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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.

Pontifical Academy for Life: Child euthanasia is not the answer


"The lack of health, and disability are not good reasons to exclude, or worse, do away with a person.” That is the message the Pope sent members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which gathered in Rome in February for its 20th anniversary

Dozens of experts talked about aging and disabilities. Pope Francis reminded them that "the tyranny of an economic logic” turns many people into victims, "starting with the elderly.”

Academic Director, Centro de Estudios Biosanitarios (Spain)
"The new idea in this case is to take back the culture of love, of love towards the elderly. To reclaim the value that old age has when it comes to experience gained, and experience that can be passed on.”
In the more developed countries, populations are aging fast. In an effort to tackle the "throw-away culture,” experts said the key is in engaging, not excluding family members who cannot fend for themselves.

Hospital Centro de Cuidados LAGUNA (Spain)
"What we have to do is see in what way that person's limitations and dependency are developing. Also to find out what that person expects from us, and what we can do within our means to be close to them, support and help them.”

In February, Belgium approved the practice of child euthanasia. It's the first country to legalize assisted suicide for minors. Catholic experts were clear about their stance on the issue.

Academic Director, Centro de Estudios Biosanitarios (Spain)
"I don't think that within the experience gained by pediatricians, in working with children with terminal illnesses, you will find a mother or father who wouldn't want three more hours of life for their child. This is not resolved with euthanasia. This topic is dealt with palliative care. The issues is solved with an interdisciplinary team, made up not just of doctors, but also with nurses, and psychological and spiritual support for the parents and child in their last moments.”

Neurology Department, Rome University
"That practice is a way to undervalue the potential of humans, and reduce them simply to a physical machine. If something is broken, throw it away. That is not how you deal with it. Humans are much more than that.”

John Paul II established the Pontifical Academy for Life in 1994. Its main goal is to deal with issues relating to life, from conception to natural death. The Academy's first president was Jérôme Lejeune, the doctor that discovered the genetic mutation that causes Down Syndrome. His beatification process is now underway.