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Papal gesture towards China

Pope Francis has said several times in recent months that China is close to his heart, on each occasion capturing the attention of the international media. During his visit to Mexico in February, the pope made two references to China within a space of six days.

After meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on February 12 at Havana airport in Cuba on his way to Mexico, he pointed to his heart and said to journalists, “China and Russia, I have them here.”








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Go help them understand…

MEXICO CITY (SE): Papal tours tend to have a sameness about them, with the regular round of visits to government, bishops and leaders of other faiths, as well as Masses celebrated for huge adoring crowds, but each one also has at least one unique event to focus the attention and leave a memorable impression.

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Pope commissions his Missionaries of Mercy

VATICAN (SE): At a commissioning ceremony on February 9 held at the Vatican for a team of priests from around the world to whom Pope Francis has given the authority to absolve most sins normally reserved to the Holy See, they were told to cover those who come to them with a blanket of mercy.

Known as Missionaries of Mercy, the priests are just one initiative for the Jubilee of Mercy.

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Next Eucharistic Congress in Budapest

CEBU (Agencies): Pope Francis announced on January 31, the last day of the Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, The Philippines, that the next gathering will be hosted by Budapest in Hungary in 2020.

The pope made the announcement in a taped video shown to the hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the closing Mass of the congress at the South Road Properties in Cebu City, CBCP News reported.

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Coming up trumps

The visit of Pope Francis to Ciudad Juárez to stand with people fleeing violence and poverty and gaze through the wire fence from the Mexican side of the border into the United States of America (US) has got right up the nose of the flamboyant American presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

Trump was quoted on February 11 as describing the pope as a highly political person who does not understand the dangerous implications of the compassion he shows for migrants and people of the move.








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Reactions to pope’s New Year overture reflect its complexity

HONG KONG (SE): There was a quick response from China to an overture from Pope Francis when he sent greetings for the Lunar New Year to the president, Xi Jinping, and the people of China in an interview published in the Hong Kong-based Internet news outlet, Asia Times, on February 2.

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Pope gets up Trump’s nose

WASHINGTON (SE): An age of derivative journalism has ensured that even the craziest kites flown by the Republican presidential candidate in the United States of America, Donald Trump, receive wide exposure in the skies of the whole world.

The latest tells how Pope Francis has got right up the nose of the flamboyant demagogue.

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Papal sympathies to earthquake victims

Vatican (SE): In the wake of the tragic 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Tainan, Taiwan, on the weekend of February 6, a telegramme of condolence was sent on behalf of Pope Francis by Pietro Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state.

It said the pope was saddened at the suffering caused and sent his prayerful condolences to the families of the dead and the injured, as well as the rescue workers and civil authorities.

 

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A long-awaited embrace

HAVANA (SE): The embrace that Christianity has waited over 1,000 years to see became a reality on February 12 in a hangar at José Marti Airport in Havana, Cuba, as Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow put their arms around each other in a reconciliatory gesture.

The two described their historic greeting as an end to a millennium of division due to human weakness and sin, contradicting  Christ’s prayer that they may be one.

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An unexpected blessing

ROME (SE): As Pope Francis stepped forward to impart the final blessing at a ceremony to mark the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on January 25 at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome, Italy, he called Anglican Archbishop David Moxon and the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop Gennadios, to his side to impart the blessing with him.

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