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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.

December 2013: Pope Francis named Person of the Year


December 2
December kicked off with a visit to the Vatican by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Good morning.
It's a pleasure and an honor to see you.

Behind closed doors, they talked about restarting peace talks between Israel and Palestine. But of course, the Pope's visit to the Holy Land in a couple months was also on the agenda.

"My wife's father was a great biblical scholar.”

Even Netanyahu's wife told the Pope she hoped to see him again in Israel very soon.
But the most heartfelt meeting took place with these sick Polish children. The Pope was visibly moved.

"Thank you for praying for the Church. Through your suffering, your inexplicable suffering, you do much good for the Church. God understands everything and your prayers help. Thank you very much. It would be a pleasure to greet every one of you individually.”

One of the girls gave the Pope a drawing of St. Francis of Assisi, while another, one of Our Lady of Lourdes. Near the end, Pope Francis posed for a pictures for a very promising photographer.

December 5
December also brought along the first major decision taken by the eight-member Council of Cardinals that advises the Pope on reform to the Church and Roman Curia.

Archbishop of Boston ( USA )

"The Holy Father has decided to establish a very specific Commission for the protection of children, so the Commission will be able to advise the Holy Father about the protection of children and in pastoral care for victims of abuse.

The commission will be responsible for finding ways to help victims and prevent other cases of abuse. It will also push for greater cooperation with public officials to root out abusers.

The creation of the commission took place unusually quick. The Council of Cardinal proposed the idea on a Wednesday, then Pope Francis approved it on Thursday. Two hours later, the Vatican made the announcement.

December 11
The cover of this magazine made headlines across the world. Time magazine named Pope Francis as their Person of the Year. The magazine called him the "people's Pope,” and a "new voice of conscience.”

He's the third Pope named as Person of the Year. John XXIII and John Paul II also received the distinction during their papacies. The Pope said that he hoped this recognition would help bring the Gospel to even more people.

December 17
On December 17, the Pope celebrated his first birthday at the Vatican. His guests were three homeless men staying near St. Peter's Square.

And while he may have received a lot of birthday cakes, the only candles he blew were from a cake the children from a Vatican clinic gave him.

They also gave the Pope a white dove, a symbol of the simplicity and kindness Pope Francis has used to win over hearts in the past nine months.

The celebration took place the same weekend the Vatican's Christmas Tree, brought from Bavaria, lit up St. Peter's Square.

The tree was a gift to an Argentine Pope, but from the homeland of Benedict XVI.

- PR