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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. 
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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. 
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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.
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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).

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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. 
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

Inside look at Pope's meeting with abuse survivors: 'most striking was the atmosphere'

2014-07-10

For Fr. Hans Zollner, the Mass Pope Francis celebrated for victims of sexual abuse, and his lengthy one-on-one meetings, were more than kind gestures.

FR. HANS ZOLLNER
Commission for the Protection of Minors
"These meetings were of a truly great human and spiritual depth. They have certainly impacted the victims and we can probably say that it also impacted the Holy Father.”

The German Jesuit, a member of the Commission for the Protection of Minors, served as the interpreter for two of the six victims. He said the Pope spoke little, and listed closely to their stories. Near the end, one of the victims asked him to never forget what he had just heard.

FR. HANS ZOLLNER
Commission for the Protection of Minors
"Most striking was the atmosphere. An atmosphere, like one of the victims described it, of sensibility, listening, and great respect.”

This atmosphere carried on from the night before, when Pope Francis briefly greeted several of the victims during dinnertime at Casa Santa Marta.

FR. HANS ZOLLNER
Commission for the Protection of Minors
"One of the victims made a small gesture with his hand when he saw the Pope, and he took the time to greet them briefly. He went around the table greeting members of the Commission and victims.”

Several victims chose to attend the meeting with the Pope joined by a family member or friend. Some shared their stories, while others chose to have a more informal conversation. Overall, the majority said the meeting was worth their time. 

FR. HANS ZOLLNER
Commission for the Protection of Minors
"One of them told me, for example: 'From the moment I was asked to come, I accepted and came. Something happened within me, as if a piece of salvation had come to me. To hear how moved and how truly involved they felt during this meeting, not just with the Pope himself, but also in the preparation, it's a great gift for me.”

The Commission for the Protection of Minors will return to work, coming off from the positive feedback surrounding this meeting. One of their proposals is to expand the Commission from eight to 15 members, and include representatives from Asia, Oceania and Africa.


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