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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.

Kenya, Uganda and the CAR: How are the countries the Pope will visit this week?

2015-11-24

Pope Francis will travel for five days through three countries into the heart of Africa: Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic. Although each nation has a different socio-economic situation, they all have experienced violence and corruption that makes life hard to live.

Kenya has been a victim of jihadist violence. In April, the al-Shabaab terrorist organization killed more than 140 students at the University of Garissa. The attackers specifically targeted Christians.

MSGR. JAMES MARIA WAINAINA KUNGU
Bishop of Muranga (Kenya)
"The situation is mainly out there where the leaders are not. Because the leaders, they understand one another. At least that is what the Muslim leaders make us to know, or to understand. They are working together with us. They are living together with us in a good way.”

Kenya has enacted an ambitious security plan for the Pope's visit, using 10,000 police and another 10,000 members of the national youth service. Thursday's Mass on University of Nairobi's campus will likely be attended by a million and a half pilgrims.

The Pope will also visit Uganda, which ranks 26th in the ranking of corrupt countries. There, political corruption has led to serious poverty and underdevelopment in education and health. 

FR. HERMAN JOSEPH KALUNGI
Priest, Uganda
"Sometimes there are no drugs, medicines, in the hospitals, not because we do not have the resources but because someone has embezzled the funds that should have been used for this purpose...There is political ambition that some Ugandans wants to acquire political power and retain it at all costs.”

Although Uganda is less threatened by terrorism than Kenya, the government has sent 10,000 soldiers to ensure everyone's safety.

The Pope's final stop in the Central African Republic is even more delicate. With a shaky provisional government and a civil war waging for three years between the Seleka and the Anti-Balaka, the Pope's visit will bring a glimmer of hope for the third poorest country in the world. 

FR. LATERNE KOYA SSAMBIA
Priest, Central African Republic
"The Pope will find a people affected by everything on a daily basis, a people that is facing great difficulty because they have lost their means, their energy, their potential. But they are a people that has not lost their faith nor their hope. Despite the difficulties, they look to the future". 

About 12,000 soldiers of the UN mission to the CAR and 1,500 police will protect the Pope. Things will be especially delicate when he visits the central mosque in Bangui on Monday, November 30th. 

The trip will have deep inter-religious undertones. Thirty-three percent of Kenya's 44 million inhabitants are Catholic. In Uganda almost half of the 32 million are, and in the Central African Republic 38 percent of about 5 million people belong to the Universal Church.


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