February 27, 2015. Pope Francis has named Msgr. Charles Jude Scicluna as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Malta. Up until now, he had served as the Bishop of San Leone and as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Malta.
New bishops in the Dominican Republic and Colombia
February 23, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three bishops from the Dominican Republic. They are Ramon Benito de la Rosa (Archdiocese of Santiago de los Caballeros), Rafael Leonidas Felipe and Núñez (Diocese of Barahona) and Antonio Camilo Gonzalez (Diocese of La Vega).
In their places, he has appointed Freddy Antonio de Jesus Breton Martínez (Archdiocese of Santiago de los Caballeros), who is transferring from the Diocese of Bani; Andrew Napoleon Romero Cárdenas (Diocese of Barahona); and Hector Rafael Rodríguez Rodríguez, M.S.C. (Diocese of La Vega).
New Doctor of the Church
February 23, 2015. San Gregorio di Narek will soon be named a Doctor of the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. The Armenian theologian, philosopher and writer was born around 950 and died in 1005. He lived most of his life in a monastery in Narek and for years now he has been considered a Doctor of the Armenian Church.
New bishop in Colombia
February 19, 2105. The Pope has appointed Francisco José Méndez Crispiano Clavijo to be the new bishop of Sincelejo (Colombia). Until now, he was rector of the John Paul II diocesan seminary in Valledupar (Colombia).
February 17, 2015. Msgr. Adolfo Tito Yllana, has been nominated by Pope Francis as the new nuncio of Australia. Up until now, he served as the nuncio, or papal respresentative, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Coptic Pope phoned by Pope Francis
February 16, 2015. In light of the brutal assassination of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, Pope Francis called the Coptic Pope, Tawadros II, to express his condolences. The victims were beheaded by Islamic terrorists, before posting the video online. Pope Francis told Tawadros II that he will be praying for the victims, on Tuesday morning, as their funeral Mass is celebrated.
New permanent representative to the FAO
February 12, 2015. Pope Francis has named the Spanish Msgr. Fernando Chica Arellano permanent representive to the United Nations Agency for Agriculture and Food.
February 6, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Polish missionary Józef Roszynski, S.V.D. to be Bishop of Wewak (Papua New Guinea) and Chidi Denis Isizoh to be Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Onitsha (Nigeria).
Pope to address US Congress September 24
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis will visit the United States Capitol on September 24th and deliver an address to a joint session of Congress. It will be the first ever address to Congress by a Pope. House Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic, said in a statement that the Pope’s "teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another.”
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis will take part in a Google Hangout to chat live with students with special needs. The Thursday afternoon meeting, will kick off at 4pm, Rome time. The program is part of the ‘Scholas’ project which is meant to improve education on a global scale. The students are from the U.S, Brazil, India and Spain.
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis has expressed his condolences over the deadly Taipei plane crash. The TransAsia flight crashed into a river with 58 people on board. On behalf of the Pope, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, sent a message addressed to Taipei’s Archbishop Hung Shan-cuan. In it, the Pope offered his heartfelt condolences to the civil authorities and assured families of the deceased and the missing, of his spiritual closeness.
Msgr. Oscar Romero declared a Martyr
February 3, 2015. The Vatican announced that Pope Francis has officially approved the martrydrom of Msgr. Oscar Romero. The Salvadorian Archbishop was killed while celebrating Mass on March 24th, 1980, during the height of the country’s civil war. The decree signed by Pope Francis recognizes that Romero was killed because of hate towards the Catholic faith.
Pope names new bishops in Ireland, Mexico, and Tanzania
February 2, 2015. The Pope has named Alphonsus Cullinan, 55, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore (Ireland).
He has also named Liberatus Sangu Bishop of Shinyanga (Tanzania). He is about to turn 52 and has worked in the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since 2008.
Francis has also named Francisco Eduardo Cervantes Merino, 61, the new Bishop of Orizaba (Mexico).
In a rare interview, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who served as Benedict XVI's main collaborator during his papacy, sat down with ROME REPORTS to talk about the historic resignation and everything in between.
Even though Bertone retired in October, he has kept a pretty busy schedule.
CARD. TARCISIO BERTONE
"I'm doing just fine. I'm very busy with work , so I don't have a lot of free time, because I participate in the activities of different dicasteries in the Roman Curia. I'm also busy with meetings and audiences depending on my availability. Then, out of my speaking engagements come many requests.”
Cardinal Bertone, who as Secretary of State held the Vatican's number two post, also talked about when Benedict XVI started considering his resignation.
CARD. TARCISIO BERTONE
"Pope Benedict XVI thought about this decision long before announcing it. He told me about it in mid-2012. I told the Pope all the problems that could arise if he did so. But, he felt tired, his age weighed on him. He was concerned with World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. He would ask himself, 'At my age, how will I, address millions of young people?'
So, for months Bertone kept it a secret, until Benedict XVI's historic announcement on February 11th, 2013.
CARD. TARCISIO BERTONE
"Keeping this secret for so long, as the Church carried out business as usual, including all the troubles and controversies that were going on at that time, it was a tremendous burden. I would think about all the interpretations that would come from this historic announcement.”
Of course, when Benedict XVI announced his resignation, one of the main question was how two Popes would live at the Vatican. But time has proven that this dynamic situation is actually quite simple.
CARD. TARCISIO BERTONE
"The life of Pope Benedict, our Pope Emeritus and Pope Francis is a life that's lived out peacefully, in harmony and one that doesn't erase the presence of Benedict XVI. Resigning has triggered a great love and appreciation from the Universal Church towards Pope Benedict. In fact, even Pope Francis honors Pope Benedict by describing him like a grandfather and wise confidant. He cares for him quite deeply and he visits him. It's a beautiful and fraternal gesture and also a lesson on how we should treat the elderly. As Pope Francis has said time and time again, the elderly hold the patrimony of wisdom, the patrimony of faith and the patrimony of spiritual life. They pass it on to the youth.”
Tarcisio Bertone began working closely with then Cardinal Ratzinger back in 1995 when he held the number two post at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. A year after being elected Pope, he became Benedict XVI's closest collaborator. To highlight this part of his life, now Bertone is considering writing a book that sheds light on this chapter in his life and the life of the Church.