Pope creates new archdiocese in Ireland
January 26, 2015. Pope Francis has unified the Metropolitan See of Cashel with the former Diocese of Emly. This new Archdiocese will from now on be called Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly (Ireland), and Msgr. Kieran O'Reilly will become its first Archbishop.
Also, Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Stefan Heβe as new Bishop of Hamburg (Germany).
New Decress of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved
January 23, 2015. Pope Francis met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He authorised the promulgation of these decrees:
- The miracle attributed to the Venerable Servant of God Maria Teresa Casini, Italian foundress of the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1864-1937).
- The martyrdom of Servants of God Fidela (nee Dolores Oller Angelats) and two companions, Spanish professed nuns of the Institute of Sisters of St. Joseph, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 26 and 29 August 1936.
- The martyrdom of Servants of God Pio Heredia Zubia and seventeen companions, of the Trappists of Cantabria and the Cistercian nuns of the Congregation of St. Bernard, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.
- The martyrdom of Servant of God Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa (ne Bakali), South African layperson, killed in hatred of the faith in South Africa on 2 February 1990.
- The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Ladislao Bukowinski, Ukrainian diocesan priest (1904-1974).
- The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Aloysius Schwartz, American diocesan priest, founder of the Sisters of Mary of Banneux and the Brothers of Christ (1930-1992).
- The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Cointa Jauregui Oses, Spanish professed nun of the Company of Mary Our Lady (1875-1954).
- The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Teresa Gardi, Italian layperson of the Third Order of St. Francis (1769-1837).
- The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Luis De Trelles y Nuogerol, Spanish layperson and founder of the Nocturnal Adoration Society in Spain (1819-1891).
- The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Elisabeth Maria (nee Erizabe-to Maria) Satoko Kitahara, Japanese layperson (1929-1958).
- The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Virginia Blanco Tardio, Bolivian layperson (1916-1990).
Tommaso Ruzzi, new Director of the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority
January 21, 2015. Tommaso di Ruzza was appointed as Director of the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority, an organism that oversees all economic transactions of the Holy See. Up until now, Ruzza had worked there as Deputy Director.
Pope Francis also appointed Daniel E. Garcia as new Auxiliary Bishop of Austin (U.S.).
Members appointed to Vatican committee to study appeals of condemned priests
January 21, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed seven members and two substitutes to the College for the Study of Appeal to Ordinary Session of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
President. Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, Bishop of San Leone, and Auxiliary of Malta.
- Card. Zenon Grocholewski
- Card. Attilio Nicora
- Card. Francesco Coccopalmerio
- Card. Giuseppe Versaldi
- Msgr. José Luis Mollaghan, Archbishop emeritus of Rosario (Argentina)
- Mons. Juan Ignacio Arrieta
- Card. Julián Herranz
- Msgr. Giorgio Corbellini
January 20, 2015. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. Germán Trajano Pavón Puente and nominated Fr. Jorge Giovanni Pazmiño Abril as new Bishop of Amato (Ecuador). Msgr. Mario Bedini also resigned today as Archbishop of Isfahan (Iran) and Pope Francis appointed Fr. Jack Youssef as Apostolic Administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same Archdiocese.
Pope Francis creates Eritrean Metropolitan Church sui iuris
January 19, 2015. Pope Francis created a new Eritrean Metropolitan Church "sui iuris", and appointed Msgr. Menghesteab Tesfamariam as the first Metropolitan Archbishop of Asmara. He will oversee the eparchies of Barentu, Keren and Segheneity.
Secretary of Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace becomes Bishop of Faenza-Modigliana
January 19, 2015. Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Mario Toso as the new bishop of Faenza-Modigliana (Italy). Since October 29, 2009, Msgr. Toso had worked as the Secretary of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The Vatican hasn't revealed yet who will replace him at the Pontifical Council.
January 16, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Jose Maria Baliña as the new auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Up until now, the 56 year old served as a parish priest in the San Isdiro Labrador church. In Mexico, he has also named Nicholas James Samra, as the apostolic administrator ‘sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis dell’Eparchia’ of the Nuestra Señora del Paraiso of the Greek-Maronites of Mexico.
January 15, 2015. The Pope has approved the appointment of Rev. Basel Yaldo as auxiliary of the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans. He is currently serving as the priest in the St. George Chaldean Catholic Church in Michigan, USA. Also, Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona has been appointed as the new Bishop of the Chaldean eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Sydney, Australia. In addition, Chorbishop Emmanuel Challita has been appointed as the Bishop of the Chaldean eparchy of Mar Addai in Toronto, Canada.
New bishop of Grand Island (US)
January 14, 2015. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. William J. Dendinger and appointed Msgr. Joseph G. Hanefeldt as new Bishop of Grand Island (US).
The Vatican has new Permanent Observer to UN's headquarters in Vienna
January 12, 2015. Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Janusz Urbańczyk as the Vatican's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. From now on, Msgr. Urbańczyk will also be the Holy See's Permanent Observer to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the UN's headquarters in Vienna.
Also, Pope Francis nominated Father Fernand J. Cheri as new Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans.
Joel Mercier, new Secretary of Congregation for the Clergy
January 8, 2015. Pope Francis nominated Joël Mercier as the new Secretary for the Congregation for the Clergy. Up until now, he worked at the Vatican Congregation for Bishops.
December 31, 2014. Pope Francis has nominated Rev. Marcelino Antonio Moralit, a priest in the Archdiocese of Lipa, as the new Bishop of Boac in the Philippines. Moralit has also served as pastor of Alitatag, Batangas. He was born on May 18th 1969 in Manila. He was ordained a priest in March 1995.
Pope Francis sends message for 2015 World Day of the Sick
Pope Francis has issued a powerful message for the World Day of the Sick, which takes place on February 11th.
The Pope thanked those who care for the sick, adding that time spent with the ill, is sacred. He also calls for Catholics to embrace wisdom of the heart.
"Occasionally our world forgets the special value of time spent at the bedside of the sick, since we are in such a rush; caught up as we are in a frenzy of doing, of producing, we forget about giving ourselves freely, taking care of others, being responsible for others,” writes the Pope.
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.