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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.

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.

Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta: Hypocrisy is a “virus”


During his Friday morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis described hypocrisy as a "virus” which sneaks into people's lives. He recalled how Jesus warned his disciples about the same thing.

"Hypocrisy is a way to live, to act, to speak, that is not clear. Maybe a smile, maybe serious...It's not light. It's not darkness...It moves in a way that doesn't seem to threaten anyone, like the serpent, but it has the charm of nuance.”

The Pope said that the only way to avoid being infected by hypocrisy is to pray. He added that hypocrisy is a "self-righteous attitude that is neither light nor darkness.”

(Source: Vatican Radio)

"Hypocrisy does not have a color, rather it plays with halftones. It creeps in and seduces "chiaroscuro", with "the charm of the lie." The Pope was referring to the scene portrayed by the scripture reading of the day from the Gospel of Luke - Jesus and the disciples are in the midst of a crowd who are trampling on each other- highlighting the outspoken warning of Christ to his disciples: "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees" . "It is a very small thing" yeast, observed Pope Francis, but Jesus talks about it as if to say "virus". As "a doctor" who says "to his collaborators" to pay attention to the risks of an "epidemic":

"This yeast is a virus that will cause you to get sick and die. Beware! This yeast brings darkness. Beware! But there is one that is greater than this: it is the Father who is in heaven. 'Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Even the hairs of your head are all numbered '. And then, in the final exhortation: 'Do not be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows'. In front of all these fears that leave us this way and that way, and that gives us the virus, the yeast of Pharisaical hypocrisy, Jesus tells us: 'There is a Father. There is a Father who loves you. There is a Father who cares for you '. "

And there's only one way to avoid infection, says Pope Francis. It is the way indicated by Jesus: pray. It is the only solution, he concluded, to avoid falling into that '' self-righteous attitude that is neither light nor darkness, "but is" in the middle "of a journey that" will never reach the light of God ":

"Let us pray. Please a lot. 'Lord, protect your Church, which is all of us: guard your people, that gathered and were trampling each other, each other. Protect your people, because you love the light, the light that comes from the Father, from your Father, who sent you to save us. Protect your people so they do not become hypocrites, they don't fall into a lukewarm kind of life. Look after your people because they have the joy of knowing that there is a Father who loves us so much."