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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:

Sistine Chapel temporarily turned into a recording studio


For the very first time, the Sistine Chapel was turned into a recording studio. The Vatican opened its doors to record its very own liturgical music album, titled 'Cantate Domino' sung by none other than the Sistine Chapel choir

It includes melodies that were specifically composed for Papal celebrations in the Sistine Chapel. That's why it was decided that the best spot to record the release, would be the Sistine Chapel, surrounded by all its art, beauty, history and devotion. 

Choir Director 
"It's the first time the Sistine Chapel, a site of worship and prayer, has opened its doors to this kind of recording. The Sistine Chapel Choir is the oldest in the world. From the beginning of the Church, it had singers composing and performing for Popes.”

"Yes, we sing every day in the choir. It's a lot of fun. The teacher is very easy going and he says jokes that make us all laugh. It's a lot of fun.” 

"The music is very beautiful and it reflects a series of emotions. It's for God, but it's as if He is speaking to my soul.

Sales from the record will be used by the Vatican's charity works. The songs and melodies are from the 16th and 17th century. They include, Orlando di Lasso, Tomás Luis de Victoria and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

"It's a kind of music that is uplifting which is absolutely perfect if people want to find a moment for contemplation, for meditation. It's incredibly inspiring.” 

It wasn't easy to record the album or even to practice for it. With thousands of tourists walking in and out every day, the task was pretty challenging. But if there is one location that defies the odds and proves that the impossible is possible, it is indeed the Sistine Chapel. 

Deutsche Grammophon