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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.

The Cenacle, site of the first Eucharist


This is the place where Jesus transformed bread and wine into his body and blood and told the apostles, “Do this in memory of me.”

But the Cenacle is also linked to other historical moments - like Jesus’ first appearance to the apostles, and the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

Archbishop Pietro Sambi
Former Nuncio, Holy Land

"There, the Lord have instituted the Eucharist and Priesthood. It is the best place of the Church. From there started the Evangelization of the Apostles after the coming of the Holy Spirit."

Friar Eugenio Alliata
Custody of the Holy Land

It is not exactly the same room which is seem today, because it was rebuilt, maybe many times during the centuries, but it is according to the tradition in the same place.”

Today, it’s not even a church.

What we see are the ruins of a church built by crusaders during the XII century. In the year 1333, the kings of Naples purchased the cenacle from the sultan of Egypt and then gave it to the Franciscans who built the first convent in the Holy Land.

In the year 1523, Ottoman troops expelled the Franciscans from the cenacle. Since then, Christians have been struggling to recuperate the property.

With the birth of the Israeli state in 1948, thousands of Arabs were forced to abandon their homes. Like other properties that belonged to Palestinians who fled, the Israeli government seized the cenacle on the grounds of an “absentee property” law that says they are entitled to a place that has no owner.

Since then, the Israeli government has kept it open for tourists and pilgrims, but it does not allow Mass to be celebrated there unless there are special circumstances, like John Paul II’s visit there in 2000.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi
Former Nuncio in Holy Land

"It would be a gesture of peace and mutual appreciation, to resituate this place to the Christian community."

Benedict XVI also visited the cenacle during his trip to the Holy Land. There, he prayed for the unity for Christians and asked for help so that Christians in the Holy Land are not forced to flee the land of Jesus.