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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.
New bishop in France
October 30, 2015. Pope Francis has named Renauld de Dinechin bishop of Soissons. Until now he was the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Paris.
New bishop in Spain
October 30, 2015. PopeFrancis has accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Burgos,Francisco Gil Hellin. He has named in his place Fidel Herraez Vegas,who has been an auxiliary bishop of Madrid since 1996.

Albania: The Church in numbers


Pope Francis' visit to Albania on September 21, will mark his first apostolic trip within Europe.

The country has a population of roughly 3 million people. Christians are a minority. About 7 percent belong to the Orthodox Church of Albania, while 10 percent are Catholics. The big majority of the population, though is Muslim.

Albanian Christians and Muslims have shared a painful past of persecution. In 1967,  Communist dictator Enver Hoxha officially declared Albania as the first atheist state in the world. As part of the new law, the government closed all mosques and churches.  

Now both religions coexist peacefully. This will be an underlying theme of the Pope's visit: the importance of inter-religious dialogue and peaceful co-existence.

The presence of the Catholic Church in the country includes eight bishops, 147 priests and 494 religious.

When Pope Francis announced his visit, he underlined that one of his main goals will be to "strengthen the faith” in the country. He will become the second Pope to visit it. John Paul II visited the country is 1993.

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