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Behind Vatican Walls: Historic Meeting of East and West

PopeHilarion

For the first time ever, the pope will meet with the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. The announcement was made in a joint press release issued by the Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow. Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill will meet in Cuba on February 12. At the end of their two hour meeting, they will sign a joint declaration.

Although the announcement seemed to come out of the blue, it reportedly took two years of quiet dialogue and negotiation. Russian Orthodox officials say this does not mean past tensions have been resolved, it just means there is a bigger problem that requires the Catholic and Orthodox churches to work together. Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion, who is responsible for the church’s foreign relations, said the problem between the two churches is the Ukrainian Catholic Church – which he referred to as “uniates.” He said “regrettably, the problem of Unia is still there, with Unia, remaining a never-healing blooding wound that prevents the full normalization of relations between the two Churches.”

However, Metropolitan Hilarion said the issue of Christians being persecuted in the Middle East and North Africa is bigger than the historic tensions between the two churches and requires them to work together. It is estimated that out of the 1.5 million Christians who used to live in Iraq, there are only 200,000 left in the country.

One of the requirements that had to be satisfied in order for the meeting to happen was finding the right location. According to Russian Orthodox Church’s department for foreign relation, Patriarch Kirill wanted the meeting to happen outside of Europe. The patriarch will visit Cuba, Paraguay and Brazil from February 11 to 22, while Pope Francis is scheduled to be in Mexico from February 12 to 18. The fact that both men would be in Latin America at the same time provided a chance to meet in fairly neutral territory.

The pope’s Mexican itinerary will not change. Instead he will leave Rome earlier than scheduled to allow for a stop over in Cuba. He is expected to touch down in Havana around 2pm local time and be on route to Mexico by 5:30 pm local time. The meeting will take place at Jose Marti International Airport. Some observers say Patriarch Kirill could possibly face backlash from within the Russian Orthodox Church for going ahead with the meeting.

This is not the first time a pope and Russian patriarch have tried to meet. Russian Orthodox official revealed today that from 1996 to 97 negotiations took place for a meeting between St. Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Alexy II. That meeting was supposed to be held in Austria but negotiations stopped after both sides got stuck on two points: actions of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and the activity of Catholic clergy within the geographic area of the patriarchate of Moscow which Moscow considered proselytism.

Vatican officials said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has been informed of the meeting and is pleased.

The meeting comes just as Orthodox patriarchs have agreed on the details of the Pan – Orthodox Synod, to be held in Crete starting June 19.

CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters

Watch this week’s episode of Vatican Connections below:


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Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.

Behind Vatican Walls: Vatican Diplomacy

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The Holy See maintains diplomatic relations with 180 states. Among those are countries that do not have diplomatic relations with each other. Iran is one of those cases. Both Canada and the US do not currently have formal diplomatic relations with Iran. The Holy See, however, has maintained diplomatic relations with all three of these nations, even receiving president Hassan Rouhani in audience this week.  

President Rouhani’s visit to the Vatican was the first time since 1999 that an Iranian president met with a pontiff. The Holy See has had formal diplomatic relations with Iran since 1957, through thick and thin. However, in 2010 then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  visited Rome for a UN meeting on the effect soaring food prices. In a break with protocol he did not visit the Vatican during his time in Rome. Reports at the time stated that the Vatican had canceled all meetings with heads of state in order to avoid giving the hard line Iranian president the publicity he was after. The relationship between the two nations survived that moment and the rest of Ahmadinejad’s presidency.

The president received at the Vatican this week is different type of leader, facing unique challenges. Rouhani’s visit was the first official Iranian visit to Europe in almost 20 years. His goal was quite simple: try to rebuild economic ties with potential EU trade partners. The stop at the Vatican was a protocol visit, but also an overdue visit to an old friend. Crux, the Catholic news site of the Boston Globe, reports that in 2007 when it seemed that tensions over Iran’s nuclear program might lead to armed conflict with the U.S., Tehran turned to the Holy See as a potential mediator. While their motivation may be different, both parties want peace and stability in the middle east. Yet for all his goodwill, Rouhani faces challenges at home.

Despite his moderate leanings, some ruling bodies in Iran, including – according to some reports- security and intelligence forces, are still control by hard line groups who disagree with Rouhani. These groups override Rouhani’s attempts at reform, cancelling cultural performances at the last second and banning books. At the same time Human Rights Watch reports that executions have increased in recent years and growing numbers of journalists, bloggers and social media activists are being arrested.

