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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.

Pope to Salesians: Working for the souls helps fight spiritual worldliness

2014-03-31

The Salesian Society celebrated  its General Chapter in Rome. Some of its members got to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The new Rector, Spanish Angel Fernandez Artime, started off the audience. 

FR. ÁNGEL FERNÁNDEZ ARTIME
Rector Major of the Salesians
"We love you, Holy Father. We appreciate your courage and testimony. We observe with joy your love for the Lord Jesus and the Church, and your desire of deep renovation in the community you lead in both service and charity.”

In his speech, Pope Francis talked about the founder of the Salesians, St. John Bosco. He said his life had two pillars: work and temperance, which reminded him of his school days.

POPE FRANCIS
"I remember that in school it was forbidden to take a nap... Temperance! For Salesians and for us. 'Work and temperance, St. John Bosco used to say, will make the Congregation blossom.' When one thinks about working for souls, the temptation of spiritual wordiness is now match. God and His Kingdom are enough. 

He also stressed the importance of helping young people find their vocation, and called on Salesians to go and meet the youth, specially those who are socially excluded, don't have a job or are struggling with an addiction. 

The event didn't finish without a surprise. During the greetings, one the members of the delegation gave the Pope a gift from a kid.

"He told me: 'Give the Pope this candy.' So I kept it and brought it to you.”
"I will keep it too.”

As usual, Pope Francis blessed them all and asked them to keep praying for him. 

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