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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.

Msgr. Paglia: Why say 'forever' to a soccer team, but not to a husband or wife


In 1994, the United Nations designated May 15 as the International Day for the Family. To mark this particular day, Msgr. Vicenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, will travel to New York. He will speak before the United Nations, on the modern challenges and needs families face. 

President, Pontifical Council for the Family
"The family today is living a unique situation, which I would describe as paradoxical. On one side, everyone wants one. Yet, at the same time, families are being destroyed, parents separate, children are abandoned, and the elderly are placed in retirement homes. Even though it's what's sought out,  in reality, it's often the most mistreated. We urgently need to reflect on this.”

Msgr. Paglia said that the family is the most important social resource, but also the one that's often misused. That's why he will ask political and economic leaders to support the family, just like Pope Francis has reiterated time and time again. 

President, Pontifical Council for the Family
"Pope Francis, with his spiritual and human wisdom, is asking all bishops and parishes to place the family at the center of all concerns. I would like that governments, economists, cultural leaders and lawyers do the same.”

In a few months, the Synod on the Family will start. It will continue over the course of two years. For Msgr. Paglia, one topic in particular stands out above the rest.

President, Pontifical Council for the Family
"Marriage preparation for young people. In a world where culture does not help, it's important to be aware of this.  Today, for example, it's hard to think that love could last forever.  We confidently say 'forever' to a soccer team, but saying this to a wife or husband becomes more difficult. This means that something isn't working.”

Msgr. Paglia will also travel to the United States to coordinate the preparations for the next World Gathering of Families, taking place in Philadelphia in 2015. He said that, despite problems and challenges, having a family is one of the most rewarding experiences, and that must be celebrated and not taken for granted.