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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New Archbishop for Yaoundé, Cameroon
October 31, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Mons. Jean Mbarga as new Archbishop of Yaoundé (Cameroon).
The Vatican is calling on Muslims leaders to condemn the violence and persecution of minorities in Iraq, including Christians, Yezidis and other ethnic minorities.
Through a written statement, the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Inter-religiuos Dialogue calls on all religious leaders, especially Muslims to directly condemn the attacks and take a stance against jihadists and their 'unspeakable criminal acts.' Failing to do so, reads the statement, would undermine the credibility of religion, their followers and their leaders.
The statement highlights that 'no cause and no religion can justify such barbarity.' It also lists some of the crimes committed by jihadists as they try to establish an 'Islamic State.'
They include the killing of people based on their religion, including beheadings and crucifixion. Forced conversion to Islam or paying a tax for not converting. Abductions of girls and women and the occupation or destruction of places of worship.
The statement does acknowledge that the majority of religious institutions and Muslim politicians have opposed jihadists. However, their opposition, reads the statement, has not prevented further attacks.
In addition to condemning jihadists, the Vatican also calls on religious leaders to exercise their influence with their respective authorities to end these crimes and punish those who commit them. It also calls for those who were forced to flee, to be able to go back to their homes.
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"The whole world has witnessed with incredulity what is now called the "Restoration of the Caliphate," which had been abolished on October 29, 1923 by Kamal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey.
Opposition to this "restoration" by the majority of religious institutions and Muslim politicians has not prevented the "Islamic State" jihadists from committing and continuing to commit unspeakable criminal acts.
This Pontifical Council, together with all those engaged in interreligious dialogue, followers of all religions, and all men and women of good will, can only unambiguously denounce and condemn these practices which bring shame on humanity:
-the massacre of people on the sole basis of their religious affiliation;
-the despicable practice of beheading, crucifying and hanging bodies in public places;
-the choice imposed on Christians and Yezidis between conversion to Islam, payment of a tax (jizya) or forced exile;
-the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of people, including children, elderly, pregnant women and the sick;
-the abduction of girls and women belonging to the Yezidi and Christian communities as spoils of war (sabaya);
-the imposition of the barbaric practice of infibulation;
-the destruction of places of worship and Christian and Muslim burial places;
-the forced occupation or desecration of churches and monasteries;
-the removal of crucifixes and other Christian religious symbols as well as those of other religious communities;
-the destruction of a priceless Christian religious and cultural heritage;
-indiscriminate violence aimed at terrorizing people to force them to surrender or flee.
No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offense to humanity and to God who is the Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us.
We cannot forget, however, that Christians and Muslims have lived together - it is true with ups and downs - over the centuries, building a culture of peaceful coexistence and civilization of which they are proud. Moreover, it is on this basis that, in recent years, dialogue between Christians and Muslims has continued and intensified.
The dramatic plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious communities and ethnic minorities in Iraq requires a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, as well as those engaged in interreligious dialogue and all people of good will. All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and in denouncing the use of religion to justify them.
If not, what credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have? What credibility can the interreligious dialogue that we have patiently pursued over recent years have?
Religious leaders are also called to exercise their influence with the authorities to end these crimes, to punish those who commit them and to reestablish the rule of law throughout the land, ensuring the return home of those who have been displaced.
While recalling the need for an ethical management of human societies, these same religious leaders must not fail to stress that the support, funding and arming of terrorism is morally reprehensible.
That said, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is grateful to all those who have already raised their voices to denounce terrorism, especially that which uses religion to justify it.
Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis: "May the God of peace stir up in each one of us a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated by violence. Violence is defeated by peace.”