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Vatican funds job-creation project for refugees in Jordan

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The Vatican is funding a job-creation programme for Iraqi refugees in Jordan, which is hosting close to 1.5 million refugees of whom but is struggling to provide work for them. Around 130,000 come from Iraq and 1.3 million from Syria.

With $1.16 million (US$150,000) donated by visitors to its pavilion at the World’s Fair in Milan in 2015, the Vatican will provide the funding that Caritas Jordan needs to launch the project.

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Arrests made in alleged plot against Vatican and Israeli embassy

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Italian authorities arrested six suspects who allegedly received orders from the Islamic State terrorist group to attack the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome.

The arrests, made in Lombardy and Piedmont on April 28, were the result of a joint operation coordinated by the district attorney of Milan and the Italian anti-terrorism agency.

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Albanian martyrs up for beatification

Vatican (CNA/EWTN News): Pope Francis has given the go ahead for the beatification Archbishop Nikollë Vinçenc Prennush, from Durrës, and his 37 companions, all of whom were killed by Albania’s communist regime between 1945 and 1974.

The pope officially acknowledged their martyrdom during an April 26 meeting with Angelo Cardinal Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

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Vatican finance watchdog notes jump in reports of suspicious activity

VATICAN (CNS): The Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority, which monitors Vatican financial operations to ensure they meet international norms, reported a huge jump in the number of financial transactions flagged as suspicious and in the value of assets it has blocked or frozen.

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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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