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New Archbishop for Yaoundé, Cameroon
October 31, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Mons. Jean Mbarga as new Archbishop of Yaoundé (Cameroon).
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New Bishop for Cuzco, Peru.
October 28, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Juan Antonio Ugarte Perez from Cuzco, Peru. He will be succeeded by Bishop Richard Daniel Alarcon Urrutia, who currently serves as the Bishop of Tarma, Peru.
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LIVE BROADCAST: Presentation of the Final Message of the Synod on the Family
October 18, 2014. Presentation of the Final Message of the Synod on the Family.
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The topic of the second part of the Synod on the Family has been announced
October 13, 2014. The new topic for the second part of the Synod on the Family will be "The vocation and the mission of the family within the Church and in the contemporary world.”

This second part will take place in Rome from October 4-25, 2015. The issues dealt with during the first part of the Synod, which concludes this week, will be further discussed in this second part.

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Priest kidnapped in Syria is freed
October 9, 2014. Fr. Hassan Jallouf, 62, has been freed and taken to a convent in Knayeh, Syria. He was kidnapped on the evening of October 5th. Of the 20 other Christians kidnapped that night, 4 women were also freed
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Pope Francis names new bishops for Italy, Spain & Brazil
October 8, 2014. Pope Francis has named several new bishops today. The Pope named Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mérida-Badajoz (Spain). As of now, Archbishop Morga Iruzubieta was secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy

He also named Bishop Fausto Tardelli, from the diocese of San Miniato, as bishop of the Diocese of Pistoia (Italy). Finally, the Pope named a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Goiânia (Brazil). He nominated Fr. Levi Bonatto, a priest from the personal prelature of Opus Dei.
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Pastor and 20 Christians kidnapped in Syria
October 7, 2014. A pastor and roughly 20 Christians were kidnapped in Knayeh, Syria on the evening of October 5th. Fr. Hassan Jallouf, a 62 year old Franciscan, belongs to the Custody of the Holy Land. Local sources said that a group of armed members of Islamic militant group, Jahbat Al-Nusra, are responsible for the kidnapping. 
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All cardinals to meet at the Vatican on October 20
October 7, 2014. Pope Francis convoked a Consistory at the Vatican on October 20. All the cardinals will discuss the situation of Chistians in Middle East, especially of those suffering continuous attacks of ISIS.
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Pope Francis will travel to France in 2015
October 7, 2014.Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has announced that Pope Francis will visit France in 2015.
During his visit to the Vatican in January, French President Francois Hollande, formally invited the Pope to France. The mayor of Lourdes also extended an invitation.

It is likely that he will visit Lisieux, home of one of the Pope's favorite saints, St. Therese.

The last Pontiff to visit France was Benedict XVI in 2008.


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Pope Francis: "Happy families are essential for society"
October 3, 2014. Pope Francis asked Christians to pray for the upcoming Synod on the Family via Twitter. He also said that "happy families are essential for society." 


Iran promotes 'Religious Diplomacy' 35 years after Islamic Revolution

2014-02-19

The Holy See and the Islamic Republic of Iran are probably the best known theocracies in the modern world. Ties between them date back to the 1500's. With new leadership in both countries, relations are expected to strengthen. At least that's the goal for the Iranian government.

MOHAMMAD TAHER RABBANI
Iranian Ambassador to the Holy See
"The work of the Holy Father: his views towards the homeless, the weakest social classes, and the most vulnerable, and even his views on justice are followed with interest by intellectuals and the elite in Iranian society.”

As the leading voices on Catholicism and Shia Islam, for years now, the two countries have sponsored talks to foster inter-religious dialogue. 

Government officials even acknowledge that, when the time is right, moderate President Hassan Rouhani could make a trip to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis. And what could their talking points be during such a visit?

MOHAMMAD TAHER RABBANI
Iranian Ambassador to the Holy See
"Certainly, Dr. Rouhani is interested in boosting ties with the Holy See in the areas of a religious diplomacy, inspired in religious principles. It lays out a plan for the world, a plan against extremist violence, and to have this plan replace the current 'coalitions of war.'” 

The Iranian ambassador said that "religious diplomacy” is based on the search for truth, and is meant to spread common ideals and knowledge on the three monotheistic religions.

Rouhani laid out this plan for religious diplomacy at the United Nations, pushing for the creation of a group to fight religious radicalism. Government officials said the Pope and the Vatican can play a leading role in the process.

MOHAMMAD TAHER RABBANI
Iranian Ambassador to the Holy See
"The Holy See is a religious organism, that guides the Universal Catholic Church. Through this process we can develop a common mechanism to present a multilateral religious diplomacy to the world.”

Though no such meeting has been scheduled, the  ambassador said they'll continue to push for greater "religious diplomacy,” and cooperation with the Vatican. This year, Tehran will host the 9th colloquium between the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and Iran's Islamic Culture and Relations Organization.


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