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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.

April 2015: Pope takes initiative against human trafficking and the Armenian genocide


The Pope remained in Rome during the month of April, which started strong with the celebration of Easter. He released important messages about the persecution of Christians, human trafficking, and the Armenian genocide. The Pope also called for an end to the death of migrants in the Mediterranean. 

During the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, he celebrated the feast of priests with a message for them: Do not look over your shoulder and be on guard against temptation. 

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"The faithful never leave us without something to do, unless we hide in our offices or go out in our cars wearing sun glasses.”

In the afternoon, Francis broke away from the traditional celebration of the Last Supper in the Cathedral of San Giovanni by having a more humble celebration at a prison in Rome. There he washed and kissed the feet of 12 prisoners, men and women from various parts of the world.

The Pope also recalled persecuted Christians and denounced the silence, a message that is usually the focus of the Stations of the Cross in the Colosseum on Good Friday. 

"In You, Divine Love, we still see our persecuted brothers, beheaded and crucified because of their faith while we watch or while we remain silent accomplices.”

Two days later, in the usual blessing 'Urbi et Orbi' on Easter Sunday, the Pope prayed for the 147 students killed by Islamist terrorists. The problem of jihadi attacks has been constant throughout the year. 

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The following Sunday, Francis celebrated Mass to mark the first anniversary of the Armenian genocide, during which he named Armenian St. Gregory of Narek a Doctor of the Church. 

Pope Francis referred to the slaughter of one million Armenians 'genocide,' which angered Turkey. However, the European Parliament stood beside the Pope in the conflict and that same week called on Turkey to officially acknowledge the genocide. 

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In the Regina Coeli on Sunday, April 19, the Pope prayed for the 700 migrants who died in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach the Italian coast. 

"I express my deepest sorrow in the face of this tragedy and I assure my thoughts and prayers to those still missing and to their families. I address an urgent appeal that the international community will act with decision and promptness to avoid any similar tragedy from happening again.”

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This question was the focus of the first meeting between Pope Francis and Italy's new president, Sergio Mattarella. 

The Pope's agenda intensified during the final days of April. He met with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban-Ki Moon. The two discussed climate change, one of the major issues the Pope has taken on this past year.

On 29th, the Pope reflected on why young people seem to be rejecting marriage. It's a major issue that would be discussed at the Synod on the Family a few months later.

"Why aren't young people getting married? Why do they prefer to live together and often times with limited responsibility? Many couples, even the Baptized are showing little faith in marriage and in the family.”

Pope Francis closed the month with a major public encounter with Jesuit congregations. More than 5,000 people were present, and many asked questions. In his responses, the Pope offered a call to action.

"You must ask yourself, as a Catholic, Do I see reality from afar? You can't be a spectator. Commit yourself. Do your best. If the Lord calls you to it, get involved in politics. It will make you suffer, perhaps even lead you to sin, but the Lord is with you. Ask for forgiveness and go forward.”

The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission also came to Rome, and the Pope gave a message of unity by the 'link' that unites all Christians.