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Vatican

Vatican comments on situation of missing Chinese Bishop Shao Zhumin

June 26, 2017. Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Continental China, was taken into custody by Chinese police on Easter weekend 2017. While recognized as a bishop in the Catholic Church, he is an unofficial bishop or "underground” in China, since the Chinese government does not recognize him as religious.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.

Focus on the family for first synod called by Pope Francis

2013-10-08

Pope Francis called for an extraordinary Synod of Bishops, to discuss the pastoral role of families. The gathering will bring bishops from across the world to Rome from October 5-19 in 2014. At issue will be pastoral challenges families face in the context of evangelization.    

Since it's an 'extraordinary assembly,' the only participants will be the presidents of episcopal conferences, patriarchs, heads of the Vatican's dicasteries, and the superiors of religious orders. 

To date, there have only been two extraordinary assemblies in modern history. The first held in 1969, dealt with the role of episcopal conferences; while the second, in 1985, was on the 20th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.

The Synod of Bishops is the body that brings together bishops from across the world to help the Pope govern the Church. Pope Francis has stated he would like to see the group play a larger role in Church affairs. In fact, during their first official meeting with the Pope, the Council of Cardinals, made up of eight cardinals, spent a great part of their time talking about how to make the Synod of Bishops more efficient. 


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