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Vaticaleaks-2: Court charged five people for “procuring and revealing” confidential material
November 21, 2015. A Vatican Court formally charged a pair of journalists, two officials, and a secretary to one of the officials for "procuring and revealing” confidential documents and information. They are Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, -who recently wrote books regarding mismanagement in the Vatican-, as well as the Msgr. Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda, Francesca Chaouqui and Vallejo’s secretary, Nicola Maio. While all five are charged with criminal misappropriation and misuse of Vatican confidential documents; Vallejo, Chaouqui, and Maio, are charged with criminal conspiracy "to divulge information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the State”. A hearing has been scheduled for next November 24th, 2015 in the Vatican criminal court.
New archbishop in Barcelona (Spain)
November 6, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach as Archbishop of Barcelona (Spain). He has named Monsignor Juan Jose Omella in his place. He was until now Bishop of the Diocese of Calahorra and La Calzada-Logroño.
Vatican arrests two people for allegedly leaking confidential documents
November 2, 2015. The Vatican Police have arrested two people, reportedly linked to the leak of confidential Holy See documents. They are: Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui, both of whom were members of COSEA, which stands for the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic Administrative Structure of the Holy See. After her arrest, Francesca Chaouqui was released, after giving her testimony to the Vaticans District Attorneys office. But Msgr. Vallejo Balda is still in custody. He is accused of leaking secret Vatican documents. His arrest comes just days before the release of a book which allegedly contains private conversations between the Pope and COSEA officials. The Holy See describes the release and publication of the documents as a violation of the Popes trust. The Vatican continues to investigate the source of the document leaks. It also adds that if needed, it will seek the assistance of international entities to clarity the allegations. The Vatican also adds that leaking documents in no way helps the mission of the Church or that of the Pope.
Vatican sends condolences to Putin and Russian people after plane crash
November 2, 2015. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has sent a telegram on behalf of Pope Francis to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He offers his condolences for the recent plane crash in which more than 200 Russians died. The full text is here: Having learned with sadness of the tragic crash of the Russian airline in the Sinai Peninsula, His Holiness Pope Francis conveys his condolences to you and the Russian people. He offers the assurance of his prayers for all who have died and for those who mourn their loss. Upon the nation and all involved in the recovery efforts His Holiness invokes the strength and peace of Almighty God.
New bishop in France
October 30, 2015. Pope Francis has named Renauld de Dinechin bishop of Soissons. Until now he was the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Paris.
New bishop in Spain
October 30, 2015. PopeFrancis has accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Burgos,Francisco Gil Hellin. He has named in his place Fidel Herraez Vegas,who has been an auxiliary bishop of Madrid since 1996.
New archbishops in Italy
October 27, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Matteo Maria Zuppi, who was auxiliary bishop of Rome, to be the Archbishop of Bologna (Italy). He takes the place of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra. Also, Msgr. Corrado Lorefice has been appointed Archbishop of Palermo (Italy). He succeeds Cardinal Paolo Romeo.
Pope Francis
Pope Francis"deeply affected" by the earthquake that shook Afghanistan and Pakistán
October 27, 2015. The Secretary of State Pietro Parolin telegraphed the nuncio in Pakistan on behalf of Pope Francis. Full text of the message: "His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the earthquake in the region. He expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this disaster, and he offers the assurance of his prayers for the dead, as well as for the injured and those still missing. Upon all those who mourn the loss of loved ones and upon the civil authorities and emergency personnel involved in the relief efforts, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength.”

Summary of 2013. March: A Pope from the ends of the world


Just minutes after the Sede Vacante period began, Cardinal Camerlengo Tarcisio Bertone took over the reins of Vatican temporarily. He would oversee the Church's properties, seal the papal apartments, and solve day-to-day matters until the election of a new Pope.

All cardinals also received a letter from the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano. It officially informed them of Benedict XVI's resignation, and it summoned them to Rome immediately to elect a new Pope.

On March 4, the pre-conclave began. Up until March 11, the cardinals met to discuss the challenges the Church faced and what kind of leader could tackle them. But all the details of their meetings had to remain secret.

"I don't recall anything. I forgot everything.”
"It was a place for prayer and meditation.”
"My silence will do the talking.”
"I won't say anything. Goodbye and sorry.”

At the same time, the Vatican was also getting the Sistine Chapel ready for the conclave. These stoves played a vital role. One would burn the voting ballots, while the other would be used to let the outside world know the results.

The new Pope's habit was also ready to go. Tailors made three in small, medium and large sizes to better suit the Church's next leader.

The conclave began on Tuesday, March 12
. All 115 cardinals filed in to the Sistine Chapel in the afternoon. Half of them, 60, came from Europe. Latin America had 19, while 11 came from the United States, and 3 from Canada. Both Africa and Asia were represented by 11 each, while Australia had one.

To be elected Pope, the candidate had to tally at least 77 votes.

After all of the cardinals swore secrecy, the Chapel doors closed.

"Extra Omnes.”

The first fumata, or smoke signal, came later that night. Black smoke emerged, meaning the cardinals were unable to reach consensus.

On Wednesday, March 13, despite the steady rain falling in Rome, thousands of people waited at St. Peter's Square for the next fumata. Again, black smoke emerged.

By Wednesday evening, after five rounds of voting, white smoke finally appeared. The cardinals had chosen a new Pope.

An hour later, Cardinal Protodeacon Jean Louis Tauran made the much anticipated announcement.

Anuntio vobis gaudium magnum...

"You know that it was the duty of the Conclave to give Rome a Bishop. It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to get one... And first of all, I would like to offer a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus, Benedict XVI. Let us pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may keep him.”

"I have no words.  I am very happy to be Latin American, and very proud. This is the first Argentinian Pope, so we are all very happy.”

Argentine Ambassador to the Holy See

"We are very excited. It is a gift for the whole Church, for all of mankind. We have our Pope Francisco, our Cardinal Bergoglio. It will be very positive for all Catholics and for the world.”

One day a time, the world became familiar with the unique approach for this new Pope. The morning after his election, he ventured out to the hotel where he had been staying to pay his bill.

Vatican Spokesperson

"There, he picked up his bags, said hi to the staff, and he paid his bill. He wanted to set a good example. Then he returned to Santa Marta.”

When he met with 5,000 journalists at Paul VI Hall, the Pope also explained why he chose to be called Francis.


"During the election, I had next to me the archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo, and prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy,  Cardinal Claudio Hummes. He's a great friend. When the 'danger' grew, he would comfort me. And when the votes reached the two thirds required, applause broke out because we had elected a new Pope. Cardinal Hummes hugged me and kissed me saying, 'Do not forget about the poor.' Those words stayed with me, the poor!So then in my mind I immediately thought of Francis of Assisi.”

Ten days would pass before a historic and much awaited meeting between two living Popes. Pope Francis visited Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo.

Together, they prayed and met for 45 minutes. Here, Benedict XVI handed him the Vatileaks report, while Pope Francis gave him this gift.

"I am told it's called the Madonna of Humility. Allow me to say one thing, I though of you, so much humility during your pontificate.”

The month of March ended with the Holy Week celebrations. Pope Francis stunned everyone when he celebrates Holy Thursday Mass at a juvenile detention center in Rome. He washed the feet of twelve teens, including two Muslims.

"What does this mean? That we have to help one another. If you are angry at someone, let it. And if they ask you for a favor, do it. Jesus teaches us this, and this is what I do, I do it with all my heart, because it's my duty.”

The ceremony was simple, but emotional. It paved the way as an example of a pontificate characterized by mercy and service to the most vulnerable members of society