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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

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.

Pope asks young people to “make a mess” and keep their hearts free


Pope Francis met with thousands of young people in Paraguay and, like he did in Brazil two years ago, asked them to "make a mess.”

"Make a mess, but also help to arrange and organize the mess that's been made. OK? Those two things. Make a mess and organize it well. A mess that gives us a free heart, a mess that gives us solidarity, a mess that gives us hope, a mess that lets us meet Jesus and know God, who I know is very strong. That is the mess that you must make.”

The meeting took place at Costanera, on the banks of the Paraguay River. It was the last major meeting of the Pope's trip to Latin America.

After watching musical performances, Pope Francis heard testimony from two Paraguayan youths. Liz takes care of her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's, and also her bed-ridden grandmother. Her remarks were followed by Manuel, who has worked to help his family since he was a child.

"My mother is a miracle in my life, but I miss her very much. I play with her like I do with a child. I give her goodies, change her diapers, and wash her. These are things I give to God today. I wanted to be at World Youth Day in Brazil to see the Pope, but I could not go. I told myself: 'I will work and save money to go to Krakow.' But when the news came that you would come to Paraguay, I tearfully thanked God because I knew that he remembered me.”

"I had a very difficult childhood. I did not have the support of my parents. In reality, we were a family of scarce resources. My parents gave me to a family in the capital out of necessity. I was practically exploited, working in the capital.”

The Pope appeared moved by these stories, and he gave improvised responses. He asked the young people to have hope and to stay strong. He told them that they had to be active, and not just spectators in life.

"We don't want young weaklings, young people who are neither here nor there. We do not want young people who get tired quickly, that live tired, with a face of boredom. We need young people who are strong, with hope and strength. Why? Because they know Jesus and know God. Because they have a free heart.”

Later, he told them to live without fear and to not be afraid of dreaming. Before leaving, he greeted and spoke with the two young people who gave testimony. Afterward, he left in the Popemobile while blessing the pilgrims who filled the riverbank.