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Pope visits Evangelical pastor in Caserta
July 28, 2014. Pope Francis spent most of Monday in Caserta, for a private visit to an Evangelical church in the city. At 10:15, he took off from the Vatican. When he landed, the Pope headed directly to the Pentecostal Church of the Reconcilation, where he met privately with Pastor Giovanni Traettino. After their meeting, Pope Francis also met with the congregation at the church, and had lunch with them. He flew back to the Vatican in the afternoon. 
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What’s for Lunch?
July 25th, 2014. This afternoon Pope Francis surprised Vatican employees by walking into the cafeteria to have lunch with workers from the Vatican’s pharmacy. He arrived at roughly 12. 10pmHe grabbed his own tray and waited in line for his turn. He ate pasta, fish, vegetables and some french fries.  Once he sat down, he talked with employees about their work, family and soccer. About 40 minutes later, after taking a group picture, the Pope returned to his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The cashier said she didn’t have the heart to charge the Pope for his meal. 
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Pope to visit U.S
July 25, 2014. Although already expected, now it has been officially announced that Pope Francis is indeed planning on visiting the American city of Philadelphia to lead the World Meeting of Families. The city’s Archbishop, Arch. Charles Chaput, said the Pope accepted to invitation to attend the event which will run from September 22nd to the 27th of next year. 


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Pope sends condolences to victims of Mail plane crash
July 25, 2014. Pope Francis expressed his condolences to victims of a plane crash in Mali, which killed 116 people. The Pope said he was close to the families of the victims, and that he prayed so that God would take in the dead, and give hope and comfort to everyone affected. Secretary of State Pietro Parolin issued the telegram, on behalf of the Pope to the archbishop of Algiers, Msgr. Ghaleb Bader.


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New Bishops in the Phillipines and Chile
July 25, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Pacino Aniceto, Archbishop of San Fernando (Phillipines). He has approved the nomination of Msgr. Florentino Galang Lavarias, to take on that role. He also accepted the resignation of Msgr. Jose R. Manguiran, Bishop of the Diocese of Dipolog (Phillipines). He will be replaced by Msgr. Severo Caermare. He has also accepted the nomination of Celestino Aos Braco, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Copiapo in Chile.
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MatchForPeace tickets on sale
July 25, 2014. Big soccer stars will be coming to Rome to play an inter-religious match in honor of Pope Francis. Players include Messi, Buffon, Zidane, Zanetti, Roberto Baggio, Pirlo, Yuto Nagatomo and Eto. Tickets will be on sale starting on  July 25th. The game will be played on September 1st, in Rome’s Olympic Stadium. All proceeds will be donated to Scholas Occurrentes, a  Papal education program for marginalized youths. 
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Pope appoints auxiliary bishop to Syro-Malabar eparchy in Chicago
July 24, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Joy Alappat as the new auxiliary bishop of the St. Thomas Syro-Mabalar Catholic Diocese of Chicago (USA). Up until now, Msgr. Alappat served as the rector for the eparchy's cathedral. 

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Pope offers condolences to victims of Taiwan plane crash
July 24, 2014. Pope Francis expressed his "heartfelt condolences" to the families of victims of a Taiwanese plane crash, which killed at least 47 people. The Pope said he was praying for everyone "affected by this tragedy." Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sent the telegram, on behalf of Pope Francis, to the archbishop of Taipei, Msgr. John Hung Shan-chuan.
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Sudanese woman accussed of apostasy lands in Rome
July 24, 2014. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy for marrying a Christian, arrived in Rome on Thursday morning. She and her family are on her way to the United States, but will remain in Rome for several days. After an appeals court overturned her sentence, Meriam took refuge at the American embassy in Sudan, which helped her leave the country. She left on board an Italian government plane. Officials hinted at the possibility that Meriam will meet with the Pope, though the Vatican has not confirmed that information. 
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#Livelife
Pope Francis is calling for the respect of life, especially the life of the most vulnerable. Pope Francis marked the coming ‘Day for Life’ by sending a message to the Church of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

The theme of this year’s Day for Life is: Protect and Cherish Life. It will be celebrated on July 27th. 

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Pope's schedule for pastoral visit to Caserta
July 21, 2014. On Saturday, July 26, Pope Francis will make a brief pastoral visit to Caserta, in southern Italy. He will leave the Vatican at 3PM, arriving in the city 45 minutes later. At 4PM, he will meet with priests from the diocese at the Royal Palace of Caserta. Then, at 6PM, he will preside Mass at the round plaza in front of the palace. Once Mass ends, he will take from the palace at 7:30PM, and is expected to arrive at the Vatican at 8:45PM.
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Vatican issues message to Muslims for end of Ramadan
July 18, 2014. The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue issued a message congratulating "Muslim brothers and sisters" on the feast of 'Id Al-Fitr, which marks the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan. In the message, Card. Jean-Louis Tauran invokes John Paul II and Pope Francis' words in calling for greater respect, and cooperation, "especially in areas where Muslims and Christians together suffer the horrors of war." The message also calls for greater dialogue, in order to "diminish tension and conflict, and advance the common good." Read the full message here.
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Pope will visit Caserta on July 26 and 28
July 17, 2014. The Vatican confirmed Pope Francis will visit Caserta, in southern Italy, on July 26 and 28. That saturday, we will meet with the city's priests, and celebrate Mass at 6PM. Two days later, on Monday, he will return for a private visit to his friend, Evangelical Pastor Giovanni Traettino.
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Gaza: Charity Office Closed
July 17, 2014. Catholic Charity, Caritas, has decided to temporarily closes its offices in Gaza. Due to the rising violence between Israel and Palestine, the staff was transferred to Jerusalem. 

