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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:

Pope at Santa Marta: Christians should not be afraid to get their hands dirty


In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis called on pastors and Christians to not be afraid of preaching the Gospel. 

"It is sad to see a shepherd open the doors of the church and just stand there waiting. It’s sad that the Christian does not feel within, in his heart, the need, the need to go to tell others that the Lord is good.”

The Pope emphasized the need to announce the Good News and that both Christians and pastors must not be afraid to get their hands dirty.

"The true shepherd, the true Christian has this zeal within: no one should be lost. And this is why they are not afraid to get their hands dirty. They are not afraid. They go where they need to go. They risk their life, they risk their reputation, they risk losing their comforts, their status, even lose their ecclesiastical career as well, but they are Good Shepherds.”

Pope Francis concluded his homily by saying that  "halfway Christians” do not know joy, much like the Pharisees. 

He encouraged Christians to not be afraid of being criticized for reaching out to those who are far from the God. 

(Source: Vatican Radio)

"It is sad to see a shepherd open the doors of the church and just stand there waiting. It’s sad that the Christian does not feel within, in his heart, the need, the need to go to tell others that the Lord is good. How much perversion there is in the hearts of those who think they are righteous, like these scribes, these Pharisees. Well, they do not want to dirty their hands with sinners. Let us recall what they thought, 'Well, if he were a prophet, he would know that she is a sinner'. The contempt. They used people, then they despised them". 

"The true shepherd, the true Christian has this zeal within: no one should be lost. And this is why they are not afraid to get his hands dirty. He is not afraid. He goes where he needs to go. He risks his life, he risks his reputation, he risks losing his comforts, his status, even lose his ecclesiastical career as well, but he is the Good Shepherd. Even Christians have to be this way. It is so easy to condemn others, as they [the Pharisees] did - the tax collectors and sinners - it's so easy, but it is not Christian! It is not [the attitude of] the children of God. The Son of God goes to the very limit, the giver of life, as Jesus gave his for others. He cannot be content, keeping to himself: his comfort, his reputation, his peace of mind. Remember this: no half-way shepherds, never! No half-way Christians, never! That’s what Jesus did". 

"These scribes, the Pharisees did not know, did not know what it means to set the sheep on his shoulders, with tenderness, and bring it back to its place. These people do not know what joy is. The half-way Christian and shepherd knows perhaps know some fun, calm, a certain peace, but joy, the joy there is in heaven, the joy that comes from God, the joy that comes from the heart of a father who saves! 'I have heard the cries of the Israelites and I took to the field’! This is so beautiful; do not be afraid that they badmouth us because we go to visit our brothers and sisters who are distant from the Lord. Let us ask this grace for each of us and for our Mother, the Holy Church. "