Watch this week’s episode of Vatican Connections below:


 

Alicia

Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.

Behind Vatican Walls: Mercy, Disagreement and Unity

PopeVCMercy

With the Christmas season officially over, this week the Vatican got back to business. Pope Francis had a full slate of meetings this week with a wide variety of guests: the priests from the Argentine College, the nuncios to Zimbabwe, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the papal delegate to Palestine and Jerusalem and a group of bishops from Peru. He also met with the Chairman of of Alphabet, the company that owns Google, and paid an unscheduled visit to a retirement home in Rome.

The meeting that church watchers were keeping on this week, however, was not a Vatican-meeting. The leaders of the Anglican Communion were gathered in England to discuss the issues that have caused division among the 38 provinces of that church. Specifically the provinces do not see eye to eye on issues around sexuality and the ordination of women bishops. The U.S. province, known as the Episcopal Church has elected women bishops, and opened ordained ministry to gay and lesbian members of the church. Both moves caused a strain in relations with the other Anglican provinces and led some Episcopal parishes to become part of other provinces.

As a result of the week long meeting the Anglican primates decided to sanction the Episcopal church. For the next three years Episcopal clergy will not be able to represent the Anglican Communion on ecumenical and interfaith panels nor will they have decision making roles within the Anglican Communion. This could have significant impact on the Anglican – Roman Catholic Theological Consultation in the U.S. The announcement has also sparked anger among some Anglicans in various provinces of the communion.

That same meeting also brought positive signs for Christian unity worldwide. At a press conference Archbishop Welby told journalists the Anglican primates agreed to join in on trying to unify the dates for Easter.  He said he discussed the idea with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II in Cairo last year. Pope Tawadros has been discussing the idea with Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The Coptic leader has proposed fixing the date for Easter at the second or third Sunday in April.

* * * *

Next week is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, marked by Christian churches around the world. Watch for ecumenical prayer services and other events taking place this week in your city. Pope Francis will celebrate a vespers service on January 25 to close the week.

The International Eucharistic Congress takes place January 24 to 31 in Cebu, Philippines. Prelates from around the world will be in Cebu giving talks and catechesis. Pope Francis is not attending the congress. Watch here for information about the event as it happens.

Watch this week’s episode of Vatican Connections below:

CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano, handout


Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.

Behind Vatican Walls: New Year, New Hope

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History

On November 16, 1989 on the campus of the Central American University in San Salvador, six Jesuit priests were pulled from their beds in the middle of the night and executed. The military officers who carried out the killing went unpunished for decades. Five of six Jesuits were Spanish citizens.

In 2008 the Spanish Association for Human Rights and the Centre for Justice and Accountability lodged a criminal complaint in Spanish courts against the Salvadoran military officials involved in the killing of the six Jesuits. A judge in Madrid issued an order for the arrest and extradition of the Salvadoran officers named in the case. Interpol also issued a world wide warrant and extradition order. Authorities in El Salvador did not comply with the order. The officers accused were located and transferred to an ex-national guard military base.

Plot Twists

On January 4, Spanish judge Eloy Velasco issued a new arrest and extradition order for the 17 soldiers and officers accused of killing the six Jesuits. Salvadoran presidential spokesperson Eugenio Chicas told reporters “The only path for our security forces to take is to proceed with the arrests, that is, there’s nothing to do but follow the law.” He also said once legal requirements had been met, the order would be followed. However, it is up to El Salvador’s supreme court whether or not to extradite the accused.  

The statement from the Salvadoran government gave room to cautious optimism that perhaps justice would finally prevail. January 8 reports surfaced that the military defence counsel has presented a request for Judge Velasco to recuse himself from the case. The request claims that the judge is biased because he teaches at a Jesuit university and the case involves events that took place at a Jesuit university.

Happy Endings?

It remains to be seen just how much this case will move forward. Will El Salvador’s supreme court allow the 17 accused soldiers to be extradited? Will Velasco stay on as judge for this case? Will justice prevail? 2016 should bring plenty of things to watch.  

Watch this week’s episode of Vatican Connections below:


Alicia

Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.

