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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's Mass: We're not Christian without the Church


In his Thursday morning Mass, Pope Francis talked about the identity of Christians. He said one cannot understand a Christian outside of the people of God. Being Christian, he explained is not about being alone, but instead about being part of a Church. 

"Our Christian identity is belonging to a people: The Church.  Without this, we are not Christians. We entered the Church through Baptism: there we become Christians.”

To understand Jesus, he explained, one must first  understand history. That's why he called on Christians to pray for the grace of memory.

(Source: Vatican Radio)

There is no such thing as a Christian without the Church, a Christian who walks alone, because Jesus inserted himself into the journey of His people: This was Pope Francis reflection at Mass this morning in Casa Santa Marta. Beginning with the first reading of the day, Pope Francis said that when they proclaimed Jesus the apostles did not begin with Him, but the history of the people. In fact " Jesus does not make sense without this history" because He "is the end of this story, [the end] towards which this story goes, towards which it walks". 

So "you cannot understand a Christian outside of the people of God. The Christian is not a monad", but "belongs to a people: the Church. A Christian without a church is something purely idealistic, it is not real".

"But you cannot understand a Christian alone, just like you cannot understand Jesus Christ alone. Jesus Christ did not fall from the sky like a superhero who comes to save us. No. Jesus Christ has a history. And we can say, and it is true, that God has a history because He wanted to walk with us. And you cannot understand Jesus Christ without His history. 

So a Christian without history, without a Christian nation, a Christian without the Church is incomprehensible. It is a thing of the laboratory, an artificial thing, a thing that cannot give life". The people of God, "walking with a promise. This dimension, it is important that we always remember this dimension of history: "A Christian is a [memorioso – living memory] of the history of his people, he is a living memory of his people’s journey, he is the living memory of his Church. Memory ... memory of all of the past ... Then, where is this people going? Towards the ultimate promise. It is a people walking towards fullness; a chosen people which has a promise for the future and walks toward this promise, towards the fulfillment of this promise. And for this, a Christian in the Church is a man, a woman with hope: hope in the promise. It is not expectation: no, no! That’s something else: It is hope. Right, on we go! [Towards] that which does not disappoint".

"Looking back - said the Pope - the Christian is a person who remembers: Let us seek the grace of memory, always. Looking forward, the Christian is a man, a woman of hope . And in this, the Christian follows the path of God and renews the covenant with God. He continually says to the Lord: 'Yes, I want the commandments, I want your will, I will follow you'. He is a man of the covenant, and we celebrate the covenant, every day " in the Mass: thus a Christian is "a woman, a man of the Eucharist". This was the Pope’s concluding prayer:

"It would do us good today to think about our Christian identity. Our Christian identity is belonging to a people: the Church . Without this, we are not Christians. We entered the Church through baptism: there we are Christians. And for this reason, we should be in the habit of asking for the grace of memory, the memory of the journey that the people of God has made; also of personal memory: What God did for me, in my life, how has he made me walk ... Ask for the grace of hope, which is not optimism: no, no! It 's something else. And ask for the grace to renew the covenant with the Lord who has called us every day. May the Lord give us these three graces, which are necessary for the Christian identity".