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Pope Francis

Names of archbishops to receive pallium from Pope Francis

June 28, 2017. On June 29, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis will bless the palliums of the Metropolitan Archbishops. This year, 36 have been appointed. The list is as followed

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.

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.

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.

UK Ambassador on Holy See-UK relations: Our positions are getting closer


The UK Ambassador to the Holy See, Sally Axworthy, presented her credentials to Pope Francis on September 19. After a couple of weeks in office, she discusses the challenges of working in an embassy that is unlike any other in the world.

UK Ambassador to the Holy See
"I think I'm right in saying this is the only ambassadorial appointment to a religion, rather than a state or an international organization. Obviously the Holy See's first duty or first line of interest is to the Catholic Church, and their foreign policy serves the interest of the Church, the concerns of the Church. I have to work out how we, as an embassy, interact with them, it's not like another embassy. I think there isn't a sort of domestic aspect other than in the internal affairs of the Church.”

For foreign embassies, having a good working relationship with the Holy See is crucial, since oftentimes a significant part of the population of the countries they represent is Catholic. That is the case of the United Kingdom,  with more than 4 million Catholics, who listen to the Holy Father and follow his teachings. 

That is why one of Axworthy's challenges will be to try to reconcile the UK's position after Brexit, which called for stricter immigration laws, to that of Pope Francis, possibly the most pro open-door policy leader in the world.

UK Ambassador to the Holy See
"I think Pope Francis understands that immigration has an impact on the receiving countries, and he's talked recently more about integrating immigrants, which is very important, because an influx of a lot of immigrants can have an impact on local politics, and I think that Pope Francis is talking more about that now. So I think, maybe, our positions are getting a little bit closer.”

Pope Francis is working hard to boost ecumenism with other Christian denominations, including the Anglican Church. Sally Axworthy thinks that agreements between the different churches open up a whole other dimension of international cooperation. 

UK Ambassador to the Holy See
"For me, this is one of the most interesting aspects of the job. The way that Pope Francis has devoted a lot of time and effort to reaching out to other religions, not only Christian religions, but other religions as well. We have a dialogue with governments, but the Church has a dialogue with other religions, which I think gives it a different perspective on the world, and also of the things of mutual interest, on the conflicts of the world. If you start looking at how you can cooperate with local churches, I think that offers lots of possibilities for doing positive things.”

Sally Axworthy also stated that she looks forward to working with Pope Francis on other matters that concern both the United Kingdom and the Vatican, namely in prevention of modern slavery and ending sexual violence in conflict.