SPECIAL REPORT Pope Francis’ 5th Anniversary

By Peggy DeKeyser

Pope Francis is a pontiff of firsts, to be sure. The first pope from the Americas, he is also the first Jesuit, the first non-European since Gregory III, a Syrian, in 741, and the first from south of the equator.

Five years ago, on March 13, 2013, white smoke rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, signifying his election to the papacy by a two-thirds majority of cardinal electors. To mark his fifth anniversary as Holy Father, let’s take a look at some accomplishments and interesting facts about Pope Francis.

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Call to Prayer and Action Urging Congress to Enact the Conscience Protection Act

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty urge the faithful to flood Congress with emails and calls asking for enactment of the Conscience Protection Act as part of the 2018 funding bill and to pray for this outcome. Congress is currently considering whether to include the Conscience Protection Act in must-pass government funding legislation, and a decision on the Conscience Protection Act’s inclusion will be made prior to March 23, 2018.

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Hispanics at Encuentro: ‘We belong here’ – 300 Delegates to regional gathering discuss solutions to challenges of faith and culture

By Ana Rodriguez-Soto
Florida Catholic staff

Gathered in Miami for three days of intense reflection, 300 mostly Hispanic Catholics pondered problems and proffered solutions to three overriding challenges:

  • speaking Spanish in an English-speaking Church, being immigrants in a country that has turned increasingly hostile to their presence,
  • and being believers in a progressively secular society.

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