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Pope Francis

Names of archbishops to receive pallium from Pope Francis

June 28, 2017. On June 29, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis will bless the palliums of the Metropolitan Archbishops. This year, 36 have been appointed. The list is as followed
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.

The Vatican and Cuba: A look back at how the Church helped mend ties with the USA

2015-08-24

It will be a visit that will go down in history. Pope Francis will visit Cuba, just months after the communist island and the U.S re-established diplomatic ties. It's definitely historic, given the Vatican's role in making it happen.

MICHAEL DRIESSEN 
John Cabot University, Professor (Italy)
"The visit to Cuba makes a lot of sense for the pope right now. It's symbolic of a lot of things he is trying to do, of reconciliation, public reconciliation and bringing people together.”

It's been a long process. Through it all, the Vatican has been backstage, for the last 50 years, trying to mend differences. 

John Paul II became the first Pope to visit Cuba back in 1998. Since the political coup, parishes had been seized and Catholic schools closed. Tens of thousands of Catholics responded by fleeing from the island. 

Even though religion was oppressed and Catholics were viewed under suspicion, the Holy See and the island never cut off their diplomatic relations, which were first established in 1935. 

The Polish Pope made a historic call, asking Cuba to open itself to the world and for the world to open itself to Cuba. 

The disagreements were crystal clear, but even so, dialogue continued throughout. The Vatican often spoke out against the U.S led embargo. 

In March 2012, Benedict XVI made a three day visit to Cuba, calling for peace, liberty and reconciliation.  In addition to meeting with Raul Castro, the Pope also met in private with his brother, Fidel. 

They were meetings that paved the way to this latest historic development between the U.S and Cuba. Pope Francis has publicly said that more than the Vatican, it was the willingness of both governments to move forward, that made the difference. 

MICHAEL DRIESSEN 
John Cabot University, Professor (Italy)
"It’s really transformative and full of consequences.”

Even so, President Obama and Raul Castro have both thanked the Church and the Pope for the  pivotal role they played in making this happen. 

KLH 
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-JM
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