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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.

Synod Message on Persecuted Christians



"Gathered around the Holy Father Francis, we the Synod Fathers, along with the fraternal Delegates and Auditors participating in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, turn our thoughts to all the families of the Middle East.

For years now, due to bloody conflicts, they have been victims of unspeakable atrocities. Their conditions of life have been further aggravated in recent months and weeks.

The use of weapons of mass destruction, indiscriminate killings, beheadings, kidnapping of human beings, trafficking in women, the enrolment of children into militias, persecution on the basis of religious belief or ethnicity, the destruction of cultural heritage and countless other atrocities have forced thousands of families to flee their homes in search of refuge elsewhere, often in conditions of extreme precariousness. Currently they are prevented from returning and from exercising the right to live in dignity and safety on their own soil, contributing to the reconstruction and the material and spiritual well-being of their respective countries.

In such a dramatic context, there are continual violations of the fundamental principles of human dignity and of peaceful and harmonious co-existence among persons and peoples, of the most basic rights, such as the rights to life and religious freedom, and of international humanitarian law.

Therefore, we wish to express our closeness to the Patriarchs, the Bishops, the priests, consecrated persons and faithful, as well as all the inhabitants of the Middle East, to demonstrate our solidarity and to assure them of our prayers. We think of all the people who have been kidnapped and ask for their liberation. Our voices unite with the cry of so many innocent people: no more violence, no more terrorism, no more persecution! May the hostilities and weapons trafficking cease immediately!

Peace in the Middle East must be sought not with choices imposed by force, but rather with political decisions that respect the cultural and religious particularities of the individual Nations and their various components.

Although we are grateful especially to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and many European countries for the welcome they have granted to refugees, we wish to make a further plea to the international community so that in the search for solutions they set aside particular interests and make use of the tools of diplomacy, dialogue and international law.

Let us recall the words of Pope Francis to 'all communities who look to Abraham: may we respect and love one another as brothers and sisters! May we learn to understand the sufferings of others! May no one abuse the name of God through violence! May we work together for justice and peace!'.

We are convinced that peace is possible, and that it is possible to stop the violence in Syria, Iraq, Jerusalem and throughout the Holy Land that every day involves increasing numbers of families and innocent civilians and aggravates the humanitarian crisis. Reconciliation is the fruit of fraternity, justice, respect and forgiveness.

Our sole wish, like that of the people of goodwill who form part of the great human family, is that we may all live in peace, so that 'Jews, Christians and Muslims find in other believers brothers and sisters to be respected and loved, and in this way, beginning in their own lands, give the beautiful witness of serenity and concord between the children of Abraham'.

Our thoughts and our prayers extend, with equal concern, solicitude and love, to all the families that find themselves involved in similar situations in other parts of the world, especially in Africa and Ukraine. We have kept them in mind during the work of this Synod Assembly, like the families of the Middle East, and for them too make a strong plea for a return to a calm and dignified life.

Let us entrust our intentions to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, accustomed to suffering, so that the world may soon become one family of brothers and sisters”.