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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.

Kerry in Rome: it will help if those who claim they are combatting Daesh, fight Daesh


The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, has called on efforts against ISIS, or Daesh to intensify. Speaking during a visit to Rome, he was especially critical of the humanitarian situation in Syria and the government of Assad, whom he accused of not cooperating to allow humanitarian aid to reach the civilian population.

United States Secretary of State
"The crisis in Syria it's simply getting worse by the day, not better. And it will help enormously if those who said they are there fighting Daesh, fight Daesh.” 

John Kerry said the situation in Syria is desperate, and there has never been such a situation since the time of the Second World War.

United States Secretary of State
"Cities and communities all across Syria are besieged and they are specifically and purposely prevented by the Assad regime from receiving the supplies and the support that they need in order to survive. Other residences are described by eye witness as "walking skeletons.” People we haven't seen walking around in that condition since the concentration camps were liberated after WWII”. 

The Eternal City hosted the third meeting of the anti ISIS US-led coalition consisting of 23 primarily European and Arab countries.

At the meeting they established four main priorities for 2016.

First to completely cut off ISIS from the financial point of view and secondly to continue helping local governments expel the terrorists. The American Secretary of State reconfirmed that a large-scale military intervention is ruled out.

United States Secretary of State
"The president as you know, put additional troops on the ground with the context of special forces in Syria. And he has made it clear that he is prepared to listen closely to his commanders, if they need more special forces to achieve certain goals, but he doesn't intend open up a broad-based... you know.. that could be an invasion of Syria.” 

The other two remaining tasks are humanitarian - such restoring water, electricity and other basic services – and creating stable governments in Libya, Iraq and especially Syria. The war alone in Syria has already claimed more than 250,000 lives.

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