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Shifty money and suspended audits at Vatican

VATICAN (SE): Described as a major blow to plans for the reform of Vatican financial affairs, the Secretariat of State informed all Vatican offices on April 20 that an outside audit being conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers has been suspended.

Nevertheless, Vatican officials insist that they are continuing their investigation in shifty money moves.

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Vatican makes diplomatic reshuffle in Taiwan

TAIPEI (UCAN): After eight years as the chargé d’affaires at the Vatican embassy in Taiwan, Monsignor Paul Russell is leaving as an archbishop-designate.

As a gesture of appreciation from the government, the foreign minister, David Lin, conferred on him the Order of the Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon, one of the highest decorations, on April 8.

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The Vatican at the dawn of a new era of geopolitics

HONG KONG (SE): Pope Francis surprised the world when he published a Lunar New Year greeting addressed to the president of China, Xi Jinping, whom he mentioned by name, and all Chinese people, on the Hong Kong-based Internet news site, Asia Times, on February 2 this year.








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New papal protocol for divorced heads-of-state

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis has changed the rules of Vatican protocol regarding meetings with the spouses of visiting Catholic heads-of-state who are divorced and remarried.

In the past, only the head-of-state was invited to the formal exchange of greetings. The spouse would only be met in private afterwards. The new protocol will see both invited to the formal greeting.

 

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It is not all about numbers but…

VATICAN (SE): The nine years from 2005 to 2014 have seen an incremental rise in Catholic population and in the percentage it forms of the global population.

The number of Catholics increased from 1.115 billion to 1.272 billion, taking them to 17.8 per cent of the world population, up from 17.3 per cent.

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A day at the circus for Rome’s poor

VATICAN (CNS): Poor residents of Rome, the homeless, refugees and some prisoners were offered a special day out at a circus by the Vatican.

The office of the papal almoner—the Office of Papal Charities—announced that 2,000 seats in the big top of the Rony Roller Circus in Rome had been made available for a free show on January 14.

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Mercy can make us artisans of peace pope tells diplomats

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Cold indifference to migrants, the poor, the hungry and the persecuted must be overcome through the warmth of mercy, which can transform people into artisans of peace, Pope Francis said in a January 11 speech to ambassadors to the Holy See. 

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Charlie Hebdo anniversary cartoon does not amuse

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, criticised the cover page cartoon of a special commemorative edition of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, on the first anniversary of the deadly attacks on the publication’s offices on Paris.

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Over three million visitors to the Vatican in 2015

VATICAN CITY (CNS): According to information released on December 30 by the Prefecture of the Papal Household, more than 3.2 million people visited and attended papal events, liturgies or prayer services at the Vatican in 2015.

The total represented a significant drop from the 5.9 million visitors received by Pope Francis in 2014. It was also slightly more than half the 6.6 million pilgrims who visited the Vatican during the first nine-and-a-half months of his pontificate in 2013.

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Test case for bishops’ appointments in China

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Vatican has given its approval to Father Tang Yuange, a priest from Chengdu in southwestern China who was chosen through a government selection process, to be ordained as a bishop.

Local Catholics in southwestern Sichuan province said on December 24 that the Holy See had given its approval for Father Tang to be appointed and ordained as a bishop in October, shortly after a six-member Vatican delegation visited Beijing to meet with Chinese officials.

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