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Pope sends his condolences for the passing of Carmen Hernández

July 21, 2016. Pope Francis sent a message to Kiko Argüello after the passing of Carmen Hernández. He said he was close in spirit to her family and everyone involved with the Neocatechumenal Way, a itinerary of faith which she started, and also to the people who witnessed and appreciated her apostolic work, one of permanent education in faith. The Pope also thanked Hernández's testimony of faith and prays that "the Divine Goodness” welcomes her into the joy of eternal rest and that those involved in the Neochatecumenal Way keep the flame of her evangelizing spirit alive.
Pope Francis

Vatican condemns terrorist attack in Nice, France that has killed at least 84 people

July 15, 2016. The terrorist used a large truck to plough through a crowd during the Bastille day celebration.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences for the victims of Italian train accident

July 12, 2016. Pope Francis sent a telegram with his condolences for the victims of the train accident that occurred in southern Italy. The Pope says he shares the pain of the families affected by this tragic incident, which resulted in at least 20 deaths and more than 50 wounded. Pope Francis prays for the dead and for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Vatican

Pope approves martyrdom of laic that refused to enroll in the SS, and of other future saints

July 8, 2016. The Pope has approved the enactment of several decrees for causes of beatification. (Continue reading)
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Vatileaks 2: Two main defendants condemned. Both journalists and Vallejo's secretary acquitted.

July 7, 2016. Fr. Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for the Vatileaks case. The Vatican Tribunal also condemned his main collaborator, Francesca Chaouqui, to 10 months in prison, with a five-year suspended application of the sentence. The third person involved, Nicola Maio, has been completely cleared of all charges. Citing freedom of press, the court says it does not have jurisdiction over and is unable to prosecute the two journalists who obtained classified information, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.
Vatican

Vatileaks II: Vallejo Balda and Chaouqui's defense ask for acquittal on all charges

July 5, 2016. The lawyers for the two main defendants, Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui, have called for an acquittal on all charges after the prosecutors petitioned for the sentencing of both accused. The Spanish priest was accused of conspiracy and disclosing classified documents while Francesca Chaouqui, is considered the main conspirator of the events that eventually unfolded. On Wednesday, the lawyers for the other three defendants Nicola Maio, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi will present their findings.
World

New archbishop in Dominican Republic

July 4, 2016. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) due to his age. The Pope has appointed in his place Bishop Francisco Ozoria Acosta. Pope Francis has also accepted a resignation from the auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese, Monsignor Amancio Escapa Aparicio, because of his age as well.

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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