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Vatican releases statement on revelations by gay prelate

October 3, 2015. With regard to the declarations and interview given by Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa it should be observed that, notwithstanding the respect due to the events and personal situations, and reflections on the issue, the decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the Synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the Synod assembly to undue media pressure. Msgr. Charamsa will certainly be unable to continue to carry out his previous work in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical universities, while the other aspects of his situation shall remain the competence of his diocesan Ordinary.
Pope Francis

Vatican releases statement on Popes meeting with Kim Davis

October 2, 2015. The Vatican’s press office has released a statement regarding the Pope’s greeting of Kim Davis, the County Clerk from Kentucky who was jailed for refusing to issue a marriage license to same sex couples. The Vatican confirms the greeting took place in the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington D.C. The statement adds: ‘The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family. The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.’

Pope Francis recognizes five Spanish martyrs and opens the way for seven to be beatified

Pope Francis has signed eight decrees for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. There are five new martyrs from Spain, who were killed because of hatred against the faith, and seven decrees recognizing heroic virtues. By recognizing heroic virtues, the Pope declares that the candidate for beatification has lived the Christian virtues in an exemplary manner. It is the pre-beatification step. The decrees refer to:

Chinese foreign ministry responds to Pope Francis

September 30, 2015. A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said, "China is sincere about improving relations with the Vatican and has made consistent efforts.” It was a response to the Popes recent remark that he would like to visit Chinese and he hopes "the possibility to have good relations exists.”
Pope in U.S.

Pope Francis met with victims of sexual abuse in Philadelphia

September 27, 2015. Pope Francis met with five people who were sexually abused as children by priests, family and teachers (three women and two men). He listened to their stories and spoke with them for about 30 minutes. According to a Vatican spokesman, he "prayed with them and expressed his solidarity in sharing their suffering, as well as his own pain and shame in especially in the case of injury caused them by clergy or church workers.”
Pope Francis


September 15, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. James Vann Johnston, as the new Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Up until know, Bishop Johnston he had served in Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

Vatican calls on Muslim leaders to openly condemn attacks against minorities in Iraq


The Vatican is calling on Muslims leaders to condemn the violence and persecution of minorities in Iraq, including Christians, Yezidis and other ethnic minorities. 

Through a written statement, the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Inter-religiuos Dialogue calls on all religious leaders, especially Muslims to directly condemn the attacks and take a stance against jihadists and their 'unspeakable criminal acts.' Failing to do so, reads the statement, would undermine the credibility of religion, their followers and their leaders. 

The statement highlights that 'no cause and no religion can justify such barbarity.'  It also lists some of the crimes committed by jihadists as they try to establish an 'Islamic State.' 

They include the killing of people based on their religion, including beheadings and crucifixion. Forced conversion to Islam or paying a tax for not converting. Abductions of girls and women and the occupation or destruction of places of worship. 

The statement does acknowledge that the majority of religious institutions and Muslim politicians have opposed jihadists. However, their opposition, reads the statement, has not prevented further attacks

In addition to condemning jihadists, the Vatican also calls on religious leaders to exercise their influence with their respective authorities to end these crimes and punish those who commit them. It also calls for those who were forced to flee, to be able to go back to their homes. 


"The whole world has witnessed with incredulity what is now called the "Restoration of the Caliphate," which had been abolished on October 29, 1923 by Kamal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey.

Opposition to this "restoration" by the majority of religious institutions and Muslim politicians has not prevented the "Islamic State" jihadists from committing and continuing to commit unspeakable criminal acts.

This Pontifical Council, together with all those engaged in interreligious dialogue, followers of all religions, and all men and women of good will, can only unambiguously denounce and condemn these practices which bring shame on humanity:

-the massacre of people on the sole basis of their religious affiliation;

-the despicable practice of beheading, crucifying and hanging bodies in public places;

-the choice imposed on Christians and Yezidis between conversion to Islam, payment of a tax (jizya) or forced exile;

-the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of people, including children, elderly, pregnant women and the sick;

-the abduction of girls and women belonging to the Yezidi and Christian communities as spoils of war (sabaya);

-the imposition of the barbaric practice of infibulation;

-the destruction of places of worship and Christian and Muslim burial places;

-the forced occupation or desecration of churches and monasteries;

-the removal of crucifixes and other Christian religious symbols as well as those of other religious communities;

-the destruction of a priceless Christian religious and cultural heritage;

-indiscriminate violence aimed at terrorizing people to force them to surrender or flee.

No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offense to humanity and to God who is the Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us.

We cannot forget, however, that Christians and Muslims have lived together - it is true with ups and downs - over the centuries, building a culture of peaceful coexistence and civilization of which they are proud. Moreover, it is on this basis that, in recent years, dialogue between Christians and Muslims has continued and intensified.

The dramatic plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious communities and ethnic minorities in Iraq requires a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, as well as those engaged in interreligious dialogue and all people of good will. All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and in denouncing the use of religion to justify them.

If not, what credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have? What credibility can the interreligious dialogue that we have patiently pursued over recent years have?

Religious leaders are also called to exercise their influence with the authorities to end these crimes, to punish those who commit them and to reestablish the rule of law throughout the land, ensuring the return home of those who have been displaced. 

While recalling the need for an ethical management of human societies, these same religious leaders must not fail to stress that the support, funding and arming of terrorism is morally reprehensible. 

That said, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is grateful to all those who have already raised their voices to denounce terrorism, especially that which uses religion to justify it.

Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis: "May the God of peace stir up in each one of us a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated by violence. Violence is defeated by peace.”

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