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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.

Card. Nichols explains the Pope's campaign to the UN, in effort to end human trafficking


According to the UN, there are some 21 million people who are trafficked worldwide. It is also estimated that it is a business almost as lucrative as arms trafficking or drug trafficking: Amassing the equivalent of over 39 trillion dollars per year. Human trafficking takes on different forms, from sexual slavery to organ trafficking or labor exploitation.

Archbishop of Westminster 
"And I think so much is shocking, and not least the fact that there is probably in the UK(United Kingdom), no town that in which slave labor isn’t being used. And if that is true in the UK, it’s certainly true in the USA (United States of America). So this is hidden because it’s hidden in so many different ways and in so many nooks and crannies.” 

Cardinal Nichols appeared before the UN to explain a project by the Pope in combating against human trafficking, called The Santa Marta Group. It is an international partnership involving law enforcement agencies from several countries, dioceses, social organizations and representatives of various religious denominations in the common struggle for the dignity of all human beings.

Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (UK)
"Whenever we buy something, whether it be a mobile phone, whether it be our clothes, whether it be our cars, there are so many checks and balances on every element of that material in that product. But what checks and balances are there on human beings? And why is it everything is looked upon in profit? We see shock and horror when share prices drop, but at the same time there are 21 million people across the world who are suffering. We don’t see the same shock and horror around that.”

The Santa Marta Group has joined the UN in the efforts to end these forms of modern slavery. For example, in the struggle to improve the living conditions of millions of poor workers who do not earn more than $2 a day or ending the recruitment of child soldiers, whose number is growing because of the 15 open conflicts currently in the world.