Pope appoints new Syro-Malabar bishop in India
July 31, 2014. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. Vijay Anand Nedumpuram, and appointed Fr. Ephrem Nariculam as the new bishop to the Syro-Malabar dioecese (epharchy) of Chanda (India).
Pope visits Evangelical pastor in Caserta
July 28, 2014. Pope Francis spent most of Monday in Caserta, for a private visit to an Evangelical church in the city. At 10:15, he took off from the Vatican. When he landed, the Pope headed directly to the Pentecostal Church of the Reconcilation, where he met privately with Pastor Giovanni Traettino. After their meeting, Pope Francis also met with the congregation at the church, and had lunch with them. He flew back to the Vatican in the afternoon.
What’s for Lunch?
July 25th, 2014. This afternoon Pope Francis surprised Vatican employees by walking into the cafeteria to have lunch with workers from the Vatican’s pharmacy. He arrived at roughly 12. 10pmHe grabbed his own tray and waited in line for his turn. He ate pasta, fish, vegetables and some french fries. Once he sat down, he talked with employees about their work, family and soccer. About 40 minutes later, after taking a group picture, the Pope returned to his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The cashier said she didn’t have the heart to charge the Pope for his meal.
Pope to visit U.S
July 25, 2014. Although already expected, now it has been officially announced that Pope Francis is indeed planning on visiting the American city of Philadelphia to lead the World Meeting of Families. The city’s Archbishop, Arch. Charles Chaput, said the Pope accepted to invitation to attend the event which will run from September 22nd to the 27th of next year.
Pope sends condolences to victims of Mail plane crash
July 25, 2014. Pope Francis expressed his condolences to victims of a plane crash in Mali, which killed 116 people. The Pope said he was close to the families of the victims, and that he prayed so that God would take in the dead, and give hope and comfort to everyone affected. Secretary of State Pietro Parolin issued the telegram, on behalf of the Pope to the archbishop of Algiers, Msgr. Ghaleb Bader.
New Bishops in the Phillipines and Chile
July 25, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Pacino Aniceto, Archbishop of San Fernando (Phillipines). He has approved the nomination of Msgr. Florentino Galang Lavarias, to take on that role. He also accepted the resignation of Msgr. Jose R. Manguiran, Bishop of the Diocese of Dipolog (Phillipines). He will be replaced by Msgr. Severo Caermare. He has also accepted the nomination of Celestino Aos Braco, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Copiapo in Chile.
MatchForPeace tickets on sale
July 25, 2014. Big soccer stars will be coming to Rome to play an inter-religious match in honor of Pope Francis. Players include Messi, Buffon, Zidane, Zanetti, Roberto Baggio, Pirlo, Yuto Nagatomo and Eto. Tickets will be on sale starting on July 25th. The game will be played on September 1st, in Rome’s Olympic Stadium. All proceeds will be donated to Scholas Occurrentes, a Papal education program for marginalized youths.
Pope appoints auxiliary bishop to Syro-Malabar eparchy in Chicago
July 24, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Joy Alappat as the new auxiliary bishop of the St. Thomas Syro-Mabalar Catholic Diocese of Chicago (USA). Up until now, Msgr. Alappat served as the rector for the eparchy's cathedral.
Pope offers condolences to victims of Taiwan plane crash
July 24, 2014. Pope Francis expressed his "heartfelt condolences" to the families of victims of a Taiwanese plane crash, which killed at least 47 people. The Pope said he was praying for everyone "affected by this tragedy." Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sent the telegram, on behalf of Pope Francis, to the archbishop of Taipei, Msgr. John Hung Shan-chuan.
Sudanese woman accussed of apostasy lands in Rome
July 24, 2014. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy for marrying a Christian, arrived in Rome on Thursday morning. She and her family are on her way to the United States, but will remain in Rome for several days. After an appeals court overturned her sentence, Meriam took refuge at the American embassy in Sudan, which helped her leave the country. She left on board an Italian government plane. Officials hinted at the possibility that Meriam will meet with the Pope, though the Vatican has not confirmed that information.
Pope Francis is calling for the respect of life, especially the life of the most vulnerable. Pope Francis marked the coming ‘Day for Life’ by sending a message to the Church of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The theme of this year’s Day for Life is: Protect and Cherish Life. It will be celebrated on July 27th.
Pope's schedule for pastoral visit to Caserta
July 21, 2014. On Saturday, July 26, Pope Francis will make a brief pastoral visit to Caserta, in southern Italy. He will leave the Vatican at 3PM, arriving in the city 45 minutes later. At 4PM, he will meet with priests from the diocese at the Royal Palace of Caserta. Then, at 6PM, he will preside Mass at the round plaza in front of the palace. Once Mass ends, he will take from the palace at 7:30PM, and is expected to arrive at the Vatican at 8:45PM.
