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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:

Pope jokes with youtuber: It never occurred to me to quit being pontiff


Pope Francis participated in the closing of the Sixth World Congress of Scholas. During the meeting, he answered questions from several young people, such as whether he has considered resigning from the pressure of being Pope.

"It never occurred to me to quit being [pope] for the responsibilities, but I will tell you something. It had never occurred to me that I would be elected Pope. It was a surprise, but in that moment, God gave me a peace that lasts to this day. This keeps me going. It’s the grace I received. On the other hand, I’m by nature unconscious, so I keep going.”

Twenty-three young people from five continents participated in the meeting and presented their proposals to their country's governments. Some of them explained to the Pope how they had lived during these days. 

"I had never wept with happiness before yesterday when I cried with happiness because Peter, the boy from Mozambique, said he did not like the pizza but he had eaten it all because it is not good to throw food away.”

Several Hollywood actors were at the event and praised the educational initiative of Pope Francis. Richard Gere, George Clooney and Salma Hayek received the "Medal of the Olive" and have joined Scholas.

"I think he's the best Pope that has ever existed. How important he is in the world at this time, when the world needs such leaders more than ever."

"The fact that Pope Francis and all you here are involving in such a young age in the schools the idea that inclusion is the only way we are going to make it. I think that to me is what is so spectacular about what you all are doing here and I am very honored and my wife and I are very honored to be here with all of you. So thank you.”

Pope Francis also met with young YouTubers, a group to which he belongs from his initiative "The Pope Video," which comes out every month. He asked them to work for a united world within the virtual environment.

"Try to offer a sense of belonging. One of you asked me: if a boy or a girl does not have a sense of belonging, how is it possible to help him or her? At least offer a sort of virtual belonging…so that in this way he or she will have an identity. A person without an identity has no future.”

During the meeting, the Pope received all kinds of gifts, like these surfboards arriving from Africa which he signed, a special antique violin and a Scholas flag that had reached the North Pole.