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Pope Francis plays soccer with famous cartoon
September 1, 2014. Plim Plim is the mascot of Mondays inter-religious soccer match.
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Pope to marry 20 couples at the Vatican on September 14th
August 29th, 2014. The Pope will marry 20 couples on September 14th in St. Peter's Basilica. The ceremony will take place at 9am. The couples are from the diocese of Rome. The celebration will take place 3 weeks before the Synod on the Family.
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Pope Names New Archbishop of Madrid
August 28, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid (Spain). The Pope has named Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Valencia as Cardinal Rouco´s successor. Also, Cardenal Antonio Cañizares has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Valencia, Spain. He will replace Arch. Carlos Osoro Sierra.
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Pope Francis names new bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.)
August 26, 2014. Pope Francis named Bishop Daniel Edward Thomas as bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.) Until now, Bishop Thomas served as auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia and titutlar bishop of Bardstown. Pope Francis also accepted the resignation of Bishop Giuseppe Merisi as bishop of Lodi (Italy) and named Bishop Maurizio Malvestiti as his replacement. 
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Benedict XVI celebrates Mass in the Vatican with former students
August 25, 2015. Benedict XVI's former students had the chance of meeting him one more time. He celebrated Mass at the Vatican with them to close their annual gatherings in Castelgandolfo, more known as Schuelerkreis. Still, the Pope emeritus didn't attend their meetings.
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Vatican announces theme of the next World Day of Peace
August 21, 2014. "Slaves no more, but brothers and sister”. This will be the theme of the 48th World Day of Peace which will be celebrated on January 1st, 2015. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace made the announcement this morning in a press release. The communique also detailed several contemporary forms of slavery
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Argentine President express condolences to Pope Francis
August 20, 2014. Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called Pope Francis this afternoon. The president offered her condolences on the death of his nephew's wife, Valeria Carmona, and their two small children, Jose and Antonio. The Pope's nephew, Emanuel Bergoglio, remains in critical condition
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Pope's Relatives Die in Crash
August 19, 2014. Three relatives of Pope Francis have died in a traffic accident in Argentina.  According to police, the victims include two great nephews of the Pope  (8 month-old and two year old) and the children's mother. The Pope's 35 year old nephew Horacio Bergoglio, survived and is in serious condition.
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Pope's Twitter account now has over 15 million followers on Twitter

 

August 19, 2014. ThePope's Twitter account has surpassed 15 million followers in the 9 languages where he publishes his tweets. The most popular accounts are Spanish, with almost 6.5 million followers; English, with more than 4 million followers and Italian, with almost 2 million followers.


 

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Pope Flying Back
August 18, 2014. Pope Francis is now on his way back to Rome. He took off from South Korea on Monday afternoon. During his flight, the Pope sent a telegram to Korea, China and Mongolia as he was flying over those countries. The Pope is expected to arrive in Rome’s Ciampino airport at 17.45 Rome time. 

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Indonesia 2017!
August 17, 2014. The next Asian Youth Day will take place in Indonesia in 2017. The announcement was made after the Pope celebrated the closing Mass in South Korea. 

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Francis asks for prayers for his trip to Korea on Twitter

August 13, 2014. Several hours before boarding his flight to Seoul, Pope Francis sent out a tweet asking for prayers for the fruits of his trip to South Korea.  


 

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New Archbishop of Athens

August 12, 2014. The Pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Nikolaos Foskolos, the former Archbishop of Athens. He has named Sevastianos Rossolatosto succeed him.  

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Pope Sends Condolences for plane crash in Tehran

August 11, 2014. Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence for the plane crash in Tehran which claimed the lives of almost 40 people. The Pope expressed his sadness for the tragedy and prayed for the eternal repose of the victims as well as consolation for their families. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent the telegram in the Pope's name to Archbishop Ignazio Bedini of Ispahan. 


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Pope Calls for Prayers for Iraq on Twitter

August 8, 2014. Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for Iraq via his Twitter account. The Pope asked to "pray for Iraqi Christians and all vulnerable populations” as well as for "those who have been forced from their homes in Iraq.”

 

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Pope to send Papal Envoy to Iraq
August 8, 2014. In light of the rising violence in Iraq, Pope Francis will send Card. Fernando Filoni as a papal envoy to the region. The Pope has commissioned the Cardinal to asses the situation and to express the Church’s spiritual closeness and solidarity with the displaced. 

