccia a tutti; che non ci schiaccia con la sua gloria, ma si lascia spogliare per noi; che non ci ama a parole, ma ci dà la vita in silenzio; che non ci costringe, ma ci libera; che non ci tratta da estranei, ma prende su di sé il nostro male, prende su di sé i nostri peccati. E questo, per liberarci dai pregiudizi su Dio, guardiamo il Crocifisso. E poi apriamo il Vangelo. In questi giorni, tutti in quarantena e a casa, chiusi, prendiamo queste due cose in mano: il Crocifisso, guardiamolo; e apriamo il Vangelo. Questa sarà per noi – diciamo così – come una grande liturgia domestica, perché in questi giorni non possiamo andare in chiesa. Crocifisso e Vangelo!


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UN - ONU - PANDEMIC AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE



UN chief urges fight against surge in domestic violence amid pandemic

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling for measures to address a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” against women and girls under Covid-19 lockdown.

By Robin Gomes

The UN chief is calling for measures to address a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” directed towards women and girls, linked to lockdowns and quarantines imposed by governments responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a video message on Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres referred to his repeated appeals for a ceasefire in conflicts around the world, to focus on the shared effort to overcome the virus. 
He pointed out that violence is not confined to the battlefield, and “for many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest: in their own homes”.
An existing problem
The combination of economic and social stresses brought on by the pandemic, as well as restrictions on movement, have dramatically increased the numbers of women and girls facing abuse, in almost all countries.
However, even before the global spread of the new coronavirus, statistics showed that a third of women around the world experienced some form of violence in their lives.
The issue affects both developed and poorer economies: nearly a quarter of female college students reported having experienced sexual assault or misconduct in the USA, whilst in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, partner violence to be a reality for 65 per cent of women.
Repercussion on women
World Health Organization (WHO) research shows that women who experience physical or sexual abuse are twice as likely to have an abortion, and the experience nearly doubles their likelihood of falling into depression. In some regions, they are 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, and evidence exists that sexually assaulted women are 2.3 times more likely to have alcohol disorders.
87,000 women were intentionally killed in 2017, and more than half were killed by intimate partners or family members.
Shockingly, violence against women is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.
Surge in violence in pandemic
Since the pandemic, the UN is reporting that Lebanon and Malaysia, for example, have seen the number of calls to helplines double, compared with the same month last year; in China they have tripled; and in Australia, search engines such as Google are seeing the highest magnitude of searches for domestic violence help in the past five years.  (Source: UN)
Calls to the helpline of Spain’s semi-autonomous Catalonia region had risen by 20% in the first few days of the lockdown; a similar hotline in Cyprus saw a 30% rise in the week after its first coronavirus case was reported on 9 March.  
The situation is unknown in countries that lack reporting systems, where the vulnerability of women and girls is expected to be higher.  Responding to the rise in violence is further complicated by the fact that institutions are already under a huge strain from the demands of dealing with the pandemic.
Overwhelmed by Covid-19
“Healthcare providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed”, said Guterres, “local support groups are paralyzed or short of funds. Some domestic violence shelters are closed; others are full”.
The UN chief urged all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19, and outlined several actions that can be taken to improve the situation.
Prevent violence in war and home
“Together,” he said, “we can and must prevent violence everywhere, from war zones to people’s homes, as we work to beat COVID-19”.
In a tweet on Monday Guterres wrote: “Peace is not just the absence of war. Many women under lockdown for #COVID19 face violence where they should be safest: in their own homes.  Today I appeal for peace in homes around the world.  I urge all governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic.” 



lunedì 6 aprile 2020

PANDEMIE ET FRATERNITE' - PANDEMIC AND UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD - PANDEMIA E FRATERNITA' UNIVERSALE



ACADEMIE PONTIFICALE POUR LA VIE : "PANDEMIE ET FRATERNITÉ UNIVERSELLE - l’urgence Covid-19

 PONTIFICAL ACADEMY FOR LIFE - the Covid-19 emergency

 PONTIFICIA ACCADEMIA PER LA VITA - l'emergenza Covid-19 


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lunedì 30 marzo 2020

AQUA FONS VITAE - ORIENTATION ON WATER



Water is the only substance on earth that occurs naturally in solid, liquid and gas forms. Without it there would be no life on our planet. It is also a powerful spiritual symbol associated with the cleansing and purification of the body and the spirit. 
For Christians, baptism by water – itself a symbol of God’s grace – signifies spiritual rebirth.
Aqua fons vitae. Orientations on Water, symbol of the cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth.  
This is the title of a new Vatican document rooted in the Social Magisterium of the Popes, and inspired by work carried out by national and local Churches in different countries.
The document distinguishes three aspects or dimensions relating to water:
1) water for human use;
2) water as a resource used in many human activities, in particular agriculture and industry;
3) water as a surface, namely rivers, underground aquifers, lakes and especially oceans and seas. 
For each aspect, the text presents the related challenges and operational proposals to increase awareness of the issue and commitment at local level. 
The final part of the document proposes a reflection on education and integrity.
In a press release on Monday, the Dicastery also announced that a strategy is being defined to address the situation regarding water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). This will apply to health care facilities belonging to the Catholic Church. 
The press release notes that in poor and developing countries too many sanitation facilities do not have adequate access to water for the most basic needs of cleanliness and hygiene. This places billions of people at risk.
Without clean water, sinks, soaps, toilets and hygiene procedures patients, care staff and families lack the foundation or infrastructure for decent, safe, quality care.
“Births, surgery, infections, epidemics: none of these can be managed safely without water, and the situation is particularly alarming in these weeks marked by the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the communiqué.
 


 " .... The document Aqua fons vitae is rooted in the teaching of the Popes and inspired by the reflections and experiences of members of national and local Churches, over centuries. Many dioceses, congregations, Caritas organizations, Justice and Peace Commissions, associations of lay people, catholic schools and universities are very actively committed to the promotion of human dignity and the realization of an authentic integral development, particularly in poor and deprived areas, even where Catholics are a minority. In view of the challenges raised by the crisis of the COVID-19, and in the light of the magisterial teaching about the interconnectedness of everything3, be it ecological, economic, political and social, we are called to consider all the elements which contribute to elaborating a new paradigm for a new development model. 
The consideration of water, in this sense, clearly appears to be one of the elements that heavilyimpacts ‘integral’and ‘human’development. 6.The common good promoted and pursued by the Church is not some particular national agenda, but “the sum total of the social conditions which allow people, either groups or individuals, to reach their fulfilment more fully and more easily”4. These conditions undoubtedly include “a safe environment”5, access to healthcare, sanitation as well as access to potable water. Therefore, these conditions also imply a management of water so as to ensure universal and sustainable access to it, for the future of life, theplanet and the human community. ....