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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 to youth in Havana: Dream that you are going to help make the world better.


After his meeting with men and women religious, Pope Francis went to the Fr. Felix Varela Cultural Center to meet with young people. Before he spoke, he stopped to hug a young man in a wheelchair

Another youth delivered testimony about what life is like for young Cubans. The young man acknowledged that life is hard on the island, and sometimes it is difficult to keep the faith. However, he said, "This hectic life does not make us lose the joy of living.”

"Today we want to not only introduce you to our dreams, but we also ask for your prayers for our Cuban families, our friends and our acquaintances who are in the country or who have emigrated.”

After a long day, the Pope admitted that he needed to sit down while he spoke. But his mental energy was still strong. He set aside his prepared remarks and gave an impassioned speech about the importance of dreaming. 

"A strong word: dream. A Latin American writer said that we people have two eyes: one of flesh and one of glass. With the eye of flesh we see what we watch. With the eye of glass we see what we dream. That's nice, yes?”

There was a light rain in Havana while he spoke but the Pope didn't use an umbrella. He said that while it may seem difficult, young people could in fact improve the world.

"Open yourself, open yourself, and dream. Dream that the world with you can be different. Dream that you are going to help make the world better. Don't forget it.”

After his remarks, he made a familiar request: the Pope asked for people to pray for him. And he also made sure the non-believers in the audience felt included.

"Well, I am going to say good bye and I wish you well. I wish you all well, like I said. I am going to pray for you. And I ask that you pray for me. And if some of you are not believers, at least send good vibes my way.”

The meeting marked a wet ending for the Pope's first full day in Cuba. He will rest overnight and then head to the city of Holguin for a major outdoor Mass.