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New Bishop Named for Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in the United States

August 7th, 2014. Pope Francis has named Fr. Bohdan Danylo as bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat (USA).

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New Archbishop for Military Ordinariate of Brazil
August 6, 2014. Pope Francis has named Bishop Ernesto Maguengue as Auxiliary Bishop of Nampula (Mozambique). He also named Bishop Fernando José Monteiro Guimarães as Archbishop of the Military Ordinariate of Brazil, who will replace retiring Archbishop Osvino José Both.
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Pope to meet with victims of Ferry Accident
August 5, 2014. The Pope will meet with victims who survived the ferry accident, that killed more than 300 people off the South Korean coast back in the month of April. Family members of those who died will also be present. The meeting will take place on August 15th, during the Pope's visit to South Korea. 

Pope Francis' homily at the Church of All Nations in Gethsemane

2014-05-26

FULL TEXT OF THE POPE'S HOMILY AT THE CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS IN GETHSEMANE

"He came out and went… to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him” (Lk 22:39).

At the hour which God had appointed to save humanity from its enslavement to sin, Jesus came here, to Gethsemane, to the foot of the Mount of Olives.  We now find ourselves in this holy place, a place sanctified by the prayer of Jesus, by his agony, by his sweating of blood, and above all by his "yes” to the loving will of the Father.  We dread in some sense to approach what Jesus went through at that hour; we tread softly as we enter that inner space where the destiny of the world was decided.

In that hour, Jesus felt the need to pray and to have with him his disciples, his friends, those who had followed him and shared most closely in his mission.  But here, at Gethsemane, following him became difficult and uncertain; they were overcome by doubt, weariness and fright.  As the events of Jesus’ passion rapidly unfolded, the disciples would adopt different attitudes before the Master: closeness, distance, hesitation.

Here, in this place, each of us – bishops, priests, consecrated persons, and seminarians – might do well to ask: Who am I, before the sufferings of my Lord?

Am I among those who, when Jesus asks them to keep watch with him, fall asleep instead, and rather than praying, seek to escape, refusing to face reality?

Do I see myself in those who fled out of fear, who abandoned the Master at the most tragic hour in his earthly life?

Is there perhaps duplicity in me, like that of the one who sold our Lord for thirty pieces of silver, who was once called Jesus’ "friend”, and yet ended up by betraying him?

Do I see myself in those who drew back and denied him, like Peter?  Shortly before, he had promised Jesus that he would follow him even unto death (cf. Lk 22:33); but then, put to the test and assailed by fear, he swore he did not know him.

Am I like those who began planning to go about their lives without him, like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, foolish and slow of heart to believe the words of the prophets (cf. Lk 24:25)?

Or, thanks be to God, do I find myself among those who remained faithful to the end, like the Virgin Mary and the Apostle John?  On Golgotha, when everything seemed bleak and all hope seemed pointless, only love proved stronger than death.  The love of the Mother and the beloved disciple made them stay at the foot of the Cross, sharing in the pain of Jesus, to the very end.

Do I recognize myself in those who imitated their Master and Lord to the point of martyrdom, testifying that he was everything to them, the incomparable strength sustaining their mission and the ultimate horizon of their lives?

Jesus’ friendship with us, his faithfulness and his mercy, are a priceless gift which encourages us to follow him trustingly, our failures, our mistakes and betrayals notwithstanding.

But the Lord’s goodness does not dispense us from the need for vigilance before the Tempter, before sin, before the evil and the betrayal which can enter even into the religious and priestly life.  We are fully conscious of the disproportion between the grandeur of God’s call and of own littleness, between the sublimity of the mission and the reality of our human weakness.  Yet the Lord in his great goodness and his infinite mercy always takes us by the hand lest we drown in the sea of our fears and anxieties.  He is ever at our side, he never abandons us.  And so, let us not be overwhelmed by fear or disheartened, but with courage and confidence let us press forward in our journey and in our mission.

You, dear brothers and sisters, are called to follow the Lord with joy in this holy land!  It is a gift and it is a responsibility.  Your presence here is extremely important; the whole Church is grateful to you and she sustains you by her prayers.

Let us imitate the Virgin Mary and Saint John, and stand by all those crosses where Jesus continues to be crucified.  This is how the Lord calls us to follow him.