Private Audience of ICCS with Pope Francis

Filed under: News |

We are very happy to announce that His Holiness Pope Francis invited for a private audience the ICCS World Chairman, the World President, and the World Chaplain in the framework of the celebrations of the 100 years of Catholic Scouts on Saturday 25th January 2014.

What we told to the Pope?
A presentation of ICCS, of its scopes, its worldwide structure, its relationships with WOSM and the Pontifical Council for the Laity was explained and commented by World Chairman Bray Barnes.

World President Roberto Cociancich remarked that scouts have lived since ever on the frontiers. Scouts is actually the word used for those who go ahead to explore the frontiers. Today’s frontiers are not only geographical frontiers but are also of cultural, religious and social injustice nature.
Today the scout movement (WOSM) is fully engaged in promoting the inter-religious dialogue among its members.

In this framework ICCS commitment is to be fully scout and fully catholic: we want to be catholic in the scout movement and to be scout in the Catholic Church.

To be catholic in the scout movement means to bring there the sense of brotherhood, friendship, solidarity, and most of all the sense of God. It also means to work for the inter-religious dialogue.

To be scout in the Catholic Church means to bring a simplicity and practical spirit and to be a place where Christians may easily feel to be at home and even those who have difficulties with the ecclesiastical hierarchies may found a welcome

ICCS members are working to spread the sense of justice, service to the human family, the commitment for peace.

World Chaplain Father Jacques Gagey reminded that the Centennial was inspired by the light of father Jacques Sevin, who was recently declared venerable by Pope Benedict XVI. The cause of his beatification was pleaded by the World Chaplain who also outlined that thanks to Father Sevin the roots of scouting have been deeply rooted in the Catholicism. Jacques Sevin supported at the same time the inter-religious dimension in the World.
This was the reason why he always had a friendly approach to many non believers when they were not irreligious ( in the sense explained by B.-P.).

What the Pope told us?

Pope Francis listened and paid attention with great attention and kindness. He raised several questions and mentioned his experience with the Argentinian Scouts. He also mentioned cardinal Mario Poli, the new Cardinal Bishop of Buenos Aires, who has been scout since when he was very young and is still now the national Chaplain of Argentina.

Pope Francis encouraged and urged scouts to go ahead, and then to go again ahead. He observed that in order to go ahead it is necessary not to be stolen of our hope. Who can robe our hope, he asked? The worldliness, the temptations of the world, the consumerism, the research of easy pleasures, the hedonism, in other words all those things that try to persuade us that heavens are here right now.

Pope Francis also recommended not to forget the issue of the legacy. We are not the owners of the Earth nor of the World. We received the Earth as a legacy by those who were before us. Such Legacy does not belong to us. We simply have to take care of it for a temporary period and we owe it to our children and those who will come after us.

This is the meaning of the ICCS Centennial theme: “keep the lamp burning”.

The papal private audience took place in a very friendly and warm atmosphere even if carried out under the rules of the diplomacy. It was the first time since many years that ICCS had such a great honor to meet His Holiness in private audience.