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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 to Youth in Turin: Don't give into a hedonistic lifestyle


It was a full house in Turin, as Pope Francis met with about 90,000 young people in the city's Piazza Vittorio

There was a q and a portion where the Pope directly responded to questions posed by three young adults. Among with was 19 year old Clara, whose question dealt with love. 

"All of us, in one way or another, seek love. We seek to be loved and we want to love, even though sometimes we feel disappointed.” 

The Pope told the youth that love is much more than a romantic feeling. Above all else, he said, it's demonstrated through concrete action and sacrifice. He then called on them to stay away from a hedonistic lifestyle, which is so often advertised in mass media. 

"Often, advertisers want to convince us that something is beautiful and that it's good. They make us believe they're selling diamonds, when in reality, it's only glass.” 

Constantly looking for pleasure, explained the Pope, suppresses the ability to engage in sacrifice. He even said that expressing true love, this day in age, is something for rebels

"We have to go against this current and not be naive. Let's not buy the trash they're trying to sell to us as diamonds.” 

It's a challenge that needs to be overcome with courage and creativity, for true love, said the Pope, entails respect and service and not using another to satisfy one's own pleasure. 

"It's a love that recognizes the life of the other as something sacred. It says: 'I respect you, I don't want to use you.' It's not easy. We all know the difficulties that rise when trying to overcome the simplistic and hedonistic concept of love. Forgive me, if I said something you weren't expecting, but please, I ask you to make an effort to live a chaste love.” 

The Pope concluded the q and a session by addressing the pessimism that often burdens the young. It's a feeling, he said, that stems from everything from a high unemployment rate to war. To overcome this feeling of mistrust, the Pope recommended they get involved in concrete initiatives and social activities. It may not be easy, he added, but it will pave the way towards 
growth and maturity.