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Pope Francis

Pope Francis has promulgated new decrees regarding future saints

April 27, 2016. Pope Francis has recognized the heroic virtues of the Spanish woman, Montse Grases; the martyrdom of 38 priest in Albania, and has also authorized the beatification of the Irish Jesuit, John Sullivan.
Vatican

Pope names new archbishop of Havana. Also new bishops for Mexico and Spain

On April 26 , 2016. Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Juan de la Caridad García, the new archbishop of San Cristobal of Havana after the resignation of Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino for having turned 75. Juan de la Caridad Garcia , 67, was until now archbishop in Camagüey, Cuba. After the resignation of Ulises Macías, the Pope appointed Bishop Ruy Rendon, 62, archbishop of Hermosillo, Mexico on Tuesday. Tuesdays bulletin announced the appointment of Manuel Herrero as bishop of Palencia, Spain; John Alphonsus Ryan as Bishop of Mzuzu, Malawi; and Edward M. Rice, Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in the US. On the diplomatic section, Francisco Montecillo has been named apostolic nuncio in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Vatican

The Pope has appointed Archbishop Christophe Pierre as the Vatican nuncio to the U.S.

April 12, 2016. The French-born Archbishop will be replacing Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan

April 9, 2016. The Vatican officially announced Pope Francis new international travels. They will be to Armenia (June 24-26), and to Georgia and Azerbaijan (September 30- October 2).
Pope Francis

The Pope will travel to the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday, April 16, 2016

April 7, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday, April 16th. It will be a one day trip to visit the refugees arriving in the Greek coast fleeing war and violence. He will be accompanied the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Ieronymos II.

Albania: The Church in numbers

2014-08-26

Pope Francis' visit to Albania on September 21, will mark his first apostolic trip within Europe.

The country has a population of roughly 3 million people. Christians are a minority. About 7 percent belong to the Orthodox Church of Albania, while 10 percent are Catholics. The big majority of the population, though is Muslim.

Albanian Christians and Muslims have shared a painful past of persecution. In 1967,  Communist dictator Enver Hoxha officially declared Albania as the first atheist state in the world. As part of the new law, the government closed all mosques and churches.  

Now both religions coexist peacefully. This will be an underlying theme of the Pope's visit: the importance of inter-religious dialogue and peaceful co-existence.

The presence of the Catholic Church in the country includes eight bishops, 147 priests and 494 religious.

When Pope Francis announced his visit, he underlined that one of his main goals will be to "strengthen the faith” in the country. He will become the second Pope to visit it. John Paul II visited the country is 1993.


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