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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.

Pope Francis' address to the United States Congress is the hottest ticket in town

2015-09-17

During his more than 20 years in Congress, House Speaker John Boehner has invited three Popes to address the legislative body. The Catholic politician's persistence finally paid off when Pope Francis accepted his request.

JOHN BOEHNER
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE (USA)
"I think there's a lot of interest in what the Pope is saying. His outreach to the poor, the fact that people ought to be more religious.”

On September 24th, Pope Francis will address both the House and Senate, which is referred to as a joint session of Congress. He will be the first Pope to do so, and he'll join a long list of world leaders who have spoken in that forum.

Winston Churchill gave three different addresses to joint sessions of Congress, and Nelson Mandela did it twice. The Polish solidarity leader Lech Wasa spoke before Congress in 1989. Dozens of other heads of state have done so, as well. Recently, the presidents of Japan, Israel, and Ukraine gave speeches that received national attention.

But Pope Francis' address has generated more interest than any other in years. In fact, there is so much demand that House leaders have had to crack down on who can enter, tightening security even more than usual.

Only members of Congress, the President, Vice President, Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet Secretaries, and other top officials are allowed inside. Each member of Congress has been given one ticket for members of the public to see the speech in a nearby room. Thousands of people have received tickets to watch the speech outside. 

Speaker Boehner said that although some of the Pope's views are controversial in Congress, the entire body is still excited. After all, he said, "It's the Pope!”

ATO
White House/John Boehner
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