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New bishop in San Andrés Tuxtla (Mexico)
March 2, 2015. The Pope has appointed Fidencio Lopez Plaza, a priest from the diocese of Querétaro, to be the new Bishop of San Andrés. 
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Appointments
February 27, 2015. Pope Francis has named Msgr. Charles Jude Scicluna as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Malta. Up until now, he had served as the Bishop of San Leone and as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Malta. 
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New bishops in the Dominican Republic and Colombia
February 23, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three bishops from the Dominican Republic. They are Ramon Benito de la Rosa (Archdiocese of Santiago de los Caballeros), Rafael Leonidas Felipe and Núñez (Diocese of Barahona) and Antonio Camilo Gonzalez (Diocese of La Vega).

In their places, he has appointed Freddy Antonio de Jesus Breton Martínez (Archdiocese of Santiago de los Caballeros), who is transferring from the Diocese of Bani; Andrew Napoleon Romero Cárdenas (Diocese of Barahona); and Hector Rafael Rodríguez Rodríguez, M.S.C. (Diocese of La Vega).
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New Doctor of the Church
February 23, 2015. San Gregorio di Narek will soon be named a Doctor of the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. The Armenian theologian, philosopher and writer was born around 950 and died in 1005. He lived most of his life in a monastery in Narek and for years now he has been considered a Doctor of the Armenian Church.
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New bishop in Colombia
February 19, 2105. The Pope has appointed Francisco José Méndez Crispiano Clavijo to be the new bishop of Sincelejo (Colombia). Until now, he was rector of the John Paul II diocesan seminary in Valledupar (Colombia).
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Nominations
February 17, 2015. Msgr. Adolfo Tito Yllana, has been nominated by Pope Francis as the new nuncio of Australia. Up until now, he served as the nuncio, or papal respresentative, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
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Coptic Pope phoned by Pope Francis
February 16, 2015. In light of the brutal assassination of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, Pope Francis called the Coptic Pope, Tawadros II, to express his condolences. The victims were beheaded by Islamic terrorists, before posting the video online. Pope Francis told Tawadros II that he will be praying for the victims, on Tuesday morning, as their funeral Mass is celebrated. 
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New permanent representative to the FAO
February 12, 2015. Pope Francis has named the Spanish Msgr. Fernando Chica Arellano permanent representive to the United Nations Agency for Agriculture and Food.

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Appointments
February 6, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Polish missionary Józef Roszynski, S.V.D. to be Bishop of Wewak (Papua New Guinea) and Chidi Denis Isizoh to be Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Onitsha (Nigeria).
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Pope to address US Congress September 24
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis will visit the United States Capitol on September 24th and deliver an address to a joint session of Congress. It will be the first ever address to Congress by a Pope. House Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic, said in a statement that the Pope’s "teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another.”

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LIVE CHAT
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis will take part in a Google Hangout to chat live with students with special needs.  The Thursday afternoon meeting, will kick off at 4pm, Rome time. The program is part of the ‘Scholas’ project which is meant to improve education on a global scale.  The students are from the U.S, Brazil, India and Spain. 

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Crash Condolences
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis has expressed his condolences over the deadly Taipei plane crash. The TransAsia flight crashed into a river with 58 people on board. On behalf of the Pope, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, sent a message addressed to Taipei’s Archbishop Hung Shan-cuan. In it, the Pope offered his heartfelt condolences to the civil authorities and assured families of the deceased and the missing, of his spiritual closeness.

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Msgr. Oscar Romero declared a Martyr
February 3, 2015. The Vatican announced that Pope Francis has officially approved the martrydrom of Msgr. Oscar Romero. The Salvadorian Archbishop was killed while celebrating Mass on March 24th, 1980, during the height of the country’s civil war. The decree signed by Pope Francis recognizes that Romero was killed because of hate towards the Catholic faith.
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Pope names new bishops in Ireland, Mexico, and Tanzania
February 2, 2015. The Pope has named Alphonsus Cullinan, 55, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore (Ireland).

He has also named Liberatus Sangu Bishop of Shinyanga (Tanzania). He is about to turn 52 and has worked in the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since 2008.

Francis has also named Francisco Eduardo Cervantes Merino, 61, the new Bishop of Orizaba (Mexico).

Pope writes to new cardinals: It's not a promotion, but a call to service

2014-01-13

On the same day he announced their names, Pope Francis wrote to the 19 prelates he chose to become members of the College of Cardinals. In the letter, the Pope said becoming a cardinal is not a "promotion,” but rather an expansion of their vision in service to God. He asked that if they celebrate, to do it with "austerity and poverty,” as well as joy.

The Consistory to welcome the 19 new cardinals will take place on February 22. They come from 12 countries, but the majority are from the Third World. Even so, there are many surprises among the list.

First, only 16 of them will be under 80. The other three, from Italy, Spain and St. Lucia, will be recognized for their contributions to the Church. But, even with 16 new cardinals, the number of papal electors will remain 120 by May.

The Americas dominate the list. They include the archbishops of major cities, not already holding that title: Quebec, Managua, Santiago de Chile, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

Most notably, however, is the inclusion of Msgr. Chibly Langois, the bishop of  Les Cayes. On February 22, he will become Haiti's first cardinal. Overall, the number of papal electors from Latin America will rise to 19.

Asia and Africa will each get two new cardinals. South Korea will get its second cardinal ever, with Mons. Andrew Yeom Soo jung, archbishop of Seoul. The country boasts the highest rate of conversion to Catholicism. He'll be joined by the archbishop of Cotabato, an area in the southern Philippines hit by violence by a Muslim separatist group.


Meanwhile, two other new cardinals will come from poverty-stricken cities in West Africa, that have also seen lots of conflict: Abdijan in Ivory Coast, and Ouagadougou in Burkina Fasso. Africa will now have 14 papal electors, while Asia will have 12.

Outside of the Roman Curia, only two European archbishops will be made cardinals. The first, completely expected, is the archbishop of Westminster in England. The second is the Italian archbishop of Perugia. In choosing Msgr. Gualtiero Bassoti, the Pope left out traditional cardinal sees like Venice and Turin, at least for now.

The four Curia members that will be made cardinal include the Secretary of State and the heads of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Clergy, and the secretary of the Synod of Bishops.


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