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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.

Rimini Meeting: From the AIDS epidemic to Shakespeare and Rock Music


The fact that tens of millions of people are affected from this disease, was also discussed during the Rimini Meeting, under the theme "A Forgotten Epidemic.” Experts came together to talk about strategies and treatments. Also there were representatives from the United Nations.

Paul De Lay
"We have done studies in different countries, which show that when treatments are combined with a strong community and family unit, people respond better to therapy and have a higher tolerance for medication.”

So in fact, the actual numbers show that it's not just about clinical treatment, it's the whole person itself who must be treated. Because of mass improvements, recently, some argue that AIDS is no longer a priority. But Carlo Perno says the disease will not end until the hearts of men change first.

Carlo Perno
"We must completely cure the heart of mankind. AIDS is an illness that is connected to the behavior of people, so it makes sense that along with medication, people themselves should also be treated. If not, there will be no success.”

Shakespeare's work has surpassed the test of time. From the fairies of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', to the passionate story of 'Mark Anthony and Cleopatra', to 'Falstaff', a sinner who at his old ages invokes God. 

His characters may be complicated, but they've always shown a human dimension.  This very topic was discussed by Literature Professor, Alison Milbank and  Edoardo Rialti who works as the University of Assisi. During the Rimini Meeting they read a specific portion of Hamlet, precisely to prove this point. In that piece, the prince of Denmark recounts how before the eyes of man, mankind is a masterpiece, while in the eyes of God, they are merely dust. But what changes the playing field, says professor Rialti, is the fact that humans have an infinite connection with nature and the infinite.

That's what happens when we accept that  we are creatures that can truly have a relationship with the infinite. Shakespeare explains this in a unique way through his writings: In his comedies and  tragedies, people often make mistakes, but there is also the possibility of being forgiven and ultimately to lead a happy life. It's another way Shakespeare reminds us that mankind is truly a work of art. 

They came dressed in shorts and with no lights or decorations on stage. But really this exceptional band is made up of musicians who have played with great artists. They all came together to put the finishing touches on the Rimini Meeting. All in the name of good old rock music.

That same topic of rock music was also a major point of discussion during the meeting. An exhibit dealt the question of how this type of musical genre, can also open the door to man's search for the infinite. The show was performed by the All Star Rock Orchestra and members asked one very challenging question-point blank. Can everyone be a saint?

"What we've tried to do is to put together songs that, be it from the lyrics or the music, deal with this issue. Especially because these songs have the ability to profoundly touch the hearts of people.”