The Holy See (Vatican) and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) are establishing bilateral diplomatic relations, announced a statement by the Holy See Press Office. Pope Francis received the Foreign Minister of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, in a private audience the morning of Thursday, May 4, 2017.
A Vietnamese Delegation to the Vatican has concluded its visit and there are postivie outcomes. The two sides acknowledged the progress in Vietnam – Holy See relations, including regular contacts and consultations, the exchange of high level delegations and frequent pastoral visits to Vietnam by the papal representative and non-resident special envoy, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli.
On 25 October, the Vatican Congregation for the Faith gave an instruction on Cremation. The instruction, Ad resurgendum cum Christo emphasizes that ashes should be put in a sacred place, not transformed into jewellery or other commemorative memorabilia.
The Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Culture (PCC) and Allianz today announced that Allianz is the Founding Partner of the Sport at the Service of Humanity Conference, conceived by the Council under the leadership of its President, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi. “Challenge yourself in the game of life, as you do in the game of sport,” are the words of Pope Francis, which have inspired this interfaith conference on faith and sport to take place in Rome, October 5 to 7, 2016.
On Saturday May 28, Pope Francis met with the president of the Republic of Singapore, marking 35 years of diplomatic relations between the Southeast Asian country and the Holy See, and the first ever state visit by a Singaporean president to a Pope.
Pope Francis has met the grand imam of Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, looking to heal Vatican relations with the influential centre of Sunni Muslim learning after dialogue was frozen five years ago. The 1,000-year-old mosque and university centre cut contacts with the Vatican in 2011 over what it said were repeated insults towards Islam from Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict.
The Permanant Observer of the Vatican to the United Nations gives account of recent terrorism and the role of religious leaders in countering terrorism. The recent Marrakesh Declaration is cited as example of efforts by religious leaders to repudiate, refute and rebut erroneous presentations of religious teachings which seek to recuit those symapthetic to false interpretations of religious teachings.
The Vatican has sent a message for the Buddhist Feast of Vesakh (Wesak), saying both religions recognize that the ‘eco-crisis’ is an ‘ego-crisis.’ Vesakh is the most important holiday for Buddhists, for it commemorates the principal events of the life of Buddha, and is celebrated on different dates, according to different traditions, in the various countries of Buddhist culture. This year, the festival is celebrated in some countries on May 14, while in others between 20 and 21 May.
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies of Amman, Jordan, held their fourth colloquium in Rome last week.
The theme chosen was “Shared values in social and political life: Christian and Muslim perspectives.” The colloquium expressed, “We share beliefs and moral values. Our commonalities are much more than our particularities, and they constitute a solid basis for peacefully and fruitfully living together, also with persons of good will who do not profess a particular religion”
Women have gathered in the Vatican and highlighted their great contributions to the world and Church. The event shared stories of women who have extraordinarily helped other women reach their potential.