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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 Francis press conference: "Benedict resigned with Science and Theology. There is only one Pope"


During the return flight to Rome from Armenia, the Pope held a press conference of questions and answers with journalists for about an hour.

An Armenian journalist asked him what message he wanted to leave the country. In recalling the tense relations of Armenia with Azerbaijan and Turkey, the Pope had the following to say.

"I wish these people justice and peace, I pray for this because they are a courageous people. I hope they find justice and peace.”

The Pope touched on more topics. He spoke about and explained the reasons behind Benedict XVI resignation.

Pope Francis wondered if "Nowadays, what with us living longer, can we lead a Church once we get to a certain age with all those aches and pains? Benedict resigned with courage and prayer, and with Science and Theology. He opened this door. But there is only one Pope, the other one is a Pope Emeritus. Perhaps in the future there will be two or three, but they are Emeritus.” 

He was also asked if he worried that the Brexit would cause the disintegration of the European Union.

"For me, unity is always better than conflict, but there are different ways of unity . . . and even fraternity, and here comes the European Union; fraternity is better than animosity and distance. Fraternity is better and bridges are better than walls. ...and here I come to the Charlemagne Prize, which is given by the European Union to discover the strength that it had from its roots. It is a step of creativity, and also of "healthy disunity,” to give more independence, more liberty to countries of the Union, to think of another form of Union, to be creative.”

The Pope also shared how displeased he was with the media for saying that that women could be deacons, only because he accepted a commission to study their role in the Church of the first centuries.

They asked him whether the Church should apologize for having marginalized homosexuals. He repeated that the catechism says "that they must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally. One can condemn, but not for ideological reasons, but for reasons of political behavior...Certain manifestations are a bit too offensive for others, no? ... But these are things that have nothing to do with the problem.” 
With an articulated tone, the Pope said that "the Church should not only apologize to this person who is gay which has offended but also apologize to the poor, exploited women, children exploited at work or having blessed so many weapons. (...) When I say Christian Church I mean Christians! The Church is holy, sinners we are. Christians must also ask forgiveness for not having accompanied so many decisions, so many families. "

- BN