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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's trip to Korea focuses on 3 points: Youth, Martyrs and Peace


The Pope will board a plane to South Korea on Wednesday August 13th. After an 11 hour flight, he will arrive on the 14th. He's planning on meeting with the country's president and the local government in Seoul. There he will give his first speech in English. 

On Friday the 15th, he will celebrate Mass in the World Cup Stadium of Daejeon. Later that day he will address thousands of youths in the Sanctuary of Solmoe. 

Vatican Spokesperson
"A big group is expected for Asian Youth Day. So roughly about 6,000 young adults. It's not like World Youth Day where you have more than 2 million people, but still it's significant and  important.” 

On the 16th, the Pope will visit a center that helps the disabled. To highlight that every life has value, he's planning on meeting with a disabled man, who has moved forward, despite his handicap. 

Vatican Spokesperson 
"He is a missionary who' is actually very famous in Korea. He doesn't have arms or legs, so he is severely handicapped. But he is an apostle and he encourages others despite his disabilities.” 

On Saturday the 16th, the Pope will beatify 124 Korean martyrs. John Paul II actually canonized 103 martyrs during his pontificate, but they were second and third generation martyrs. This time around, it will be different. 

Vatican Spokesperson  
"While the first generation of martyrs were remembered, their life and martyrdom weren't really investigated at that point. So, up until now their cause for canonization and all the documentation that goes with it, had not been looked into.”

On Sunday August 17th, the Pope will celebrate Mass with youths before heading out to Seoul. The very next day, on the 18th, he will celebrate yet another Mass to pray for peace and reconciliation between North and South Korea, just a few hours before heading back to Rome. 

Like most Asian countries, Catholics are a minority in South Korea. But there's been a steady increase in the last decade. They make up about 10 percent of the the population and roughly 100,000 people are Baptized there every year.