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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.

Best of 2013. October: A very special visit to Assisi


October 1
On October 1st, the Pope had his first meeting with the so-called G8, the group of eight cardinals who advise him on ways to reform the Roman Curia and the governance of the Church.

Shortly after, the Vatican announced that a new Constitution for the Curia could be on its way.

Vatican Spokesman
"The idea is not limited to updating the current 'Pastor Bonus' constitution, with small tweaks here and there. Instead the Pope plans on drafting a new constitution that includes new relevant changes. I think we can expect a new constitution.”

It was in this meeting that they discussed the Vatican's next synod on the family in 2014.

October 4
The group of eight cardinals accompanied Pope Francis when he visited the Italian city of Assisi, hometown of St. Francis. 

There, he prayed before the tomb of the saint, who is known as the patron of the poor. And since he was only there for one day, he really made it count: he visited the ill, priests, cloistered nuns, and the town's youth. He also had lunch with a group of marginalized people. 

He gave many speeches, but it was these words he said to newlywed couples that got the world's attention:

(October 4) - "Argue as much as you want, if the plates start flying, so be it. But never let the day end without making peace. Never!”  

October 15
Halfway through the month, the Vatican had yet to another governmental change: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone ended his seven year term as Secretary of State. In a small farewell ceremony, Pope Francis thanked him for his service and announced that the new Secretary, Pietro Parolin, would be assuming his new tasks after he recuperated from surgery. 

October 26
The Pope continued his busy schedule by welcoming thousands of families from all over the world to a special gathering in St. Peter's Square on October 26th.

The sky was covered by all-color balloons, and the atmosphere was lightened by the presence of children and even grandparents. The Pope explained the three words every family must learn to say to always live in harmony.

(October 26) - "Excuse me, thank you and I'm sorry. Shall we say them together? Excuse me, thank you and I'm sorry. Good, let's live out these three words in our family, forgiving one another every day.”

But without a doubt, all eyes were on this little boy. He not only got Pope Francis' attention during the family Vigil, but the also the world's. 

Throughout the whole ceremony, he never left the Pope's side. He didn't even mind the crowd or some tempting offers made by the Pope's butler.

The boy made it clear that he was quite comfortable with the Pope, who didn't seem to mind the distractions.