New bishop in Texas
April 23, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. David Eugene Fellhauer, Bishop of Victoria in Texas (United States). In his place, he has appointed the Rev. Brendan Cahill.
April 22, 2015. The Pope has named Eduardo Pinheiro da Silva, S.D.B. as Bishop of Jaboticabal (Brazil). Until now, he was auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Campo Grande.
The Vatican also announced that on April 21 the Pope appointed Joseph F. Naumann to be Apostolic Administrator "sede vacante" of the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph (United States). Until a new bishop is appointed, Naumann will oversee the diocese. He is currently the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas.
Kansas Bishop Robert Finn resigns years after conviction
April 21, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of American Bishop, Robert W. Finn. In 2012 the Kansas Bishop was convicting of not reporting a diocesan priest to police. The priest had a series of pornographic material in his computer.
He is the first American Bishop to resign for not acting swiftly in dealing with cases of sexual abuse.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
As of now, diocesan priests around the world will no longer be able to become a "monsignor” until they turn 65. Under the guidance of Pope Francis, the Secretariat of State communicated the announcement to apostolic nuncios across the world. The move is seen as the latest effort to tackle career clericalism within the Church.
FR. FRANCISCO CASTELLANOS
Archdiocese of Guadalajara (Mexico)
"Since the beginning, the Pope wanted to take away many things that give the Church a bad name. One of those things was this latest change. There were too many priests that, without being bishops, already had the title of monsignor.”
The Vatican said only "worthy priests” over 65 will be eligible for the honor. But the move does not affect those that already have the title.
News of the change spread quickly among clergy in Rome, the heartland of Catholicism. While some priests felt it wouldn't have a big impact, most were still supportive of the change.
DON GIANNI TONI
Diocese of Latina (Italy)
"I think that with the times today, it's useless. It's an old title, from an old mentality. Instead, the real effect is what Pope Francis teaches us: the title doesn't matter, it's what we do and who we are.”
MSGR. CARLOS AZEVEDO
Pontifical Council for Culture
"We need someone who can freely change and bring the Church closer to the Gospel: where the word 'brother' becomes the key word. All titles that divide, or create the idea of a career, are not the truth of the Church. It's a good move.”
To become a monsignor, a largely honorary title, diocesan priests must be nominated by their bishop. The Vatican then accepts or rejects their request.
At one point, the Vatican recognized up to 14 ranks of "monsignor.” But after the Second Vatican Council, only three remained. Under this change, Pope Francis narrowed it down further to just one, Chaplain to His Holiness.