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Pope Names New Archbishop of Madrid
August 28, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid (Spain). The Pope has named Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Valencia as Cardinal Rouco´s successor. Also, Cardenal Antonio Cañizares has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Valencia, Spain. He will replace Arch. Carlos Osoro Sierra.
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Pope Francis names new bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.)
August 26, 2014. Pope Francis named Bishop Daniel Edward Thomas as bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.) Until now, Bishop Thomas served as auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia and titutlar bishop of Bardstown. Pope Francis also accepted the resignation of Bishop Giuseppe Merisi as bishop of Lodi (Italy) and named Bishop Maurizio Malvestiti as his replacement. 
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Benedict XVI celebrates Mass in the Vatican with former students
August 25, 2015. Benedict XVI's former students had the chance of meeting him one more time. He celebrated Mass at the Vatican with them to close their annual gatherings in Castelgandolfo, more known as Schuelerkreis. Still, the Pope emeritus didn't attend their meetings.
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Vatican announces theme of the next World Day of Peace
August 21, 2014. "Slaves no more, but brothers and sister”. This will be the theme of the 48th World Day of Peace which will be celebrated on January 1st, 2015. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace made the announcement this morning in a press release. The communique also detailed several contemporary forms of slavery
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Argentine President express condolences to Pope Francis
August 20, 2014. Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called Pope Francis this afternoon. The president offered her condolences on the death of his nephew's wife, Valeria Carmona, and their two small children, Jose and Antonio. The Pope's nephew, Emanuel Bergoglio, remains in critical condition
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Pope's Relatives Die in Crash
August 19, 2014. Three relatives of Pope Francis have died in a traffic accident in Argentina.  According to police, the victims include two great nephews of the Pope  (8 month-old and two year old) and the children's mother. The Pope's 35 year old nephew Horacio Bergoglio, survived and is in serious condition.
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Pope's Twitter account now has over 15 million followers on Twitter

 

August 19, 2014. ThePope's Twitter account has surpassed 15 million followers in the 9 languages where he publishes his tweets. The most popular accounts are Spanish, with almost 6.5 million followers; English, with more than 4 million followers and Italian, with almost 2 million followers.


 

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Pope Flying Back
August 18, 2014. Pope Francis is now on his way back to Rome. He took off from South Korea on Monday afternoon. During his flight, the Pope sent a telegram to Korea, China and Mongolia as he was flying over those countries. The Pope is expected to arrive in Rome’s Ciampino airport at 17.45 Rome time. 

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Indonesia 2017!
August 17, 2014. The next Asian Youth Day will take place in Indonesia in 2017. The announcement was made after the Pope celebrated the closing Mass in South Korea. 

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Francis asks for prayers for his trip to Korea on Twitter

August 13, 2014. Several hours before boarding his flight to Seoul, Pope Francis sent out a tweet asking for prayers for the fruits of his trip to South Korea.  


 

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New Archbishop of Athens

August 12, 2014. The Pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Nikolaos Foskolos, the former Archbishop of Athens. He has named Sevastianos Rossolatosto succeed him.  

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Pope Sends Condolences for plane crash in Tehran

August 11, 2014. Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence for the plane crash in Tehran which claimed the lives of almost 40 people. The Pope expressed his sadness for the tragedy and prayed for the eternal repose of the victims as well as consolation for their families. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent the telegram in the Pope's name to Archbishop Ignazio Bedini of Ispahan. 


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Pope Calls for Prayers for Iraq on Twitter

August 8, 2014. Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for Iraq via his Twitter account. The Pope asked to "pray for Iraqi Christians and all vulnerable populations” as well as for "those who have been forced from their homes in Iraq.”

 

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Pope to send Papal Envoy to Iraq
August 8, 2014. In light of the rising violence in Iraq, Pope Francis will send Card. Fernando Filoni as a papal envoy to the region. The Pope has commissioned the Cardinal to asses the situation and to express the Church’s spiritual closeness and solidarity with the displaced. 

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New Bishop Named for Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in the United States

August 7th, 2014. Pope Francis has named Fr. Bohdan Danylo as bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat (USA).

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New Archbishop for Military Ordinariate of Brazil
August 6, 2014. Pope Francis has named Bishop Ernesto Maguengue as Auxiliary Bishop of Nampula (Mozambique). He also named Bishop Fernando José Monteiro Guimarães as Archbishop of the Military Ordinariate of Brazil, who will replace retiring Archbishop Osvino José Both.
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Pope to meet with victims of Ferry Accident
August 5, 2014. The Pope will meet with victims who survived the ferry accident, that killed more than 300 people off the South Korean coast back in the month of April. Family members of those who died will also be present. The meeting will take place on August 15th, during the Pope's visit to South Korea. 

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Pope appoints new Syro-Malabar bishop in India
July 31, 2014. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. Vijay Anand Nedumpuram, and appointed Fr. Ephrem Nariculam as the new bishop to the Syro-Malabar dioecese (epharchy) of Chanda (India).

Pope on Baptism: It is not the same, a child that has been baptized, than one that has not

2014-01-08

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.

POPE FRANCIS
"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.”

POPE FRANCIS
"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.

POPE FRANCIS
"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.


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