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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.

Armenian Archbishop of Aleppo: There will always be a wound in the soul of Syrian children


Archbishop Boutros Marayati has witnessed the absolute destruction of a country where there once was peace and coexistence. It only took weeks to plunge Syria into the chaos.

The Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo remembers that there are millions of people trying to simply survive in that context. Many of them are children.

Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo (Syria)
"If one day peace arrives, we don't know what the future will hold. There will always be a wound in their souls because they have lived in times of civil war, a domestic war, a dirty war, and one that makes no sense. There are so many interests that the country has been destroyed."

One in three children has only known this tragic scenario in their lifetime. In addition, since 2011, 25 percent of the 21 million inhabitants of Syria have fled the country, worsening an unprecedented humanitarian crisis since World War II. 

The conflict in Syria is more than just a civil war, since 15 countries have bombed its territory. Therefore, the solution to the conflict depends more than ever on the will of the international community.

Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo 
"I ask for a mediation between the two great powers. The key to this situation is in the hands of the U.S. and Russia. If these two powers reach a solution, there will be a resolve and peace will follow. They have initiated a type of dialogue that has not yet been successful."

Pope Francis continues his calls for an end to this conflict, which is the makings of WWIII. From Syria, he also asks for prayers so that Christians are not forced to keep running away from their faith.

Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo (Syria)
"The Pope has given us his blessing and has promised to pray for us and to do everything he can so that all parties resume dialogue, reconciliation, make peace and rebuild the country as soon as possible."

Seven out of 10 Syrians living below the poverty line, are unable to meet their basic food needs. The city of Aleppo has one of the most delicate situations, since they are without water, electricity and medicine, and are under constant threat of radical Islamists who are in complete control of the city.