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.
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).
It's been a year now since Pope Francis was elected. In these past 12 months, no one has been left indifferent. From the unusual circumstances under which he was elected, to the so called 'Francis' effect that's made its way across the globe.
As he introduced himself to the world, the first thing Pope Francis did, up from the balcony of St. Peter's, was bow his head and ask for prayers. The thousands of people gathered out in the Square, began to pray for his pontificate.
"I would like to bless you...but before I'd like to ask all of you for a favor. Before the bishop blesses his flock, I ask that you pray to the Lord, so that He blesses me. The prayer of the people, asking for the Bishop's blessing.”
It was surprising at first, but soon it became a hallmark of his pontificate.
"Pray for me.”
"Pray for me.”
"Pray for me.”
"Don't forget, pray for me.”
His personal style also caught the world's attention. From his dress style to his car.
He kept using the same black shoes he used before the conclave and also the same silver pectoral cross. He refused to use the papal Mercedes, opting instead for an Italian middle class car.
Not just in Italy though. In Brazil, during World Youth Day, he also opted for a simple car.
The crowds followed as the Pope made his way through the streets of Rio, with the windows partly open. Brazilians loved it, but the Pope's security team wasn't that amused.
3– PRESS CONFERENCE
Without a doubt, the moment that marked his style was the improvised press conference he gave on the way back from Brazil.
With the Vatican's spokesman at his side, the Pope had a 'no question is off limits' presser, for an hour and 22 minutes.
This marked a new precedent. He has agreed to more than five thorough interviews.
4- THE SICK
The Pope has a special place in his heart for the sick. Before celebrating the first Mass of his pontificate, he stopped the popemobile and embraced an ill person. It was a moving moment and since then the Pope has repeated the same gesture countless times.
Including the embrace of Venicio, at the end of the audience.
The plight of refugees and immigrants who are forced to flee their native country is a major concern of Pope Francis. His very first trip, back in July, was to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where thousands of immigrants have died in their search for a better life. In his speech, the Pope used very direct words to make his point.
July 8, 2013
"Who has cried for the people who were in that boat? Who has cried for the young mothers who brought their children? Who has cried for the men who were looking for ways to support their families?”
As Syria dealt with its civil war and with the threat of an American attack looming, the Pope led a prayer vigil to ask for peace, along with thousands of people. With his constant appeals for peace in conflict ridden countries, the Pope was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
One of the most endearing moments happened at the 'World Meeting of Families' when this 6 year old Colombian boy decided he wanted to be next to the Pope at all times. Even as the Pope read his speech. Again, the Pope didn't seem to mind.
When it comes to Pope Francis, there's never a lack of mate tea, since Argentine pilgrims usually offer some to the Pope. Images like this one are seen quite frequently. The Pope usually cracks a few jokes along the way.
"The kid is anti-clerical.”
February 14th, 2013
"We all know there is no such thing as the perfect family, or perfect husband or wife. Not to mention ... the perfect mother in law.”
9– HIS BRIEFCASE
The Pope's schedule is always packed. He has meetings in the mornings and in the afternoons, so it goes without saying that he's always ready to work. The image of Pope Francis carrying his own briefcase, as he boarded a plane to Brazil, outlined his intentions. He wasn't going to World Youth Day as a tourist, rather he was ready to get things done.
10- BENEDICT XVI
The image of two popes praying together made its way across the globe. Pope Francis has visited Benedict XVI at least four times. The Pope has described him as a wise grandfather, he can consult. The last time they met was during the consistory in St. Peter's Basilica.
As the Pope begins the second year of his pontificate, more moving and surprising moments are expected. Especially as he heads out to the Holy Land in May and then in October as he leads a Synod on the Family.