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Pope Francis

Pope announces next World Day of Peace: “Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace”

August 26, 2016. This is the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the next World Day of Peace, to be celebrated on January 1, 2017. Pope Francis has talked about the worrisome surge of violence that has taken over the world. On his trip to Poland in July he said the world is in a "piecemeal World War." That is why he wishes that this 50th World Day of Peace, the fourth of his pontificate, be a beacon of diplomacy and good will. The Pope wants to underline the prevalence of law in international affairs as a way to ensure a peaceful future. The World Day of Peace is a project started by Paul VI in 1968. It is celebrated the first day of every year, and it is usually an occasion where the pope makes important statements about the Social Doctrine of the Church.
World

Quake aftermath continues to torment ancient town of Amatrice as the death toll rises

August 25, 2016. Rescue teams continue to work tirelessly with the hope of finding new survivors, but the number of deaths will increase as there are still dozens missing. Italy's civil protection agency has announced that 190 have dead in the affected areas in the province of Rieti are overcome, while 57 were killed in the province of Ascoli. During the night, there have been up to 60 new tremors of between 3 and 4 degrees of magnitude. Rescuers worked overnight in the most affected Arquata del Tronto, Pescada< g> del Tronto, Accumoli< g> and Amatrice. The most dramatic situation exists in Amatrice, the largest municipality affected, and where 2,000 people live, but in the summer months doubles its population with vacationers and many tourists who had come to enjoy the weekend party pasta "amatriciana,” a dish that has its origins here. More than 1,000 people have been displaced by the quake.
World

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 New Year message centered on solidarity and compassion for others

2014-01-02

While many people were off, celebrating the New Year at home with their families, Pope Francis was hard at work. He ushered in the New Year with several ceremonies at the Vatican.

The celebrations kicked off on the last day of 2013 with the Vespers of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. In addition to giving thanks, the Pope asked Catholics to reflect what they had done for others in the past year.

POPE FRANCIS
"How did we spend the time God gave us? Did we use it, above all, for ourselves, for our self interests, or did we know to spend it also for others? How much time did we set aside to be with God, in prayer, in silence and in adoration?”

Pope Francis then visited the Nativity scene on display at St. Peter's Square. The Swiss Guard band played hymns as the Pope greeted some of the thousands of people gathered at the Square.   

Just a few hours later, in 2014, he re-emerged at the Basilica to lead the Mass of the Solemnity of the Mother of God. In his homily, he asked Catholics to entrust their "journey of faith” in the new year to Our Lady, the mother for all.

POPE FRANCIS
"The 'woman' became our Mother when she lost her divine Son. Her sorrowing heart was enlarged to make room for all men and women, whether good or bad, and she loves them as she loved Jesus.”

New Year's Day continued with the Angelus. Pope Francis greeted the thousands of pilgrims that filled St. Peter's Square.

"Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and Happy New Year!”

The Pope referred to his message for the World Day for Peace. He said the best way to avoid violence and conflict is to build fraternity between all men and women. 

He mentioned a letter he received from a man describing a personal tragedy. In it, the writer asked the Pope what happened to the hearts of humans, to lead them to war and conflict.

POPE FRANCIS
"The man wrote near the end, it's time to stop. I also think it's better for everyone to end this path of violence, and search for peace. Brothers and sisters, I take up this man's words: What happens to the hearts of men and women? What happens to the heart of mankind? It is time to stop.”

Pope Francis ended his New Year's Day with a private visit to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where he prayed before Rome's patroness. That was his seventh visit to the Basilica in his 10-month papacy.


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