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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: The loved ones who die are not in darkness, they are in the hands of God


The summer heat has come to Rome, but it didn't stop thousands of pilgrims from coming to see Pope Francis during his general audience. The Pope energetically moved through St. Peter's Square, kissing children and waving to pilgrims. He even traded his hat.

Once again, the Pope focused his remarks on the family. This week he discussed a more difficult topic: how to cope with the death of a relative. He said that it was especially difficult when parents lose their children or when parents of small kids die. 

"When a family in terrible mourning finds the strength to keep the faith and love that bind us to those who we love, it prevents death from taking everything. The darkness of death is faced with an intense labor of love.”

He explained that death doesn't seem natural and it is normal to be angry with God. However, the Pope added that because of the Resurrection of Christ, death doesn't have the final word. 

"In this faith we can console ourselves and each other, knowing that the Lord has conquered death once and forever. Our loved ones have not disappeared in the darkness of nothingness. Hope assures us that they are in the good, strong hands of God.”

Death is even more incomprehensible when it's caused by hatred and indifference, said the Pope. He urged no one to accept hate and apathy as normal.

The Pope referred to refugees as an example of indifference. Saturday is a day of remembrance specifically for them. So the Pope called for their dignity to be respected. He also had another message.

"I invite all of you to ask for forgiveness for people and institutions who close the door to people who are searching for a home, who are searching for a family, who are searching for protection.”

Toward the end of his remarks, Pope Francis mentioned that he would be publishing his ecology encyclical tomorrow. He will call on people to be responsible as they care for Creation.