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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. 


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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