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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.

Synod says it's reductive to think fear of commitment stops youth from marrying


Spokesmen from each of the Synod's 13 working groups spoke behind closed doors about the results of their meetings this week. They also exchanged opinions about the "family vocation.”

During this week, reports focused on questions about unity and the insolubility of marriage, preparation for the sacrament, and how to help couples in crisis.

Archbishop of Bogota (Colombia)
"This is a continuation of the work we did last October, but at the same time having an enormous focus on the future.”

The cardinal from Westminster, Vincent Nichols, explained that the thirteen reports presented today shared this in common: They believe the working document lacks a common thread.

Archbishop of Westminster (United Kingdom)
"This part two especially needs some restructuring and needs a much stronger theological theme to guide the unfolding of this part two.” 

The updates included many proposals and varying topics and they gave clues about how the final document will look.

For example, they asked that the concept of Catholic marriage be clearly defined. They say that it's reductive to think that fear of commitment keeps young people from marriage. They proposed that the Church makes a large effort to show the beauty of fidelity.

They also wanted to find ways to help couples that live together or have civil marriages instead of Christian ones. They want to show attractive and realistic ideas, not just abstract ones.

Archbishop of Bogota (Colombia)
"I think that we in the Catholic Church are living in an extremely important moment because the Church is making a great effort to hear the voices of families, to hear the voices of people, especially those that suffer in difficult situations. They deserve special attention.”

The Synod will produce an official document at the end, and it will be presented to Pope Francis. There are three possibilities after that:

That it just remains a proposal, the least likely event.

That the Pope signs the document and publishes it as a magisterial document.

That the Pope uses it as the basis for an ambitious papal document on the family, which is the most likely option.