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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:

Everything you need to know about the Vatileaks II trial


The Vatileaks trial begins with five people accused of two different charges. Here's everything you need to know about the blockbuster case.


The main suspects are two members of a committee created by Pope Francis to reform the administrative and financial offices of the Holy See. They are a Spanish priest, Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda, and an Italian laywoman and PR expert, Francesca Chaouqui.

Balda's secretary Nicola Maio has also been charged.

They are accused of "criminal conspiracy to disseminate news and documents related to the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.”

Also charged are the journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi. They face charges of "illegally procuring and later revealing news and documents  related to the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.”


The process begins at the Court of the Vatican City State on Tuesday, November 24th.

If any of the accused do not appear, they will be tried in absentia. Their lawyers have time until Saturday the 28th to present evidence in their defense.

The penalty for these offenses can be up to eight years in prison.


According to the prosecutor, the first three defendants collected and transmitted confidential information to the two journalists so that they could make it public.

The prosecutor added that reporters "requested and exerted pressure, especially on Balda, to obtain classified documents.”

They will elaborate on this "pressure” during the trial.


The documents create a snapshot of the Pope's attempts to reform the Vatican in 2013 and 2014. The general idea, that the Pope encountered opposition to his reforms, is already well known. But the documents add more detail.

The most sensitive document is a recording of Pope Francis during a private meeting.

The stories also include reports and correspondence from people on the commission tasked with reforming the Vatican's financial and administrative organization. This includes data the Pope requested in 2013 about the state of the Vatican's finances.

The texts reveal that some Vatican departments resisted providing information to hide some excesses. It also shows a lack of understanding among cardinals, mismanagement of real estate, problems with the Vatican's pension system, and an unbalanced distribution of charitable giving, with too much being spent on administrative costs at the Holy See.


Besides arresting and interrogating two of the leakers, a Vatican spokesman responded to several points in the publications:

- He said that they refer to a specific time and that work has already been completed.
- He denied there are problems in the pension system for Holy See employees.
- He recalled that by law, donations to St. Peter's are used for charity but also for the organizational management of the Catholic Church.

What remains to be seen is exactly why the Vatican employees leaked information, and whether the two journalists will be convicted for publishing it. 

- PR