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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.”

Vatican's Commission for the Protection of Minors begins new round of meetings


The Vatican's Commission for the Protection of Minors will meet for the third time. 

This round of meetings will focus on including representatives from Asia and Africa. Also, the members of the Commission will continue to define their statutes and to organize working groups. 

They have been preparing preparing a protocol for all the world's bishops since May. They also stressed the need to strengthen the responsibility and accountability on the part of anyone who commits or hide abuses. 

May 4 
Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors
"Theoretically there is a canon law but has not been enough. So one of the areas in which we work is that of responsibility. "

Marie Collins from Ireland, a victim of sexual abuse, is a member of the Commission. She said that the creation of the group was hopeful. 

May 4 
Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors
"I'm coming away with a very positive feeling from the meeting. I would like to say, I know there are many many survivors around the world who are hoping and have great expectations of this commission. What I can say so far is you can't make concrete promises, but as a survivor myself I am hopeful that we are going to achieve what is hoped for.”

The second meeting of the Commission took place in July. Back then, six victims of sex abuse met with the Pope at Casa Santa Marta. He listened to their stories and delivered a strong message before them during Mass.

July 6 
"There is no place in the ministry of the Church for those who commit these abuses, and agree not to tolerate minor damage inflicted by anyone, regardless of their clerical state." 

In September, the Pope added a new member, Msgr. Robert Oliver, who will be Secretary of the Commission. The new additions to the group include representatives from Asia and Africa and will have to be approved by Pope Francis.