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Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.
Pope Francis

Cardinal Parolin to preside at liturgy before peace signing between Colombia and FARC

September 20, 2016. Colombia's government has invited the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to preside over a liturgy before the ceremony to unite representatives from the Colombian government and the FARC, in Cartagena de Indias. The liturgy will take place before the ceremony related to agreements of Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC. It will be next Monday, September 26, and dozens of heads of state are scheduled to attend. In the liturgy, Parolin will "ask God to enlighten each Colombian to work conscientiously and with complete freedom, so that in a responsible and informed way, they can participate in making decisions that concern the common good of the entire country, which is so dear to Pope Francis."
Pope Francis

Pope Francis pays tribute to Father Jacques Hamel

September 13, 2016. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Jacques Hamel, the priest murdered in France by two terrorists on July 26 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. It will be held on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 a.m inside the chapel of his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The bishop from Diocese of Rouen along with 80 pilgrims from the same diocese will be present.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' calendar from September to November

SEPTEMBER Sunday 25, 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Catechists. Friday 30 to Sunday 2 October: Apostolic trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan. OCTOBER Saturday 8: At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Marian vigil. Sunday 9, 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Marian Jubilee. Sunday 16: 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.15 in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and canonisation of Blesseds Salomone Leclercq, José Sanchez del Rio, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, and Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity. Monday 31 to Tuesday 1 November: Apostolic trip to Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. NOVEMBER Friday 4: At 11.30 in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year. Sunday 6, 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Prisoners. Sunday 13, 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of the Homeless. Sunday 20, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy.

The U.N. World Food Program has repeatedly said that half the population in Syria is at risk of malnourishment. They also predict that in 2014, the number of refugees will surpass three million.

The nearly three-year conflict is pushing the people fleeing Syria to a breaking point. As they challenges grow, Card. Robert Sarah, president for the Pontifical Cor Unum Council, and Secretary Giampiero Dal Toso, witnessed them first hand. The Council is in charge of carrying out the Pope's charitable projects. In December, he traveled to Lebanon to see in person the challenges refugees face, and to listen to the needs of Syrian bishops. 

GIAMPIERO DAL TOSO
Secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum
"That was the first gathering of Syrian bishops in 20 months. It's clear that this state of war makes even communication difficult. The proof is that we had to hold this meeting in Beirut and not in Damascus. But I have to say that the high attendance shows bishop's wishes to see each other, to share with each other their concerns and their reflection about this ongoing situation.”

They also visited one of the mobile clinics that are part of a health mission set up by the Cor Unum Council, in collaboration with Bambino Gesù Hospital and Caritas Syria. In its first phase, they will treat over 4,000 refugee children in Lebanon, a country that has received nearly a million Syrian refugees.

GIAMPIERO DAL TOSO
Secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum
"If you think about it. There are one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. But Lebanon is a country with 4 or 5 million people. So we're talking about an enormous presence in a relatively small country. So the impact of this crisis in a country like Lebanon, and probably in other countries, is very strong.”

Because of the impact, any form of assistance can have great results on the ground. The Pontifical Cor Unum Council coordinates 42 Catholic aid agencies. Their work has become a light at the end of a very dark tunnel for many people holding out to hope that the war will end soon.


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