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Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
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New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

Remembering John Paul II. New book shares stories from some of his closest friends

2014-03-14

Stanislaw Grygiel was a student of Karol Wojtyla. They met in 1958 and remained friends until the very end. They shared all types of stories, including the threat of an attack, long before it actually happened. He remembers how back in 1979, he told John Paul II about a man who had been arrested for trying to get dangerously close to the Pope. 

STANISLAW GRYGIEL
John Paul II's Former Student 
"I told the Holy Father about it at dinner and as he looked down at the floor he said, 'You see? They're already coming for me.” He was fully aware of the danger he was exposed to.”

Grygiel is one of many who were interviewed for this book, which translates to 'Being Close to John Paul II.' It was authored by Polish journalist Wodzimierz Rdzioch. Perhaps the main highlight is the account Benedict XVI shares about his friend and predecessor. 

WODZIMIERZ RDZIOCH
Author "Accanto a Giovanni Paolo II”
"In his interview, Pope Benedict stresses the human side and tenderness of John Paul II. It was something that moved everyone from believers to non-believers.” 

The author of the book came across some unique stories, like the friendship John Paul II had with atheists. Among them former Italian president Sandro Pertini, who would actually call him over the phone pretty often. 

WODZIMIERZ RDZIOCH
Author "Accanto a Giovanni Paolo II”
"The photographer of the Pope once told me how president Pertini knelt before John Paul II. He said that someone was crying in Heaven, and he was referred to his late mother, who was a devout Catholic. He said she was surely watching over him, moved that his atheist son was friends with the Pope.”  

In addition to the account of Benedict XVI, the book also includes interviews with John Paul II's personal assistant Cardinal Stanisaw Dziwisz, the Vatican's former spokesman, Joaquín Navarro-Valls, and Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals. It's a book that tries to share the life of John Paul II, as remembered by those who knew him best. 

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