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Pope Francis

These are the names of the 17 new cardinals the pope appointed at the consistory

November 19, 2016. 13 of them are under the age of 80, and thus able to vote in a hypothetical conclave, and four of them are non-electors.

Vatican congratulates Trump and hopes his time in office "can truly be fruitful"

November 9, 2016. While speaking to Vatican Radio, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, congratulated the new president and hoped that his government "can truly be fruitful."

Vatican strongly reacts to episcopal ordinations in China made without pope's permission

November 7, 2016. "In recent weeks, there has been a series of reports regarding some episcopal ordinations conferred without Papal Mandate of priests of the unofficial community of the Catholic Church in Continental China,” explains the Vatican in a letter signed by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke.

Thereare many painful situations that dot the Middle East. But since the13thCentury, Franciscan friars bring hope to experience like the strifein Egypt or the ruthless civil war in Syria. In the latter, 30Franciscan friars remain, the last Roman Catholic priests in thecountry. Through them, the Custody of the Holy Land works to lessenthe suffering of the Syrian population. 

Custodianof the Holy Land 
"Beingin the Holy Land, in the Middle East, in Syria, does not mean onlylooking after the small Christian Church. All poor people are thesame. There are no poor people in Series A or Series B, so we need tohelp them all. And the true reality on the ground is that poorChristians and Muslims help each other out. It's a very concrete andsolid foundation on which to build the Middle East of the future.” 

TheCustody of the Holy Land operates inside Israel, Jordan, Syria,Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and Rhodes. Since Christians have been aroundfor thousands of years, their work is fundamental in keeping thosecommunities from leaving the birthplace of Christianity. 

Custodianof the Holy Land 
"TheChristians of the Middle East are our parents. We received our faithfrom them. So the Christian presence in the Middle East is very old,with roots at start of Christianity. So, looking after the Christiancharacter of the Middle East, the presence of Christians and theirsaints, is important for Christians across the world.” 

ThePope plans to visit the Holy Land next year. Both the Israeli andPalestinian governments have invited him, as well as severalreligious leaders in the region. For the Custodian, the Pope's visitwould bring hope to many. 

Custodianof the Holy Land 
"PopeFrancis has been received with great enthusiasm, be it by Jews orMuslims. So there will probably be a huge impact on the entirepopulation. We hope he also generates a desire for dialogue andencounter.” 

Thatis something the whole world might be expecting as well. As Paul VIsaid in the past, if Christians disappear from the Holy Land, theHoly Places will end up as museums. 

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