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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:

Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass with former students at Vatican


Benedict XVI will not attend the annual gathering that his former students have organized for over 30 years now to debate on theology. This weekends event will take place at Castel Gandolfo, but on Sunday the Pope emeritus will celebrate Mass with them at the Vatican.   

Coordinator, Ratzinger Schülerkreis 
"We are naturally sad that he will not be attending the theological discussions. But we are very happy to celebrate the Holy Mass with him at the Vatican. So he will not be entirely absent, but he will be at the Eucharist, where we'll have the chance to say 'good morning.' Each one of us can say 'good morning' to him.” 

Benedict XVI's former students will meet from August 29 to September 2. After his resignation, their professor decided he would not longer assist these gatherings, and would remain under retirement at the Vatican. 

Coordinator, Ratzinger Schülerkreis 
"Now that he has retired from the Papal office, he would like to live a contemplative life. FLASH He had already said, one, two, three years ago, 'maybe next time I will not be able to participate.' So he had already thought he might not always take part.” 

At the beginning, the Circle of Former Students of Benedict XVI, the "Ratzinger Schülerkreis,” consisted of the people he directed his doctoral thesis to. He was an unforgettable teacher. 

Father Stephan Otto Horn became a close collaborators, and he cherishes valuable lessons about the Pope emeritus' way of teaching. 

Coordinator, Ratzinger Schülerkreis
"He was always very simple, not detached, not above anyone. He would debate with us a lot, and we had true debates.” 

About 30 theologians are expected to attend the gathering to debate this year's theme, "the question of God against the background of secularization.” But the initial circle of former students has now expanded to other academics, which is why, even though Benedict XVI will not be there, the "Ratzinger Schülerkreis” continues growing.