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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.

The Pope's 7 most tender messages to grandparents


During this year's feast of Jesus's grandparents, Saints Joachim and Anne, the Pope asked for a round of applause for grandparents.


July 26, 2015
"I want to greet all the grandmothers and grandfathers to thank them for their special place in families and for their importance to the new generations.”

From the beginning, Pope Francis has been very mindful of the elderly. During the Mass at the start of his pontificate he asked for people to care for the elderly in particular since they are often pushed to the "margins of the heart.”

A few months afterward, at World Youth Day in Brazil, he spoke to young people about the importance of listening to their elders. 


July 25, 2013
"This global civilization has gone too far, too far ... because such is the cult that has been built around the god of money that we are witnessing the development of a philosophy and a practice of excluding the two extremes of life that are the hopes of every community. The elderly aren't shown care because no one cares for them. But there is also a cultural euthanasia. No one lets them speak or act.”

Pope Francis knows that grandparents play an essential role in the lives of children. And he knows this by experience thanks to the love of his grandmother Rosa. This is how he explained it in a catechesis dedicated to grandparents.


March 11, 2015
"The words of grandparents contain something special for young people. And they know it. The words that my grandmother gave me in writing the day of my priestly ordination I still carry with me, always, in the breviary. And I read them often and they do me good.”

This is why he never tires of denouncing the abuses committed against the elderly, who are marginalized in society. He even says that this is a sin. 


March 4, 2015
"It's horrible to see the elderly tossed aside. It's ugly and it's a sin.”

The elderly are of particular importance in the Pope's eyes as the collective memory of communities, and, above all, of families. 


November 11, 2013
"We pray for our grandfathers, our grandmothers, who so often play a heroic role in the transmission of the faith in times of persecution. When mom and dad weren't home or when they had strange ideas, which the politics of the time taught them, it was the grandmothers who passed on the faith.”

In fact, the Pope thinks that the elderly are so important that he was the first to organize an event in the Vatican dedicated to them. It was a very special day, and with a very rare appearance by Benedict XVI, whom Pope Francis tenderly called a 'wise grandfather.'


September 28, 2014
"I have said many times that I enjoy living here, in the Vatican, because it's like having a wise grandfather at home. Thank you.”

The Pope lamented the forgetting of and the violence towards the elderly and he explained that the experience of grandparents is irreplaceable. 


September 28, 2014
"One of the most beautiful things in life, in the family, in our lives, is caressing a child and letting yourself be caressed by a grandfather or a grandmother.”

The Pope backs up his words with deeds. In general audiences, meetings, and trips, Pope Francis never misses an opportunity to greet the elderly or to listen to them.

- JM
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