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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.”

Papal foundation approves 125 microloans for aspiring entrepreneurs in Latin America


Since their inception in 1992, the Populorum Progressio Foundation has helped hundreds of peasants in Latin America earn a living. Each year, they loan aspiring entrepreneurs up to $15,000 dollars to start their own businesses.

Archbishop of La Paz (Bolivia) 
"An economist would surely laugh at that amount. But we think that a small amount can go a long way when it reaches the poor and the people who really need it.”

Archbishop of Guayaquil (Ecuador)
"We try to bring Christ's presence to peasants in Latin America, to Afro-descendent minorities, and to indigenous communities.”

The Foundation's administrative council, made up of select Latin American bishops finalized their annual meeting in Rome. They voted to fund 125 projects, worth an estimated $1.8 million.

The projects are spread out over 17 countries, and largely deal with with infrastructure or agricultural output. Once notified, the entrepreneurs will receive the money from their home diocese. But it's not a one-way flow.

Archbishop of La Paz (Bolivia) 
"A family can buy a herd of five or six sheep to become self sufficient. Then, with their earnings they start paying back part of what they received. That money goes to support other families.”

One of the last sessions of their three-day meeting was an audience with their colleague-turned-Pope. He improvised a speech, talking about the importance of their work in helping the poor, but also about strengthening societies today.

Archbishop of Guayaquil (Ecuador)
"Societies deprive themselves from their future, the children, from their past and memories, the elderly, and from their strength, which are the youth. In this sense, it becomes a truly incredible form of self-destruction.”

The Pope told the Foundation that one of the ways to fight against this is through education. He asked the members to promote education not only the initiatives they approve, but also in their home dioceses.