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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:

Wombs Are Not For Rent: International Campaign hopes to Stop Surrogacy Now


Wombs for rent... Babies for sale if the price is right. It's a trend that's becoming more popular. Usually the customer is wealthy and the woman bearing the newborn is not.  

Stop Surrogacy Now
"Wealthy women are not offering their bodies to be surrogates. It just doesn’t happen.” 

Jennifer Lahl is the President of The Center for Bioethics & Culture. She's also part of the Stop Surrogacy Now Campaign. She has produced three documentaries on surrogacy and its long term effects. 

At its very core, she says, it's an industry that exploits women and puts their health at risk. 

Stop Surrogacy Now
"This whole thing is often seen at the level of adult desires, adult wants and adult needs. With rare consideration of the surrogate woman, who is not even known.”

Fr. Scott Borgman is from the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life. He says life shouldn't be downgraded to a product that can be bought, sold or discarded. 

Pontifical Academy for Life
"You cannot sell yourself or parts of yourself, so the woman’s uterus is not for sale.”

Usually the customer is from a wealthy country and the surrogate from a developing nation. In India it's a booming industry.  It's becoming more popular in Thailand, Nepal and Mexico.  But it's also seen in wealthy nations like the U.S.  

Stop Surrogacy Now
"The United States is second to India as far as providing a market of women being targeted to sell, rent their bodies out in order to have children for wealthy people. Military wives here in the U.S are heavily targeted.”

Then there's also customers who change their mind. If the newborn has a disability or isn't of the preferred gender. 

Pontifical Academy for Life
"People are not products to be bought or sold because people have more money.” 

So far more than 16 organizations from 18 countries have joined in the Stop Surrogacy Now campaign. But it's not just about awareness. The group hopes to promote the cause at the legislative level as well. 

The message they want to get across is that life isn't for sale.