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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.”

Pope on World Communication Day: Slow Down, Engage and Help


The Vatican released Pope Francis' first message for the World Communications Day. In line with the main themes of his pontificate, the focus is on using modern methods of communication to build "authentic encounters.”

With the Internet and social networks dominating the way people reach out to others, the message calls on people to go beyond just connecting with each other.

Pontifical Council for Social Communications
"There is an avalanche of communications: messages, sounds, everything. And it's sometimes hard for humankind to decide which of these messages can best serve them in their search for the truth.”

The message conveys two central concepts. The first is proximity, or being neighborly, with one another. In his message, Pope Francis uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to explain how it applies to the way we communicate today. 

He said that, just like the Good Samaritan took responsibility for the wounded person, it is not enough for people to connected, but that "connections need to grow into true encounters.”

Pontifical Council for Social Communications
"The Pope says our sole presence is not just to walk along the digital highways in today's world. But to take on this responsibility of becoming close to each other, of sharing. At this point, the Pope tells us communication turns into neighborliness.”

The second concept revolves around the missionary role of the Church. In his message, the Pope calls on people to be a Christian witness in the way they live their lives. 

That doesn't mean bombarding people with religious messages, the Pope added. But to engage in dialogue with others.

Pontifical Council for Social Communications
"Many online users on social networks are disciples of the Lord, and the Pope invites all these people to be witnesses to the authenticity of their lives.”

Overall, the take away message the Pope conveys is to use communication tools not just to connect with people, but to actually establish meaningful relationships that go beyond the computer or phone screens.

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