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Pope sends his condolences for the passing of Carmen Hernández

July 21, 2016. Pope Francis sent a message to Kiko Argüello after the passing of Carmen Hernández. He said he was close in spirit to her family and everyone involved with the Neocatechumenal Way, a itinerary of faith which she started, and also to the people who witnessed and appreciated her apostolic work, one of permanent education in faith. The Pope also thanked Hernández's testimony of faith and prays that "the Divine Goodness” welcomes her into the joy of eternal rest and that those involved in the Neochatecumenal Way keep the flame of her evangelizing spirit alive.
Pope Francis

Vatican condemns terrorist attack in Nice, France that has killed at least 84 people

July 15, 2016. The terrorist used a large truck to plough through a crowd during the Bastille day celebration.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences for the victims of Italian train accident

July 12, 2016. Pope Francis sent a telegram with his condolences for the victims of the train accident that occurred in southern Italy. The Pope says he shares the pain of the families affected by this tragic incident, which resulted in at least 20 deaths and more than 50 wounded. Pope Francis prays for the dead and for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Vatican

Pope approves martyrdom of laic that refused to enroll in the SS, and of other future saints

July 8, 2016. The Pope has approved the enactment of several decrees for causes of beatification. (Continue reading)
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Vatileaks 2: Two main defendants condemned. Both journalists and Vallejo's secretary acquitted.

July 7, 2016. Fr. Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for the Vatileaks case. The Vatican Tribunal also condemned his main collaborator, Francesca Chaouqui, to 10 months in prison, with a five-year suspended application of the sentence. The third person involved, Nicola Maio, has been completely cleared of all charges. Citing freedom of press, the court says it does not have jurisdiction over and is unable to prosecute the two journalists who obtained classified information, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.
Vatican

Vatileaks II: Vallejo Balda and Chaouqui's defense ask for acquittal on all charges

July 5, 2016. The lawyers for the two main defendants, Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui, have called for an acquittal on all charges after the prosecutors petitioned for the sentencing of both accused. The Spanish priest was accused of conspiracy and disclosing classified documents while Francesca Chaouqui, is considered the main conspirator of the events that eventually unfolded. On Wednesday, the lawyers for the other three defendants Nicola Maio, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi will present their findings.
World

New archbishop in Dominican Republic

July 4, 2016. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) due to his age. The Pope has appointed in his place Bishop Francisco Ozoria Acosta. Pope Francis has also accepted a resignation from the auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese, Monsignor Amancio Escapa Aparicio, because of his age as well.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis appoints new auxiliary bishops in Paris and Valencia, Spain

June 27, 2016. Pope Francis has appointed Denis Jachiet and Thibault Verny as the new auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Paris. Arturo Pablo Ros has also been appointed as the new auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Valencia, Spain. More:
Pope Francis

Today's schedule for Pope's trip to Armenia

June 26, 2016. At 7:15 a.m. Rome Time - 9:15 a.m. Local Time - Meeting with Armenian Catholic bishops in Echmiadzin.
Pope Francis

Today's schedule for Pope's trip to Armenia

June 25, 2016. At 6:45 a.m. Rome Time - 8:45 a.m. Local Time - Visit to Tzitzernakaberd, the Armenian genocide memorial. More:
World

New bishop in Gibraltar

June 24, 2016. The Pope has appointed a new bishop in Gibraltar. He is Carmelo Zammit, from the clergy of the Archdiocese of Malta.
World

Pierbattista Pizzaballa to be the provisional the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

June 24, 2016. Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the former custodian of the Holy Land, will provisionally be the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. The Pope has accepted Patriarch Fouad Twal's resignation for reasons of age.
World

New auxiliary bishops in Sydney

June 24, 2016. The Pope has appointed two new auxiliary bishops of Sydney, Australia. Monsignor Anthony Randazzo, who was, until now Archbishop of Brisbane assistant; and Richard James Umbers, of the Prelature of Opus Dei and chaplain at the Warrane College at the University of New South Wales.
World

New bishop in Myanmar

June 24, 2016. The Pope has appointed Monsignor Basilio Athai as the new bishop of the archdiocese of Taunggyi in Myanmar. He was until now an auxiliary bishop of this diocese.
Pope Francis

Today's schedule for Pope's trip to Armenia

June 24, 2016. At 1:00 p.m. Rome Time - 3:00 p.m. Local time -- Arrival at "Zvartnots" Yerevan International airport. - Welcome ceremony. More:

Religious Persecution: Family of slain Pakistani minister, meets with Pope Francis

2014-08-29

The mother and brother of a Pakistani Christian minister, who was murdered because of his faith, met with Pope Francis. The son of 87 year old Marta, Shabaaz Bhatti, was killed in his native country, where as a Catholic he was part of the  minority. Now, his family is making sure his legacy lives on. 

PAUL BHATTI 
Brother of Shabaaz Bhatti
"The Pope was very touched and moved. He closed his eyes, held my mom's hand tightly and hugged her. That speaks volumes.” 

His brother, Shabaaz, was Pakistan's Minister of Minorities. He strongly opposed the country's blasphemy law which criminalizes critiques against Islam. In many cases, the law is used to wrongfully accuse people. It's often used as a tool for personal vendettas against Christians and other minorities. Shabazz killed in 2011, by Muslim extremists

With religious persecution on the rise, Bhatti, who held his brother's government post after he was assassinated, says the current violence in Iraq and Pakistan is much more complicated than it seems. 

PAUL BHATTI 
Brother of Shabaaz Bhatti
"What's going on in Iraq and Pakistan and other parts of the world, is not solely based on religion. They are terrorists who are using religion as a tool to reach their personal goals. In Pakistan, I've met good Muslims who have supported me as minister.”

At the same time, he fears that radicalized Muslims will turn Pakistan into another Iraq, where persecution and lawlessness seems to have taken over. 

PAUL BHATTI 
Brother of Shabaaz Bhatti
"That is a possibility, because you're dealing with Muslim terrorists who are also attacking other Muslim minorities. First we have to identify what is triggering this violence, discrimination and division and why people are ultimately being killed.” 

To prevent hatred, he says, education and inter-religious dialogue is key, especially in younger generations. 

PAUL BHATTI 
Brother of Shabaaz Bhatti
"When children are raised under a radical ideology, and they grow up with suicide bombers, they too become victims of violence. We must help these children.” 

Bhatti says he and his family are still threatened by extremists. So much so, that he's been forced to live between Pakistan and Europe. He says he doesn't feel a sense of revenge over the murder of his brother. Instead, he says he wants to devout his time helping those who cannot defend himself, just like his brother Shahbaz did before he was killed. 


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