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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.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.

Internet used as a tool to bring religion closer


Visitors can also find all the latest news on the preparations leading up to World Youth Day in August of 2011 as well as links to its presence elsewhere on the internet like on youtube and facebook.

Though at the moment the page is only available in Spanish, soon it will be featured in eight other languages including Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

More and more, Catholic institutions are using the internet to talk about God. To study the challenges and perspectives that come with the internet, the European Bishops Media Commission has organized a symposium on the presence of the Church on the world wide web.

Mons. Jean-Michel di Falco Leandri
President, CEEM

“The relationship between the Church and the internet is very important. Instead of ignoring or criticizing negatively, this meeting enriches the dialogue.”

The organization considers the internet an essential tool because it’s difficult to get to certain audiences, like young people, without the internet. That’s why the group highlights that there is still much work to be done in order to consolidate the voice of the Church on the web.

Mons. Jean-Michel di Falco Leandri
President, CEEM

“I think the internet is shaping our culture and it’s creating a new language, a particular language that’s used by young people. This means that if we want to be present and be heard, we have to dominate it.”

Many experts have applauded the move by the European bishops. However, they say that for religious websites to be credible they have to have the same level of quality as sites of larger important organizations.

Rev. John Wauck
Professor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome)

“He has to know the doctrine of the Church, the reality of the Church, the life of the Church, the stories that make the Church come a crash to  the media but also he has to know how speak to the media”.

Paul Tighe
Secretary, Pontifical Council for Social Communications

“Priest is a good communicator when he speaks but also he knows to listen and he knows how to encourage other people to speak”.

Daniel Arasa
Professor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome)

“I think it’s important, as it’s been suggested before, for Episcopal conferences, dioceses and the Church’s institutions and organizations in general to form their own people from within the organization. This means sending them to formation centers.”

To help priests, the Vatican has supported the “Picture Project,” a study that will help better understand how priests use the web to put forth ways to improve the Church’s presence online.