First message of Pope Francis in Turkey
November 28, 2014. Pope Francis signed the so-called Golden Book at Ataturk's Mausoleum in Ankara. There he wrote this message: "I express my sincerest good wishes so that Turkey, the natural bridge between two Continents, may not only be a crossroad, but also a place of encounter, dialogue and peaceful coexistence among men and women of good will of every culture, ethnicity and religion."
Pope on Haiti
November 25, 2014. Five years have passed since the deadly earthquake devastated the island of Haiti. In light of this anniversary, Pope Francis has called for a Vatican meeting to take place. The goal is for the Church to look into what can be done to help out victims and the country as it tries to re-build itself.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
November 24, 2014. Pope Francis has named Cardinal Robert Sarah as new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Up until recently, he served as the President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
Sarah, 69, a native of Conakry, Guinea, also held a prominent role in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
He is taking over the post previously held by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, who was recently named Archbishop of Valencia, Spain.
Synod on the Family 2015
November 21, 2014. The following Cardinals will be delegate presidents during the second part of the Synod on the Family, from October 4th to the 24th, 2015. The Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. From the Philippines, Luis Antonio Tagle. From Aparecida Brazil, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis. From Durban, South Africa, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier.
The Relator General will be Cardinal Peter Erdo, who serves as the Archbishop of Budapest. The Secretary General, will be Italian Msgr, Bruno Forte.
New Bishop in Broken Bay (Australia)
November 20, 2014. Pope Francis has appointed Peter Andrew Comensoli as the New Bishop of Broken Bay, Australia. Up until now, he served as the auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Sydney.
New Bishop for Linares, Mexico
November 19, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Ramon Calderon Batres, Bishop of Linares (Mexico). His successor will be Hilario Gonzalez Garcia, current rector of the Major Seminary of Monterrey.
New Bishops in Mexico and Argentina
November 17, 2014. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Miguel Romano Gómez, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara (Mexico). He also accepted the resignation of the bishop of Apatzingán (Mexico), Bishop Miguel Patiño Velázquez, who will be succeeded by Cristóbal Ascencio García.
In Argentina, the Pope has named Bishop Juan Carlos Ares as auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires and has also named Bishop Martín Fassi as auxiliary bishop of San Isidro (Argentina).
Possible visit by Pope Francis to Paraguay announced
November 12, 2014. The bishops of Paraguay have announced a possible visit by Pope Francis to their country at the end of 2015 or during 2016. As of now, the Vatican has not confirmed the visit.
Pope Francis creates group to accelerate the resolution of appeals of those accused of abuse
November 11, 2014. Seven cardinals and bishops will take charge of all appeals lodged by priests condemned in their dioceses for abuses and crimes against the Sacraments and the Faith.
The Vatican explained the Pope took this decision "due to the number of appeals and the need to guarantee that they are resolved quickly.”
This "special college” will fall under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This Congregation will continue to supervise any appeal presented by a bishop and all cases forwarded by this new college.
As for now, the name of only one of the seven members was revealed. It is Archbishop Jose Luis Mollaghan, the former Archbishop of Rosario (Argentina).
Pope prays for victims of Spain's bus crash
November 10, 2014. In light of the deadly bus accident that killed 14 people and left at least 38 injured in the Spanish city of Cieza, Pope Francis sent his condolences to those affected by the tragedy. Among the victims was a young parish priest from Bullas, Rev. Miguel Conesa Andujar. The passengers, who were on a religious excursion, were heading back to Madrid.
Pope Names New Bishop for Digne (France)
November 7th, 2014. Bishop François-Xavier Loizeau, until now served as the Bishop of Digne (France) presented this morning his resignation to the Pope. The Holy Father has named Fr. Jean-Philippe Nault as his successor. The Holy Father also appointed two new auxiliary bishops for the diocese of Melbourne (Australia): Msgr. Terence Robert Curtin and Fr. Mark S. Edwards.
Mothers of Plaza de Mayo
November 5, 2014.
On Wednesday, Pope Francis met with the president of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Estela de Carlotto. Her grandson, Ignacio Guido Montoya Carlotto, also attended the meeting. He was reunited with his family in August, after a 36 year search. The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo is an Argentinian group of women, who for years have protested the disappearance of family members during Argentina’s dictatorship.
Pope Francis on Resignation Rules
November 5, 2014. Pope Francis has confirmed that the age in which Bishops are required to retire, will continue to be 75 years of age. The debate came to light after some Bishops proposed the age be moved up to 78. The Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin released the text with the new rules, on Wednesday morning. It includes seven points.
November 4th, 2014. Pope Francis has nominated Msgr. Peter Forsyth Christensen as the new Bishop of Boise City. Christopher Kakooza has been nominated as the Bishop of Lugazi, Uganda. Msgr. Carlos Enrique Trinidad Gomez has been appointed as the new Bishop of San Marcos, Guatemala, while Msgr. Adolfo Armando Uriona has been nominated as the new Bishop of Villa de la Concepcion del Rio Cuatro in Argentina.
During his most recent catechesis on Baptism, Pope Francis referenced the Japanese Catholics under persecution in the 17th Century.
"There were no priests left in Japan: they were all expelled. So then, the community went underground, keeping their faith and prayers hidden.”
One of the Japanese Catholics that suffered most from outlawing Christianity was Ukon Takayama, the samurai of Christ. The Japanese Episcopal Conference has presented all the necessary documents to open the cause for his beatification.
MSGR. JOSEPH MITSUAKI TAKAMI
Bishop of Nagasaki (Japan)
"He was a great witness to the Christian faith during this period of persecution in Japan, we could even say, in the history of Christianity in Japan. First, he clung to his faith without having doubts, without being swayed by any temporary wealth. He followed Jesus Christ at all times, and he lived a Christian life, according to the Gospel.”
Takayama was born in Osaka in 1552. His family converted to Catholicism and built the first church in Kyoto. But when Emperor Toyotomi Hideyosi outlawed "Western religion” and expelled the Jesuits in 1587, Takayama's family disobeyed, and remained devout to their faith. As a result, he died in 1615 in the Philippines. For Japanese bishops, the life this samurai led is an example for Catholics today.
MSGR. JOSEPH MITSUAKI TAKAMI
Bishop of Nagasaki (Japan)
"They ordered him to abandon his faith, but instead Takayama Ukon abandoned his social status, his wealth, his land, his castle. He left behind all his properties, and was even expelled. Many of his values are still valid for us all today.”
Currently, about half a million Japanese identify as Catholic. That's about 0.5 percent of the population. Jesuit missionaries were the first Christians to arrive in the 16th Century to the Land of the Rising Sun. They included well-known names like St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of missionaries.