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Ex-Nuncio to Dominican Republic, accused of sexual abuse, found dead

August 28, 2015. The Vatican has issued a statement saying that ex-Apostolic Nuncio to the Dominican Republic Józef Wesolowski was found dead in his room this morning. He is believed to have died of natural causes, according the Vatican authorities. A Vatican prosecutor has asked that an autopsy be performed today. The statement further specifies that the results will be announced as soon as possible and that Pope Francis has been informed of the situation.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis sends a message to organizers and participants of the Rimini Meeting

August 19, 2015. On the occasion of the 36th edition of the Rimini Meeting, Pope Francis sent a message to participants and organizers through Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. He told them that the void we sometimes feel in our hearts reminds us that we are called to great things. The event is also known as "the Meeting for friendship among peoples,” and it is organized by the Communion and Liberation movement. During the meeting shows, conferences, exhibitions and sporting events are organized.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis “deeply saddened” by the tragedy in Bangkok

August 19, 2015. Pope Francis is "deeply saddened” by the terrorist attack in Bangkok, which killed at least 20 people, according to the Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. In a telegram sent to the King of Thailand on behalf of the Pope, the cardinal said Pope Francis expressed his sorrow and his closeness to all those affected by the attacks.
World

Erection of Apostolic Exarchate in Canada

Pope Francis has erected the Apostolic Exarchate for the Syro-Malabar in Canada. He has appointed Fr. Jose Kalluvelil to be its first Exarch, assigning him the titular of Tabalta.
World

New bishop in India

Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Antony Prince Panengaden to be bishop of the eparchy of Adilabad of the Syro-Malabar (India). His appointment comes after the resignation of Msgr. Joseph Kunnath.

During his most recent catechesis on Baptism, Pope Francis referenced the Japanese Catholics under persecution in the 17th Century.

POPE FRANCIS
"There were no priests left in Japan: they were all expelled. So then, the community went underground, keeping their faith and prayers hidden.”

One of the Japanese Catholics that suffered most from outlawing Christianity was Ukon Takayama, the samurai of Christ. The Japanese Episcopal Conference has presented all the necessary documents to open the cause for his beatification.

MSGR. JOSEPH MITSUAKI TAKAMI
Bishop of Nagasaki (Japan)
"He was a great witness to the Christian faith during this period of persecution in Japan, we could even say, in the history of Christianity in Japan. First, he clung to his faith without having doubts, without being swayed by any temporary wealth. He followed Jesus Christ at all times, and he lived a Christian life, according to the Gospel.”

Takayama was born in Osaka in 1552. His family converted to Catholicism and built the first church in Kyoto. But when Emperor Toyotomi Hideyosi outlawed "Western religion” and expelled the Jesuits in 1587, Takayama's family disobeyed, and remained devout to their faith. As a result, he died in 1615 in the Philippines. For Japanese bishops, the life this samurai led is an example for Catholics today.

MSGR. JOSEPH MITSUAKI TAKAMI
Bishop of Nagasaki (Japan)
"They ordered him to abandon his faith, but instead Takayama Ukon abandoned his social status, his wealth, his land, his castle. He left behind all his properties, and was even expelled. Many of his values are still valid for us all today.”

Currently, about half a million Japanese identify as Catholic. That's about 0.5 percent of the population. Jesuit missionaries were the first Christians to arrive in the 16th Century to the Land of the Rising Sun. They included well-known names like St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of missionaries.


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