New bishop in Texas
April 23, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. David Eugene Fellhauer, Bishop of Victoria in Texas (United States). In his place, he has appointed the Rev. Brendan Cahill.
April 22, 2015. The Pope has named Eduardo Pinheiro da Silva, S.D.B. as Bishop of Jaboticabal (Brazil). Until now, he was auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Campo Grande.
The Vatican also announced that on April 21 the Pope appointed Joseph F. Naumann to be Apostolic Administrator "sede vacante" of the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph (United States). Until a new bishop is appointed, Naumann will oversee the diocese. He is currently the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas.
Kansas Bishop Robert Finn resigns years after conviction
April 21, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of American Bishop, Robert W. Finn. In 2012 the Kansas Bishop was convicting of not reporting a diocesan priest to police. The priest had a series of pornographic material in his computer.
He is the first American Bishop to resign for not acting swiftly in dealing with cases of sexual abuse.
Papal Trip to Cuba?
April 17, 2015. The Vatican's spokesperson has announced that Pope Francis is considering a trip to Cuba. If the visit takes place it would be before or after his trip to the U.S in September. The process however, is still in its beginning phases, so no official decision has been made.
Dates of papal trip to Latin America released
April 16, 2015. The Vatican has announced the dates of Pope's upcoming trip to Latin America. He will visit Ecuador from July 6 to 8. After, he will be in Bolivia from July 8 to 10. He will then go to Paraguay until July 12.
Pope's Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations
April 14, 2015. In his message for the event, which will be held on April 26, Pope Francis considers the meaning of "vocation.” He writes that it means to respond to God's call. That is, "allowing him to help us leave ourselves and our false security behind” so that we can find Jesus Christ, "the origin and destiny of our life and our happiness.”
The title of the message is: "Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocation.”
Read the full text here.
New vicar apostolic in Venezuela and bishop in India
April 7, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Ernesto José Romero Rivas, O.F.M. to be Vicar Apostolic of Tucupita (Venezuela). The Pope has also appointed Vincent Aind to be Bishop of Bagdogra (India).
New Prefect in the Congregation for Catholic Education
March 31, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. He also also appointed Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki as a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.
The Pope is asking government leaders to help persecuted Christians in Iraq. Rising violence has forced an estimated 200,000 people to flee their homes as Islamic extremists take over northern cities. Through a letter, the Pope called for an end to the bloodshed, highlighting the same call he made during a recent Angelus.
POPE FRANCIS (July 20th)
"Today our brothers are persecuted. They are banished from their homes and forced to flee without even being able to take their belongings!”
Most recently, the Vatican's State Department sent a message to ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, calling for their governments to take the rising violence seriously. It calls for the international community to offer their help.
On behalf of the Pope, the Vatican's spokesperson, Fr. Federico Lombardi, read part of the Pope's call for action.
FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
"I ask that programs be in place to protect those who are affected or threatened by the violence. May the displaced find the necessary and urgent support they need.”
Sunni extremists took over the ancient Christian town of Qaraqosh, which housed thousands of displaced Christians from Mosul. Many of them were forced to leave their hometown when extremists gave them a list of ultimatums: Convert to Islam, die or pay a tax for being Christian.
In the letter, the Pope also highlighted that violence is not overcome with violence.
POPE FRANCIS (July 20th)
"Violence is overcome with peace! Let us pray in silence, asking for peace: all of us, in silence...”
The Pope also called on local bishops to organize gatherings to pray for peace in the region.