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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.

John XXIII, eight achievements of a revolutionary pontificate


After his election to the papacy, John XXIII quickly became known as the "Good Pope” by Christians who worked closely with him and knew him personally. Largely recognized for convoking the Second Vatican Council, John XXIII was also known for his simple charity that endured throughout his papacy and had a lasting impact on the Church.

The Good Pope made simple but  important changes. He established the tradition of  publicly reciting the Angelus from the window of the Apostolic Palace on Sundays and offering pilgrims a short catechesis. 

As Pope and bishop, John XXIII always wanted to be near to the faithful. He was the first Pope to leave the walls of the Vatican to visit parishes, hospitals and prisons around Rome. At times he would even sneak past the Swiss Guard to walk around the city alone. 

John XXIII courageously chose the name of an anti-pope from the fifteenth century and by doing so, redeemed it. Cardinal Roncalli had no fear to take the name of an imposter, that had been avoided for 500 years

During his pontificate, John XXIII witnessed two world wars that divided the world into two opposing political regimes. He recognized the need to build bridges of peace and even exchanged letters with world leaders like Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union. 

For the first time in history, John XXIII addressed,  not only Catholics, but "all men of good will” in his encyclical letter, "Pacem in terris.” The encyclical strongly argued against the use of armed conflict as a means to obtain justice. 

Only a few months after his election to the papacy, John XXIII announced a consistory to elect nine new cardinals, more than half of which were not Italian. He appointed cardinals from Japan, Africa, the Philippines, and Venezuela, offering also greater representation within the Curia. 

Undoubtedly, the major work of John XXIII was convening the Second Vatican Council, a meeting of all the bishops from around the world to study and discuss the situation of the Church. An elderly pontiff, considered to be a transitional pope, carried out one of the most profound changes in the Church in modern time. 

John XXIII worked to increase dialogue between Christians and all other denominations, even inviting Muslims, American Indians, and members of various Christian denominations as observers to the Second Vatican Council. He also established the first Vatican department to promote unity amongst Christians. 

At his death, crowds chanted "sainthood now” as they paid their last respects, a gesture that would be seen again years later at the death of John Paul II. Both of these popes will continue their common history as they are elevated to sainthood together this Sunday. 

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