New Archbishop of Sens and the Mission of France
March 5, 2015. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Yves Patenôtre, and has appointed Hervé Giraud as Archbishop of Sens (France) and the territorial prelature of the Mission of France.
New Nuncio in Honduras
March 5, 2015. The Pope appointed Novatus Rugambwa to be Nuncio in Honduras. Until now, he was Nuncio in Angola and the Republic of São Tomé and Principe.
New Bishops in Mexico and Brazil
March 4, 2015. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Francisco Ramirez Navarro, the Auxiliary Bishop of Tlalnepantla (Mexico). He has appointed in his place Cuapio Jorge Bautista, of the diocese of Texcoco.
In Brazil, Francisco Joaquim Wladimir was appointed Bishop of Colatina Lopes.
New Bishop in San Diego (United States)
March 3, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Aux. Bishop Robert McElroy of San Francisco to head the Diocese of San Diego. McElroy is 61.
New bishop in San Andrés Tuxtla (Mexico)
March 2, 2015. The Pope has appointed Fidencio Lopez Plaza, a priest from the diocese of Querétaro, to be the new Bishop of San Andrés.
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.
During his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained that the persecutions Early Christians faced are far from being something of the past. He stressed that there were also persecutions in the 20th Century, as well as today, with some Christians not allowed to have a Bible.
"In the Nazi and Comunist prisons there were a lot of Christians. For being Christians! Even today. 'But, Father, today we have more culture and things like that don't happen.' They still happen! I tell you: today there are more martyrs than in the times of the Early Christians.”
Pope Francis added that being Christian simply means following Christ, and that is far from any worldly success.
EXCERPT OF THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"It’s as if Jesus said, ”Yes, you have left everything and you will receive here on earth many things: but with persecutions!” Like a salad with the oil of persecution: always! This is what the Christian gains and this is the road for the person who wants to follow Jesus, because it’s the road that He himself trod.: He was persecuted! It’s the road of humbling yourself. That’s what Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians. ‘Jesus emptied himself and being in every way like a human being, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross’. This is the reality of Christian life.”
"This is because the world does not tolerate the divinity of Christ. It doesn’t tolerate the preaching of the Gospel. It does not tolerate the Beatitudes. And so we have persecutions: with words, with insults, the things that they said about Christians in the early centuries, the condemnations, imprisonment…. But we easily forget. We think of the many Christians, 60 years ago, in the labour camps, in the camps of the Nazis, of the communists: So many of them! For being Christians! And even today…. But (people say) ‘today we are better educated and these things no longer exist’. Yes they do! And I tell you that today there are more martyrs than during the early times of the Church.”
"They are condemned for having a Bible. They can’t wear a crucifix. And this is the road of Jesus. But it is a joyful road because our Lord never tests us beyond what we can bear. Christian life is not a commercial advantage, it’s not making a career: It’s simply following Jesus! But when we follow Jesus this happens. Let’s think about if we have within us the desire to be courageous in bearing witness to Jesus. And let’s spare a thought it will do us good – for the many brothers and sisters who today – today! – cannot pray together because they are persecuted: they cannot have the book of the Gospel or a Bible because they are persecuted.”