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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.

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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