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Grand Ayatollah to Pope Francis: “Thank you for saying Islam is not equal to terrorism”

August 22, 2016. Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi sent a letter to Pope Francis to thank him for his words on the flight back from Poland, a few weeks ago: "It is not right to say that Islam is a terrorist faith.” In his letter, the Shia religious leader has strongly condemned terrorist attacks from fundamentalist Islamic groups. He has also stated that "the vast majority of the Musilm people consider all Takfiri sects to be outside the fold of Islam.” Makarem Shirazi is one of the 64 Grand Ayatollahs in Shia Islam and, as such, one of the highest authorities in matters of Islamic dogma and law.
World

Pope conveys “solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims of wildfire in Portugal

August 16, 2016. The fire has killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin addressed a letter, on behalf of Pope Francis, to the bishop of Funchal, Antonio Carrilho. The letter was read during the celebration of Holy Mass for Our Lady of the Mount, Patroness of Funchal. In the letter, Pope Francis expressed his condolences and sorrow over the loss of life and property in the Portuguese island of Madeira, where wildfires have killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. Pope Francis conveys "solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims and those displaced by the wildfires and prayed for the wounded and asked them to have "courage and consolation in Christian hope” for all involved.
World

Pope sends condolences to North America in wake of Hurricane Earl

August 9, 2016. Pope Francis sent his prayers and condolences to the victims in the wake of Hurricane Earl through a message sent by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The hurricane killed at least 45 people in Mexico and 13 in the Dominican Republic and caused an estimated $50 million in damage.
World

Pope sends his condolences following attack that killed 70 people at a hospital in Pakistan

August 9, 2016. The terrorist attack at Quetta Hospital killed dozens of lawyers and left 120 others injured.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis officially establishes the commission to study the diaconate of women

August 2, 2016. Six women and six men will study the diaconate of women "with regard to the first ages of the Church.”
Vatican

Federico Lombardi appointed new president of The Ratzinger Foundation

Aug. 1, 2016. Today Fr. Lombardi officially ceases to be director of the Vatican Press Office and becomes the president of The Ratzinger Foundation. Father Federico Lombardi will chair the board of the Vatican foundation established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. Until now it was run by president Monsignor Giuseppe Scotti. The Ratzinger Foundation promotes the study of theology, organizes cultural and scientific congresses and rewards the work of scholars and researchers in different fields.

Pope's General Audience: The Resurrection of Jesus gives us the seed of eternity

2013-12-04

In his catechesis Pope Francis focused on the Resurrection. He explained why the Resurrection of Christ is interconnected with that of humanity and strengthened through the Sacraments. 

Despite Rome's cold weather, the Pope held his weekly general audience out in St. Peter's Square to accommodate the large crowds. During this time of year, the audience is usually held indoors, at the Vatican's Paul VI Hall. 

POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters: 

"We return to our reflection on "the resurrection of the body”, as we look at three aspects of the relationship between Christ’s resurrection and our own. 

 First, the Gospel reveals to us that our faith in the resurrection is bound to the person of Jesus Christ, who himself said "I am the resurrection and the life”.  Like us in all things but sin, Christ gathers us to himself so that we may accompany him in his journey back to the Father.  

The Risen Christ gives his disciples the Holy Spirit as a pledge of communion with God which has its fullness in eternity.  The anticipation of eternal life is the source and reason for our hope.  If cultivated and protected, it illuminates our lives as persons and communities.  

Second, Christ rose in his glorified body.  Through Christ, our bodies will also be glorified and reunited with our souls at the resurrection.  Therefore, our experience of the Risen Christ in the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, prepares us for the reunion of our bodies and souls in heaven.  Third, while Jesus will resurrect us at the end of time, even now he wishes us to share in his resurrection.  

Through Baptism, we are inserted into his death and resurrection and begin to experience new life.  The seed of eternity is planted within us.  Hence, the image of eternity is imprinted on us and calls us to respect the lives of all people, especially those who suffer. 

 In this way, we can experience the closeness of the Reign of God, towards which we all journey together. 

Speaker: I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Denmark, Australia and the United States.  Upon you and your families I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!


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