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New Archbishop for Yaoundé, Cameroon
October 31, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Mons. Jean Mbarga as new Archbishop of Yaoundé (Cameroon).
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New Bishop for Cuzco, Peru.
October 28, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Juan Antonio Ugarte Perez from Cuzco, Peru. He will be succeeded by Bishop Richard Daniel Alarcon Urrutia, who currently serves as the Bishop of Tarma, Peru.
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LIVE BROADCAST: Presentation of the Final Message of the Synod on the Family
October 18, 2014. Presentation of the Final Message of the Synod on the Family.
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The topic of the second part of the Synod on the Family has been announced
October 13, 2014. The new topic for the second part of the Synod on the Family will be "The vocation and the mission of the family within the Church and in the contemporary world.”

This second part will take place in Rome from October 4-25, 2015. The issues dealt with during the first part of the Synod, which concludes this week, will be further discussed in this second part.

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Priest kidnapped in Syria is freed
October 9, 2014. Fr. Hassan Jallouf, 62, has been freed and taken to a convent in Knayeh, Syria. He was kidnapped on the evening of October 5th. Of the 20 other Christians kidnapped that night, 4 women were also freed
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Pope Francis names new bishops for Italy, Spain & Brazil
October 8, 2014. Pope Francis has named several new bishops today. The Pope named Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mérida-Badajoz (Spain). As of now, Archbishop Morga Iruzubieta was secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy

He also named Bishop Fausto Tardelli, from the diocese of San Miniato, as bishop of the Diocese of Pistoia (Italy). Finally, the Pope named a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Goiânia (Brazil). He nominated Fr. Levi Bonatto, a priest from the personal prelature of Opus Dei.
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Pastor and 20 Christians kidnapped in Syria
October 7, 2014. A pastor and roughly 20 Christians were kidnapped in Knayeh, Syria on the evening of October 5th. Fr. Hassan Jallouf, a 62 year old Franciscan, belongs to the Custody of the Holy Land. Local sources said that a group of armed members of Islamic militant group, Jahbat Al-Nusra, are responsible for the kidnapping. 
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All cardinals to meet at the Vatican on October 20
October 7, 2014. Pope Francis convoked a Consistory at the Vatican on October 20. All the cardinals will discuss the situation of Chistians in Middle East, especially of those suffering continuous attacks of ISIS.
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Pope Francis will travel to France in 2015
October 7, 2014.Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has announced that Pope Francis will visit France in 2015.
During his visit to the Vatican in January, French President Francois Hollande, formally invited the Pope to France. The mayor of Lourdes also extended an invitation.

It is likely that he will visit Lisieux, home of one of the Pope's favorite saints, St. Therese.

The last Pontiff to visit France was Benedict XVI in 2008.


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Pope Francis: "Happy families are essential for society"
October 3, 2014. Pope Francis asked Christians to pray for the upcoming Synod on the Family via Twitter. He also said that "happy families are essential for society." 


Pope Francis says goodbye to youngest ambassador to the Holy See

2014-07-08

The youngest ambassador accredited to the Holy See bid farewell to the Eternal City. He's now 40, but arrived at the age of 36. Perhaps it's his youth that made Costa Rica's Fernando Sanchez one of the most active diplomats in Rome.

One of his last official acts was saying goodbye to Pope Francis, who thanked him and gave him a special gift.

FERNANDO SANCHEZ
Ambassador of Costa Rica
"He talked to me right away about Costa Rica, he told me: 'Costa Ricans are now well known,' because of the World Cup. I gave him a jersey of the national team, which read Pope Francis. He was very happy. In the end, my son, who's always been fascinated with the papal hat, brought one for him and they switched. I couldn't ask for anything better.”

Sanchez' son is used to the attention. He gave Benedict XVI flowers when his father presented his letter of credentials in 2010.

Two weeks after after this first meeting, the Pope mentioned Costa Rica twice during the 2010 Christmas Urbi et Orbi message. 

BENEDICT XVI
Urbi et Orbi 2010
"May the same hold true not only for those in Colombia and Venezuela, but also in Guatemala and Costa Rica, who recently suffered natural disasters... May it encourage dialogue between Nicaragua and Costa Rica; and may it advance reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.”

He spent less than four years in Rome. But during that time he coordinated three visits by his country's president to the Vatican, even though Benedict XVI dedicated less time to meeting heads of state in his later years.

An ambassador's goals include making his country's presence known. Today, the Vatican's lone parish has a chapel dedicated to the patroness of Costa Rica, Our Lady of the Angels.

He also brokered a partnership between Costa Rica and the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, a Vatican's hospital founded by Father Pio.

The outgoing ambassador said his successor could finalize pending agreements with the Vatican Museums, the Vatican Library, and the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.

His send off also included a Mass, presided by Card. Antonio Cañizares. Naturally, it took place in the same parish that houses the chapel dedicated to Costa Rica's patroness.

CARD. ANTONIO CAÑIZARES
Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship
"At the end of your service, Fernando, you may leave happy. You sought to serve your country and the Church, to serve God. May He help you, may Our Lady of the Angels protect you and your family, and the beloved nation of Costa Rica.”

Sanchez' term coincided with several decisive moments at the Vatican and the world. They included the resignation of Benedict XVI, and the first year of Pope Francis' historic pontificate. 


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