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Pope Francis advances eight new causes of sainthood

January 23, 2017. On January 20, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to announce the publication of decrees for the advancement of eight causes of sainthood.

Holy See confirms investigation of Order of Malta

January 17, 2017. The Holy See has issued a statement Tuesday in response to "attempts by the Order of Malta to discredit” the new group established by the Vatican to conduct the investigation of why the Chancellor of the Order of Malta was asked to step down.

Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.

Pope Francis creates 19 new cardinals. Calls on them to evangelize with courage


There was an unexpected guest in this consistory. Benedict XVI attended his first public ceremony as Pope Emeritus, sitting in the front row of St. Peter's Basilica. Wearing his white coat, he stood out amid all the cardinals wearing red. 

Pope Francis arrived a few minutes afterwards Breaking protocol, he walked over to Benedict XVI and hugged him. 

Pietro Parolin, who serves as Secretary of State, and who is also among the 19 new cardinals, greeted Benedict XVI. 

Holy See's Secretary of State 
"With the same affection and reverence, we greet our Pope Emeritus, His Holiness Benedict XVI. We're glad you're here with us.” 

In his speech, the Pope outlined what the Church expects and needs from the new cardinals. 

"The Church needs your courage, to proclaim the Gospel at all times, both  in season and out of season, and to bear witness to the truth. The  Church needs your compassion, especially at this time of pain and suffering for so many countries throughout the world.” 

He also talked about those who are persecuted and discriminated against, because of their religious beliefs. 

"The Church needs us to pray for them, so they may be firm in their faith and capable of responding to evil with good. May this prayer extend to all men and women who suffer from injustice because of their religious convictions.” 

This marks the Pope's first consistory. Pope Francis blessed the new cardinals before placing the traditional red beretta over them. At first he seemed somewhat solemn then more relaxed. 

Historically, since all Cardinals were in Rome, the Pope entrusted each one of them with a local Church in the Eternal City. That tradition still stands today. The Archbishop of Buenos Aires,  Marco Aurelio Poli, was assigned the same parish Pope Francis had before he was elected.

From the Ivory Coast, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Kutwa came in a wheelchair, so the Pope walked over to him, to give him his beretta and ring. 

With this ceremony, the number of Cardinal electors stands at 122. There are another 96 cardinals who are over the age of 80, meaning they can't vote in a conclave. 

It wasn't just cardinals who attended the ceremony, Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff  was also there along with the President of Haiti Michel Martelly

Even the music had some symbolism. For the first the Sistine Chapel choir sang along with the choir of Westminster Cathedral

As the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Day of St. Peter's Chair, the Basilica was set up accordingly. The Chair of St. Peter, designed centuries ago by Bernini, was surrounded with candles. And the statue of St. Peter stood amid the Basilica with papal vestments. 

In fact, towards the end Pope Francis first thanked Benedict XVI for attending. Then he walked towards the statue of St. Peter and prayed before it for a few moments. 

- BN
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