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Vatican

Vatican comments on situation of missing Chinese Bishop Shao Zhumin

June 26, 2017. Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Continental China, was taken into custody by Chinese police on Easter weekend 2017. While recognized as a bishop in the Catholic Church, he is an unofficial bishop or "underground” in China, since the Chinese government does not recognize him as religious.
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.

Meet the priest who was kidnapped by the Taliban and lived to tell about it

2015-07-15

He was kidnapped by the Taliban and lived to tell about it. His name is Alexis Prem Kumar. A Catholic priest from India, who was volunteering in a school in Afghanistan. One day his life turned upside down. 

FR. ALEXIS PREM KUMAR 
Kidnapping Victim 
"They put me in the backside of the car and they told me, not to look around and they asked me to lie down. Then, they told me if you look out, we will shoot you.” 

He was taken hostage by four gunmen. When he arrived to a local village, the first thing he saw was a young boy, who pointed his index finger to his neck, mimicking as if the priest's throat would be slashed. 

FR. ALEXIS PREM KUMAR 
Kidnapping Victim 
"They were in a sense brain washed. Totally brain washed. They were in a sense, forced to take up arms.” 

For months, his hands and feet were tied most of the time. It was mentally and physically exhausting. He would pray at least three hours a day, and that, he says, helped  him get through the ordeal. 

Without him knowing it, he says Pope Francis also helped. His captors gave him a small radio, where he could hear the Pope's voice. 

FR. ALEXIS PREM KUMAR 
Kidnapping Victim 
"I wanted to greet him personally, because when I was there in captivity, I used to listen to Vatican Radio. It was his program, speeches, homilies, it was really consoling me.”

This month, he got to greet Pope Francis in Rome and thank him for his support. After 8 months and 20 days, with the help of his Jesuit Order and the government,  he was released. Now he's back in India. 

He says the ordeal brought him closer to God and he has since forgiven his captors. Most surprisingly, he says, he is willing to go back and volunteer once again in that same small village where his life forever changed. 

FR. ALEXIS PREM KUMAR 
Kidnapping Victim 
"If my superiors, if they ask me to go, if that is God’s plan, I cannot say no to that.” 



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