2015 will be a busy year for Pope Francis.
First off, he already has at least five international trips in store. In January he will head out to Sri Lanka and to the Philippines. Then in September he will go to the U.S to lead the World Meeting of Families in the city of Philadelphia. Additional stops in Washington D.C and New York are also a possibility.
In an interview, he said he is also planning on visiting Africa, three Latin American countries and France.
As far as concrete issues, there are three main items the Pope will address head on.
First, the family. The second phase of the Synod on the Family will take place in the Vatican on October 2015. It will bring together Bishops from all over the world, to look into how the Church should respond to the modern day challenges families face.
The second point will be religious life. For most of 2015, the Vatican is promoting the Year of Consecrated Life, which will bring about several meetings and conferences that reflect on the relevance, role and importance of men and women religious.
The third theme is Ecology. The Pope is planning on releasing his second encyclical on this very topic. It's expected to be published in the early months of 2015.
The Pope will also create new Cardinals. The names are expected to be announced the first weeks of January, or even as soon as January 6th. Reforms to the Roman Curia will also be a recurring theme in 2015.
The Holy Shroud will also make headlines. Even though it's seldom displayed publicly, it will be part of an exhibit in the Italian city of Turin from April 19th to June 24th.
As usual, any public appearance of Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI is sure to garner attention. At the request of Pope Francis, he has accepted a few invitations and will likely do the same in 2015.
MG, AA, RR