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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.

Is that Pope Francis? Vatican gets ready to release unique euro coin design


This design will soon be on a euro coin. The Vatican plans to release the image early next year. The coin will be new of course, but it wont be the first time Pope Francis face is on a coin. Back on September 10th, two other coins were made to mark the beginning of his pontificate. One was made of gold, the other of silver.   

Vatican's Philatelic and Numismatic Office, Director 
"The first Pope Francis coin is beautiful. You can see his profile, which reflects an attitude of concentration, prayer and meditation. On the other side of the coin we decided to include an image of Jesus entrusting the keys of the Church to Peter, the first Pope. So it reflects how this new Pope is in charge of nurturing the life of the Church.” 

Every year the Vatican can release a total of two euros coin designs. The first coin design is on the Pope. The other, which has a value of two euros, should mark a historical European moment

Vatican's Philatelic and Numismatic Office, Director 
"The design for the 2 euro coin is about honoring a national or European moment.  So the Vatican actually picks a theme.  In fact, I should take this opportunity to say that the theme for the 2014 coin will be very moving. We chose the 25th anniversary of the  fall of the Berlin Wall."

This year has been a busy one for the Vatican's Philatelic and Numismatic Office.  The resignation of Benedict XVI marked a key moment in the history of the Church. This triggered collectors to purchase the Sede Vacante coins while they could. The Vatican doesn't produce many coins, making its collection even more popular for connoisseurs. 

Vatican's Philatelic and Numismatic Office, Director 
"Obviously, a Sede Vacante period like the one we experienced is very rare. It was a unique moment in the history of the Church. So naturally this factor increased the interest on the Vatican and our products.”

At this Vatican office there's still plenty of work to do before the end of the year. In fact, their next item will be a coin to mark the Pope's recent visit to Brazil, where he led World Youth Day.