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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:”
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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: Our souls should not have a 'do not disturb' sign


In his daily morning Mass at the Vatican, Pope Francis talked about what it really means to prepare for Christmas. Amid all the parties and celebrations, he said, there must be room for God.

"Is there a place for the Lord, or is there only room for parties, shopping and noise? Is our soul wide open, just like our Holy Mother Church and Our Lady? Or is our soul closed off, with a 'Do not Disturb' sign at the door? Now, let's repeat our call to the Lord many times, 'Come, Lord Jesus! May our souls not turn into a soul that reads: Do not disturb!"

The Pope then added that God isn't just present during Christmas, but rather every single day. He then emphasized that to feel the presence of God, one must first open the door.

(Source: Vatican Radio)

"Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Monday morning in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. He focused his remarks after the readings of the day on the coming feast of the Nativity, and the threefold coming of Christ into history, at the end of time, and into our daily lives. Drawing on the lesson of St. Bernard, Pope Francis spoke of a "Third coming” of Christ – that which occurs every day in the life of the Church and of Christian faithful:

"There is a third coming of the Lord: that of every day. The Lord visits His Church every day! He visits each of us, and so our souls as well [experience something similar] : our soul resembles the Church , our soul resembles Mary. The desert fathers say that Mary, the Church and our souls are feminine, and that what is said about one can be said analogously of the others. Our soul is also in waiting, this waiting for the coming of the Lord – an open soul that calls out, ‘Come, Lord.’”

Pope Francis went on to say that the Holy Spirit moves each of us in these days to make this prayer his own, and recalled how all throughout the Advent season the Church has described herself as being in vigilant expectation – the attitude that is the hallmark of the pilgrim. "We are pilgrims,” he said:

"Are we expectant, or are we [indifferent]? Are we vigilant, or are we closed up ‘safely’ in an inn along the way, without desire to go forward. Are we are pilgrims, or are we vagabonds? For this reason, the Church invites us to pray, ‘Come! ‘, in order to open our soul and in order that that our soul be, these days, vigilant and expectant. Keep vigil! Be mindful of the difference the Lord’s coming (or not) makes in us. Is there a place for the Lord, or only for parties, for shopping , for revelry ... Is our soul open , as is Holy Mother Church and as was the Virgin Mary? Or is our soul rather closed, with a "Do Not Disturb!” sign hung on the door to it?”

"The world,” warned Pope Francis, "does not end with us,” but with the Lord, with Our Lady and with Mother Church. "So,” he said, "we do well to repeat the invocation”: ‘O Wisdom , O Key of David, O King of the nations, come!”:

"Now, repeat [the call] many times, ‘Come, Lord Jesus!’ and look to see our soul be not one of those souls that say, "Do not disturb!” No! Let ours be great souls – souls open to receive the Lord in these days and that begin to feel that, which tomorrow the Church will speak to us in the antiphon: ‘Know that today the Lord will come, and in the morning you will see his glory!’

# Papa