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Theme chosen for 2017 World Communications Day

September 29, 2016. The theme for the 2017 World Communications Day has officially been announced. Coming from the book of Isiah, the theme is: "Fear not, for I am with you: communicating hope and trust in our time.”
Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.

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.

Church of Spies: an inside look into the Vatican's plot to take down Hitler


Mark Riebling is the author of "Church of Spies,”  a book that sheds some light into a secretive plot by the Vatican and Pope Pius XII to bring down the Nazi Party by overthrowing Adolf Hitler.

Author, Church of Spies
"I was working in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., in 1994 when I discovered ten documents that implicated Pope Pius XII and his closest advisers in three plots to remove Hitler, this was directly contrary to everything I had been taught to believe about the Church during World War II. It portrayed Pius XII the most controversial Pope in history, not as a pro-Nazi villain but as an Anti-Nazi hero.” 

However, Josef Muller is perhaps the main protagonist of his book, who is referenced as "Joey Ox.” Ox was an immense alley to Pope Pius XII, as he made a number of trips to the Vatican and was the middle-man between the German resistance and British intelligence that sought out a plan to remove Hitler's regime with an anti-Nazi civilian government supported by the German military.

Author, Church of Spies
"The Vatican has a very sophisticated intelligence system. It doesn't have an intelligence service or organization but built into the Church by its very nature as a communications network and the capability of doing things in a non-public way. This goes back to the earliest days of the Church, when the Church was really a clandestine organization in ancient Rome and the first Christians did not know that they would become the official religion of the Roman Empire.”

Riebling describes this book as a moral adventure story about the realities faced during the Second World War.  

Mark Riebling recently had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis and give him a signed copy of his book in Spanish. After Pope Francis, he hopes that this model of interfaith based on friendship and bonding presides the legacy he will leave behind. 

He points out that believers and non-believers need to work together against those that would deny us all liberty of thought and belief. 

Author, Church of Spies
"One of the most amazing discoveries for me in 'Church of Spies' is the degree to which the German Jesuit fathers were intimately involved in clandestine operations to remove Hitler from power, dressing in disguise, pretending to have girlfriends, and strolling the rail way stations arm and arm with women to persuade the SS that they weren't really priests. Doing things like stealing the blue prints to one of Hitlers bonkers and providing them to Hitler's would be assassins.”

"Church of Spies” tells a story that is very relevant to the problems we face today, where the main characters are real people who have to face reality with a sense of courage under extraordinary circumstances.