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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.
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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.
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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.
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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:

August 1978: the summer that changed the history of conclaves

2013-08-18

With temperatures high up in the thermometer, August in Rome can be very unpleasant. Because of that its earned its nickname, ferragosto, due to the intense heat that sets in. And precisely 35 years ago, cardinals had to endure one of the most intense summers the Church has gone through in recent memory.   

They had not one, but two conclaves, about a month apart. The first elected John Paul I, while the second chose John Paul II. Casa Santa Marta did not yet exist, and so the cardinals experience some unique struggles. 

PALOMA GOMEZ BORRERO 
Journalist 
"Some of them stayed in a small room, and so they at least had a bathroom. But others had to use basins and pitchers. And, of course, they were locked in. To be inside with this Roman heat, this humidity... well it must have been torture.” 

Their rooms were not very comfortable, and there are hundreds of stories about the cardinals' experience in those days.  

PALOMA GOMEZ BORRERO 
Journalist 
"There are stories like Belgian Cardinal Suenens, who had nothing more than a basin and a pitcher with water, and he approached one of the other cardinals saying, 'Your Eminence, for the love of God, let me bathe here since you have a tub and I don't.'” 

Soon after the conclaves, it was John Paul II who decided to do away with those struggles by having the Casa Santa Marta built. He also wrote the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, addressing lodging for the conclaves. The document also set in stone the election process for new Popes. 

ANGELA AMBROGETTI 
Vatican Insider 
"They did away with the option to elect by acclamation, which was a sort of compromise. They would all stand and say who their candidate for Pope was, as a compromise. It was an old way to carry out the conclave. So all that remains now is the scrutiny system with the two thirds majority vote.” 

Despite all the struggles the cardinals went through in 1978, they helped shape the way that this past conclave, and all the ones in the future, will take place. 


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