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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.”

Beatification push for first African-American priest from the United States


The Archdiocese of Chicago advocates for the beatification of the first African-American priest in the United States, who spent his pastoral time in Quincy, Illinois.

Director, Tolton Pastoral Ministry 
"As a priest in Quincy, he was known to be very pastoral. He was known to preach about hope; he preached about forgiveness; he preached about the church being open to all.” 

He was born a slave and forbidden to enter seminary in the United States, experiencing the prejudice of the time. The Franciscans arranged for him to attend seminary in Rome, Italy, and then sent him back to a segregated America at age 32 to pastor a church in Illinois. 

At a time when African-Americans were celebrating mass in a basement of a "white” church, he was one of the first priests who joined both Caucasians and African-Americans in the same mass. 

Diocesan Postulator for the Cause 
"As far as the African-American community is concerned, he's one of us. And he's the link with our ancestors who obviously bore the brunt of slavery and struggled to obtain freedom in our democracy.” 

In 2010, Cardinal Francis George asked the Vatican to consider Fr. Tolton for sainthood, and they began a four-year research project of his life before sending the sealed and stamped dossier to the Vatican in 2014. As of now, the Vatican holds all documents necessary to declare Tolton a saint and Chicago must be patient and wait for the final word from Pope Francis.

Director, Chicago office for Divine Worship
"I think that the cause for the canonization of Fr. Augustus is a wonderful opportunity for us, the people of the Archdiocese of Chicago.” 

However, it is not only the people of Chicago who would benefit from Fr. Tolton's story. He is an example of someone who perservered and advocated for unity in times of hatred and division, which are still ever-present in our world today. 

Courtesy: Archdiocese of Chicago

Archdiocese of Chicago