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Nominations
December 12, 2014. Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Vicente Jimenez Zamora as the new Archbishop of Zaragoza, Spain. Up until now, he served  as the Bishop of the Diocese of Santander. In Ecuador, Fr. Adelio Pasqualotto has been nominated as the new  Vicariate Apostolic of Napo. Pope Francis also appointed Rev. Fr. Pietro Bovati, as the new Secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. 
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Vatican releases new questionnaire on the Synod on the Family
December 9, 2014. The Vatican has published a new questionnaire containing 46 questions pertaining to the family and the modern day challenges it faces. It’s meant to be a further reflection for the second phase of the Synod on the Family, which will take place in October 2015. The questions are divided in three sections. In the following days, it will be distributed to many groups, including Episcopal Conferences, Eastern Church and Curia Departments.
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The Jesuits to start new General Congregation on October 2016
December 9, 2014. The General Superior of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, has called a new General Congregation. This assembly, which will include representatives from all over the world, will start on October 2, 2016. In a letter, Fr. Pachon called on  all Jesuits to take part in this "serious process of spiritual discernment" on which the future and mission of the Society relies. 
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New Archbishop of Kenya
December 9, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Martin Musonde Kivuva as new Archbishop of Mombasa (Kenya). He previously served as bishop of the diocese of Machakos (Kenya). 

Also, Adolfo Ramon Canecin was appointed coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Goya (Argentina).

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Community of Sant'Egidio reelects its president
December 9, 2014. Marco Impagliazzo has been reelected as president of the Community of Sant'Egidio by an assembly of 220 delegates from around the world. 
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Colombian bishop, resigns
December 1, 2014. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. Luis Alberto Parra Mora, Bishop of Mocoa-Sibundoy (Colombia). He is 70 years old.
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First message of Pope Francis in Turkey
November 28, 2014. Pope Francis signed the so-called Golden Book at Ataturk's Mausoleum in Ankara. There he wrote this message: "I express my sincerest good wishes so that Turkey, the natural bridge between two Continents, may not only be a crossroad, but also a place of encounter, dialogue and peaceful coexistence among men and women of good will of every culture, ethnicity and religion."
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Pope on Haiti
November 25, 2014. Five years have passed since the deadly earthquake devastated the island of Haiti. In light of this anniversary, Pope Francis has called for a Vatican meeting to take place. The goal is for the Church to look into what can be done to help out victims and the country as it tries to re-build itself. 

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Cardinal Robert Sarah, new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
November 24, 2014. Pope Francis has named Cardinal Robert Sarah as new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Up until recently, he served as the President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

Sarah, 69, a native of Conakry, Guinea, also held a prominent role in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

He is taking over the post previously held by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, who was recently named Archbishop of Valencia, Spain.
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Synod on the Family 2015
November 21, 2014. The following Cardinals will be delegate presidents during the second part of the Synod on the Family, from October 4th to the 24th, 2015. The Archbishop of Paris,  Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. From the Philippines, Luis Antonio Tagle. From Aparecida Brazil, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis. From Durban, South Africa, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier. 

The Relator General will be Cardinal Peter Erdo, who serves as the Archbishop of Budapest. The Secretary General, will be Italian Msgr, Bruno Forte. 

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New Bishop in Broken Bay (Australia)
November 20, 2014. Pope Francis has appointed Peter Andrew Comensoli as the New Bishop of Broken Bay, Australia. Up until now, he served as the auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Sydney. 

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New Bishop for Linares, Mexico
November 19, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Ramon Calderon Batres, Bishop of Linares (Mexico). His successor will be Hilario Gonzalez Garcia, current rector of the Major Seminary of Monterrey. 


The Pope's got mail! Tons of it....literally

2014-07-14

The Pope's got mail...

...and plenty of it. Thousands of letters are received every week at the Vatican's Post Office. They're sorted out, one by one...right here. 

FR. STEFANO BORTOLATO
Vatican Post Office
"The letters are for the Pope, Vatican departments, bishops and cardinals who live in the Vatican.”

It's estimated that every week, the Pope alone receives about 6,000 letters, which adds up to roughly 300,000 a year. They're set aside, and then they're handed over to the Pope's collaborators at the Vatican's State Department. 

FR. STEFANO BORTOLATO
Vatican Post Office
"We don't know what the letters say because we don't open them and we're not with the Pope when he sees them. What we do know is that he receives them directly, opens them and reads some of them.” 

As an independent state, the Vatican has its own post office. It sends and receives mail from every corner of the globe. So, if you could write a letter to the Pope, what exactly would you write?

"I would ask him to pray for world peace.” 

Even though nowadays, it's easier to write an e-mail or even send out a tweet, the Pope likes to communicate the old fashion way. Whether it's by making a phone call, or by responding to letters directly himself. 

"I think it's incredible. This Pope is very different from his predecessors and he's the first Pope from the Americas.” 

The Vatican does have its system to verify if the letters are legit. When asked for financial support, for example, it gives more weight to letters that are sent through a local parish or diocese. Most though, simply ask for prayers.

FR. STEFANO BORTOLATO
Vatican Post Office
"By just seeing the addresses on the letters, we've noticed that since Pope Francis was elected, we've been receiving a lot more mail from Latin America.” 

Here... in the smallest state in the world, ironically mail is received from every corner of the world. Even though there are tens of thousands of letters, people still hope that their letter, is just one step... and stamp away from the Pope's desk.  


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