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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:

Cardinal Ruini: Investigation on Medjugorje apparitions will not be presented immediately


The commission's president is Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who says he expects a conclusion soon.

President, Commission of Investigation on Medjugorje

 "It will take just a bit longer, Not much, I hope. But, it's not an immediate thing. We are a consulting commission, we offer our opinion and pass it along to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. They are the ones who will decide or not to release a statement.”

Journalist Saverio Gaeta is the author of the book 'The Last Prophecy: The real story of Medjugorje. 'As an expert in the apparitions, he claims this is a unique situation.


 "This is the first time in history that a commission established by the Holy See investigates an apparition, it's the first time absolutely, in the history of apparitions... It's unprecedented, so we can't compare it to other apparitions.”

Gaeta highlights that the investigation commission is still in the analyzing phase, and, in his opinion, it's not likely that its conclusions will ever be released.


 "There is still some time left before they finish. But there won't be a public declaration, because it's not the commission's duty to say anything to the public. The role of the commission is to give a reasonable explanation to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will not be published officially, however it will likely be leaked. But, the motivation for the commission is to form an opinion and pass it along to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. They will then evaluate it and decide whether to get the Pope involved.”

Up until now, the only official statement from the Church came from the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in 1991. They declared that "it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations.” But it's a  complicated matter. Even though they can't be affirmed, on the other hand, they have not been denied.

However, the investigation commission faces a bigger challenge, because it  must decided whether these alleged apparitions are credible or not.


 "They're required to have greater accuracy. They feel the weight of such a petition, which came from the Pope directly. So they must deepen their understanding of these alleged apparitions as much as possible, to find a way to analyze, from a pastoral point of view, all that's happening there.”

Each year thousands of pilgrims make the trek to the small town in Bosnia-Herzegovina to visit the apparitions of the Gospa, as they call the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. But, it seems they'll have to wait much longer to get on official answer as to whether or not the apparitions are deemed credible by the Church.