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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.

A look at a typical day for the Pope

2014-07-16

This is one of the Pope's closest collaborators. For years he worked with the Vatican's Secretariat of State and then in 2006, he was named a master of pontifical ceremonies. Things changed for this Argentinian, when the Pope was elected. That's him, standing right next to him. 

FR. GUILLERMO KARCHER
Papal Liturgical Celebrations
"After having breakfast, I talk to him for a bit, practically on a daily basis. We catch up and of course I keep him up to date with news in Argentina.” 

When it comes to the Pope's schedule, he says he follows a strict pattern. He wakes up at about 4.30 every morning. From 5.00 to 7.00 he prays and prepares the homily of his daily Mass in Casa Santa Marta. After greeting everyone there, he haves breakfast and then gets to work. Everything from private meetings to public events. 

FR. GUILLERMO KARCHER
Papal Liturgical Celebrations
"He can manage a lot of work. He's a very good listener and he connects with people easily. In fact, he is convinced that God makes Himself present in these daily encounters.” 

After meeting and greeting people, he also takes time to answer some letters. After lunch, roughly between 2 and 3 o clock, he takes a break. He then follows up with more meetings until 7 o clock. He prays the rosary, the Vespers and reads a few documents before calling it a day at roughly 10 pm. Despite the events he canceled a few weeks ago, Karcher, says, his health is fine.  Sometimes, he just needs to take a pause. 

FR. GUILLERMO KARCHER
Papal Liturgical Celebrations
"Health wise the Pope is doing well. He is strong and healthy. He follows a very organized schedule and it's not by chance. He wants it that way and it's a rhythm he personally sets and I don't think it wears him out.”

In the summer months of July and August, the Pope has less public events, but behind closed doors, he is never really off the clock. 

FR. GUILLERMO KARCHER
Pontifical Master of Ceremonies 
"Even though the Pope doesn't schedule as many events these months and despite the fact that Rome slows down during the summer, the Pope never really takes a vacation. It's something he links back to his time as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, where a lot of people couldn't really take a vacation. He knows it's a privilege not everyone can enjoy.” 

So no vacation...and interestingly no television either. Pope Francis apparently doesn't watch tv and he didn't see the World Cup. When it comes to food, Karcher says, he misses Argentina's famous meats.

It may seem like just a regular day for someone who wants to be recognized as just a regular Argentinian with an average passport. Except of course, for the fact that he is the head of the Catholic Church and the spiritual leader of more than 1 billion Catholics. 


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