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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 arrives to Assisi: Greets 500 participants of interreligious meeting one-by-one


Shortly before noon, the pope arrived at the Sacred Convent of Assisi for the World Day of Prayer for Peace organized by the Sant'Egidio Community.

His arrival caused much emotion among the main leaders participating in this event: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople; Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatius Aphrem II; Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby; chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni; Abbas Shuman, deputy head of the most important university of the Islamic world, Al-Azhar University in Egypt.

The pope entered the courtyard of the convent where other participants were waiting for him. There were some Yazidis, the other victims of the persecution of the Islamic State.

"Thank you for praying for us and for working against Genocide.”

The pope greeted the Grand Dukes of Luxembourg and the representative of the Orthodox Church in Albania, which traditionally converses with Catholics, Muslims and atheists.

"You serve as models of dialogue and help people. You gathered everyone together.”

As he greeted everyone down the line, he found many familiar faces, such as the chief rabbi of Turkey, whom he met during his trip to his country.

"The first time you were in my city and now I am in your city. God bless you.”

There were several representatives of Islam, such as this one from Belgium, whom the pope thanked for his condemnation of the attacks, and the Emir of Nigeria, who left a senior position in a bank to engage in interreligious dialogue.

"He understood that dialogue is more important than wealth.”

The meeting in Assisi also included people of many other religions and Eastern traditions.

"For me, you are a blessing.”

This Buddhist attended the first meeting for peace organized by Pope John Paul II nearly 30 years ago.

"It's me.”

There were many Catholics who are heroes of interreligious dialogue and helping people, such as this religious woman that rescues child soldiers.

One-by-one, the pope stopped to greet the 500 participants and later had lunch with some of them. He saved a spot for twelve refugees and a family.

"She is Maria. She is Syrian.”
"You are our hope.”
"She loves you, she said you are a symbol for peace.”

The organizers of this meeting and members of religions do not intend on organizing a theological debate about faith. Instead, they hope to show that what unites those who believe in God is the certainty that we must build peace.