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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 writes to new cardinals: It's not a promotion, but a call to service


On the same day he announced their names, Pope Francis wrote to the 19 prelates he chose to become members of the College of Cardinals. In the letter, the Pope said becoming a cardinal is not a "promotion,” but rather an expansion of their vision in service to God. He asked that if they celebrate, to do it with "austerity and poverty,” as well as joy.

The Consistory to welcome the 19 new cardinals will take place on February 22. They come from 12 countries, but the majority are from the Third World. Even so, there are many surprises among the list.

First, only 16 of them will be under 80. The other three, from Italy, Spain and St. Lucia, will be recognized for their contributions to the Church. But, even with 16 new cardinals, the number of papal electors will remain 120 by May.

The Americas dominate the list. They include the archbishops of major cities, not already holding that title: Quebec, Managua, Santiago de Chile, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

Most notably, however, is the inclusion of Msgr. Chibly Langois, the bishop of  Les Cayes. On February 22, he will become Haiti's first cardinal. Overall, the number of papal electors from Latin America will rise to 19.

Asia and Africa will each get two new cardinals. South Korea will get its second cardinal ever, with Mons. Andrew Yeom Soo jung, archbishop of Seoul. The country boasts the highest rate of conversion to Catholicism. He'll be joined by the archbishop of Cotabato, an area in the southern Philippines hit by violence by a Muslim separatist group.

Meanwhile, two other new cardinals will come from poverty-stricken cities in West Africa, that have also seen lots of conflict: Abdijan in Ivory Coast, and Ouagadougou in Burkina Fasso. Africa will now have 14 papal electors, while Asia will have 12.

Outside of the Roman Curia, only two European archbishops will be made cardinals. The first, completely expected, is the archbishop of Westminster in England. The second is the Italian archbishop of Perugia. In choosing Msgr. Gualtiero Bassoti, the Pope left out traditional cardinal sees like Venice and Turin, at least for now.

The four Curia members that will be made cardinal include the Secretary of State and the heads of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Clergy, and the secretary of the Synod of Bishops.