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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.

Four key themes of the upcoming Synod on the Family

2015-10-01

On October 4th, the Synod on the Family will begin. There will be representatives from the world's episcopal conferences in the Vatican. In addition, 18 married couples will attend at the Pope´s request.

During the three weeks, the main focus will be on the modern day challenges families face. The working document identifies these four points

1) Fewer marriages among the young

For younger generations, it's challenging to make definitive decisions. That includes getting married. 

Less couples are getting married, while divorce and separations are on the rise. 

POPE FRANCIS 
"We must reflect profoundly on why today's youth do not want to get married, despite there being a desire for affectionate security and a stable marriage. Along with other reasons, there is a fear in the young, of being wrong and failing. This fear blocks them from trusting in Christ's promise of marriage.”

2) Helping marriages

The Catholic Church wants to find ways to better prepare individuals for marriage. Amid jokes, Pope Francis said that young adults spend more time  studying for exams than preparing for marriage. 

The Pope wants to have married couples help those who are just starting out. It will be a way for  newlyweds to learn the power of forgiveness and love. 

POPE FRANCIS
May 13, 2015
"If you have fought, do not end the day without peace. How, you ask? On the knees? No. One small gesture is enough. Harmony can return to the family.”

3) Connecting with children

Raising kids is a challenge in any continent. Many parents highlight just how difficult it is to reach out and get through to their kids. There is an "invasive environment due to technology and social media.”  Children continue to be influenced by smartphones and computers.

POPE FRANCIS
May 20, 2015
"If family education rediscovers the pride of its leadership, many things will change for the better, for uncertain parents and for disappointed children. It is time for fathers and mothers to return from their exile — for they have exiled themselves from their children’s upbringing — and to fully resume their educational role.”

4) Broken families

It concerns the Pope that broken families do not feel included by the Catholic Church. He asks Catholics to treat broken families with mercy and offer spiritual support. 

Some churches do not allow those who are divorced to be Baptism godparents or teach catechism. The Synod will reconsider this.

Some bishops have asked for it to be possible for divorced Catholics who remarry and receive the Sacraments. 

POPE FRANCIS 
August 5, 2015
"We must differentiate between those who have suffered separation and those who provoked it. If we look at the new union from a child's perspective, we can see the urgency in welcoming these families into the church. After all, how can we ask parents to raise children in the Christian faith, if they themselves are excluded from the church?”

As Pope Francis said, there is a search for a solution to emergencies reflecting these four aspects of marriage: indissolubility, unity, fidelity and openness to life.

This will be the challenging task of the Synod. 


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