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Ex-Nuncio to Dominican Republic, accused of sexual abuse, found dead

August 28, 2015. The Vatican has issued a statement saying that ex-Apostolic Nuncio to the Dominican Republic Józef Wesolowski was found dead in his room this morning. He is believed to have died of natural causes, according the Vatican authorities. A Vatican prosecutor has asked that an autopsy be performed today. The statement further specifies that the results will be announced as soon as possible and that Pope Francis has been informed of the situation.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis sends a message to organizers and participants of the Rimini Meeting

August 19, 2015. On the occasion of the 36th edition of the Rimini Meeting, Pope Francis sent a message to participants and organizers through Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. He told them that the void we sometimes feel in our hearts reminds us that we are called to great things. The event is also known as "the Meeting for friendship among peoples,” and it is organized by the Communion and Liberation movement. During the meeting shows, conferences, exhibitions and sporting events are organized.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis “deeply saddened” by the tragedy in Bangkok

August 19, 2015. Pope Francis is "deeply saddened” by the terrorist attack in Bangkok, which killed at least 20 people, according to the Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. In a telegram sent to the King of Thailand on behalf of the Pope, the cardinal said Pope Francis expressed his sorrow and his closeness to all those affected by the attacks.
World

Erection of Apostolic Exarchate in Canada

Pope Francis has erected the Apostolic Exarchate for the Syro-Malabar in Canada. He has appointed Fr. Jose Kalluvelil to be its first Exarch, assigning him the titular of Tabalta.
World

New bishop in India

Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Antony Prince Panengaden to be bishop of the eparchy of Adilabad of the Syro-Malabar (India). His appointment comes after the resignation of Msgr. Joseph Kunnath.

U.S. State Department releases country-by-country analysis of religious freedom

2014-07-30

Another grim milestone for humanity. 2013 was one of the worst years for the displacement of entire religious communities around the world. A comprehensive report from the U.S. State Department tracked down the state of religious freedom in nearly 200 countries. 

KENNETH HACKETT
U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See
"Religious freedom takes a lot of interpretations. In our own countries there are some very fine lines on interpretation. But the actual persecution of people because of their religion is one of the horrors of our day.”

The report highlighted areas where entire communities are targeted simply for their religion. It recorded increased persecution of Christians in 2013, noting that in countries like Syria, Egypt and Iraq, entire Christian communities have been decimated by violence.

Meanwhile, the report also details repressive government policies against Christians and other minorities in places like Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan and Pakistan. The Vatican expressed their concern for these policies.

MSGR. MARCELO SANCHEZ SORONDO
President, Pontifical Academies for Sciences
"First off, the Holy See wants to warn the world about the issue. Second, to work with Christians so they stay. And third, to get the universal Church to pray and take social actions to stop persecution.”

But the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See pointed out that the report highlights the plight of all religious communities, not just Christians. Whether it's rising anti-Semitism in Europe to discrimination against Shia Muslims in countries like Bahrain, Ambassador Hackett said the U.S. and the Holy See have a a common stance. 

KENNETH HACKETT
U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See
"Wherever we can, we want to find a common cause with the Church, and the Holy See itself, on issues of religious persecution of all people, not just Christians. It's for all people, and the Holy See has been a loud and abiding voice for those kinds of concerns.”

American agencies will use the latest report on religious freedom to help determine U.S. policy in those countries, and determine the best way to help promote religious freedom.


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