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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.

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.

Complete agenda of Pope's trip to Cuba and the United States


The Vatican has released the official agenda for Pope Francis' trip to the United States and Cuba. He will visit both countries from September 19th to 27th. 

Saturday, September 19

10:15 a.m. Departs from Fiumicino Airport in Rome.

4:00 p.m. Arrives at José Martí Airport in Havana.

4:05 p.m. Welcoming ceremony at José Martí Airport, and a speech from Pope Francis.

Sunday, September 20

9:00 a.m. Holy Mass at Revolution Square in Havana. Homily and Angelus prayer said by Pope Francis. 

4:00 p.m. Meeting with the President of the Cuba and the Council of Ministers at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana.

5:15 p.m. Celebration of the Vespers with priests, religious, and seminarians at the Cathedral of Havana. Homily said by Pope Francis. 

6:30 p.m. Meeting with young people at the Father Felix Varela Cultural Center in Havana. Speech given by Pope Francis. 

Monday, September 21

8:00 a.m. Departs from José Martí Airport in Havana.

9:20 a.m. Arrives at Frank País Airport in Holguin. 

10:30 a.m. Holy Mass at Revolution Square in Holguin. Homily said by Pope Francis. 

3:45 p.m. Blessing of the city from the Loma de la Cruz.

4:40 p.m. Departs from Frank País Airport in Holguin. 

5:30 p.m. Arrives at Antonio Maceo Airport in Santiago. 

7:00 p.m. Meeting with bishops in St. Basil's Major Seminary.

7:45 p.m. Prayer to Our Lady of Charity with the bishops and the papal entourage in the minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, Santiago.

Tuesday, September 22

8:00 a.m. Holy Mass in the minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, Santiago. Homily said by Pope Francis. 

11:00 a.m. Meeting with families in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Asuncion in Santiago. Speech from Pope Francis and a blessing of the city.

12:15 p.m. Farewell ceremony at  Antonio Maceo Airport in Santiago.

12:30 p.m. Departs from  Antonio Maceo Airport in Santiago.

16:00 p.m. Arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. And receives official welcome.

Wednesday, September 23

9:15 a.m. Welcoming ceremony at the White House South Lawn. Speech from Pope Francis followed by a courtesy visit to the President of the United States.

11:00 a.m. Pope meets with the bishops of the United States in St. Matthew's Cathedral and delivers a speech.

4:15 p.m. Holy Mass for the canonization of Blessed Fr. Junipero Serra at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Pope says a Homily.

Thursday, September 24

9:20 a.m. Pope Francis visits and addresses the United States Congress

11:15 a.m. Visits the charity center of St. Patrick's parish, where the Pope meets a group of homeless people.

4:00 p.m. Departs from Washington, D.C.

5:00 p.m. Arrives at JFK Airport in New York City.

6.45 p.m. Pope celebrates Vespers with priests and men and women religious in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Homily said by Pope Francis.

Friday, September 25

8:30 a.m. Address by the Holy Father at the seat of the United Nations in New York

11:30 a.m. Pope participates in an interreligious meeting at the Ground Zero Memorial site and delivers a speech.

4:00 p.m. Pope Francis visits "Our Lady, Queen of Angels” school and meet with families of immigrants in Harlem. He delivers another speech.

6:00 p.m. Holy Mass in Madison Square Garden. Homily said by Pope Francis.

Saturday, September 26

8:40 a.m. Departs New York City.

9:30 a.m. Arrives at Philadelphia International Airport.

10:10 a.m. Holy Mass with the bishops, clergy and men and women religious in the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Homily said by Pope Francis. 

4:45 p.m. Meeting for religious freedom with the Hispanic community and other immigrants in the Independence Mall, Philadelphia. Speech from Pope Francis. 

7:30 p.m. Address to the World Meeting of Families at the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.

Sunday, September 27

9:15 a.m. Meeting with the bishops invited to the World Meeting of Families in the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Speech from Pope Francis.

11:00 a.m. Visit to the detainees in the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, Philadelphia. Speech from Pope Francis.

4:00 p.m. Concluding Holy Mass of the Eighth World Meeting of Families at the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Homily delivered by Pope Francis.

7:00 p.m. Meeting with organizing committee, the volunteers and benefactors at Philadelphia International Airport. 

7:45 p.m. Farewell ceremony. 

8:00 p.m. Departs from Philadelphia. 

Monday, September 28

10:00 a.m. Papal plane arrives in Rome Ciampino  Airport.