Vatican

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Benedict to His Defenders: You're Going Too Far

Pope emeritus says 'pain has turned to anger' and is affecting the church and his own legacy

(Newser) - Pope Benedict pledged to remain "hidden to the world" when he became pope emeritus and turned things over to Pope Francis, but some newly surfaced letters are changing that. In them, Benedict sends a message to those who prefer his more conservative leadership over Francis' relatively liberal style that... More »

Letter Makes Latest Church Sex Scandal Look Worse

Seems the Vatican heard about Theodore McCarrick's behavior long ago

(Newser) - A 2006 letter from a top Vatican official confirms that the Holy See received information in 2000 about the sexual misconduct of now-resigned US cardinal, lending credibility to bombshell accusations of a cover-up at the highest echelons of the Roman Catholic Church, the AP reports. Catholic News Service published the... More »

Vatican Responds to Damning Clergy Sex Abuse Report

Pope is on victims' side, spokesperson says

(Newser) - Two days after the release of the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania's Catholic dioceses, the Vatican has responded, CNN reports. "Regarding the report made public in Pennsylvania this week, there are two words that can express the feelings faced with these horrible crimes: shame... More »

Pope Makes Big Doctrine Change on an 'Inhuman Recourse'

Francis says death penalty is always 'inadmissible'

(Newser) - Pope Francis has changed church teaching about the death penalty, saying in a new policy published Thursday it's always "inadmissible" because it "attacks" the inherent dignity of all humans. The Vatican says Francis has approved a change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church , the compilation of... More »

Church Abuse Scandal Claims Highest-Ranking American Yet

Pope Francis accepts resignation of former DC archbishop Theodore McCarrick

(Newser) - The Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal has just claimed its highest-ranking American church official. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of 88-year-old Cardinal Theodore McCarrick while an investigation into multiple allegations of abuse continues, reports the AP . McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, DC, had been removed from public... More »

Teens Help Crack Vatican's Secret Archives

In Codice Ratio aims to put it all online

(Newser) - Wish you could access the Vatican's Secret Archives online? Sorry, it's not there—but a new project combining artificial intelligence with optical-character-recognition (OCR) could change that, the Atlantic reports. Called In Codice Ratio , it aims to scan the archives' 53 miles of shelved material dating back some 1,... More »

'Lettergate' Takes Down Vatican Media Chief

Dario Vigano will remain at Vatican following resignation

(Newser) - The head of the Vatican's communications department resigned Wednesday in a scandal about a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI that he mischaracterized, then had digitally manipulated in a photo sent to the media. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Monsignor Dario Vigano on Wednesday and named his deputy,... More »

Vatican Relents, Releases Benedict's Full Letter on Francis

It previously blurred part of it, fueling claims of censorship

(Newser) - Stung by accusations of spreading "fake news," the Vatican on Saturday released the complete letter by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis after coming under criticism for selectively citing it in a press release and digitally manipulating a photograph of it. The previously hidden part of the... More »

Vatican Doctors Photo of Benedict Praising Francis

It turns out retired pope hasn't actually read current pope's books

(Newser) - The Vatican admitted Thursday that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards, the AP reports. The Vatican's communications office released the... More »

Nuns Say They've Had It With Being Treated Like Servants

'Until now, no one has had the courage to denounce these things'

(Newser) - In a move that both the AP and Reuters call "remarkable," an official Vatican magazine run by women is directly criticizing the Catholic Church for its treatment of nuns in its March issue. "Until now, no one has had the courage to denounce these things," says... More »

Vatican to Hold International Conference on Exorcisms

Friar says there are 500K cases requiring exorcists every year in Italy alone

(Newser) - Anyone who has sat through Exorcist II: The Heretic or Exorcist: The Beginning would rightly think the world is all set on exorcists, thank you very much. The Catholic Church would disagree. USA Today reports the Vatican will be hosting a week-long international conference on exorcisms in April after demand... More »

Topless Activist Tries to Steal Baby Jesus From Vatican

She's a member of Ukraine-based feminist group Femen

(Newser) - A topless "sextremist" attempted to grab the baby Jesus from a Nativity scene at the Vatican while yelling "God is woman" just hours before Pope Francis' Christmas Day address, Reuters reports. The woman, who also had "God is woman" painted on her back, hopped guardrails in St.... More »

Pope Turns 81, Gets a Kid's Dream Meal

Pope Francis was treated to a 13-foot pizza for his birthday Sunday

(Newser) - Pope Francis has blown out his birthday candle on an extra-long pizza at the Vatican to the delight of children, reports the AP . Francis, who turned 81 on Sunday, then told the children, who use a Vatican health service, to "eat all four meters (13 feet)" saying it will... More »

After Nearly 100 Years, Vatican Returns Shrunken Head

The 'tsantsa' was brought to the Vatican from Ecuador by a missionary in 1925

(Newser) - For nearly a century, the Vatican has been in possession of a shrunken head the size of a fist that once belonged to the Shuar, an indigenous people of Ecuador. In an unlikely move Saturday, the Vatican returned it, AFP reports. It's "very rare" for the Vatican museums... More »

Pope Francis Takes Stand Against Cigarettes

'No profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk'

(Newser) - It turns out salvation wasn't the only thing people were looking to the Vatican for. The New York Times reports many Italians get their cigarettes through acquaintances at the Vatican, where employees and citizens have access to tax-free smokes. But no longer. According to the BBC , Pope Francis has... More »

Callista Gingrich Confirmed as US Ambassador to the Vatican

The Senate voted 70-23 in favor

(Newser) - The GOP-led Senate has confirmed Callista Gingrich's nomination to be US ambassador to the Vatican. Senators voted overwhelmingly, 70-23, to approve her for the post. President Donald Trump had announced in May that he would nominate her, AP reports. More »

Vatican Court Convicts Ex-Hospital President

Found guilty of using $500K in donations to renovate cardinal's flat

(Newser) - A Vatican court has convicted the former president of the pope's children's hospital of abuse of office for diverting $500,000 in donations to renovate a cardinal's flat and sentenced him to a suspended one-year sentence, the AP reports. The court on Saturday absolved the former treasurer... More »

Vatican Diplomat Recalled Amid Child Porn Investigation

US officials asked high-ranking priest to be charged with child porn possession

(Newser) - A high-ranking priest working in the Vatican's embassy in Washington has been recalled after US prosecutors asked for him to be charged there and face trial in a child pornography investigation, the AP reports. The diplomat was suspected of possessing child pornography including images of pre-pubescent children, a US... More »

Pope Francis Has a Message for Whiners

Keep out

(Newser) - Is Pope Francis getting tired of hearing about everyone's problems? Probably not, but a new sign posted on his apartment door at the Vatican warns there's "no whining" allowed inside. The sign was actually a kind of gag gift from Italian psychologist and self-help author Salvo Noe,... More »

Catholics, Your Communion Wafers Must Have Gluten

So rules the Vatican

(Newser) - Catholics on a gluten-free diet may want to skip the line when receiving Holy Communion during Mass celebration. The Vatican has decreed that the small wafers, or hosts, used in the ceremony must contain gluten, reports the BBC . The directive went out to bishops worldwide in a letter posted by... More »

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