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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.

Vatican marks 30 years of Charter on Family Rights with presentation on women's dignity


Back in 1983, Pope John Paul II authorized the Vatican to prepare a document that addressed the role of the family in modern society. After months of work, they came up with the Charter of the Rights of the Family.   

Three decades later, the Pontifical Council for the Family is getting ready to mark the Charters 30th anniversary, with a special presentation on how the document impacts women today. 

Professor of Family, Religion and Law (USA) 
"The Church has a credible witness in our charity, a credible witness in our words and a real balance between what women are actually demanding, between what they actually want, and between what women, children and the poor actually need.” 

The charter addresses individual rights like the freedom for a man and women to have a family through marriage, and to have children. But it also calls on societies to respect certain rights, like the protection of life from conception to natural death, and to provide economic and political stability. 

But according to the presentation, the rights of the family are currently being undermined by political movements worldwide to make women "child free.” Those movements present their policies as the key to education and work access, but ignore what women actually want. 

Professor of Family, Religion and Law (USA) 
"They wish to take care of their children and to do justice at home. They also wish to make their contribution in the public square, to see complementarity there, as well as home. The current agenda by leading feminist organizations does not respect women's wishes.” 

Instead, Alvaré argues that world governments have been focusing too much on reproductive issues, rather than helping out women and their families who choose to have children. That includes providing them with options to care for their children, while earning a living with dignity. They called out politicians who are not being held accountable for providing for the rights of families. 

Professor of Family, Religion and Law (USA) 
"That takes a brave position. That the family is indeed the most desirable place, the safest place, the place of actual greater freedom for women, and children, and men.” 

The presentation also argued that the poor are the ones who suffer most from policies that do not support the rights of families. And that ultimately, it's world economies that will pay the price, if families continue falling apart.

The Pontifical Council for the Family will celebrate the Charter's 30th anniversary at the end of October with a Plenary Assembly, ending with the Pilgrimage of the Families to Rome.