 

Behind Vatican Walls: Let the Mercy Flow

MercyFloweth

The Jubilee for Mercy is officially open and with it, so too are holy doors around the world. The Vatican inaugurated the holy year with the ceremony for the opening of the holy door. Adding to the festivities was a three hour light show called Fides Lux: Illuminating Our Common Home. Inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, the light and sound show used the facade of St. Peter’s as a screen on which images of the natural world were projected.

While the Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI were opening the Holy Door at St. Peter’s, marriage tribunals around the world were rolling out the new nullity norms decreed by Pope Francis earlier this year. The new norms simplify the annulment process, eliminating the need for a second court to confirm a nullity ruling. If you missed our segment on the new norms and want details, you might want to watch this segment from our September 15 program. 

One question posed by diocesan marriage tribunals was “what about the Roman Rota?” the Holy See court that also rules on nullity cases. The Roman Rota followed a slightly different procedure. Pope Francis took care of that too, issuing new norms for the Roman Rota on December 11.  

The Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews released a new document outlining the milestones in relations between the two faiths, and the theological issues that have arisen during the dialogue process. The document also looks at the meaning of the Word of God in both faiths, the relationship between the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, and the relationship between God’s covenant with Israel and the New Covenant. The document has been published on the Vatican website and can be read here.

The story getting the most headlines, however, is the so-called “Vatileaks” trial. Five people are being tried in a Vatican court for leaking private documents, including a monsignor and a laywoman who served on the Vatican’s commission to study the financial and administrative functions of the Holy See. The trial has already taken several interesting twists. This week lawyers for all parties made various requests, including a request to have email, text messages and Whatsapp message retrieved from defendant’s personal devices. To allow the technical specialists adequate time to retrieve the material, and lawyers sufficient time to review the material, the trial has been put on hold for two months. Hopefully that means for the next two months there won’t be any more plot twists. Though it is not farfetched to expect the trial to take soap opera-like turns once everyone is back in court.

Watch this week’s episode of Vatican Connections below:


Alicia

Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.

Behind Vatican Walls: The Making of a Jubilee

FrancisMercy

The event Pope Francis has been waiting for since his pontificate started will finally kick off December 8. The Jubilee Year of Mercy officially begins on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with the opening of the Holy Door at the St. Peter’s Basilica, though the jubilee is already in full swing in Bangui, Central African Republic. Make no mistake, this will not be a year of lovely photo ops. Pope Francis is serious about acquainting people around the world with God’s mercy and he has an action plan in place.

The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization is overseeing the Holy See’s activities for the Jubilee. Expect to see more Jubilee initiatives rolled out than ever before. At the same time expect participation to be more formalized. Unlike the last Jubilee Year pilgrims will need to register to walk through the Holy Door. However, pilgrims will receive a certificate, called a “testimonium” from the Jubilee pilgrims office.

To help pilgrim takes part in the various jubilee events that will happen at the Vatican the Council for the New Evangelization opened an office this week on Via Della Conciliazione, the avenue leading up to the Vatican, to welcome Jubilee pilgrims. There pilgrims can register to go through the Holy Door, sign up for tickets to special Masses and prayer services, get the typical Vatican-visitor information, and find a series of books of different themes related to the Jubilee Year. Note: tickets for all Papal Masses and liturgies are always free.

Here are some things you can expect to see as the Jubilee for Mercy begins:

December 8

  • Pope Francis will open the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in a simple ceremony followed by a Mass
  • In the evening a light and sound show called Fiat Lux, inspired by the encyclical “Laudato Si” will be projected onto the facade of the basilica

December 13

  • Doors of Mercy will be opened in cathedrals around the world
  • Pope Francis will open the Holy Door at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of Rome

December 18

  • Pope Francis will open a Holy Door at the Don Luigi di Liegro Hostel at Rome’s Termini train station. This is the first of a series of outreach activities Pope Francis will do every Friday during the Jubilee Year.

Ongoing

  • Throughout the year the rosary will be recited every evening at St. Peter’s Square. Local parishes dedicated to Our Lady will take turns leading the rosary. Faithful who want to pray the rosary can meet at the statue of St. Peter in the square.
  • Once a month Pope Francis will hold an extra General Audience on a Saturday
  • 800 priests will commissioned and sent out to different parts of the world as Missionaries of Mercy. Their role is specifically to help hear confessions. They will be given authority to absolve sins normally reserved for the Holy See.

Of course dioceses around the world are rolling out their own initiatives for the Jubilee Year. If you cannot travel to Rome this year, check with your diocese for upcoming special events and resources.

