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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.

How John Paul II helped Chile and Argentina avoid going to war


They turned to mediators such as the Hague Tribunal, the United States Attorney General and the Queen of England. However, none of them managed to bring them in line.

Then just hours before the Christmas of 1978, Argentina moved its troops and everything pointed that war was inevitable.

Hugo Gobi
Diplomatic Minister, Argentine Embassy to the Holy See
“Both countries had the logic of war behind them. They were both militarised, they were both sending troops to the borders. Actually they were on the brink of war”.

In the end, Argentine troops didn’t occupy the Island and just four months after his election as pontiff, John Paul II accepted to mediate. It was his first mission in international politics. It was a time the papal nuncio in Argentina Cardinal Pio Laghi lived intensely. This is how he remembered the conflict a few months before his death.

Card. Pío Laghi
Ex-nuncio in Argentina

“It was John Paul II, in the last hour, that he spoke to them, to those in power, Pinochet on one side and military junta on the other side, he spoke so strongly and he said, wait I come, and he sent immediately a cardinal to see whether they could find a way.”

The Pope appointed Cardinal Samoré mediator and sent him to the area. He was an effective mediator, in just two weeks the foreign ministers of Chile and Argentina signed the Act of Montevideo, which formally requested mediation from the Vatican and renounced the use of force.

The talks lasted for over 5 years. And concluded on  November 29th 1984, 25 years ago. On that day, the heads of state of Chile and Argentina signed a Treaty of Peace and Friendship at the Vatican.

The islands on the northern channel were awarded to Argentina and the islands on the southern half, to Chile. Moreover, both countries could sail through the area although the marine territory belongs to Argentina.

Card. Pío Laghi
Ex-nuncio in Argentina

“Through the good work of the cardinal and through the great credit John Paul II had, they avoided the war and they were able in the end to make peace.”

Nevertheless, the Pope’s mediator didn’t get to witness the signing of the treaty because he died some months earlier. In his honor, Chile and Argentina named one of its largest borders with the name International Pass Cardenal Samore.

-WP -