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.
It was an usual, but festive way, to kick off the weekly General Audiences in the new year. Several circus performers took the stage before Pope Francis, complete with juggling, acrobats, unicycles and even ferrets!
At one point, even Pope Francis clapped along, visibly happy with their performance. Soon after, he congratulated them and gave them a special message.
"When you travel from city to city, I ask you to become messengers of joy, messengers of brotherhood, in a society that greatly needs it.”
Also in attendance were over 9,000 pilgrims from all over the world. They came to St. Peter's Square to listen to the Pope talk about the Sacraments. Specifically, he spoke about the importance of Baptism, where people are immersed into the "salvation of Jesus.”
"It is not a mere formality. It's an act that touches our very existence deeply. It is not the same having a child baptized, than not having the child baptized. It is not the same. It is not the same having a person baptized, than not having a person baptized.”
He added that through their Baptism, Christians become a part of the Church, whom he described as a mother giving birth to her children. Their Baptism allows them to become children of God.
Repeatedly throughout the General Audience, the Pope said knowing the date when they were baptized is as important as knowing their birthday. He also gave all the pilgrims homework for the day.
"I allow myself to give you advice, more than advice, homework for today. When you get home, search and ask for the date of your Baptism. That way, you will be aware of that beautiful day when you were baptized. Will you do it? I don't sense any enthusiasm. Will you do it? Yes! Because you learn about a joyous occasion.”
As children of God, the Pope said that Baptism gives Christians hope in God and salvation. He said that hope never lets down, and allows people to forgive "those who trespass against us.”
The Vatican once again chose to hold this week's General Audience at the Square, instead of Paul VI Hall. The number of people attending was much higher than the hall's capacity. And as he has done in previous times, the Pope set aside nearly half an hour before the start of the audience to greet people at the Square.