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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:

Vatican Bank's profits tumble from EUR 86 million to 2.9 million amid ongoing reforms


As the Holy See prepares to announce on Wednesday the Vatican Bank's new structure and leadership, the institution released its profits report for 2013. The IOR posted earnings of EUR 2.9 million ($3.9 million), far below the EUR 86 million ($117 billion) registered in 2012. 

Overall, the Bank brought in about EUR 70 million ($95.1 million) in revenue. But huge write-downs from pre-reform investments, and large operational expenses ebbed away at profits. 

Tellingly, for 2013, the Vatican Bank spent EUR 8.3 million ($11.3 million) in "professional services,” required for its "reorganization and reform.” It included contracts with auditing firms Deloitte and the Promontory Financial Group. 

The summary income statements also showed that the Bank contributed EUR 54 million ($73.4 million) to the Vatican's budget.

The IOR listed the final results of Phase I of its reform process. As of June 30, 2014, the Bank had 15,495 customers, and managed  EUR 6 billion ($8.15 billion) in assets. 

During Phase I, they closed about 3,000 "customer relationships,” 2600 of which were "dormant,” or unused for an extended period of time. The remaining 396 did not meet the Bank's new criteria, restricting account holders to Catholic organizations, clergy, Vatican employees, and diplomats accredited to the Holy See. The IOR also stated that it froze, and is in the process of closing, an additional 359 customer accounts.

On Wednesday, the Vatican's new Secretary of the Economy, Card. George Pell, will announce Phase II of the Vatican Bank's reform. The expected changes include a new bank president, as well as a scale down of services.