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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 gets ready to welcome presidents of Israel and Palestine to pray for peace


It will be history in the making. Together with Pope Francis, the President of Israel and the President of Palestine will pray for peace, on June 8th. The  Vatican announced what's expected. 

Vatican Spokesperson 
"First President Shimon Peres will arrive, then a few minutes later, President Mahmud Abbas, who earlier that day will have been in Egypt. The Pope will meet with each one of them briefly, inside his residence at Casa Santa Marta. Then at about 6. 45pm, Patriarch Bartholomew, will join the group."

The outdoor ceremony will take place in the Vatican Gardens, at roughly 7pm,  to avoid the city's intense heat. Each leader will have his own delegation. The session will first include a Jewish prayer, then Christian and finally Muslim. An invocation for forgiveness and another for peace will be made in each one of them. 

Franciscan Custody in the Holy Land
"The idea isn't just about having Jews, Muslims and Christians together. If that were the case we could have just gathered people from Rome. Not all members of the same delegation, practice the same religion, but depending on their faith, they will join in  and  for peace in their nation.”

Tension between Israel and Palestine goes back generations, so things aren't expected to change from one day to another. But it does show a willingness to negotiate.  

Franciscan Custody in the Holy Land
"This prayer session will put politics on hold. So even before anything was set, it was made clear that each president would come with their respective staff and national representatives, but politics would be left out the door.” 

The Middle East is ready to find out if the invitation the Pope made back on May 25th, will bare fruit.

"I offer my home at the Vatican to host this meeting of prayer.”

As that prayer meeting is taking place, Christians in the Holy Land have announced that they will join in prayer in their respective countries.

The prayer ceremony will be made public, but both presidents along with the Pope, will also have a private meeting.