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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. 


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New Bishops in Mexico and Argentina
November 17, 2014. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Miguel Romano Gómez, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara (Mexico). He also accepted the resignation of the bishop of Apatzingán (Mexico), Bishop Miguel Patiño Velázquez, who will be succeeded by Cristóbal Ascencio García.

In Argentina, the Pope has named Bishop Juan Carlos Ares as auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires and has also named Bishop Martín Fassi as auxiliary bishop of San Isidro (Argentina)
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Possible visit by Pope Francis to Paraguay announced
November 12, 2014. The bishops of Paraguay have announced a possible visit by Pope Francis to their country at the end of 2015 or during 2016. As of now, the Vatican has not confirmed the visit
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Pope Francis creates group to accelerate the resolution of appeals of those accused of abuse
November 11, 2014. Seven cardinals and bishops will take charge of all appeals lodged by priests condemned in their dioceses for abuses and crimes against the Sacraments and the Faith

The Vatican explained the Pope took this decision "due to the number of appeals and the need to guarantee that they are resolved quickly.”

This "special college” will fall under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This Congregation will continue to supervise any appeal presented by a bishop and all cases forwarded by this new college.

As for now, the name of only one of the seven members was revealed. It is Archbishop Jose Luis Mollaghan, the former Archbishop of Rosario (Argentina).

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Pope prays for victims of Spain's bus crash
November 10, 2014. In light of the deadly bus accident that killed 14 people and left at least 38 injured in the Spanish city of Cieza, Pope Francis sent his condolences to those affected by the tragedy.  Among the victims was a young parish priest from Bullas, Rev. Miguel Conesa Andujar. The passengers, who were on a religious excursion, were heading back to Madrid. 
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Pope Names New Bishop for Digne (France)
November 7th, 2014.  Bishop François-Xavier Loizeau, until now served as the Bishop of Digne (France) presented this morning his resignation to the Pope. The Holy Father has named Fr. Jean-Philippe Nault as his successor. The Holy Father also appointed two new auxiliary bishops for the diocese of Melbourne (Australia): Msgr. Terence Robert Curtin and Fr. Mark S. Edwards. 
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Mothers of Plaza de Mayo
November 5, 2014. 
On Wednesday, Pope Francis met with the president of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Estela de Carlotto. Her grandson, Ignacio Guido Montoya Carlotto, also attended the meeting. He was reunited with his family in August, after a 36 year search. The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo is an Argentinian group of women, who for years have protested the disappearance of family members during Argentina’s dictatorship. 

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Pope Francis on Resignation Rules
November 5, 2014. Pope Francis has confirmed that the age in which Bishops are required to retire, will continue to be 75 years of age. The debate came to light after some Bishops proposed  the age be moved up to 78. The Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin released the text with the new rules, on Wednesday morning. It includes seven points.
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New Bishops:
November 4th, 2014. Pope Francis has nominated Msgr. Peter Forsyth Christensen as the new Bishop of Boise City. Christopher Kakooza has been nominated as the Bishop of Lugazi, Uganda. Msgr. Carlos Enrique Trinidad Gomez has been appointed as the new Bishop of San Marcos, Guatemala, while Msgr. Adolfo Armando Uriona has been nominated as the new Bishop of Villa de la Concepcion del Rio Cuatro in Argentina. 
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New Archbishop for Yaoundé, Cameroon
October 31, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Mons. Jean Mbarga as new Archbishop of Yaoundé (Cameroon).

U.S. State Department releases country-by-country analysis of religious freedom

2014-07-30

Another grim milestone for humanity. 2013 was one of the worst years for the displacement of entire religious communities around the world. A comprehensive report from the U.S. State Department tracked down the state of religious freedom in nearly 200 countries. 

KENNETH HACKETT
U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See
"Religious freedom takes a lot of interpretations. In our own countries there are some very fine lines on interpretation. But the actual persecution of people because of their religion is one of the horrors of our day.”

The report highlighted areas where entire communities are targeted simply for their religion. It recorded increased persecution of Christians in 2013, noting that in countries like Syria, Egypt and Iraq, entire Christian communities have been decimated by violence.

Meanwhile, the report also details repressive government policies against Christians and other minorities in places like Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan and Pakistan. The Vatican expressed their concern for these policies.

MSGR. MARCELO SANCHEZ SORONDO
President, Pontifical Academies for Sciences
"First off, the Holy See wants to warn the world about the issue. Second, to work with Christians so they stay. And third, to get the universal Church to pray and take social actions to stop persecution.”

But the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See pointed out that the report highlights the plight of all religious communities, not just Christians. Whether it's rising anti-Semitism in Europe to discrimination against Shia Muslims in countries like Bahrain, Ambassador Hackett said the U.S. and the Holy See have a a common stance. 

KENNETH HACKETT
U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See
"Wherever we can, we want to find a common cause with the Church, and the Holy See itself, on issues of religious persecution of all people, not just Christians. It's for all people, and the Holy See has been a loud and abiding voice for those kinds of concerns.”

American agencies will use the latest report on religious freedom to help determine U.S. policy in those countries, and determine the best way to help promote religious freedom.


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