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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: He who has not had a crisis of faith is missing something


Taking risks in life, martyrdom, marriage...On Saturday, the Pope exhaustively answered the questions posed by current students and alumni from Villa Nazareth, a Roman university residence for college students.

He encouraged young people to not be complacent with life and answered questions about the Christian life.

"I have said this word many times: Take a risk. He who does not dare, does not walk. What if I'm wrong? Praise the Lord. You are proved wrong if you just stand still, stillness. That is the mistake, a terrible mistake, to enclosed yourself. Take risks. Approach problems, get out of your shells and take risks, take risks. If not, your life will slowly become stagnant; happy and content with the family but there you will be standing still.” 

"Have you had crisis of faith? Where and how have you found a way to recover, not get tired and continue your mandate, first as a layman and later as a consecrated person?”

"This is a question you ask the Pope! You have courage! So many times I find myself in crisis with faith and sometimes even I had the nerve to reproach Jesus: But why do You allow this? and even when in doubt: But this will be the truth, or will it be a dream? And that as a young man, as a seminarian , a priest, a religious, Bishop and Pope. A Christian who has not felt this, ever, that has not gone through a crisis of faith, is missing something: a Christian who is satisfied with a little worldliness.”

He spoke on how to be consistent with faith not to overlook the type of martyrdom that Christians in many parts of the world are suffering today. Pope Francis reminded everyone of the 13 Coptic Christians killed by ISIS but stressed that martyrdom is a distinctly different reality from that of genocide.

"I do not like it, and I want to say it clearly, I do not like it when you talk about the genocide of Christians, for example, in the Middle East: this is a reductionist, it is a reductionist. The truth is that it is a chase that leads Christians to fidelity, to be consistent with their faith. Let's not make a sociological reductionist about what is a mystery of faith: martyrdom.”

The Pope also spoke of marriage as he remembered the telephone call he made to a young man who was getting married.

"Are you well-prepared for marriage? Yes, yes, now we are looking for a restaurant that is not too far, also gifts for the guests, and this and that, and the other. What sense does this marriage make? It is purely a social act, a social act.”

Villa Nazareth was born in 1946 as a school that collected the orphans left behind by World War II in Italy. It was founded by Cardinal Domenico Tardini, who ended up being the Vatican Secretary of State with Pope John XXIII.

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