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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.

Jubilee: Pope prays in Saint Peter's with victims of unjust violence


One of the Works of Mercy that the Church proposes in the Jubilee is "to comfort those who mourn." Therefore, symbolically, the Pope met with those representing the deepest pains.

Some had lost their children in traffic accidents, others in work accidents and others in war.

"I am the mother of Rafael and Clara present here with us, and also of Antonio, my first son, who has been in Heaven for almost five years now. He inexplicably decided to take his own life at only 15 years old. Antonio has dragged me, my life, and my mind to his grave with him. However, in that devastating moment, the love of God poured over my life, all my tears dried, and He gave me strength. This love keeps me and prevented me from going crazy, destroying myself and my family. "

"My name is Rafael and I am 14 years old. Five years ago I lost my brother, I was nine years old and my sister was five. I felt lost and abandoned during this period. I experienced a great rage, especially with the Lord, asking why He had deprived me of my brother. This led me away from the Church, but I have gradually matured and grown. Above all, seeing the strength of my parents who moved forward, they moved forward with our family; I had a conversion with God."

Felix Qaiser is a Pakistani journalist who has traveled his country to show the ordeals everyday Christians face there. However, because of his work, he had to leave the country.

"My articles, my fame, attracted the attention of some terrorist groups who considered my words a real attack to their country and to Islam.”
"From everyone, I received the same decided and unappealable response. It's finished, leave work and the city. Put your family in safety and get out as fast as you can.”

This famous Italian comedian found success, but never imagined that apart from the fame he received, he would be very lonely. One day, he realized that God loves him and decided to devote himself to helping people with addictions.

"Although I had everything I needed and seemed to be happy, I was lonely, empty, unloved, without a motive to live. Then I started asking questions to understand where I went wrong."

"The tears of Jesus serve as an antidote to my indifference before the suffering of my brothers and sisters. His tears teach me to make my own pain, the pain of others, to share in the discouragement and sufferings of those experiencing painful situations.” 

During the ceremony, many wrote their concerns, and went up to a reliquary holding the tears that, according to tradition, were shed from a sculpture of the Virgin Mary.

Then they prayed together for those in danger of death, for those who are tortured or used for experiments, for the victims of war, abused children and the mistreated, the sick and those who are troubled, live alone or are abandoned.

It was a simple encounter, but certainly one of great symbolic value. One of the most intense during the Jubilee of Mercy.