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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.”

The Pope to visit earthquake victims in Italy


Many are hoping that the Pope bring a message of hope to a community plagued with uncertainty.
But it wasn’t just Italian lives that were affected. Here in L’Aquila, a community of Peruvian immigrants have been among those whose lives were shattered by the quake.  

Zoila Mogollon lived through three earthquakes in Peru. She says her fourth was by far the worst she’s seen.

Zoila Mogollón
Resident of L’Aquila
“In 1970, when I felt the first one, I was ten years old. Then I went through another in 1974 again in Peru. Then in 2007. And now in 2009 in Italy it’s the strongest I’ve ever felt. Even the locals say they’ve never seen anything like this before. So, for us it’s been a terrible experience.”

As the damage continues to pile up, so does the amount of money needed to rebuild. The Catholic Church has pledged an extra 2 million Euros on top of the initial 3 million that were pledged in the immediate aftermath of the quake. Victims like Zoila and her husband are counting on the aid to help rebuild their lives.

Zoila Mogollón
Resident of L’Aquila

“We don’t know if we’ll be able to stay here in L’Aquila. Not until they rebuild and make it an habitable place again with jobs. We need jobs, otherwise we’ll have to take off and find another place to live.”

The Pope will visit L’Aquila on April 28th. Victims like Martha Perez lost everything they owned to the earthquake except for one important thing that many in L’Aquila expect the Pope to reaffirm: hope.

Marta Perez
Resident of L’Aquila

“Hope is never dead. But we feel like everyday there’s no tranquillity because we still feel aftershocks everyday. So, we’re always on edge. But hope is something we should always have. It should never die.”

A public funeral was held on Good Friday for the victims killed in the earthquake.  Though the Pope did not attend the ceremony, he sent his condolences with his personal secretary and Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.