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Pope Francis

Pope will consider to remind bishops to respond directly to sex abuse victims

February 8, 2016 The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors asked the Pope to remind all bishops and authorities in the Church of the importance of responding directly to victims and survivors who approach them; and the finalization of a Universal Day of Prayer. On Saturday, the commission asked one of its members, Peter Saunders of Great Britain, who was abused by a priest when he was young, to temporarily suspend his collaboration "to reflect on how he can best contribute to the work of the Commission.” Read more...
Pope Francis

Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow will meet

February 5, 2016.Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12 next. Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where the Pope will make a stop on his way to Mexico, and where the Patriarch will be on an official visit. It will include a personal conversation at Havana’s José Martí International Airport, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration.This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church will be the first in history.
World

Christian missionary kidnapped by al Qaeda appears in video

January 27, 2016. BeatriceStockly, a Christian missionary from Switzerland, has surfaced in avideo published by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. She was kidnappedin Mali earlier this month, after having already been kidnapped in2012.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Lund, Sweden, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

January 25, 2016. Pope Francis intends to participate in a joint ceremony of the Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, scheduled to take place in Lund, Sweden on Monday October 31, 2016.
Vatican

New decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

January 22, 2016. On January 21, Pope Francis authored the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to publish the following decrees: - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Polish Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus Mary. (1631 - 1701) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Argentine Blessed Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero. (1840 - 1914) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Mexican Blessed layman and martyr José Sánchez del Río. (1913 - 1928) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Italian Servant of God Francesco Maria Greco. (1857 - 1931) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Italian Servant of God Elisabetta Sanna. (1788 - 1857) - The martyrdom of the German Servant of God Engelmar Unzeitig. (1911 - 1945) - The martyrdom of the Spanish Servant of God Fr. Genaro Fueyo Castañón and three lay partners in 1936. - The martyrdom of the Japanese Servant of God Justo Takayama Ukon. (1552-1553) - The heroic virtues of the Italian Servant of God Arsenio da Trigolo. (1849 - 1909) - The heroic virtues of the Italian Servant of God Maria Luisa Blessed Sacrament. (1826-1886)
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will visit the Mosque of Rome on January 27

January 19, 2016. The Imam, Izzedin Elzir, announced that the Pope will visit the Grand Mosque of Rome on the 27th of January.

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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