- Title: Highlights - Pope Francis in 2019
- Date: 17th December 2019
- Summary: Francis kissed the cheek of Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte three times in the Palace of the Holy Synod of Sofia SOFIA, BULGARIA (FILE - MAY 5, 2019) (REUTERS FOR AGENCY POOL) POPE ARRIVING AND KISSING THE CHEEK OF PATRIARCH
- Embargoed: 31st December 2019 18:29
- Keywords: 2019 Pope Francis Vatican city
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: Vatican City
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00BBADZYVB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: January 2, 2019 - Pope Francis impressed everyone with his ball twirling skills, helped by a group of Cuban circus performers who joined him at his weekly general audience in the Vatican. It is not clear whether the ability to rotate a basketball at the end of his finger had been on the Pope's New Year resolution list but he certainly entered into the spirit of things with gusto.
January 23-26, 2019 - Pope Francis, on his first trip to Panama and the first by a pope since 1983, was greeted by thousands of cheering children and faithful attending 2019 World Youth Day. During the trip, the theme of migration was prominent in sermons. With many Venezuelans in attendance, faithful from the South American nation were comforted by the Pope's words as their country grapples with political divisions and a flailing economy.
February 4-5, 2019 - Pope Francis became the first pontiff to set foot on Arabian Peninsula. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar mosque and university, guided Francis in his tour inside the mosque. At the end of the historical two-day visit, a little girl broke through a security cordon but the Argentinean pope told his guards to let the child come close and bent down to touch her head.
March 20-24, 2019 - During a Vatican's landmark conference on clergy sexual abuse of minors, victims gathered in Rome to share their painful stories and marched to demand change and justice. Pope Francis, who met sexual abuse victim Marek Lisinski and surprisingly kissed his hand, called for an "all-out battle" against a crime that should be "erased from the face of the earth".
March 25, 2019 - Pope Francis repeatedly withdrew his right hand as a long line of people bowed and tried to kiss the ring on it during a visit to the Catholic shrine in Loreto. On March 30, during the flight to Morocco, the Pope explained it was a simple question of hygiene.
March 30, 2019 - Pope Francis made first papal visit to Morocco in 34 years. During his two-day trip the pontiff visited an Imam Training center and, together with Morocco's King Mohammed VI, signed a joint appeal for the protection of Jerusalem's multi-religious character, saying the city's sacred sites must be accessible to worshippers of all faiths.
April 11, 2019 - Pope Francis, in a dramatic gesture ending an unprecedented retreat at the Vatican, knelt with difficulty to kiss the feet of South Sudan's previously warring leaders, President Salva Kiir and his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar.
April 19, 2019 - Pope Francis led Good Friday services on the day Christian recall Jesus' death by crucifixion, lying prostrate and praying in silence in St. Peter's Basilica and leading a Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession around Rome's ancient Colosseum.
May 5, 2019 - Pope Francis, during his three-day trip in Bulgaria and North Macedonia, met with leaders of the Eastern Orthodox Church, kissing the Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte three times in the Palace of the Holy Synod of Sofia.
June 1, 2019 - Pope Francis visited the Sumuleu-Ciuc shrine, one of Romania's most popular Catholic shrines. During his visit, Francis met with the Roma community and asked for forgiveness in the name of the Catholic Church for the mistreatment of the Roma people, saying his heart was made "heavy" by the meeting with them.
June 16, 2019 - Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in Camerino, one of the central Italian towns hit by earthquakes in 2016. During his visit, Francis also visited the damaged site of Camerino Cathedral, offering a bouquet of flowers to the damaged statue of Virgin Mary.
July 4, 2019 - Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived at the Vatican to hold talks with Pope Francis a day before Ukraine's Catholic leaders meet at the Vatican to discuss the crisis in their country. Putin, who has met Francis twice before, arrived at the Vatican at the start of a visit to Italy that included talks with Italian leaders.
