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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.

Vatican wants to improve relationship between movements and hierarchy within the Church


In ecclesiastical terms, the twentieth century saw the explosion of generically called "lay movements” or other "new communities.

They are solid proposals of Christian life and attractive paths of Christian formation that revolve around a central idea also called "charisma."

For example, the Focolare Movement proposes to rediscover brotherhood among people; Communion and Liberation proposes an educational method to know the faith in a more vital way; and the Community of Sant'Egidio, sets out to find the face of God by receiving the disadvantaged.

There are hundreds of "movements" or proposals which attract not only the laity, but also priests and religious.

Since they are very active and dynamic realities, they run into the danger of considering themselves the only valid proposals of Christian life, thus practicing their own values and not listening to or heeding the advice of their bishop. 

To avoid this, the Vatican has issued this document, The Church Rejuvenates. It was presented at the Vatican and was prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The text recognizes that these new institutions are a gift but lays the foundation for "a fruitful and ordered participation of the new groups in the communion and the mission of the Church.” 

Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
"This is not to define whether the hierarchy or charisms are more important. This is what we want to overcome, we want to overcome this opposition. We are a missionary Church, so we must confront secularism and reach many people who know neither Jesus nor the Church ... This is what we have to deal with, not new battles."

Prefect, Congregation for Bishops
"The purpose of this document is to improve the relations of communion within the Church, so that the mission of the Church has a greater impact and is more profound."

The text recalls that movements must be approved by the bishops, who "has received the gift to lead in the Church has also the responsibility of keeping watch over the good exercise of the other charisms, in such a manner that all contribute to the good of the Church and to its evangelizing mission."

For the first time, they established explicit criteria for approving a new movement. Among them is obviously the confession of the Catholic faith, but also "recognition of and esteem for the reciprocal complementarity of other charismatic elements in the Church.” 

The spirit of the background of the new text is a request to members of these movements to actively participate in the life of the diocese, serving the mission of the whole Church.

- PR