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Vaticaleaks-2: Court charged five people for “procuring and revealing” confidential material
November 21, 2015. A Vatican Court formally charged a pair of journalists, two officials, and a secretary to one of the officials for "procuring and revealing” confidential documents and information. They are Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, -who recently wrote books regarding mismanagement in the Vatican-, as well as the Msgr. Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda, Francesca Chaouqui and Vallejo’s secretary, Nicola Maio. While all five are charged with criminal misappropriation and misuse of Vatican confidential documents; Vallejo, Chaouqui, and Maio, are charged with criminal conspiracy "to divulge information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the State”. A hearing has been scheduled for next November 24th, 2015 in the Vatican criminal court.
New archbishop in Barcelona (Spain)
November 6, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach as Archbishop of Barcelona (Spain). He has named Monsignor Juan Jose Omella in his place. He was until now Bishop of the Diocese of Calahorra and La Calzada-Logroño.
Vatican arrests two people for allegedly leaking confidential documents
November 2, 2015. The Vatican Police have arrested two people, reportedly linked to the leak of confidential Holy See documents. They are: Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui, both of whom were members of COSEA, which stands for the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic Administrative Structure of the Holy See. After her arrest, Francesca Chaouqui was released, after giving her testimony to the Vaticans District Attorneys office. But Msgr. Vallejo Balda is still in custody. He is accused of leaking secret Vatican documents. His arrest comes just days before the release of a book which allegedly contains private conversations between the Pope and COSEA officials. The Holy See describes the release and publication of the documents as a violation of the Popes trust. The Vatican continues to investigate the source of the document leaks. It also adds that if needed, it will seek the assistance of international entities to clarity the allegations. The Vatican also adds that leaking documents in no way helps the mission of the Church or that of the Pope.
Vatican sends condolences to Putin and Russian people after plane crash
November 2, 2015. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has sent a telegram on behalf of Pope Francis to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He offers his condolences for the recent plane crash in which more than 200 Russians died. The full text is here: Having learned with sadness of the tragic crash of the Russian airline in the Sinai Peninsula, His Holiness Pope Francis conveys his condolences to you and the Russian people. He offers the assurance of his prayers for all who have died and for those who mourn their loss. Upon the nation and all involved in the recovery efforts His Holiness invokes the strength and peace of Almighty God.
New bishop in France
October 30, 2015. Pope Francis has named Renauld de Dinechin bishop of Soissons. Until now he was the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Paris.
New bishop in Spain
October 30, 2015. PopeFrancis has accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Burgos,Francisco Gil Hellin. He has named in his place Fidel Herraez Vegas,who has been an auxiliary bishop of Madrid since 1996.
New archbishops in Italy
October 27, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Matteo Maria Zuppi, who was auxiliary bishop of Rome, to be the Archbishop of Bologna (Italy). He takes the place of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra. Also, Msgr. Corrado Lorefice has been appointed Archbishop of Palermo (Italy). He succeeds Cardinal Paolo Romeo.
Pope Francis
Pope Francis"deeply affected" by the earthquake that shook Afghanistan and Pakistán
October 27, 2015. The Secretary of State Pietro Parolin telegraphed the nuncio in Pakistan on behalf of Pope Francis. Full text of the message: "His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the earthquake in the region. He expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this disaster, and he offers the assurance of his prayers for the dead, as well as for the injured and those still missing. Upon all those who mourn the loss of loved ones and upon the civil authorities and emergency personnel involved in the relief efforts, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength.”

Iran promotes 'Religious Diplomacy' 35 years after Islamic Revolution


The Holy See and the Islamic Republic of Iran are probably the best known theocracies in the modern world. Ties between them date back to the 1500's. With new leadership in both countries, relations are expected to strengthen. At least that's the goal for the Iranian government.

Iranian Ambassador to the Holy See
"The work of the Holy Father: his views towards the homeless, the weakest social classes, and the most vulnerable, and even his views on justice are followed with interest by intellectuals and the elite in Iranian society.”

As the leading voices on Catholicism and Shia Islam, for years now, the two countries have sponsored talks to foster inter-religious dialogue. 

Government officials even acknowledge that, when the time is right, moderate President Hassan Rouhani could make a trip to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis. And what could their talking points be during such a visit?

Iranian Ambassador to the Holy See
"Certainly, Dr. Rouhani is interested in boosting ties with the Holy See in the areas of a religious diplomacy, inspired in religious principles. It lays out a plan for the world, a plan against extremist violence, and to have this plan replace the current 'coalitions of war.'” 

The Iranian ambassador said that "religious diplomacy” is based on the search for truth, and is meant to spread common ideals and knowledge on the three monotheistic religions.

Rouhani laid out this plan for religious diplomacy at the United Nations, pushing for the creation of a group to fight religious radicalism. Government officials said the Pope and the Vatican can play a leading role in the process.

Iranian Ambassador to the Holy See
"The Holy See is a religious organism, that guides the Universal Catholic Church. Through this process we can develop a common mechanism to present a multilateral religious diplomacy to the world.”

Though no such meeting has been scheduled, the  ambassador said they'll continue to push for greater "religious diplomacy,” and cooperation with the Vatican. This year, Tehran will host the 9th colloquium between the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and Iran's Islamic Culture and Relations Organization.