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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

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.

Bishop Barron's tips to evangelizing on social media


He has more than 900 thousand Twitter followers, and almost 830 thousand people following him on Facebook. In fact, he is the most-followed Catholic figure on social media, after Pope Francis.
So when Bishop Barron, the auxiliary bishop for Archdiocese of Los Angeles, offers advice on how to evangelize on social media, it is definitely worthwhile to take a few notes.
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
"Just do it. Try it. I started with culture commentaries, so not starting with 'Church-y' things so much. But let's start with a movie, let's start with a book, let's start with what are people buzzing about? What's going on in the news? Start with that and then find in it what the Church fathers called 'Seeds of the Word,' so little hints, echoes of the Word you can pick up.”
Bishop Barron calls these hints of the Gospel, "biblical eyes,” when the world becomes alive through a Catholic perspective. It is not an immediate change, but one that even he developed over the years.
His media involvement started after he was challenged by a fellow priest to make his voice heard, instead of complaining about situations, like so many do today. It was then he began in radio, continued onto television and finally setup a website that started the program, Word on Fire.
However, with the resources available now, he says there's no excuse not to try to make an evangelical difference on social media.
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
"We've all got high definition cameras in our pockets now with the iPhone. We've all got
access to the tools of the media. You can start a website pretty easily, put something on YouTube pretty easily, so I think people can do it
Although he was initially turned off by the negative YouTube comments people post, he now enjoys them because it's an opportunity to reach a niche that might not ever darken the doors of a Catholic Church. In fact, some say the discussions that have ensued are occasionally better than the videos themselves.
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

"So try something, be creative, be inventive. If it doesn't work, try something else. Have an evangelical freedom and flexibility.”
He encourages those who are clever, with an innovative perspective to dive in and not be intimidated by the competitive market. When he started making videos, he was excited with 300 views and now, as a bishop, he receives over 19 million. Anything is possible in the world of social media!