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Pope Francis

Pope will consider to remind bishops to respond directly to sex abuse victims

February 8, 2016 The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors asked the Pope to remind all bishops and authorities in the Church of the importance of responding directly to victims and survivors who approach them; and the finalization of a Universal Day of Prayer. On Saturday, the commission asked one of its members, Peter Saunders of Great Britain, who was abused by a priest when he was young, to temporarily suspend his collaboration "to reflect on how he can best contribute to the work of the Commission.” Read more...
Pope Francis

Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow will meet

February 5, 2016.Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12 next. Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where the Pope will make a stop on his way to Mexico, and where the Patriarch will be on an official visit. It will include a personal conversation at Havana’s José Martí International Airport, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration.This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church will be the first in history.
World

Christian missionary kidnapped by al Qaeda appears in video

January 27, 2016. BeatriceStockly, a Christian missionary from Switzerland, has surfaced in avideo published by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. She was kidnappedin Mali earlier this month, after having already been kidnapped in2012.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Lund, Sweden, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

January 25, 2016. Pope Francis intends to participate in a joint ceremony of the Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, scheduled to take place in Lund, Sweden on Monday October 31, 2016.
Vatican

New decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

January 22, 2016. On January 21, Pope Francis authored the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to publish the following decrees: - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Polish Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus Mary. (1631 - 1701) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Argentine Blessed Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero. (1840 - 1914) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Mexican Blessed layman and martyr José Sánchez del Río. (1913 - 1928) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Italian Servant of God Francesco Maria Greco. (1857 - 1931) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Italian Servant of God Elisabetta Sanna. (1788 - 1857) - The martyrdom of the German Servant of God Engelmar Unzeitig. (1911 - 1945) - The martyrdom of the Spanish Servant of God Fr. Genaro Fueyo Castañón and three lay partners in 1936. - The martyrdom of the Japanese Servant of God Justo Takayama Ukon. (1552-1553) - The heroic virtues of the Italian Servant of God Arsenio da Trigolo. (1849 - 1909) - The heroic virtues of the Italian Servant of God Maria Luisa Blessed Sacrament. (1826-1886)
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will visit the Mosque of Rome on January 27

January 19, 2016. The Imam, Izzedin Elzir, announced that the Pope will visit the Grand Mosque of Rome on the 27th of January.

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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