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New auxiliary bishops in Brooklyn (USA)
May 19, 2015. Pope Francis has named James Massa and Witold Mroziewski, who is Polish, auxiliary bishops of Brooklyn (USA). The area has about 4.8 million residents, and 1.5 million are Catholic.
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Oscar Romero becomes patron of Caritas Internationalis

May 18, 2015. Msgr. Oscar Romero was adopted as a patron of Caritas Internationalis, according to an announcement that came just after the organization's General Assembly in Rome ended. The former Archbishop of San Salvador will be beatified on May 23, more than 35 years after he was assassinated while performing Mass.

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Appointments
May 15, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Domenico Pompili as the new Bishop of Rieti, Italy. He will take the post previously held by Bishop Delio Lucarelli.
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Appointments
May 11, 2015. Pope Francis has nominated Fr. Jorge Enrique Izaguirre Rafael as the New Bishop of Chuquibamba, Peru. He will take over the post previously held by Msgr. Mario Busquets Jordá. 
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New bishops in Brazil, Spain and the Democratic Republic of Congo
May 6, 2015. The Pope has appointed Tarcísio Scaramussa, to be the Bishop of Santos (Brazil). Until now, the position was held by Jacyr Francisco Braido. Also in Brazil, the Pope has appointed Edson de Castro Homem to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Iguatu and Agenor Girardi to be Bishop of the Diocese of Uniao da Vitoria.

The Vatican also announced that the Pope has appointed Manuel Sánchez Monge bishop of the Diocese of Santander (Spain). Emery Kibal Mansong'loo will become the Bishop of Kule (Democratic Republic of Congo).

Further, there is a new Vicar Apostolic of Bontoc-Lagawe (Philippines) and two new members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Archbishop of Dijon Roland Minnerath and Anthony Colin Fisher, Archbishop of Sydney.
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Raúl Castro to meet with Pope
May 6, 2015. Cuban President Raúl Castro will meet privately with Pope Francis on Sunday morning, May 10. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi  said, "President Raúl Castro has publicly thanked the Pope for his role in fostering the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States of America."
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New bishop in Texas
April 23, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. David Eugene Fellhauer, Bishop of Victoria in Texas (United States). In his place, he has appointed the Rev. Brendan Cahill. 

Pope Francis meets with family of an Argentine death row inmate

2014-02-06

During his General Audience, Pope Francis greeted an Argentine couple, whose son sits behind bars as a death row inmate in Texas. After 17 years behind bars, and exhausting legal options, their hoping Pope Francis can save their son's life.


LIDIA GUERRERO

Mother
"I believe it's important because he's a Pope that takes interest in the problems of the world. And he has a lot of influence because the world listens to him.”


A Texas court convicted Victor Saldaño of killing another man in 1995. His trial resulted in a death sentence. But in 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down, saying the testimony against Saldaño was tainted by racial discrimination.

  

JUAN CARLOS VEGAS
Family lawyer

"By any international standard, that would have been enough to set Saldaño free. Instead, he faces a new trial.”


The second trial ended like the first, a jury sentenced Saldaño to the death penalty. At that point, after seven years on death row, his family and lawyer argued he developed mental health problems, and that he should be released.

  

The state of Texas has shown little signs of changing its mind. A lawsuit filed against the U.S. government at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is also stalled. With the Catholic Church's vocal opposition to the death penalty, they turned to Pope Francis.

 

LIDIA GUERRERO
Mother

"I hope, truthfully, that he asks for clemency on behalf of my son, so that he's not given the death sentence.”


Saldaño's mother said the Pope did not commit to anything when she brought up her request. But with his constant emphasis on mercy, she's hopeful he'll take action.

 

Giving her additional hope is that fact that Texas hasn't scheduled Saldaño's execution. But after 17 years, it's not much comfort. Until, and if, the Pope intervenes, she says she keeps her bags ready, to go her son's side, at a moment's notice.

 


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