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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. 
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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. 
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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. 


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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.


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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.
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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. 
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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. 

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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.
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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. 
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#Livelife
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. 

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.  
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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. 
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Immigration
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. 

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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.
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Tourism
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. 

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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).
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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. 

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How much money did the Vatican make in 2013?
July 8, 2014. The Vatican published its annual consolidated finanacial statements for the Holy See and the Vatican City State. The 2013 budget for the Holy See, largely consisting of operational expenses for the Roman Curia and its nunciatures, showed a negative balance of EUR 24.5 million. However, dioceses around the world donated EUR 22,435,359, while the Vatican Bank contributed EUR 50 million. The budget for the Vatican City State, which includes the Vatican Museum and the administration of Vatican territory, ended with a surplus of EUR 33 million. 
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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). 
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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. 
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Papal Appointments
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.
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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).

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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.

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Cardinals Council meeting begins

July 1, 2014. The Council of Cardinals began their fifth meeting with the Pope at the Vatican. Starting today at Casa Santa Marta, it will end on Friday, July 4. The previous meetings were from 1 to 3 October 2013, 3 -5 December 2013, from 17 to 19 February 2014 and 28 to 30 April 2014.



 

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Former General Director of Legionaries of Christ passes away in Mexico
July 1, 2014. Alvaro Corcuera served as General Director of Regnum Christi and the Legionaries of Christ from 2005 until 2014. After a long battle with cancer he died yesterday in Mexico. His final resting place will be in the Panteón Francés (French Cemetery) in San Joaquín, Mexico City. 

Pope to Presidents of Israel and Palestine: Peace takes more courage than war

2014-06-08

It was a meeting where politics was set aside, and priority was given to prayer. Pope Francis invited the Presidents of Israel and Palestine to pray for peace. 

Each president arrived separately and the Pope personally greeted each one of them.  Then, both presidents, exchanged a few words. 


"I call him Holiness, but he's been a  good friend for a long time”

"He is to blame for this”

"Against all the norms ...”


Also there, was Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who leads the Orthodox Church, which has a strong presence in the Holy Land. 

Together, all four of them, got in the same car, and made their way to the Vatican Gardens to pray for peace. 

Since music can often express what words cannot-a list of moving melodies were played out before all delegations. 


The prayer session lasted over an hour. In chronological order, first it was the Jewish representatives, then Christians and finally Muslims. 


Each delegation gave thanks to God for creation and for humanity. Then came an apology for not always respecting one another. They asked for forgiveness, for their sins against God and their fellow brothers and sisters. Ultimately they prayed for the gift of peace. 


Along the way, music from these three religions intensified the atmosphere of prayer. 


It was a specifically a prayer meeting, but it's expected to have political consequences. Addressing both leaders, the Pope said it takes more courage to engage in peace than war. He then asked them to respect their accords and to avoid provocation. He also talked about those who have lost their lives in this conflict. 

POPE FRANCIS 
"Many, all too many, of those children have been innocent victims of war and violence, saplings cut down at the height of their promise. It is our duty to ensure that their sacrifice is not in vain. The memory of these children instils in us the courage of peace.”


SHIMON PERES
President of Israel 
"I was young, now I'm old. I experienced war. I tasted peace. Never will I forget the families, parents and children who paid the cost of war. All my life I shall never stop to act for peace.” 


MAHMOUD ABBAS
President of Palestine
"We want peace for ourselves and for our neighbors. We want prosperity and thoughts of peace for us and for others. Lord, listen to our prayers. Give victory to our requests, because You are the most just and merciful, God of all worlds.” 

Together they prayed, asking for a miracle. It may not trigger immediate results, but it shows a willingness to negotiate. They also planted an olive tree,  as a symbol of peace, to mark the day. 


The Pope then walked them to the Vatican's Casina Pio IV Hall, where both presidents spoke in private. 

The process will be long, with the Pope is hoping that Jews, Christians and Muslims will begin a new chapter of peace in the Holy Land...a region, that for generations has seen conflict. 


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