Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Pope Francis receiving credentials of the Qatar Ambassador
 voice for

Catholic media have a responsibility to be “spiritual antennas” that connect the world to the sufferings of the poor and the unwanted in society, especially prisoners on death row, Pope Francis has said.

During an audience with journalists and collaborators of Telepace, an Italian Catholic television and radio station, the Pope encouraged them to “transmit and receive” the “spiritual signs of the Father’s merciful love”.

“In your profession, may you be ‘living channels’ of spirituality to God and to all your listeners and viewers. Especially the poor, the last ones, the excluded. Never forget them, the poor next door!” the Pope added.

He also encouraged them to be close to inmates, especially those on death row awaiting their executions.

He recalled the ministry of Fr Guido Todeschini, director of Telepace, who accompanied two death row inmates – Ivan Ray Murphy and Bryan Eric Wolfe – until their executions in 2003 and 2005, respectively, in Huntsville, Texas.

Both inmates, who claimed they were innocent of their crimes, thanked Fr Todeschini in their final statements for his spiritual support before their deaths.



Protecting human dignity and human rights must always be at the heart of any action by world leaders to confront the many humanitarian crises afflicting today’s world, Pope Francis has said.

Meeting with new, non-resident ambassadors to the Vatican, the Pope noted the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and said governments must ensure the document continues to “guide the efforts of global diplomacy to secure peace in our world and to promote the integral development of each individual and all peoples”.

“It is essential that respect for human dignity and human rights inspire and direct every effort to address the grave situations of war and armed conflict, crushing poverty, discrimination and inequality that afflict our world and in recent years have contributed to the present crisis of mass migration,” he said.

The Pope welcomed the 10 new ambassadors from Switzerland, Malta, the Bahamas, Cape Verde, Estonia, Iceland, Turkmenistan, Grenada, Qatar and Gambia.


 to visit

Pope Francis will make a three-day visit to Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Vatican has announced.

He will be the first Pope to visit the Republic of Macedonia, which declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

“Accepting the invitation of the respective highest authorities” of both nations and of the Catholic communities there, Pope Francis will travel to Bulgaria from May 5-7 and Macedonia on May 7, Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said in a written statement.

While the Pope’s itinerary will be published later, Burke said the Pope would visit the Macedonian capital, Skopje, which is the birthplace of St Teresa of Kolkata, and the Bulgarian capital of Sofia and the city of Rakovski – the city with the largest number of Catholics in Bulgaria, which is predominately Orthodox. Catholics make up less than 1% of Bulgaria’s seven million people.

The Vatican released the logo and motto of both trips. “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock” from Luke 12:32 was chosen for the Republic of Macedonia.

The motto for the trip to Bulgaria is ‘Pacem In Terris’ (Peace on Earth).