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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:

10 oddest gifts given to Benedict XVI


In ninth place is the world's smallest Bible. It's a high tech microchip that holds all the sacred texts. Shimon Peres gave it to the Pope during his visit to the Holy Land. Fortunately, they had a magnifying glass to see it.

At number eight is Bodmer Papyrus, which is the oldest manuscript of the New Testament. It was given to Benedict XVI and now it's held at the Vatican's Apostolic Library.

In seventh place are concerts. These type of gifts are actually quite common during Benedict XVI's pontificate. This one was directed by Riccardo Muti. The concert was a gift from Italy's president. Then there is this other one, which was held at Castel Gandolfo. (August 10, 2011)

Then, number six is also related to music. On his 81st birthday the Pope visited the White House. As a gift, President George Bush gave him a collection of country music.

At number five, there is this modern gift. Mexico's TV network 'Azteca' gave the Pope an iPod with 14 hours of traditional Mexican music. It also included a few of Mozart song's so the Pope could enjoy his flight to Mexico.

"We knoe that you are very involved in technology, that you like Twiter, you have an iPad, and you have this iPod with classic music and Mexican music for your trip ”

The number four spot is this race car wheel, which was given to the Pope by the president of Ferrari, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo. The Pope had quite a reaction.

"Look how many things have to be controlled by the drivers during the races! ”

"It is also complicated the steering wheel of the Church...”

In third place is the huge Easter egg given to the Pope by the president of Bulgaria. Because of its size, it may be placed in the Vatican's Contemporary Art Collection Museums.
In second place there is this set of 12 dessert plates, given to the Pope by Prince Charles. They include hand painted  flowers from the garden of Highbrow, which is where the son of the Queen of England, lives. But even the Prince questioned the practicality of the gift.

"I do not know if it will be useful ...".

In first place, is a gift given to the Pope by a German bishop. For his 80th birthday, he was given 20 gallons of beer, so he could toast to his health. But the Pope decided to give the gift to the Swiss Guard. Even though he likes beer, he has always said that his favorite drink, is simply orange juice.

- PR