National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican

Six things to expect in the pope's address to Congress

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Everyone wants Congress to stop fighting and get working, and that includes Pope Francis, a top adviser said Wednesday in a preview of the pope's upcoming U.S. trip.

The Argentine-born pope has never been to the United States, but he will make history in September as the first pope to address a joint meeting of the House and Senate on Capitol Hill.

"The pope will come humbly but will talk clearly," Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a top adviser to Francis, told an audience at Georgetown University.

Pope Francis names new commission to implement reform of Vatican media

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Pope Francis has set up a five-person committee -- which includes Irish Msgr. Paul Tighe -- to find ways to implement recommendations for streamlining and modernizing the Vatican's many communications structures.

When the pope met with his Council of Cardinals in April, the cardinal advisers suggested he name a new commission to implement a reform plan drafted by a previous 11-member papal commission.

Italians arrest suspected terrorists; Vatican says no current threat

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Italian police arrested at least nine people in what officials described as a terrorist cell that had planned, in 2010, to strike at the Vatican with a suicide bomber.

A few hours after the police in Cagliari announced the arrests, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the planned attack on the Vatican was "a hypothesis going back to 2010, one which did not take place."

The threat did not appear to be ongoing, he said, therefore it was not "a reason for particular concern."

France says Vatican has not issued response for proposed ambassador

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Despite media reports that Pope Francis refused the candidate that France proposed as its next ambassador to the Holy See, the French government has yet to receive an official response from the Vatican, said a spokesperson for the French government.

"For the moment, we wait," said Stephane Le Foll.

During a press briefing Wednesday in Paris, Le Foll confirmed that Pope Francis met with the proposed candidate, Laurent Stefanini. However, Le Foll discounted reports claiming the pope did not approve the nomination.

Professor priest found dead in outskirts of Rome

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Italian military police are investigating the death of a 60-year-old priest and theologian who taught at two pontifical universities in Rome. According to media reports, Fr. Lanfranco Rossi was found face-down in a pool of blood in the hazelnut grove near his community's retreat center in San Feliciano, just outside of Zagarolo, about 21 miles south of Italy's capital.

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May 6-19, 2016

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