CNS photo/Paul Haring

This week’s episode of Vatican Connections will be available here shortly.


Alicia

Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.

 

A “Homeless” Papal Interview

PopeBVW

We have all learned by now that Pope Francis will release interviews to whomever he choses, whenever he feels the moment is right. The key is asking with simplicity and sincerity. So it should come as no surprise that he released yet another interview. This time the journalist was a former homeless person and the newspaper in question is a Dutch newspaper sold by homeless people on the streets of Utrecht.

The interview will be translated and printed in several street newspapers that are part of the International Network of Street Papers, including three published in English.

Here are some details about the interview itself.

And here is an excerpt from the interview, translated by Zenit.

CNS photo/Nicole Pellicano

Watch this week’s Vatican Connections below:


Alicia

Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.

Behind Vatican Walls: Central African Republic

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Pope Francis is scheduled to make his first Apostolic Visit to Africa this month. His itinerary includes a stop in the Central African Republic where he will visit the capital, Bangui. For the first time the pope and Vatican officials have acknowledged that the visit to the war torn nation is less than certain.

Tumultuous past

The former French colony Ubangi – Shari was a region sought after by France, Germany, Belgium and Great Britain because of its natural resources. France gained control of the area in 1894 and held on to it until the 1960s. Post-colonial life brought economic and political instability and coup after coup.

Since August 13, 1960 when Ubangi-Shari became independent from France the Central African Republic has seen five coups. The most recent took place in 2013 when Seleka – a rebel group made up of fighters from previous rebel groups – seized the capital after they became unhappy with how president Francois Bozize was implementing a power-sharing agreement.

The leader of the rebel group, Michel Djotodia declared himself de-facto head of state. However the Economic Community of Central African States rejected his attempt to form government and he had to rework his plan of government. In the meantime the Christian population, by and large the majority, began to form their own militias which they called “anti-balaka” or “anti-machete” in response to the violence of Seleka rebels.

What had been violent reactions to ineffective government became a vicious cycle of violent attacks between Christians and Muslims.

Living in a failed state

When the most recent wave of violence began in 2013, CAR was already host to asylum seekers from neighbouring states. Since December 2013, one quarter of the population of Central African Republic has been internally displaced, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.The armed rebel groups have not just displaced the local population, the groups effectively prevent humanitarian aid from getting to the people who need it.

In 2014 the UNHCR said 930,000 people had been displaced as a result of the violence between Seleka and Anti-Balka fighters. Various camps for the displaced were created in Bangui and around the country. The most prominent being the M’poko camp close to the Bangui airport. There, people who have fled their homes and neighbourhoods in fear, sleep in abandoned airplanes or take shelter under the wings of old aircrafts. Basic health and sanitation are provided, but not without challenges.

In some cities and towns people have taken shelter in the nearest Catholic church. On one fact finding mission, officials from Human Rights Watch reported Catholic priests and nuns “seem to be the only force able to protect vulnerable muslim communities”.

Pre Papal Trip

An increase in violence in September displaced a new wave of people from their homes, ignited yet another cycle of attacks and retaliation and caused scheduled elections to be postponed again. In early November, armed men slit a man’s throat and set fire to homes in  his neighbourhood, setting off retaliatory attacks. Residents fled the mostly muslim PK5 neighbourhood as a result.

This new wave of violence has put Pope Francis’ visit to the country in jeopardy.

CNS photo/Goran Tomasevic, Reuters

Watch this week’s episode of Vatican Connections below:


Alicia

Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.

Behind Vatican Walls: Hidden Headlines

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Though the Synod on the Family is over, the analysis and even the “spin-od” continues in the media. Meanwhile, life moves on at the Vatican. As a result there were a few stories that got less than their fair share of coverage this week because writers were still focused on who said what about the synod.

Vatican-China relations

On October 11 a delegation of six people representing the Holy See arrived in Beijing to meet with Chinese authorities.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, confirmed this week that the meeting had taken place while answering journalists questions at an event for the 50th anniverary of Nostra Aetae. He characterized the dialogue as being “very positive,” said it was not the first time a Vatican delegation had traveled to Beijing, but did not give further details. The cardinal said the meeting was part of a journey towards normalized relations with China.

