Posts Tagged ‘vatican’

Pope Francis calls Syro-Catholic patriarch, assures of his prayers

Vatican City, Jul 22, 2014 / 10:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- According an Italian Catholic new organization, Pope Francis made a phone call to Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan over the weekend to reassure him of his continued prayers for Iraqi Christia…

Schedule for Pope Francis’ Caserta visit released

Vatican City, Jul 22, 2014 / 04:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ schedule for the first of this two-day trip to the Italian city of Caserta, where he will later meet an evangelical pastor and friend from his time in Buenos Aires.

Pope Francis will travel by helicopter to the province of Caserta in the Campania region of Italy the afternoon of July 26, and will arrive to the NCO (Non-Commissioned Officers) School of the Air Force, in the Royal Palace of Caserta at 3:45p.m.

After his arrival, the Roman Pontiff will hold a meeting with the diocese’s priests and seminarians at 4p.m., and will celebrate Mass at the airport at 6p.m.

Following the Mass he will return to the Vatican by helicopter evening so that he can recite the Angelus prayer with faithful in St. Peter’s Square Sunday, as he does every week.

On Monday, July 28, the Bishop of Rome will return to Caserta to pay a private visit to his longtime friend, Evangelical pastor Giovanni Traettino, and his community.

Announced by the Vatican July 10, the Pope’s Caserta visit was originally scheduled as a one-day event for the purpose of his private encounter with pastor Giovanni Traettino, however upon receiving an invitation from the diocese’s bishop, Giovanni D’Avise, the pontiff decided to add a day in order to meet with locals.

In the initial July 10 announcement of the visit, the Vatican revealed that the idea of making the trip to pastor Traettino’s church of the Reconciliation in Caserta originally sprang from an encounter Pope Francis had with a group of evangelical pastors in the Vatican last month, during which the pontiff expressed his desire to visit the pastor’s church.

The visit with pastor Traettino “will be a strictly private, simple and quick” encounter, the statement read.

Caserta lies in southern Italy and is a prominent agricultural, commercial and industrial commune. It is roughly a two-and-a-half hour drive from Vatican City.

Please see below for the Pope’s full schedule:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

3:00p.m. Depart by helicopter from the Vatican heliport

3:45p.m. Land in the heliport of the NCO (Non-Commissioned Officers) School of the Air Force, in the Royal Palace of Caserta

4:00p.m. Encounter with priests of the diocese in the Officers Club of the Air Force in the Royal Palace of Caserta

6:00p.m. Holy Mass in the square in front of the Palace of Caserta

7:30p.m. Depart by helicopter from the NCO (Non-Commissioned Officers) School of the Air Force, in the Royal Palace of Caserta

8:15p.m. Arrive to the Vatican heliport

Pope laments exodus of last Christians from Mosul

Vatican City, Jul 21, 2014 / 05:55 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his weekly Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis mourned the fleeing of the last Christians from the Iraqi city of Mosul, who were told by ISIS forces last week to either convert, pay the Jizya t…

Argentine national soccer team sends autographed jersey to Pope

Vatican City, Jul 20, 2014 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a gesture of gratitude and affection, the Argentinean national soccer team, which lost Sunday to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, sent Pope Francis an official team jersey autographed by ea…

Pope laments loss of innocent life in Malaysian plane crash

Vatican City, Jul 18, 2014 / 10:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Following the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine yesterday, Pope Francis has offered prayers for the victims, urging all parties involved in the country’s conflict to work for peace.

“The Holy Father Francis has learned with dismay of the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft downed in east Ukraine, a region marked by high tensions,” A July 18 statement from the Vatican read.

“He raises prayers for the numerous victims of the incident and for their relatives, and renews his heartfelt appeal to all parties in the conflict to seek peace and solutions through dialogue, in order to avoid further loss of innocent human lives.”

According to CNN, the plane, a Boeing 777 carrying 298 people, all civilians and including many children, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, and is said to have been shot down by a surface-to-air-missile.

It crashed Thursday, July 17 between Krasni Luch in the Luhansk region and Shakhtarsk in the neighbouring region of Donetsk, Ukraine. Ukrainian separatists and Russian officials have blamed the other side for the incident.

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have steadily increased since the February protests that led to the resignation of former pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych.

Following Yanukovych’s leave of office, Russia annexed Ukraine’s southeastern region of Crimea. A pro-Russian separatist rebellion launched shortly after and has continued to rage in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Ukrainian military has struggled to calm the separatist unrest, and the government has accused Russia of passing weapons and military equipment, including tanks, across the border illegally, into the hands of pro-Russian separatists.

In wake of the Malaysian plane’s crash various nations have ordered their airlines to suspend flights over the area.

According to BBC news, the latest numbers released by Malaysia Airlines reveal that the plane was carrying at least 189 Dutchmen, 27 Australians, 44 Malaysians, including 15 crew members, 12 Indonesians and 9 Britons.

Included in the casualties are several passengers who were traveling to participate in Australia’s international Aids conference, slated to begin June 20, including renown Dutch researcher Joep Lange.

Following immediate investigations into the downing of the plane, BBC reports that the U.N. Security Council has called an emergency meeting the incident, which will take place Friday in New York.

Pope Francis makes phone call to Israel, Palestine presidents

Vatican City, Jul 18, 2014 / 08:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In wake of the rising death toll in Gaza due to increased tensions between Israel and Palestine, Pope Francis made a personal call to the country’s presidents in order to ask for peace.