August 21, 2019 - Pope Francis allowed a little girl suffering from an undisclosed illness to move around undisturbed clapping and dancing on the stage for most of his general audience. The girl, wearing a pink T-shirt reading "Love," slipped away from her mother at the front of the audience hall and reached the big marble stage. She pranced back and forth in front of him, jumped, and occasionally let go a loud, sharp clap.
September 1, 2019 - Pope Francis arrived late for his weekly address in St. Peter's Square explaining that he had been stuck in an elevator in the Vatican for 25 minutes and had to be freed by fire-fighters. He attributed his tardiness to an electrical power problem in the Vatican, which left him stuck the elevator until freed by Vatican fire-fighters.
September 4 - 6, 2019 - Pope Francis arrived to a vibrant welcome in to Mozambique to encourage the country's fragile peace, starting a three-nation African tour. The former Portuguese colony emerged from 15 years of civil war in 1992 but only this year President Filipe Nyusi of the ruling Frelimo party and the leader of the Renamo opposition, Ossufo Momade, signed a permanent ceasefire. Nyusi greeted the pope at Maputo airport, where the 82-year-old pontiff was treated to displays of dancing and singing.
On his final day in Mozambique Pope Francis visited a hospital on the outskirts of Maputo which treats HIV-AIDS-infected mothers and their children.
September 6-9, 2019 - Pope Francis landed in Antananarivo, Madagascar starting the second leg of his six-day trip in Africa. Environment was high on the Pope's agenda as he visited the continent where Catholicism is growing fast. In Madagascar, the world's fourth-largest island, about 44% of forests have disappeared over the past 60 years, according to the French agricultural research centre CIRAD.
September 9, 2019 - Pope Francis arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius, receiving a tumultuous welcome as he made a lightning visit to the Indian Ocean island nation at the end of his three-country tour of Africa.
October 3, 2019 - Pope Francis met with the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a range of talks including discussion on protecting Christian communities in the Middle East and advancing religious freedom.
October 5, 2019 - Pope Francis installed new cardinals, putting his stamp on the future of the Roman Catholic Church with men who share his vision for social justice, the rights of immigrants and dialogue with Islam.
October 6, 2019 - Pope Francis appealed to conservatives not to be obsessed with the status quo as he opened an assembly of bishops to discuss the future of the Roman Catholic Church in the Amazon.
October 13, 2019 - Pope Francis met Britain's Prince Charles after the canonisation of British Catholic luminary John Henry Newman, a leading 19th century Anglican who converted to Catholicism and became one of the most influential Christian figures of modern times. Underscoring Newman's luminary status in Christianity today, Prince Charles, who will become head of the Church of England when he becomes king, said it was a cause for celebration by all Britons.
October 26, 2019 - Pope Francis said he would reconvene a commission to study the history of women deacons in the early centuries of the Catholic Church, responding to calls by women that they be allowed to take up the role today.
October 27, 2019 - Pope Francis called for an end to the plundering of the Amazon, as he closed an assembly of Roman Catholic bishops from the region on the issues that the Church faces there.
November 15, 2019 - Pope Francis joined nuns, volunteers, the poor and homeless for a meal on the Eve of World Day of the Poor, an event established by Francis in 2017 to draw the attention of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics to the neediest.
November 21, 2019 - Pope Francis visited Thailand to meet with its small but devoted Catholic minority. Francis met Thai King Maha Vajiralonkorn and Queen Suthida and, in a gesture of inter-religious dialogue, visited the gilded Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram Temple to pay his respects to Thailand's Supreme Buddhist Patriarch, the 91-year-old Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong.
November 24, 2019 - Pope Francis visited Nagasaki's Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park, ground zero of the bomb drop during WW2 that killed 27,000 people and appealed for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
December 8, 2019 - Pope Francis took part to the popular wreath-laying ceremony at a statue of the Madonna near Rome's Spanish Steps.
December 11, 2019 - Pope Francis enjoyed the Moscow State Circus' performance during weekly general audience.
(Production: Oriana Boselli, Fabiano Franchitti)
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