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Pope Francis

Pope announces next World Day of Peace: “Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace”

August 26, 2016. This is the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the next World Day of Peace, to be celebrated on January 1, 2017. Pope Francis has talked about the worrisome surge of violence that has taken over the world. On his trip to Poland in July he said the world is in a "piecemeal World War." That is why he wishes that this 50th World Day of Peace, the fourth of his pontificate, be a beacon of diplomacy and good will. The Pope wants to underline the prevalence of law in international affairs as a way to ensure a peaceful future. The World Day of Peace is a project started by Paul VI in 1968. It is celebrated the first day of every year, and it is usually an occasion where the pope makes important statements about the Social Doctrine of the Church.
World

Quake aftermath continues to torment ancient town of Amatrice as the death toll rises

August 25, 2016. Rescue teams continue to work tirelessly with the hope of finding new survivors, but the number of deaths will increase as there are still dozens missing. Italy's civil protection agency has announced that 190 have dead in the affected areas in the province of Rieti are overcome, while 57 were killed in the province of Ascoli. During the night, there have been up to 60 new tremors of between 3 and 4 degrees of magnitude. Rescuers worked overnight in the most affected Arquata del Tronto, Pescada< g> del Tronto, Accumoli< g> and Amatrice. The most dramatic situation exists in Amatrice, the largest municipality affected, and where 2,000 people live, but in the summer months doubles its population with vacationers and many tourists who had come to enjoy the weekend party pasta "amatriciana,” a dish that has its origins here. More than 1,000 people have been displaced by the quake.
World

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.

Ukrainian journalist for Vatican Radio pushes for 'truth' in media coverage of ongoing crisis

2014-05-13

Vatican Radio broadcasts in more than 35 languages from around the world, including Ukrainian. But in recent days, the work of this particular group has taken on an a critical role.

FR. TEODOSIO ROMAN HREN
Vatican Radio – Ukrainian Section
"We try our hardest to convey the concern from the Holy See, from the Pope, about everything that is happening in Ukraine.”

A team of four full-time employees, plus several volunteers and contributors, constantly update their web page, and help prepare a 20-minute, daily broadcast, available around the world.

Due to the sensibility, and the politically charged atmosphere of the situation, Fr. Teodosio Roman said finding reliable information on what's happening in the country can be challenging

FR. TEODOSIO ROMAN HREN
Vatican Radio – Ukrainian Section
"A very important role for Vatican Radio and for Ukrainian media in Western Europe, is to broadcast legitimate information. Because, normally, in many media outlets, we have so much news, so many journalists who write and speak about the situation in Ukraine, but unfortunately it's not always the truth.”

Vatican Radio, he explained, stepped in to fill that gap, aspiring to become a "beacon of truth.” More so, they are also a point of reference for worship. 

In certain areas, like Crimea, or in eastern Ukraine, he said, it's not easy for Roman and Ukrainian-Greek Catholics to worship freely. In fact, several priests were forced to abandon their parishes after armed groups overtook Crimea and several towns in the east of the country.

FR. TEODOSIO ROMAN HREN
Vatican Radio – Ukrainian Section
"Each Sunday, and for all the major feasts, we broadcast the liturgy in Ukrainian. Those who are unable to participate in their church can always listen to the Mass live, or through the Internet.”

Both Pope Francis and the head of the Ukrainian-Greek Catholic Church have denounced the violence and called for peace. Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk has gone a step further and denounced attempts to break up Ukraine. 

Throughout all this, the Catholic Church has stated it will steer clear of politics, and look out for the well being of everyday people.


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