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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.

Delegation invites Pope to visit Spain in 2015 for 500 birthday of St. Teresa of Ávila


The plan is set to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Ávila. A delegation from her hometown met with Pope Francis to update him and invite him to visit Spain for the celebrations in 2015.

Government of Castilla y León (Spain)
"It was a beautiful moment, very intense and full of emotion. We were able to give the Pope a letter from the President of the Castilla y León Government, on behalf of everyone there, inviting the Holy Father to visit Ávila, for the 500 anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Jesus.”

Mayor of Ávila (Spain)
"We formally invited him, and asked him face to face. We hope he'll be able to go to Ávila. It would be a wonderful occasion.”

The Pope's schedule in 2015 could take him to Spain, though there is no official confirmation yet. For now, the organizers for the fifth centennial celebrations return to Spain hopeful, and encouraged by his warm response to their proposal.

Vicar General, Barefoot Carmelites
"It was great when he saw the mayor of Ávila and me coming and said: 'Ah! So these are the ones causing trouble!' What impressed me was the way he listened to us, looked at us, and the way I felt he was cheering us on to continue with our work.”

Activities for the centennial celebrations will also have cultural as well as religious events. They include exhibits, the digitization of St. Teresa's works, as well as film projects. Pope Francis surprised the organizers with his knowledge of the preparations and the events planned so far.

Mayor of Ávila (Spain)
"The Holy Father gave us a great push forward. We're leaving with renewed encouragement and lots of strength to keep going because he knew perfectly about the events. Second, he welcomed us with such importance that makes us think that we have, that we're headed on the right path for these celebrations on the fifth centennial of St. Teresa's birth.”

St. Teresa of Ávila was born Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada in the town of Ávila in 1515. She renovated the order of St. Carmel, along with St. John of the Cross, and founded 17 convents. Her life and works are on display online at paravosnaci.com. Along with information on the centennial celebration, visitors can take online tours of some of the most emblematic sites for the Spanish saint.

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