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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.

Bishop of Panama: WYD will mean a new opportunity to the youth of Central America


Before returning home from Poland, the bishops of Panama have made a quick pit stop in Rome to thank the Pope for the next World Youth Day.

While at the Vatican, they have also presented the keys of World Youth Day 2019. It is considered an opportunity to improve the lives of young people in Central America.

Archbishop of Panama
"The WYD 2019 would be only the end of one of a work that we are doing for the young people in Central America who are forced to migrate, falling into the clutches of drug trafficking, human trafficking, and I think this is the great opportunity we have in Central America to offer them an alternative ...Give them a chance... because we are talking about giving them an opportunity.”

Bishop of David, Panama
"When we made our request to the Holy Father, it was made through a letter signed by the presidents of the Central American Episcopal Conferences and Cardinals from Central America. So, it's a project that will affect Central America based on Panama.”

On the other hand, they will work to improve infrastructure and build camps for hundreds of thousands of young people in Panama. They have proposed to the Vatican that WYD will be between January and March 2019.

Bishop of David, Panama
"If we do WYD in July it will be sure to rain.  And it does not rain like it was raining in Poland sparkling, it rains, it rains, it rains, and not a day, three days or a whole week. And then WYD would fail. So we suggested that we should hold it from January to March during the dry season.”
"And also that it coincides with most Latin Americas that are on holiday.”

They assured that the next WYD event will be very Panamanian and will be recognized by the dances, exotic fruits and landscapes.

Archbishop of Panama
"We will be true to the natural landscape that surrounds us, the coastal strip ... The sea is our stage, it is the best scenario we can offer to our people” 
"We have even thought about where we will celebrate the Mass, young people can cross the bridge that links the Canal.”

The most important hosts will be the country's youth. Like these young people, who have spent their last hours in Europe enjoying Rome. 

"I would imagine something much more Latin, the songs, food, culture... It will be very different from the previous because we will be able to see more people from Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador. It is very hard for many people in Latin America to travel. We will be able to enjoy that Latin flavor.”
"Many people who come from nearby countries in America will have the opportunity to attend. They will have the opportunity to see it. There are many young Panamanians who tried, who worked and fought to come and that in the end could not come because they couldn't afford the trip. These young people will now have the chance to experience this impressive opportunity.”

There is still a long way to go, at least two and a half years to be exact. So there will be more than enough time to prepare an unforgettable World Youth Day.