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IOR appoints new Vice Director
March 6, 2015. Gianfranco Mammi has been appointed as Deputy-Director "with immediate effect for an indefinite term”. According a press release, "the appointment has been approved by the IOR Supervisory Commission of Cardinals and the regulator AIF”.
 
Gianfranco Mammi (59) has started his career at the IOR in 1992 at the cashier desk. Most recently he served as Head of Purchasing Office.

Rolando Marranci has been confirmed as Director General.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. 
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Appointments
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. 
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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).
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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.
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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).
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Nominations
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. 
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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. 
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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.

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Appointments
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).
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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.”

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LIVE CHAT
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. 

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Crash Condolences
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.

Remembering John Paul II. New book shares stories from some of his closest friends

2014-03-14

Stanislaw Grygiel was a student of Karol Wojtyla. They met in 1958 and remained friends until the very end. They shared all types of stories, including the threat of an attack, long before it actually happened. He remembers how back in 1979, he told John Paul II about a man who had been arrested for trying to get dangerously close to the Pope. 

STANISLAW GRYGIEL
John Paul II's Former Student 
"I told the Holy Father about it at dinner and as he looked down at the floor he said, 'You see? They're already coming for me.” He was fully aware of the danger he was exposed to.”

Grygiel is one of many who were interviewed for this book, which translates to 'Being Close to John Paul II.' It was authored by Polish journalist Wodzimierz Rdzioch. Perhaps the main highlight is the account Benedict XVI shares about his friend and predecessor. 

WODZIMIERZ RDZIOCH
Author "Accanto a Giovanni Paolo II”
"In his interview, Pope Benedict stresses the human side and tenderness of John Paul II. It was something that moved everyone from believers to non-believers.” 

The author of the book came across some unique stories, like the friendship John Paul II had with atheists. Among them former Italian president Sandro Pertini, who would actually call him over the phone pretty often. 

WODZIMIERZ RDZIOCH
Author "Accanto a Giovanni Paolo II”
"The photographer of the Pope once told me how president Pertini knelt before John Paul II. He said that someone was crying in Heaven, and he was referred to his late mother, who was a devout Catholic. He said she was surely watching over him, moved that his atheist son was friends with the Pope.”  

In addition to the account of Benedict XVI, the book also includes interviews with John Paul II's personal assistant Cardinal Stanisaw Dziwisz, the Vatican's former spokesman, Joaquín Navarro-Valls, and Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals. It's a book that tries to share the life of John Paul II, as remembered by those who knew him best. 

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