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Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.

Pope on Islamic State: We're witnessing unimaginable terrorism

2014-10-20

Speaking before a group of Cardinals, Pope Francis addressed the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. He said that despite trying times, not having a Christians in the region, is simply not an option. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Recent events, especially in Iraq and Syria, are very worrying. We are witnessing a phenomenon of terrorism of previously unimaginable dimensions. Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and forced out of their homes in a brutal way.”

During the two hour meeting, the Pope and  cardinals also heard from Middle Eastern patriarchs

IGNACE YOUSSIF III YOUNAN
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrians for the Syriac Catholic Church
"Our small Syriac Catholic Church of Antioch has been hit the hardest these past four months in Iraq. I went to visit refugees in Kurdistan and if those refugees had not fled, it would have been a genocide.” 

CARD. BECHARA BOUTROS RAI
Patriarch of Antioch 
"What hurts me most is that some Middle Eastern countries and even some in the West, support these fundamentalists with weapons, money and political protection. We need to help refugees and stop these wars. UN security resolutions need to be implemented.” 

The Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin described the violence carried out by the Islamic State as unacceptable. They include massive killings, decapitations and the sale of women and children. 

He also said that for peace to be a reality in the Middle East, unilateral decisions must be put in motion. Part of that, he said, is based on politics. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican Spokesperson
"This includes the diplomatic work the Church can carry out and also the Holy See's relationship with the international community.” 

Another point of action is embracing dialogue between Christians and Muslims, by denouncing the use of religion as a tool for violence. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican Spokesperson
"It needs to be highlighted that this isn't a war between Christianity and Islam. The fact that many countries don't make a distinction between the state and religion is a problem. This makes it even more difficult to convince people that citizenship and equal rights should be for everyone, regardless of their religion.” 

The Vatican's Secretary of State also called on religious leaders to denounce the violence. He also urged Catholic bishops to support the persecuted and their families, so they can feel the presence of the Church.  

But just like war, the situation is far more complicated. Patriarchs said they're faced with a daily dilemma, of either recommending that Christians flee from their homes, or support them to stay, even when they're risking their lives. 


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