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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.

Pope on the border between Mexico and the US: No more death and exploitation!


The Pope traveled by pope-mobile for about six miles from Ciudad Juarez to the border between Mexico and the United States.

Before starting Mass, Pope Francis wanted to stop at this cross that can be seen from both sides
He laid a bouquet of flowers underneath the cross to pay respect to all that have lost their lives trying to cross the Rio Grande. He prayed facing towards the United States.

Then he blessed the people who participated in the ceremony from the other side, in El Paso.

This was the last Mass the Pope held in Mexico and the first in history with a border in between. On one side, there were more than 200,000 pilgrims in attendance on the Mexican border and over 50,000 on the United States border.

Pope Francis used this crosier that was given to him be the prison inmates of Ciudad Juarez, who he visited hours earlier.
The Pope focused his homily on the suffering of those who try to pass "the other side.” By doing so, he made the migrants plight the epicenter of his discourse.  

"The enslaved, the imprisoned and extorted; so many of these brothers and sisters of ours are the consequence of a trade in human beings.”

He recalled that migration has become a global phenomenon and a humanitarian crisis that can not be measured solely in numbers.

"This crisis which can be measured in numbers and statistics, we want instead to measure with names, stories, families.”

He explained that poverty, injustice, drug trafficking and organized crimes are forms of violence and growing concerns among the youth in Ciudad Juarez. Especially, with many young women who end up victims of terrible femicide.

"Injustice is radicalized in the young; they are "cannon fodder”, persecuted and threatened when they try to flee the spiral of violence and the hell of drugs. Then there are the many womenunjustly robbed of their lives.”

With a burst of energy, Pope Francis asked the following.

"No more death! No more exploitation! There is still time to change, there is still a way out and a chance, time to implore the mercy of God.” 

Finally, he praised and thanked the work of those who help migrants. He defined it as a "light at the end of the tunnel.” With that said, he did not want to finish his homily without greeting those who attended the ceremony on the other side. He said that no border can divide the love of God.

At the end of the ceremony, the Pope thanked the Mexican people for their hospitality during these days and even made a small confession.

"I assure you there sometime felt like I had to mourn to see so much hope in a people so I suffered.”

The Pope asked them to pray for him and ended the Mass praying to the patron saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe.