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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."

A look at Albania... now and then. From concentration camps to a coming Papal visit

2014-07-12

On September 21st, the Pope is scheduled to travel to Albania. He made the surprise announcement during a Sunday Angelus. 

POPE FRANCIS
June 15th
"With this brief trip, I want to strengthen the faith of the Church in Albania. I want to show my support and love for a country that has suffered the consequences of  past ideologies, for a very long time.” 

That suffering Pope Francis was referring to, dates back decades. The country lived through Italy's Fascism and also, Nazi rule. For almost 40 years, it had a communist dictatorship.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, directly saw the effects this had on the country and its people. 

ARCH. VINCENZO PAGLIA
Pontifical Council for the Family, President
"I was the first Catholic priest to be allowed in Albania. It was March 13, 1991. At that point, there hadn't been free elections under the regime. The country was terrified.” 

In 1991, John Paul II sent in three priests, who could assess the standing of the Church, after years of persecution. 

ARCH. VINCENZO PAGLIA
Pontifical Council for the Family, President
"It was the only state in the world, where the constitution outright banned any type of religious gathering. All priests were in concentration camps. There was only one Bishop, who I actually visited. They set him free, after 19 years of imprisonment, where he was forced to live in a house full of sheep.” 

Parishes, he says were closed or turned into warehouses, garages or theaters. Christians prayed in secret, or else they faced persecution. 

But now, years later Archbishop Paglia visited the country in light of the Pope's upcoming visit.  He says, it's a much different situation now. 

ARCH. VINCENZO PAGLIA
Pontifical Council for the Family, President
"I've noticed an enthusiasm from everyone:  Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims. They see the Pope as the  spiritual leader of humanity.” 

Albania will actually be the first European country the Pope visits. It's a very symbolic trip, given the fact that just 20 years ago, Christians faced jailed time, for wearing a cross around their neck. 


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