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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.

Pope's Mass: God is constantly searching for His lost sheep


During his daily morning Mass at the Vatican, Pope Francis reflected on the parable of the lost sheep. He explained that God has a 'loving weakness' for those who are lost. He also added that once the sheep go back home, they should not be judged by the flock, but rather welcomed as 'one of their own.'  

"God does not like to lose. He is not a good loser, and this is why, in order not to lose, He goes out on his own, and He goes, He searches. He is a God who searches: He searches for all those who are far away from Him, like the shepherd who goes to search for the lost sheep. The joy of God is not the death of the sinner, but the life of the sinner. God loves us. Some will say, 'but I'm a sinner, I've done this, and that.' But God says, I love you anyway. I will go out and search for you and bring you home. This is our God!"

The Pope also talked about hypocrisy. He explained that those who criticized Jesus mistakenly thought that being religious was about being well mannered and pretending to be polite

(Source: Vatican Radio)

"He replies to this murmuring with a joyful parable. The words 'Joy' and 'Happiness' appear in this short text four times: three times joy, and once happiness. 'And you, you are scandalized by this, but my Father rejoices.' That is the most profound message of this story: the joy of God, a God who doesn't like to lose. God is not a good loser, and this is why, in order not to lose, He goes out on his own, and He goes, He searches. He is a God who searches: He searches for all those who are far away from Him, like the shepherd who goes to search for the lost sheep."

"He can't stand losing one of His own. And this is the prayer of Jesus, too, on Holy Thursday: 'Father, may none get lost, of those You have given to me He is a God who walks around searching for us, and has a certain loving weakness for those who are furthest away, who are lost. He goes and searches for them. And how does he search? He searches until the end, like the shepherd who goes out into the darkness, searching, until he finds the sheep. Or like the woman, when she loses a coin, who lights a lamp and sweeps the house, and searches carefully. That's how God searches. 'I won't lose this son, he's mine! And I don't want to lose him.This is our Father: he always comes searching for us."

Then, Pope Francis explained, "when he has found the sheep” and brought it back into the fold with the others, no one must say ‘you are lost’, but everyone should say ‘you are one of us’, because this returns dignity to the lost sheep. "There is no difference”, because God "returns to the fold everyone he finds. And when he does this, he is a God who rejoices.”

"The joy of God is not the death of the sinner, but the life of the sinner. And how far from this were those who murmured against Jesus, how far from the heart of God! They didn't know Him. They thought that being religious, being good people meant always being well-mannered and polite, and often pretending to be polite, right? This is the hypocrisy of the murmuring. But the joy of God the Father, in fact, is love. He loves us. ut I a sinner, I've done this and that and the other!' But I love you anyway, and I go out searching for you, and I bring you home.'This is our Father. Let's reflect on this."

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