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#Pope Francis
Appointments
June 26, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Hector Luis Gutierrez de Pabon, who served as Bishop of Engativá, Colombia. His post will be taken by Francisco Antonio Nieto Súa, who up until now, served as the Bishop of San José del Guaviare (Colombia).

#World
Holy See backs two-state solution in Middle East

June 26, 2015. The Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have officially signed a comprehensive agreement, in which the Holy See recognizes the State of Palestine and supports a two-state solution for peace based on the 1967 borders.

#World
Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia passes away
June 25, 2015. Pope Francis has written a telegram expressing his condolences over the recent death of the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia, Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni.

He was 75-years-old and had recently been at San Peter's Basilica to celebrate Mass in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.
#World
Mexican bishop resigns after possible abuse of episcopal office
June 25, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of  Gonzalo Galván Castillo, who was until now bishop of Autlán, Mexico.

A sexual abuse victim said in July of last year that he had been waiting for five years for the bishop to take action against the priest who abused him.

Although the Vatican has not provided further information, this case could be treated as abuse of episcopal office.
#World
Successor of Mother Teresa, passes away.
June 23, 2015. Sister Nirmala Joshi, the head of the Missionaries of Charity, has passed away at the age of 81. She died in the Indian city of Kolkate on Monday night, after suffering heart ailments. Sister Joshi was elected as head of the Missionaries of Charity in 1997. 

#Vatican
Trial against former apostolic nuncio accused of abuse will start on July 11th
June 15, 2015. The former apostolic nuncio to Dominican Republic, Józef Wesołowski will stand trial at a Vatican tribunal. The first hearing will take place on July 11th. Wesołowski has already been removed from the clerical state after being charged with possession of child pornography and sexual abuse of minors.
#Vatican
American Archbishop Resigns After Mishandling of Abuse Allegations
June 15, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. John Clayton Nienstedt, who served as the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He also accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop, Rev. Lee Anthony Piche, from that same diocese. Recently, both were accused of ignoring accusations involving an abusive former priest who served in the Archdiocese. 
#World
Pope Francis to travel to Africa
June 12, 2015. The Vatican’s nuncio in the Central African Republic, Mons. Francesco Coppola, confirmed that Pope Francis is planning on visiting the country. He states it will take place on November 2015. It will be Pope Francis’ first visit to Africa. 

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New archbishop in Berlin (Germany)
June 8, 2015. The Pope has appointed Heiner Koch as the new metropolitan bishop of Berlin (Germany). Until now, he was bishop of Dresden-Meiβen.
#World
New military ordinariate of Venezuela
June 8, 2015. Pope Benedict has appointed Adan Mendez Bracamonte to be military ordinariate of Venezuela. Until now, he was military diocesan administrator.
#Pope Francis
Appointments
June 5, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Augusto Munera Ochoa as the new Apostolic Vicar of Tierradentro, Colombia. He will take the post previously held by Edgar Hernando Tirado Mazo. 

#Pope Francis
Encyclical on Ecology
June 4, 2015. The Vatican has announced that the Pope's encyclical on the Ecology will be released on Thursday June 18th. 
#Pope Francis
Putin will meet with Pope Francis
June 4, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the Vatican on June 10 and will meet with Pope Francis for the second time. His previous visit was on November 25, 2013.
#Pope Francis
Appointments
June 1, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Eugene Joseph as the new Bishop of Varanasi, India. He has also named Orlando Roa Barbosa as the new Bishop of Espinal, Colombia, who up until now, served as the Bishop of Ibague. 

#Pope Francis
Appointments
June 1, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Gustavo Rodriguez Vega as the new Archbishop of Yucatan (Mexico). The position was previously held by Emilio Carlos Berlie Belaunzaran. 

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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