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(Vatican Radio) The Council of Cardinals concluded three days of meetings on Wednesday. All of the members of the Council were present, with the exception of Cardinal Oswald Gracias, who was impeded by health reasons.Apart from the Wednesday morning session, which took place during the customary General Audience, Pope Francis himself participated in all of the meetings of the Council.In a press briefing on the meetings, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, said Cardinals’ discussion focused largely on final considerations concerning the various Dicasteries (departments) of the Roman Curia, in view of a new Apostolic Constitution.In particular, the Cardinals re-read, and entrusted to the Holy Father, several texts relating to the proposal to create to new Dicasteries, dedicated to “Laity, Family, and Life” and to “Justice, Peace, and Migration.”Father Lombardi said the Cardinals also took up several other topics in t...
(Vatican Radio) In a statement released ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the Greek island of Lesbos the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) says the papal visit could not come at a more critical time.The statement says that the recent EU deal with Ankara that pushes back refugees and migrants arriving to the Greek shores to Turkey is in clear violation of international law “and the principle of non-refoulement or not pushing back people in need of protection. "During a time when push backs are seemingly the solution being put forward by the EU, we hope the Pope's visit is not just a symbol of hope for refugees, but a concrete push for the Greek government and other European states to actualise those hopes," said Fr Thomas Smolich SJ, JRS International Director.JRS Greece is present in Athens and in Lesbos, providing emergency assistance. In Athens, JRS runs a shelter for newly arrived or homeless refugees as well as an integration Centre. In the st...
(Vatican Radio)  Catholic bishops of Ireland have called on political parties in Northern Ireland to urgently tackle what they describe as a “shocking increase in levels of childhood poverty.” On Tuesday, 12 April, Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, led delegations from the Northern Ireland Catholic Council on Social Affairs (NICCOSA) to two official meetings with political parties in Northern Ireland. The first meeting was in Belfast, with members of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), led by First Minister Arlene Foster MLA. The second meeting, with members of Sinn Féin, led by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA, took place in Armagh.The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference said the Church delegation welcomed the opportunity to discuss a range of issues with each party.  After the meetings, Archbishop Martin said the delegation had expressed concern for “the shocking increase in levels of child...
(Vatican Radio) Amongst the 30.000 people present in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday for the weekly General Audience was Spanish filmstar Antonio Banderas.Accompanied by his girlfriend, Nicole Kimpel, Banderas was greeted personally by Pope Francis at the end of his catechesis and after having made an appeal for prayers for his upcoming visit to the Greek island of Lesbos in solidarity with refugees fleeing conflict.After the meeting Banderas tweeted: 'nice chat with Pope Francis before we start filming in Rome'. Ahead of the audience he had let his followers know he was excited and looking forward to the meeting.The new film he is referring to is shrouded in secrecy. What has transpired is that Banderas will be playing the lead role in a film on the life of fashion designer Gianni Versace directed by Bille August.The Oscar winning Danish film director made the announcement recently and said that he will be focussing on personal aspects of Versace’s life and high...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- After burning through millions of dollars in a mostly failed attempt to sway Republican primary voters, big-money outside groups opposing Donald Trump have turned to a far smaller target audience: the delegates who will actually choose the presidential nominee....
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- A top Syrian official urged the opposition to let go of its dream of easing President Bashar Assad out of power in a transitional government, complicating peace talks that resumed Wednesday in Geneva on ending the five-year civil war....
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- The Latest on the Syrian civil war (all times local):...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Police in Chicago have "no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color" and have alienated blacks and Hispanics for decades by using excessive force and honoring a code of silence, a task force declared Wednesday in a report that seeks sweeping changes to the nation's third-largest police force....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama will pay a rare visit to CIA headquarters Wednesday as the United States weighs sending more forces to Iraq to fight the Islamic State group....
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Bill Cosby's lawyers urged an appeals court Wednesday to reseal the comedian's lurid, decade-old testimony about his womanizing, but the panel of judges seemed to think the request was pointless, since the deposition has already made headlines around the world....
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