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Vatican announces theme of the next World Day of Peace
August 21, 2014. "Slaves no more, but brothers and sister”. This will be the theme of the 48th World Day of Peace which will be celebrated on January 1st, 2015. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace made the announcement this morning in a press release. The communique also detailed several contemporary forms of slavery
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Argentine President express condolences to Pope Francis
August 20, 2014. Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called Pope Francis this afternoon. The president offered her condolences on the death of his nephew's wife, Valeria Carmona, and their two small children, Jose and Antonio. The Pope's nephew, Emanuel Bergoglio, remains in critical condition
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Pope's Relatives Die in Crash
August 19, 2014. Three relatives of Pope Francis have died in a traffic accident in Argentina.  According to police, the victims include two great nephews of the Pope  (8 month-old and two year old) and the children's mother. The Pope's 35 year old nephew Horacio Bergoglio, survived and is in serious condition.
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Pope's Twitter account now has over 15 million followers on Twitter

 

August 19, 2014. ThePope's Twitter account has surpassed 15 million followers in the 9 languages where he publishes his tweets. The most popular accounts are Spanish, with almost 6.5 million followers; English, with more than 4 million followers and Italian, with almost 2 million followers.


 

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Pope Flying Back
August 18, 2014. Pope Francis is now on his way back to Rome. He took off from South Korea on Monday afternoon. During his flight, the Pope sent a telegram to Korea, China and Mongolia as he was flying over those countries. The Pope is expected to arrive in Rome’s Ciampino airport at 17.45 Rome time. 

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Indonesia 2017!
August 17, 2014. The next Asian Youth Day will take place in Indonesia in 2017. The announcement was made after the Pope celebrated the closing Mass in South Korea. 

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Francis asks for prayers for his trip to Korea on Twitter

August 13, 2014. Several hours before boarding his flight to Seoul, Pope Francis sent out a tweet asking for prayers for the fruits of his trip to South Korea.  


 

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New Archbishop of Athens

August 12, 2014. The Pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Nikolaos Foskolos, the former Archbishop of Athens. He has named Sevastianos Rossolatosto succeed him.  

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Pope Sends Condolences for plane crash in Tehran

August 11, 2014. Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence for the plane crash in Tehran which claimed the lives of almost 40 people. The Pope expressed his sadness for the tragedy and prayed for the eternal repose of the victims as well as consolation for their families. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent the telegram in the Pope's name to Archbishop Ignazio Bedini of Ispahan. 


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Pope Calls for Prayers for Iraq on Twitter

August 8, 2014. Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for Iraq via his Twitter account. The Pope asked to "pray for Iraqi Christians and all vulnerable populations” as well as for "those who have been forced from their homes in Iraq.”

 

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Pope to send Papal Envoy to Iraq
August 8, 2014. In light of the rising violence in Iraq, Pope Francis will send Card. Fernando Filoni as a papal envoy to the region. The Pope has commissioned the Cardinal to asses the situation and to express the Church’s spiritual closeness and solidarity with the displaced. 

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New Bishop Named for Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in the United States

August 7th, 2014. Pope Francis has named Fr. Bohdan Danylo as bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat (USA).

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New Archbishop for Military Ordinariate of Brazil
August 6, 2014. Pope Francis has named Bishop Ernesto Maguengue as Auxiliary Bishop of Nampula (Mozambique). He also named Bishop Fernando José Monteiro Guimarães as Archbishop of the Military Ordinariate of Brazil, who will replace retiring Archbishop Osvino José Both.
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Pope to meet with victims of Ferry Accident
August 5, 2014. The Pope will meet with victims who survived the ferry accident, that killed more than 300 people off the South Korean coast back in the month of April. Family members of those who died will also be present. The meeting will take place on August 15th, during the Pope's visit to South Korea. 

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Pope appoints new Syro-Malabar bishop in India
July 31, 2014. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. Vijay Anand Nedumpuram, and appointed Fr. Ephrem Nariculam as the new bishop to the Syro-Malabar dioecese (epharchy) of Chanda (India).
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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.
#World
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. 

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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