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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 Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.

October 2012: Synod and the Start of the Year of the Faith


"We find the accused Paolo Gabriele guilty...”

His sentence was reduced a year and a half in prison, because of his otherwise clean work record and because officials decided he acted without malicious intent.

The butler was calm when he heard his sentence and walked off with a smile.

The most affected person was Benedict XVI, who was visibly distraught throughout the entire ordeal, which lasted months.

The remainder of the Pope's month filled up quickly. On November 7, he kicked off the synod for the New Evangelization with a solemn ceremony where named German nun Hildergarda de Bingen and Spaniard Juan de Avila as doctors of the Church.

More than 260 bishops from around the globe participated in the synod. For three weeks they learned how to launch the New Evangelization in Christian countries with a weakening religious tradition.

October was the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council. To mark the occasion, the Pope introduced the "Year of Faith.” He planned on launching several initiatives to get Catholics to further explore and live out the Catholic doctrine. The Pope cited the early Christians as great examples.

"Dear brothers and sisters, you are among the protagonists of the New Evagelization that this Church will henceforth carry, not withtout difficulty, but with the same enthusiasm as early Christians.”

To mark the anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, St. Peters Square flooded with faithful, as it did 50 years ago.


"Over these fifty years we have learned and experienced how original sin exists and is translated, ever and anew, into individual sins which can also become structures of sin. We have seen how weeds are also always present in the field of the Lord.”

In October the Pope canonized seven new saints, four women and three men. Among them, there are two martyrs: Jacques Barthieu, who was killed in Madagascar, and Pietro Calungsod, killed in the Philippines in 1672.

Two were dedicated to teaching: Spaniard Carmen Salles, women's education pioneer, and Giovanni Battista Piamarta, who tough professions to many at risk youth.

Also on that list is Kateri Tekakwhita, a Native American woman who dedicated her entire life to caring for the sick; Sister Marianne Cope, who worked with lepers in Hawaii; and German Anna Schaffer, who was bed-ridden, but her words provided enlightenment for many people.

"May the witness of these new saints, and their lives generously spent for love of Christ, speak today to the whole Church, and may their intercession strengthen and sustain her in her mission to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world.”

The month closed off with a birthday. The Sistine Chapel turned 500 years old. Yet despite its age, it retains its original splendor.

VIC JMB @JavierMbrocal /RCarr
- PR