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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.”

Sweden's ambassador explains catholicism in Stockholm


Sweden's Ambassador to the Holy See

"When people ask me how many staff do you have, I usually respond, 'Well I come here as did St. Peter with one secretary, but look what became of that', with a gesture towards St. Peter's Basilica.”

Her staff may be small, but her projects are not. She is a contributing writer to the Vaticans newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. In addition to cultural events, she has also organized discussion forums in Rome and in Sweden on issues like inter-religious dialogue and debates between believers and non-believers.

It's topics like these, she says, that are of special interest to the Pope, especially because of the crisis of faith in Europe and the instability in the Middle East.

The majority of Sweden is Lutheran. Only about 2 percent is Catholic. When it comes to the Church, she says a lot of people only know about what the Catholic Church opposes, but seldom what it supports.

Sweden's Ambassador to the Holy See

"Disarmament, fighting poverty, defense of human rights.”

The ambassador actually went to Cuba, during the Pope's recent trip to the island. She says, it's just another way to learn about the impact the Holy See has, not just in Europe, but globally.

Sweden's Ambassador to the Holy See

"Of course the Catholic Church in Cuba, is I think the only organized social force outside the Communist Party, so the Church can play an important role as a stabilizing factor in the transition, which is a role that the Church really wants to play.”

After the Reformation, Sweden broke off diplomatic relations with the Holy See, but in 1982, the relationship was re-established. Since 2008, Gudmundson has served as the ambassador of Sweden to the Vatican and the Republic of Malta.