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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.”

A look inside the Vatican's Film Library: From Church history to Hollywood blockbusters


The Vatican's Film Library has a little bit of everything. From videos on Church history to classic Hollywood blockbusters. It all started back in 1959. 

Director, Vatican Film Library 
"Pope John XXIII launched the library in 1959 and early that year, he announced the Second Vatican Council. We think he was ahead of his time because he knew those images would be part of the Church's history and he wanted to store the footage. So the mission of the Vatican Library starts there: To record the life of the Church, Popes and missionaries.”

Decades later, the footage like this, of the Second Vatican Council, is priceless. On this historic book, every film had to be registered before it was stored in the library. 

Since it's a film library, it makes sense to have a theater. This was once a former chapel that was made into a movie theater, where cardinals and Popes have enjoyed  a set of films. 

But it's not just about entertainment, there's also the scientific aspect of preserving the films and making sure the unique footage is well kept and maintained. 

Director, Vatican Film Library 
"The oldest footage we have is from 1896. It shows Pope Leo XIII in the Vatican Gardens. It's the first recorded image of a Pope on film. We also have one of the few original copies of Ben-Hur.” 

The Vatican's Film Library also stores recent films and other Church related material, donated by television networks. Even famous film directors have offered copies of some of their best work. 

Director, Vatican Film Library
"Italian director Benigni have us 'Life is Beautiful' and Speilberg wanted our library to have a copy of Schindler's List.” 

The library also has a set of copies of films that have virtually disappeared, like that of a movie titled 'Hell' based on the 'Divine Comedy' by Dante. It was produced in 1911, where for the very first time, modern special effects were used. 

It started with one archive, but now 8,000 units are stored here at the Vatican Library, each one tells a story, and a chapter of Church history for future generations. 

up: PM