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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.

New energy behind monsignor Oscar Romero’s beatification


The government in the Central American country launched a fierce repression against the left to put a stop to the guerrillas. Trade unionists, politicians and even priests and nuns were killed.

The Archbishop of San Salvador denounced violence on both sides and called for a more just society. This was the sermon he delivered one day before his death.

“I would like to make a special call to all men in the military. Brothers you are killing your own brothers, because you are from this land. And before an order to kill a man, God’s law must prevail, and God’s law says “Do not kill.”

According to the official commission that investigated the murder, a senior army official decided to put an end to the Archbishops comments for good.

The death squad decided to kill him when he was least able to defend himself. It happened during a mass celebration in a hospital.

“He went to the altar to extend the body to make the sacrifice. When in that moment you didn’t even hear the noise from vehicle, you only saw the vehicle come in. Some witnesses say that the murderer came out and shot from one of the sides.”

A little before the 30th anniversary of his death, the bishops of San Salvador asked the Vatican to speed up the process which would proclaim him a martyr.

Msgr. Fernando Saenz Localle
Archbishop Emeritus of San Salvador (El Salvador)

“As a friend and as someone who knew him personally, I believe that with this cause, it’s important to highlighting these two characteristics: that he was without a doubt true to the doctrine, and that he was also a pious man.”

The cause is now in its 15th year. The process has been slow because in order to declare someone a martyr, there must be proof one was murdered because of hate to ones faith not ones political views.

In fact, over time the archbishop has become a political figures.

Even though the process is still ongoing, John Paul II described him as a testimony of faith during a ceremony in memory of the martyrs of the twentieth century at the Coliseum in Rome.

And years before, in1983 the late pontiff turned his car by surprise to pray at his tomb on a trip to El Salvador, even when the Salvadorian government had asked him not to.