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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:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.

Pope presides over marriage ceremony of 20 couples


One by one, the brides walked alongside their fathers, into St. Peter's Basilica...as the grooms waited for their soon to be wives. 

A total of 20 couples, all of them from Rome, were married by Pope Francis

"It is a demanding journey, at times difficult, and at times turbulent, but such is life!”

It's the first time in 14 years that a Pope has celebrated a public wedding ceremony in the Basilica. He said that even though there will be challenges, marriage is a gift and the foundation of society

"He reminded me of so many things that you tend to forget after being married for so long. It's a way to renew the enthusiasm and energy.” 

"It was beautiful ceremony!”

Gaetano di Sangi is one of hundreds of guests, who made their way to Rome, to celebrate the big day with the newlyweds. His nephew was married and family flew in from New York. 

"We need the Pope to do these things in this period of moral and social decay.” 

Interestingly, the couples reflected different social realities the Church is grappling with. One of the brides had a child out of wedlock when she was younger. A groom had a previous marriage annulled. Some of the couples were living together before the wedding. More than a ceremony, many believe the Pope is sending a message of mercy to those who are willing to move beyond their past and renew their lives with the Church. 

"The love of Christ can restore to spouses the joy of journeying together. This is what marriage is all about: man and woman walking together.” 

Of course, there was also some practical advice along the way that struck not only the newlyweds, but couples who have been married for years. 

"He said that the husband must be willing to help his wife and the wife must be willing to do the same.” 

"Never end the day without making amends.” 

The last time a Pontiff presided over a public wedding was back in the year 2000, when John Paul II married eight couples. Interestingly, Pope Francis agreed to preside over the wedding, just weeks before the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, where bishops from all over the world will go to Rome, precisely to discuss the modern day challenges faced by the family.