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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 Youth: Learn how to love and how to cry. But allow yourself to be loved by others


Manila's University of Santo Tomas welcomed Pope Francis along with thousands of youths. Some of which shared their stories and even hardships, face to face with the Pope. 

Three teenagers gave their testimony. Leandro talked about how social media and the internet, are replacing real life interactions. Then, Rikky, a volunteer, asked about how he could best serve the poor. 

"In these modern times, we somehow lose the meaning of love. Dear Holy Father, how may we love truly?”

"What more can the youth do? How can we, especially, the youth be agents of mercy and compassion?”

But perhaps the most moving testimony was this one, where Jun and Gyzelle, both former street children, talked about the pain and rejection they've experienced. 

"I left home and I left my family because they could not afford to send me to school. I ate whatever I could find in the trash.” 

"Why does God allow this to happen? Children are not to blame. Why are we helped only by a few people?”

"She Gyzelle, is the only one who has posed a question for which there is no answer. She wasn't even able to express it in words, but rather in tears. I invite each one of you to ask yourselves: 'Have I learned how to weep, how to cry? Have I learned how to weep for somebody who is left aside? Have I learned to weep for someone who has a drug problem?  Have I learned how to weep for someone who has suffered abuse? Unfortunately, many of those who cry, do so because materialistically, they want more.” 

The Pope then challenged everyone, urging them to learn how to love. But it's not just about giving, but also receiving.  He added that one of the most difficult things to do, is allowing oneself to be loved.

"I'd like to ask you Rikky, a question. You and your friends are going to give. You give to help, but do you allow yourself to receive? Answer in your heart.” 

Together, they also prayed for 27 year old Kristel Mae Pasadas. The young woman died in Tacloban, in a scaffolding accident, in the site were the Papal Mass was celebrated on Saturday 17th. The Pope met with her grieving family. 

Throughout his visit, rain and wind have been a constant. But that didn't stop Pope Francis or the thousands of people who made it a point to see him in person. A few raincoats were just enough  to get by the less than ideal weather. 

- BN
up: KLH