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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 the successor of the Grand Master in April

February 15, 2017. On April 29, 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”.

Card Saraiva: John Paul II and Paul VI also considered stepping down


Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
"When I received the news I was very serene, very calm. It's quite clear that he made the decision freely. He even explained the reasons why he came to this conclusion, so it wasn't something spontaneous. He simply recognized that in the last few months, his physical energy had diminished. He decided that the best thing to do for the Church was to resign.”

Even though the news was unexpected the Cardinal says that Paul VI and even John Paul II also considered the possibility of stepping down. 

Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
"If we take a look at his predecessors, they also considered leaving office. Paul VI thought about it and even created a commission of Canon Law experts, to study the possibility. They advised him not to, because they thought a resignation could  have a psychological effect on his successor and vice versa.  John Paul II also thought about stepping down, but he was advised not to and he didn't.”

Even though a resignation is unheard of in modern times, Canon Law does allow it. Cardinal Saraiva says it's part of the logic of the Church. 

Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
"The idea of having a Pope resign isn't new.  Benedict XVI's predecessors decided not to resign, because they thought it wasn't the best thing for the Church at that time. But Canon Law does allow it.”

So with his decision, at the end of February. Benedict XVI will become the fourth Pope in history to step down. The last one to do so was Gregory XII, roughly 600 years ago.