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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:

The Vatican declines participation in selecting judges for Colombian peace process


On August 12, the negotiators for the Colombian peace process in Havana asked Pope Francis to choose a representative for the committee that will create the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.

Today, the Pope has given them his answer. He believes it would be more appropriate to entrust other parties with this task, "bearing in mind the universal vocation of the Church and the mission of the Successor of Peter as Pastor of the People of God.”

However, Pope Francis thanked them for the invitation and he "invokes the gift of the Holy Spirit to enlighten” those who will "promote the common good of the Colombian nation.”

Pope Francis has devoted much prayer to the peace process between Colombia and the FARC rebels, and spoke about it last July in his return trip to Rome from Latin America.

July 13, 2015
"At this moment, I am worried that the peace process in Colombia will stop. I must say this: I hope that it continues. In that sense, we always are available to help. It would be something terrible if it didn't go forward.” 

During the process, the pope invited those suffering from loss of a loved one and so many years of fighting to unite their suffering to Christ on the cross, so that peace would soon be attained.

September 19, 2015
"May the blood shed by thousands of innocent people during long decades of armed conflict, united to that of the Lord Jesus Christ crucified, sustain all the efforts being made, including those on this beautiful island, to achieve definitive reconciliation."

In the same month, Pope Francis also spoke about the then-potential peace negotiations, encouraging Colombians to continue the process toward fraternity and for amends between Venezuela and Colombia. 

Sept. 6, 2015
"I invite everyone, in particular the beloved Venezuelan and Colombian peoples, to pray, so that, with a spirit of solidarity and fraternity, the current difficulties can be overcome.”

It was months later, on June 23, 2016 when this ceasefire deal was actually signed. During the pope's flight to Armenia on June 24, 2016, he mentioned that he was "happy” for peace after more than "fifty years of war, a guerrilla war, and so much bloodshed.” He had asked for the process to be protected so that it can never be reversed and "they cannot go back to war.”