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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:
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.

Focus on impact of religion during international film festival in Italy


Post-apartheid South Africa, once the setting of so much suffering, today remains a place of healing and reconciliation.    

"But I was the minister, and I take the responsibility of what the police and some of the defense people did to your children.”

But can the lessons learned on division, equality and human dignity be applied to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? The documentary One Day After Peace follows the mother of a slain Israeli soldier as she explores the topic in-depth.

"I will show you a picture of David.”

The film will be screened at the Religion Today Film Festival, an international showcase of films on religious differences and dialogue. The 16th edition kicks off on October 11.

Director, Religion Today Film Festival
"We are aware that there is a problem of violence existing in any religious community, and the idea of the festival, and of every man and woman in the world, fighting for a better future, fighting for an utopia, is exactly to go beyond that, the seed of violence which is part of our nature as human beings.”

The 11-day festival will feature a total of 52 films divided into three sections: short films, documentaries, and full-feature stories. The topics range from a short story of German pastor who runs into a crisis of faith with the death of his mother, to the stories of two different men on the eve of the Syrian civil war.

Religion Today Film Festival
"They're topics that deal not only with religious coexistence, but also human rights, so they involve the international community, as well as humanity.”

This year, organizers created two new categories, after receiving a large number of submissions that address violence against women, and the conflict in the Holy Land. 

In addition to the films, the festival includes several forums on topics like immigration and international relations.  

Director, Religion Today Film Festival
"Nowadays, especially young people really have some pain finding big ideas to share, to fight for. So we though that it could be a starting point for putting different minds together for a fruitful dialogue.”

Several cities, including Rome, will host brief previews for the festival. The international jury will choose the four grand winners, while special juries will also hand out awards for the individual categories, like Told in Shorts or Time of the Assassins.

Recognition aside, the films offer viewers the chance to reflect on the role of religion and dialogue, a conversation that organizers hope can lead to peaceful coexistence.

RR/Religion Today Film Festival