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.
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.
As I begin my trip, I ask you to join me in praying for Korea and for all of Asia.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) August 13, 2014
August 12, 2014. The Pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Nikolaos Foskolos, the former Archbishop of Athens. He has named Sevastianos Rossolatosto succeed him.
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.
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.
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.”
Please take a moment today to pray for all those who have been forced from their homes in Iraq. #PrayForPeace— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) August 8, 2014
August 7th, 2014. Pope Francis has named Fr. Bohdan Danylo as bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat (USA).
The Pope made his way along St. Peter's Square a few times, and as usual he blessed several babies along the way. Before starting off his general audience, he sipped on some mate tea and even exchanged his papal hat with pilgrims. But with the morning's strong winds, the Pope eventually decided to take off his papal hat all together.
In his catechesis, he reflected on the Sacrament of Confession, explaining that a personal confession isn't enough. Confessing through the Church, he said, is essential and humbleness is needed.
"Don't be afraid of Confession. When you go into a confessional, you have so many emotions, including shame. But afterwords you feel free, great, beautiful and forgiven.”
Reflecting on Wednesday's readings the Pope explained that Jesus can heal much more than just the body. He can also heal the soul.
"Some will say, Oh Father, but I feel ashamed. Well sometimes it's good to feel a little shame. Shame can be healthy. When a person doesn't feel any shame, in my country we call them shameless, a 'sin verguenza.' A shameless person.”
He asked the crowd of about 20,000 people, to think about the last time they Confessed. Whether it was weeks, months or years ago, the Pope said, one shouldn't waste time.
"Each one of you should ask yourselves: When was the last time I went to Confession? If a lot of time has passed, then don't let another day go by. Go forward.”
Towards the end, he also called for peace in Ukraine, where amid recent protests and violence, several people have died in the country's capitol.