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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.

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.

Husband of Christian sentenced to death: Persecution is happening in Pakistan


The husband of Asia Bibi and his youngest daughter have traveled to Europe from Pakistan seeking help. Since 2009, they have undergone a terrible ordeal, simply because Asia Bibi refused to renounce her faith.

She was arrested for drinking water from a well reserved for Muslims and accused of blasphemy. That charge carries the death sentence in Pakistan. The blasphemy law has become an instrument to settle personal vendettas against Christians.

The judicial process has dragged on and it remains unclear whether or not she will be executed. But time passes and Asia Bibi, spends her days in a dark, tiny cell.

Husband of Asia Bibi
"Europe can do a lot if it tries. Asia Bibi's case is falling into oblivion. What happens to Christians in Pakistan is persecution. Last Friday, a Christian boy was burned alive.”

Lawyer of Asia Bibi
"We are expecting Europe and the international community to pressure the Pakistani government. There is an opportunity to free Asia Bibi because now the case is in the Supreme Court. This is the last chance to save Asia Bibi's life. The second last chance is the presidential pardon.”

Ashiq and his daughter personally met with the Pope in Rome. They believe that he can provide decisive help in freeing Asia Bibi and that he should be able to give the Christian minority in Pakistan the help that it needs.

Husband of Asia Bibi
"The Pope is the leader of all of us Christians. We are here to ask for his intervention and his prayers. His voice is also heard in Pakistan and he is very well respected.”

The visit to Rome was especially poignant for Eisham, one of Asia Bibi's daughters. She could not contain herself as her words were being translated. She was only 9-years-old when she saw her mother brutally beaten and taken away.

Daughter of Asia Bibi
"She told me to go call my father but when I returned they had already taken her. Now, after all this, I ask you to pray for my mother, for my family, for her freedom and the freedom of all Christians.”

They said that Asia Bibi remains strong mentally and that she has maintained her faith in God. It is all that she has in prison. Her husband is the only one who can visit her, though he is barely able to see her through her thickly enclosed cell.