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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 Receives Rock Star Welcome, as he meets with Local leaders in Ecuador


The streets of Quito were quite crowded as the Pope made his way to the city's San Francisco church. 

Helicopters surrounded the neighborhood the Pope was traveling in... and out on the ground, 
rose petals covered the popemobile. 

The city's mayor and his wife, greeted the Pope and gave him the keys to the city. When it was time to go inside the church, he received a welcome fit for a rock star. 

Since he was addressing political, cultural and economic leaders all together, the Pope highlighted that being egotistical is a downward spiral. 

"It's my position and my idea. My project will go forward if I manage to beat the other person, toimpose myself and set him aside. This is how we build a throw away society, which nowadays has reached international dimensions.” 

Parents have the responsibility, he added, to not just teach their children values, but to lead by example. That, starts from an early age with small gestures. 

"I like to ask children: If you have two candies and a friend comes along, what do you do? Usually they say: 'I would give the extra one to my friend.  And if you have one candy and your friend comes along?' That's when they think about it. Some say, 'I would give it to him.' Others say, 'I would hide it in my pocket.'” 

The Pope then highlighted that Latin America is undergoing a deep social and cultural changes. From migration to overcrowded cities, consumerism, crisis in families and unemployment. The Pope reminded leaders, that opening new opportunities for future generations is a responsibility, not just for politicians but also for the Church. 

"These unemployed youths...We called them the don't- dont's, because they don't study and they don't work. What can they expect? Addiction, sadness, depression and suicide. Full statistics on the youth suicide rate are not published...Sometimes the youth gets involved in crazy social programs, that at least present them with an ideal.” 
The Pope then reminded Ecuador that it has an opportunity to be a Latin American leader in its care for its natural resources and the Ecology

There were also some lighthearted moments. After this little girl presented the Pope with a gift, two other children didn't want to feel left out...so they too, decided  to jump on stage to get a hug from Pope Francis.