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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 Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.

The Pope prepares for his intense trip to Poland


The countdown begins as Poland awaits for Pope Francis' historic visit to the country, on the occasion World Youth Day in late July of 2016. 

The archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz gave all the details into the Pope's upcoming trip. 
Pope Francis will once again be boarding a plane for his official papal trip to St. John Paul II's homeland. Cardinal Dziwisz confirmed that the Pope will be traveling to places like Czestochowa and Krakow. 

Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass on the occasion of the 1,050th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity to Poland. 

Like St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Pope Francis will visit and give a speech at the  the former Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz. 

Yet, the most important event on the Pope's itinerary will be the celebration of World Youth Day. 

The Pope is expected to greet more than one million  youths during a prayer vigil the night before he leaves, followed by a final Mass. During this Mass, the Pope will announce the location of the next WYD. 


Day I: (Wednesday, July 27th, 2016)

Pope Francis’ visit to Poland will begin on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 27th, when the plane transporting the Holy Father lands at Krakow Airport. On the same day, Pope Francis will meet with the President of the Republic of Poland, state officials and Polish bishops. 

In the evening – following the tradition started by St. John Paul II when visiting Krakow, and upheld by Pope Benedict XVI – Pope Francis will appear in the so-called Papal Window of the Bishop's House overlooking Franciszkaska Street to address young people. 

Day II: (Thursday, July 28th, 2016)

The morning of Thursday, July 28th will be marked by a pilgrimage of the Holy Father to Jasna Góra Sanctuary in Czstochowa. It is possible that, on his way, the Pope will visit the Convent of the Presentation Sisters and meet with the students of the school. In Czstochowa, in the Chapel of the Black Madonna, there will be a moment for private prayer. Afterwards, on the defense shafts of Jasna Góra, the Pope will celebrate a Mass on the occasion of the 1050-year anniversary of the Baptism of Poland. It is worth mentioning that the visit of Pope Francis to the National Sanctuary in Jasna Góra will take place on the 25-year anniversary of the memorable World Youth Day in Czstochowa. 

Day III: (Friday July 29th, 2016) 

On the morning of Friday, July 29th, Pope Francis will visit the former German Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he will also give a speech. 

The Stations of the Cross celebration will start at 5:30pm in Bonia Park, led by the Pope himself. The aim of this significant event is to show young people the meaning of the Cross in the context of mercy. This idea will be presented in a practical dimension of Mercy – corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The author of the reflection is auxiliary Bishop of Krakow Grzegorz Ry. The musical setting of this devotion will have a unique nature that deepens the spirit of reflections and meditation. The music, in the theme of Passion, will be combined with jazz improvisation. The theme of the evening will be "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy," which is the theme of WYD Krakow 2016.

Day IV: (Saturday July 30th, 2016)

On Saturday morning, the Holy Father will visit the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in agiewniki and the Chapel of Sister Faustina. He will pass through the Doors of Mercy and celebrate Mass with priests, consecrated persons, and Polish seminarians. After the Mass, the Pope will visit the Sanctuary of St. John Paul II, where five young people will have the opportunity to confess their sins to him: in Italian, Spanish, and French. 

In the House of the Archbishop of Krakow, Pope Francis will have lunch with youth representatives from around the world, including two Poles. In total, 12 pilgrims will participate in this meeting.

In the evening, at 7:30pm, the Vigil of the Pope with youth will start at Campus Misericordiae. The subject of the vigil will be the guides of the youth on the road to Jesus: St. Faustina and St. John Paul II.

The most significant moment will be the Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament. The vigil will end with a worship concert prepared by Adam Sztaba, based on the Credo.

Day V: (Sunday July 31st, 2016)

On Sunday, July 31st, at 10am the Final Mass will begin. The meeting will be on the topic: the universal dignity resulting from Holy Baptism as a Gate of Mercy – a sending out of young witnesses of Mercy.

 During this Mass, the Pope will announce the location of the next WYD. The musical work "Mass of John Paul II” by Henryk Jan Botor will be performed during the Mass, a piece composed especially for WYD. 

And finally,  short farewell ceremony.