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Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.

What is a Cardinal?

2013-03-05

The common traits among all these men include intelligence, coherence, mercy and prudence at decision-making. They are "created” during a special ceremony called a "consistory.” The last one took place on November 2012, where Benedict XVI created six new cardinals. In all, there a currently 207.

Their main function is to advise the Pope, hence why many preside over the most important departments of the Roman Curia or the largest dioceses in the world.

But their most important function is to elect the new Pope during the Sede Vacante period.

The College of Cardinals is broken down into three orders. The Cardinal Bishops hold the highest rank. The eastern patriarchs are among this group. The leader among them is the Cardinal Dean, who is considered the primus inter pares, first among equals. That was the honor Joseph Ratzinger had before being elected Pope.
Currently, the Cardinal dean is Angelo Sodano, and the Vice-Dean is Roger Etchegaray, both are required to live in Rome. Both are also over 80 years old and cannot vote in the conclave.

The second order are the Cardinal Priests, who make up the majority. They represent the universality of the Church and tend to lead the world's largest archdioceses.

The third and last order are the Cardinal Deacons and are chosen from various fields of work. Among them is the Cardinal Proto-Deacon cardinal, the eldest of which is the one that steps out into the balcony at St. Peter's Square to present the new Pope. Currently, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran holds this post.
Red, the color of the cardinals, symbolizes their willingness to die for their faith. They also receive a ring, the gift from the Pope signifying their marriage with the Church. On the inside, the crest of the Pope that created them is engraved.

The cardinals eligible to vote are only those that are under 80 years old at the start of the papal vacancy. They take an oath to vote by conscience for the person they consider best fit to be the Successor of Peter. This time around there are 117 eligible to vote.

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