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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 prepares difficult trip to Armenia, to promote reconciliation with Turkey and Azerbaijan


Pope Francis was hoping to visit both Armenia and Azerbaijan during the same trip, but the on-going dispute between these two countries have prevented him. The most recent armed clash in the Nagorno-Karabakh territory occurred in April.

In the end, the Pope will travel to Armenia from June 24-26. He will then travel to Azerbaijan and Georgia in early October.

In this upcoming trip, the Pope will try to face the tensions in the Caucasus region, by acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and ease the strained relations between this country and Turkey. From the church in Khor Virap, the Pope will simultaneously witness the enclosed border and the splendor of Mount Ararat.

Vice Rector, Pontifical Armenian College
"He will go to Khor Virap, which is a very important place for us. Our patron Saint Gregory, who was locked in a well for 13 years. He was miraculously released and baptized by King Tiridates. And so Armenia became the first Christian country.”

Krikor Badichah is an Armenian priest from Lebanon. He says that to understand this journey we must remember that Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as it's official religion in the fourth century. Also, it is a country with two wounds: the 1915 genocide and communism.

Two Christian churches prevail in this country, the Catholic minority and the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is the majority and was born by Christians who did not recognize the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD.

Although they are in communion, the Patriarch Karekin II will host the Pope and accompany him throughout the trip.

Vice Rector, Pontifical Armenian College
"For centuries, the relations have been very good. The Pope's visit shows that the Church of Rome is close to all and confirms that among us there is not only friendship but a deep relationship of faith and respect.”

This trip is not the first time Pope Francis shows a great gesture to the Christians of Armenia. In April 2015, he commemorated Genocide victims during a ceremony in St. Peter's, where he also named Armenian Gregory of Narek, as doctor of the Church.

- PR