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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 Baptizes 32 babies in Sistine Chapel: Faith is the most powerful inheritance

2014-01-13

In a setting unlike any other, Pope Francis Baptized 32 babies in the Sistine Chapel.
 
names stand up.......

He described the Sacrament as an unbroken chain of faith that links generation to generation.

POPE FRANCIS
"I want to highlight one thing. You are transmitters of faith. You have the responsibility of passing on the faith to your children.”

As a Vatican employee, Massimo Cara and his wife Cristina, saw their 4 month-old baby girl,  Baptized by Pope Francis, precisely on the date when the Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

MASSIMO CARA
Gendarmeria Vaticana

"When you think about it, our faith is the most important inheritance you can give your children.”

He says the homily was short, but direct and the message really hit home.

MASSIMO CARA
Gendarmeria Vaticana

"When you have the gift of faith, everything else, especially materialism, is just in the background.”

For six years, Paolo de Angelis has worked at the Vatican. Even though he's somewhat accustomed to seeing Pope Francis, he says, seeing his wife holding their five 5 month baby girl, right before Pope Francis was something else.

PAOLO DE ANGELIS
VATICAN FIREFIGHTER

"My daughter Francesca was sleeping and when the Pope Baptized her, she opened her eyes and looked straight at Pope Francis.”

But his favorite moment, was when the Pope reminded all parents that the day was really about the children and their journey in the Catholic Church.

POPE FRANCIS
"Today the choir is singing; but the most beautiful choir that of the children, who are making noise... Some cry because they are not comfortable, or because they are hungry: if they are hungry, moms, give them something to eat, calmly, because they are the central figures, the protagonists of this celebration.”

PAOLO DE ANGELIS
VATICAN FIREFIGHTER

"I think that statement was what stood out the most. Perhaps even one of the most moving of the Ceremony.”

This ceremony is a Vatican tradition, but it marks the first time Pope Francis celebrates The Feast Day of the Lord as head of the Church.


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