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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 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.

Athletes explain how faith has led them to where they are now


Sports and faith have the power to move masses. As such, this week the Vatican gathered famous athletes to join forces to improve the world at the Global Conference, "Sport at the Service of Humanity."

In addition to the athletes, leaders and representatives of various religions talked about how faith has helped them throughout their life.

Jamaican athlete and Olympic medalist, Charmaine Crooks, knows that believing in yourself is important, but taking a deep breath and having faith can sometimes change everything.

"I've had some past personal experiences where I had to draw on my own faith. Having been around in so many Olimpics, and running, and having a lot of challenges. Having injuries but, you know, really believing that through faith I can come out of that. And being able to share that with others is also very important."

It is not strange to see soccer players make the sign of the Cross or point to the sky in thanksgiving from the goal line. They not only turn toward God when they need to score a goal, but when they need to overcome a difficult situation, like an injury.

Athlete and cofounder, Football For Peace
"In sports or wherever in life, you face a lot of hurdles and this opportunity gets you to believe that something will get you through it. God has been the one thing that has got me through all the bad times of my life. I had an operation in 2011 and they cut the wrong nerve of my hip and I was out for three years, but my faith in God drove me through it and we're here today.”

Some experience it first-hand and others witness from the sideline how faith encourages and helps others tackle the obstacles in everyday life.

The president of the NY Giants, John K. Mara, has spent years watching his players "find refuge" in the faith.

President, NY Giants
"I think a lot of our players take their faith very seriously. All of our players, at the end of every game, they all yell and say, "Hail God” and that is a very unifying aspect of our team. You see a lot of players around the league that do the same thing. And I think with a lot of our players, it carries over to how they conduct themselves off the field too.”

Sports and faith have a lot in common and share common life values such as discipline, respect, perseverance and love.

This is evident not only in professional sports, but even in children when they passionately attend practice.

This conference made the message from Pope Francis tangible: "In sports, just as in life, it is important to fight for the end goal, but to play well and with loyalty is even more important."

- PR