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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.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

New Venezuelan cardinal Baltazar Porras: a shepherd amongst wolves


In Venezuela there is no middle ground. There are friends, and there are enemies. The new cardinal Baltazar Porras speaks frankly about how difficult it really is to foster dialogue in a radicalized context. 

Archbishop of Mérida (Venezuela)
"This is not healthy because it is what causes there to be an enormous lack of credibility in the moment we live in. We have forgotten the meaning of institutions. There are no institutions, but rather who governs them, who interprets or orders things according to his own understanding.”

Now, as a cardinal, he has a much more direct access to the pope who, from Rome, is pushing for the negotiating committee between the government and the opposition in Venezuela. 

He shares Pope Francis' opinion that the local churches have to undertake their responsibilities in all aspects: religious, political, and social.

Archbishop of Mérida (Venezuela)
"He has always had, and he had it before, this sense of the importance of the local. When one asks the current pope: What do you think of this, or that? He could give his opinion, but he says: It should be you who find the answers. You know the local and national reality. Don't ask for recipes.”

The new Venezuelan cardinal is from Caracas. He was born in 1944. Next year he will celebrate 50 years as a priest. Among his memories there is his father, who is a humble man, but a man of principle. Together with his uncle, they were his most merciless critics.

Archbishop of Mérida (Venezuela)
"They arrived one weekend at Mass, they would pick a strategic spot, and at the end, they would say: You did not prepare the homily and you improvised what you were going to say! Respect people. Another day: What you did today was excellent!”

Baltazar Porras is one of the 17 new cardinals appointed by Pope Francis in the last consistory. They reflect Pope Francis' spirit: shepherds amongst the people.