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Appointments
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. 
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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).
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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.
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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).
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Nominations
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. 
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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. 
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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.

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Appointments
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).
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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.”

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LIVE CHAT
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. 

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Crash Condolences
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.

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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.
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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).

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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.


The Vatican 2014: Key Players List

2013-12-27

To make sense of all the latest news at the Vatican and even for some insight into what's in store for 2014, here are seven key players you'll want to keep an eye on.


SEVEN 

At number seven, there's Orthodox leader, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Back in March, he told Pope Francis they should visit the Holy Land together, to mark the 50th anniversary of their  ecumenical reconciliation, marked by the famous hug of their predecessors. This after thousands of years of tension and mistrust.

Pope Francis accepted the invitation.

SIX
Guzman Carriquiry is a popular name at the Vatican that will surely come up quite a bit in 2014. As Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, he is an expert on matters pertaining to the Church in that continent. Back when Pope Francis was still a cardinal, Bergoglio wrote the intro of one of Carriquiry's books. He's also a personal friend of Pope Francis.

FIVE 
Peter Wells and Lucio Ángel Vallejo, together take the number five spot. They respectively head two committees that focus on Vatican reforms. One deals with the Vatican bank and the other oversees the financial accounts of Vatican departments. It's a delicate task that requires full attention to detail.

FOUR 
Fourth place is for Maria Voce, one of the most important female voices in the Catholic Church. She leads the Focolare Movement which has more than 2.5 million followers. As the Pope focuses on the role of women in the Church, Voce will surely have a lot to say. In the past she has supported complimentary participation of women in the Church, including in the Magisterium.
 
THREE 
One of the top spots go to Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's new Secretary of State. Decades of diplomatic experience will be key as the Church  strengthens its presence across the globe. But that alone won't be enough. Parolin will also have to bring in creativity and flexibility to follow Pope Francis' vision.

TWO 
At number two, there's the Council of Cardinals, which includes eight cardinals who advise the Pope on ways to improve the governance of the Church. From Honduras, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, heads the group as it tries to adapt the Church to the needs of the 21st century.

ONE
The number one spot goes to two former Popes who will be declared saints. John Paul II and John XXIII will be canonized on Sunday April 27th. Perhaps yet another Pope, Paul VI, could be beatified in 2014.


JMB/KLH 
RR
GdP
-PR
up: KLH