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Doubts arise after alleged photo of Fr. Tom surfaces

Doubts arise after alleged photo of Fr. Tom surfaces

VATICAN, July 20, 2016– After a photo supposedly showing Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped in Yemen in March, emerged on social media, sources close to the priest say there are strong reasons to doubt the image’s authenticity. “I have checked with a confrere with (the) Yemen experience and very close to Fr. Tom who [...]

Pope Francis to meet Holocaust survivors during Auschwitz visit

VATICAN, July 20, 2016– Though rumors have been floating for some time, the Vatican confirmed that the Pope will meet with 10 Holocaust survivors during his upcoming visit to Auschwitz while in Poland for World Youth Day. After arriving to Auschwitz and passing under the arch of the main entrance on foot, Francis will be [...]

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Pope Francis is ready for World Youth Day – are you?

VATICAN, July 20, 2016– Even though World Youth Day doesn’t start until next week, thousands of pilgrims from throughout the world are already descending on Krakow ahead of the official event. In a July 19 video message Pope Francis sent his greetings to the youth of Poland and the world who will attend the largest [...]

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Pope Francis marries young deaf couple at Casa Santa Marta

VATICAN CITY, July 20, 2016–Pope Francis does not ordinarily celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony. But on July 9, he made an exception for a young Italian deaf couple, who were married in the chapel at his residence, Casa Santa Marta. Teodoro Pisciottani and Paulina Szczepanska received the rare blessing of being united in marriage by [...]

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VATICAN CITY, July 19, 2016–Pope Francis offered his help to the people of Nice in a surprise phone call following a deadly attack during Bastille Day celebrations, said the head of an association of Italians living in France. Paolo Celi, president of the France-Italy Friendship society, told Vatican Radio that he was shocked upon answering [...]

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Pope calls attack on Nice act of ‘blind violence’

VATICAN, July 15, 2016– Pope Francis condemned the attack on Bastille Day celebrations in France, calling it an act of “blind violence.” The pope expressed his “deep sorrow” and “spiritual closeness” with the French people in a message to Bishop Andre Marceau of Nice. The message, signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, [...]

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Mobile medical unit from Vatican hits Rome’s peripheries to help poor

VATICAN, July 15, 2016– A mobile medical unit donated by the Vatican tours Rome’s peripheries, offering free health care to those in need. A local volunteer association of doctors, health care professionals and medical students use the white and blue-striped RV-style vehicle, which carries Vatican City license plates and the Holy See’s coat of arms [...]

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The tale of Fr. Brochero: Gaucho priest, devil’s worst nightmare

VATICAN, July 14, 2016– If Jose Brochero doesn’t sound like a Gaucho name, nothing does. Earlier this year, Pope Francis announced Oct. 16 as the canonization date for Blessed Brochero, a fellow countryman from Argentina also known as the “Gaucho priest.” He was beatified in Sept. 2013 by Pope Francis, who said Fr. Brochero was a [...]

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Pope taps US religious freedom advocate for Vatican communications team

VATICAN, July 13, 2016– On Wednesday the Vatican released the names of 16 people appointed by Pope Francis to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, among whom is American religious freedom and prolife attorney Kim Daniels. A graduate from Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School, Daniels is an attorney whose practice is focused [...]

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Pope Francis grieves over deadly train crash in Italy

VATICAN, July 12, 2016– After a head-on train collision killed 20 people in the southern Italian region of Puglia, Pope Francis voiced his grief over the incident and offered prayers for the victims and their families. “His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt and genuine participation in the sorrow striking so many families,” Vatican secretary [...]

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Vatican spokesman wades into ad orientem debate

VATICAN, JulY 11, 2016– The outgoing Holy See press officer has clarified that there are no directives forthcoming from the Vatican directing that priests face in the same direction as the faithful while saying Mass. Fr. Federico Lombardi’s July 11 communique follows on the appeal by Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, [...]

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US and Spanish journalists will lead Vatican press office

VATICAN, July 11, 2016– Pope Francis named two experienced journalists — including its first female vice director — to lead the Vatican press office. Greg Burke, a native of St. Louis, succeeds Italian Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, who retires after 10 years as head of the Vatican press office, the Vatican announced July 11. Spanish [...]

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The Good Samaritan isn’t just a parable, it’s a way of life, Pope says

VATICAN, July 10, 2016– On Sunday Pope Francis said the parable of the Good Samaritan isn’t just a nice passage to reflect on, but signifies a concrete choice we make in deciding how to live and treat those around us. “The Good Samaritan indicates a lifestyle, the center of which is not ourselves, but others, [...]

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WYD pilgrims to receive a social doctrine app from the Pope

VATICAN, July 9, 2016– Pope Francis has established a tech-savvy track record as Pope, and now in addition to breaking records on Instagram and becoming the first Pope to use Google Hangouts, he will give World Youth Day pilgrims a new electronic app. From the creators of 2011’s “YouCat” youth catechism, a new version of [...]

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Pope separates oversight, administration in ongoing reform of Vatican finances

VATICAN, Jul 9, 2016– A new set of reforms further clarifying the roles of Vatican financial offices was announced July 9, implementing changes set in motion by Pope Francis’ 2014 edict, “Fidelis dispensator et prudens.” This new directive, entitled “Temporal goods,” affirms that the role of the Church’s assets center around “divine worship, the just [...]

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Vatican sentences cleric, laywoman in second ‘Vatileaks’ trial

VATICAN, July 8, 2016– After an eight-month trial weighing the guilt of five individuals in the leaking and disseminating of confidential financial documents, the Vatican has reached a verdict, sentencing a Vatican official and a laywoman for the crime. The defendants in question were Spanish Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, Italian PR woman Francesca Chaouqui, [...]

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