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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.

Pope talks to reporters on his flight back from Bosnia-Herzegovina


On his flight back from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Rome, Pope Francis held a quick press conference with reporters on flight. 

He gave some insight on where the Vatican stands on its investigation of the reported Medjugorje apparitions of Our Lady. He said the Commission Benedict XVI created years ago, is in its final stages of making a decision. 

"Cardinal Ruini came to me and delivered the final analysis. It was after many years, three or four more or less. They did a great job, they really did. Cardinal Muller, told me they would carry out a so called 'feria quarta' or special meeting around this time. I think they held the meeting last Wednesday, but I'm not really sure. We're really close to making a decision. They will let us know.  For now, only a few guidelines are being offered to Bishops. Thank you!”

Because the flight time from Sarajevo to Rome is only about one hour and a half, the question period was quite limited. 

He did talk about a meeting he had with hundreds of young people before leaving the country. The Pope told them to not become online addicts. 

"It's funny, so many families, fathers and mothers tell me: 'We're at the dinner table with the kids and they are on their phones in another world. It's true that the virtual world is a reality we can't ignore. We have to embrace it accordingly because it leads to human progress. But when this takes away from one's social life, including sports and the arts and when kids are hooked on computers, it becomes a physiological ill.” 

Speaking even further on the issue, the Pope said the problem isn't just about spending too much time online, but also the content one finds on the web. 

"Yes, there's dirty content out there. It ranges from pornography to semi pornographic content. There are empty shows, without any values. For example shows based on relativism, hedonism, consumerism. They promote all these things. We know that consumerism is a cancer in society, so is relativism. This is what I deal with in my next encyclical which will come out later on this month.”

The Pope's trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina marks his eight apostolic trip abroad. It has become a tradition of the Pope to give an impromptu press conference on his papal flights.