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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.

Synod of bishops denounces injustices that plague Africa


The 244 participants are voicing the continent’s problems and sufferings while in Rome. And they’re asking for help in getting rid of these injustices.

Cardenal Wilfrid Napier
Arzobispo de Durban, Sudáfrica

Papal documents are telling us that the way to do it is to make sure that there is justice in the world. So a natural theme would be justice and what can the Church do to ensure that the principles at least are known so that government and community leaders would be able to ensure that justice is done in their communities and their countries.

Issues like arms trafficking, child soldiers and ethnic murders are at the forefront of the synod’s dialogue.

One of the bishops from Nigeria denounced murders that stem from the rise of superstition and witchcraft.

Albino children are often the bigger victims because they are often killed or abandoned, and women accused of witchcraft.

One bishop from the Democratic Republic of Congo asked for the dignity of woman to be promoted and denounced rapes that continue to happen in his country.

The Church’s internal problems are also being highlighted. A Kenyan bishop regretted that some Catholic institutions pay their employees less than what non-religious institutions pay.

Mons. Buti Thlagale
Arzobispo de Johannesburgo, Sudáfrica
My hope is that whatever we have spoken about at this synod that we will carry back for Africa as a Church and therefore cutting across regions and the continent that we will be in one voice in trying to implement whatever we have decided on here.

The synod has also counted on outside help. The first is Rodolphe Adada, expert on the war in Darfur as an former United Nations and African  representative.

He explained that after 20 years of civil war in Sudan between the Christian south and the Islamic north, the situation seems to be calming down, but injustices are still rampant. That’s why he’s asking the world to keep working towards bringing stable peace to the region.

The other outsider was Jacques Diouf, director general of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Diouf, a Muslim, thanked the pope for the Church’s part in battling world hunger.

He said that in his opinion, Christianity and Islam alike both promote rationalization of resources and the respect of man so as to put an end to world injustices.

Shortly after his address, the Vatican announced that the pope will visit the FAO headquarters in Rome in mid-November to take part in the meeting of heads of state on food security in the world.