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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.

May 2015: Pope Francis impresses Raul Castro and canonizes Palestinian saints

2015-12-28

Pope Francis flexed his diplomatic muscles in May, holding productive meetings with world leaders. But he also kept time for people living at the peripheries. 

On May 3rd, Pope Francis said Mass at a parish in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Rome. He said that Christians must reflect on whether they remain in Jesus or if they have separated from him.

POPE FRANCIS
"A good question for us Christians is this: Do I remain in Jesus or am I away from Jesus? Are you united to the vine that gives life or are you united with a dead branch, which is unable to bear fruit, to give testimony?”

A few days later, in one of the most amusing meetings of his pontificate, Pope Francis met the Harlem Globetrotters. Players taught the Pope a few moves, and he did his best to keep up.

Between the laughter and joking, one of the players thanked Pope Francis for the work he does every day. He jokingly told him that he could play basketball with the jersey they gave him.

At a separate event, Pope Francis said that education, sports, and work were the three ingredients necessary for children to develop full lives and avoid destructive behavior.

POPE FRANCIS
"The Church is interested in sports because it cares about the person, the whole person, and recognizes that sports affect the formation of the person, their relationships, their spirituality.”

The Pope received a tennis racket as a gift during the event. On several occasions, Pope Francis has acknowledged that he is a big sports fan, and he especially likes soccer.

Later in the month, Pope Francis' schedule was filled with meetings that could have geopolitical consequences. Cuban President Raul Castro visited Pope Francis in the Vatican, and their meeting lasted nearly an hour. 

Throughout the visit, the Cuban president thanked the Pope for helping ease ties between the U.S. and Cuba. And this is how their conversation concluded.

"Pray for me.”
"You, please pray for me.”
"I do.”

Once he left the Vatican, Castro said this to the press.

"I am very happy. I came to thank the Pope for what he has done to begin to solve problems between the U.S and Cuba.”

The leader also said that the Pope had inspired him to consider returning to Catholicism. 

Later that month, Pope Francis also had a 20 minute private meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. They discussed the recent agreement in which the Vatican officially recognized the Palestinian state. Also covered was the peace process with Israel, the conflicts ravaging the Middle East, and the need to fight terrorism by promoting interfaith dialogue.

Abbas received a copy of 'Evangelii Gaudium' and an Angel of Peace medallion from Pope Francis. The pontiff added this comment when he gave it to him.

"I thought of you. You are an angel of peace.”

The Middle Eastern leader was in town to attend the canonization of the first Palestinian saints.

Thousands of people celebrated the four exceptional women at a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica, while Pope Francis read the formula that declared they were saints.

Those new saints were four nuns: one French, one Italian and two Palestinian.

Mariam Baouardy risked her life for Christianity after she declined when her Turkish boyfriend wanted her to convert to Islam. The other, Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, founded the Sisters of the Holy Rosary, a religious community dedicated to education, including for Muslim girls.

POPE FRANCIS
"Their shining example also challenges our Christian life. Do I give witness to the Risen Christ? It is a question we must ask ourselves.”

The other two saints were known for their dedication to the poor and sick, and for Eucharistic adoration. That was especially the case of the Italian nun Maria Cristina Brando. The French nun Émilie de Villeneuve died during a cholera epidemic while caring for the sick in a hospital that her congregation created.

Although the Synod on the Family didn't take place until October, Pope Francis discussed related issues frequently ahead of the event.

During a May general audience, the Pope reflected on the challenges of raising children and how hard it is to find balance between affection and authority. He said that some situations are harder than others.

POPE FRANCIS
"To you, separated couples, I say: Never, never, never, take your child hostage. You are separated by so many difficulties. Life has tested you. But children should not carry the burden of your separation.”

The month closed with an important prayer led by Pope Francis: the Church remembered and prayed for Chinese Catholics on May 24th. Many of them face persecution. And the Chinese government has repeatedly blocked the Vatican from becoming involved with the Church in China.

POPE FRANCIS
"We too will ask Mary to help Catholics in China to be always credible witnesses of this merciful love among their fellow citizens and to live spiritually united to the rock of Peter upon whom the Church is built.”

There are 12 million Catholics in China. They are divided between the underground Church, which is loyal to Rome and the Chinese Patriotic Church, which is ruled by Beijing.


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