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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.”

Remembering Pope Francis' encounters with Shimon Peres


Throughout the three and a half years of his pontificate, Pope Francis has met with Shimon Peres more often than any other world leader. 

The first meeting took place in April 2013. At the time, the Israeli President invited the pope to visit his country.

"Thank you very much and I'm expecting you in Jerusalem, and not just me, but all the people." 

An invitation that was fulfilled because Pope Francis visited the Holy Land in May of the following year. On this occasion, they met at the president's residence and engaged in one of the warmest dialogues between the two.

"Peace is a product of fantasy and inspiration, and you have brought both. We need it.”

"With my imagination and inspiration I would like to invent a new beatitude: which fits to me in this very moment: Blessed who enters the house of a wise and good man. And I feel blessed.”

In Bethlehem, Pope Francis announced an unprecedented proposal to bring together the two leaders of Israel and Palestine to the Vatican to pray together for peace. This initiative was fulfilled a few weeks later, in early June.

President of Israel
"Never will I forget the families, parents and children who paid the cost of war. All my life I shall never stop to act for peace.” 

Shimon Peres would return to the Vatican on two other occasions, both as former president. The first was in September 2014. He spoke for 45 minutes about the latest crisis between Israel and Palestine as well as an initiative for the creation of a UN of religions.

The last meeting between the two was in last June.

"How good to see you! Thank you, thank you very much indeed.”

Shimon Peres was about to turn 93 years old. The two leaders looked visibly shaken and the tone of the meeting was very warm. This was his last farewell.

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