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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.

Pope Francis: 'Confessing our sins is not going to a psychiatrist, or to a torture chamber.'


During Mass at Casa SantaMarta, Pope Francis explained the keys to the Sacrament ofConfession. He said it must be face-to-face and concrete. The Popesaid children offer a good example of confession because they are notafraid to speak openly. 

Confessing our sins isnot going to a psychiatrist, or to a torture chamber. Some say: ‘Ah, Iconfess directly to God. It’s easy, But it’s like confessing byemail, no?' God is far away, I say things and there’s noface-to-face contact. Little children havethat wisdom: when a child comes to confess, he never says somethinggeneral. ‘But Father, I did this and I did that to my aunt, anothertime I said this word.' And they say the word. But they are concrete,eh? They have that simplicity of the truth. 

Pope Francis also spokeabout shame. He said it wasn't bad. Rather, it's a God-given grace tohelp people return to Him. As an example, he recalled St. Peter whodenied knowing Jesus on three separate times. 

Source: Vatican Radio 

"This is thestruggle of Christians. It is our struggle every day. And we do notalways have the courage to speak as Paul spoke about this struggle.We always seek a way of justification: ‘But yes, we are allsinners.’ But we say it like that, don’t we? This says itdramatically: it is our struggle. And if we don’t recognize this,we will never be able to have God’s forgiveness. Because if being asinner is a word, a way of speaking, a manner of speaking, we have noneed of God’s forgiveness. But if it is a reality that makes usslaves, we need this interior liberation of the Lord, of that force.But more important here is that, to find the way out, Paul confesseshis sin to the community, his tendency to sin. He doesn’t hideit.”

"Some say: ‘Ah, I confess to God.’ But it’seasy, it’s like confessing by email, no? God is far away, I saythings and there’s no face-to-face, no eye-to-eye contact. Paulconfesses his weakness to the brethren face-to-face. Others [say],‘No, I go to confession,’ but they confess so many etherealthings, so many up-in-the-air things, that they don’t have anythingconcrete. And that’s the same as not doing it. Confessing our sinsis not going to a psychiatrist, or to a torture chamber: it’ssaying to the Lord, ‘Lord, I am a sinner,’ but saying it throughthe brother, because this says it concretely. ‘I am sinner becauseof this, that and the other thing.’”

"Little childrenhave that wisdom: when a child comes to confess, he never sayssomething general. ‘But father, I did this and I did that to myaunt, another time I said this word’ and they say the word. Butthey are concrete, eh? They have that simplicity of the truth. And wealways have the tendency to hide the reality of our failings. Butthere is something beautiful: when we confess our sins as they are inthe presence of God, we always feel that grace of shame. Beingashamed in the sight of God is a grace. It is a grace: ‘I amashamed of myself.’ We think of Peter when, after the miracle ofJesus on the lake, [he said] ‘Depart from me, Lord, for I am asinner.’ He is ashamed of his sins in the presence of the sanctityof Jesus.” 

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