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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.

Pope to Argentinians: Live the Gospel out on the street, not just in your parish


Pope Francis, visited Rios Cathedral to meet with thousands of Argentinians who traveled to Brazil take part in World Youth Day. Speaking in Spanish, the Pope encouraged the youth, tolive their faith, out in the streets and not just in their parish.

"What do I expect from World Youth Day? I want action. I know you will shake things up. I know  that's going to happen here in Rio. But I also want action in your dioceses. I want you to go beyond your comfort zone. I want the Church to go out to the street."

After visiting the Varghina slum,  Pope Francis made his way to the city's Cathedral to meet with the youth. In the background, one could hear the 1987 World Youth Day Hymn, back when the celebration was held in Argentina. The Pope stressed that the Church is not an NGO. He also said the youth has a lot in common with the elderly,  encouraging them to not exclude them in their family or society. 

"The world we live in has gone too far. It's too much. It's gotten to a point where God has been replaced by money. We are witnessing a philosophy of exclusion that goes to two extremes, disregarding the young and the elderly. These two are needed! We don't take care of the elderly. But there's also a cultural euthanasia. They are not allowed to speak or act. It's the same with the youth. Young people have to go out to defend true values. Fight for those values!"

In his improvised speech, the Pope also told the youth that faith is real and that they should stay true to their beliefs. 

"Faith in Jesus Christ is no joke. It's something very serious. It's incredible that God became human to be with us. This is amazing. Jesus died on the Cross-This is astounding! The sacrifice of the Cross is incredible, and it's the only sure path. Please don't dilute your faith in Jesus Christ. You can't reduce faith. Faith is whole. Faith in Jesus cannot be diluted.” 

An image of Our Lady of Lujan was present during the meeting, which was actually not part of the official schedule. The Pope blessed theimage as well as the St. Francis Cross that will be part of a pilgrimage in his native Argentina. 

More than 20,000 Argentinians traveled to Brazil for World Youth Day. Those who managed to actually go inside the Cathedral,  spent the night outside, so they could get a spot in the morning. Since not everyone was allowed inside, the Pope took some time to greet the pilgrims who were outside. As he greeted them he lifted an Argentinian flag

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