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Appointments
June 1, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Eugene Joseph as the new Bishop of Varanasi, India. He has also named Orlando Roa Barbosa as the new Bishop of Espinal, Colombia, who up until now, served as the Bishop of Ibague. 

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Appointments
June 1, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Gustavo Rodriguez Vega as the new Archbishop of Yucatan (Mexico). The position was previously held by Emilio Carlos Berlie Belaunzaran. 

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New Bishops
May 27, 2015 Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Pedro Carlos Cipolini as the new Bishop of Santo Andre in Brazil. Msgr. Guerrino Riccardo was appointed as the new Bishop of the diocese of Janauba, Brazil. 
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New auxiliary bishops in Brooklyn (USA)
May 19, 2015. Pope Francis has named James Massa and Witold Mroziewski, who is Polish, auxiliary bishops of Brooklyn (USA). The area has about 4.8 million residents, and 1.5 million are Catholic.
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Oscar Romero becomes patron of Caritas Internationalis

May 18, 2015. Msgr. Oscar Romero was adopted as a patron of Caritas Internationalis, according to an announcement that came just after the organization's General Assembly in Rome ended. The former Archbishop of San Salvador will be beatified on May 23, more than 35 years after he was assassinated while performing Mass.

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Appointments
May 15, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Domenico Pompili as the new Bishop of Rieti, Italy. He will take the post previously held by Bishop Delio Lucarelli.
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Appointments
May 11, 2015. Pope Francis has nominated Fr. Jorge Enrique Izaguirre Rafael as the New Bishop of Chuquibamba, Peru. He will take over the post previously held by Msgr. Mario Busquets Jordá. 
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New bishops in Brazil, Spain and the Democratic Republic of Congo
May 6, 2015. The Pope has appointed Tarcísio Scaramussa, to be the Bishop of Santos (Brazil). Until now, the position was held by Jacyr Francisco Braido. Also in Brazil, the Pope has appointed Edson de Castro Homem to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Iguatu and Agenor Girardi to be Bishop of the Diocese of Uniao da Vitoria.

The Vatican also announced that the Pope has appointed Manuel Sánchez Monge bishop of the Diocese of Santander (Spain). Emery Kibal Mansong'loo will become the Bishop of Kule (Democratic Republic of Congo).

Further, there is a new Vicar Apostolic of Bontoc-Lagawe (Philippines) and two new members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Archbishop of Dijon Roland Minnerath and Anthony Colin Fisher, Archbishop of Sydney.
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Raúl Castro to meet with Pope
May 6, 2015. Cuban President Raúl Castro will meet privately with Pope Francis on Sunday morning, May 10. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi  said, "President Raúl Castro has publicly thanked the Pope for his role in fostering the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States of America."

Clandestine Catholics in North Korea: counting beans as a way to pray the Rosary

2014-07-02

Around the world, the Catholic Church probably faces the greatest hurdles in North Korea. Any remaining Christians must hide their faith. They are persecuted since the end of World War II, although it was not always the case.

MARTA PETROSILLO
Aid to the Church in Need
"In 1945, at the start of the division of the two Koreas, Pyongyang was known as the Jerusalem of East Asia. Some 50,000 Catholics lived there.”

Since then, the situation has changed dramatically. Today, North Korea enforces an absolute cult following around the ruling Kim family, which has been power since the 1940's. 

MARTA PETROSILLO
Aid to the Church in Need
"Any other religion is excluded. It's believed that there are about 10,000 Catholics living in the country still. But the majority are elderly.”

According to reports, a quarter of the Christians that stayed were detained and placed in labor camps, living in subhuman conditions and even tortured. All others were forced to flee or hide their faith to avoid persecution.

MARTA PETROSILLO
Aid to the Church in Need
"Some North Korean refugees tell us that elderly woman would sit in a circle at night and count beans, as a way to recite the Rosary.”

Aid to the Church in Need, which helps persecuted Christians, said the situation in North Korea is among the most severe and least known. The regime's secrecy and isolation make it difficult to get a full grasp on the reality Christians face in the Hermit Kingdom.


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