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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.

Pope Francis on sexual abuse scandal: God weeps


During his final meeting with U.S. bishops, Pope Francis began by recounting a meeting he just had with victims of sexual abuse. They were victimized by priests, teachers, or members of their own family.

"It continues to make me feel overwhelming ashamed that people who were in charge of the tender care of those small children violated them and caused them serious harm. I deeply regret it. God weeps.”

The Pope said that these abuses are crimes and sins that cannot be kept in secret. He said that bishops must respect the victims and make a strong commitment to fight against these tragedies.

"I agree with the zealous vigilance of the Church to protect children and promise that those responsible will pay. To you, the survivors of abuse have become heralds of hope and true ministers of mercy. Humbly we owe each of them and their families our gratitude for their immense value to shine the light of Christ over the evil sexual abuse.”

The speech came during the World Meeting of Families. The Pope also denounced the culture of extreme consumerism that takes over entire societies. He said it ruins personal relationships.

"Today’s culture seems to encourage people not to bond with anything or anyone, not to trust...The result is a culture which discards everything that is no longer 'useful' or 'satisfying' for the tastes of the consumer.”

Today's culture, according to Pope Francis, has made many people see the world as a giant department store, a great place to shop and consume.

People stop seeing each other as friends and instead think of what benefits they can receive from others. He pointed to social networks as an example.

"Running after the latest fad, accumulating 'friends' on one of the social networks, we get caught up in what contemporary society has to offer. Loneliness with fear of commitment in a limitless effort to feel recognized.”

Pope Francis concluded by suggesting how the Church can help solve the problem. To help, he said, it's necessary to have a pastoral conversion. Above all, young people must understand that today's culture doesn't help them be bold. It creates fear in their lives.

"The world today demands this conversion on our part... A Christianity which 'does' little in practice, while incessantly 'explaining' its teachings, is dangerously unbalanced. I would even say that it is stuck in a vicious cycle.”

Many young people are afraid of marriage, the Pope said, because they fear they don't have the economic ability to go into it. But at the same time, he said they can't live life without taking risks.