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Pope Francis

Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow will meet

February 5, 2016.Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12 next. Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where the Pope will make a stop on his way to Mexico, and where the Patriarch will be on an official visit. It will include a personal conversation at Havana’s José Martí International Airport, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration.This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church will be the first in history.
World

Christian missionary kidnapped by al Qaeda appears in video

January 27, 2016. BeatriceStockly, a Christian missionary from Switzerland, has surfaced in avideo published by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. She was kidnappedin Mali earlier this month, after having already been kidnapped in2012.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Lund, Sweden, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

January 25, 2016. Pope Francis intends to participate in a joint ceremony of the Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, scheduled to take place in Lund, Sweden on Monday October 31, 2016.
Vatican

New decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

January 22, 2016. On January 21, Pope Francis authored the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to publish the following decrees: - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Polish Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus Mary. (1631 - 1701) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Argentine Blessed Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero. (1840 - 1914) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Mexican Blessed layman and martyr José Sánchez del Río. (1913 - 1928) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Italian Servant of God Francesco Maria Greco. (1857 - 1931) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Italian Servant of God Elisabetta Sanna. (1788 - 1857) - The martyrdom of the German Servant of God Engelmar Unzeitig. (1911 - 1945) - The martyrdom of the Spanish Servant of God Fr. Genaro Fueyo Castañón and three lay partners in 1936. - The martyrdom of the Japanese Servant of God Justo Takayama Ukon. (1552-1553) - The heroic virtues of the Italian Servant of God Arsenio da Trigolo. (1849 - 1909) - The heroic virtues of the Italian Servant of God Maria Luisa Blessed Sacrament. (1826-1886)
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will visit the Mosque of Rome on January 27

January 19, 2016. The Imam, Izzedin Elzir, announced that the Pope will visit the Grand Mosque of Rome on the 27th of January.

A look at Albania... now and then. From concentration camps to a coming Papal visit

2014-07-12

On September 21st, the Pope is scheduled to travel to Albania. He made the surprise announcement during a Sunday Angelus. 

POPE FRANCIS
June 15th
"With this brief trip, I want to strengthen the faith of the Church in Albania. I want to show my support and love for a country that has suffered the consequences of  past ideologies, for a very long time.” 

That suffering Pope Francis was referring to, dates back decades. The country lived through Italy's Fascism and also, Nazi rule. For almost 40 years, it had a communist dictatorship.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, directly saw the effects this had on the country and its people. 

ARCH. VINCENZO PAGLIA
Pontifical Council for the Family, President
"I was the first Catholic priest to be allowed in Albania. It was March 13, 1991. At that point, there hadn't been free elections under the regime. The country was terrified.” 

In 1991, John Paul II sent in three priests, who could assess the standing of the Church, after years of persecution. 

ARCH. VINCENZO PAGLIA
Pontifical Council for the Family, President
"It was the only state in the world, where the constitution outright banned any type of religious gathering. All priests were in concentration camps. There was only one Bishop, who I actually visited. They set him free, after 19 years of imprisonment, where he was forced to live in a house full of sheep.” 

Parishes, he says were closed or turned into warehouses, garages or theaters. Christians prayed in secret, or else they faced persecution. 

But now, years later Archbishop Paglia visited the country in light of the Pope's upcoming visit.  He says, it's a much different situation now. 

ARCH. VINCENZO PAGLIA
Pontifical Council for the Family, President
"I've noticed an enthusiasm from everyone:  Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims. They see the Pope as the  spiritual leader of humanity.” 

Albania will actually be the first European country the Pope visits. It's a very symbolic trip, given the fact that just 20 years ago, Christians faced jailed time, for wearing a cross around their neck. 


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