As I said on my first post today, there was a lot of news about and from the Vatican so I’ll be posting two separate blogs. The first one, as you have possibly seen by now, was all about Pope Francis’ wonderful talk at today’s general audience as he continues a series of catecheses on the family.
The second story was about the ninth meeting of the C9 – The Council of Cardinals who are papal advisors – and summarizes their work from three days of meeting with the Pope in the Santa Marta residence.
I also wrote about Cardinal Roberto Tucci who died last night at the age of 93.
And now, here are a few Vatican-related stories, one about the terrible tragedy of migrants drowning by the hundreds in attempst to reach Italy from Africa and a final story which is, as I say, “just for fun.”
POPE FEARS FOR VICTIMS OF ISIS, NOT FOR HIMSELF
(ANSA) April 14 – Pope Francis has no personal fear of Islamic State (ISIS) militants but is fearful for the brutal mass murder they are inflicting on Christians, the prefect of the Papal Household, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, said in a TV interview that was aired Tuesday night.
“The Pope has no fear for himself (but) he does for the faithful and these threats must certainly be taken seriously,” Abp. Gaenswein told the Retequattro programme La Strada dei Miracoli (The Road of Miracles). “The pope has spoken of this problem of people being persecuted only because they are Christians; they are killed, burned alive and decapitated. … That regards the faithful. For himself, I don’t think he has any fear of the fundamentalists.” http://popefrancisnewsapp.com/
PAPAL IPAD BRINGS $30,500 AT AUCTION
(Reuters) – An Apple iPad which belonged to Pope Francis fetched $30,500 at auction on Tuesday, with proceeds going to a school for the poor in Uruguay, the local auction house selling the item said. The Castells auction house in Montevideo said the winning bid was placed by telephone, but declined to disclose the buyer’s identity or nationality.
It is not the first time Pope Francis, who has often criticized orthodox market economics for fostering inequality, has donated a personal belonging. Last year, a Harley-Davidson motorbike he had received as a gift fetched 241,500 euros ($257,681).
“May you do something good with it,” Uruguayan priest, Fr. Gonzalo Aemilius recalled being told by the Argentina-born pope when he handed over the iPad. Aemilius in turn donated the tablet to the Francisco de Paysandu high school, located about 370 kilometers (230 miles)north of the capital, Montevideo. School officials said that after a string of failed attempts to sell the iPad through auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s they were offering the iPad through local auction house Castells.
The device carries the inscription “His Holiness Francisco. Servizio Internet Vatican, March 2013,” and has a certificate signed by the Pope’s personal secretary, Fabian Pedacchio Leaniz. Pope Francis has called the Internet a “gift from God,” but confesses to being a “disaster” with technology.
VATICAN WEBSITE HACKED AFTER PAPAL REMARKS ABOUT GENOCIDE
(ANSA) New York, April 15 – A Turkish hacker repeatedly attacked the Vatican website between Monday night and Tuesday morning following Pope Francis’ remarks denouncing ‘genocide’ of the Armenians in the First World War, US news reports said Wednesday. The hacker subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack and asked the Pope to withdraw his remarks, according to the website The Hill. The hacker claimed responsibility via Twitter, calling himself THTHerakles and saying he would continue to attack the site http://www.vatican.va.se “if the Holy See does not make official excuses,” the Washington Post said.
ITALIAN COAST GUARD RESCUES 10,000 MIGRANTS IN 5 DAYS
(ANSA) April 15 – Almost 10,000 migrants have been rescued in recent days, Coast Guard officials said Wednesday as new waves of people continued to arrive on Italian shores triggering concerns that this spring could set new deadly records for both migrant crossings and deaths. Some 1,511 people were rescued on Tuesday alone in 12 different operations coordinated by the national Coast Guard relief service. That came after 8,480 people were reported rescued in the Mediterranean between Friday and Monday.
The rescues continued amid growing fears that about 400 migrants may have drowned in the sea off Libya after the NGO Save the Children said witnesses had reported a boat capsizing off the Libyan coast. About 144 people were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard from that boat on Monday and nine bodies were recovered.
Among Wednesday’s arrivals were 236 migrants including eight children and many pregnant women brought to Messina in Sicily.
AND JUST FOR FUN….
Rome may introduce 3D “augmented reality” glasses for the Roman Forum that would give visitors the possibility of experiencing the ancient Roman ruins with new verisimilitude to the days of Caesar, Trajan and Nerva, Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said Tuesday. Rome is contemplating experimentation with the ‘immersive’, high definition, virtual reality glasses designed by two young Roman engineers. The first applications for the glasses have been at rock concerts in Rome. “We are organizing a surprise for April 21 – Christmas in Rome,” said Marino. City sources said that a feasibility test of the project is now being launched. (ANSA)