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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: The Church finds Her strength in being a Mother


In his Tuesday morning Mass, Pope Francis explained why the Church is a mother. He said that when the Church closes in on itself, it stops reaching out to others.

"A Church can be well organized, with a  perfect programming chart, where everything is tidy. But if she lacks joy, she lacks peace, and so she becomes a disheartened Church, that's anxious, sad. A Church that seems more like a spinster than a mother. This kind of Church doesn’t work. It becomes a Church museum.”

The Pope then called on Christians to offer mercy and help those in need. 

(Source: Vatican Radio) 

"Open the doors to the consolation of the Lord.” In this passage, which served as the starting point for the Pope’s homily, Isaiah is speaking about the end of the tribulation of Israel after the Babylonian exile. "The people,” Pope Francis said, "have need of consolation. The very presence of the Lord consoles [them].” It is one consolation that is with them even in tribulation. And yet, he warned, "we usually flee from consolation; we have no confidence; we are more comfortable in our stuff, we are more comfortable even in our failures, in our sins.” This, he said, "is our country.” On the other hand, the Pope continued, "when the Spirit comes, consolation comes as well, and bears us to another state that we cannot control: this is precisely abandonment in the consolation of the Lord.”

Pope Francis emphasized that "the greatest consolation is that of mercy and forgiveness.” He then turned his thoughts to Ezekiel, chapter 16, when, after so many sins of the people, our Lord says, "I will never abandon you; I will give you more; this will be my revenge: consolation and pardon.” This, the Pope said, is our God.” For this reason, he said, "it is good to repeat: allow yourselves to be consoled by the Lord; He alone can console us.” And we should do so even if "we are used to ‘renting’ small consolations of our own making,” but that simply "doesn’t work.”

The Holy Father then spoke about the parable of the lost sheep, from the day’s Gospel:

"I ask myself, what is the consolation of the Church? Just as an individual is consoled when he feels the mercy and forgiveness of the Lord, the Church rejoices and is happy when she goes out of herself. In the Gospel, the pastor who goes out goes to seek the lost sheep – he could keep accounts like a good businessman. [He could say]: ‘Ninety-nine sheep, if I lose one, it’s no problem; the balance sheet – gains and losses. But it’s fine, we can get by.’ No, he has the heart of a shepherd, he goes out and searches for [the lost sheep] until he finds it, and then he rejoices, he is joyful.

"The joy of going out to seek the brothers and sisters who are far off: This is the joy of the Church. Here the Church becomes a mother, becomes fruitful”.