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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.

Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury: Together there is a mission to serve God and humanity


The pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury celebrated First Vespers together to mark 50-years of dialogue and engagement with one another, in the same church from where St. Augustine of Canterbury was sent to preach in England in the 6th Century.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Pope Francis' first action was to sign a Common Declaration, giving thanks for the theological dialogue started in 1966 with the two previous religious leaders, despite "serious obstacles.”

The two prayed side-by-side on the altar at the Basilica of San Gregorio al Celio as they sang First Vespers in their traditional religious garb. 

Both reflected on the Gospel, speaking about the role of the Good Shepherd and the sheep.

"The love of the victorious Lamb over sin and death is the true innovative message by bringing together today the lost, and those who still do not have the joy of knowing the compassionate face and merciful embrace of the Good Shepherd. From there comes our shared responsibility, the unique mission to serve God and humanity.”

This service and responsibility toward humanity was also expressed in the Archbishop of Canterbury's homily, as he spoke about the Shepherd who will always search out His one lost sheep, especially the most vulnerable. 

"As God's family we may always be those who look out into a world that wanders like sheep without a Shepherd. Where the weak, the unborn, the elderly, the trafficked, the dying, those with disabilities, are treated not as humans, but as inconveniences. And not only do we look, but we hear the voice of the Good Shepherd calling and we respond, 'Here we are, send us.'”

Pope Francis asked that pastors everywhere help the people that are in their care and that they pray for the grace to follow the examples of the past missionaries who have helped revamp the Church.

"The mission of the pastors is to help the flock entrusted to them, that it be always out-going, on the move to proclaim the joy of the Gospel; not closed in tight circles, in ecclesial "microclimates" which would take us back to the days of clouds and thick darkness. Together we ask God for the grace to imitate the spirit and example of the great missionaries.”

The religious leaders finished with a firm resolve to look toward the future and to trust in the mercy of the Shepherd before singing the Our Father. 

Pope Francis then gave a crosier to the Archbishop, and the Archbishop returned the favor by gifting the pope his silver cross necklace, which Pope Francis immediately put on. 

The two religious leaders finished by blessing the attendees in Latin before greeting the members of the Anglican—Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), who lead progress between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.