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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 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.

Bishop in the Central African Republic: the people must put their hopes in the Pope's visit


The Pope has made it very clear that he intends to  visit to Africa. And he has said this on more than one occasion. The first time was in January, while he was returning from his trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. In the massive gathering of priests in Rome, he repeated this desire to visit Africa. 

"God willing, I will visit Africa this November: First, the Central Republic of Africa, and afterwards Uganda. There's the possibility that I will visit Kenya, but this is still uncertain due to logistical problems.”

The visit will occur towards the end of the month and Monsignor Juan José Aguirre will welcome the Pope to the Central African Republic.

Bishop of Bangassou (Central African Republic)
"We are very happy, very happy that the Central African Republic will be able to welcome the Pope, -not only Catholics-, Protestants and Muslims also see this visit as a divine blessing."

This Spanish bishop, a Comboni missionary, has lived in the country for more than 36 years. In these past two years, he has witnessed the violence caused by the Sélèka, a jihadist faction, and their enemies, the anti-Balaka. Both factions are equally bloodthirsty. Each of them oppresses a population already struggling to survive a devastating famine. 

Bishop of Bangassou (Central African Republic)
"The Pope will find an enormous amount of poor people here who live on less than a euro a day, and yet he will find that these people are very religious.”

But the people of the Central African Republic should not be defined solely by abject poverty. The Pope will find people here who fight to survive and who deeply desire to live.

These are pictures of his diocese of Bangassou. A few days ago, the bishops of the Central African Republic met with the Pope during their visit ad limina. Monsignor Juan José Aguirre wasn't able to attend because he had had a heart attack, the third one in the past few years. Weeks later, after recovering, he visited Rome. This time he spoke with Pope Francis

Bishop of Bangassou (Central Republic of Africa)
"The entire population of the Central African Republic has great hopes that the Pope merely by his presence will bless both our electoral process and its result.”

This is one of the main results people are hoping will be obtained through the Pope's visit: the election of a new president who will give the country much needed stability. Another is the disarmament of the militias, many of which are made up of kidnapped child soldiers. Despite the difficulties, as Monsignor Aguirre says, there is still hope and the country has given him a new perspective on life and faith. 

Bishop of Bangassou (Central Republic of Africa)
"If I were born a second time, I would do everything the same way. Just like poet Pablo Neruda says: "I confess that I have lived.” My life has been filled with precious moments, moments that make my heart swell with gratitude.”