February 27, 2015. Pope Francis has named Msgr. Charles Jude Scicluna as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Malta. Up until now, he had served as the Bishop of San Leone and as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Malta.
New bishops in the Dominican Republic and Colombia
February 23, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three bishops from the Dominican Republic. They are Ramon Benito de la Rosa (Archdiocese of Santiago de los Caballeros), Rafael Leonidas Felipe and Núñez (Diocese of Barahona) and Antonio Camilo Gonzalez (Diocese of La Vega).
In their places, he has appointed Freddy Antonio de Jesus Breton Martínez (Archdiocese of Santiago de los Caballeros), who is transferring from the Diocese of Bani; Andrew Napoleon Romero Cárdenas (Diocese of Barahona); and Hector Rafael Rodríguez Rodríguez, M.S.C. (Diocese of La Vega).
New Doctor of the Church
February 23, 2015. San Gregorio di Narek will soon be named a Doctor of the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. The Armenian theologian, philosopher and writer was born around 950 and died in 1005. He lived most of his life in a monastery in Narek and for years now he has been considered a Doctor of the Armenian Church.
New bishop in Colombia
February 19, 2105. The Pope has appointed Francisco José Méndez Crispiano Clavijo to be the new bishop of Sincelejo (Colombia). Until now, he was rector of the John Paul II diocesan seminary in Valledupar (Colombia).
February 17, 2015. Msgr. Adolfo Tito Yllana, has been nominated by Pope Francis as the new nuncio of Australia. Up until now, he served as the nuncio, or papal respresentative, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Coptic Pope phoned by Pope Francis
February 16, 2015. In light of the brutal assassination of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, Pope Francis called the Coptic Pope, Tawadros II, to express his condolences. The victims were beheaded by Islamic terrorists, before posting the video online. Pope Francis told Tawadros II that he will be praying for the victims, on Tuesday morning, as their funeral Mass is celebrated.
New permanent representative to the FAO
February 12, 2015. Pope Francis has named the Spanish Msgr. Fernando Chica Arellano permanent representive to the United Nations Agency for Agriculture and Food.
February 6, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Polish missionary Józef Roszynski, S.V.D. to be Bishop of Wewak (Papua New Guinea) and Chidi Denis Isizoh to be Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Onitsha (Nigeria).
Pope to address US Congress September 24
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis will visit the United States Capitol on September 24th and deliver an address to a joint session of Congress. It will be the first ever address to Congress by a Pope. House Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic, said in a statement that the Pope’s "teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another.”
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis will take part in a Google Hangout to chat live with students with special needs. The Thursday afternoon meeting, will kick off at 4pm, Rome time. The program is part of the ‘Scholas’ project which is meant to improve education on a global scale. The students are from the U.S, Brazil, India and Spain.
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis has expressed his condolences over the deadly Taipei plane crash. The TransAsia flight crashed into a river with 58 people on board. On behalf of the Pope, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, sent a message addressed to Taipei’s Archbishop Hung Shan-cuan. In it, the Pope offered his heartfelt condolences to the civil authorities and assured families of the deceased and the missing, of his spiritual closeness.
Msgr. Oscar Romero declared a Martyr
February 3, 2015. The Vatican announced that Pope Francis has officially approved the martrydrom of Msgr. Oscar Romero. The Salvadorian Archbishop was killed while celebrating Mass on March 24th, 1980, during the height of the country’s civil war. The decree signed by Pope Francis recognizes that Romero was killed because of hate towards the Catholic faith.
Pope names new bishops in Ireland, Mexico, and Tanzania
February 2, 2015. The Pope has named Alphonsus Cullinan, 55, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore (Ireland).
He has also named Liberatus Sangu Bishop of Shinyanga (Tanzania). He is about to turn 52 and has worked in the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since 2008.
Francis has also named Francisco Eduardo Cervantes Merino, 61, the new Bishop of Orizaba (Mexico).
Pope Francis asks Christians to pray for the victims of deadly explosion in Mexico
January 30, 2015. Pope Francis asked Christians to pray for the victims of the deadly explosion in Cuajimalpa, Mexico. He made this petition in his Spanish Twitter profile. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, also sent a message to the Archbishop of Mexico.
Recemos por las víctimas de la explosión en el hospital de Cuajimalpa, México, y por sus familiares que el Señor les conceda paz y fortaleza— Papa Francisco (@Pontifex_es) enero 29, 2015
In just nine months the Pope's words have inspired millions of people. In fact, his very first words as Pontiff left everyone at St. Peter's Square completely speechless.
And speaking about words, ever since that night some of his expressions have become all too familiar.
"Now I ask you a favor. Before the bishop blesses his people, I ask that all of you pray to the Lord so that He blesses me.”
Even Sundays aren't the same if Pope Francis doesn't end his prayer of the Angelus with a unique yet endearing remark.
"Have a good Sunday, and a good lunch!”
But one thing is clear from the beginning. He isn't a fan of written speeches. An example was seen during his meeting with journalists after the Conclave when he made this request.
"How I would like a Church that is poor and for the poor!”
A Church made out of shepherds close to their sheep. That is one of the ideas Pope Francis always tries to communicate. He said so during the Chrism Mass during the Holy Week.
"This is what I ask of you. Be shepherds with the 'smell of the sheep.'”
Also thanks to his speeches and homilies, Christians now know that a city's outskirts aren't as far as they seem.
"To live out Holy Week according to Jesus means that we have to learn to go out of ourselves to encounter others, to go to the 'outskirts' of existence.”
And in Rio he even made a very direct appeal to every youth not just to talk but to rise up and 'take action'.
"But I also want to stand up and take action in your dioceses, I want you to go beyond your comfort zone. I want the Church to go out to the street.”
From the very start, he has made clear that the key points of his message to the world are kindness and mercy.
"God understands us, He waits for us. He doesn't get tired of forgiving us. If we repent and go to him with a truly open heart.”
"Don't be afraid, don't be afraid. The Lord is the Lord of consolation, the Lord of tenderness.”
God never grows tired of forgiving, but the Pope also added that a Christian cannot lead a double life.
"And we must acknowledge ourselves as sinners. Yes, everyone here, we all are. But not corrupt.”
The Pope has also asked families to always be forgiving in spite of the fights and the difficulties. Even when things start flying up in the air.
"To newlyweds, I always give this advice: Argue as much as you want, if the plates start flying, so be it. But never let the day end without making peace. Never!”
Not all revolutionary phrases are included, but those that are, have surely left a mark. Many of the Pope's words will be remembered for their impact, and many others for their novelty. But one thing is clear. They did not go unnoticed.