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LA STAMPA

Between Two Popes: Father Georg Gänswein Redefines Vatican Diplomacy

It is the most delicate of roles right now, as Father Georg continues to serve his original boss, retired Pope Benedict XVI, while also heading the Papal household of Pope Francis.

VATICAN CITY — During the morning audience, Father Georg sits smilingly beside Pope Francis. In the afternoon, he returns to play guardian angel to — and be the eyes and ears for — Benedict XVI.

Jockeying between two worlds has never scared Georg Gänswein.

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Vatican, Costa Rica, France: #MeToo And The Sound Of Broken Silence

-Analysis-

The #MeToo movement was, above all, a collective "breaking of the silence" that shifted the longstanding balance of power on the question of sexual misconduct, particularly in the professional world.

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Why The Vatican Is Now 'Off Limits' For Chinese Tourists

Chinese tourist agencies will be severely punished for organizing tour groups to St. Peter's Square and the Sistine Chapel (as well as the tiny Pacific island of Palau). The reason? Taiwan

"Travel agencies are required to cancel any tours that include the Vatican or St. Peter's Basilica in the itinerary ..." These words are part of a new, bluntly-word directive issued by China's National Tourism Administration. The Chinese-language outlet of Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports that the new restriction is justified: "because China has no diplomatic relation with the country."

Most of China's travel agencies are state-run, and the authorities allow them to organize tours to 127 countries and regions in the world, excluding the 20 countries that still have official ties with Taiwan. However, until recently, Beijing had allowed Chinese tourists to visit the Holy See, the enclave that usually makes up an integral part of any trip to Rome.

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The Communist Woman And Jewish Shrink In Pope's Past

Pope Francis is not afraid of speaking freely, with his sermons and writings — and a fair share of press interviews — stirring up the Catholic establishment since his election in 2013. Yet a new book based on transcripts of 12 separate conversations with a French sociologist is particularly rich in revelations.

The 432-page Politique et société, du pape François - Rencontres avec Dominique Wolton ("Pope Francis: Politics and Society. Conversations with Dominique Walton") will be out on Wednesday.

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CLARIN
Ricardo Roa

Why Hasn't The Pope Visited His Native Argentina?

Francis has traveled the world and proven himself to be an able messenger of peace. But so far, he's avoided his home country, where his unifying spirit is sorely needed.

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — Since he began his papacy more than four years ago, Pope Francis has traveled frequently, visiting countries of all shapes and sizes, from the powerful United States and France to more overlooked places like Sri Lanka and Bosnia.

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CLARIN
Julio Blanck

Argentine Pope Meets Argentine President, Awkward Again?

After a chilly first encounter, President Mauricio Macri and Pope Francis, both from Argentina but from different ends of the ideological spectrum, are set to meet again.

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — As President Mauricio Macri prepares to meet with Pope Francis in Rome, attention continues to focus on the first frosty encounter between the two influential Argentines, last winter.

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blog

Australian Cardinal Under Fire In Priest Sex Abuse Probe


Cardinal George Pell, Australia's most powerful Catholic Church official, is facing growing scrutiny amidst a national inquiry into priest sex abuse. Pell, featured on the front page of Tuesday's edition of Sydney-based The Daily Telegraph, is being forced to testify over several days in the Royal Commission probe into decades of alleged abuse of children by priests.

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LA STAMPA
Massimo Gramellini

Covering Up Roman Nudes For Rouhani, A Question Of Respect

Italian museum officials covered up prized ancient statues for the visit of Iranian President Rouhani. But what do we lose with such overly eager attention to Muslim sensibilities? And what about our own?

-Essay-

TURIN — Those ingenious Roman officials who covered up four nude statues in the Capitoline Museum fearing that visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani would have fainted at the sight, and tore up new business contracts with our companies, are worthy heirs of a certain way of being Italian: without dignity.

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Vatican Newspaper On Rouhani Meeting With Pope Francis

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L'Osservatore Romano, Jan. 27, 2016

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CLARIN
Ricardo Roa

Why Are The Argentine Pope And President Ignoring Each Other?

The most friendly of pontiffs, Argentine-born Pope Francis has yet to speak to just-elected President Mauricio Macri. Maybe a rude remark by one of Macri's aides is to blame.

BUENOS AIRES — Something seems amiss between Argentina's new president, Mauricio Macri, and the Argentine-born Pope Francis. All the world's diplomatic corps have extended their congratulations to Macri — all but the Vatican's. So many have offered comments on the first steps in government, but not Jorge Bergoglio, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires who has made informality and cordiality his personal style. Not a word yet from the pontiff about Macri.

The reason given so far has been so formalistic as to beggar belief: The Vatican says the pontiff does not call to greet a recently elected president. Francis is many things, but one thing he is not is wedded to protocol. He calls people and sends e-mails left, right and center. Inevitably, his silence with Macri is provoking murmurings through the Argentine halls of power that are difficult to silence.

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U.S.-Russia Deal, Deadly Congo Protests, Papal Brain Tumor?

U.S., RUSSIA REACH DEAL ON SYRIA CAMPAIGNS

Washington and Moscow officials signed an agreement yesterday to regulate flights over Syria in a bid to avoid potential clashes in the skies between U.S. and Russian aircraft as the rival countries engage in separate operations against jihadists, The New York Times reports. But the deal doesn't include intelligence sharing, and the Pentagon insisted the agreement doesn't "constitute U.S. cooperation or support for Russia's policy or actions in Syria," which it called "counterproductive."

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blog

Vatican Denies Italian Report Of Pope's Brain Tumor

La Nazione, Oct. 21, 2015

In what it characterizes as an international scoop, Italian daily La Nazione reports that Pope Francis has a curable brain tumor, which the Vatican no doubt has been trying to keep secret. "The Pope Is Sick," is the newspaper's front page headline Wednesday, the same day the Vatican characterized the report as a "complete lie."

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