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Vaticaleaks-2: Court charged five people for “procuring and revealing” confidential material
November 21, 2015. A Vatican Court formally charged a pair of journalists, two officials, and a secretary to one of the officials for "procuring and revealing” confidential documents and information. They are Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, -who recently wrote books regarding mismanagement in the Vatican-, as well as the Msgr. Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda, Francesca Chaouqui and Vallejo’s secretary, Nicola Maio. While all five are charged with criminal misappropriation and misuse of Vatican confidential documents; Vallejo, Chaouqui, and Maio, are charged with criminal conspiracy "to divulge information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the State”. A hearing has been scheduled for next November 24th, 2015 in the Vatican criminal court.
New archbishop in Barcelona (Spain)
November 6, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach as Archbishop of Barcelona (Spain). He has named Monsignor Juan Jose Omella in his place. He was until now Bishop of the Diocese of Calahorra and La Calzada-Logroño.
Vatican arrests two people for allegedly leaking confidential documents
November 2, 2015. The Vatican Police have arrested two people, reportedly linked to the leak of confidential Holy See documents. They are: Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui, both of whom were members of COSEA, which stands for the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic Administrative Structure of the Holy See. After her arrest, Francesca Chaouqui was released, after giving her testimony to the Vaticans District Attorneys office. But Msgr. Vallejo Balda is still in custody. He is accused of leaking secret Vatican documents. His arrest comes just days before the release of a book which allegedly contains private conversations between the Pope and COSEA officials. The Holy See describes the release and publication of the documents as a violation of the Popes trust. The Vatican continues to investigate the source of the document leaks. It also adds that if needed, it will seek the assistance of international entities to clarity the allegations. The Vatican also adds that leaking documents in no way helps the mission of the Church or that of the Pope.
Vatican sends condolences to Putin and Russian people after plane crash
November 2, 2015. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has sent a telegram on behalf of Pope Francis to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He offers his condolences for the recent plane crash in which more than 200 Russians died. The full text is here: Having learned with sadness of the tragic crash of the Russian airline in the Sinai Peninsula, His Holiness Pope Francis conveys his condolences to you and the Russian people. He offers the assurance of his prayers for all who have died and for those who mourn their loss. Upon the nation and all involved in the recovery efforts His Holiness invokes the strength and peace of Almighty God.

Vatican Congregation releases guidelines regarding the Sign of Peace During Mass


The Sign of Peace is getting some more attention at the Vatican. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments released guidelines on the Rite of the Sign of Peace during Mass.

The letter, written by the current prefect of the dicaster, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, addresses several inquiries made by the Conference of Bishops in May 2008. The conferences asked the Congregation on their thoughts on changing the Sign of Peace to another moment "with the end of a better understanding and development of such a gesture.”

After much consideration, the Congregation for Divine Worship saw that it was best to preserve "in the Roman liturgy of the Rite of Peace in its traditional place and not introduce structural changes to the Roman Missal.”

The Congregation also gave several practical suggestions on how to better educate the Rite's significance during the Mass.

The guidelines also noted several liturgical missteps that are made during the Sign of Peace that should be avoided, including:

- The introduction of a "song of peace”, that does not exist in the Roman Rite;
- The displacement of the faithful in order to exchange the sign of peace;
- The priest leaving the altar to give the peace to some faithful;

Cardinal Cañizares concluded the letter, exhorting Bishops and Priests to help the faithful deepen the spiritual significance of the Sign of Peace.