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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.

Jesuits celebrate 200 years since its Order was restored

2014-05-11

When Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus in 1773, the Jesuits technically ceased to exist for 41 years. In 1814, the Society was reborn thanks to Pope Pius VII.

This chapter is key in the history of the Jesuits. Pope Francis brought it up just days after his election, when he explained why he chose the name Francis.

POPE FRANCIS
"I was told, 'You should choose the name Clement. Clement XV! That way you can take revenge of Clement XIV' suppression of the Society of Jesus.”

Suppressing the Jesuits was a measure that European monarchies welcomed. The missionary charism of the Jesuits, as well as their spirituality and social impact posed significant obstacles to the kings' absolute power.

In the end, Clement XIV gave in to pressure and suppressed the order. But his decision kicked off a series of unexpected consequences.

FR. MIGUEL COLL
Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome)
"The Church recognized that with this action the Church as a whole lost. It had lost a pivotal part of the revolution.” 

Fr. Miguel Coll explained that both the monarchy and Church lost a great deal of protection, since the order's presence in society, could stop attacks against the Church and the monarchs themselves. Not by chance, he adds, 15 years later another shock came with the French Revolution. 

200 years after the Order was restored and welcomed once again by the Vatican, the first Jesuit was elected Pope.

FR. MIGUEL COLL
Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome)
"The Society of Jesus was founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. It had papal permission to serve the Church anywhere the Church needed. Having a Jesuit Pope really doesn't add anything to this. The Society obeys him just like it would obey any other Pope.”

The Jesuits are celebrating the anniversary of their restoration by promoting a deeper understanding of this chapter in their history. 


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