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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.

Pope's butler says he is innocent of aggravated theft and acted alone


FR. Federico Lombardi
Vatican spokesman
"The butler said he had no economic interest in leaking the documents. He said he was motivated by a feeling of personal distress. He said he was guilty of betraying the Pope and the trust the Pope had in him.”

According to the former butler, the Pope wasn't always completely informed by others. He said he grew worried during the daily lunch he had with the Pope, when he saw it was easy to manipulate him.

He also said he would make copies of the confidential documents during work hours out in the open. He said the copies were made inside the office of the Pope's personal secretary.

As far as money, Gabriele said he was never paid and money was never a motivation. On the contrary the leaks,  he said, have only caused him problems.

The Pope's personal secretary,  Georg Gaenswein also took the witness stand.

He said he had always trusted the butler, but he became suspicious, when letters that were addressed to him, were leaked. Especially since those documents, had never left his office.

The hearing brought to light alleged mistreatment of the butler during the first two weeks of his arrest. By means of a court order, the Vatican's prosecutor has opened an investigation into the Vatican's police department, also known as the Gendarmerie. They want to clarify why "Paoletto" spent about 15 days in a small cell where he couldn't extend his arms and the light was constantly on.

The Vatican's police said he was offered a sleep masked but he denied it, because the light, he argued, kept him company.

Furthermore, the butler always had lunch with police officers, he had known over the years. He always rejected offers to exercise at their Vatican gym and  was given a daily hour to be outdoors. They argue, his family also had unlimited visitation rights.

Even though the Vatican was hoping to close the Vatileaks chapter, it seems that its outdated judicial system, is not making it any easier. The trial is expected to end on October 6th.  

- BN