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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.

The eight most powerful messages from the Pope's trip to Africa


It was five intense days for the Pope, as he delivered messages of peace, reconciliation, faith, and mercy.

Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic hosted the Pope as he made his first tour of the African continent. The trip made a profound impact on large of swaths of people. And the Pope was especially touched.

While in Kenya, the Pope spoke before the seat of the United Nations in Africa that focuses on the environment and sustainable development. He called on governments to make decisions that favor the planet and people, instead of special interests.

"It would be sad, and I dare say even catastrophic, were particular interests to prevail over the common good and lead to manipulating information in order to protect their own plans and projects.”

In Kenya, the Pope held a massive encounter with young people. He warned them about the danger of corruption in all parts of life.

"But it's not only in politics. It's in all institutions. Even in the Vatican there are cases of corruption. Corruption is something that hits us inside. It's like sugar. It's sweet. We like it. It's easy. And afterward it ends badly.”

Before leaving Kenya, he visited one of the largest marginalized neighborhoods in Africa, Kangemi. He told the residents that he felt at home among the most humble.

"I feel very much at home sharing these moments with brothers and sisters who, and I am not ashamed to say this, have a special place in my life and my decisions.”

In Uganda, the Pope wanted to honor the memory of Catholic and Anglican martyrs who were killed for their faith in the 19th century. He called on Ugandans to never forget that time. 
"Their lives give witness even now to the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This legacy is not served by an occasional remembrance, or by being enshrined in a museum as a precious jewel.”

The Pope also heard moving testimony while in Uganda: a young woman with AIDS and a boy who was kidnapped and tortured told their stories. The Pope asked them to never lose hope.

"Winnie transformed bitterness into hope. It's not magic. It is the work of Jesus. Jesus can do anything.”

The final stop of the Pope's trip was the most delicate. The Central African Republic has been at war since 2013, and about a quarter of its 5 million inhabitants are internally displaced. Those who lost their homes were the first ones the Pope visited.

"I would like for everyone to say together, 'We are all brothers.' And for that reason, because we are all brothers, we hope for peace. I will give you the blessing of Lord. And pray for me.”

Without a doubt, one of the most emotional moments of the trip was this...

The Pope inaugurated the Jubilee of Mercy in the Cathedral of Bangui by opening the Holy Door.

"Together we ask for love and peace. Love and peace. Now, with this prayer, we begin the Holy Year, here in this spiritual capital of the world.”

The Pope's most persistent message during his trip to the CAR was one of peace. This is how he told young Central Africans to treat their enemies.

"Can you love your enemy? Yes. Can you forgive when they have hurt you? Yes. With love and forgiveness you can be the victor.”

The Pope's trip to the CAR ended with a Mass at Bangui's major stadium. Once again, thousands attended to show their affection and thanks for the Pope's historic visit to the heart of Africa.