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The match was organized by Scholas, an educational organization promoted by the Pope. Their goal was to raise funds to continue their initiatives. 

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Pope Names New Archbishop of Madrid
August 28, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid (Spain). The Pope has named Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Valencia as Cardinal Rouco´s successor. Also, Cardenal Antonio Cañizares has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Valencia, Spain. He will replace Arch. Carlos Osoro Sierra.
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Pope Francis names new bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.)
August 26, 2014. Pope Francis named Bishop Daniel Edward Thomas as bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.) Until now, Bishop Thomas served as auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia and titutlar bishop of Bardstown. Pope Francis also accepted the resignation of Bishop Giuseppe Merisi as bishop of Lodi (Italy) and named Bishop Maurizio Malvestiti as his replacement. 
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Benedict XVI celebrates Mass in the Vatican with former students
August 25, 2015. Benedict XVI's former students had the chance of meeting him one more time. He celebrated Mass at the Vatican with them to close their annual gatherings in Castelgandolfo, more known as Schuelerkreis. Still, the Pope emeritus didn't attend their meetings.

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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