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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.

Pius XI's anti-Nazi encyclical, Mit Brennender Sorge, marks its 80th anniversary


In 1937, Pope Pius XI warned the world of coming dangers in his encyclical, Mit Brennerder Sorge, written in German, in which he criticized Nazism. The pope had already intuited that another war was coming.

President, Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences
"The pope knew that the Nazi ideology was a neo-pagan ideology. It did not serve man, in general, but rather members of the Aryan race, and, moreover, the Aryan race exclusively. Consequently, it was a form of racism, a racism which manifested itself with its antisemitism.”

Pius XI knew that the Treaty of Versailles, which brought an end to World War I, was considered a humiliation for the Germans. Thus, a spirit of revenge was simmering among them. These people were also encouraged by a new leader who stormed Germany with a message that the Germans, who were resentful of Europe, wanted to hear. These  circumstances may seem familiar to us even today.

President, Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences
"I believe that lucidity was the determining and relevant element in the governance of Pius XI because it holds a lesson for all politicians: a lucidity and know-how to foresee that when there is no confidence in politicians, or in political systems or institutions, the door is opened to a form of popularism that can democratically raise even a Hitler to power.” 

In addition to Jews, Catholics also began to suffer harassment and persecution. By 1935, the Nazi government had already broken some of the terms of the Concordat of 1933 which the Holy See had signed with the Third Reich. Hitler, who was democratically elected, was beginning to show his true face. The German bishops sounded the alarm, as they were aided by Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, who would later become Pius XII.

Precisely with the help of Pacelli, Pius XI wrote the encyclical by hand in Rome, which was then carried by diplomatic pouch to Germany. Once there, it was clandestinely printed and read in all the parishes.

President, Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences
"With the publication of the encyclical we find a situation similar to what happened in Holland during the war. This was when all the bishops ordered a letter to be read at the same time in all the churches denouncing the persecutions. In reprise, thousands were murdered. This is the weakness of tyrants, but it is a weakness that leaves behind a mark and that leaves behind blood.”

As on so many other occasions, the words of the pope fell on deaf ears and nobody was able to stop the murderous madness of the Nazi regime. History continues to teach us lessons so that we can choose not to repeat them in the future.