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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.

Pope Francis prepares encyclical on the Ecology for start of 2015

2014-07-15

Pope Francis has reportedly spent months drafting his new encyclical on Creation, and respect for the environment.

In March, during an audience with superiors from the Franciscan order, the Pope expressed how much this topic concerns him, and asked them for advice.

FR. MICHAEL ANTHONY PERRY
Minister General, Order of Friars Minor
"The Pope himself brought up the issue of the environment. And he talked about his deep concern that we need, the Church needs, to find the way to respond, using the best of science. But also using the best of goodwill of all of humanity, to bring together a consensus on trying to respond to the crisis, the ecological crisis.”

To help him reflect on this issue, the Franciscan leaders gave him a copy of their "Franciscans for Ecology” text. In it, they cite several initiatives within this field that the Order has promoted, alongside people of other faiths.

FR. MICHAEL ANTHONY PERRY
Minister General, Order of Friars Minor
"I was in the Amazon region in February. I've been there three times in the last year, and every time I go I see greater deforestation. FLASH And I was just in Eastern Congo where there's also  conflict over the mineral resources there, and the impact that that is having on the social climate.”

But, the Franciscan Minister General said he believes the world will have to wait to read the encyclical. Vatican sources point to early 2015.

FR. MICHAEL ANTHONY PERRY
Minister General, Order of Friars Minor
"Keep in mind that the Pope, the Church, in October, will have a Synod on family life. There will be a pre-Synod and then the Synod. So the Pope is gonna be very busy preparing for that Synod. So, some time after October, maybe November. He might wait until the beginning of the new year.”

Fr. Michael Perry highlighted that looking after the environment is an issue that all people, believers and non-believers, should work for.

The Pope also turned to other figures like Erwin Kräutler, bishop of Xingu, a diocese in the Amazon greatly affected by deforestation.


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