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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.

Why Pope Francis will visit the University of Al-Azhar in Egypt


The imams of the Sunni elite have been studying at this university for centuries: Al-Azhar.

Founded in the tenth century, its golden age was between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when the fleeing intellectuals arrived after the Christian reconquest of Spain and the  pressure of the Mongols from Central Asia. According to the British portal Muslim Heritage, which was created to facilitate better understanding of the Muslim world, there are currently 90,000 with specializations in theology and Islamic studies.

Pontifical Oriental Institute
"The Sunnis are about 80 percent of the world's Muslims, and many of their imams are formed at the University of Al-Azhar. This university has a certain authority in the Sunni Muslim world. Shiites are formed in Iran, Iraq or Lebanon."

Nevertheless, the political crisis of Egypt has also negatively impacted the authority of Al-Azhar. The dependence on political power has caused the prestige of Muslim universities in the Middle East to sink to the same governmental instability.

Italian Islamic Community
"The university has suffered the intellectual, political and social crisis of the Arab and Islamic world. So perhaps we could say that Al-Azhar reflects the debate and the crisis that we have to try to deal with wisely."

Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
"Al-Azhar has lost its authority and credibility because of the interference of political power in religious matters. However, at the moment there is a feeling that Al-Azhar must resume its international role, it must reform its programs, open up to the world, and to interreligious dialogue."

For months, officials in the Vatican's interreligious dialogue department have made several trips to Egypt in order to strengthen the ties with Al-Azhar University.

The trip to this university will be a unique opportunity for Pope Francis. He will be able to address the Sunni elite, where the majority Islam's intellectual future is formed.