Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Vatican secretary of state celebrates Christmas in Baghdad
 prays for

Delivering his formal Christmas message and blessing, Pope Francis prayed for a world where all people would recognise that they are brothers and sisters and would work for justice and for peace.

The birth of Jesus proclaims that “God is a good father and we are all brothers and sisters. This truth is the basis of the Christian vision of humanity,” the Pope said on Christmas Day before giving his blessing ‘urbi et orbi’ (to the city and the world) and appealing for peace in Syria, Ukraine, the Holy Land, Yemen, Venezuela, Nicaragua and throughout Africa.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square under clear blue skies for the blessing and millions more watched on television or on computers, tablets and phones.



The Vatican City State court has sentenced an Italian contractor, who had done work for several Vatican offices, to two and a half years in jail for using a Vatican bank account for money laundering.

The conviction and sentencing of Angelo Proietti, 63, was handed down on December 17 and announced by the Vatican press office on December 27; his lawyer told the Wall Street Journal he would appeal.

The Vatican court also ordered the confiscation of the more than €1million Proietti had in his account at the Institute for the Works of Religion, the formal name of the Vatican bank. The court had frozen the account in 2014 as both Italian and Vatican law enforcement were investigating his actions.

The conviction is the first concluded under Vatican City State laws enacted by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism through accounts at the Vatican bank.


 of State
 in Baghdad

Christians and Muslims in Iraq are called by the same God to rebuild a nation where peace, harmony and justice reign, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, during a Christmas visit to Baghdad.

Cardinal Parolin was in Iraq fron December 24-28; he celebrated Christmas liturgies in the Chaldean, Syriac Catholic and Latin-rite cathedrals in Baghdad and brought Christmas greetings from Pope Francis to all the people of Iraq.

Recognising that Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus and acknowledge him as a prophet, the cardinal’s message to the nation said: “Christmas is a celebration for all and its message is addressed to every person of good will.”