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#Synod 2014
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.
#Synod 2014
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.

#World
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
#Pope
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.
#World
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. 
#Pope
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.
#Pope
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.


#Pope
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." 


#Vatican
World Communications Day 2015
September 29, 2014. The Vatican announced that the theme for the World Communications Day 2015 will be Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place for Encounter with the Gift of Love

#Pope
Pope's Agenda
September 25, 2014. Pope Francis has several meetings today. He will meet with Miroslava Rosas, Ambassador of Panama to the Holy See, who will present her credentials. 

The Pope will then meet with Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan and Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jeung of Seoul, South Korea.

He will also meet with the Archbishop Giacinto Berloco, Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium-Luxemburg; Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Apostolic Nuncio to Belarus, and Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, Apostolic Nuncio to Colombia.

The Pope's final meeting for the day will be with Mr. Marcos Aguinis, the former Minister of Culture of Argentina.  
#Vatican
Society of St.Pius X meets with Cong. Doctrine of Faith
September 23, 2014. On Tuesday morning, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, met with the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay. According to the Vatican, during their two hour meeting, "it was decided to proceed gradually and over a reasonable period of time in order to overcome difficulties and with a view to the envisioned full reconciliation."



#Pope
Pope Francis visits Basilica of St. Mary Major
Pope Francis visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major this afternoon to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for his visit and safe return from his Apostolic Visit to Albania. The Pope left a bouquet of flowers given to him yesterday evening at the 'Betania' center

Religious Persecution: Family of slain Pakistani minister, meets with Pope Francis

2014-08-29

The mother and brother of a Pakistani Christian minister, who was murdered because of his faith, met with Pope Francis. The son of 87 year old Marta, Shabaaz Bhatti, was killed in his native country, where as a Catholic he was part of the  minority. Now, his family is making sure his legacy lives on. 

PAUL BHATTI 
Brother of Shabaaz Bhatti
"The Pope was very touched and moved. He closed his eyes, held my mom's hand tightly and hugged her. That speaks volumes.” 

His brother, Shabaaz, was Pakistan's Minister of Minorities. He strongly opposed the country's blasphemy law which criminalizes critiques against Islam. In many cases, the law is used to wrongfully accuse people. It's often used as a tool for personal vendettas against Christians and other minorities. Shabazz killed in 2011, by Muslim extremists

With religious persecution on the rise, Bhatti, who held his brother's government post after he was assassinated, says the current violence in Iraq and Pakistan is much more complicated than it seems. 

PAUL BHATTI 
Brother of Shabaaz Bhatti
"What's going on in Iraq and Pakistan and other parts of the world, is not solely based on religion. They are terrorists who are using religion as a tool to reach their personal goals. In Pakistan, I've met good Muslims who have supported me as minister.”

At the same time, he fears that radicalized Muslims will turn Pakistan into another Iraq, where persecution and lawlessness seems to have taken over. 

PAUL BHATTI 
Brother of Shabaaz Bhatti
"That is a possibility, because you're dealing with Muslim terrorists who are also attacking other Muslim minorities. First we have to identify what is triggering this violence, discrimination and division and why people are ultimately being killed.” 

To prevent hatred, he says, education and inter-religious dialogue is key, especially in younger generations. 

PAUL BHATTI 
Brother of Shabaaz Bhatti
"When children are raised under a radical ideology, and they grow up with suicide bombers, they too become victims of violence. We must help these children.” 

Bhatti says he and his family are still threatened by extremists. So much so, that he's been forced to live between Pakistan and Europe. He says he doesn't feel a sense of revenge over the murder of his brother. Instead, he says he wants to devout his time helping those who cannot defend himself, just like his brother Shahbaz did before he was killed. 


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