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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.

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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.
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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).

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Pope Francis asks Christians to pray for the victims of deadly explosion in Mexico
January 30, 2015. Pope Francis asked Christians to pray for the victims of the deadly explosion in Cuajimalpa, Mexico. He made this petition in his Spanish Twitter profile. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, also sent a message to the Archbishop of Mexico.


Pontifical Academy for Life: Child euthanasia is not the answer

2014-03-20

"The lack of health, and disability are not good reasons to exclude, or worse, do away with a person.” That is the message the Pope sent members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which gathered in Rome in February for its 20th anniversary

Dozens of experts talked about aging and disabilities. Pope Francis reminded them that "the tyranny of an economic logic” turns many people into victims, "starting with the elderly.”

MONICA LOPEZ BARAHONA
Academic Director, Centro de Estudios Biosanitarios (Spain)
"The new idea in this case is to take back the culture of love, of love towards the elderly. To reclaim the value that old age has when it comes to experience gained, and experience that can be passed on.”
 
In the more developed countries, populations are aging fast. In an effort to tackle the "throw-away culture,” experts said the key is in engaging, not excluding family members who cannot fend for themselves.

ENCARNACION PEREZ BRET
Hospital Centro de Cuidados LAGUNA (Spain)
"What we have to do is see in what way that person's limitations and dependency are developing. Also to find out what that person expects from us, and what we can do within our means to be close to them, support and help them.”

In February, Belgium approved the practice of child euthanasia. It's the first country to legalize assisted suicide for minors. Catholic experts were clear about their stance on the issue.

MONICA LOPEZ BARAHONA
Academic Director, Centro de Estudios Biosanitarios (Spain)
"I don't think that within the experience gained by pediatricians, in working with children with terminal illnesses, you will find a mother or father who wouldn't want three more hours of life for their child. This is not resolved with euthanasia. This topic is dealt with palliative care. The issues is solved with an interdisciplinary team, made up not just of doctors, but also with nurses, and psychological and spiritual support for the parents and child in their last moments.”

VINCENZO DI LAZZARO 
Neurology Department, Rome University
"That practice is a way to undervalue the potential of humans, and reduce them simply to a physical machine. If something is broken, throw it away. That is not how you deal with it. Humans are much more than that.”

John Paul II established the Pontifical Academy for Life in 1994. Its main goal is to deal with issues relating to life, from conception to natural death. The Academy's first president was Jérôme Lejeune, the doctor that discovered the genetic mutation that causes Down Syndrome. His beatification process is now underway.


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