Cardinal João Braz de Aviz spoke at the beginning of a day-long conference at the Pontifical Urbaniana University to highlight the importance of the Pact of the Catacombs.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, Australian Cardinal George Pell, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, and Philippines Cardinal Luis Tagle are among the 15 prelates who will be planning and organizing the next global meeting of Catholic bishops.
The four bishops will be part of a group preparing the next Synod of Bishops, following conclusion of the closely watched three-week Synod held at the Vatican last month on issues of family life.
In an ecumenical visit to Rome’s Evangelical Lutheran church, Pope Francis suggested Lutherans might personally discern whether to take Catholic communion.
Pope Francis on Sunday expressed closeness to the victims in Paris and said using the name of God to justify violence is "blasphemy."
Pope Francis has condemned Friday night’s terrorist attacks in Paris, saying they left him "shaken and pained" and are inhuman and unjustifiable.
While never citing the Catacombs Pact specifically, Francis has evoked its language and principles, wishing for a "poor church, for the poor."
Faith and Justice: Difficult topics should have been examined by an ad hoc committee with a diverse membership, which should have reported back to the synod.
Vatican reforms will not be stopped, according to Joseph F.X. Zahra, an economist and Malta business and banking executive, who has spent the better part of the past few years helping to lead the changes taking place at the Vatican. In 2011, Zahra was appointed as one of five members of the International Audit Committee of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.