Caritas manages a mobile clinic in the area, as well as a health center. It also provides physiological support for victims of war.  
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Pope names bishops to Brazil and Peru, and delegate to OAS
July 16, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Juan Carlos Vera Plasencia as the bishop for the Military Ordinariate of Peru: as well as Msgr. Tarcísio Scaramussa as the co-adjuntor bishop of Santos (Brazil). He also nominated Msgr. Bernardito Sauza as the permanent observer to the Organization of American States. He is, currently, the permanent observer to the United Nations in New York. 
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Immigration
July 15, 2014. In light of the high flux of migrant children who are crossing into the U.S unaccompanied, Pope Francis issued a message which was read during an immigration forum in Mexico. 

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New Bishops in Germany and China
July 11, 2014. Pope Francis has named German Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, as the new Archbishop of Cologne

He also named three auxiliary Bishops in Hong Kong, China: Michael Yeung Ming-Cheung, Stephen Lee Bun Sang  and Joseph Ha Chi.shing.  

Anselmo Guido Pecorari was named Nuncio of Macedonia and Jorge Anibal Quintero has been appointed Bishop of Barcelona in Venezuela

In India, Ignatius D’Souza has been named Bishop of Bareilly and latstly, Cajetan Francis Osta, has been named Bishop of Mazaffarpur.
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Tourism
July 11, 2014. In light of World Tourism Day, on September 27th, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, issued a message that highlights the connection between tourism, community development and the social teachings of the Catholic Church. 

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Pope names bishop to Tanzania, apostolic vicar to Colombia
July 10, 2014. Pope Francis named Fr. Joseph Mlola as the new bishop to the diocese of Kigoma (Tanazania). He also appointed Fr. Luis Horacio as the apostolic vicar to Puerto Gaitan (Colombia).
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Seven new Venerables
June 9, 2014. Pope Francis has signed a new decree, declaring seven new venerables of the Catholic Church. They are from Portugal, Spain, France, Turkey and Italy. 

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How much money did the Vatican make in 2013?
July 8, 2014. The Vatican published its annual consolidated finanacial statements for the Holy See and the Vatican City State. The 2013 budget for the Holy See, largely consisting of operational expenses for the Roman Curia and its nunciatures, showed a negative balance of EUR 24.5 million. However, dioceses around the world donated EUR 22,435,359, while the Vatican Bank contributed EUR 50 million. The budget for the Vatican City State, which includes the Vatican Museum and the administration of Vatican territory, ended with a surplus of EUR 33 million. 
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Pope names bishops to Switzerland, Nigeria and Peru
July 8, 2014. Pope Francis named Fr. Abbot Jean-Marie Lovey as the new bishop of Sion (Switzerland). Up until now, he had served as the Superior General of the Congreation for the Canons Regular of the Great St. Bernard. He also named Fr. Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe as the new coadjuntor bishop of Makurdi (Nigeria), who until now was the military chaplain. Lastly, the Pope named Fr. David Martinez de Aguirre Guinea as the coadjuntor bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Maldonado (Peru). 
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Pope appoints new bishop in Panama
July 7, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Fr. Manuel Ochogavía Barahona as the new bishop to the diocese of Colón - Kuna Yala (Panama). Up until now, the Augustinian priest has been the prior, chancellor and parish priest for the diocese of Chitré. 
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Papal Appointments
July 04, 2014. The Pope has appointed Eduardo Eliseo Martín, who until now has served as bishop of Villa de la Concepción del Río Cuarto, as archbishop of Rosario (Argentina). In Portugal, the Pope has appointed António Manuel Moiteiro Ramos, who until now has served as auxiliary bishop of Braga, as bishop of the diocese of Aveiro.
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Pope appoints bishops to USA, France, Malasya and Ghana
July 3, 2014. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. George William Coleman, and accepted Msgr. Edgar M. de Cunha as the new bishop of Fall River (USA). He also appointed Msgr. Jean-Paul Gusching as the bishop of Verdun (France), who will replace Msgr. François Maupu. Pope Francis also designated: Fr. Julian Leow Beng Kim as the archbishop of Kuala Lumpur (Malasya); and Fr. John Bonaventure Kwofie as the bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi (Ghana).

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Pope appoints new permanent observer to the UN
July 1, 2014. The Pope appointed Bernardito C. Auza as the Holy See's new Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York. Up until now, Auza had served as apostolic nuncio to Haiti. He was born in the Philippines in 1959. He takes over for Francis Chullikatt, who held this position since 2010.

