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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.”

The Synod will reflect on how to help families that are going through difficult times


The Vatican has introduced the working document for the Synod of Bishops on the family. The text reflects the results of the first Synod and also offers important new information.

In the case of divorced Catholics who have remarried, the document asks for ways to reintegrate them into the normal life of the Church, like allowing them to be sponsors or teach the catechesis.

Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
"Accompaniment means to be close to these people who are currently being marginalized, off to the side.”

Special Secretary of the Synod
"The great challenge isn't 'yes or no to Communion for the divorced,' as it is sometimes simplified in the media. The challenge is how to help people to feel like they are a part of the ecclesial life. Because only through reception and integration can a person who feels judged and rejected once again feel accepted and valued in the life of the Church.”

Relator General of the Synod
"The central question of every Synod is what is Christianity. Are we a natural religion that must reflect philosophically about the world and the human experience and look for solutions for every generation? Or are we disciples of Jesus Christ, a particular historical person, with a particular teaching, who unites history and tradition, and whose teaching is perfectly recognizable?”

The text recognizes the insolubility of marriage and considers it vital to promote Catholic doctrine with a language that inspires hope. It also says that it is necessary to adopt clear, attractive, and open language that isn't judgmental or overly controlling.

Special Secretary of the Synod
"Especially in fragile situations, with wounded families, in those cases the Church must express a pastoral action of love, closeness, and the Lord's mercy in relation to those people that are hurt in their real experience.”

The document also says that the value of women must be shown and proposes for the Church to include them in the decision-making and governing processes. They can also contribute to the formation of priests. 

The first phase of the Synod on the family has already finished. This document marks the start of the second phase, which is about the family's mission in the contemporary world.

Bishops from throughout the world will meet for three weeks in Rome, starting on October 4th. Further, women who are experts in the family and married couples will also take part in the discussions.