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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:

The surprising list of the happiest countries in the world


The latest report on World Happiness 2016 indicates that the happiest countries in the world are Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland.

What do they have in common? It's not only about money. According to some authors of the report, other aspects are also assessed, such as social support their inhabitants receive or the generosity they experience.

University of British Columbia
"People are asked all over the world not just 'are you happy?' the emotion, like I ask you, but to think of your life as a ladder with the worst possible life as a 0 and the best as a 10. How would you rate your life today?” 
"And in the World Happiness Report we not only report those answers, but we try to explain what makes people happier in some countries than others.”

Some of the experts who worked on the report explained the keys in a forum called "The Courtyard of the Gentiles," organized by the Vatican. Jeffrey Sachs, who has twice been named among the 100 most influential people in the world, spoke before hundreds of young students. He said it is important to understand that is not selfish to claim personal happiness, but to be full, it should be shared with someone else. No one can be happy if they are alone.

University of Columbia
"What does it mean? We must, of course, look out for our own interests; but we aren't even human beings if we're not looking after the interest of others. If we're not living that philosophy today, now, when would we?”

Jeffrey Sachs also collaborated with Pope Francis on the last encyclical, Laudato si'. He told the students his impressions of the Argentine Pope.

University of Columbia
"His first message to the world was called Evangelii Gaudium. Gaudium, of course, Latin for joy. He used a phrase in Envangelii Gaudium that I think is the most important phrase that I know about the real state of life in our world today. He called it globalization of indifference, that we have a world of indifference where it is indifference that has been globalized."

The report notes that there are other key factors to happiness such as family, friends or work.

The factor that promotes unhappiness, of course, is war. It is no wonder that Syria, for example, is the penultimate on the list and Burundi comes in last.

Ranking of Happiness 

1. Denmark 
2. Switzerland 
3. Iceland 
4. Norway 
5. Finland 
6. Canada 
7. Netherlands 
8. New Zealand 
9. Australia 
10. Sweden 
11. Israel 
12. Austria 
13. United States 
14. Costa Rica 
15. Puerto Rico 
16. Germany 
17. Brazil 
18. Belgium 
19. Ireland 
20. Luxembourg 
21. Mexico 
22. Singapore 
23. United Kingdom 
24. Chile 
25. Panama 
26. Argentina 
27. Czech Republic 
28. United Arab Emirates 
29. Uruguay 
30. Malta 
31. Colombia 
32. France 
33. Thailand 
34. Saudi Arabia 
35. Taiwan 
36. Qatar 
37. Spain 
38. Algeria 
39. Guatemala 
40. Suriname 
41. Kuwait 
42. Bahrain 
43. Trinidad and Tobago 
44. Venezuela 
45. Slovakia 
46. El Salvador 
47. Malaysia 
48. Nicaragua 
49. Uzbekistan 
50. Italy 
51. Ecuador 
52. Belize 
53. Japan 
54. Kazakhstan 
55. Moldova 
56. Russia 
57. Poland 
58. South Korea 
59. Bolivia 
60. Lithuania 
61. Belarus 
62. North Cyprus 
63. Slovenia 
64. Peru 
65. Turkmenistan 
66. Mauritius 
67. Libya 
68. Latvia 
69. Cyprus 
70. Paraguay 
71. Romania 
72. Estonia 
73. Jamaica 
74. Croatia 
75. Hong Kong 
76. Somalia 
77. Kosovo 
78. Turkey 
79. Indonesia 
80. Jordan 
81. Azerbaijan 
82. Philippines 
83. China 
84. Bhutan 
85. Kyrgyzstan 
86. Serbia 
87. Bosnia and Herzegovina 
88. Montenegro 
89. Dominican Republic 
90. Morocco 
91. Hungary 
92. Pakistan 
93. Lebanon 
94. Portugal 
95. Macedonia 
96. Vietnam 
97. Somaliland region 
98. Tunisia 
99. Greece 
100. Tajikistan 
101. Mongolia 
102. Laos 
103. Nigeria 
104. Honduras 
105. Iran 
107. Nepal 
108. Palestinian Territories 
110. Bangladesh 
111. Sierra Leone 
112. Iraq 
113. Namibia 
114. Cameroon 
115. Ethiopia 
116. South Africa 
117. Sri Lanka 
118. India 
119. Myanmar 
120. Egypt 
121. Armenia 
122. Kenya 
123. Ukraine 
124. Ghana 
125. Congo (Kinshasa) 
126. Georgia 
127. Congo (Brazzaville) 
128. Senegal
129. Bulgaria 
130. Mauritania 
131. Zimbabwe 
132. Malawi 
133. Sudan 
134. Gabon 
135. Mali
136. Haiti
137. Botswana
138. Comoros 
139. Ivory Coast 
140. Cambodia 
141. Angola 
142. Niger 
143. South Sudan 
144. Chad 
145. Burkina Faso 
146. Uganda 
147. Yemen 
148. Madagascar 
149. Tanzania 
150. Liberia 
151. Guinea 
152. Rwanda 
153. Benin 
154. Afghanistan
155. Togo 
156. Syria 
157. Burundi