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Vatican

Holy See confirms investigation of Order of Malta

January 17, 2017. The Holy See has issued a statement Tuesday in response to "attempts by the Order of Malta to discredit” the new group established by the Vatican to conduct the investigation of why the Chancellor of the Order of Malta was asked to step down.
World

Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.
Vatican

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.
Vatican

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.
Pope Francis

Pope approves new decrees for the Causes of Saints

December 22, 2016. On Wednesday, December 21, Pope Francis authorized the following decrees for the Causes of Saints:

Pope phones Abbas and Peres, calls for greater commitment to cease-fire

2014-07-18

40 days ago, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas prayed for peace, along with the Pope at the Vatican. Since then, stalled peace talks deteriorated further into another bloody conflict, which has claimed the lives of at least 240 people, largely Palestinians. 

As Israel launched a ground offensive at the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants, Pope Francis called both Peres and Abbas by phone. According to a Vatican statement, the Pope expressed his concern for ongoing hostilities, and the suffering of innocent victims.

The Pope asked both leaders to continue praying for peace. But, he also invoked greater commitment from "interested parties and those who hold political office,” to reach a cease-fire.

Despite his direct appeal, it's unclear what effect his phone call will have on the ground. Peres holds a largely ceremonial post, and steps down as president on July 27. Meanwhile, Abbas and his Fatah party have been sidelined in the conflict, with rivals Hamas calling the shots in Gaza, and declining an Egyptian-backed truce. 

Amid the Israeli offensive, Pope Francis also reached out to the priest of the Sacred Family parish, Gaza's lone Catholic church. According to the Fides news agency, several families, including children and the elderly have taken refuge inside. 

In his message to Argentine parish priest Fr. Jorge Hernandez, the Pope expressed his closeness "to you, to the sisters, and to all the Catholic community.” He added that he's praying for them, and invoked Our Lady for protection.


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