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.
From one day to another they became refugees. The Iraqi region of Kurdistan has been welcoming minorities who lost it all amid violence and persecution.
They were able to escape from extremists who want to impose an Islamic State at all costs. They're considered part of the lucky ones who survived, but it's hard to escape that dark chapter.
"Families with children and babies are still out in the mountains. They were planning on staying four days, but there was nothing to eat, just wheat from the fields. We have to save them. We're fine here. We don't need anything. But for God's sake, let's bring them back. We're willing to die here, as long as they're safe.”
Radical Islamists gave an ultimatum to ethnic and religious minorities: Convert to Islam, pay a tax or die. In a matter of hours, thousands of people fled from Mosul, where for centuries religious co-existance was a reality.
In Erbil, refugees have also been welcomed in churches like this one. Here a combination of prayer, fatigue and helplessness are part of every day life.
"Our area was affected by the violence. In fact I saw three people die. We are their targets and we can't take it anymore. We don't want to die, we want to live. We have rights and we don't want them to take our land away. But it's what's happening.”
"I still have family members trapped up there. But the question is why? Why can't we find a solution. My relatives are there, waiting and trapped. What did we do to deserve this? They were threatened and told they needed to surrender or convert to Islam.”
Christians, Yazidis and other minorities continue to be targeted by Islamic extremists.