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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.”

Greg Burke, Vatican Communication Adviser: 2014 has a lot of changes in store


From the resignation of Benedict XVI to the election of Pope Francis, 2013 will remembered as a historic year for generations to come. 

Even though 2013 will be hard to top, the Vatican's Communication Adviser, says 2014 already has a lot of things in store. 

Vatican's Communication Adviser 
"We've talked a lot about change, we'll see what the changes are that Pope Francis has in store. Clearly he does plan to go to the Holy Land and that in itself will be quite a start.” 
After being named 'Person of the Year' by TIME Magazine, Pope Francis has caught the attention of millions of Catholics... and the world. Interestingly, back in 1994, Burke was already working in Rome, as a TIME correspondent, when John Paul II was chosen by the magazine. 

Vatican's Communication Adviser 
"When Time made John Paul II was named man of the year that was a bit of a surprise. It was not a surprise this year when time made Pope Francis man of the year.” 

In just a few months, the Vatican has managed to strengthen its online presence even more. The Pope's twitter account has more than 11 million followers and pictures of the Pope have made their way across the globe. 

But improvements are still in store. The Vatican's communication department recently announced it hired one of the world's top management consulting firms

Vatican's Communication Adviser 
"There are a lot of changes in store. I never thought I'd get to the day where McKinsey, was looking at the communications at the Vatican, but certainly anything that can be done to help integrate things and to bring the message together.” 

But he does admit that when it comes to communication, it's Pope Francis who is leading the way, by focusing on the core message of the Gospel. 

Vatican's Communication Adviser 
"We got simplicity at its best. The Pope saying God loves you, God forgives you. Come back home.” 

Even though a lot has happened, Pope Francis has only been Pontiff for less than a year. So, another highlight for 2014, is that on March 13th,  he will celebrate his first year as head of the Catholic Church.  

- PR