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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.

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.

Fr Joseph Ratzinger, a priest amidst the nazi lie


Those first impressions led to playing with the idea of becoming priest.

Monsignor Georg Ratzinger
Pope’s brother

"We had a small house altar, which our uncle had made for us. We also had paraments, albs that is, and tunicals. The  seamstress who sowed the dresses for my mother and my sister, sewed these paraments, practically tunicals  for us. It was great fun. And we paid attention to how it is done in church, to be able to re-enact it as accurately as possible."

The age of fun and games was over and soon the time came for big decisions. In 1939, at the age of only 12, Joseph Ratzinger entered the Freising seminary.

There he lived through the most difficult years of World War II. One of the consequences of the war was the interruption of the school year.

In 1943, 16-year-old Joseph was called up to duty, like all his fellow classmates and friends, and assigned tasks in Munich’s anti-aircraft defense.

One night, an SS official woke everyone up in the barracks where the soldiers were sleeping. Playing on their fear and fatigue, the official tried to convince them to enroll as volunteers in the SS. Joseph said no because he wanted to become a priest. The official humiliated and made fun of him.

Monsignor Thomas Frauenlob
Former dean, Minor Seminary, Traunstein, Germany

"He always said that his calling to become priest came very early. But it was in this confrontation with National Socialism, this huge lie which took hold, that he moved to becoming a priest."

When we returned to Freising after the war in January 1946, his seminary was in ruins. That’s why the first task for future priests was to rebuild it.

Monsignor Georg Ratzinger
Pope’s brother

"Rebuild is saying too much. It was very seriously damaged, run-down and  dirty. But there my brother and I helped rebuild it."

They studied hard in the seminary in Freising and later at the University of Munich until June 29, 1951, when Cardinal Faulhaber, the same man that so impressed Ratzinger as a child, ordained him a priest in the cathedral of Freising.

It was an unforgettable moment that Joseph Ratzinger remembers as “the most important day of his life.”