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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:

Meet Patti Gallagher, leader of the Charismatic Renewal


Her name is Patti Gallagher. She describes herself as an American author, wife, mother and grandmother from New Orleans. But, she's also a powerful force within the Catholic Church, and a leader in the Charismatic Renewal

It's powerful ecclesial movement that started off back in 1967. At the very core of its charism is the so called Baptism through the Holy Spirit. 

She describes it as an awakening of the graces of Baptism, which often turn dormant because of lack of faith. Being in tune with that spiritual strength, she says, starts off with a simple prayer.  

Charismatic Renewal Leader
"Then say Lord, Baptize me in your Holy Spirit. You see all my desires, needs, weaknesses. I can't do anything without the power of the Holy Spirit.  Lord, send your Spirit to me. Just these three simple worlds, 'Come, Holy Spirit'- that's  a powerful prayer.” 

She visited Rome to speak to priests and bishops in a world retreat in the Cathedral of St. John Lateran. She was one of the few female speakers to address more than 1,000 priests and bishops from over 90 countries. 

Charismatic Renewal Leader
"They are only men. They are ordained, but they face the same struggles and temptations and the loneliness and the crush of the work so, anything we can do to support our priests, pray for them, sacrifice for them. In this case for me to actually be able to talk to them and pray for them.” 

With an estimated 120 million Catholics in 235 countries around the world, the Charismatic movement has a strong following. But it's lively style has often been misunderstood and reactions are usually mixed. Critics say, the movement focuses too much on the non-liturgical instead of the Eucharist.

Back in June 2014, thousands of members filled Rome's Olympic Stadium as Pope Francis directly addressed the group- and he even mentioned Patti Gallagher by name. 

Even the Pope admitted that at first, he didn't understand the movement, adding that it reminded him of a so called 'Samba School.' But eventually it grew on him. Patti Gallagher says it's about being in tune with the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. 

Charismatic Renewal Leader
"That doesn’t mean people have to be part of a movement, carry a card or act a certain way.”

In North America the Charismatic Renewal has close to 10 million followers. In Asia 16 million and in Africa roughly 9 million. Latin America tops the list with more than 73 million members.