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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.

Pope's offensive phrase generates controversy between Mexico and the Vatican


A private e-mail between Pope Francis and a friend has sparked diplomatic wrangling between Mexico and the Holy See.

When he was cardinal of Buenos Aires, the Pope supported the Alameda Foundation. Led by his friend Gustavo Vera, it fights against slave labor and human trafficking.

The Pope wrote an e-mail to Vera on February 21, remembering their time to together.

"Dear Brother:

Thanks for your email. I see you are working as hard as you can. I often ask God to protect you and your coworkers. I hope that we will be able to avoid Mexicanization before it's too late. I talked to some Mexican bishops and it is terrifying."

The recipient published the message on his foundation's website, and it immediately caused a serious problem. It wasn't resolved when he added that the Pope expressed concern for the spread of the drug cartels.

The government of Mexico asked the Vatican on Monday to formally clarify what the Pope meant.

Mexico's Ambassador to the Vatican
"... by the order of the Government of Mexico, this embassy presented a verbal note to the Secretary of State."

A response came in less than 24 hours. First, Antoine Camilleri, the number two Vatican foreign minister, summoned the ambassador to give an official explanation.

Mexico's Ambassador to the Vatican
"We talked about the context in which the note was written. He explained to us that it was a personal correspondence. He told me it was a private and informal e-mail".

The Vatican then published a note by the Secretariat of State. It was sent in four languages. The statement clarifies that:

"The Pope did not in any way intend to hurt the feelings of the Mexican people.  He nurtures a special affection for them. He does not underestimate the government's commitment to the fight against drug trafficking."

It says that, "the Pope intended nothing else but to comment on the gravity of the phenomenon of drug trafficking afflicting Mexico and other Latin American countries.”

Mexico's Ambassador to the Vatican
"Well, I can say that it was a timely response, a response that showed closeness to the people and government of Mexico."

The situation was resolved diplomatically. However, someone receiving a private communication from the Pope may now think twice before publishing it.

- PR