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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.”

Dealing with cases of sexual abuse: From denial to healing and prevention


Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Chief Prosecutor

"Speaking to the entire Church, the Pope called on everyone, the people of God, to recognize that we had failed in helping victims of sexual abuse. The cries of our brothers and sisters were often answered with denial and lack of support.”

Fr. Oliver started his new post with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on February 1st. When it comes to specific numbers, he says about 600 cases of sexual abuse, most of them from 1965 to 1985 have been issued on average in the last few years. The highest number of reports was back in 2004, when 800 cases were reported.

This meeting comes a year after the first main symposium was held in Rome, where Church leaders were introduced to the online Centre for Child Protection, which offers courses on dealing with this critical issue.

Back in 2011, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith called on all  Bishop's conferences, which total 112, to submit their guidelines of how they deal with cases of sexual abuse. The categories they were called to respond on were divided in five points: Assisting the victims, protection of minors, formation of priests and religious, dealing with an abusive priest and collaboration with civil authorities. Most have responded, but many African countries have not.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Chief Prosecutor

 "More than three quarters of episcopal conferences have sent their guidelines to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Most of these responses are from South America, North America, Europe and Oceania.”

Fr. Oliver pledged a zero tolerance policy when it comes to priests and Church officials found to be guilty of abuse. But he also added that this healing and even prevention are part of a long term process.

- PR