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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 in Tel Aviv: May the 'two-state solution' be a reality, not a dream


The Pope arrived by helicopter to Israel shortly after 5:30PM, after spending most of the day in Palestinian territory.

Upon his arrival at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres greeted the Pope in his native Spanish.

-Here I am. I'm happy to be here and to be able to keep my word.

The Pope also greeted numerous government ministers, officials and religious figures, including members of religious orders in the Holy Land.

The prime minister and president thank the Pope in their speeches for his visit, as well as for his efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in the region.

Meanwhile, the Pope talked about the role the Holy Land plays as the cradle of three major religions, and therefore a "spiritual point of reference for humanity.” As a result, he called for mutual respect among the three faiths.

"So I express my hope and prayer that this blessed land may be one which has no place for those who, by exploiting and absolutizing the value of their own religious tradition, prove intolerant and violent towards those of others.”

The Pope also made another call to peace in the birthplace of Jesus, in order to end the suffering of two nations.

"May efforts and energies be increasingly directed to the pursuit of a just and lasting solution to the conflicts which have caused so much suffering. Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a torment.”
In his efforts to build peace, Pope Francis made the same invitation to the Israeli president, as he had done in Palestine, to meet at the Vatican and pray together for peace. 

"I would like to extend an invitation to you Mr. President, and to President Mahmoud Abbas, to join me in raising an intense prayer to the Lord, invoking peace. I offer my house at the Vatican to host this gathering of prayer.”

While calling for a solution to the on-going conflict, the Pope recalled that Benedict XVI, at that same place, called for the international recognition of the two States. He reiterated the words of his predecessor.

"The right of the State of Israel to exist and to flourish in peace and security within internationally recognized borders must be universally recognized. At the same time, there must also be a recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to a sovereign homeland and their right to live with dignity and with freedom of movement. The 'Two-State Solution' must become reality and not remain merely a dream.”

The Pope also mentioned his upcoming visit to the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial. He asked God so that a tragedy like the Shoah never happens again. He explained that to prevent it, there's a need to promote education with "no room for anti-Semitism.”