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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.

Chiara Lubich: Pope sends a message as her beatification process opens


She was a woman, and a lay person, but still she managed to have one of the biggest impacts in the modern day Church. Her name was Chiara Lubich and in 1943 she founded one of the biggest movements in the Church: The Focolare Movement. 

It was during World War II. Amid all the violence and turmoil, she knew that fraternity could trump evil. She focused on universal brotherhood and now that movement has caught on in over 182 countries. Now the Catholic Church is looking into her life to see if she could be a candidate for sainthood. 

Her cause for beatification was opened near Rome in the Frascati Cathedral. This period will be a time to interview those who knew her best, her writings and the way she lived out Christian values in every day life. Four cardinals attended the meeting and the Pope sent a message, which was read aloud by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. 

Former Secretary of State
"May the shinning example of the founder of the Focolare Movement, inspire in those who live out her spiritual heritage, a renewed purpose of fidelity to Christ and a generous service to the unity of the Church.” 

"The light of the Gospel and radical love, characterized this Servant of God, giving her the courage to serve as an apostle of dialogue.” 

President of the Focolare
"Rest assured, our only desire is to give the Church and humanity, the gift that Chiara has given us and many others. The engine of her eyes and heart, reflect a universal love that's able to embrace all people, despite their differences.” 

Chiara Lubich was born in Trent in the year 1920. She died in 2008 near Rome. 

ROME REPORTS talked to her briefly during one of her last public appearances, when the beatification process of the movement's co-founder, Igino Giordani was opened. 

June 6th, 2004. 
What does this day mean to you, as co-founder of the Focolare Movement?
What does this mean? I feel great joy. I was moved when I found out about the process. It's perhaps one of the greatest joys I've had in my life, among the most beautiful.
What was his greatest virtue? 
The main virtue I recognized in him was love. Love towards God and his fellow neighbors. 

Chiara Lubich was in many ways a pioneer of Catholicism in the 21st century. The universal brotherhood she focused on was key, since it came at a time, when dialogue, would always take the back seat. Her vision, changed things for the better. 

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