Vatican issues message to Muslims for end of Ramadan
July 18, 2014. The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue issued a message congratulating "Muslim brothers and sisters" on the feast of 'Id Al-Fitr, which marks the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan. In the message, Card. Jean-Louis Tauran invokes John Paul II and Pope Francis' words in calling for greater respect, and cooperation, "especially in areas where Muslims and Christians together suffer the horrors of war." The message also calls for greater dialogue, in order to "diminish tension and conflict, and advance the common good." Read the full message here.
Pope will visit Caserta on July 26 and 28
July 17, 2014. The Vatican confirmed Pope Francis will visit Caserta, in southern Italy, on July 26 and 28. That saturday, we will meet with the city's priests, and celebrate Mass at 6PM. Two days later, on Monday, he will return for a private visit to his friend, Evangelical Pastor Giovanni Traettino.
Gaza: Charity Office Closed
July 17, 2014. Catholic Charity, Caritas, has decided to temporarily closes its offices in Gaza. Due to the rising violence between Israel and Palestine, the staff was transferred to Jerusalem.
Caritas manages a mobile clinic in the area, as well as a health center. It also provides physiological support for victims of war.
Pope names bishops to Brazil and Peru, and delegate to OAS
July 16, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Juan Carlos Vera Plasencia as the bishop for the Military Ordinariate of Peru: as well as Msgr. Tarcísio Scaramussa as the co-adjuntor bishop of Santos (Brazil). He also nominated Msgr. Bernardito Sauza as the permanent observer to the Organization of American States. He is, currently, the permanent observer to the United Nations in New York.
July 15, 2014. In light of the high flux of migrant children who are crossing into the U.S unaccompanied, Pope Francis issued a message which was read during an immigration forum in Mexico.
New Bishops in Germany and China
July 11, 2014. Pope Francis has named German Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, as the new Archbishop of Cologne.
He also named three auxiliary Bishops in Hong Kong, China: Michael Yeung Ming-Cheung, Stephen Lee Bun Sang and Joseph Ha Chi.shing.
Anselmo Guido Pecorari was named Nuncio of Macedonia and Jorge Anibal Quintero has been appointed Bishop of Barcelona in Venezuela.
In India, Ignatius D’Souza has been named Bishop of Bareilly and latstly, Cajetan Francis Osta, has been named Bishop of Mazaffarpur.
July 11, 2014. In light of World Tourism Day, on September 27th, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, issued a message that highlights the connection between tourism, community development and the social teachings of the Catholic Church.
Pope names bishop to Tanzania, apostolic vicar to Colombia
July 10, 2014. Pope Francis named Fr. Joseph Mlola as the new bishop to the diocese of Kigoma (Tanazania). He also appointed Fr. Luis Horacio as the apostolic vicar to Puerto Gaitan (Colombia).
Seven new Venerables
June 9, 2014. Pope Francis has signed a new decree, declaring seven new venerables of the Catholic Church. They are from Portugal, Spain, France, Turkey and Italy.
Pope names bishops to Switzerland, Nigeria and Peru
July 8, 2014. Pope Francis named Fr. Abbot Jean-Marie Lovey as the new bishop of Sion (Switzerland). Up until now, he had served as the Superior General of the Congreation for the Canons Regular of the Great St. Bernard. He also named Fr. Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe as the new coadjuntor bishop of Makurdi (Nigeria), who until now was the military chaplain. Lastly, the Pope named Fr. David Martinez de Aguirre Guinea as the coadjuntor bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Maldonado (Peru).
Pope appoints new bishop in Panama
July 7, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Fr. Manuel Ochogavía Barahona as the new bishop to the diocese of Colón - Kuna Yala (Panama). Up until now, the Augustinian priest has been the prior, chancellor and parish priest for the diocese of Chitré.
July 04, 2014. The Pope has appointed Eduardo Eliseo Martín, who until now has served as bishop of Villa de la Concepción del Río Cuarto, as archbishop of Rosario (Argentina). In Portugal, the Pope has appointed António Manuel Moiteiro Ramos, who until now has served as auxiliary bishop of Braga, as bishop of the diocese of Aveiro.
Pope appoints bishops to USA, France, Malasya and Ghana
July 3, 2014. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. George William Coleman, and accepted Msgr. Edgar M. de Cunha as the new bishop of Fall River (USA). He also appointed Msgr. Jean-Paul Gusching as the bishop of Verdun (France), who will replace Msgr. François Maupu. Pope Francis also designated: Fr. Julian Leow Beng Kim as the archbishop of Kuala Lumpur (Malasya); and Fr. John Bonaventure Kwofie as the bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi (Ghana).
Pope appoints new permanent observer to the UN
July 1, 2014. The Pope appointed Bernardito C. Auza as the Holy See's new Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York. Up until now, Auza had served as apostolic nuncio to Haiti. He was born in the Philippines in 1959. He takes over for Francis Chullikatt, who held this position since 2010.
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.