Monday, May 19, 2014

POPE RECEIVES BISHOPS OF MEXICO: Monday morning Pope Francis received the bishops of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, who have been in Rome for their mandatory quinquennial ad limina visit. At the end of the meeting, he handed them the text of his planned address, in which he emphasized that fidelity to Jesus Christ must be lived as committed solidarity with the people and their needs. Before delivering the text, the bishop of Rome noted that, despite the serious problems it faces, the Church in Mexico is consoidated on strong pillars, and he urged the bishops always to be faithful to the dual transcendence: the first in prayer with the Lord, and the second with closeness to the people.

FRANCIS WELCOMES KING OF BAHRAIN: This morning the Holy Father received in audience the King of Bahrain, His Majesty Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. A Vatican communique note that, the cordial discussions focused on various themes of common interest, with particular reference to the commitment towards peace and stability in the Middle East, as well as the promotion of dialogue and peaceful co-existence among all members of society. Mention was made of the Christian communitys positive contribution to the country, and appreciation was expressed for His Majestys personal interest in the needs of the local Catholic community.

PRIME MINISTER OF POLAND VISITS HOLY FATHER: Monday in the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis welcomed Prime Minister Donald Tusk of the Republic of Poland, who later met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. During the cordial discussions, said a Vatican communique, mention was made of the recent canonization of John Paul II, and the relevance of this event for the Polish nation. The prime minister expressed his pleasure at His Holiness planned visit to Poland in 2016, on the occasion of World Youth Day. Attention then turned to the countrys social and economic situation. Finally, there was an exchange of views on the current international situation. In particular, concern was expressed regarding the persistent tensions in eastern Europe.

SUNDAY AT THE REGINA COELI: At noon Sunday, the Holy Father Sunday appeared at the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace to pray the Regina Coeli with the estimated 50,000 faithful and pilgrims present in St. Peter's Square. He commented on the day's Gospel reading from the Acts of the Apostles, and noted that, in the early days of the Church, there were tensions and disagreements. In life, there are conflicts; the problem is how to face them. Problems cannot be solved by acting as if they do not exist. Francis said the Apostles, when faced with difficulties, took control of the situation and therefore overcame their problems. By sharing, discussing and praying, all problems in the Church can be resolved, with the certainty that gossip, envy and jealousy never lead to concord, harmony and peace. After the Regina Coeli prayer, the Holy Father asked those present to pray a Hail Mary for the victims of the floods in the Balkans and for all those who continue to work to overcome these moments of despair. He also pointed out that today in the city of Iasi, Romania, Bishop Anton Durcovici, martyr to the faith, was proclaimed a Blessed. He greeted students from various Catholic schools, the voluntary associations celebrating the National Day for Cancer Patients, and all those present, wishing them a good Sunday, and a good lunch!


Vatican City, 19 May 2014 (VIS) The Autorit di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF) - Financial Intelligence Authority - of the Holy See and the Vatican City State today presented its Annual Report for 2013. The report reviews the activities and statistics of AIF for the year 2013.

One paragraph notes that the AIF has recorded a notable uptake in suspicious transaction reports (STR), from 6 in 2012 to 202 in 2013. This increase reflects both the development of the legal framework and a substantial improvement in the operational performance of the supervised entities with regard to the prevention of financial crime. Five reports have been passed on to the Vatican Promoter of Justice for further investigation by judicial authorities.

For full, 860-word report in English: Click here

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