Roman Catholicism

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Nun Who Succeeded Mother Teresa Dies

Sister Nirmala Joshi died of unspecified ailment at 81

(Newser) - The Indian nun who replaced Mother Teresa as head of the Missionaries of Charity died early today, the organization says. Sister Nirmala Joshi was 81. Her health had been declining in recent days, the charity says, without specifying the cause of her death. She was selected to lead the Roman... More »

Pope Francis: Big Families Are Good

Softens his comment that Catholics needn't breed 'like rabbits'

(Newser) - Pope Francis praised big families today as a gift from God, after his comments that Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits" made headlines this week. Francis said numerous children don't cause poverty in the developing world, as some have suggested, and that the real cause of... More »

Pope: No More 'Monsignor' for Most Priests

Francis aims to further simplify honorifics

(Newser) - Pope Francis has done away with the honorific title "monsignor" for all but a few priests, further evidence of his desire for priests to be simple, humble servants. The Vatican's secretary of state sent a letter to its embassies asking them to inform bishops' conferences of the change.... More »

Pope: Church Should Accept Gays 'With Respect'

Says Vatican has been 'small-minded,' can't be 'obsessed'

(Newser) - More unexpected comments about homosexuality from Pope Francis: In a new interview with a Jesuit journal, he says the church cannot "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians, CNN reports. He's gotten letters from gays and lesbians who felt "socially wounded" by the church, "... More »

Follow Pope on Twitter, Get Time Off Purgatory Stay

Vatican offers 'indulgences' for social media use during Catholic World Youth Day

(Newser) - If you're a Catholic due to spend some time in purgatory before heading on up to heaven, we have good news for you: You can shorten the length of time you have to spend there just by following Pope Francis on Twitter , the Guardian reports. A papal court has... More »

So, What Was Pope John Paul II's 2nd Miracle?

Floribeth Mora says he healed her brain aneurysm

(Newser) - As promised, more details have been released on the second miracle that got Pope John Paul II cleared for sainthood . Floribeth Mora, a 50-year-old Costa Rican woman, told her story publicly for the first time today, tears in her eyes. She developed a brain aneurysm in 2011 and had no... More »

Britain's Top Cardinal Quits Amid Scandal

Keith O'Brien accused of inappropriate contact with 4 priests

(Newser) - The UK's top Roman Catholic cleric has resigned amid accusations of inappropriate behavior dating back 33 years. Cardinal Keith O'Brien was set to retire next month after voting on the next pope ; but after the scandal exploded over the weekend, Pope Benedict has accepted his immediate resignation, the... More »

Benedict's Pension: $3.3K/Month

Which is kind of a lot, considering the Vatican will pay his living expenses

(Newser) - Thinking about "pope" as your career goal? Consider the retirement package, which is apparently around $3,340 per month. That's how much Pope Benedict will get when he abdicates later this month, and while it may seem a bit low for someone who was the leader of the... More »

'Catholicism Inc.' Needs a Turnaround Artist

The pope is really a CEO: Bill Keller

(Newser) - The Catholic Church will be getting a new leader soon, and the cardinals making the selection would do well to think of the church as a business, writes Bill Keller in a New York Times op-ed titled, "Catholicism Inc." After all, the church employs more than a million,... More »

How the Papal Conclave Works

Process will be basically the same as if the pope died

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI is the first pope to step down since 1294 , so you probably have quite a few questions about what happens next. But it turns out the process the papal conclave will use to elect the next pope will be fairly familiar: With the exception of a period... More »

Who Will Be the Next Pope?

Cardinal Marc Ouellet a favorite

(Newser) - With Pope Benedict unexpectedly stepping down in a couple of weeks, who will take up the papacy next? USA Today , Reuters , and Bloomberg list some of the frontrunners. Could the church decide it's time to elect its first non-European leader? Quite a few of the choices fit that bill:... More »

Pope Takes Gay Marriage Opposition to New Heights

In Christmas address, he calls it 'manipulation of nature'

(Newser) - The pope used his Christmas speech today, in part, to further denounce gay marriage. Benedict XVI took his opposition "to new heights," the AP reports, saying that homosexuality is a "manipulation of nature" that destroys the "essence of the human creature." The annual speech, one... More »

Pope's First Tweet: 'I Bless All of You'

Pontiff uses personal Twitter account for first time

(Newser) - As promised , @Pontifex —otherwise known as Pope Benedict XVI—started tweeting today. The pope's first tweet from his personal account was a blessing, USA Today reports. He followed that up by answering a question, one of many posed to him since his Twitter account was announced using... More »

Catholics File Flood of Birth-Control Lawsuits

Bishops turn to the courts to fight health care law

(Newser) - Notre Dame's lawsuit yesterday was just the beginning, because America's Catholic bishops have turned en masse to the courts in an attempt to ensure that employees of Catholic institutions do not have health plans that cover birth control. Some 43 Catholic dioceses, schools, social service agencies, and... More »

Notre Dame Sues Over Obama Birth Control Mandate

Nation's most prominent Roman Catholic school says it violates constitution

(Newser) - More trouble for the Obama administration's mandate requiring most employers to cover birth control: Now the University of Notre Dame is suing, the AP reports, claiming that the mandate violates religious freedom. Observers had been waiting to see what step Notre Dame would take as the US' most prominent... More »

Pope Greeted by Protesters Upon Arrival in Germany

Four-day visit is first state visit to his homeland

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI is back home for his first state visit to Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Christian Wulff, and Cabinet members met the pontiff upon his arrival at a Berlin airport today, the first of his four-day visit, as howitzers fired and fighter jets flew overhead. He is also... More »

One Episcopal Congregation Converting to Catholicism

St. Luke's Parish-Anglican will get new name, but keep married pastor

(Newser) - Parishioners of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Maryland arrived at services Sunday and got an unexpected sermon: Rev. Mark Lewis informed the congregation that he and other church leaders wanted the entire parish to convert to Catholicism. “We didn’t know for sure how people would react,”... More »

Pope Talks About Life Under Nazis

Benedict XVI calls it a 'dark time'

(Newser) - German-born Pope Benedict XVI rarely talks about when he was conscripted into the Hitler Youth as a teen. But yesterday, in an audience with a German Catholic group, Benedict made a rare mention of life under the Nazis, calling it a "dark time," reports the AP . "It... More »

Cardinal to Ricky Martin: Stop Promoting Homosexuality

He should 'set an example' for his children, cardinal says

(Newser) - Cardinal Luis Aponte Martinez of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a fan of Ricky Martin's "artistic gifts," but he sure wishes the singer would stop promoting homosexuality. In an interview with Primera Hora published last week and picked up yesterday by On Top magazine and Perez Hilton , Martinez... More »

Pope Aide Skips UK Trip After '3rd World' Jab

Also said BA discriminates against those wearing crosses

(Newser) - A top aide to Pope Benedict is skipping tomorrow's trip to Britain after telling a German magazine that "when you land at Heathrow you think at times you have landed in a Third World country." As the BBC reports, German-born Cardinal Walter Kasper said the UK, where the... More »

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