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Match for Peace raises €2,500,000
September 10, 2014. The Interreligious Match for  Peace raised €2,500,000. 

The match was organized by Scholas, an educational organization promoted by the Pope. Their goal was to raise funds to continue their initiatives. 

Several current soccer stars, such as Buffon, Mascherano and Del Piero participated, as well as soccer legends Maradona, Zamorano and Zanetti. 
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Pope appoints Secretary for Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors
September 10, 2014. The Pope has assigned Msgr. Robert Oliver, from the Archdiocese of Boston, as the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Before that, Oliver served as a prosecutor in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 
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Burundi police arrest man for murder of three Italian nuns
September 9, 2014. One of the two suspects police detained after the murder of three Italian nuns in Burundi reportedly confessed to the crime

The nuns' religious order announced that the sisters' funeral will take place next September 11 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Pope Francis meets with Maradona
September 4, 2014. Pope Francis met with soccer legend, Diego Armando Maradona, just days after the inter-religious soccer match for peace, took place in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
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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. 

Six soccer analogies the Pope has used to talk about God

2014-06-19

This World Cup the Pope has made it clear he will remain neutral. But he often expresses his passion for soccer to describe Christian life. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Jesus asks us to follow him all of our lives, he asks us to be his disciples, for us to 'play on his team.'”

Pope Francis said that in order to be on Christ's team, people need to train. He explained what the training consists of. 

POPE FRANCIS
"What does a player do when he's call to be a part of a team? He has to train, and train a lot. That's also how our lives as disciples of the Lord are. These is the training needed to follow Jesus: prayer, the Sacraments, and helping others, service towards others.”

As any avid soccer fan can attest, teams have their ups and downs. The Pope used this as a reminder that the important thing is not to win, but to get up and try again after losing.

POPE FRANCIS
"If you make a mistake in life, if you slip and fall, if you do something that's wrong, don't be afraid. 'Jesus, look at what I've done. What do I have to do now?' But always talk to Jesus, in good times and the bad.”

For any fan, the best view of the game has no price. But the Pope went on to say that there are no "free” access for Christians.

POPE FRANCIS
"He asks us to pray the entrance fee. And that fee requires us to train ourselves, to 'stay in shape,' in order to face without fear life's challenges, giving witness to our faith.”

It's never easy to accept defeat, especially when the match isn't fair. But the key, according to Pope Francis, is to always play clean.

POPE FRANCIS
"During a match, when you're on the field, you find beauty, gratitude and teamwork. If a team is missing that, it loses strength, even if it wins.”

The goal for any championship is to win. A trophy is the ultimate symbol of victory, but the Pope recalled that Christians receive something even more important.

POPE FRANCIS
"Jesus offers us something greater than the World Cup; something even greater than the World Cup! Jesus offers us the opportunity for a fruitful and happy life, and a never-ending future by His side, in eternal life. That's what Jesus has to offer.”

Any pilgrim that has followed his work, knows the Pope often talks about soccer. But even before him, St. Paul wrote in his letters that it's necessary to run like athletes in order to pursue the laurel crown that never withers.


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