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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.”

Seven most common mistakes about 'Vatileaks'


The first mistake is the notion that "the  documents are scandalous.” Even though the leak of roughly 100 documents has caused some embarrassment, their content is not very shocking. In them, its authors write to the Pope to address real problems within the Church. In some of them, its authors highlight decisions that they don't agree with.

Some of the documents include requests to meet with the Pope, confidential reports and proposals for Benedict XVI. The documents are quite direct and don't always follow protocol, since it was assumed, they would only be seen by the Pope.

The second mistake, is that notion that the "documents are an attack against the Pope.” The leaked documents actually give a positive image of the Pope. They show that before making a final decision, he seeks insight from his collaborators.

But in essence, the leak of documents is a direct and serious violation of his privacy and of the Vatican in general.

The third mistake that's been reported, is that "the Vatican is divided into two battling groups.”  The leaked documents actually deal with very different topics and different departments. The documents do however, seem to be a way to discredit Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who serves as the Vatican's Secretary of State. Also on that list is the Pope's secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein.

As in other governments and bureaucracies, there are always differing opinions. But this shouldn't be confused with internal hostility.

The Fourth most common mistake, is that "cardinals cannot be judged in court.”
Since the Vatican is a state, it actually has its own "Supreme Court Tribunal,” which is also the court that deals with formally judging cardinals. The tribunal is made up of a panel of cardinals, including Raymond Burke, Jean-Louis Tauran and Paolo Sardi.

The fifth mistake out there, is that "the Popes butler, will be judged by the Tribunal of the Church.” This is not completely correct, since the butler and other possible suspects, will be judged by the civil tribunal of the City State of the Vatican. In this case, the judges are not priests, but rather, lay people who are law experts and  professors of Italian Universities.

The term 'Holy See' actually refers to government of the Catholic Church. While, the Vatican City State is the territory where the Pope lives.

The sixth mistake is that "the butler will be judged secretly.”  At this point, a judge has issued a gag order on items connected to the investigation. But if he chooses to go forward with a trial, that trial would take place publicly. If a trial does take place, the butler would have his two lawyers.

The seventh item, is that Benedict XVI will issue a "Papal Pardon to the butler”  At this point, this is still a hypothesis that's still in the air. Years, ago, John Paul II forgave the man who tried to kill him, Ali Agca. Even though this case, is completely different, it is possible that the Pope may issue his pardon to Paolo Gabriele.

In any case, only time will tell, what the fate of the butler and possible accomplices will be.

- PR