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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.

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.

A Timeline of the Vatileaks Scandal


In response, the Pope decided to send Viganò to the United States as a nuncio. Afterward, in another letter, he asked the Pope that his new position not be seen as a retaliation, he then named some of those who opposed his management of the Vatican State. Quien?

The next day, on January 26, the Vatican spokesperson, Federico Lombardi, made a statement expressing his "bitterness over the release of classified documents” and left open the possibility of legal action.

Then Twenty-one days later, on February 14 was when Father Lombardi first referred to the scandal as 'Vatileaks'.

The following days were filled with confusion and silence from the Vatican. Then on April 24, Benedict XVI formally created an investigative committee that included Cardinals Herranz, Tomko and De Giorgi. They were put in charge of finding exactly where this leaks came from and who was involved.

On May 19 there was a second round of leaked documents with the release of the book "The secret papers of Benedict XVI”. It was written by the Italian journalist Gialuigi Nuzzi and it reveals around 100 documents that came directly from the pope's desk.

A few days later, the pope himself finally addressed the issue.

Benedict XVI
May 30, 2012

"Some entirely gratuitous rumors have multiplied, amplified by some media, which went well beyond the facts, offering a picture of the Holy See that does not correspond to reality. I would like therefore to reiterate my confidence and my encouragement to my staff and to all those who, day in and day out, faithfully and with a spirit of sacrifice, quietly help me in fulfilling my ministry.”

On May 23, nearly a month after the commission of cardinals was created, the butler of the Pope, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested by the Vatican police. While searching his house, which is located inside the Vatican, police found a cache of confidential documents. Gabriele was then charged with aggravated robbery.

Many observers believe Vatileaks was meant to discredit the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. It was followed by many public calls for his resignation, but then on July 4 the pope wrote a letter expressing his full confidence in Bertone.

Between June 5th and July 21st, the butler was interrogated a total of three times. Gabriele was held in a Vatican jail cell up until July 21 before being released under house arrest.

Three days later, on July 24, Gabriele's lawyers said he had sent a letter to the pope asking forgiveness and saying he had acted alone with no outside pressure.

On July 26th, the commission of cardinals, along with the prosecutor and judge in the case traveled to the pope's vacation home in Castel Gandolfo. There, they met with Benedict to discuss the results of the investigation. They will soon move forward with their decision, and if convicted, Gabriele could face up to six years in an Italian prison.

On August 13th, the Vatican announced that the butler would face a trial.

Later that month, on August 30th, the butler's lawyer quit the case. In a statement he said he didn't agree with the line of defense.