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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 at Casa Santa Marta: The source of God's mercy is love


During his Thursday morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis warned of "those who limit the gratuity of salvation.” He then discussed what the source of God's mercy is.

"The source is love; the horizon is love.  If you have closed the door and taken away the key of love, you will not rise to the heights of the gratuity of salvation which you have received. This struggle for control of salvation - only saving those who do these things - it does not end with Jesus and with Paul.”

The Pope concluded by urging Christians to not be intimidated by "scholars of the law” who seek to limit God's mercy. Rather, they must ask themselves if they are deserving of salvation and constantly work toward bettering themselves.

(Source: Vatican Radio)

"Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”  Those were Jesus’ words in the 11th chapter of the Gospel of Luke from which Pope Francis took his cue at Thursday’s Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. 

"The key,” he continued, is "of the gratuity of salvation, of that knowledge”.  The scholars of the Law took away the key of God’s free gift of salvation, because, as the Holy Father said, "they thought that by respecting all the commandments one could be saved, and anyone who didn’t do just that was condemned”.  In this way, "they limited God’s horizons and made the love of God into something very, very small”, the Pope said.

Instead of a love based on retribution, Pope Francis said "If I say ‘I love you’, but I have a personal interest behind it, that is not love, that is self-interest.”

"This is why”, Pope Francis continued, "Jesus said ‘The greatest love is this: to love God with your whole life, with your whole heart, with your whole strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Because this is the only commandment which is up to the heights of the gratuity of God’s salvation." "The source is love; the horizon is love.  If you have closed the door and taken away the key of love, you will not rise to the heights of the gratuity of salvation which you have received,” the Pope said.

Concluding, the Holy Father posed two questions: "Do I believe that the Lord saved me gratuitously, freely? Do I believe that I have done nothing to merit salvation?”

"Let us ask ourselves these questions,” the Pope said, "only in this way will we be faithful to this merciful love: the love of a father and a mother, because God also says He is like a mother with us; love, expanded horizons, without limits.  And let us not be fooled by scholars [of the Law] who limit this love.”

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