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New bishop in Spain

July 28, 2015. The Pope accepted the resignation of Msgr. Joan Piris Frígola, bishop of the diocese of Lleida (Spain). To replace him, the Pope has appointed as the new bishop Msgr. Salvador Giménez Valls.
World

New patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church

July 27, 2015. On July 24th, the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church convened in Beirut and elected the 80 year old Grégorie Pierre XX Ghabroyan as patriarch. Pope Francis confirmed the appointment and granted the "ecclesiastical communion” within a few hours. Until 2013, Grégorie Pierre XX Ghabroyan was the apostolic exarch for Armenian Catholics living in France, but he resigned due to his advanced age. He will become the successor to Nersés Pierre XIX Tarmouni, who died on June 25th.
World

New bishop in Colombia

July 24, 2015. The Pope appointed Victor Manuel Ochoa Cadavid to be Bishop of Cúcuta. Until now, he was bishop of Málaga - Soatá.
World

New auxiliary bishop in South Korea

July 23, 2015. The Pope has appointed John Moon Hee Jong auxiliary bishop of Suwon (South Korea). He was the diocesan director of the Department for Evangelization and a seminary professor.
Pope Francis

Appointments

Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Joseph Kodakallil as the new eparchial Bishop of Satna dei Siro-Malabaresi in India. Up until now, he served as the pastor of the St. Vicent Cathedral.
Pope Francis

New auxiliary bishops

July 21, 2015. Pope Francis has nominated three new auxiliary Bishops in the archdiocese of Los Angeles. They include, Msgr. David O’Connell and Msgr. Joseph Brennan from Los Angeles and Father Robert Barron from Chicago. The Pope also accepted the retirement of Bishop Gerald Wilkerson, Auxiliary Bishop for the San Fernando Pastoral Region.
Vatican

Heroic virtue decrees

July 17, 2015. The Pope has approvedthe heroic virtues of the following Servants of God: AndreaSzeptyckyj, from the order of St. Basil, Metropolitan of Halyc;Giuseppe Carraro, Bishop of Verona; Agustin Ramirez Barba, a diocesanpriest, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of theLord of Misericorida; Simpliciano della Natività, priest of theOrder of Friars Minor; Maria del Refugio Aguilar Torres, founder ofthe Congregation of Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament;Maria Teresa Dupouy Bordes, professed religious of the Sacred Heartof Jesus, foundress of the Congregation of the Missionaries of theSacred Heart of Jesus and Mary; Elisa Miceli, Founder of theInstitute of the Catechist Sisters of the Sacred Heart; and HerreroIsabel Mendez, professed sister of the Congregation of the Sisters ofSt. Joseph.
Vatican

Financial Report

July 16, 2015. According a financial report issued on Thursday, the Vatican City State posted a $69 million surplus in 2014. The gains were due mostly to profits from the Vatican museums and other cultural events and activities. The Holy See, reported a deficit of roughly $28 million in the report, which shows a reduction in deficit when compared to 2013.
Vatican

Wesolowski back in Vatican

July 16, 2015. Josef Wesolowski, who is accused of sexually abusing minors in the Dominican Republic, is reportedly back in the Vatican under house arrest. The former Archbishop was hospitalized a day before he was set to face a Vatican tribunal.
World

Resignation

July 15, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop of Passo Fundo, Brazil, Arch. Antonio Carlos Altieri, 63. Paulo Antonio de Conto has been appointed as the administrator of the Archdiocese.
World

New bishop in France

July, 15 2015. The Popehas appointed Laurent Camiade as bishop of the diocese of Cahors(France). Until now, he was the pastor of a church in the Lavardacregion, also in France. He replaces Msgr. Norbert Turini.
World

New auxiliary bishop in Germany

July, 15 2015. The Popehas appointed Udo Bentz as auxiliary bishop of Mainz (Germany). Untilnow, he was the rector of the Seminary of Mainz.
World

Vatican issues statement on Iranian Nuclear Deal

July 14, 2015. The Vatican has issued a statement regarding the Iranian Nuclear Program Agreement. Through a written statement, the Vatican stated: "It is hoped that those fruits will not be limited to the field of nuclear programme, but may indeed extend further."
Vatican

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI returns from his vacation at Castel Gandolfo

July 14, 2015. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI returned to Rome this morning after two weeks of rest at Castel Gandolfo. Before leaving, the Pope Emeritus blessed the city. On June 30th, Pope Francis visited him to say farewell before his vacation.
World

Appointment of Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul (South Korea)

July 14, 2015. The Pope has appointed the Rev. Benedictus Son Hee-Song as Auxilary Bishop of Seoul (South Korea).
World

Appointment of Auxiliary Bishop in Santiago (Chile)

July 14, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago (Chile) the Rev. Father Jorge Enrique Concha Cayuqueo, O.F.M., who until now was the Provincial Minister of the Franciscans in Chile.
World

New bishop in Ghana

July 14, 2015. The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Francis Anani Kofi Lodonu as Bishop of Ho (Ghana). The Pope has appointed Rev. P. Emmanuel Fianu, S.V.D. to replace him.
Pope Francis

Appointments

July 8, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. José Luis Gomes de Vasconeclos, as the new Bishop of Sorbal in Brazil. Up until now, he served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Fortaleza, Brazil.
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.

Pope to Obama: This gift isn't from the 'Pope' but from Jorge Mario Bergoglio

2014-03-27

The US flag was already waving outside the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, when Barack Obama arrived in his black SUV. This marks his second visit to the Vatican, but his first meeting with Pope Francis.

"Wonderful meeting you. Thank you so much for receiving me.”  

After the official pictures were taken, they both headed to the Papal Library.

"Greetings from my family. The last time I came to meet your predecessor I could take my wife and children, but this time they were..."

Their meeting was longer than usual for Vatican standards. They spoke in private for about 50 minutes, while members of the US delegation waited in a nearby hall.

Later on, Barack Obama personally introduced each one of them to Pope Francis. His Secretary of State, John Kerry, was the first  in line.

"I'm so pleased to meet you. Great admirer. Everything you are doing, as a Catholic, for the Church, and for everyone...”

And then the gifts arrived. President Obama gave the Pope seeds from the White House gardens. He also promised to give more seeds to a charity in his honor.

"This, I think, are carrots”. 

"So, if you have the chance to come to the White House we will show you our gardens”. 

"Of course!”

Pope Francis gave him a copy of his first apostolic exhortation and something more personal. 

"This gift is from the Pope. But this other one is from Jorge Bergoglio.  When I saw it,  I said: "I'll give to Obama, it's the Angel of Peace.”

Often times, in these type of diplomatic meetings, gifts can be also be a way to portray a message. For example, when Obama went to the Vatican back in June 2009, Pope Benedict gave him a document titled "The Dignity of the Person,” that stood for the life of the unborn and the right to freedom of conscience. Obama then said he would read it carefully.

Before their meeting, the President of the United States said he wanted to talk to Pope Francis about fighting poverty and other issues they have in common. But it seems like they talked about much more than that. 

According to the Vatican they also discussed religious freedom, the right to life, and freedom of conscience, all of which have been major dividing points between the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops and the president's administration, under 'Obamacare.' Immigration and human trafficking were also discussed. 

Before saying good bye, Obama asked the Pope to pray for his wife and daughters. 


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