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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.

Pope to American Jewish Committee: Let's work together, let's embrace fraternity

2014-02-13

 

Just months before Pope Francis visits the Holy Land, he met with the American Jewish Committee for the very first time, at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace.

"We come here with a true feeling that you are our true friend.”

The relationship between Catholics and Jews has a complicated history. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the 'Nostra Aetate' document, where the Second Vatican Council laid out the Church's relationship with non-Christian religions.

POPE FRANCIS 
"It is also important to find ways in which Jews and Christians can cooperate in constructing a more just and peaceful world.”

 The Pope acknowledged all the progress that's been made, but he also said he hopes the Jewish community is open to learning and understanding more about Christianity.

RABBI DAVID ROSEN 
American Jewish Committee
"It's not just that the Jews are the roots of Christianity, we are a family and there is a strong sense of that.”

Rabbi David Rosen is AJC's International Director of Interreligious Affairs. Before meeting with the Pope, he along with a delegation met with the Vatican's Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin.

RABBI DAVID ROSEN 
American Jewish Committee
"In a way that's the new era for Catholic/Jewish relations. We've had to address the past, we've had to overcome the past, we've had to deal with theology in the past. The challenge is what can we do for the future.”

That same week, representatives from the Holy See and the State of Israel met to discuss the legal and economic rights of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.

RABBI DAVID ROSEN 
American Jewish Committee
"Being one together despite our theological difference is very strong and very sincere and very much heart felt.”

As he gets ready for his visit to Jerusalem in May, the Pope asked for their prayers, so that the pilgrimage 'may bring forth the fruits of communion, hope and peace.'


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