National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Vatican City

Pope to formally proclaim holy year in front of basilica's Holy Door

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Celebrating the first vespers for Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis formally will deliver the "bull of indiction" or proclamation of the extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy.

Portions of the document will be read Saturday in front of the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican announced. The Holy Door, usually bricked up, is opened at the beginning of a jubilee year.

The Holy Year of Mercy is scheduled for Dec. 8, 2015, to Nov. 20, 2016.

Francis to Armenian bishops: 'Read reality with new eyes'

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Pope Francis called on the Catholic bishops of Armenia, who are marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide this month, not to retreat in a pastoral commitment to help their people "read reality with new eyes" and to live the hope of resurrection amid their suffering.

Meeting with bishops of the Patriarchal Synod of the Armenian-Catholic church Thursday, the pope also asked that God "hasten concrete gestures of reconciliation and peace among the nations that still fail to reach a reasonable consensus on the reading of these sad events."

Vatican, Italy sign tax treaty, promise to share information

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In a key move toward greater financial transparency, the Holy See signed an agreement with Italy that includes the full exchange of financial information about Vatican employees, pensioners, foundations and religious institutes that are subject to Italian taxes.

People and entities that reside in Italy were expected to be liable for Italian taxes on any interest or earnings coming from bonds, investments and savings in Vatican institutions, according to a general outline of the agreement.

Church directives seek to keep mafia out of Easter processions

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The bishop of a southern Italian diocese has issued new directives aimed at keeping the mafia out of this year's Easter processions.

Commonly called "L'Affruntata" (the encounter), the popular and traditional Easter Sunday procession involves bringing together three statues -- one of Jesus, the apostle John and Mary, who is caped in a black robe. The Marian statue's black robe is removed at the end of the procession to symbolize her joy over Jesus' resurrection.

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In This Issue

May 22-June 4, 2015

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