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Pope Francis

Pope announces next World Day of Peace: “Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace”

August 26, 2016. This is the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the next World Day of Peace, to be celebrated on January 1, 2017. Pope Francis has talked about the worrisome surge of violence that has taken over the world. On his trip to Poland in July he said the world is in a "piecemeal World War." That is why he wishes that this 50th World Day of Peace, the fourth of his pontificate, be a beacon of diplomacy and good will. The Pope wants to underline the prevalence of law in international affairs as a way to ensure a peaceful future. The World Day of Peace is a project started by Paul VI in 1968. It is celebrated the first day of every year, and it is usually an occasion where the pope makes important statements about the Social Doctrine of the Church.
World

Quake aftermath continues to torment ancient town of Amatrice as the death toll rises

August 25, 2016. Rescue teams continue to work tirelessly with the hope of finding new survivors, but the number of deaths will increase as there are still dozens missing. Italy's civil protection agency has announced that 190 have dead in the affected areas in the province of Rieti are overcome, while 57 were killed in the province of Ascoli. During the night, there have been up to 60 new tremors of between 3 and 4 degrees of magnitude. Rescuers worked overnight in the most affected Arquata del Tronto, Pescada< g> del Tronto, Accumoli< g> and Amatrice. The most dramatic situation exists in Amatrice, the largest municipality affected, and where 2,000 people live, but in the summer months doubles its population with vacationers and many tourists who had come to enjoy the weekend party pasta "amatriciana,” a dish that has its origins here. More than 1,000 people have been displaced by the quake.
World

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.

Pontifical Academy for Life: Child euthanasia is not the answer

2014-03-20

"The lack of health, and disability are not good reasons to exclude, or worse, do away with a person.” That is the message the Pope sent members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which gathered in Rome in February for its 20th anniversary

Dozens of experts talked about aging and disabilities. Pope Francis reminded them that "the tyranny of an economic logic” turns many people into victims, "starting with the elderly.”

MONICA LOPEZ BARAHONA
Academic Director, Centro de Estudios Biosanitarios (Spain)
"The new idea in this case is to take back the culture of love, of love towards the elderly. To reclaim the value that old age has when it comes to experience gained, and experience that can be passed on.”
 
In the more developed countries, populations are aging fast. In an effort to tackle the "throw-away culture,” experts said the key is in engaging, not excluding family members who cannot fend for themselves.

ENCARNACION PEREZ BRET
Hospital Centro de Cuidados LAGUNA (Spain)
"What we have to do is see in what way that person's limitations and dependency are developing. Also to find out what that person expects from us, and what we can do within our means to be close to them, support and help them.”

In February, Belgium approved the practice of child euthanasia. It's the first country to legalize assisted suicide for minors. Catholic experts were clear about their stance on the issue.

MONICA LOPEZ BARAHONA
Academic Director, Centro de Estudios Biosanitarios (Spain)
"I don't think that within the experience gained by pediatricians, in working with children with terminal illnesses, you will find a mother or father who wouldn't want three more hours of life for their child. This is not resolved with euthanasia. This topic is dealt with palliative care. The issues is solved with an interdisciplinary team, made up not just of doctors, but also with nurses, and psychological and spiritual support for the parents and child in their last moments.”

VINCENZO DI LAZZARO 
Neurology Department, Rome University
"That practice is a way to undervalue the potential of humans, and reduce them simply to a physical machine. If something is broken, throw it away. That is not how you deal with it. Humans are much more than that.”

John Paul II established the Pontifical Academy for Life in 1994. Its main goal is to deal with issues relating to life, from conception to natural death. The Academy's first president was Jérôme Lejeune, the doctor that discovered the genetic mutation that causes Down Syndrome. His beatification process is now underway.


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