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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:

Jesuit Superior General: I cannot lead the Society under years of personal decay


This past May, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus convoked a General Congregation for 2016. He's expected to formally give his resignation then. Adolfo Nicolas spoke about his plans for the first time, as he addressed the Society's spokespeople in Spain.

Fr. Nicolas was elected six years ago. He said that his age played a key role in his decision to step down. 

Superior General, Society of Jesus 
"Certainly, I cannot lead the Society under years of personal decay. After the age of 80, you start that process of decay. I prefer to leave the job, when I still retain my senses, and not wait until Jesuits start asking themselves, 'this old man in Rome is still there?' That is not very positive. You have to do things with certain clarity, and it's better start preparing things now.”

The General Congregation will take place in 2016. Until then, Jesuits around the world must analyze the challenges that society faces today, and how the Company can help overcome them.

Superior General, Society of Jesus 
"I think that our role today within the Church is to foster depth, so that we don't do what everyone else is doing: what's newsworthy, what's immediate. But rather, we need to look at things in depth and try to respond to what the Church needs now.”

One of the matters that they Soceity will look at is the situation in the Middle East, where two members remain missing: Prem Kuman in  Afghanistan, and Paolo Dall'Oglio in Syria. Fr. Nicolas said that they are "first-class” Jesuits, very dedicated, and aware of the risks they face, but were unafraid.

Superior General, Soceity of Jesus 
"For example, Fr. Frank Van der Lugt, was recently killed in Syria. He was a man that consciously understood he was headed towards martyrdom. When he had the opportunity to leave, amid international pressure, he chose to stay. He said that while his people were suffering, he would stay with them, and they killed him for that.”

Within the Society, the resignation of the Superior General is not without precedent. Fr. Nicolas' predecessor, Peter Hans Kolvenbach, stepped down in 2008, with the blessing from Benedict XVI.

Society of Jesus