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.
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.
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.
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).
New Prefect in the Congregation for Catholic Education
March 31, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. He also also appointed Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki as a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.
New bishop in Mozambique
March 30, 2015. The Pope has appointed Alberto Vera Aréjula, a Spanish missionary, to be Auxiliary Bishop of Xai-Xai in Mozambique.
New Eparchy and new Exarchate in India
March 26, 2015. The Pope has created the Eparchy of St. John Chrysostom in Gurgaon of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He has also appointed its first bishop, Jacob Barnabas Aerath. Additionally, Pope Francis created the new Apostolic Exarchate of St. Ephrem of Khadki of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He appointed the first Exarch, Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios Valiyavilayil.
This former UN official lived for three days in Casa Santa Marta with the Pope. The reason? Pope Francis decided to get to know and support an initiative that was launched to aid albinos in Africa.
"It is called, 'social audio book'. It was created so that people could manifest their closeness to Africans with albinism. So that, donating their voice, reading a phrase from the book, each person gives their voice to people who have no voice so that they can be heard.”
This initiative is online. Visitors of the site can record their voice, reading excerpts from the book "Ombra Bianca”, "White Shadow”. A book written by Cristiano Gentili that describes the struggle of being albino in Africa.
"They are disrciminated against and also persecuted. They believe in life they bring bad luck. However, once dead, good luck charms are made with parts of their body.”
The author wrote seeking help from poiticians and celebrities to launch the initiative and to his surprise, the only one who responded was none other than the Pope.
"He invited me to Casa Santa Marta and to close an international symposium on Africa in the Vatican. He then received me in a private audience on November 29, 2013 and explained to him what this initiative was about.”
Francis recorded various excerpts from the book and months later, on the launch day of the initiative, Cristiano Gentili approached the Pope at the end of the General Audience to ask him one final favor.
"He gave his support to the initiative by signing a simple 'F'. There was a bit of confusion but despite that he greeted me and accepted to have his photo taken with this poster and sign it.”
The excerpts that Pope Francis read for the audiobook were those a priest in the book that represents the Church in Africa. An institution that has gained prestige for defending cases such as those of African albinos, "the last ones among the last.”