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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:

Parishes and Catholic organizations are home to one in three refugees in Italy


Last September, the Pope sent a message loud and clear to Catholics about the refugee crisis.

September 6, 2015
"May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe take in one family, starting with my diocese in Rome.”

Six months later, the Italian parishes hosted more than 22,000 refugees and another 15,000 were accommodated by other Church institutions. In total, one third of the refugees have been welcomed into Italy, thanks to the Catholic Church.

However, not everything is that simple. The EU bureaucracy has hindered its host. Back in September, 28 European countries pledged to relocate 160,000 people fleeing from Syria. They were found in Italy and Greece, but only 937 people have been officially resettled.

Lebanon, with a population of 4.5 million, is welcoming more refugees compared to the rest of  the European Union, with its 500 million inhabitants.

Foundation for Migrants
"Unfortunately, when dealing with politics, there is always an option to stop them and not let them pass. With our pressures and other humanitarian organizations, the Catholic Church wishes to come and work to ensure the reception of people.”

On Sunday, March 21st, the agreement to send asylum-seekers back to Turkey came into full force in an effort to reduce the flow of migrants coming to Europe.

Gian Carlo Perego, who chairs the Italian Foundation for Migrants, is responsible for supporting the work of the Italian Church with immigrants. He would like to create a humanitarian corridor across Europe.

Foundation for Migrants
"We especially hope that humanitarian channels, through a large European operation, can help people fleeing and move them in a precise and timely manner to several European countries. FLASH. The humanitarian corridor is the first response that prevents deaths at sea and facilitates identifying people; it creates more security and fights against human traffickers.”

The recent attacks in Brussels can lead to a rise in xenophobia in Europe and hinder solidarity with those who claim asylum. But the Foundation for Migrants insists on clarifying misconceptions about the danger of hosting refugees.

Foundation for Migrants
"We are well aware that people who come to Europe are not terrorists. All terrorists who have made the attacks are young and second generational who were born in our cities.”

Pope Francis' call to host is still present, but aid depends not only on the Church, but also on European politicians.