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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.

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.

Benedict XVI calls on artists to convey hope to the world


Inside the Sistine Chapel, Benedict XVI also reminded more than 250 artist, of the contrary, that obscene, provocative and transgressive art is the opposite of beauty.

Benedict XVI

"You are the custodians of beauty: thanks to your talent, you have the opportunity to speak to the heart of humanity, to touch individual and collective sensibilities, to call forth dreams and hopes, to broaden the horizons of knowledge and of human engagement.”

The Pope pointed out that even in a world marked by despair, only beauty can return the excitement to the people as long as beauty is not superficial.

Benedict XVI
“Through your art, you yourselves are to be heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity!.”

Santiago Calatrava

“I believe that in the world and in the moment we are living in, bringing the concept of beauty that he has given ,at this point in time, is essential and it significantly shows.”

Álvaro Siviero

“The pope’s words today, were the words we artists need to hear, once, twice, three times, always. Because we need to make our beauty, the beauty that we create, in my case music, a small reflection, a very small reflection of a larger beauty.”

Zaha Hadid

“Beauty in all origins is about, someone in heaven, how you can create spaces to be like heaven on earth in a way and that’s way there was so much effort to magnification created that not only in one single space but through a city or through large public spaces.”

Authentic beauty, according to Benedict XVI, provokes the desire to learn and to love. In fact, it allows one to contemplate the essence of things and therefore brings people closer to God. The Pope has warned the artists of the heavy responsibility they carry.

Eduardo Verástegui

“What we need today is for artists to take on their responsibilities and use their talents as a means to heal the wounds of the soul and heat and change this culture of death for a culture of life.”

Susana Tamaro

“We have to realize that art helps man speak to the mystery he carries in him and to talk about life and death.”

Bill Viola

“We need to know how to go forward and I think if you look historical, the artists have often been the ones to give the image, to give the vision to people as a possibility, as a way to go forward into a positive place”.

The meeting between the artists and the Pope is an effort to renew the relationship between art and the Church. Benedict XVI has invited the artists to maintain a friendly relationship and called for collaboration. He’s also said that the Church needs artists to transmit it’s message of salvation and since art instils inspiration and gives a new meaning to it’s work every time they look to God.