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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.

Lasers reveal spectacular frescos from ancient Roman catacomb

2016-03-26

It is a fresco depicting the Adoration of the Magi. This is the Virgin Mary, her Son, and two of the Wise Men. But don't worry, the third wasn't forgotten. Experts say that the artist who painted the catacomb of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter did so for reasons of symmetry.

A year of meticulous laser restoration has unveiled what was hidden behind a thick layer of black lime and dirt. They are paintings that speak of the transition from the Roman pagan world to Christianity.

CARD. GIANFRANCO RAVASI
President, Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology
"Firstly, they speak to us about the importance of dialogue between the classical Roman world and the Christian world that was born. In fact, Christ is represented in the catacombs by the image of Orpheus attracting souls as a way to establish a bridge of dialogue between different cultures, very important in our time.”

Frescos like these are proof of this transition. A woman, Sabina, offers wine to her guests who are reclining on a triclinium. There's no type of religious reference; it's just a scene of everyday ancient Roman life.

A few meters down is Orpheus, a pagan symbol who converted to Christianity and who represents Christ himself.

The catacomb is an authentic, early Christian art gallery. It has regained all of its splendor, oddly enough, thanks to the contribution of Azerbaijan, a country primarily consisting of Shiite Muslims.

CARD. GIANFRANCO RAVASI
President, Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology
"It's a big deal today when you see Islam and Christianity at odds due to fundamentalism. And what we see here is a great example of collaboration.”

Saint Marcellinus and Peter is one of the oldest catacombs of Rome, and also, one of the most unknown. It dates back from the 1st century AD and was in use until the ninth century. Therefore, it covers an area of about two hundred acres and several floors. Its paintings, labyrinthine corridors, and galleries, are some of the best testimonies of the rich, ancient presence of Christianity in the Eternal City.

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