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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.”

Absolution of Abortion during Jubilee of Mercy explained: Confession and Forgiveness


On December 8th, when this Holy Door opens in St. Peter's Basilica, the Jubilee Year of Mercy will officially begin. Pope Francis has called on everyone to reflect, pray, ask for forgiveness and to forgive. 

In fact, during this period, which will run until November 20th, 2016, the Pope is granting all priests permission to absolve the sin of abortion when women confess this sin and show true remorse. Up until now, only bishops had the authority to absolve this sin, along with some priests who had prior permission to do so. 

Jubilee Year of Mercy
"Currently, many people see abortion as something superficial, without recognizing the gravity of it. They don't see the drama that revolves around the action, the woman and the medical team. The Pope is turning his attention to this.” 

Msgr. Rino Fisichella, is organizing the logistics in the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Just a few years back, he led the Pontifical Academy for Life. He says the Pope's decision is not meant to diminish the seriousness of abortion. 

Jubilee Year of Mercy
"The Pope's action highlights that the sinner needs mercy. The sinner needs to recognize his or her capacity to start anew through the power of grace. That's how, this painful experience, can give way to renovation and to show the importance of life.”

It's not only women who can be absolved of this sin. During the Year of Mercy, those who took part indirectly in an abortion, be it the woman's partner or medical team, can also be forgiven. This, if they reach out to a priest and embrace the Sacrament or Reconciliation. 

Jubilee Year of Mercy
"When an abortion is carried out, the only way to overcome it, is through support. A support system that includes forgiveness, the need to start anew and above everything else of love. Love and mercy.” 

It's one of the pillars of Pope Francis' pontificate. From the very start, he's called on the Church to go out and reach out to people, and to lead them to an encounter with God. Through this measure, he's hoping to reach out to those who are remorseful for their abortion and seek forgiveness. 

- PR