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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.

New years brings Diocese of Orange one step closer to opening the Christ Cathedral

2014-01-03

As California's Diocese of Orange ushers in the new year, its congregation is hoping to reach another milestone. By year's end, they're two thirds of the way into their capital campaign to restore the majestic Christ Cathedral.

Renovation work is already well under way, as the diocese continues to make it their new, permanent home. Even if it's not yet fully renovated, it's become a source of unity.

BISHOP KEVIN VANN
Diocese of Orange (USA)
"The Cathedral is a gathering place for everybody to come and find God. For the poor to be helped. For music and theater to point to God, and for people to reconnect with their faith and connect with their faith.”

In 2013, the growing diocese moved in to the sprawling campus. Besides the imposing glass structure, it includes an auditorium, ample office and meeting space, and an arboretum.

The diocese academy, offices and a nearby parishes have already transferred. But there's still work to do. The main thing is adapting the Cathedral for proper Catholic worship. 

BISHOP KEVIN VANN
Diocese of Orange (USA)
"We're respecting the exterior and its history. So were in the process of studying, drawing, consulting and coming up with some initial concepts that will be refined then.”

The bishop hopes all work is done by 2016. That way, the dedication will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the diocese itself. 

In those four decades, the congregation has skyrocketed to nearly 1.4 million people today. With the diocese focuses on the New Evangelization, the number is expected to climb. 

BISHOP KEVIN VANN
Diocese of Orange (USA)
"I think it's important when here at St. Peter Square to see the efforts made here over centuries: how to give glory to God, in union with the Apostle Peter, the Vicar of Christ. So we're beginning a great work that, long after we're gone, will still give glory to God as well in Garden Grove.”

With enough space to continue growing, the focus now is on the capital campaign. With an eventful year behind them, the new year will surely bring even more excitement to the diocese and the people.


RCA
AA/Diocese of Orange
-JM
-PR
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