- May 23, 2020
ROME — A towering Christmas tree that survived a lightning strike in Poland has been set up in St. Peter’s Square as the Vatican gets ready for the holidays. The tree, which was pulled into place Thursday by a crane, will be decorated and illuminated on Dec. 7 during a
Pope Francis has added in a private meeting with Myanmar’s military chief during his upcoming trip to the region in an indication that the Vatican views the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims as a military operation distinct from the will of the civilian government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
“To participate in Mass, especially on Sunday, means entering in the victory of the Risen, being illuminated by his light, warmed by his warmth,” Pope Francis said during his weekly general audience at St. Peter’s square at the Vatican.
China and the Vatican are planning a first-ever exchange of artworks for exhibits in China and the Vatican Museums, as the two states forge ahead with soft diplomacy amid a stalemate in negotiations to heal decades of diplomatic estrangement.
Pope Francis said he would travel to Bangladesh to proclaim the Gospel message of “reconciliation, forgiveness and peace,” and he said he was especially looking forward to a meeting with the nation’s religious leaders.
At a Nov. 17 ceremony at the Polish Embassy to the Holy See, Ambassador Janusz Kotanski delivered a relic of Pope St. John Paul II to Panama’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Miroslava Rosas Vargas. The relic is a gift from Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz to the Church in Panama, as it prepares to host the 2019 World Youth Day.