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Duterte uses pope’s reply to intrigue

VATICAN (CWN): The expletive babbling mayor of Davao City and presidential candidate, Rodrigo Duterte, sent an apology to Pope Francis for his unpublishable tirade against him for holding up traffic when he visited Manila in January last year.

And to his apparent delight, he has received a response from Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the under-secretary of state at the Vatican, which says the pope appreciates the sentiments of his apology.

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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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Washing feet of women and perceived cultural clashes

HONG KONG (UCAN): When Pope Francis washed the feet of a Muslim and a woman on Holy Thursday in 2014, a canonical polemic, at times vitriolic, with accusations from some quarters that he had broken the law, broke out.

While sager heads withheld a smile, on January 20 this year they were afforded a grin when the pope promulgated that from now on it is not only men and boys who may have their feet washed, but any member of the people of God.

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Post synod document expected soon

VATICAN (SE): Vatican spokesperson, Father Federico Lombardi, said that Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation could be presented as soon as the second or third week of April, though it will be dated March 19, the feast of St. Joseph.

The March 17 report from the Vatican Insider says that the document will reflect on the conclusions that emerged from the 2014 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops and 2015 Synod on the Family.

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Who was pope addressing in New Year message?

Pope Francis’ recent interview, published on the online news site Asia Times, on February 2, was more than just a mere Lunar New Year greeting to the Chinese people.

Speaking to Italian journalist and senior researcher at the Renmin University in China, Francesco Sisci, it was the first occasion on which the pope had specifically said anything about China.

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Mourning an indigenous leader

NEW YORK (SE): The worldwide Church has been asked to pray for the martyrs for the environment and on March 3, Berta Cáceres, from Honduras, was added to the ever-growing list of those who have lost their lives for their work in the defence of nature and the life-giving energy of God’s creation.

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Pope makes debut on Instagram

Vatican (SE): Pope Francis moved to boost his presence on social media by logging in to the Instagram photo-sharing service under the handle, @franciscus, on March 19. 

The prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, Monsignor Dario Vigano, made the announcement during a news conference presenting a new book on the pope.

The monsignor dubbed him the Apple pope because “there is a very complex system behind a simple interface.”

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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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Christ relives his passion in humanity

VATICAN (SE): The Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) of Jesus Christ, like that of all humanity of our age, is a thread uniting the meditations that will accompany the 14 stations at the world famous Good Friday observance at the Colosseum in Rome on March 25.

Vatican Radio reported that the text of the meditations for this year has been prepared by Gualtiero Cardinal Bassetti, the archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve, Italy.

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Keep your dirty money pope says

VATICAN (CNS): “The people of God—that is, the Church—don’t need dirty money. They need hearts that are open to God’s mercy,” Pope Francis said during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square on March 2.

Speaking out against exploitation and unfair wages for workers, the pope told would-be benefactors to forget about donating money to the Church if their earnings came from mistreating others.

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