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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: Faith is not about Earthly power


During his homily at Casa Santa Marta, the Pope reflected on the Gospel passage in which Jesus multiplies loaves of bread and fish. The Pope stressed the danger of not understanding the true mission of Jesus. He noted that some Christians are driven by worldliness and have a material approach to the Word of God.

"And this is a daily temptation of Christians, of all of us who are in the Church: the temptation not of the power, of the strength of the Spirit, but the temptation of worldly power. Thus one falls in that religious tepidness which leads to worldliness. It's a tepidness that ends, when it grows and grows in that attitude that Jesus calls hypocrisy.”

The Pope also discussed the testimony of martyrs. He said it was important to follow their example, to avoid the "the temptation of transforming faith into power.”

(Source: Vatican Radio)

Noting that the crowds came looking for Jesus, not out of a sense of religious awe and adoration, but rather for their own material interests, Pope Francis said when we take advantage of faith and are tempted towards power, we run the risk of failing to understand the true mission of Our Lord.

We see this attitude repeatedly in the Gospels, he said, where so many people follow Jesus out of their own interests. Even his own apostles, the Pope said, like the sons of Zebedee who wanted the jobs of "prime minster and finance minister”, they wanted to have power. Instead of bringing to the poor the Good News that Jesus came to free prisoners, to give sight to the blind and freedom to the oppressed, we are tempted to transform this message of healing into a tool of power and to take advantage of our encounter with Jesus.

May the saints and martyrs, the Pope said, awaken us with their witness of following the path of Jesus and announcing the year of grace. When the crowds at Capernaum understand Jesus’ rebuke, they ask him "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answers, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” Pope Francis concluded by praying that God may give us the grace not to fall for the spirit of this world which leads us to live like pagans beneath a veneer of Christianity, but to believe and trust in God and in the one he sent to us.