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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

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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