&…

Key challenges to African family polygamy, gender priest reveals

Vatican City, Jul 18, 2014 / 06:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Representatives from the Pontifical Council for the Family gathered in the Congo with over 40 bishops last week to discuss the state of families in Africa, highlighting both strengths and challeng…

Vatican bank starts second phase of reform effort

Vatican City, Jul 17, 2014 / 08:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Institute for Religious Works, or ‘Vatican Bank’, has released its annual report for 2013, announcing the start of the second phase of its intended reform.

Ernst von Freyberg, the outgoing president of the institute’s board, said it will “continue to serve with prudence” and provide specialized financial services to the Church around the world.

“The valuable services that can be offered by the institute assist the Holy Father in his mission as universal pastor and also aid those institutions and individuals who collaborate with him in his ministry,” von Freyberg said in the nearly 100-page report.
 
von Freyberg will officially leave his position at the end of July. At the moment the Institute for Religious Works, known by its Italian acronym IOR, is in transition to a new president, Jean-Baptiste de Franssu.
 
de Franssu’s task is to lead the IOR through the reform’s second phase, which will deal with the institute’s integration into the Vatican’s new economic-administrative framework.

The first phase of reform consisted in screening accounts and making updates to the institute’s reporting standards.
 
As a result of the screening process, the IOR has ended around 2,600 dormant accounts and 400 customer relationship. The terminations reflect the decision to restrict customers to Catholic institutions, clerics, Vatican employees or former employees with salary and pension accounts, as well as embassies and diplomats accredited to the Holy See.
 
The IOR has suffered from several financial scandals and is working to increase its conformity to international standards of finance.

The annual report described a “typical customer”: a religious congregation that operates in a developing country to teach children, provide health care or serve in a missionary capacity.
 
In order to carry out this work, the congregation “relies on funding from other parts of the world – money that goes towards building churches, new schools, digging wells, or paying the salaries of local employees, for example.”
 
The IOR “serves the congregation by transferring these funds in a secure and cost-effective way, taking care of any necessary currency transactions, and guaranteeing compliance with anti-money laundering rules, embargo lists, and the like.”

The institute has no branches abroad, and so it relies on “trusted correspondent banks around the world to transfer the funds on the customer’s behalf.”

“The congregation will thus hold an account at the IOR in the Vatican City State where funds are collected for transfer, kept secure and conservatively managed until the funds are required,” the report stated.

The report included statements by the IOR president, the IOR cardinals’ oversight commission, and the IOR’s head prelate.

von Freyberg said that the IOR’s 2013 operating performance was “satisfactory,” though he said net profits and assets under management had been affected by “write-downs and the reform process.”

In 2013 the IOR showed a net profit of some $4 million – down from more than $117 million in 2012. Reform efforts added more than $11 million to its operating expenses.

The report discussed the fluctuation in the price of gold and in the stability of bonds, indicating that these factors are among the causes of the IOR’s poor net profit.

The report also disclosed the earnings of the IOR top managers. von Freyberg, for instance, earned some $282,000 for his one and a half years as president of the Board of Superintendents.

The report examined the geographical concentration of IOR investments. Its assets and liabilities have been reduced in almost every country, with the exception of Germany.

“No other countries represent more than five percent of total assets,” the report reads.

The IOR’s Italian assets have been almost halved, from about $1.58 billion to $925 million; the Spanish assets are down about 60 percent, from $796 million to $298 million. U.S. and Canadian assets have reduced as well.

Pope Francis to make two trips to Italian city of Caserta

Vatican City, Jul 17, 2014 / 07:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican confirmed today that Pope Francis will travel twice to the city where an evangelical pastor from Buenos Aires is living in order to meet with local Catholics in addition to visiting his old friend.

In a statement released July 17, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has added a day onto his already-planned trip to the city of Caserta in the Campania region of Italy to visit Pastor Giovanni Traettino, who is an old friend from his time in Buenos Aires.

The pontiff will travel to Caserta in the afternoon July 26, where he has accepted the invitation of the diocese’s bishop, Giovanni D’Avise. Upon his arrival the Pope will meet with local Catholics and celebrate Mass for the feast of St. Ann, most likely in the park of the Royal Palace of Caserta.

He will then make the trip back to Rome that evening so that he can recite the Angelus prayer with faithful in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, as he does every week.

The following day, July 28, the Bishop of Rome will return to Caserta to pay a private visit to his longtime friend, Evangelical pastor Giovanni Traettino, and his community.

In the initial July 10 announcement of the visit, the Vatican revealed that the idea of making the trip to pastor Traettino’s church of the Reconciliation in Caserta originally sprang from an encounter Pope Francis had with a group of evangelical pastors in the Vatican last month, during which the pontiff expressed his desire to visit the pastor’s church.

The visit with Pastor Traettino “will be a strictly private, simple and quick” encounter, the statement read.

Caserta lies in southern Italy and is a prominent agricultural, commercial and industrial commune. It is roughly a 2 and half-hour drive from Vatican City.

Pope Francis’ visit to Caserta will mark his third trip to an Italian city outside of the Vatican this summer, the first being to the town of Cassano all’Jonio June 21, and the second to the Italian cities of Campobasso and Isernia July 5.

His next scheduled trip is his Aug. 14 – 18 visit to South Korea, during which he will meet with both government and religious leaders as well as Asian youth, and which will follow the theme “Rise Korea, clothe yourself in light, the Lord’s glory shines upon you.”

Chaldean patriarch: current state of Iraq is ‘a chaos’

Vatican City, Jul 17, 2014 / 05:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako of Iraq has written a letter urging government officials to “waste no more time” in electing new leaders, and lamented the grim possibility of finding a …

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