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Pope Francis

Pope Francis: No people is criminal and no religion is terrorist

February 17, 2017. Pope Francis has sent an important message to the Meetings of Popular Movements that is taking place in Modesto (California). The pope denounces the "moral blindness of this indifference”: "under the guise of what is politically correct or ideologically fashionable, one looks at those who suffer without touching them. But they are televised live; they are talked about in euphemisms and with apparent tolerance, but nothing is done systematically to heal the social wounds or to confront the structures that leave so many brothers and sisters by the wayside”.

The government of the Order of Malta will elect the successor of the Grand Master in April

February 15, 2017. On April 29, the Council Complete of State, the Order’s constitutional body, will elect the next Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta (or, as provided for in the Constitution, a Lieutenant of the Grand Master, to hold office for a year).
Pope Francis

Pope names a Special Envoy for Medjugorje

< style> February 11, 2017. Pope Francis has asked Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), to go to Medjugorje as Special Envoy of the Holy See. According< g> the Vatican, "the mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and above all, of the needs of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future”.

Russian Ambassador to the Holy See: Gorbachev was impressed by John Paul II


Twenty five years ago the world was much different. The Berlin Wall still divided Europe and the fate of Communism was still uncertain. On December 1st, 1989, former Communist President Mikhail Gorbachev traveled to the Vatican to meet with John Paul II.  A Polish Pope, who had directly experienced the effects of communism. 

Russian Ambassador to the Holy See
"President Gorbachev was delighted after meeting John Paul II. In fact, he spoke very highly of him. He was impressed by the knowledge the Pope had, by his spirit of virtue. Also for sending his encouragement to the people of the Soviet Union.” 

A few months after their meeting the Soviet Union and the Holy See re-engaged in diplomatic relations. The Berlin Wall was about to crumble and the USSR was willing to open its doors. 

Russian Ambassador to the Holy See
"For us, this visit meant engaging in good relationship with the Vatican, the most important  spiritual and religious center in the world. From the start, our diplomatic ties and the dialogue between both of these leaders, gave us hope. It seemed like we could solve the problems of the world with negotiations and the spirit of John Paul II.”

In 2009, Russia decided to improve its diplomatic ties with the Holy See, by having a permanent representative. Alexander Avdeed, who served as Russia's Minister of Culture, became the first Russian ambassador to the Holy See. 

Another key anniversary came when Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis for the very first time. 

Russian Ambassador to the Holy See
"I talked to the President after their meeting and he said he was satisfied. He was very impressed by the wisdom, knowledge and clarity of the Pope and by his role in the international scene. I think this visit strengthened the political and cultural ties between Russia and the Vatican.”

Much has changed in the last century. Now, the Ambassador says the country is more than ready to host a Papal trip.

Russian Ambassador to the Holy See
"Why not?”

Despite the good relations embraced by the Vatican and the Russian Government, the Russian Orthodox Church still remains somewhat distant from the Holy See. The Pope has never met with the Patriarch of Moscow.

Roughly 146 million people live in Russia. Only one percent is Catholic.