Reports of the meeting had been circling for about a week. The Hong Kong based Catholic news agency UCANews reported on October 16 that a the Holy See had travelled to Beijing for talks. A columnist for UCANews wrote that it appeared the two sides has agreed to leave aside thornier issues for the time being.

Shortly after the Vatican-China meeting, a group of 25 Chinese bishops met with Chinese authorities who oversee religion in the country and were told to insist on “sinicization” of the local church.

Mother Teresa’s journey to sainthood?

Mother Teresa was declared Blessed in 2003 by St. John Paul II and there is much hope that she will be declared a saint very soon. It turns out a possible miracle attributed to her is being studied by the Vatican. If it is approved it could lead to her much anticipated canonization.

The healing involves a man in Brazil who was diagnosed with several brain tumors. While he lay in intensive care his distraught wife went to their parish looking for counsel and solace.

Fr. Elmiran Ferreira Santos, the pastor of Our Lady of Aparecida parish told Catholic News Service he had just celebrated Mass with the Missionaries of Charity when he encountered the distraught woman at his parish. Not knowing how else to comfort her, he suggested they pray together to Mother Teresa. He gave the woman a medal that the Missionaries of Charity had just given him and encouraged the woman to continue praying to Mother Teresa with her family.

Two days later the husband was discharged from hospital with no tumors.

In June, officials from the Congregation for Saints Causes travelled to Brazil to investigate the case. The miracle needs to be studied by a medical panel, and a theological panel before it can be approved by the Congregation for Saints Causes.

Earlier this year, unconfirmed reports circulated that the Vatican was preparing to canonization her during the Jubilee Year for Mercy which begins December 8.   

Watch this week’s episode of Vatican Connections below:


Alicia

Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.

Behind Vatican Walls: All in a Vatican Week

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The three week Synod on the family is finally over, but the homestretch did not come without some drama: an Italian newspaper, Quotiando Nazione, reported that Pope Francis has a small, benign brain tumour. Cue the denials and conspiracy theories. Pope Francis provided his own plot twist, taking the floor on Thursday afternoon to announce he has created a new dicastery for laity and family. All of this pulling attention away from the fact that the final document has been written, voted on and is ready for delivery to Pope Francis.

Dr. Takanori Fukushima is a specialist in tumours at the base of the skull.  Quotidiano Nazionale said he was flown to the Vatican and diagnosed the pontiff with a small, benign tumour. Dr. Fukushima told Italian news agency ANSA he has treated three vatican prelates in the past but never the pope. In response, QN’s editor in chief claimed his paper never said Dr. Fukushima treated the pope, they only dedicated eight pages to the story, including a feature piece on Dr. Fukushima. All of this might sound horrendous to those not familiar with the Italian media landscape, but it’s just another day on the beat in Italy.

While the Vatican press office was busy squashing the tumour story, the synod fathers were once again in the synod hall for a general session. Pope Francis took the floor and announced:

“I have decided to establish a new dicastery with competency for laity, family and life, that will replace the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family. The Pontifical Academy for Life will be joined to the new dicastery.”

He also revealed he has set up a commission that will draw up the statues for this new mega-dicastery. The statues will be presented to the pope and the Council of Cardinals at the next C9 meeting in December.

There is no indication yet who will lead the new dicastery or what will happen to the prelates who currently run the Council for the Family (Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia) and the Council for the Laity (Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko).

The final synod document has been reviewed and voted on section by section. As I write this post a 10 member panel at the Vatican is reviewing the results of that vote and drafting the final document that will be presented to Pope Francis.

What do we know about that final text: The majority of bishops and cardinals are much happier with this than the original. They felt the original document was unfocused (everything but the kitchen sink) and the audience of that text was not clear. Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay told journalists to expect a text that outlines questions that need to be asked rather than proposing solutions.

For a unique – and lighthearted- take on the final stages of the Synod you might want to explore Archbishop Mark Coleridge’s blog “On the Road Together.” He delicately reveals some of the key moments inside the Synod hall.

Photo c/o Gabriel Chow

Watch this week’s Vatican Connection below:


Alicia

Every week brings new, exciting, and sometimes juicy headlines from behind Vatican walls and every week Alicia delves deeper into one of those headlines. For a full run down of what’s been happening behind Vatican walls, watch Vatican Connections. Already watch the program? Come back every Friday for an in-depth look at an issue, headline or person. Season 4 of Vatican Connections airs every Friday at 8:00 pm ET.