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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:

World Meeting of Families: Pope will call for solidarity and fraternity despite differences


During his trip to the U.S, Pope Francis will visit the White House, Congress and the United Nations. But the one event that made it all possible is the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, organized by the Church. 

Pontifical Council for the Family, President
"If we were to define all these aspects of the Papal trip to the US, I would say it all boils down to the Pope wanting to highlight the importance of family life and fraternity among nations, despite differences.” 

The World Meeting of Families will run from the 22nd to the 27th of September. In addition to the long list of expert speakers, the entertainment will also be top notch. Hollywood stars like Mark Wahlberg will be there and musical groups like The Fray has also confirmed its attendance. 

The city of Philadelphia has a prominent role in American history and the very roots of the country. That includes the issue of immigration- which is currently a controversial issue in both  the U.S and abroad. 

While in Europe most immigrants are arriving from the Middle East, in the U.S most of the immigrants are from Latin America. Hispanics make up about 15 percent of the country's population. 

One of the first speeches the Pope will give upon arrival on September 26th, will be to a group of immigrants. 

Pontifical Council for the Family, President
"Through solidarity, people are called to be one  family that shows fraternity among each other. So all these barriers and walls that are being built, are actions against the family and the spirit of fraternity.” 

The World Meeting of Families will conclude with a Papal Mass on Sunday September 27th, before the Pope heads back to Rome on the 28th. 

The massive gathering takes place about every three years and it's organized by this very Vatican department-the Pontifical Council for the Family. Its main purpose is to celebrate the role of the family in society and of course to strengthen their faith, in the process.