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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.”

Groups launches effort to provide formation for 200,000 refugee youths in honor of Jubilee


The refugee crisis has been one of the world's greatest challenges in 2015. Large groups of people are fleeing violence and poverty from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. Since 1980, the Jesuit Refugee Service has been working to help these types of people. Now they're busier than ever. And with the Jubilee, they've launched a new program: "Mercy in Motion.”

Director, Jesuit Refugee Service International
"When Pope Francis announced that we would be having a Holy Year of Mercy in 2016, JRS began to reflect on how we might be able to respond to that call. And we went back to our own roots and our own sense of mission and rediscovered that what we really want to be about is education.”

The objective of the campaign is to almost double the number of refugees that receive formation by 2020. They want to go from 120,000 currently to 220,000 in more than 50 countries.

Syrian refugee
"Education is life. No one can have life without education. They would be isolated without education in other countries. They would still be living in their problem and all the clashes and all the conflict they have seen. When we try to educate them, what we see is changing them to another type of life and giving them the hope of their future.”

And education can't be done in just any manner. The program particularly wants to reach young people who are in danger of not receiving proper formation.

Jesuit Refugee Service
"We want to offer to refugees the option of accessing university education. Currently only one percent of them study at universities and we so we are starting a program with universities in the United States that will let them study online.”

They want to create sustainable solutions for people that are suffering through a difficult situation for long periods of time. And they need all the help they can get.

Jesuit Refugee Service
"In this campaign we are asking for volunteers and funds, but it is also a campaign that is going to arrive in parishes, in religious congregations and organizations. We are going to mobilize all kinds of collaborators.”

The Jesuit organization also doesn't want people to forget about the more than eight million people displaced within Syria. There are 60 million refugees in the world, a similar number to how many there were following the Second World War.