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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:

Synod's Midterm Report: Modifications have been made to the wording of document


The Synod's midterm report caused a big stir in and outside the Vatican. Bishops have clarified that the report isn't final, but a work in progress.  Now the question is, what modifications will be carried out? 

Archbishop of Barcelona (Spain) 
"Yes, I would say that as a whole, the document has been recieved. But having said that, without a doubt there have been changes. In virtually every chapter, ammendments have been made.” 

The confusion was triggered on Monday, when statements made about homosexuality and co habitating couples were released in the document. 

Even though bishops didn't say what specific changes have been made in the report, they did stress that the wording will be based on reaching out to others instead of condemning. 

President U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops
"As we reach out with to that individual, we begin to where that person is and what that means by it’s very nature is to begin by looking and pointing to positive elements that are already in that person’s life or in that person’s relationship that will accompany them.  It’s not a way of denying, but rather of amplifying the beauty of our Church teachings. So I hope you will be able to see if our amendments are effective. I hope you will be able to see that there is a refinement of these words.”

It's not just about discussion, but about action. Specifically in creating pastoral programs in the Church that can accompany couples during all the highs and lows of married life. 

The first phase of the Synod will end of Sunday October 19th, but there's still a long way to go before concrete ideas are put in motion. 

President U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops
"How wise Pope Francis was to make this a one year process, because I think we would not be ready at the end of this week to give thoughtful, meaningful and I would say enduring pastoral direction.” 

The final version of the midterm report is expected to be approved and released by Saturday, October 18th.