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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.

Pope's Mass: God's love is one of a kind. It's uniquely made to fit each one of us


During his daily morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis talked about the love of God. He explained that God always stays close to His flock, despite their faults.

"When things are not going well, He gets Himself involved in history, He sorts out the situation, and goes forward with us. Think of the genealogy of Jesus Christ . Think of the list: This provokes that, then that provoked this and so on… In that line of history, sinners are the one common denominator. How did the Lord work it all out? He stepped in, He straightened the path, He put things right.”

The Pope added that the love of God in unique and personalized. Just like history shows, God never abandons His flock along the journey.

(Source: Vatican Radio)

The Holy Father concentrated his comments on the Gospel reading of the day, which was taken from the Gospel according to St Mark (1:14-20), and which tells of Christ’s calling of the disciples, Andrew, Simon (who would be called Peter), James and John.
"It seems [in this passage] that Simon, Andrew , James and John are chosen once-and-for-all: [and] yes , they were chosen! At this moment [in the story], however, they had not been faithful to the last. After being chosen, they went on to make mistakes. They proposed un-Christian things to the Lord. They denied the Lord – Peter most glaringly, and the others out of fear: they were afraid and they ran away. They abandoned the Lord. The Lord prepares – and then, after the Resurrection – the Lord needed to continue this journey of preparation, up until the day of Pentecost. Even after Pentecost, some of [the disciples] – Peter, for example – made mistakes, and Paul had to correct him – but the Lord prepares .”

Pope Francis went on to explain that the Lord prepares His faithful over the course of generations:
"When things are not going well, He gets Himself involved in history, he sorts the situation, and goes forward with us. Think of the genealogy of Jesus Christ , of that list: this one begets that one, and that one begets this one, and so on… In that story there are men and women who are sinners. How did the Lord [work it all out]? He stepped in, He straightened the path, He put things right. Think of the great David, a great sinner , and then a great saint. The Lord knows. When the Lord tells us, ‘With eternal love, I have loved you,’ He is referring to this. The Lord has been thinking of us for many generations – of each and every one of us.”
Pope Francis went on to say that the Lord awaits us in history and lovingly accompanies us through history. He said that this is the love of God, who "loves us forever, and never forsake us.” We pray to the Lord, that we might know this tenderness of His heart.”This, he notes, is "an act of faith,” – it is not easy to believe this:

"Because our rationalism says, ‘How is it that the Lord, who has so many people to think about, should think of me?’ However, he has really prepared the way for me. With our mothers , our grandmothers , our fathers , our grandparents and great-grandparents ... That’s what the Lord does. This is His love: real, eternal, and also ‘customized’ [It. artigianale]. We pray, asking for the grace to understand the love of God, but God’s love can never be fully grasped! We can feel it, we [can even] weep for it, but [in this life] it cannot be understood. This also tells us how great this love is. The has been preparing us for some time, He walks with us, preparing others. He is always with us! Let us ask for the grace heartily to understand this great love.”