Papal Trip to Cuba?
April 17, 2015. The Vatican's spokesperson has announced that Pope Francis is considering a trip to Cuba. If the visit takes place it would be before or after his trip to the U.S in September. The process however, is still in its beginning phases, so no official decision has been made.
Dates of papal trip to Latin America released
April 16, 2015. The Vatican has announced the dates of Pope's upcoming trip to Latin America. He will visit Ecuador from July 6 to 8. After, he will be in Bolivia from July 8 to 10. He will then go to Paraguay until July 12.
Pope's Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations
April 14, 2015. In his message for the event, which will be held on April 26, Pope Francis considers the meaning of "vocation.” He writes that it means to respond to God's call. That is, "allowing him to help us leave ourselves and our false security behind” so that we can find Jesus Christ, "the origin and destiny of our life and our happiness.”
The title of the message is: "Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocation.”
Read the full text here.
New vicar apostolic in Venezuela and bishop in India
April 7, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Ernesto José Romero Rivas, O.F.M. to be Vicar Apostolic of Tucupita (Venezuela). The Pope has also appointed Vincent Aind to be Bishop of Bagdogra (India).
New Prefect in the Congregation for Catholic Education
March 31, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. He also also appointed Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki as a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.
New bishop in Mozambique
March 30, 2015. The Pope has appointed Alberto Vera Aréjula, a Spanish missionary, to be Auxiliary Bishop of Xai-Xai in Mozambique.
New Eparchy and new Exarchate in India
March 26, 2015. The Pope has created the Eparchy of St. John Chrysostom in Gurgaon of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He has also appointed its first bishop, Jacob Barnabas Aerath. Additionally, Pope Francis created the new Apostolic Exarchate of St. Ephrem of Khadki of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He appointed the first Exarch, Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios Valiyavilayil.
New bishop in Ecuador
March 24, 2015. Pope Francis appointed Victor Bertram Wick Enzler to be bishop of Santo Domingo (Ecuador). Until now, he served as auxiliary bishop of Guayaquil, also in Ecuador.
Pope accepts the resignation of Cardinal O'Brien
March 20, 2015. The Pope has accepted the resignation of "the rights and prerogatives of the cardinal" from Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of Edinburgh.
Pope Francis offers condolences for attack in Tunisia
March 19, 2015. Through the Vatican Secretary of State, Pope Francis expressed his condolences over yesterday's attack in Tunisia. In a telegram sent to Bishop Ilario Antoniazzi, Archbishop of Tunis, the Pope condemned "acts against peace and sacredness of human life." He also expressed his closeness "to all those affected by this tragedy and the Tunisian people subjected to this test." The Pope further asked God "to take the dead into his peace and to comfort the wounded."
Pope Francis met with all Spanish bishops on their 'ad limina apostolorum' visit to the Vatican. It's the first time all of them gathered with the Pope.
Before the audience, the Pope met privately with the prelates from Santiago de Compostela and Oviedo. Some of them had already picked up Pope Francis 'way of speaking.'
- "Holy Father, I am delegate of the Pastoral for Youth and rector of the seminary.”
- "Almost nothing...”
- "We're a small diocese, but we're trying to make a fuss.”
- "Make a fuss, make a fuss!”
They gave Pope Francis gifts, letters and lots of greetings. In return, he asked for their prayers.
- "Pray for me. We'll see each other in a bit.”
Minutes later, they all gathered at the Consistory Hall. This time, Pope Francis welcomed all the visiting Spanish bishops.
The president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Card. Antonio María Rouco Varela, recalled that then-Cardinal Bergoglio visited Spain in 2006.
CARD. ANTONIO MARÍA ROUCO VARELA
President, Spanish Episcopal Conference
"How can we forget the spiritual exercises you led for Spanish bishops in 2006, the same year you took part in the World Meeting of Families in Valencia.”
The Pope gave each bishop a written message, asking them to always search for new paths to the Gospel. He also expresses his concern for the mundane culture that "closes God into the sphere of private life and excludes Him from the public sphere.”
On March 11, the Spanish bishops will hold a Plenary Assembly, and the Pope jokingly reminded them.
- "I hope you have a good assembly. When is it, next week?”
- "Have fun!”
A total of 83 bishops will visit Rome in a two week period. For most them, the visit has an important meaning.
MSGR. JESÚS MURGUI
Bishop of Orihuela-Alicante (Spain)
"I was surprised by the easiness and closeness of Pope Francis. Also by the great interest he showed, his capacity to listen and pay attention to all the different opinions of the bishops present.”
MSGR. JULIÁN BARRIO
Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
"It was a joyful gathering, full of happiness. Also very bright. Very similar to today's weather.”
The Spanish Bishops didn't miss the chance to officially invite Pope Francis to visit Spain in 2015. That year that marks the fifth centennial of the birth of St. Teresa of Ávila.