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Pope Francis

Pope Francis: No people is criminal and no religion is terrorist

February 17, 2017. Pope Francis has sent an important message to the Meetings of Popular Movements that is taking place in Modesto (California). The pope denounces the "moral blindness of this indifference”: "under the guise of what is politically correct or ideologically fashionable, one looks at those who suffer without touching them. But they are televised live; they are talked about in euphemisms and with apparent tolerance, but nothing is done systematically to heal the social wounds or to confront the structures that leave so many brothers and sisters by the wayside”.

The government of the Order of Malta will elect in April the successor of the Grand Master

February 15, 2017. On 29 April the Council Complete of State, the Order’s constitutional body, will elect the next Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta (or, as provided for in the Constitution, a Lieutenant of the Grand Master, to hold office for a year).
Pope Francis

Pope names a Special Envoy for Medjugorje

< style> February 11, 2017. Pope Francis has asked Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), to go to Medjugorje as Special Envoy of the Holy See. According< g> the Vatican, "the mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and above all, of the needs of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future”.

Pope Francis advances eight new causes of sainthood

January 23, 2017. On January 20, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to announce the publication of decrees for the advancement of eight causes of sainthood.

Vatileaks: What happened inside the courtroom during the trial of the Pope's former butler


Vatican Tribunal Pool Reporter

"He was kind of nervous, you could see and feel his movements and his gestures were of a person who is under a certain stress.”

He did not enter a guilty or innocent plea during the hearing. In fact, Gabriele's lawyer, Cristina Arru, objected, and raised concerns about the competency of the tribunal and the way in which information and proof was gathered. Among those concerns  is video footage from a camera located outside the Vatican building where the butler lives.

Vatican Tribunal Pool Reporter

"Well, not in the residence, not inside his house, home, but in the Palace he is living in, at the staircase of the Palace (building).”

The trial itself is expected to be short. It's scheduled to continue from October 2nd to October 6th, to give way for the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, which will be opened by the Pope on October 7th.  Gabriele is expected to take the stand on October 2nd.

Vatican Spokesperson

"The first thing that's expected is the testimony and cross examination of Paolo Gabriele, since in this case, the accused will be the first to speak. Eventually, other witnesses will be called in the trial proceedings.”

The trial is a first on many levels, especially for the Vatican's tribunal, which for the most part has only dealt with petty theft cases of tourists and pilgrims.

Vatican Spokesperson 
"In a way this trial tests the competency of a lay tribunal in a case that's being held inside the Vatican's City State. It tests its capacity to follow the proceedings.”

The butler's alleged accomplice, Claudio Sciarpelletti, who worked at the Vatican's Secretariat of State, is charged with aiding and abetting the release of confidential documents. At the request of his lawyer, his trial will be held separately.

If found guilty, the Pope's former  butler could be sentenced to up to four years in prison.