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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.

Arch. Kurtz: Families in pain should know that the Church is there for them


Archbishop Joseph Kurtz is a man consensus. He oversees one of the biggest and most diverse episcopal conferences in the world: the U.S. Conference of Bishops. It may also be why Pope Francis invited him to take part in the Synod.

President, U.S. Conference of Bishops
"Our Holy Father says, 'Be creative. Think about new ways to explain that timeless teaching.' I think every age has had to ask that question. What are the new ways to explain that will touch the hearts and the ears of people?”

During the last three weeks, almost 300 bishops have heard dozens of proposals and points of view about how to improve family life.

President, U.S. Conference of Bishops
"The vocation of the family for a man and a woman to be committed to one another in a permanent and faithful love, to be open to children, is not simply an ideal that is in the sky. No, no, that is an ideal that is being lived. ((flash))) And of course in the midst of that, no family is perfect. And so every family needs to be accompanied and walked with. And so we are looking for those avenues that would be possible”.

One of the most controversial issues being discussed is whether divorced and remarried Catholics can receive Communion under certain circumstances.

President, U.S. Conference of Bishops
"I personally do not favor the changing our laws and our discipline with regard to the reception of Holy Communion. I think we need to accompany people, and in my own work in Catholic charities for 25 years, and as a pastor for 12 years, and of course as a bishop, I have found that people want someone present with them. They want a presence that will continue to walk with them and lead them to the truth. My deepest hope is that this Synod will be a signal to people in irregular situations to say, 'Oh, the Church cares about me. The Church is Christ caring.' And then for us to lead them in the truth of our teachings”.

The archbishop happily recalled his work during the last three weeks. He described it as intense but worth it. He admitted, however, that he looked forward to getting back to his flock in Louisville.

- PR