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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: There are needy situations which require our urgent and immediate response


In St. Peter's Square, the sun was shining and the atmosphere was lively. The interaction between Pope Francis and the pilgrims is inspiring and has not dwindled over time.

However, the issue the pope addressed today in his catechesis is a demanding one: he asked for involvement to finally to end hunger.

"Poverty, in the abstract form, does not challenge us. It makes us think; it makes us feel sorry. But when you see poverty in the flesh of a man, a woman, a child; this does challenge us. From there, this habit of running away from the needy, of not approaching them or masking the reality of the needy."

The pope began his new cycle of catechesis on the corporal works of mercy, talking about the first one: to feed the hungry.

"There are needy situations among us that require our immediate and urgent response, such as feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty; both are corporal works of mercy. It is very tough to experience hunger and thirst, and unfortunately it is a current reality and it is close to us."

The pope recalled that the faith of a Christian depends on how he treats the needy, because God is in each one of them.

In that sense he warned against a welfare culture, because it forces people to look away from the needs of others.

"One of the consequences of "welfare" is it makes people close in on themselves, making them insensitive to the needs of others."

The pope concluded his catechesis recalling fragments of Benedict XVI's encyclical "Caritas in veritate." In it, his predecessor stressed that "feeding the hungry is an ethical imperative for the universal Church."

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