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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:

Vatican launches initiative to protect the Amazon and its vulnerable communities


Roughly 20 percent of the Amazon rain-forest has been lost. It's a daunting figure, which according to experts is linked to massive mineral exploitation, the planting of crops that don't go well with the land and invasive livestock. The Vatican is concerned and it's speaking out. 

Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis
"The Amazon along with the forest of the Congo, are perhaps the most valuable resources on the planet. Other major forests like Borneo have practically disappeared. So now, it can no longer do its part to counteract climate change. We have the responsibility to do something to stop this.” 

Executive Secretary, Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network 
"This is the source of  20 percent of the planet's unfrozen fresh water. Here we have five bottles of water. If I take away one of them, someone is going to be left without drinking water. We have to ask ourselves what that water will be used for, because it's vital for many people.” 

It's an effect that's already being felt. Almost 40 million people live in the region, out of which about 3 million are indigenous.

Chairman, Justice and Solidarity – CELAM
"The Amazon River which runs more than 4300 miles is not just something on a map or something geographical. It's the home of roughly 3 million indigenous people from different tribes and origins.”

Executive Secretary, Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network 
"Villagers have a different perspective on this situation, but the reality is they are being displaced. Many are losing not just territories, but even more, they're losing their identities.” 

To speak out and take action, the Vatican is joining forces to help these communities. Back in September it launched the Pan Amazon Ecclesial Network. 

Chairman, Justice and Solidarity - CELAM
"The Church has been present for over 500 years there, but everyone pretty much kept to themselves. This network is a way to join all parties and unite forces. When that happens it's a lot more difficult for these huge companies to come in to drain the natural resources.” 

The group will be in Rome for a few days to discuss specific ways to help the Amazon and its vulnerable communities. 

This network is a new way to link countries and Church institutions from different countries, as together, they fight for the protection of Mother Nature.