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  • Even as Pope Francis was having foodstuffs delivered to a Roman center for migrants, some Italian politicians were having a verbal field day denouncing not only the newcomers, but also those who feed them. The problem is daunting: in a single day, Aug. 10, the Italy coast guard rescued 1,552 people in seven separate operations off the Libyan coast.
  • On his second anniversary in the papacy, Pope Francis made the surprise announcement that a new Holy Year is set to commence on December 8 of this year. This Holy Year will be only 15 years since the last one in 2000.
  • Op-Eds
    Gennaro Matino(October 01, 2014)
    On the night Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated at a pacifist rally in Tel Aviv, a notecard was found in his hand. He never got to read it aloud. On the card was written: “Let the sun rise, let the morning glow. The purest prayers will not drag us into the past. Nothing will pull us backwards into the deep well of darkness: neither the joy of victory nor the songs of glory. And so, sing a song of peace. Do not whisper a prayer. Better to sing a song of peace. Scream it! ”
  • On Saturday, during his visit in the southern Italian region of Calabria, Pope Bergoglio did what no other Pope had done before: in a land infested by ‘ndrangheta, the local mafia crime organization, speaking during the mass he publicly and unequivocally declared that all ‘mafiosi’ are excommunicated from the Catholic Church
  • The mafia has not always found an enemy in the Church. Pope Francis firmly asks that those in the mafia convert. It is a just appeal to the members of the mafia, but also to a Church that has not always been able to free itself from its more ambiguous role, proposing piety on the one hand, and insidious superstition on the other.
  • Nevertheless, only a new Council can grant Francis the ability to ensure global reform and fulfill the proposals of the Second Vatican Council. He needs the support of the entire Church, not just the battle cries of the crowds in Saint Peter’s or the outcry of the media.
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(May 11, 2014)
    Once again Turin hosted the prestigious International Book Salon held at the Lingotto May 8-12. A key participant was Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, who spoke of Pope Francis’s “novel” use of words in speeches, documents and chats with pilgrims at general audiences in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. As elsewhere, the book trade and independent book stores are feeling the pinch, but, in a positive sign, the market for children’s books is on the rise, and scholastic achievements in Italy’s deep South show some improvement.
  • Even a pope with his charisma cannot change it by himself. Pontiff Bergoglio has chartered the course of hope, instilling a feeling in many people—believers and non-believers—that they can expect the Church to be less bent on power and more open to engaging with a different world.
  • “We are Responsible for the death of the ‘undocumented’” For his first trip outside of Rome, Pope Francis chose the Sicilian island, which symbolized last hope for many immigrants.