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New bishops in Mexico
December 1, 2015. The Pope has appointed two new auxiliary bishops in Morelia. The first is Victor Alejandro Aguilar Ledesma. Currently he is pastor at the "The Lord of Mercy" parish in Curumbatío. The second is Herculano Medina, treasurer of the diocesan seminary of Morelia.
New bishop in Argentina
December 1, 2015. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Francisco Martin Elizalde as Bishop of Nueve de Julio and has appointed Edgardo Ariel Torrado to take his place. He was until now Coadjutor Bishop of the diocese.
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.

Organist of the Pope: privileged witness to unique moments


Even magnificent basilicas like St. Mary Major in Rome would feel empty without this music. For almost 30 years Juan Paradell-Solé has played the organ in all the ceremonies inside this church, in a privileged spot close to the mosaics of the apse.

But the Vatican also needs music, and since 2011 this Spanish organist plays in all the ceremonies that the Pope presides. It's the first time in history that the Sistine Chapel Choir, the Pope's private choir, has an official organist.

He soon grasped that Pope emeritus Benedict XVI took very seriously the music in his ceremonies.

Organist, Sistine Chapel Choir
"He would chose or suggest the music he would like to be played or sung. And obviously, if he said he wanted that piece or some other one, we would play it. He increased the use of Gregorian chant and the use of multiple melodies in music.”

His post also gives him the chance of witnessing historical moments. If he had to choose one, it would be when Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation.

Organist, Sistine Chapel Choir
"I was there, I was playing the organ in the ceremony where Benedict XVI resigned, precisely. In that moment no one could believe it. No one could believe his words, what he was saying: did he really say that? He resigned? Is that possible?"

And then Pope Francis arrived. Juan Paradell also played in the conclave that choose Jorge Mario Bergoglio as successor of Peter.

Organist, Sistine Chapel Choir
"Even though it doesn't seem like it, Pope Francis loves music. And he also knows it very well, more than anyone could think. He knows Mozart, he likes Beethoven and is a great supporter of opera.”

After the historic resignation of a Pope and a conclave, the maestro Paradell is ready for whatever may come next. Not by chance, his hands have provided music to some of the most important moment in the recent history of the Catholic Church.