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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.

The top faces of 2013 at the Vatican


Within the list of the top faces at the Vatican in 2013, the only thing that is certain is that Benedict XVI and Pope Francis easily take the top spot.

Benedict XVI earns his place for his historic decision...

"Well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome”.

Pope Francis also shares the top spot for his refreshing and down-to-earth approach to spreading the Church's 2,000-year-old message.

The rest of the list becomes quite arbitrary and their selection is largely symbolic.

The second person on the list is Cesare. Pope Francis spotted him as he greeted pilgrims at St. Peter's Square on board his Popemobile. He surprised everyone by getting off and hugging him. Since then, the sick and disabled have taken on a leading role during his trips and public appearances.

The third spot goes to the visit to Lampedusa, where the Pope first decried the indifference to the suffering of thousands of migrants in search of a better future. This concern has become a priority for the Vatican.

The fourth spot goes to Francesco, an Italian man that lost his job four years ago, and asked the Pope for help.

My name is Franceso. I'm an operator of the Sardinia Green Island and since February 2009, more than four years ago, I haven't had a job. 

His speech took place at another Italian island, Sardinia. The Pope was so moved, he improvised a rousing speech.

I must tell you to be brave. But I know that I must do my part so that this beautiful word, brave, does not come and go. So that it is not just a Church employee who comes and tells you to be brave. I do not want this.

Carlos, a Colombian boy, is in fifth place. The Pope didn't seem to mind having the boy onstage with him, even sitting him in his chair. It was a touching moment that made headlines around the world.

Other key players this year were the three million youths that flooded Rio's Copacabana Beach for World Youth Day. It was the largest gathering ever at the world's most famous beach. More people came to see the Pope than the Rolling Stones for their New Year's concert.

Even in huge crowds, Pope Francis wants to greet every person. No doubt, a huge challenge for Domenico Giani, Inspector General for the Vatican Gendaermirie, the Pope's chief security officer, and also one of the main faces this year.

This blue car takes the eight spot on this year's list. Pope Francis left behind the armored cars and opted for one a middle class Italian family would use, a simple Ford Focus. Romans are used to seeing him in the streets, stopping at each red light.

The night place goes to Casa Santa Marta. Pope Francis cast aside the Apostolic Palace and made his home at the Vatican's hotel.

June 7, 2013 
A professor also made me this question: 'Why don't you live up there?' I answered: 'Listen to me professor: for psychiatric reasons.' Also for my personality. That apartment is not very luxurious, quiet. But I cannot live alone, do you understand? 

This chimney takes up the last spot on the list. It was the center of attention for millions of eyes across the world during the conclave. And it was only used three times. It was the first to announce the election of a new Pope. The beginning of a new chapter in the history of the Catholic Church.

- PR