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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.

Amid controvery, Order of St. Camillus celebrates 400th anniversary

2014-01-13

In 1525, at the age of 25, Camillus de Lellis stepped foot inside the Santo Spirito Hospital in Rome. It changed his life completely. He had recently converted from a mercenary soldier, to a man devoted to God. 

He was seeking treatment for a festering leg wound. Inside the hospital, he noticed just how bad the sick were cared for. Over the course of the next forty years, he founded the Order of the Regular Clerics Ministers of the Sick. In July 14, 2014, the Order will mark the 400th anniversary of his death.

CARLO MANGIONI
Organizer, Fourth Centennial Celebrations
"When in a family, a person is sick, all the family revolved around that person. That same thing should be true about the Church. The whole Church should revolve around the sick, our most fragile brothers.”

Over the course of 400 years, their message hasn't changed, but their work has. Today, the Order, commonly known as Camillians, works in over 40 different countries, according to the needs of each area. 

The 2800 men and women of the Order spend their lives looking after the most marginalized people in society. And just like St. Camillus, even at the risk of their own lives. 

CARLO MANGIONI
Organizer, Fourth Centennial Celebrations
"We can say that this is the pearl of the Camillian spirituality and charism. There's this complete devotion, even leading up to a person's own life. This a trait that's gone unchanged in over four centuries.”

Coincidentally, Pope Francis will usher the Order into their fifth century of work. In his first few months, he's made clear his devotion and commitment to the sick. His words about caring for the most marginalized people in society ring true for Camillians, more than anyone else.

CARLO MANGIONI
Organizer, Fourth Centennial Celebrations
"It's said that Pope Francis dresses like a Dominican, has the name of a Franciscan, governs like a Jesuit, but talks like Camillians. So there's this fusion of souls, of spirituality, all condensed into one person.”

With the anniversary approaching, the Order has organized a series of events. For the last one, they invited the Pope to join them in Eucharistic Adoration on July 14

The celebration will take place at their main headquarters, the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. It's the same place St. Camillus himself lived in Rome, and where he eventually died, after a lifetime of devotion to the people most in need.

The Fourth Centennial celebrations are a bright spot after a troubled time for the Order. Its superior general was arrested in November, accused of kidnapping two fellow members, in order to secure his reelection. The Vatican will oversee the Order until a new leader can be elected at the next general chapter. 


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