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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

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.

Vatileaks 2 case: two of the main accused are sentenced


Just look at how the defendants in the Vatileaks 2.0 case have reacted upon hearing their sentencing.

Of the five accused, three have been acquitted and two have been condemned.

This is how the Vatican Tribunal made their announcement.

"In regards to the accused, Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, we sentence the accused to a penalty of 18 months of imprisonment.”

The Spanish priest Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda has been sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment for having revealed confidential documents relating to the fundamental interests of the Holy See.

"In relation to the accused, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, we sentenced her to 10 months of imprisonment.”

The Italian lay woman, Francesca Chaouqui has been sentenced to 10 months for having collaborated with him. The penalty is suspended for five years and will not be applicable unless she commits any serious crimes during this period. 

Vallejo Balda's private secretary, Nicola Maio, has been acquitted for lack of association in the conspiracy.

The president of the Vatican Tribunal said that the court has no jurisdiction over the two journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi. He recalled that they are both Italian citizens who have committed no crime in the Vatican.

In addition, he mentioned freedom of the press.

...freedom of the press in the Vatican Judicial system.

Both journalists were accused of allegedly pressuring the defendants in order to obtain confidential information about the Pope and the Vatican.

Upon leaving the courtroom, the defendants facial expressions were very different from those most have seen throughout the case.

"The Court has found me not guilty of divulging any news. When the Pope reads the sentencing, he will know that I have not betrayed him, this is my biggest win. Beyond the sentencing that awaits me and that of absolution... I have never pressured Monsignor Balda; I have not committed any of the crimes, not even the one I was condemned of.”

"Today is a historic day, not only for us, chroniclers but for this small state that I have behind me because we have been absolved for having done our jobs as journalists. So there is not only the absence of jurisdiction, as recognized by the Court, but it is recognized that we have done our job, as we have always ensured.”

"The sentence says that we have not committed any crime. Remember the alleged threats and pressures for which we were accused of. We have not committed any crimes by  preparing these books.”

The defendants have three days to appeal the sentence. If this does not happen, it is expected that Vallejo Balda should enter prison in the coming weeks. Some are already talking about a possible papal pardon rather than serving time in jail.
Federico Lombardi has highlighted the seriousness and independence of the Vatican's Justice system and considers it a fair, gracious and mostly a very human judgment.