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Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.
Pope Francis

Cardinal Parolin to preside at liturgy before peace signing between Colombia and FARC

September 20, 2016. Colombia's government has invited the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to preside over a liturgy before the ceremony to unite representatives from the Colombian government and the FARC, in Cartagena de Indias. The liturgy will take place before the ceremony related to agreements of Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC. It will be next Monday, September 26, and dozens of heads of state are scheduled to attend. In the liturgy, Parolin will "ask God to enlighten each Colombian to work conscientiously and with complete freedom, so that in a responsible and informed way, they can participate in making decisions that concern the common good of the entire country, which is so dear to Pope Francis."
Pope Francis

Pope Francis pays tribute to Father Jacques Hamel

September 13, 2016. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Jacques Hamel, the priest murdered in France by two terrorists on July 26 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. It will be held on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 a.m inside the chapel of his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The bishop from Diocese of Rouen along with 80 pilgrims from the same diocese will be present.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' calendar from September to November

SEPTEMBER Sunday 25, 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Catechists. Friday 30 to Sunday 2 October: Apostolic trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan. OCTOBER Saturday 8: At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Marian vigil. Sunday 9, 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Marian Jubilee. Sunday 16: 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.15 in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and canonisation of Blesseds Salomone Leclercq, José Sanchez del Rio, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, and Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity. Monday 31 to Tuesday 1 November: Apostolic trip to Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. NOVEMBER Friday 4: At 11.30 in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year. Sunday 6, 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Prisoners. Sunday 13, 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of the Homeless. Sunday 20, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy.

Pope to Immigrant Families: Don't be ashamed of your heritage or traditions

2015-09-27

The Pope made his way through the streets of Philadelphia in the popemobile, before arriving to the city's Independence National Historic Park, where he met with a group of immigrant families

First in line was the Lopez family, representing Hispanic families who now live in the U.S.  They gave the Pope a few gifts and one in particular, from a young girl, made the Pope smile. 

"Maite, give him the doll
"It's for me? It doesn't really look like you.”

The family also gave the Pope an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe made by nuns. The Pope then greeted two other families, before making his way into the building where the nation's declaration of independence was signed. 

"Long live the Pope”
"Viva”
"We love you Holy Father.”

The enthusiasm was evident. In his speech Pope Francis made reference to the great liberties that came with the Declaration of Independence. Rights such as the abolition of slavery and the right to vote. He then emphasized the importance of religious liberty. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Religious liberty, by its very nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families. Religious acts and religious dimensions are not part of a sub-culture. Rather, they are part of the culture of cultures and communities.”

For religion, he explained is about expanding one's horizon while promoting the dignity and human rights of all people. He then highlighted the mission all believers have in a society where religious liberty is being limited or used as a tool for hate. 

POPE FRANCIS
"It is imperative that the followers of various religions join their voices in calling for peace, tolerance and respect for the dignity and rights of others.”

The Pope then made reference to immigration in the U.S, which has been a controversial issue for decades

POPE FRANCIS 
"Do not be discouraged by whatever challenges and hardships you face. I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation. You should never be ashamed of your traditions. Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land.”

Some of those traditions, said the Pope, include keeping one's faith alive and one's family values. He called on the crowd to never forget the liberties they enjoy, including the importance of religious liberty. Governments, he added, are there to protect those rights and liberties, not to limit them. 

The Pope delivered his speech in Spanish, but he ended the gathering by praying the Our Father in English followed by his papal blessing. 

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