Budapest awaits Pope Francis

As the people of Hungary and the participants of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress taking place in Budapest prepare to welcome Pope Francis on Sunday for the closing Mass, the Congress itself is in full swing, with a rich programme of Masses, concerts, exhibits, testimonies, and a film festival.

Organizers of the Congress point out that the gathering is a unique opportunity for the more than one billion Catholics in the world to focus on the centrality of the Eucharist in Christian life.

The Budapest event is also an occasion to discover Hungary’s 1,100-year history of faith and respect for tradition, and a long-standing relationship between the country’s Church and State. The Hungarian Ambassador to the Holy See, Eduard Habsburg-Lothringen told Vatican Radio’s Delphine Allaire that the people of Hungary view the Pope’s presence in Budapest as "a real gift."

Regarding the role of the Catholic Church in the country, the Ambassador explains that, together with other religious communities, the Church is “very visible” in the Hungarian State. That means the different churches and religious communities are very present in the public space and that many schools are run by churches.

Pope and ecumenical leaders: Caring for God’s creation requires commitment

In a joint message for the 2021 Season of Creation, Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury stress the importance of cooperation and valuing sustainability over short-term advantages as essential parts of our common response to the threat of climate change and environmental degradation.

“For more than a year, we have all experienced the devastating effects of a global pandemic—all of us, whether poor or wealthy, weak or strong. Some were more protected or vulnerable than others, but the rapidly-spreading infection meant that we have depended on each other in our efforts to stay safe.”

These observations begin the “Joint Message for the Protection of Creation” issued on 1 September by Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.

The religious leaders note that in facing this worldwide calamity, “no one is safe until everyone is safe,” because “our actions really do affect one another,” and “what we do today affects what happens tomorrow.”

The joint message comes in the midst of the 2021 Season of Creation running from 1 September through 4 October, which presents “an opportunity to pray and care for God’s creation.” It also comes as world leaders prepare to meet at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), scheduled to take place in November, in Glasgow, Scotland, to deliberate on the future of our planet.  The message, thus, invites all of us, regardless of belief or worldview, to “endeavor to listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor, examining their behaviour and pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us.”

Listening to the Faithful: Vatican releases Synod Preparatory Document

The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops presents the base text and “vademecum” – or handbook – to guide the journey of the Synod on Synodality.

Listening without prejudice; speaking out with courage and parrhesia; dialoguing with the Church, with society, and with the other Christian confessions.

The General Secretariat for the Synod has published the Preparatory Document, along with a Vademecum (or handbook) to indicate the guiding principles that will direct the path of the Synod on Synodality. The solemn opening of the Synod will take place in Rome on October 9-10, and in the particular Churches on October 17; and will conclude in the Vatican in 2023 with the assembly of bishops from around the world.

The Preparatory Document, released on Tuesday, is intended above all to be an instrument facilitating the first phase of listening and consultation of the People of God in the particular Churches, which will take place from October 2021 to April 2022.

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