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Vatican releases statement on revelations by gay prelate

October 3, 2015. With regard to the declarations and interview given by Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa it should be observed that, notwithstanding the respect due to the events and personal situations, and reflections on the issue, the decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the Synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the Synod assembly to undue media pressure. Msgr. Charamsa will certainly be unable to continue to carry out his previous work in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical universities, while the other aspects of his situation shall remain the competence of his diocesan Ordinary.
Pope Francis

Vatican releases statement on Popes meeting with Kim Davis

October 2, 2015. The Vatican’s press office has released a statement regarding the Pope’s greeting of Kim Davis, the County Clerk from Kentucky who was jailed for refusing to issue a marriage license to same sex couples. The Vatican confirms the greeting took place in the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington D.C. The statement adds: ‘The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family. The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.’

Pope Francis recognizes five Spanish martyrs and opens the way for seven to be beatified

Pope Francis has signed eight decrees for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. There are five new martyrs from Spain, who were killed because of hatred against the faith, and seven decrees recognizing heroic virtues. By recognizing heroic virtues, the Pope declares that the candidate for beatification has lived the Christian virtues in an exemplary manner. It is the pre-beatification step. The decrees refer to:

Chinese foreign ministry responds to Pope Francis

September 30, 2015. A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said, "China is sincere about improving relations with the Vatican and has made consistent efforts.” It was a response to the Popes recent remark that he would like to visit Chinese and he hopes "the possibility to have good relations exists.”
Pope in U.S.

Pope Francis met with victims of sexual abuse in Philadelphia

September 27, 2015. Pope Francis met with five people who were sexually abused as children by priests, family and teachers (three women and two men). He listened to their stories and spoke with them for about 30 minutes. According to a Vatican spokesman, he "prayed with them and expressed his solidarity in sharing their suffering, as well as his own pain and shame in especially in the case of injury caused them by clergy or church workers.”
Pope Francis


September 15, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. James Vann Johnston, as the new Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Up until know, Bishop Johnston he had served in Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

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

"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.

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.

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.