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Pope to marry 20 couples at the Vatican on September 14th
August 29th, 2014. The Pope will marry 20 couples on September 14th in St. Peter's Basilica. The ceremony will take place at 9am. The couples are from the diocese of Rome. The celebration will take place 3 weeks before the Synod on the Family.
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Pope Names New Archbishop of Madrid
August 28, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid (Spain). The Pope has named Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Valencia as Cardinal Rouco´s successor. Also, Cardenal Antonio Cañizares has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Valencia, Spain. He will replace Arch. Carlos Osoro Sierra.
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Pope Francis names new bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.)
August 26, 2014. Pope Francis named Bishop Daniel Edward Thomas as bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.) Until now, Bishop Thomas served as auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia and titutlar bishop of Bardstown. Pope Francis also accepted the resignation of Bishop Giuseppe Merisi as bishop of Lodi (Italy) and named Bishop Maurizio Malvestiti as his replacement. 
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Benedict XVI celebrates Mass in the Vatican with former students
August 25, 2015. Benedict XVI's former students had the chance of meeting him one more time. He celebrated Mass at the Vatican with them to close their annual gatherings in Castelgandolfo, more known as Schuelerkreis. Still, the Pope emeritus didn't attend their meetings.
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Vatican announces theme of the next World Day of Peace
August 21, 2014. "Slaves no more, but brothers and sister”. This will be the theme of the 48th World Day of Peace which will be celebrated on January 1st, 2015. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace made the announcement this morning in a press release. The communique also detailed several contemporary forms of slavery
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Argentine President express condolences to Pope Francis
August 20, 2014. Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called Pope Francis this afternoon. The president offered her condolences on the death of his nephew's wife, Valeria Carmona, and their two small children, Jose and Antonio. The Pope's nephew, Emanuel Bergoglio, remains in critical condition
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Pope's Relatives Die in Crash
August 19, 2014. Three relatives of Pope Francis have died in a traffic accident in Argentina.  According to police, the victims include two great nephews of the Pope  (8 month-old and two year old) and the children's mother. The Pope's 35 year old nephew Horacio Bergoglio, survived and is in serious condition.
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Pope's Twitter account now has over 15 million followers on Twitter

 

August 19, 2014. ThePope's Twitter account has surpassed 15 million followers in the 9 languages where he publishes his tweets. The most popular accounts are Spanish, with almost 6.5 million followers; English, with more than 4 million followers and Italian, with almost 2 million followers.


 

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Pope Flying Back
August 18, 2014. Pope Francis is now on his way back to Rome. He took off from South Korea on Monday afternoon. During his flight, the Pope sent a telegram to Korea, China and Mongolia as he was flying over those countries. The Pope is expected to arrive in Rome’s Ciampino airport at 17.45 Rome time. 

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Indonesia 2017!
August 17, 2014. The next Asian Youth Day will take place in Indonesia in 2017. The announcement was made after the Pope celebrated the closing Mass in South Korea. 

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Francis asks for prayers for his trip to Korea on Twitter

August 13, 2014. Several hours before boarding his flight to Seoul, Pope Francis sent out a tweet asking for prayers for the fruits of his trip to South Korea.  


 

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New Archbishop of Athens

August 12, 2014. The Pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Nikolaos Foskolos, the former Archbishop of Athens. He has named Sevastianos Rossolatosto succeed him.  

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Pope Sends Condolences for plane crash in Tehran

August 11, 2014. Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence for the plane crash in Tehran which claimed the lives of almost 40 people. The Pope expressed his sadness for the tragedy and prayed for the eternal repose of the victims as well as consolation for their families. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent the telegram in the Pope's name to Archbishop Ignazio Bedini of Ispahan. 


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Pope Calls for Prayers for Iraq on Twitter

August 8, 2014. Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for Iraq via his Twitter account. The Pope asked to "pray for Iraqi Christians and all vulnerable populations” as well as for "those who have been forced from their homes in Iraq.”

 

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Pope to send Papal Envoy to Iraq
August 8, 2014. In light of the rising violence in Iraq, Pope Francis will send Card. Fernando Filoni as a papal envoy to the region. The Pope has commissioned the Cardinal to asses the situation and to express the Church’s spiritual closeness and solidarity with the displaced. 

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New Bishop Named for Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in the United States

August 7th, 2014. Pope Francis has named Fr. Bohdan Danylo as bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat (USA).

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New Archbishop for Military Ordinariate of Brazil
August 6, 2014. Pope Francis has named Bishop Ernesto Maguengue as Auxiliary Bishop of Nampula (Mozambique). He also named Bishop Fernando José Monteiro Guimarães as Archbishop of the Military Ordinariate of Brazil, who will replace retiring Archbishop Osvino José Both.
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Pope to meet with victims of Ferry Accident
August 5, 2014. The Pope will meet with victims who survived the ferry accident, that killed more than 300 people off the South Korean coast back in the month of April. Family members of those who died will also be present. The meeting will take place on August 15th, during the Pope's visit to South Korea. 

Organist of the Pope: privileged witness to unique moments

2014-01-31

Even magnificent basilicas like St. Mary Major in Rome would feel empty without this music. For almost 30 years Juan Paradell-Solé has played the organ in all the ceremonies inside this church, in a privileged spot close to the mosaics of the apse.

But the Vatican also needs music, and since 2011 this Spanish organist plays in all the ceremonies that the Pope presides. It's the first time in history that the Sistine Chapel Choir, the Pope's private choir, has an official organist.

He soon grasped that Pope emeritus Benedict XVI took very seriously the music in his ceremonies.

JUAN PARADELL-SOLÉ
Organist, Sistine Chapel Choir
"He would chose or suggest the music he would like to be played or sung. And obviously, if he said he wanted that piece or some other one, we would play it. He increased the use of Gregorian chant and the use of multiple melodies in music.”

His post also gives him the chance of witnessing historical moments. If he had to choose one, it would be when Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation.

JUAN PARADELL-SOLÉ
Organist, Sistine Chapel Choir
"I was there, I was playing the organ in the ceremony where Benedict XVI resigned, precisely. In that moment no one could believe it. No one could believe his words, what he was saying: did he really say that? He resigned? Is that possible?"

And then Pope Francis arrived. Juan Paradell also played in the conclave that choose Jorge Mario Bergoglio as successor of Peter.

JUAN PARADELL-SOLÉ
Organist, Sistine Chapel Choir
"Even though it doesn't seem like it, Pope Francis loves music. And he also knows it very well, more than anyone could think. He knows Mozart, he likes Beethoven and is a great supporter of opera.”

After the historic resignation of a Pope and a conclave, the maestro Paradell is ready for whatever may come next. Not by chance, his hands have provided music to some of the most important moment in the recent history of the Catholic Church.


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