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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.

Why the Pope Leads the Way He Leads: The analysis of a former Jesuit Seminarian

2014-01-18

In less than a year the Pope's unique style has surprised people from all walks of life. But there's one group in particular, who hasn't been all that surprised: The Jesuits

CHRIS LOWNEY 
Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way he Leads
"Just like Dominicans, Franciscans, the U.S. Army, every group has its way of doing things, of approaching work, or approaching life and certainly the Jesuits do.”

Chris Lowney understands this mentality quite well and he expands on it, in his book 'Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way he Leads.' He was a Jesuit seminarian for six years, so when the Pope talks about going out beyond one's comfort zone, he knows exactly where he's coming from. 

CHRIS LOWNEY 
Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way he Leads
"Frontier spirit doesn't mean let's go to some country where people haven't gone before. Now the frontier is maybe your own family or maybe one mile away.” 

Then there's the Pope's practical wisdom, which Lowney says is inspired by St. Ignatius. His spiritual exercises can also be seen a decision making guide that trigger self reflection. 

CHRIS LOWNEY 
Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way he Leads
"Is this me at my best self? Would I prefer to be modeling different values? So some deep sense of self awareness and sense of self.”

A lot has been said about the Pope's freedom. From improvising his speeches and giving interviews to not living where Popes have traditionally lived. Lowney says this comes from the Jesuit motto of doing things for 'God's Greater Glory' meaning detaching yourself from inner restraints. 

CHRIS LOWNEY 
Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way he Leads
"But because I'm attached to my own fears of making a mistake or looking foolish, I'm not free enough to do what I should be doing, ok.”

Though this mentality comes from the values of the Catholic Church,  Lowney says it's distinctly Jesuit. With this message, in less than a year, the first Jesuit Pope has managed to make waves across the globe. 


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