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Vatican establishes diplomatic relations with Mauritania

December 9, 2016. The Vatican will establish diplomatic relations with Mauritania. This African country is an Islamic Republic extremely hostile towards Christians.
Vatican

Vatican launches new website for the Protection of Minors from sex abuse

December 6, 2016. The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) has launched a website to provide the public with information about their mission: "the effective protection of minors and a commitment to ensure their human and spiritual development.”
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.

When your client list includes Pope Francis...

2013-11-22

Sculpting religious designs takes a lot of patience and precision. But the pressure is a lot more intense, when you're designing something for the Pope. 

MAURIZIO LAURI
Sculptor 
"I get emotional just thinking about it even now. I can only describe it as an incredible feeling.” 

Maurizio Lauri is an Italian sculptor, who designed Pope Francis' new ferula, or pastoral cross. He worked on the design all summer and he says the Resurrection was his inspiration. 

MAURIZIO LAURI
Sculptor 
"Christ is still on the cross, but His arms are free. So He is still bound, but He is inviting everyone to follow Him and His example.” 

This is actually not the first time, Lauri has designed something for a Pontiff.  He sculpted a chalice to mark 60 years since Benedict XVI's priestly ordination. He also made designs for John Paul II. 

Pope Francis publicly used his new ferula for the first time on November 1st, as he celebrated All Saints Day. In fact, the materials used to make it, were brought in all the way from Honduras, thanks to the help of Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga. 

MAURIZIO LAURI
Sculptor 
"So I received the caoba wood in a slab. I had to sculpt and mold so it would fit into the metal frame. The bronze and also the silver also came from Honduras.” 

It was all part of a fair trade sale that promotes the work and goods of marginalized communities. But Lauri says there's a deeper message at heart. 

MAURIZIO LAURI
Sculptor 
"Five hundred years after the West evangelized in the Americas, the West is extremely secularized and it's receiving these materials from Latin America. I think it's a powerful lesson and in a way an example for us Catholics.” 

He says the ferula isn't just for the Pope, but for all Christians. He wants the image of Jesus overcoming death, to trigger clear message of hope, even in times of despair. 


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