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.
New bishop in Ecuador
March 24, 2015. Pope Francis appointed Victor Bertram Wick Enzler to be bishop of Santo Domingo (Ecuador). Until now, he served as auxiliary bishop of Guayaquil, also in Ecuador.
Pope accepts the resignation of Cardinal O'Brien
March 20, 2015. The Pope has accepted the resignation of "the rights and prerogatives of the cardinal" from Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of Edinburgh.
Pope Francis offers condolences for attack in Tunisia
March 19, 2015. Through the Vatican Secretary of State, Pope Francis expressed his condolences over yesterday's attack in Tunisia. In a telegram sent to Bishop Ilario Antoniazzi, Archbishop of Tunis, the Pope condemned "acts against peace and sacredness of human life." He also expressed his closeness "to all those affected by this tragedy and the Tunisian people subjected to this test." The Pope further asked God "to take the dead into his peace and to comfort the wounded."
New diocese and bishop in Mexico
March 19, 2015. Pope Francis has created a new diocese in Mexico, the Diocese of Nogales. Its first bishop is Msgr. José Leopoldo González González. He was until now the the auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Guadalajara. The new diocese comes from part of the current Archdiocese of Hermosillo. The Pope also named a new bishop in the Czech Republic. Msgr. Vlastimil Kročil is now bishop of the Disocese of České Budějovice.
New nuncio in Havana
March 17, 2015. Pope Francis has named Giorgio Lingua nuncio of Havana. He is Italian and until now was the Pope's nuncio in Iraq and Jordan.
New bishops in Spokane and Lexington (USA)
March 12, 2015. Pope Francis has named Franciscan Fr. John Stowe, 48, Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky (USA). 54-year-old San Jose Auxiliary Bishop Tom Daly has been appointed Bishop of Spokane, Washington (USA).
Rome Reports will relive the excitement of the Conclave on Twitter
March 11, 2015. To commemorate the two year anniversary of Pope Francis' election, Rome Reports will relive the excitement on March 12 and 13.
Follow @romereports on Twitter for real-time highlights from the 2013 Conclave.
IOR appoints new Vice Director
March 6, 2015. Gianfranco Mammi has been appointed as Deputy-Director "with immediate effect for an indefinite term”. According a press release, "the appointment has been approved by the IOR Supervisory Commission of Cardinals and the regulator AIF”.
Gianfranco Mammi (59) has started his career at the IOR in 1992 at the cashier desk. Most recently he served as Head of Purchasing Office.
Rolando Marranci has been confirmed as Director General.
New Archbishop of Sens and the Mission of France
March 5, 2015. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Yves Patenôtre, and has appointed Hervé Giraud as Archbishop of Sens (France) and the territorial prelature of the Mission of France.
New Nuncio in Honduras
March 5, 2015. The Pope appointed Novatus Rugambwa to be Nuncio in Honduras. Until now, he was Nuncio in Angola and the Republic of São Tomé and Principe.
New Bishops in Mexico and Brazil
March 4, 2015. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Francisco Ramirez Navarro, the Auxiliary Bishop of Tlalnepantla (Mexico). He has appointed in his place Cuapio Jorge Bautista, of the diocese of Texcoco.
In Brazil, Francisco Joaquim Wladimir was appointed Bishop of Colatina Lopes.
New Bishop in San Diego (United States)
March 3, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Aux. Bishop Robert McElroy of San Francisco to head the Diocese of San Diego. McElroy is 61.
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.
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.
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.
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.