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Pope Francis

Appointments

July 7, 2015. Msgr. Santiago Silva Retamales, who served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Valparaiso in Chile, has been appointed as the new military ordinariate of Chile.
World

New bishops in the Philippines

July 3, 2015. Pope Francishas nominated Msgr. Dennis C. Villarojo andFather Oscar J. L.Florencio to be the Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Cebu(Philippines). Since 2010, Villarojo has been at the parish of OurLady of the Sacred Heart in Cebu City. Florencio has been the rectorof Saint John the Evangelist School of Theology since 2013.
World

Pope weighs in on economic crisis in Greece

July 1, 2015 The Vatican is weighing in on the economic crisis that is crippling Greece. Through a written statement, the Vaticans press office issued a release that reads "the dignity of the human person must remain at the center of any political and technical debate." It goes on to say that the Pope "wishes to convey his closeness...with a special thought for the many families gravely beset by such a keenly felt human and social crisis. The Pope then "invites all the faithful to unite in prayer for the good of the beloved Greek people.”
Vatican

Benedict XVI will spend two weeks at Castel Gandolfo

June 30, 2015. Thismorning at 10:00 a.m., Pope Francis said farewell to Pope EmeritusBenedict XVI, before he leaves for Castel Gandolfo. The meetinglasted about 30 minutes. The pope emeritus will return on July 14th< sup>,one day after Pope Francis returns from his trip to Latin America.
Vatican

Pope Francis creates Secretariat for Communication

June 27, 2015. The Popehas created a Secretariat for Communication, which will unify allVatican media, including the Press Room, Twitter and the PontificalCouncil for Social Communications. Its prefect is the Italian priestDario Viganò, and the number two is the Argentine Lucio Adrian Ruiz.
Pope Francis

Appointments

June 26, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Hector Luis Gutierrez de Pabon, who served as Bishop of Engativá, Colombia. His post will be taken by Francisco Antonio Nieto Súa, who up until now, served as the Bishop of San José del Guaviare (Colombia).
World

Holy See backs two-state solution in Middle East

June 26, 2015. The Holy See and thePalestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have officially signed acomprehensive agreement, in which the Holy See recognizes the Stateof Palestine and supports a two-state solution for peace based on the1967 borders.
World

Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia passes away

June 25, 2015. Pope Francis has written a telegram expressing his condolences over the recent death of the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia, Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni. He was 75-years-old and had recently been at San Peters Basilica to celebrate Mass in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.
World

Mexican bishop resigns after possible abuse of episcopal office

June 25, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Gonzalo Galván Castillo, who was until now bishop of Autlán, Mexico. A sexual abuse victim said in July of last year that he had been waiting for five years for the bishop to take action against the priest who abused him. Although the Vatican has not provided further information, this case could be treated as abuse of episcopal office.
World

Successor of Mother Teresa, passes away.

June 23, 2015. Sister Nirmala Joshi, the head of the Missionaries of Charity, has passed away at the age of 81. She died in the Indian city of Kolkate on Monday night, after suffering heart ailments. Sister Joshi was elected as head of the Missionaries of Charity in 1997.
Vatican

Trial against former apostolic nuncio accused of abuse will start on July 11th

June 15, 2015. The former apostolic nuncio to Dominican Republic, Józef Wesołowski will stand trial at a Vatican tribunal. The first hearing will take place on July 11th. Wesołowski has already been removed from the clerical state after being charged with possession of child pornography and sexual abuse of minors.
Vatican

American Archbishop Resigns After Mishandling of Abuse Allegations

June 15, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. John Clayton Nienstedt, who served as the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He also accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop, Rev. Lee Anthony Piche, from that same diocese. Recently, both were accused of ignoring accusations involving an abusive former priest who served in the Archdiocese.
World

Pope Francis to travel to Africa

June 12, 2015. The Vatican’s nuncio in the Central African Republic, Mons. Francesco Coppola, confirmed that Pope Francis is planning on visiting the country. He states it will take place on November 2015. It will be Pope Francis’ first visit to Africa.
World

New archbishop in Berlin (Germany)

June 8, 2015. The Pope has appointed Heiner Koch as the new metropolitan bishop of Berlin (Germany). Until now, he was bishop of Dresden-Meiβen.
World

New military ordinariate of Venezuela

June 8, 2015. Pope Benedict has appointed Adan Mendez Bracamonte to bemilitary ordinariate of Venezuela. Until now, he was military diocesan administrator.

American reporter and pianist performs for Benedict XVI's brother

2014-01-17

She is best known for her work in front of the cameras, as a reporter for Fox News Channel. But unbeknownst to many, Lauren Green is also a distinguished pianist. 

And there's not bigger distinction than playing for the piano for Benedict XVI. The invitation arrived months ago.

LAUREN GREEN
Reporter and Pianist
"It was amazing. Just to get that I... are you really? Are you certain? This is really going to happen right? This is... really?”

Sworn to secrecy, Green practiced when she wasn't at work. She was one of three musicians, and along with a tenor, they would perform for the 90th birthday celebration for Georg Ratzinger, the Pope emeritus' brother.

When the day finally came, Green can only describe it as "nerve-wracking.” Benedict XVI is well-known for his love of music. And he too plays the piano.

LAUREN GREEN
Reporter and Pianist
"I'm a pianist and so are they, and that was a lot of stress, to play as beautifully as I could possibly play.”

Needless to say, the performance flowed smoothly. Once finished, both Georg and Benedict greeted the performers. But for this journalist, who's usually so composed in front of the cameras, that moment did not play out as planned.

LAUREN GREEN
Reporter and Pianist
"I had my piano hat on, and I was a performer and nervous about how he was going to react to my performance. And he was the Pope, and I was not, for those few minutes a journalist. I was just a performance who had just performed.”

The one-of-a-kind opportunity ended with an equally rare photo opp. And Green had the chance to sit next to Benedict XVI. 

It wasn't until the concert ended, that the journalist in her kicked in. And though she lost her chance to ask her questions, there was one observation she couldn't miss.

LAUREN GREEN
Reporter and Pianist
"One of the things I noticed about him was that he seemed less frail, that before he resigned. It's almost as if weight of the Catholic Church was finally off his shoulders, although he constantly prays for the Church.”
 

The birthday celebration for Georg Ratzinger started a few hours earlier. An orchestra played a few songs, as the two brothers look on side by side. Once they finished playing, they even presented Georg with a chocolate cake to celebrate.


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