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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.

Pope: Don't be a two faced Christian. If you pay your employees unjustly, don't donate money


In his Friday morning Mass, the Pope reflected on living the Christian faith coherently in public and private. He said that sometimes, Christians separate faith from justice. He set the example of a Christian who may donate money to the Church, but then pays his employees poorly. 

"But at home, within your own Church, are you generous and are you fair with those who depend  on you? Be they your children, your grandparents or your employees? You cannot give a donation to the Church that comes from the shoulders of an injustice you practice against those who depend on you. This is a very serious sin. Using God as a shield to cover an injustice.” 

Pope Francis called on Christians to help those in needy, especially during Lent. 

(Source: Vatican Radio) 

"Pope Francis used his homily to reflect on how Christians, especially during Lent, should not confine themselves to outside signs of piety like fasting and charity and instead must reach out to those in need.

He said Jesus wants from us a fasting that breaks the evil chains, frees those who are oppressed, clothes those who are naked and carries out justice. This, he explained, is a true fasting, a fasting which is not a just an outward appearance  or observance but a fasting which comes from the heart.

Love of God and neighbour are one and the same

"And in the tablets of the law, there’s the law towards God and the law towards our neighbour and both of these go together.  I can’t say: ‘But no, I follow the three commandments first and the others more or less.’ No, if you don’t follow one, you can’t follow the other and if you follow one you must follow the other.  They are united: Love of God and love of our neighbour is one and the same thing and if you want to show genuine and not just formal penance, you must show it before God and also towards your brothers and towards your neighbour.”

Grave sin to use God as a cover for injustice

Pope Francis highlighted the example of somebody who goes to Mass every Sunday and receives communion but then asked: does that person pay his or her employees in cash under the table, maybe a salary below the going rate and without making the necessary social security contributions? 

"So many men and women of faith, have faith but then divide the tablets of the laws. ‘Yes, I do this’ – ‘But do you practice charity?’ – Yes of course, I always send a cheque to the Church’ – ‘Ok, that’s good. But at your home, within your own Church, are you generous and are you fair with those  who are your dependents  - be they your children, your grandparents, your employees?’  You cannot make offerings to the Church on the shoulders of the injustice that you practice towards your dependents.  This is a very serious sin: using God as a cover for injustice.”