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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.”

Economic inequality, expected focus in meeting between Obama and the Vatican


U.S. President Barack Obama will make his second visit to the Vatican on Thursday. He will meet for the first time with Pope Francis. The two are greatly expected to focus on the things they share in common, rather than their differences.

With a population of more than 316 million, the United States is not only one of most populous countries, but also one with the most Catholics.

More than three quarters of Americans consider themselves to be Christians, with the Protestant denominations making up half of the entire population. Meanwhile a quarter, or nearly 68 million people, identify as Catholic. As such, the Catholic Church is the largest single Church in the country.

Barack Obama is the 44th president. He was first elected in 2008, and sworn in on January 20, 2009. Voters re-elected him in November 2012. 

Obama's administration has been at odds with the local Catholic Church in a number of topics, namely health care reform, and social issues like abortion and gay marriage. But during this meeting, it's expected he and Pope Francis will touch on the issues they share in common.

High among that list is economic inequality. Both leaders have championed a more equal distribution of wealth, and assistance for the poor. Other topics on the agenda are also expected to include the Middle East peace process, especially given the Pope's upcoming visit in May. But other international conflicts like Syria and Ukraine could arise. 

On a local level, the Pope could also bring up immigration reform, a topic local bishops have pushed for considerably. It also reflects the reality of the Church in the U.S., which is made up more and more of immigrants and their children.