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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.

Introducing the 80 foot Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square

2015-11-19

Although Christmas is still more than a month away, the Vatican's main Christmas tree has already arrived. It measures more than 80 feet tall, even though a large piece was cut off to transport it.

It was donated by three cities from the Bavaria region of Germany, where the tree came from.

Vatican landscapers are preparing the tree to be set up with the Nativity scene, though that won't appear until December 8th. To see the tree lit up, you'll have to wait until the evening of Friday the 18th. 

The Christmas tree was already catching people's notice: and they had plenty of opinions.

"This tree seems like an atrocity, to tear it from its place and bring it here just because people want to see a Christmas tree.”

"It really reflects the holiday spirit and hopefully that will bring us a bit of peace and harmony. We can feel that it's so necessary in the world.”

"I think it's amazing. I didn't really expect to see it. It's still November. It's really exciting to see it come up. We got here earlier in the day and it was still on the ground and now we've come outside the Vatican and it's fully erected. I want to see if it's decorated when I come back. It's a cool thing they do. And it's big enough right next to the obelisk, it looks really cool.

Part of the tree is made of clay. It's been used for therapy for children who suffer from cancer.

Next to the tree will be two scenes will be the Nativity scene. The characters this year will be dressed like pastors from the Italian region Trentino in the last century.

Although winter weather hasn't totally arrived in Rome, the tree's appearance has brought the Christmas spirit to St. Peter's Square. 

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