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New bishop in Texas
April 23, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. David Eugene Fellhauer, Bishop of Victoria in Texas (United States). In his place, he has appointed the Rev. Brendan Cahill. 
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Appointments
April 22, 2015. The Pope has named Eduardo Pinheiro da Silva, S.D.B. as Bishop of Jaboticabal (Brazil). Until now, he was auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Campo Grande.

The Vatican also announced that on April 21 the Pope appointed Joseph F. Naumann to be Apostolic Administrator "sede vacante" of the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph (United States). Until a new bishop is appointed, Naumann will oversee the diocese. He is currently the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas.
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Kansas Bishop Robert Finn resigns years after conviction
April 21, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of American Bishop, Robert W. Finn. In 2012 the Kansas Bishop was convicting of not reporting a diocesan priest to police. The priest had a series of pornographic material in his computer. 

He is the first American Bishop to resign for not acting swiftly in dealing with cases of sexual abuse. 

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Papal Trip to Cuba?
April 17, 2015. The Vatican's spokesperson has announced that Pope Francis is considering a trip to Cuba. If the visit takes place it would be before or after his trip to the U.S in September. The process however, is still in its beginning phases, so no official decision has been made. 
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Dates of papal trip to Latin America released
April 16, 2015. The Vatican has announced the dates of Pope's upcoming trip to Latin America. He will visit Ecuador from July 6 to 8. After, he will be in Bolivia from July 8 to 10. He will then go to Paraguay until July 12. 
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Pope's Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations
April 14, 2015. In his message for the event, which will be held on April 26, Pope Francis considers the meaning of "vocation.” He writes that it means to respond to God's call. That is, "allowing him to help us leave ourselves and our false security behind” so that we can find Jesus Christ, "the origin and destiny of our life and our happiness.”

The title of the message is: "Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocation.”

Read the full text here.
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New vicar apostolic in Venezuela and bishop in India

April 7, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Ernesto José Romero Rivas, O.F.M. to be Vicar Apostolic of Tucupita (Venezuela). The Pope has also appointed Vincent Aind to be Bishop of Bagdogra (India).

A look at the sticking points between Israelis and Palestinians

2014-06-07

On his return from the Holy Land, Pope Francis brought with him a historic agreement: a meeting between the presidents of Israel and Palestine at the Vatican to pray together for peace.

POPE FRANCIS
May 25, 2014
"In this site, where the Prince of Peace was born, I would like to invite you, President Mahmuod Abbas, and President Shimon Peres, to come together and join me in intense prayer and asking God for the gift of peace. I offer my home at the Vatican to host this meeting of prayer.”

Both leaders accepted the invitation. The Pope made it clear the meeting was not a negotiation, but rather a moment to pray for peace. If anything, it will be a time to bring both sides together after the peace talks between the two countries stalled.

FRANCESCO BONINI
Professor, LUMSA
"The gesture from Pope Francis, and the confirmation from both presidents and the ecumenical patriarch for this prayer give way to large margins for hope, because only a creative and trustworthy effort will solve this extraordinary, complex and fascinating issue.”

One of the most contested points deals with the status of Jerusalem. Both countries claim the Holy City as their capital. But the main debate is centered over control of the historic area, located in East Jerusalem.

FRANCESCO BONINI
Professor, LUMSA
"Israelis control it, and it's the capital of the State of Israel. But it has the potential to become the capital of an independent Palestinian state, but it hasn't been fully recognized by the international community. It's a giant diplomatic puzzle.”

Another trouble spot in negotiations is the establishment of internationally recognized borders, and the mutual recognition of the two independent States. Pope Francis pressed the latter during his trip to the Holy Land.

FRANCESCO BONINI
Professor, LUMSA
"Palestine's institutional and democratic identity is strongly debated, because at this moment, it's in the midst of a liberation movement, a product of a 'revolutionary' process to achieve independence.”

Pope Francis is aware of the importance that stability in the Middle East has on a global scale, as well as to sustain Christian populations in the Land of Christ. As a result, he decided to harvest the power of prayer as a tool to help ease the tensions that have seized the region since the start of the 20th Century.


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