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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 Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.

Video Chat with Pope Francis! Students with disabilities ask the Pope some questions


It's not everyday that one can video chat with the Pope, but that's exactly what happened on Thursday afternoon. 

Special needs students from the U.S, Spain, India and Brazil talked with the Pope about how they deal with their disabilities. Special focus was given on how technology helps them in school. 

From Nebraska Isaiah, who is a junior in high school, suffers from limited motor skills. So, he asked the Pope for some advice

"The use of technology has helped me overcome the problem of getting my thoughts out fast enough. What do you do when you face something difficult?"

"First, not get mad. It's not good to get mad. You need to stay calm. Then, I try to find a way to overcome the challenge. If I can't, then I tough it out.” 

There was also a group of students from Madrid, who work on production and filming projects.  Some were more concerned with the Pope's tech skills...

"Hey Pope Francis, I'd like to ask you a question. Do you like to take pictures and then download them on your computer?

"Do you want me to tell you the truth...I'm pretty bad with computers. I don't know how to manage them. How embarrassing!

From computers, the conversation quickly turned to tablets...

"Do you like to work with the tablet? Is it hard?"

"Do you have a tablet?"

"No, I don't..."

"Oh, you don't"

The so called Google hangout is part of an educational project the Pope is supporting. It's called Scholas, and its mission is to improve education globally through an international exchange of ideas, cultures and knowledge. All under the umbrella of technology. 

Since the Pope joined, more than 400,000 schools have been involved worldwide. The goal is to eventually reach 60 million students. 

"Good evening.

From India, there was a Minosh. A 13 year old hearing impaired student in 6th grade.  He started learning about computers three years ago and it has changed his education for the better. 

"Now when I don't understand anything with my subject, I go to the internet and search pictures. Then I know. It's like having another teacher.” 

Even though the project is all about helping students, the Pope reminded them, that often it's them, who despite their disabilities, end up teaching life lessons to adults. 

"Every one of us has a gift inside of us. If we keep it locked, it stays hidden. If we share it with others, our treasure multiplies through the gifts of others. What I want to say is that each and every one of you, has a gift.” 

Towards the end, a group of students from Mozambique also thanked the Pope for receiving computers through Scholas. Several soccer stars from Footbol Club Barcelona are also supporting the cause and the team's president was there to show support.