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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.

Vatican marks centennial of Pius X's death with 'day of study' on saintly Pope

2014-06-10

Months after World War I started, Pius X lost his own battle. Nearly 100 years later, the Vatican will mark this anniversary with a 'day of study' on the Italian Pope. 

He's mostly remembered as a conservative Pope that condemned modernist interpretations of Church doctrine. But paradoxically, Pius X paved the way for a more modern papacy.

PROF. ALEJANDRO MARIO DIEGUEZ
Vatican Secret Archives
"There was great confusion and a great overlap of competences. So he wanted to simplify, and, above all, guarantee truthful answers in a speedy manner.”

FR. BERNARD ARDURA
President, Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences 
"Everybody knows that St. Pius X made mortal enemies with this reform. And these are things that form part of common experience.”

But his election as Pope in August 3, 1903 was the result of a technicality. Up until that time, the monarchs from Spain, France and Austria-Hungary, could veto specific candidates.

During the 1903 conclave, Sicilian Cardinal Mariano Rampolla was on track for the papacy. But after the Austro-Hungarian emperor used his veto, Card. Giuseppe Sarto, then Patriarch of Venice, surged, despite his objections.

PROF. ALEJANDRO MARIO DIEGUEZ
Vatican Secret Archives
"He had gathered a few votes, and even petitions, but he had obviously refused. Unfortunately for him, he saw how in the end the number of votes for him grew bit by bit.”

The year after his election, Pius X outlawed the clause that gave lay powers influence over the conclave, leaving behind the format used today. 

In pastoral matters, he opted for simplicity and approachability, outlawing the practice of Popes eating alone, and leaving aside strict Vatican etiquette.

FR. BERNARD ARDURA
President, Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences 
"He moved to the apartment on the third loggia. That's where we're used to seeing the Pope for the Angelus. So he was the first Pope to leave the Pontifical Apartments.”

That move signaled a slight change in attitude between the Vatican and Italy, after the fall of the Papal States. Today, the old apartment is used to welcome visitors, including official state visits. 

The Vatican's day of study will take take place June 12, at the Pius X Hall. Participants will analyze the Pope's influence in modern Catholicism. The day will end with the presentation of a book summarizing the Pope's work. 


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