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Papal Trip to Cuba?
April 17, 2015. The Vatican's spokesperson has announced that Pope Francis is considering a trip to Cuba. If the visit takes place it would be before or after his trip to the U.S in September. The process however, is still in its beginning phases, so no official decision has been made. 
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Dates of papal trip to Latin America released
April 16, 2015. The Vatican has announced the dates of Pope's upcoming trip to Latin America. He will visit Ecuador from July 6 to 8. After, he will be in Bolivia from July 8 to 10. He will then go to Paraguay until July 12. 
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Pope's Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations
April 14, 2015. In his message for the event, which will be held on April 26, Pope Francis considers the meaning of "vocation.” He writes that it means to respond to God's call. That is, "allowing him to help us leave ourselves and our false security behind” so that we can find Jesus Christ, "the origin and destiny of our life and our happiness.”

The title of the message is: "Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocation.”

Read the full text here.
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New vicar apostolic in Venezuela and bishop in India

April 7, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Ernesto José Romero Rivas, O.F.M. to be Vicar Apostolic of Tucupita (Venezuela). The Pope has also appointed Vincent Aind to be Bishop of Bagdogra (India).

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New Prefect in the Congregation for Catholic Education
March 31, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. He also also appointed Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki as a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. 
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New bishop in Mozambique
March 30, 2015. The Pope has appointed Alberto Vera Aréjula, a Spanish missionary, to be Auxiliary Bishop of Xai-Xai in Mozambique.
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New Eparchy and new Exarchate in India
March 26, 2015. The Pope has created the Eparchy of St. John Chrysostom in Gurgaon of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He has also appointed its first bishop, Jacob Barnabas Aerath. Additionally, Pope Francis created the new Apostolic Exarchate of St. Ephrem of Khadki of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He appointed the first Exarch, Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios Valiyavilayil.
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New bishop in Ecuador
March 24, 2015. Pope Francis appointed Victor Bertram Wick Enzler to be bishop of Santo Domingo (Ecuador). Until now, he served as auxiliary bishop of Guayaquil, also in Ecuador.
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Pope accepts the resignation of Cardinal O'Brien
March 20, 2015. The Pope has accepted the resignation of "the rights and prerogatives of the cardinal" from Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of Edinburgh.
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Pope Francis offers condolences for attack in Tunisia
March 19, 2015. Through the Vatican Secretary of State, Pope Francis expressed his condolences over yesterday's attack in Tunisia. In a telegram sent to Bishop Ilario Antoniazzi, Archbishop of Tunis, the Pope condemned "acts against peace and sacredness of human life." He also expressed his closeness "to all those affected by this tragedy and the Tunisian people subjected to this test." The Pope further asked God "to take the dead into his peace and to comfort the wounded."
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New diocese and bishop in Mexico
March 19, 2015. Pope Francis has created a new diocese in Mexico, the Diocese of Nogales. Its first bishop is Msgr. José Leopoldo González González. He was until now the the auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Guadalajara. The new diocese comes from part of the current Archdiocese of Hermosillo. The Pope also named a new bishop in the Czech Republic. Msgr. Vlastimil Kročil is now bishop of the Disocese of České Budějovice.

Greg Burke, Vatican Communication Adviser: 2014 has a lot of changes in store

2013-12-30

From the resignation of Benedict XVI to the election of Pope Francis, 2013 will remembered as a historic year for generations to come. 

Even though 2013 will be hard to top, the Vatican's Communication Adviser, says 2014 already has a lot of things in store. 

GREG BURKE
Vatican's Communication Adviser 
"We've talked a lot about change, we'll see what the changes are that Pope Francis has in store. Clearly he does plan to go to the Holy Land and that in itself will be quite a start.” 
 
After being named 'Person of the Year' by TIME Magazine, Pope Francis has caught the attention of millions of Catholics... and the world. Interestingly, back in 1994, Burke was already working in Rome, as a TIME correspondent, when John Paul II was chosen by the magazine. 

GREG BURKE
Vatican's Communication Adviser 
"When Time made John Paul II was named man of the year that was a bit of a surprise. It was not a surprise this year when time made Pope Francis man of the year.” 

In just a few months, the Vatican has managed to strengthen its online presence even more. The Pope's twitter account has more than 11 million followers and pictures of the Pope have made their way across the globe. 

But improvements are still in store. The Vatican's communication department recently announced it hired one of the world's top management consulting firms

GREG BURKE
Vatican's Communication Adviser 
"There are a lot of changes in store. I never thought I'd get to the day where McKinsey, was looking at the communications at the Vatican, but certainly anything that can be done to help integrate things and to bring the message together.” 

But he does admit that when it comes to communication, it's Pope Francis who is leading the way, by focusing on the core message of the Gospel. 

GREG BURKE
Vatican's Communication Adviser 
"We got simplicity at its best. The Pope saying God loves you, God forgives you. Come back home.” 

Even though a lot has happened, Pope Francis has only been Pontiff for less than a year. So, another highlight for 2014, is that on March 13th,  he will celebrate his first year as head of the Catholic Church.  


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