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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.

Pope to families: I prefer wounded families because they are the result of a true love


The helicopter was the Pope's means of transportation from the state of Chiapas during his third day in Mexico.

This is how he traveled 30 miles from San Cristobal de las Casas to Tuxtla Gutierrez. There, he met with thousands of families in the packed 'Victor Manuel Reyna' stadium.

After arriving at the impressive altar, he received the first hug. A group of children did not hesitate to greet him.

Pope Francis listened to testimonies from some families and others like Manuel Alejandro, a young man with a degenerative disease. He explained that his wheelchair is not an obstacle used to evangelize.

Following his testimony, the Pope tenderly embraced an elderly couple, married for over 50 years.

Humberto and Claudia told him they only have a civil marriage because she is divorced. However, they asserted that the core of the faith in their family is God.

"Those that remarry can not access the Eucharist, but we can communicate through the brother in need.”

Before the last testimony, this happened. To everyone's surprise, the Pope walked down from his altar to bless a child in a wheelchair showing the meaning of "cariñoterapia” or the therapy of affection.

Lastly, he spoke with Beatriz, a single mother. She explained that she was offered an abortion on many occasions but the Church helped her not to go through with it.

"Holy Father, I just ask for your blessing, prayer and strength to the thousands of women who are faced with the false sense of an easy way out, called abortion. They can be like me, with a church that loves them and accepts them.”

Pope Francis thanked the families for sharing their life stories. To lighten the mood, he throw in some joking remarks. 

"What husband and wife do not fight? Especially, when the mother-in-law gets involved! But it does not matter.”

The Pope said the family unit is threatened by an ideological colonization that sets to destroy with insecurity and isolation.

"Precariousness not only threatens the stomach and that's saying a lot, but it can threaten the soul, it can diminish us, draw strength and tempt us to alternatives like the road less traveled, but ultimately that does not solve anything.”

To combat this situation, he explained that the solution has to be personal and collective.

"Laws and personal commitment make good duo that can break the spiral of uncertainty.”
He acknowledged that external difficulties are the characteristics of family life, which is not always easy. However, he asked, using a Mexican expression"echarle ganas,” which means "to put your heart into it.” 

"I prefer families wrinkled, injured, scarred because they continue to walk forward because those wounds, those scars, those wrinkles are the result of the faithfulness of love that was not always easy. Love is not easy. It is not easy, no. But it is one of the most beautiful thing that a man and a woman can give each other. True love, for life.”

Finally, he invited the couple present at the celebration to renew their vows and instructed all families to pray to Saint Joseph. A saint the Pope is especially devoted to.