Vatican News

Pope to visit Assisi

Pope Francis will visit Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis this October 4, the saintís feast day. Following a meeting with ill and disabled children, the Pontiff follows a busy itinerary, moving to pray at the shrine of San Damiano and afterwards paying a visit to the Basilica of St Francis and the saintís crypt, where he will also pray. Pope Francis will then lead Mass at Piazza San Francesco before meeting with clergy and religious ahead of a visit to the Basilica of St Clare to venerate the saint, whose remains lie there. While there he will also pray before the cross of St Damiano. He will then meet with young people at Santa Maria degli Angeli before proceeding to Rivotorto where he will pray in the cell of St Francis.


New encyclical planned

A hint at the content of the Popeís forthcoming encyclical on poverty has been offered by Cardinal Prosper Grech (pictured). In an interview with the Catholic News Agency, the cardinal, who delivered the opening meditation at the conclave which elected Pope Francis, revealed that the encyclical, Blessed are the Poor, would contain a message for lay and clergy alike, and would offer a clear path to ìhow to really live poverty in our societiesî.  ìHow to define poverty is not easy today because itís not a question of radical poverty,î Cardinal Grech explained.


Nuncio investigation

The Vatican has confirmed it has launched its own investigation into its Apostolic Nuncio to the Dominican Republic amid allegations of child abuse. Archbishop Josef Wesolowski (pictured), who was the nuncio to the island nation for six years, has not been seen since he departed on August 21. Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi has stated the archbishop has been recalled from his posting and has since resigned. His recall, Fr Lombardi confirmed, had been directly connected to the abuse allegations. Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic are seeking to interview Archbishop Wesolowski, but at this point, the question of diplomatic immunity remains. This is a status that, in light of such serious allegations, the state may seek to waive.


Jewish praise for Francis

The Pope has been praised for his commitment to Christian-Jewish dialogue. Following a meeting between the Pontiff and Ronald S. Lauder (pictured), the president of the World Jewish Congress to mark the Jewish new year, Mr Lauder expressed his joy at the Pontiffís insistence that to be a good Christian ìit is necessary to understand Jewish history and traditionsî. Mr Lauder said after the meeting: ìPope Francisí leadership has not only reinvigorated the Catholic Church but also given a new momentum to relations with Judaism. Never in the past 2,000 years have relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people been so good.î