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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:

Israel and the Holy See: Negotiating the Legal Status of the Church in Israel since 1999


Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See

 "Beginning this December, we will mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Holy See.”

It was back in 1993, under John Paul II that the Holy See and Israel established full diplomatic relations. But another agreement was left pending. The legal status of the Catholic Church in Israel has been negotiated on and off since 1999. The negotiations deal with the rights and privileges of the Church and its parishes in Israel. Everything from taxes to its judicial status.

We spoke with the ambassador, before both states held their most recent meeting on January 29 in Jerusalem.

Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See

 "We are going to have another round of negotiations in a few weeks in Israel. We hope to make even more progress, so I think there is a reason for optimism.”

Optimism has been shown over the years, but up until now, an agreement has not been reached.  At this point, there is no specific date for an actual agreement, but Evrony acknowledges that actually reaching an agreement would be a historic moment for both sides. The next meeting is scheduled for June 2013 at the Vatican

As far as international attention, Israel has been on the spotlight for the ongoing conflict with Palestine, but more specifically, for its plan to build thousands of Israeli settlements East of Jerusalem. Critics say the plan will be yet another obstacle that could prevent a peace deal with Palestine. The ambassador says that is a misconception. The real obstacle, he says, is a lack of direct negotiations.

Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See

 "The biggest misconception is that the settlements are an obstacle to peace. People forget that until 1967, before the six day war, when there were no so called occupied territories, there were no settlements, yet there was no peace.”

Before coming to Rome,  Evrony served as Israel's ambassador to Ireland. The veteran diplomat was also a Consul General in Houston.  He's been in the foreign service for about 40 years. But despite his lengthy career, he says being Israel's ambassador to the Holy See is unlike any other position he's held in the past.

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