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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.

They traveled to Rome to call for their kidnaped brother's release


On January 5th, 2012, 19-year-old David Ramirez and his friend Miguel Rivera began a road trip inside the Mexican state Guerrero. They were planning to celebrate Miguel's 20th birthday.

But they never returned. It appears they were kidnapped by a paramilitary group while on the road. Now, four years later, David's family has traveled to Rome with a purpose in mind. They weren't able to meet the Pope, but they still wanted to raise awareness about what happened beyond Mexico.

Sister of David Ramirez
"We are not going to stop until we have David and Miguel. Because there are thousands of victims like them in Mexico and the Mexican government hasn't done anything. We have asked for help from the Marines, Army, and Federal Police. We want them to carry out an operation. We've said they must do it.”

Thanks to cell phone geolocation technology, they know that David and Miguel were taken between Guerrero and Michoacán. But they're upset with the authorities' lack of action.

The ordeal was made worse when they paid a ransom and the kidnappers still failed to release them.

Sister of David Ramirez
"From the start, the kidnappers communicated with us and asked for money. We paid them and they never returned the victims. From there, an investigation was done. They found where the kidnappers, their families, and their friends are. And so we've been struggling to get them to carry out an operation. They already have the exact location of the kidnappers, but they haven't wanted to carry out an operation. This has been the case for four years.”

The campaign to free them includes television appearances, a Facebook page with more than 10,000 Likes, and a YouTube video. They also have a message for the Pope, who plans to visit Mexico in February.

Sister of David Ramirez
"Do not come just to visit, but instead to see the problems that are there. Find the problems that happen day after day and see cases like David's and Miguel's, because they are not unique. I was already went to all the foundations in Mexico and they showed me thousands of similar cases. And that's what's happening.”

More than 100,000 kidnappings took place in the country in 2012, the year David and Miguel disappeared. In fact, Mexico suffers from more kidnappings than any other country in the world.