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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:

Medjugorje, the site of reported apparitions of Our Lady, attracts thousands of pilgrims


It all started here, a village in the heart of communist ex-Yugoslavia, the current Croatian part of Bosnia Herzegovina. It's called Medjugorje.

On June 24th, 1981 six young people saw for the first time a woman who called out to them. They say she was beautiful, had blue eyes, and looked to them with affection. She identified herself as Our Lady, the Queen of Peace, her message is one of reconciliation and forgiveness. 

Prayer gathering take place here every evening at 6 pm, the same time when the alleged apparition took place. 

Author,  "Medjugorje: The Last Prophecy”
"The message of Medjugorje is to put God at the center of humanity”. 

With time, more apparitions have been reported. Some of the alleged witnesses, say they see Our Lady daily, others once a year. During one of the apparitions, it's said that she revealed 10 secrets.

Author,  "Medjugorje: The Last Prophecy”
"There are some secrets that will verify if the apparitions are deemed authentic, because they will be revealed three days before they happen.”

Nowadays the official position of the Catholic Church is the one they gave bishops of the ex-Yugoslavia back in 1991: "Non constat de supernaturalitate.” This means that a supernatural element cannot be verified, but it cannot be excluded either. Because of this, official Church pilgrimages cannot take place, but every year thousands of pilgrims make the journey to pray there. The Vatican has called for them to be well taken care of when visiting. 

To deal with the issue, back in 2010, Benedict XVI organized a committee presided over by  Cardinal Camilo Ruini, who has already completed his work. 

10th January 2013
"We are an advisory committee, we offer our opinion to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. It is they who will decide if and when they make an official decision.” 

For many years, the Vatican has analyzed the Medjugorje investigation, starting with the credibility of reported witnesses. Saverio Gaeta thinks that for the alleged witnesses, it would have been easier to deny what happened.

Author"Medjugorje: The Last Prophecy”
"The first year of the appearances, the parents of these children worked abroad. The government told them: "If you don't stop saying you see Our Lady, your father will not be allowed to come back from Germany,” which for that family meant starvation.” 

Salvatore Perella, a Mariologist expert and member of the committee, didn't speak of the Medjugorje case, but detailed other factors which are looked into, to see if the appearances are authentic. 

"There can't be contradiction between the essential biblical revelation, Christ and the Gospel, with the alleged messages that are given by the Our Lady”.

Apparently, the investigation has been concluded. The Pope recently said that the Vatican is in its final stages of the investigation and is expected to make a decision soon. 

But since more alleged apparitions are taking place, it's likely that the Church will only rule on the first stage of the apparitions. 

Author "Medjugorje: The Last Prophecy”
"The important thing is to know if  the Mother of God appeared at least once. When that is determined, judgments on other apparitions are not that relevant.” 

The Vatican must take into account the high number of spiritual conversions that have taken place in Medjugorje. A place, which for now, is officially just a parish. But perhaps, it's one of the most visited in the world. 

- PR