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Cardinals Council meeting begins

July 1, 2014. The Council of Cardinals began their fifth meeting with the Pope at the Vatican. Starting today at Casa Santa Marta, it will end on Friday, July 4. The previous meetings were from 1 to 3 October 2013, 3 -5 December 2013, from 17 to 19 February 2014 and 28 to 30 April 2014.



 

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Former General Director of Legionaries of Christ passes away in Mexico
July 1, 2014. Alvaro Corcuera served as General Director of Regnum Christi and the Legionaries of Christ from 2005 until 2014. After a long battle with cancer he died yesterday in Mexico. His final resting place will be in the Panteón Francés (French Cemetery) in San Joaquín, Mexico City. 

Summary of 2013. March: A Pope from the ends of the world

2013-12-26

Just minutes after the Sede Vacante period began, Cardinal Camerlengo Tarcisio Bertone took over the reins of Vatican temporarily. He would oversee the Church's properties, seal the papal apartments, and solve day-to-day matters until the election of a new Pope.

All cardinals also received a letter from the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano. It officially informed them of Benedict XVI's resignation, and it summoned them to Rome immediately to elect a new Pope.

On March 4, the pre-conclave began. Up until March 11, the cardinals met to discuss the challenges the Church faced and what kind of leader could tackle them. But all the details of their meetings had to remain secret.

"I don't recall anything. I forgot everything.”
"It was a place for prayer and meditation.”
"My silence will do the talking.”
"I won't say anything. Goodbye and sorry.”


At the same time, the Vatican was also getting the Sistine Chapel ready for the conclave. These stoves played a vital role. One would burn the voting ballots, while the other would be used to let the outside world know the results.

The new Pope's habit was also ready to go. Tailors made three in small, medium and large sizes to better suit the Church's next leader.

The conclave began on Tuesday, March 12
. All 115 cardinals filed in to the Sistine Chapel in the afternoon. Half of them, 60, came from Europe. Latin America had 19, while 11 came from the United States, and 3 from Canada. Both Africa and Asia were represented by 11 each, while Australia had one.

To be elected Pope, the candidate had to tally at least 77 votes.

After all of the cardinals swore secrecy, the Chapel doors closed.

"Extra Omnes.”


The first fumata, or smoke signal, came later that night. Black smoke emerged, meaning the cardinals were unable to reach consensus.

On Wednesday, March 13, despite the steady rain falling in Rome, thousands of people waited at St. Peter's Square for the next fumata. Again, black smoke emerged.

By Wednesday evening, after five rounds of voting, white smoke finally appeared. The cardinals had chosen a new Pope.

An hour later, Cardinal Protodeacon Jean Louis Tauran made the much anticipated announcement.

Anuntio vobis gaudium magnum...

"You know that it was the duty of the Conclave to give Rome a Bishop. It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to get one... And first of all, I would like to offer a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus, Benedict XVI. Let us pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may keep him.”

"I have no words.  I am very happy to be Latin American, and very proud. This is the first Argentinian Pope, so we are all very happy.”

JUAN PABLO CAFIERO
Argentine Ambassador to the Holy See

"We are very excited. It is a gift for the whole Church, for all of mankind. We have our Pope Francisco, our Cardinal Bergoglio. It will be very positive for all Catholics and for the world.”

One day a time, the world became familiar with the unique approach for this new Pope. The morning after his election, he ventured out to the hotel where he had been staying to pay his bill.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican Spokesperson

"There, he picked up his bags, said hi to the staff, and he paid his bill. He wanted to set a good example. Then he returned to Santa Marta.”

When he met with 5,000 journalists at Paul VI Hall, the Pope also explained why he chose to be called Francis.

POPE FRANCIS

"During the election, I had next to me the archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo, and prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy,  Cardinal Claudio Hummes. He's a great friend. When the 'danger' grew, he would comfort me. And when the votes reached the two thirds required, applause broke out because we had elected a new Pope. Cardinal Hummes hugged me and kissed me saying, 'Do not forget about the poor.' Those words stayed with me, the poor!So then in my mind I immediately thought of Francis of Assisi.”

Ten days would pass before a historic and much awaited meeting between two living Popes. Pope Francis visited Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo.

Together, they prayed and met for 45 minutes. Here, Benedict XVI handed him the Vatileaks report, while Pope Francis gave him this gift.

POPE FRANCIS
"I am told it's called the Madonna of Humility. Allow me to say one thing, I though of you, so much humility during your pontificate.”

The month of March ended with the Holy Week celebrations. Pope Francis stunned everyone when he celebrates Holy Thursday Mass at a juvenile detention center in Rome. He washed the feet of twelve teens, including two Muslims.

POPE FRANCIS
"What does this mean? That we have to help one another. If you are angry at someone, let it. And if they ask you for a favor, do it. Jesus teaches us this, and this is what I do, I do it with all my heart, because it's my duty.”

The ceremony was simple, but emotional. It paved the way as an example of a pontificate characterized by mercy and service to the most vulnerable members of society


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