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Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.
Vatican

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.
Vatican

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.
Pope Francis

Pope approves new decrees for the Causes of Saints

December 22, 2016. On Wednesday, December 21, Pope Francis authorized the following decrees for the Causes of Saints:

The Synod of Bishops: a new book explores its work across 5 continents.

2013-06-15

For the first time, the Vatican has published the resolutions regarding all special councils.
Africa was the first continent to host a 'special council' meeting in 1994 and 2009. Nigerian cardinal Francis Arinze recalls one fundamental contribution the synod brought to different African cultures.

CARD. FRANCIS ARINZE
Prefect Emeritus, Congregation for Divine Worship
"'Conscientization!' Being aware of the dimension, of the demands of evangelization. Sharing the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ in the various African cultures. The bishops and other people who attend listen to one another, they share information, a persongets information, knowing what others are doing. Then, the road ahead becomes even clearer.”

Asia also hosted a special synod back in 1998. With bishops coming from highly diverse backgrounds, the synod was an example of unity through diversity.

MSGR. SAVIO HON TAI-FAI
Secretary, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
"Bishops in Asia are separated. They do not speak the same language, they do not have the same culture. But for the first time they met to talk to each other, think together, pray together, live together. This has a value in itself, as an example for people of other religions, too, to tell them that we are able to bond together.”

But these assemblies are not attended by bishops alone. Lay people also play a key role in the synod's meetings.

GUZMÁN CARRIQUIRY
Secretary, Pontifical Commission for Latin America
"After the 1987 synod, all the following ones have been attended by 20, 30, 40 laymen. They obviously do not have voting right, but they speak, they attend minor assemblies, they are present at the synod itself. This is important. It is something that does not 'distort' the synod; on the other hands, it elevates it by adding to it various other experiences within the Church.”

The last special assembly was devoted to the Middle East. The 2 week meeting took place back in 2010 and had 185 attendees.


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