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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 Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.

Pope to typhoon survivors: When I saw what had happened, I just felt I had to be here


The threat of a category 2 typhoon hitting Tacoblan, didn't stop Pope Francis. As he explained at the Mass he presided over at the city's international airport, his visit to the Philippines had one goal: meeting the survivors of typhoon Haiyan.

"I’d like to tell you something close to my heart. When I saw from Rome that catastrophe, I felt I had to be here. And on that day, on those very days, I decided to come here. I am here to be with you. A little bit late, but I’m here. I have come to tell you that Jesus is the Lord, and that He never lets us down.”

Pope Francis put the homily he had prepared aside and addressed the faithful in Spanish. With the help of a translator, he explained that like any other man Jesus had also suffered.

"Many of you have asked the Lord, looking at Him: Why, Lord? And the Lord answers to each one of you, to your heart, Christ responds with his heart. It's the only thing I can tell you. Let us look to Christ, He is the lord and He understands us because He underwent all the trials that we go through.”

Wearing a yellow raincoat at all times, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the typhoon and their families. He also asked the attendants to pray to Our Lady in silence.

"Let's pray like children when they are afraid: Mum! Perhaps it's the only word that can express what we feel when are in darkness: Mother, Mum.”

All the pilgrims listened to the Pope's words in a moving silence...They attended the Mass despite the hard weather conditions.

The Archbishop of Palo thanked Pope Francis for visiting Tacoblan and bringing with him hope, despite the bad weather.

Archbishop of Palo (The Philippines)
"Our deep appreciation for your presence, most Holy Father. You come in spite of this weather here in Leyte, the diocese of Palo, we can hardly express in words our thanksgiving to you.”

After the Mass, the Pope left the airport riding his Popemobile, especially equipped for the rain. He also greeted some of the 300,000 people who had attended the ceremony.