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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 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's press conference on the flight back from the Philippines: A trip to US, family, and more


(-ONLY VIDEO-) Pope Francis gave a press conference on the flight back to Rome from the Philippines. He talked to journalists for an hour. Here you can find some quotes: 

- On the question about religious freedom and freedom of expression, posed on the flight from Colombo to Manila, and the confusion it generated

"In theory, it may be said that the Gospel says we must turn the other cheek. In theory, we can say that we have the freedom to express ourselves, and this is important. In theory we are all in agreement, but we are human, and so there is prudence, which is a virtue in human coexistence. 

I cannot continually provoke or insult someone, because I would risk angering them, I risk receiving a reaction that is not right, not right. But it is human. Therefore, I say that the freedom of expression must take into consideration the reality of humanity, and for this reason I say that we must be prudent. This means we must be polite and prudent, as prudence is the virtue that regulates human relations”.

- On corruption throughout the world and in the Church

"In today's world, corruption is the order of the day and corrupt attitudes easily establish themselves in institutions, since an institution has many components here and there, it has many heads and deputies, and so is very easy for corruption to take root there. Any institution can fall prey to this. Corruption means taking from the population. A corrupt person, who makes corrupt deals, or who governs in a corrupt fashion, or who associates with others to make corrupt deals, steals from the people. They are the victims. … Today it is a worldwide problem. … 

And with regard to corruption in ecclesiastical institutions … when I speak about the Church, I like to speak about the faithful, the baptised, all the Church. And in this case it is better to speak about sinners. We are all sinners, aren't we? But when we speak about corruption, we speak about corrupt people, or Church institutions that have fallen prey to corruption, and there are cases. … It is easy for corruption to take root, but let's remember this: sinners yes, corrupt no! We must never be corrupt. We must ask for forgiveness for those Catholics, those Christians, who scandalise with their corruption. It is a wound in the Church; but there are many saints, and sinners who are holy but not corrupt”.

- On responsible parenthood

"I think that three is the number of children per family that the experts say is correct to maintain the population, three per couple. When there are fewer than this, there is the other extreme, which we see in Italy where I have heard – I do not know if it is true – that from 2024 there will not be the money to pay pensioners. The key phrase to answer this question is the one that the Church has always used: responsible parenthood. 

How does one do this? Through dialogue. Every person, accompanied by their pastor, must find out how to achieve responsible parenthood. … Some believe that – excuse the expression – to be good Catholics we must be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood. This is clear, and for this reason in the Church here are matrimonial groups, experts in this. I know of many, many legitimate ways to achieve this. … On the other hand, for the poorest people, a child is a treasure. It is true, we must also be careful here. But for them, a child is a treasure. God knows how to help them. Perhaps some are not careful in this respect, it is true. Parenthood must be responsible. But look also at the generosity of those fathers and mothers who see every child as a treasure”.

- On the Pope's remark that the world needs to weep

"One of the things that is lost when there is too much comfort, or values are not well-understood, or we get used to injustice, to this throwaway culture, is the capacity to weep. It is a grace that we must ask for. … We Christians must ask for the grace to weep, especially those Christians who are well-off; to weep about injustice and sin. Weeping opens you to the understanding of new realities or new dimensions of reality”.

After each one of his international trips, the Pope answers all questions journalists make him on the papal plane.

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