Pope Francis accepts the resignations of Ecuadorian Bishop Julio Parrilla Díaz and Monsignor Gerardo Miguel Nieves Loja of the Diocese of Riobamba after reports of poor governance, financial mismanagement and moral failings.
Pope Francis issues the apostolic letter Patris Corde (“With a Father’s Heart”) for the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as patron of the universal Church. The Pope declares a special Year of St. Joseph (December 8, 2020 — December 8, 2021).
Today Pope Francis livestreames the Urbi et Orbi blessing for the second time in just a month. Usually given on Christmas and Easter, this year the pope also gave the blessing on March 27, during a special prayer service for the end of the coronavirus.
Óscar Romero, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador assassinated while celebrating Mass in 1980, is canonized by Pope Francis. Six other canonizations, including that of Pope Paul VI, are also announced.
At the Indigenous Peoples Forum in Rome, Italy, Pope Francis says that developmental needs have to be reconciled with the protection of the particular characteristics of indigenous peoples and their territories. This is taken by some as a reference to the Standing Rock Sioux and other groups opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Pope Francis, in his first speech upon arrival at the presidential palace of Serzh Sargsyan in the Armenian capital Yerevan, denounces the planned genocide of Armenians by Ottoman-era Turks a century ago, though the word "genocide" was not included in his prepared speech.
Pope Francis makes his first ever visit to the U.S. and becomes the third Pope to visit the White House. He was received in an official welcome ceremony by President and Mrs. Obama and is scheduled to meet with a bishops' conference of the United States and hold mass and canonize Junípero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, near the Catholic University of America.
Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, announces that Pope Francis will hold a consistory for the creation of new cardinals Feb. 14-15, 2015. Fr. Lombardi spoke during a briefing with media at the end of the Council of Cardinals that met in the Vatican Dec. 9 – 11.