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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 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.

Cor Unum finds destruction, resilience three months after Super Typhoon Haiyan


Crumbled buildings, trash and debris litter the streets three months after Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines. Despite emergency aid, many people are still no better off now, than they were in the aftermath of the monster storm. 

In light of this, the Vatican's Pontifical Council Cor Unum visited the hardest hit areas to check up on reconstruction efforts by Catholic charities, including a project on behalf of the Pope.

Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"We promised the archbishop to build an orphanage, because many children were left without families. They need a place to bring them in, and to look out for the future of these children.”

Card. Sarah broke ground on the orphanage, which will stand next to the diocese building. It'll also house an elderly home, and a small clinic.  

President, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"Good dwells where the poor are.”

The project is one of many ongoing efforts to rebuild the country. In addition to devastation to homes and businesses, Cor Unum said the storm severely damaged 70 churches

Nothing makes that point clearer than the Mass Card. Sarah celebrated in the open, under a tent.

Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"We asked people what worried them most, and they said rebuilding churches. These churches in the Philippines, a very devout country, provide social cohesion. People sought refuge there first; it's where they found their first meal, drinkable water.”

Among the many initiatives to help rebuild the island nation, the Philippines' episcopal conference sponsored an Adopt-a-Parish program. It gives people the chance to fund reconstruction projects for specific churches in hard-hit areas.

Since the Cor Unum Council coordinates all Catholic charities in the country, they recognize lots of work lies ahead. But they cannot do it without help.

Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"With Lent, we have a great opportunity to help these people, through our charity and contributions, at a time when the Church calls for solidarity with those who suffer.”

Despite the damage, the delegation visiting the Philippines said they were struck more by the deep devotion the people have in their faith. With help from Cor Unum, and the wider Catholic community, the Council is hopeful that faith will seem them through, on the long road to recovery.

MG/Cor Unum
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