Pope on Haiti
November 25, 2014. Five years have passed since the deadly earthquake devastated the island of Haiti. In light of this anniversary, Pope Francis has called for a Vatican meeting to take place. The goal is for the Church to look into what can be done to help out victims and the country as it tries to re-build itself.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
November 24, 2014. Pope Francis has named Cardinal Robert Sarah as new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Up until recently, he served as the President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
Sarah, 69, a native of Conakry, Guinea, also held a prominent role in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
He is taking over the post previously held by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, who was recently named Archbishop of Valencia, Spain.
Synod on the Family 2015
November 21, 2014. The following Cardinals will be delegate presidents during the second part of the Synod on the Family, from October 4th to the 24th, 2015. The Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. From the Philippines, Luis Antonio Tagle. From Aparecida Brazil, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis. From Durban, South Africa, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier.
The Relator General will be Cardinal Peter Erdo, who serves as the Archbishop of Budapest. The Secretary General, will be Italian Msgr, Bruno Forte.
New Bishop in Broken Bay (Australia)
November 20, 2014. Pope Francis has appointed Peter Andrew Comensoli as the New Bishop of Broken Bay, Australia. Up until now, he served as the auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Sydney.
New Bishop for Linares, Mexico
November 19, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Ramon Calderon Batres, Bishop of Linares (Mexico). His successor will be Hilario Gonzalez Garcia, current rector of the Major Seminary of Monterrey.
New Bishops in Mexico and Argentina
November 17, 2014. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Miguel Romano Gómez, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara (Mexico). He also accepted the resignation of the bishop of Apatzingán (Mexico), Bishop Miguel Patiño Velázquez, who will be succeeded by Cristóbal Ascencio García.
In Argentina, the Pope has named Bishop Juan Carlos Ares as auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires and has also named Bishop Martín Fassi as auxiliary bishop of San Isidro (Argentina).
Possible visit by Pope Francis to Paraguay announced
November 12, 2014. The bishops of Paraguay have announced a possible visit by Pope Francis to their country at the end of 2015 or during 2016. As of now, the Vatican has not confirmed the visit.
Pope Francis creates group to accelerate the resolution of appeals of those accused of abuse
November 11, 2014. Seven cardinals and bishops will take charge of all appeals lodged by priests condemned in their dioceses for abuses and crimes against the Sacraments and the Faith.
The Vatican explained the Pope took this decision "due to the number of appeals and the need to guarantee that they are resolved quickly.”
This "special college” will fall under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This Congregation will continue to supervise any appeal presented by a bishop and all cases forwarded by this new college.
As for now, the name of only one of the seven members was revealed. It is Archbishop Jose Luis Mollaghan, the former Archbishop of Rosario (Argentina).
Pope prays for victims of Spain's bus crash
November 10, 2014. In light of the deadly bus accident that killed 14 people and left at least 38 injured in the Spanish city of Cieza, Pope Francis sent his condolences to those affected by the tragedy. Among the victims was a young parish priest from Bullas, Rev. Miguel Conesa Andujar. The passengers, who were on a religious excursion, were heading back to Madrid.
Pope Names New Bishop for Digne (France)
November 7th, 2014. Bishop François-Xavier Loizeau, until now served as the Bishop of Digne (France) presented this morning his resignation to the Pope. The Holy Father has named Fr. Jean-Philippe Nault as his successor. The Holy Father also appointed two new auxiliary bishops for the diocese of Melbourne (Australia): Msgr. Terence Robert Curtin and Fr. Mark S. Edwards.
Mothers of Plaza de Mayo
November 5, 2014.
On Wednesday, Pope Francis met with the president of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Estela de Carlotto. Her grandson, Ignacio Guido Montoya Carlotto, also attended the meeting. He was reunited with his family in August, after a 36 year search. The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo is an Argentinian group of women, who for years have protested the disappearance of family members during Argentina’s dictatorship.
Pope Francis on Resignation Rules
November 5, 2014. Pope Francis has confirmed that the age in which Bishops are required to retire, will continue to be 75 years of age. The debate came to light after some Bishops proposed the age be moved up to 78. The Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin released the text with the new rules, on Wednesday morning. It includes seven points.
November 4th, 2014. Pope Francis has nominated Msgr. Peter Forsyth Christensen as the new Bishop of Boise City. Christopher Kakooza has been nominated as the Bishop of Lugazi, Uganda. Msgr. Carlos Enrique Trinidad Gomez has been appointed as the new Bishop of San Marcos, Guatemala, while Msgr. Adolfo Armando Uriona has been nominated as the new Bishop of Villa de la Concepcion del Rio Cuatro in Argentina.
Pope Francis kicked off his first full month as Pope by honoring one of his predecessors. On April 2, he prayed before the tomb of John Paul II at St. Peter's Basilica, on the anniversary of his death.
The Pope also prayed before the tombs of John XXIII and Pius X. Interestingly, next April, Pope Francis will canonize both John Paul II and John XXIII.
A week later and 26 days after his election, Pope Francis celebrated his Installation Mass as the Bishop of Rome. Thousands of people waited to see him outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the official see for the Diocese of Rome.
During the homily, the Pope started talking about one of the main topics of his pontificate: mercy.
POPE FRANCIS (April 8)
"In my personal life, I've seen the merciful face of God and His patience so many times. I've also seen many people who courageously go to Jesus' wounds and say: 'Lord, here I am. Accept my poverty. Cover my sins with your wounds, clean them with your blood.' I've seen how God welcome them, consoles them, cleans them and loves them.”
After the Mass, he opened the papal rooms at the Basilica, which had been closed since Benedict XVI stepped down.
Over the next few weeks, the world would begin to discover the Pope's unique personality. The passionate soccer fan greeted his favorite soccer team after a general audience.
"...And to the group form the Athletic Club of San Lorenzo of Almagro, from Buenos Aires. That is very important.”
The next day, he traded his papal hat with an American couple after speaking to the Papal Foundation.
Halfway through the month, Pope Francis took the time to greet Benedict XVI on his special day. He called him at Castel Gandolfo and celebrated Mass in his honor.
POPE FRANCIS (April 16)
"Today is the birthday of Benedict XVI. We offer this Mass in prayer for him, so that the Lord can be with him, comfort him and console him.”
Benedict XVI turned 86. It was his first birthday as Pope emeritus.
Another highlight from this month that showed off the Pope's personality was this tight embrace with Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, at the Vatican.
But it wasn't his only audience with world leaders. He also met with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, as well as the executives from Mozambique, Spain, Madagascar, Italy and Israel.
In fact, it was the latter, President Shimon Peres, that invited Pope Francis to visit the Holy Land in 2014.
"I am waiting for you in Jerusalem, and not just me, but all the people from Israel.”
It was the first of several invitations Pope Francis would receive from political and religious leaders in the region. As the 2013 comes to an end, the possibility he'll take up that invitation is looking more likely.