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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's Mass: Stay away from the 'Jonah Syndrome'


During his daily morning Mass, Pope Francis talked about hypocrisy. He warned about showing off an attitude of perfect piety, while at the same time ignoring the needy. He called this attitude the Jonah Syndrome.   

"The 'Jonah Syndrome' leads to hypocrisy, self sufficiency. An attitude of unpolluted, perfect Christians who say: 'We do this and that, we follow the Commandments and everything.' This is a serious illness. On the contrary, the Sign of Jonah shows us God's mercy through Jesus who died and Resurrected for us and for our Salvation.” 

Pope Francis also said that good works don't have lasting value if they are not carried out in the name of God's love. 

Source: Vatican Radio

"The Pope recalling Monday’s Gospel reading from Luke centred his homily on the "Sign of Jonah” and how Jesus speaks of a " wicked generation”. The Pope explained that Jesus with these words was not referring to the people who followed him with love but he was pin pointing the doctors of the Church that tried to test him and make him fall into a trap. 

Pope Francis went on the say that the Pharisees asked for signs but Jesus answered by saying that he alone will give the "Sign of Jonah” just like Jonah himself became a sign to the Ninevites. The Holy Father said that these people suffer from, what he called "The Jonah Syndrome” and Jesus calls them hypocrites because they have " an attitude of perfect piety ," which looks at the doctrine of salvation but does not care for "poor people."

"The Pope continued by saying that the "Sign of Jonah” , is the sign of truth that gives us the confidence to be saved by the blood of Christ. How many Christians are there, stressed Pope Francis, that think they will be saved only for the works they perform. 

"The works, added the Pope are necessary, but they are a consequence, a response to the merciful love that saves us. These works without merciful love mean nothing. The 'Jonah Syndrome' underlined the Holy Father is work without this love. The Pope concluded by saying that we should take advantage of Monday’s liturgy to ask ourselves and make a choice. What do I prefer? The Sign of Jonah or The Syndrome of Jonah?"