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June 1, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Eugene Joseph as the new Bishop of Varanasi, India. He has also named Orlando Roa Barbosa as the new Bishop of Espinal, Colombia, who up until now, served as the Bishop of Ibague. 

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June 1, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Gustavo Rodriguez Vega as the new Archbishop of Yucatan (Mexico). The position was previously held by Emilio Carlos Berlie Belaunzaran. 

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Oscar Romero becomes patron of Caritas Internationalis

May 18, 2015. Msgr. Oscar Romero was adopted as a patron of Caritas Internationalis, according to an announcement that came just after the organization's General Assembly in Rome ended. The former Archbishop of San Salvador will be beatified on May 23, more than 35 years after he was assassinated while performing Mass.

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May 11, 2015. Pope Francis has nominated Fr. Jorge Enrique Izaguirre Rafael as the New Bishop of Chuquibamba, Peru. He will take over the post previously held by Msgr. Mario Busquets Jordá. 
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May 6, 2015. The Pope has appointed Tarcísio Scaramussa, to be the Bishop of Santos (Brazil). Until now, the position was held by Jacyr Francisco Braido. Also in Brazil, the Pope has appointed Edson de Castro Homem to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Iguatu and Agenor Girardi to be Bishop of the Diocese of Uniao da Vitoria.

The Vatican also announced that the Pope has appointed Manuel Sánchez Monge bishop of the Diocese of Santander (Spain). Emery Kibal Mansong'loo will become the Bishop of Kule (Democratic Republic of Congo).

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Raúl Castro to meet with Pope
May 6, 2015. Cuban President Raúl Castro will meet privately with Pope Francis on Sunday morning, May 10. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi  said, "President Raúl Castro has publicly thanked the Pope for his role in fostering the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States of America."

Pope Francis prays with Head of the Armenian Church, Karekin II

2014-05-08

Pope Francis prayed with the Patriarch of the Armenian Church, Karekin II, at the Vatican's Redemptoris Mater Chapel. It was a symbol of ecumenical unity that followed an earlier meeting at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. 

During that session the Pope talked about Armenia's 20th century martyrs. Even though the word 'genocide' was not used, he said Armenia has a place of honor in martyrology. 

POPE FRANCIS
"The number of disciples who have shed blood for Christ in the tragic events of the last century is certainly higher than that of the martyrs of the first centuries.” 

The Pope described that period as both tragic and lofty and one that must not be forgotten. He also said that the blood of martyrs can be seeds of unity among Christians. 

POPE FRANCIS
"The ecumenism of suffering and martyrdom is a powerful reminder to walk the path of reconciliation between the Churches, decisively and trustfully surrendering ourselves to the action of the Spirit.”

This is actually not the first time Pope Francis and the Patriarch have met. He attended the Pope's first Mass as Bishop of Rome. As the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the Pope had also met with him in Argentina. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Last time we saw each other was here at the Vatican. But before that, twice in Buenos Aires.” 

As a gift, the Patriarch gave the Pope an Armenian Cross. He kissed it and then Pope Francis did the same. 

Pope Francis then gave him a replica of the Bodmer Papyrus, believed to be the oldest codex of the Psalms in Greek. 

In the past few years, the relationship between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Catholic Church has improved. John Paul II visited Armenia in 2001 and seven years later, Patriarch Karekin II visited Benedict XVI at the Vatican. He traveled to Rome again in 2013 to congratulate Pope Francis at the start of his pontificate. 

The Patriarch was elected in 1999. 


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