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Pope sends his condolences for the passing of Carmen Hernández

July 21, 2016. Pope Francis sent a message to Kiko Argüello after the passing of Carmen Hernández. He said he was close in spirit to her family and everyone involved with the Neocatechumenal Way, a itinerary of faith which she started, and also to the people who witnessed and appreciated her apostolic work, one of permanent education in faith. The Pope also thanked Hernández's testimony of faith and prays that "the Divine Goodness” welcomes her into the joy of eternal rest and that those involved in the Neochatecumenal Way keep the flame of her evangelizing spirit alive.
Pope Francis

Vatican condemns terrorist attack in Nice, France that has killed at least 84 people

July 15, 2016. The terrorist used a large truck to plough through a crowd during the Bastille day celebration.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences for the victims of Italian train accident

July 12, 2016. Pope Francis sent a telegram with his condolences for the victims of the train accident that occurred in southern Italy. The Pope says he shares the pain of the families affected by this tragic incident, which resulted in at least 20 deaths and more than 50 wounded. Pope Francis prays for the dead and for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Vatican

Pope approves martyrdom of laic that refused to enroll in the SS, and of other future saints

July 8, 2016. The Pope has approved the enactment of several decrees for causes of beatification. (Continue reading)
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Vatileaks 2: Two main defendants condemned. Both journalists and Vallejo's secretary acquitted.

July 7, 2016. Fr. Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for the Vatileaks case. The Vatican Tribunal also condemned his main collaborator, Francesca Chaouqui, to 10 months in prison, with a five-year suspended application of the sentence. The third person involved, Nicola Maio, has been completely cleared of all charges. Citing freedom of press, the court says it does not have jurisdiction over and is unable to prosecute the two journalists who obtained classified information, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.
Vatican

Vatileaks II: Vallejo Balda and Chaouqui's defense ask for acquittal on all charges

July 5, 2016. The lawyers for the two main defendants, Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui, have called for an acquittal on all charges after the prosecutors petitioned for the sentencing of both accused. The Spanish priest was accused of conspiracy and disclosing classified documents while Francesca Chaouqui, is considered the main conspirator of the events that eventually unfolded. On Wednesday, the lawyers for the other three defendants Nicola Maio, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi will present their findings.
World

New archbishop in Dominican Republic

July 4, 2016. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) due to his age. The Pope has appointed in his place Bishop Francisco Ozoria Acosta. Pope Francis has also accepted a resignation from the auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese, Monsignor Amancio Escapa Aparicio, because of his age as well.

Pope to Obama: This gift isn't from the 'Pope' but from Jorge Mario Bergoglio

2014-03-27

The US flag was already waving outside the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, when Barack Obama arrived in his black SUV. This marks his second visit to the Vatican, but his first meeting with Pope Francis.

"Wonderful meeting you. Thank you so much for receiving me.”  

After the official pictures were taken, they both headed to the Papal Library.

"Greetings from my family. The last time I came to meet your predecessor I could take my wife and children, but this time they were..."

Their meeting was longer than usual for Vatican standards. They spoke in private for about 50 minutes, while members of the US delegation waited in a nearby hall.

Later on, Barack Obama personally introduced each one of them to Pope Francis. His Secretary of State, John Kerry, was the first  in line.

"I'm so pleased to meet you. Great admirer. Everything you are doing, as a Catholic, for the Church, and for everyone...”

And then the gifts arrived. President Obama gave the Pope seeds from the White House gardens. He also promised to give more seeds to a charity in his honor.

"This, I think, are carrots”. 

"So, if you have the chance to come to the White House we will show you our gardens”. 

"Of course!”

Pope Francis gave him a copy of his first apostolic exhortation and something more personal. 

"This gift is from the Pope. But this other one is from Jorge Bergoglio.  When I saw it,  I said: "I'll give to Obama, it's the Angel of Peace.”

Often times, in these type of diplomatic meetings, gifts can be also be a way to portray a message. For example, when Obama went to the Vatican back in June 2009, Pope Benedict gave him a document titled "The Dignity of the Person,” that stood for the life of the unborn and the right to freedom of conscience. Obama then said he would read it carefully.

Before their meeting, the President of the United States said he wanted to talk to Pope Francis about fighting poverty and other issues they have in common. But it seems like they talked about much more than that. 

According to the Vatican they also discussed religious freedom, the right to life, and freedom of conscience, all of which have been major dividing points between the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops and the president's administration, under 'Obamacare.' Immigration and human trafficking were also discussed. 

Before saying good bye, Obama asked the Pope to pray for his wife and daughters. 


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