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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.”

The Holy Shroud: What do scientists agree on?


The Holy Shroud has been a point of controversy for many years. 

For believers, it's proof of Jesus' divinity and Resurrection. For skeptics, its simply a scientific puzzle. 

Despite different tests- historians, theologians and scientists have not reached a consensus on whether the image imprinted on the linen cloth, is that of Jesus Christ. 
Museum of the Holy Shroud
"It reflects the body of a dead man who underwent physical trauma and was then crucified. FLASH 08 20 The linen cloth has blood stains on it that come from clots, and it's not just blood...organic material was also transferred onto it.”  

The issue is being raised again because the Shroud will be on public display from April 19th to June 24th in the Cathedral of Turin. In fact, Pope Francis has confirmed that he will pray before the Shroud on June 21st

The Catholic Church has not officially endorsed or rejected its authenticity, but over the years it has allowed several scientific tests to be carried out. The first one took place back in 1898. 

Scientific Director of the Holy Shroud Museum
"The Church doesn't have the authority or means to delve into these scientific tests. That's why it gives everyone the liberty to decide on their own, to choose, study and analyze the Shroud.” 

Researchers from the University of Oxford concluded that the Shroud probably dates back to the 1300's.  Not everyone agrees. Some scientists contested the way in which the tests were carried out. 

Even though different studies have been done, experts still cannot explain how the image of a man was imprinted on the Shroud. It's something that still puzzles, despite the availability of modern scientific tools and research. 

Diocesan Commission on the Shroud
"That image transmits a message to everyone. It says something to both believers and non-believers.” 

The Holy Shroud will be on display to mark 200 years since the birth of St. John Bosco. The last time it was displayed publicly was back in the year 2010.