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Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.
World

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.

Top 7 proposals from the Synod on the Family

2015-10-26

The Synod on the Family is now over. The final document includes 94 points with dozens of proposals. It has a positive tone and it gives a hopeful message to families facing hardships. 

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE 
The document describes some of the challenges families face. It does so by saying that hardships can also be seen as an opportunity.

Bishops ask Christians to cultivate a hopeful understanding on painful realities like loneliness and marital failure.

The Synod concluded that helping people is not the same as telling them everything is ok. Rather,  it means having the courage to listen to their pain, embrace them, and seek ways to heal their wounds.

MARRIAGE PREPARATION
One of the ideas that came up in the Synod, time and time again, is that marriage preparation must be improved. There is agreement that offering only six classes before the wedding is not enough. Also, couples who have been married for years,  should be more involved in helping younger couples, in some of the challenges they face. 

The document also calls for families to foster an ongoing relationship with other Catholic families, not just every now and then, but rather as a firm pillar. 

OPEN TO LIFE AND SEX EDUCATION
Bishops suggested that parents must be involved in the sexual education of their children and not leave it up to others to educate them on the matter. 

This kind of education is key, they say,  for their  stability and for the success of their future marriage. 

The document adds that teaching compromise and love is essential. Especially when it comes to understanding that children are the fruit of love. 

COHABITATING COUPLES
The document also addresses couples who aren't married but live together in stable relationships.

It says that many of them live in fidelity and openness to life, which are elements of marriage. Thus, they call for special attention so they can walk towards the path of marriage. 

EDUCATING CONSCIENCES
Here's what the Pope said in his closing speech at the Synod:

POPE FRANCIS
"The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord.”

For divorced people who have remarried and want to return to the sacraments, the Synod proposes that a priest help them develop awareness through reflection, so they can understand their personal situation before God.

Specifically, it says that "conversation with a priest, in the internal forum, contributes to the formation of a correct judgment about what hinders the possibility of a fuller life in the Church and the steps that can favor it and make participation grow.”

The Synod document recalls what Pope John Paul II said: A person being unjustly abandoned is not the same as someone who has destroyed a marriage.

HOMOSEXUALITY 
As for gay people, the Synod states that Christ "loved and died for every person, without exception.” Therefore, "every person, regardless of sexual orientation, should be respected in their dignity, and welcomed with respect, avoiding 'any brand of unfair discrimination.'”

It also says that one "cannot draw analogies between homosexual unions and God's plan for marriage and family.”

MIGRANT FAMILIES
The Synod did not ignore the struggles of those fleeing from war and poverty. It discussed the challenges faced by families who had to leave their country to start a new life.

The bishops ask that dioceses and parishes work to ensure the dignity of migrants and refugees is respected.

It states they must help them while taking into account their culture, beliefs, and traditions.

In short, the 94 points of the document are optimistic. It also calls for women to be included in the decision-making processes of the Church; that parents not relinquish protection of their family; that grandparents role and their care is taken into consideration, and that families can find a proper work- life balance.


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