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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 soccer players: You have a responsibility in and out the soccer field

2014-05-02

Pope Francis is a big soccer fan. So it's only fair that he met with the two teams that are gearing up for Italy's Cup.  One team is from Naples and the other from Florence

The Pope highlighted that they have a "social responsibility” in and out the soccer field. He also told them to steer away from the dangers of their profession. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Nowadays, even soccer is surrounded by big business, which includes advertising, television ads, etc. But money shouldn't overshadow the sport itself. If this happens, it can contaminate everything, at an international, national and local level.” 

The two soccer teams and member of the Italian Federation of Football, gave the Pope quite a few gifts.

First, they gave him two jerseys. One from the Pope's favorite team, San Lorenzo de Almagro, which  was given to him by a Fiorentina player who used to play for the Pope's favorite team. 

"But is it yours?”
"Yeah, it's mine. The one I used when I played there.”

The Naples soccer team gave the Pope another jersey, for the 'Keeper of Souls.' 

"But this is for a  unique keeper... Because  everybody must be allowed in.” 

The Pope also a got a replica of the Italian Cup and the Naples soccer team coach, gave him a signed soccer ball. 

And in that case that wasn't not enough, Pope Francis was also given a huge cake in the shape of Rome's Olympic Stadium, where both teams will play the final on Saturday. 


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