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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.

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.

Read Pope Francis' full homily at the Mass with the indigenous community of Chiapas


Li smantal Kajvaltike toj lek – The law of the Lord is perfect; it revives the soul. Thus begins the psalm we have just heard. The law of the Lord is perfect and the psalmist diligently lists everything that the law offers to those who hear and follow it: it revives the soul, it gives wisdom to the simple, it gladdens the heart, and it gives light to the eyes.

This is the law which the people of Israel received from the hand of Moses, a law that would help the People of God to live in the freedom to which they were called. A law intended to be a light for the journey and to accompany the pilgrimage of his people. A people who experienced slavery and the Pharaoh’s tyranny, who endured suffering and oppression to the point where God said, "Enough! No more! I have seen their affliction, I have heard their cry, I know their sufferings” (cf. Ex 3:9). And here the true face of God is seen, the face of the Father who suffers as he sees the pain, mistreatment, and lack of justice for his children. His word, his law, thus becomes a symbol of freedom, a symbol of happiness, wisdom and light. It is an experience, a reality which is conveyed by a phrase prayed in Popol Vuh and born of the wisdom accumulated in these lands since time immemorial: "The dawn rises on all of the tribes together. The face of the earth was immediately healed by the sun” (33). The sun rose for the people who at various times have walked in the midst of history’s darkest moments.

In this expression, one hears the yearning to live in freedom, there is a longing which contemplates a promised land where oppression, mistreatment and humiliation are not the currency of the day. In the heart of man and in the memory of many of our peoples is imprinted this yearning for a land, for a time when human corruption will be overcome by fraternity, when injustice will be conquered by solidarity and when violence will be silenced by peace. 

Our Father not only shares this longing, but has himself inspired it and continues to do so in giving us his son Jesus Christ. In him we discover the solidarity of the Father who walks by our side. In him, we see how the perfect law takes flesh, takes a human face, shares our history so as to walk with and sustain his people. He becomes the Way, he becomes the Truth, he becomes the 

Life, so that darkness may not have the last word and the dawn may not cease to rise on the lives of his sons and daughters.

In many ways there have been attempts to silence and dull this yearning, and in many ways there have been efforts to anaesthetize our soul, and in many ways there have been endeavours to subdue and lull our children and young people into a kind of lassitude by suggesting that nothing can change, that their dreams can never come true. Faced with these attempts, creation itself also raises an objection: "This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she ‘groans in travail’ (Rom 8:22)” (Laudato Si’, 2). The environmental challenge that we are experiencing and its human causes, affects us all (cf. Laudato Si’, 14) and demands our response. We can no longer remain silent before one of the greatest environmental crises in world history.

In this regard, you have much to teach us. Your peoples, as the bishops of Latin America have recognized, know how to interact harmoniously with nature, which they respect as a "source of food, a common home and an altar of human sharing” (Aparecida, 472). 

And yet, on many occasions, in a systematic and organized way, your people have been misunderstood and excluded from society. Some have considered your values, culture and traditions to be inferior. Others, intoxicated by power, money and market trends, have stolen your lands or contaminated them. How sad this is! How worthwhile it would be for each of us to examine our conscience and learn to say, "Forgive me!” Today’s world, ravaged as it is by a throwaway culture, needs you!

Exposed to a culture that seeks to suppress all cultural heritage and features in pursuit of a homogenized world, the youth of today need to cling to the wisdom of their elders! 

Today’s world, overcome by convenience, needs to learn anew the value of gratitude!

We rejoice in the certainty that "The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us” (Laudato Si’, 13). We rejoice that Jesus continues to die and rise again in each gesture that we offer to the least of our brothers and sisters. Let us be resolved to be witnesses to his Passion and his Resurrection, by giving flesh to these words: Li smantal Kajvaltike toj lek – the law of the Lord is perfect and comforts the soul.