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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.

Our differences make the Church beautiful: Pope Francis during General Audience


The rain and clouds showed up, along with thousands of pilgrims, to Wednesdays General Audience with Pope Francis. But it didn't keep him from making his way around the crowd, under the rain, but always with a smile.   

"It's clear that with such an ugly day, you are very courageous to be here. Congratulations!”

In his prepared remarks, Pope Francis spoke about what the word Catholic means, and what makes the Church Catholic. He began by saying that the Church is the home of the true faith and salvation, the place where people meet Jesus through the Sacraments.

His second point was that the Church is Catholic because it's universal: it welcomes everyone, and reaches all corners of the globe.
"The Church is not just the shadow of our bell tower. It embraces a vastness of people and populations that profess the same faith. They're nurtured through the same Eucharist, they're served by the same Pastors. Feel the communion with the other Churches, with all the Catholic communities, small or large, in the world.”

The Pope also said the Church is Catholic because it brings together diverse cultures into harmony and unity. He said uniformity kills the gifts God gave to each person, and that the world's diversity makes the Church stronger.

"We are not all the same, and we should not all be the same. We are all diverse, different. Each one has their own qualities, and this is the beautiful thing about the Church. Each one contributes what God gave them to enrich all others.”

As he greeted the pilgrims in their respective languages, Pope Francis made a special mention of the one year mark since Benedict XVI decided to include Arabic in the general audience. He made the decision after his apostolic visit to Lebanon, to show the Church's nearness to Christians in the region.

"I ask you to pray for peace in the Middle East: in Syria, in Iraq, in Egypt, in Lebanon, in the Holy Land, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.”

The Pope closed off the audience by greeting bishops from Ethiopia and Eritrea, where many of the immigrants killed at sea near Lampedusa came from. The group participated in a mass earlier in the morning to pray for the victims.