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.
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).
The Pope's three day pilgrimage to the Holy Land, will be short, but intense.
Things will start off on Saturday May 24th, when the Pope will fly from Rome to Amman, Jordan. He will be welcomed at the Royal Palace by the king and queen. Then in the afternoon, he will celebrate Mass at the city's stadium, where 1,400 children will receive their First Communion.
FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
"In Jordan there are so many refugees from so many countries, like Syria, Iraq and Palestine, so surely all these groups will be present among those who receive their first Communion.”
The Pope will also visit the Baptismal site at Bethany and will meet with refugees and young disabled people. Interestingly, the Pope has invited two non Vatican officials to be part of his papal delegation.
FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
"The papal delegation will include Rabbi Skorka and also Omar Ahmed Abboud who serves as the Secretary General of Argentina's Inter-Religious Dialogue Institute. The Pope knows them both well from his days back in Argentina.”
On Sunday May 25th, the Pope will take a helicopter from Amman to Bethlehem. He will be welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his presidential palace. He will have lunch with Palestinian families and visit the Grotto of the Nativity, before going to a refugee camp.
That same Sunday, in the afternoon, he will arrive in Israel. First to Tel Aviv and then to Jerusalem. It's there, at roughly 6.15pm, that he will meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople to mark the 50th anniversary of the meeting between their predecessors Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras. Moments later they will stand together in the site of the Holy Sepulchre, alongside representatives of the main Christian denominations who have a presence within the shrine, like the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Apostolic Church.
FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
"Back then Paul VI and the Patriarch prayed the 'Our Father' together, but not in public. This time around, it will be done publicly and it will be aired internationally. It will be an ecumenical moment with extraordinary symbolism.”
On Monday the 26th, the Pope will visit the Wailing Wall, meet with the President of Israel and also with seminarians, priests and religious. Along the way he will give many speeches, all of which will be in Italian. He will also celebrate Mass before taking a helicopter to Tel Aviv. It's there that he will board the papal plane and take a three hour flight back to Rome.
He is scheduled to arrive to the Eternal City at 11.00pm.