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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:

Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Egypt: Muslims in my country do not support the Islamic State


Egypt was one of the countries where the so-called "Arab Spring” erupted in 2011. However, the revolution resulted in instability and violence rather than democracy. It's a situation that particularly affected Christians. 

Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Egypt
"We live as Christians and as Egyptians. We suffer the same economical, social and security problems and much more. But we have always payed the price for being Christians due to the ignorance and poverty that feeds fundamentialism. So, every now and then, we have to pay a price.”

This price meant a wave of violence that caused the burning of Churches, assasinations and persecution. Patriarch Sidrak said that, little by little, intolerance is disappearing. 

Egypt has had better luck than other Middle Eastern countries where jihadists from the Islamic State continue to sow terror. Although radical Islam clouded Egypt's future, it was rejected by Egyptians. 

Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Egypt
"We now have a better president and government. And we also do not have the Islamic State because Muslims here have discovered the failure of this Islamic political system.”

However in countries like Iraq and Syria, the sectarian ideas of these radicals have become popular among Muslims. The Patriarch assured that a non-violent international intervention could stop them.

Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Egypt
"Violence will always lead to violence. Maybe we  can accept and intervention to stop them but it would not be a solution. I think that those who have the choice or the possibility of making a decision can stop them event without resorting to war.”

But at the same time, the Patriarch asked that if the international community does intervene, to do so with responsibility, and not be moved by other interests. He gave Iraq as an example, where the solution of toppling a dictator led to the disintegration of the country.