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Pope Francis

Nicolás Maduro meets with the pope in surprise visit to Rome

October 24, 2016. Pope Francis met with Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro. The private visit took place in the midst of the "worrysome political, social, and economic situation the country is going through, which is having serious repercussins in the daily life of the people,” according to a statement from the Vatican.

Holy See and Vietnam begin their 6th bilateral meeting today

October 24, 2016. The sixth meeting between the Holy See and a delegation of Vietnam begins today to improve relations between the two states. The Vatican delegation is headed by Antoine Camilleri, while the head of the Vietnamese delegation is Bui Thanh Son, with Foreign Affairs. The last meeting between the two state delegations was in September 2014.
Pope Francis

Pope to award 2016 Ratzinger Prize to Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles

October 20, 2016. The winners of this year's Ratzinger Prize will be Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles. The former, an Italian priest, is an expert in Systematic Theology and History of Medieval Theology. The latter is Greek and an Orthodox. He is an expert in History of Dogmas and Dogmatic Theology. He will be the first Orthodox to be awarded the prize given by the Joseph Ratzinger Foundation, considered by many the Nobel Prize of Theology.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis sends his condolences to Thais after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

October 14, 2016. Pope Francis has sent a message to the Prime Minister of Thailand to express his condolences for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was 88 years old, and his reign spanned seven decades. Pope Francis said he is "deeply saddened” and he expresses his closeness to the members of the royal family and the Thai people.
Pope Francis

Pope sends 100,000 dollars for Hurricane Matthew victims

October 14, 2016. Through the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", Pope Francis will send $100,000 to the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. The money will fund relief efforts in the first stages of recovery after the devastating effects of the hurricane. With this gesture, the pope wants to express his "closeness of spirit and fatherly support” to everyone in the affected area.
Pope Francis

Pope authorizes new decrees of heroic virtues for four potential saints

October 11, 2016. Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree of heroic virtues to four people, who are being investigated by the Church for possible sainthood. The decrees were given to the following "Servants of God:”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis rejects death penalty on Twitter: #NoDeathPenalty

October 10, 2016. The Pope has has given his support via Twitter to the World Day Against the Death Penalty. The following message can be read in each of his nine accounts, in their respective languages: "Punishment should necessarily include hope! #NoDeathPenalty.”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis announces Synod about youth and vocation

October 6, 2016. It will be held in 2018 under the name "Youth, faith, and vocational discernment.” Preparations for the second Synod of bishops convened by Pope Francis are well underway.

Theme chosen for 2017 World Communications Day

September 29, 2016. The theme for the 2017 World Communications Day has officially been announced. Coming from the book of Isiah, the theme is: "Fear not, for I am with you: communicating hope and trust in our time.”
Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.

Head Of The Benedictine Order Re-elected To Second Term


Notker Wolf
Abbot Primate, Order of Saint Benedict
My real responsibility is to ensure union among the Benedictine orders and all of the confederations, and to be the chief representative of all of the orders, and to make sure the monasteries are collaborating. For this I go to all of the national reunions of abbots or superiors just to be there and have discussions with them. They also asked me to come because they said: you have the most experience on how it is done in other parts of the world.

The order has somewhat of a special kinship with Benedict XVI, who took his papal name in part because of his admiration of Saint Benedict, the founder of the Order.

Notker Wolf
Abbot Primate, Order of Saint Benedict
The Pope is from Bavaria, and as we say, Bavaria is a land that is benedetta, blessed and Benedictine. There are many Benedictine monasteries, and Benedictines had a great influence on the Bavarian mentality. So this is where he comes from. Every year for more than 20 years he has done a private retreat to a Benedictine monastery in Bavaria.

There are approximately 25,000 Benedictine monks and nuns around the world, with strong presences in the United States, Western Europe, India, Vietnam, China, South Korea and the Philippines. Their main work is the education and formation of young people, with over 150,000 students worldwide.

Wolf says that the state of Benedictine monasteries around the world is often a reflection of the state of the church in the country where they live.

Notker Wolf
Abbot Primate, Order of Saint Benedict
The monasteries reflect the demographic situation in a country, and also the situation regarding the faith in a country. If there is really a strong faith, or if everything is secularized. In a secularized world, there should not be as many vocations, but there are.

Wolf says the most important issues for the Benedictine order are the celebration of the liturgy and community life. But when it comes to their work, the members heed the words of Saint Benedict, who said only when you can live by the work of your own hand are you truly a monk.