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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.

The Synod on the Family kicks off in the Vatican

2015-10-03

The Synod of the Family will run from October 4th to the 25th. Already more than 300 participants who will take part have made their way to Rome. 

Bishops, married couples and experts will look into what the Church can do to address modern day challenges families face. 

A so called working document that was given to those taking part, highlights four main points. They include analyzing why more young couples are choosing not to get married. Helping those who do want to get married with top notch preparation, helping parents communicate with their children, especially amid the obsession with technology and attention to broken families. 

It's all based on pastoral approaches, not on changing Church Doctrine. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Marriage is indissoluble when it's a Sacrament. This cannot be changed by the Church. It cannot be changed. It's doctrine.” 

MSGR. VINCENZO PAGLIA
Pontifical Council for the Family 
"The Synod is not about condemnation. The Synod is about finding all the medications that can cure the ills of families.”

The Synod will tackle many thorny issues though, like divorced and civilly remarried couples and whether they can receive Communion under extraordinary circumstances. But the discussion will also go beyond that. 

POPE FRANCIS
"I think it's a bit simplistic to think that Synod...to say that the solution for these couples is to receive Communion. This is not the only solution.” 

Pope Francis has highlighted time and time again that addressing some of the challenges in society, can first start with addressing issues faced by the family. 

POPE FRANCIS
"A society grows strong, firm, beautiful and with honesty when it's built upon the base of a family.” 

The Pope will give an opening and closing statement during the Synod.  He will be present during the meetings, but he does not plan on addressing the issues publicly, so as to not influence the direction of the discussions. 

POPE FRANCIS
October 6, 2014 (Start of Synod) 
"This is a basic condition: Speak clearly. No one can say: 'That cannot be said, because they will think badly of me.' Speak your mind.” 

The Synod does not have any decision making powers. The group of Bishops gets together every time they are convened by the Pope to do so, specifically to address issues he wants to delve into. From the recommendations of the Synod, Popes have included items in magisterial documents. 


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