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Grand Ayatollah to Pope Francis: “Thank you for saying Islam is not equal to terrorism”

August 22, 2016. Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi sent a letter to Pope Francis to thank him for his words on the flight back from Poland, a few weeks ago: "It is not right to say that Islam is a terrorist faith.” In his letter, the Shia religious leader has strongly condemned terrorist attacks from fundamentalist Islamic groups. He has also stated that "the vast majority of the Musilm people consider all Takfiri sects to be outside the fold of Islam.” Makarem Shirazi is one of the 64 Grand Ayatollahs in Shia Islam and, as such, one of the highest authorities in matters of Islamic dogma and law.
World

Pope conveys “solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims of wildfire in Portugal

August 16, 2016. The fire has killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin addressed a letter, on behalf of Pope Francis, to the bishop of Funchal, Antonio Carrilho. The letter was read during the celebration of Holy Mass for Our Lady of the Mount, Patroness of Funchal. In the letter, Pope Francis expressed his condolences and sorrow over the loss of life and property in the Portuguese island of Madeira, where wildfires have killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. Pope Francis conveys "solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims and those displaced by the wildfires and prayed for the wounded and asked them to have "courage and consolation in Christian hope” for all involved.
World

Pope sends condolences to North America in wake of Hurricane Earl

August 9, 2016. Pope Francis sent his prayers and condolences to the victims in the wake of Hurricane Earl through a message sent by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The hurricane killed at least 45 people in Mexico and 13 in the Dominican Republic and caused an estimated $50 million in damage.
World

Pope sends his condolences following attack that killed 70 people at a hospital in Pakistan

August 9, 2016. The terrorist attack at Quetta Hospital killed dozens of lawyers and left 120 others injured.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis officially establishes the commission to study the diaconate of women

August 2, 2016. Six women and six men will study the diaconate of women "with regard to the first ages of the Church.”
Vatican

Federico Lombardi appointed new president of The Ratzinger Foundation

Aug. 1, 2016. Today Fr. Lombardi officially ceases to be director of the Vatican Press Office and becomes the president of The Ratzinger Foundation. Father Federico Lombardi will chair the board of the Vatican foundation established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. Until now it was run by president Monsignor Giuseppe Scotti. The Ratzinger Foundation promotes the study of theology, organizes cultural and scientific congresses and rewards the work of scholars and researchers in different fields.

Pope expresses closeness with Christians in Iraq and prays for WWII victims

2014-09-03

Over 20,000 pilgrims packed St. Peter's Square for Pope Francis' weekly General Audience. 

The Pope talked about the Church as a mother, saying that it has the Virgin Mary as its model.

POPE FRANCIS
"Looking at Mary, we discover the beautiful and tender face of the Church. Looking at the Church, we recognize the sublime features of Mary. We Christians, we are not orphans, we have a mom, we have a mother and this is great! We are not orphans! The Church is a mother. Mary is a mother.”

The Pope explained that like a mother, the Church seeks to help Her children live a life full of joy and peace. The Church also has the courage to defend her children when they are in danger. 

POPE FRANCIS
"This is the Church! This is the Church that we all love. This is the Church that I love: a mother who has in Her heart the good of her own children. Who is capable of giving Her life for Her children. We must not forget that the Church is not just the priests, or us bishops. No, it is all of us, the Church is all of us. Agreed?”

The Pope greeted the pilgrims present especially those who cames from Iraq. He also assured his closeness to those suffering persecution.

POPE FRANCIS
"Today, I want to reassure my closeness to Christians, to the defenseless and persecuted. You are in the heart of the Church. The Church suffers with you and the Church is proud of you. It's proud to have sons and daughters like you. You are its strength and you offer a concrete and authentic testimony of salvation, forgiveness and love. I send all of you a hug. May the Lord bless and protect you.” 

The Pope also made mention of the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. Remembering those who died in the conflict, the Pope said that "especially today, we are in need of peace.”


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