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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.

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.

New book gathers testimonies from famous people about soccer and sports


Pope Francis again speaks about his favorite sport: soccer.

He does so in this latest book titled, "Soccer with Soul,” written by former Ambassador of Colombia to the Holy See. In it, the Pope reveals some tidbits, like the Swiss Guard that always keeps him in the loop about the results of the soccer tournament. Although he is thousands of miles away from his country of birth, Pope Francis still keeps track of his beloved athletic team, San Lorenzo.

The Pope says that for him the sport is like life. It has its rules and can bring out the worst and the best out of the players on the field.

Author, "Soccer with Soul”
"Without a doubt, the way to get closest to God must be put to the test. You must put all of those virtues in one soccer match; testing patience, perseverance, faith, charity, and knowing how to win and how to lose. So the paths that lead to God are the ways that also lead to a good soccer match."

The Pope stressed that the importance of the sport is what creates a chance meeting between the rich and poor and believers of different religions. They must all put their differences aside in order to achieve a common denominator: to score a goal. "Soccer with Soul" repeats what the Pope said before: that soccer is a perfect medicine against individualism.

September 4, 2014
"And this sport is important because it teaches the players about teamwork. Sports help prevent selfishness.”

Cesar Mauricio Velasquez also interviews seven other major veteran athletes like Alfredo Di Stefano, Javier Zanetti and Andres Escobar. In fact, Velasquez was able to speak to the Colombian defender a few hours before he was killed due to scoring his own goal. It cost his team to be eliminated the 1994 World Cup.

Author, "Soccer with Soul”
"I would point out that these seven figures had three things in common. The first, they fought for what they wanted and have suffered along the way. Second, they have had constant and steady work despite their many shortcomings and mistakes. And the third, they have been grateful to the people who have helped them."

The athletes shed some light into their personal lives and the value of family. This has helped them keep their feet on the ground at times of success to overcome their painful professional failures. Lessons that can be applied to the everyday life of ordinary people.

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