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.
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 accepts the resignation of Cardinal O'Brien
March 20, 2015. The Pope has accepted the resignation of "the rights and prerogatives of the cardinal" from Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of Edinburgh.
Pope Francis offers condolences for attack in Tunisia
March 19, 2015. Through the Vatican Secretary of State, Pope Francis expressed his condolences over yesterday's attack in Tunisia. In a telegram sent to Bishop Ilario Antoniazzi, Archbishop of Tunis, the Pope condemned "acts against peace and sacredness of human life." He also expressed his closeness "to all those affected by this tragedy and the Tunisian people subjected to this test." The Pope further asked God "to take the dead into his peace and to comfort the wounded."
New diocese and bishop in Mexico
March 19, 2015. Pope Francis has created a new diocese in Mexico, the Diocese of Nogales. Its first bishop is Msgr. José Leopoldo González González. He was until now the the auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Guadalajara. The new diocese comes from part of the current Archdiocese of Hermosillo. The Pope also named a new bishop in the Czech Republic. Msgr. Vlastimil Kročil is now bishop of the Disocese of České Budějovice.
New nuncio in Havana
March 17, 2015. Pope Francis has named Giorgio Lingua nuncio of Havana. He is Italian and until now was the Pope's nuncio in Iraq and Jordan.
New bishops in Spokane and Lexington (USA)
March 12, 2015. Pope Francis has named Franciscan Fr. John Stowe, 48, Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky (USA). 54-year-old San Jose Auxiliary Bishop Tom Daly has been appointed Bishop of Spokane, Washington (USA).
Rome Reports will relive the excitement of the Conclave on Twitter
March 11, 2015. To commemorate the two year anniversary of Pope Francis' election, Rome Reports will relive the excitement on March 12 and 13.
Follow @romereports on Twitter for real-time highlights from the 2013 Conclave.
IOR appoints new Vice Director
March 6, 2015. Gianfranco Mammi has been appointed as Deputy-Director "with immediate effect for an indefinite term”. According a press release, "the appointment has been approved by the IOR Supervisory Commission of Cardinals and the regulator AIF”.
Gianfranco Mammi (59) has started his career at the IOR in 1992 at the cashier desk. Most recently he served as Head of Purchasing Office.
Rolando Marranci has been confirmed as Director General.
New Archbishop of Sens and the Mission of France
March 5, 2015. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Yves Patenôtre, and has appointed Hervé Giraud as Archbishop of Sens (France) and the territorial prelature of the Mission of France.
New Nuncio in Honduras
March 5, 2015. The Pope appointed Novatus Rugambwa to be Nuncio in Honduras. Until now, he was Nuncio in Angola and the Republic of São Tomé and Principe.
New Bishops in Mexico and Brazil
March 4, 2015. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Francisco Ramirez Navarro, the Auxiliary Bishop of Tlalnepantla (Mexico). He has appointed in his place Cuapio Jorge Bautista, of the diocese of Texcoco.
In Brazil, Francisco Joaquim Wladimir was appointed Bishop of Colatina Lopes.
New Bishop in San Diego (United States)
March 3, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Aux. Bishop Robert McElroy of San Francisco to head the Diocese of San Diego. McElroy is 61.
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.
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.