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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.

Five keys to understand how the Church will change with the new Cardinals


Pope Francis, once again, has caught the world off guard with his choices for new cardinals. The following are five keys to understand the impact his decision will have on the Catholic Church.

With his choices for new cardinals, the pope is also chiseling the profile of his successor. 

Not only will they be electors in the next Conclave; one might even be the next pope.

The pope wants the College of Cardinals to be as international as possible.

The cardinals he has appointed during his pontificate reflect his intentions. The College is far less "European,” and more evenly distributed amongst the nations of the world. 

Since 2013, the number of cardinal electors from Europe and North America has decreased. Cardinal electors in Central America have remained in similar numbers, and electors from South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania have increased. 

Italy remains a superpower in the College of Cardinals. They have 25 electors, having lost only one since the beginning of Pope Francis' pontificate. 

The second country with the most electors is the United States, who have ten, followed by France and Brazil, who have five each. Mexico, Spain, Poland, and India each have four electors.

If the Conclave were to take place today, 21 cardinals would be those appointed by John Paul II, 56 by Benedict XVI, and 44 by Pope Francis.

Technically, the Pope does not name cardinals, he "creates” them. In other words, he decides freely who to tap. 

There was an unwritten rule in the Catholic Church that said that archbishops in important cities had to be cardinals. A rule that seems to have definitively broken. 

Traditional red hat sees, such as Los Angeles, Monterrey, and Venice, are not led by a cardinal anymore. However, Pope Francis has appointed cardinals from other less important cities in those countries. 

Apparently, Pope Francis follows three criteria to appoint cardinal electors:

People of dialogue, capable of bringing people together.
People who have actively helped those who suffer.
People who have led important organisms within the Church, with a proven ability to garner wide consensus.

Nobody suspected the pope was about to appoint a new set of cardinals.

Pope Francis has made the decision on his own, without even warning those who were about to be chosen. 

Thanks to this, there have been no leaks and no other external pressure that might have tainted his decision.