Cardinal Parolin to meet with Putin in August

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in August. The visit to Russia will be the first by a Vatican Secretary of State since 1988. “I go to Russia as collaborator of the Pope, who wants to build bridges,” said Cardinal Parolin. “In the case of Russia, to build bridges consists in sharing the bilateral relations that already exist and that touch the activity of the Catholic Church and dialogue with the Orthodox Churches,” he continued. “However, it will be…

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Former US head of Opus Dei dies at 71

Father Arne Panula, the former U.S. vicar of Opus Dei, passed away at his Washington, D.C. home on July 19, 2017 after a battle with cancer. “Father Arne had the firm belief that anything is possible, the imagination to think big, and the drive and energy to make things happen,” said Father Thomas G. Bohlin, U.S. vicar of Opus Dei. Born in Duluth, Fr. Panula graduated with a degree in English Literature from Harvard University in 1967, before studying theology in Rome. While there, he lived with St. Josemaria Escriva,…

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“Never Say Never,” Says Pope to a Child

“Never say never!” – was Pope Francis’ advice to 9-year-old Andrea, who invited him to a pilgrimage. The Pope’s message was reported on July 19, 2017 by the on line Italian daily Ilsussidiario.net. Andrea had written him, telling him about his First Communion present: a pilgrimage. “Dear Andrea, it was lovely to receive your letter and to learn of the rich adventure you experienced with UNITALSI during the children’s pilgrimage to Loreto.” To the little boy who invited him to make the pilgrimage with them, the Pope confided: “For me,…

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Nigeria: Msgr. Patrick Somide of Lagos Archdiocese dies at 97

The Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has announced the passing away of Msgr. Patrick Somide on 13th July, 2017 after a brief illness. “It is with gratitude to God for a life well spent, that we announce the home-call of The Very Rev. Msgr. PATRICK SOMIDE, who departed this world at about 11:15pm on Thursday 13th July, 2017 after a brief illness” Bishop Alfred Adewale Martins said during press statement on Thursday. He was ordained a priest during the Marian Congress in 1954. It has pleased the Lord to call him back…

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Catholic cathedral shelters 2,000 Muslims as violence flares in Central African Republic

Bullet-riddled roofs line the “boulevard of death” in Central African Republic’s southeastern town of Bangassou, where almost everyone who enters is seen as an enemy. The city, spared sectarian bloodshed until May, now has more than 2,000 Muslim residents forced to take refuge at the city’s Catholic cathedral after attacks by the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia. More than 300 people have been killed and 100,000 displaced since May as violence that began in 2013 moves into the impoverished country’s central and southeastern regions, prompting warnings of a national conflict roaring…

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Trial begins for ex- Vatican officials accused of stealing hospital funds

Two former top Vatican hospital officials appeared before a Vatican court for a pretrial hearing on allegations of embezzlement. Giuseppe Profiti, who was president of Bambino Gesu hospital from 2008 to 2015, and Massimo Spina, the former treasurer, appeared with their lawyers before Vatican magistrates July 18 in a nearly two-hour preliminary hearing, led by the presiding Vatican judge, Paolo Papanti-Pelletier. A court clerk read the charges, which the Vatican had made public July 13: Profiti, 55, and Spina, 57, were accused of an illicit appropriation and use of funds…

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Catholic layman arrested in connection with smashed crosses and desecrated cemetery in Goa

A 54-year-old Catholic layman has been arrested for the desecration of a Catholic cemetery and smashing of at least 11 crosses in the past month. Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão said that the vandalism was “designed by vested interests to provoke communal discord and promote religious hatred.” Father Savio Fernandes, executive director of the Council for Social Justice and Peace, questioned whether a layman of that age could have been responsible for all the crimes. “All the attacks have been executed with heavy steel implements directed at the bases of the…

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