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Appointments
February 27, 2015. Pope Francis has named Msgr. Charles Jude Scicluna as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Malta. Up until now, he had served as the Bishop of San Leone and as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Malta. 
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New bishops in the Dominican Republic and Colombia
February 23, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three bishops from the Dominican Republic. They are Ramon Benito de la Rosa (Archdiocese of Santiago de los Caballeros), Rafael Leonidas Felipe and Núñez (Diocese of Barahona) and Antonio Camilo Gonzalez (Diocese of La Vega).

In their places, he has appointed Freddy Antonio de Jesus Breton Martínez (Archdiocese of Santiago de los Caballeros), who is transferring from the Diocese of Bani; Andrew Napoleon Romero Cárdenas (Diocese of Barahona); and Hector Rafael Rodríguez Rodríguez, M.S.C. (Diocese of La Vega).
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New Doctor of the Church
February 23, 2015. San Gregorio di Narek will soon be named a Doctor of the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. The Armenian theologian, philosopher and writer was born around 950 and died in 1005. He lived most of his life in a monastery in Narek and for years now he has been considered a Doctor of the Armenian Church.
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New bishop in Colombia
February 19, 2105. The Pope has appointed Francisco José Méndez Crispiano Clavijo to be the new bishop of Sincelejo (Colombia). Until now, he was rector of the John Paul II diocesan seminary in Valledupar (Colombia).
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Nominations
February 17, 2015. Msgr. Adolfo Tito Yllana, has been nominated by Pope Francis as the new nuncio of Australia. Up until now, he served as the nuncio, or papal respresentative, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
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Coptic Pope phoned by Pope Francis
February 16, 2015. In light of the brutal assassination of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, Pope Francis called the Coptic Pope, Tawadros II, to express his condolences. The victims were beheaded by Islamic terrorists, before posting the video online. Pope Francis told Tawadros II that he will be praying for the victims, on Tuesday morning, as their funeral Mass is celebrated. 
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New permanent representative to the FAO
February 12, 2015. Pope Francis has named the Spanish Msgr. Fernando Chica Arellano permanent representive to the United Nations Agency for Agriculture and Food.

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Appointments
February 6, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Polish missionary Józef Roszynski, S.V.D. to be Bishop of Wewak (Papua New Guinea) and Chidi Denis Isizoh to be Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Onitsha (Nigeria).
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Pope to address US Congress September 24
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis will visit the United States Capitol on September 24th and deliver an address to a joint session of Congress. It will be the first ever address to Congress by a Pope. House Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic, said in a statement that the Pope’s "teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another.”

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LIVE CHAT
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis will take part in a Google Hangout to chat live with students with special needs.  The Thursday afternoon meeting, will kick off at 4pm, Rome time. The program is part of the ‘Scholas’ project which is meant to improve education on a global scale.  The students are from the U.S, Brazil, India and Spain. 

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Crash Condolences
February 5, 2015. Pope Francis has expressed his condolences over the deadly Taipei plane crash. The TransAsia flight crashed into a river with 58 people on board. On behalf of the Pope, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, sent a message addressed to Taipei’s Archbishop Hung Shan-cuan. In it, the Pope offered his heartfelt condolences to the civil authorities and assured families of the deceased and the missing, of his spiritual closeness.

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Msgr. Oscar Romero declared a Martyr
February 3, 2015. The Vatican announced that Pope Francis has officially approved the martrydrom of Msgr. Oscar Romero. The Salvadorian Archbishop was killed while celebrating Mass on March 24th, 1980, during the height of the country’s civil war. The decree signed by Pope Francis recognizes that Romero was killed because of hate towards the Catholic faith.
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Pope names new bishops in Ireland, Mexico, and Tanzania
February 2, 2015. The Pope has named Alphonsus Cullinan, 55, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore (Ireland).

He has also named Liberatus Sangu Bishop of Shinyanga (Tanzania). He is about to turn 52 and has worked in the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since 2008.

Francis has also named Francisco Eduardo Cervantes Merino, 61, the new Bishop of Orizaba (Mexico).

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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Up: YJA