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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.

Cor Unum finds destruction, resilience three months after Super Typhoon Haiyan

2014-02-16

Crumbled buildings, trash and debris litter the streets three months after Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines. Despite emergency aid, many people are still no better off now, than they were in the aftermath of the monster storm. 

In light of this, the Vatican's Pontifical Council Cor Unum visited the hardest hit areas to check up on reconstruction efforts by Catholic charities, including a project on behalf of the Pope.

MSGR. SEGUNDO TEJADO MUÑOZ
Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"We promised the archbishop to build an orphanage, because many children were left without families. They need a place to bring them in, and to look out for the future of these children.”

Card. Sarah broke ground on the orphanage, which will stand next to the diocese building. It'll also house an elderly home, and a small clinic.  

CARD. ROBERT SARAH
President, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"Good dwells where the poor are.”

The project is one of many ongoing efforts to rebuild the country. In addition to devastation to homes and businesses, Cor Unum said the storm severely damaged 70 churches

Nothing makes that point clearer than the Mass Card. Sarah celebrated in the open, under a tent.

MSGR. SEGUNDO TEJADO MUÑOZ
Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"We asked people what worried them most, and they said rebuilding churches. These churches in the Philippines, a very devout country, provide social cohesion. People sought refuge there first; it's where they found their first meal, drinkable water.”

Among the many initiatives to help rebuild the island nation, the Philippines' episcopal conference sponsored an Adopt-a-Parish program. It gives people the chance to fund reconstruction projects for specific churches in hard-hit areas.

Since the Cor Unum Council coordinates all Catholic charities in the country, they recognize lots of work lies ahead. But they cannot do it without help.

MSGR. SEGUNDO TEJADO MUÑOZ
Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"With Lent, we have a great opportunity to help these people, through our charity and contributions, at a time when the Church calls for solidarity with those who suffer.”

Despite the damage, the delegation visiting the Philippines said they were struck more by the deep devotion the people have in their faith. With help from Cor Unum, and the wider Catholic community, the Council is hopeful that faith will seem them through, on the long road to recovery.


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MG/Cor Unum
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