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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.

Jews and Catholics relationship, slowly strengthening


After John Paul II visited the synagogue in Rome back in 1986, inter religious dialogue hit historic levels. John Paul II was the first pope to walk into a synagogue since the time of the apostles.

Elio Toaff
Chief Emeritus Rabbi (Rome)

“It was very emotional. I never thought he would meet me with open arms. When he hugged me I felt something was changing. I felt as if one chapter was closing and another was starting.”

Riccardo Di Segni
Chief Rabi of Rome

“It was important for the current pope to follow in his predecessors footsteps in order to show it wasn’t just a one time visit, he did it to show that he will continue the dialogue.”

Benedict XVI has continued what his predecessor started and has visited synagogues on two occasions. One in Koln, Germany, the other in New York. He also visited the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Jews consider it one of their most sacred places.

But the Jewish community in Rome sees this not only as an opportunity to continue the dialogue John Paul II started, but also to reflect a friendship that needs to be strengthened.

Riccardo Di Segni
Chief Rabi of Rome
“We need to strengthen and reinforce our relationship and respect. And show that both sides are willing to discuss our issues. Issues that can either seperate us or unite us.”

The visit almost didn’t happen after Benedict XVI proclaimed Pius XII “venerable”. The Jewish community in Rome recognizes Pius XII saved the lives of many Jews, but fault him for not condemning the Nazi regime. However, other historians believe if Pius XII would have taken action against Hitler’s regime, more Jews would have lost their lives.

The visit to Rome’s synagogue falls on a special day for the Catholic and Jewish communities of Rome. It’s a holiday celebrated together by both. Jews in Rome recognize the day as the anniversary of a strong storm that was able to miraculously put out a fire in a ghetto in Rome.

Riccardo Di Segni
Chief Rabi of Rome

“When we decided on the date of the pope’s visit, we noticed it coincided with a Jewish holiday in Rome and the Sunday that the Catholic Church in Rome dedicates to relations with the Jews. All these things will make it a very special day.”

A special day, for a historic visit bringing together two of Rome’s largest communities.