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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 at Sunday Angelus: Pope announces his hope to personally visit quake victims


After reciting the Sunday Angelus with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, the pope stated his intention to visit the victims of the 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Italy and encouraged them, saying the Church also shares in their sufferings and worries. 

Afterwards, he led all the visiting pilgrims in a Hail Mary, for the intention of the victims and their families.

"Dear brothers and sisters, I hope to come to see you as soon as possible, to bring you in person the comfort of the faith, the embrace of a father and a brother, and the support of Christian hope.”

His thoughts were on the earthquake, even as he recapped the Luke Gospel reading by reminding pilgrims not to recline at a place of honor when invited to a wedding banquet, but rather the lowest place, so the host can then invite the guest to a higher place. 

His reflection coincided with the recent happenings, when Pope Francis thanked people who offer their assistance through works of mercy, especially at the earthquake last week.

"We pray for the dead and for the survivors. The solitude in which authorities, police, civil protection and volunteers are operating shows how important solidarity is to overcome such painful trials.”

The pope also mentioned the attitude of the host of the dinner party, telling them not to only invite wealthy guests who could repay them for their generosity. He asked for people to open their hearts and pay special attention to the sufferings of refugees, the poor and those disguarded by society.

"Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you. In fact, the poor, the simple, the ones that do not count, they can never repay for an invitation to the canteen.” 

Pope Francis asked for the intention of the Angelus to be so the Virgin Mary would help pilgrims grow in humility, so they could serve the marginalized without expecting anything in return.