NEWS ABOUT: Vatican

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After US Woman's Son Dies, the Vatican Calls

Stephany Nicolo got quite the unexpected voicemail

(Newser) - Pope Francis has offered an American woman a "big hug and a blessing" after the death of her son, according to a Vatican official. Stephany Nicolo, a devout Catholic from Wakefield, Mass., says she called the Vatican after her 25-year-old son, Eric, died from an epileptic seizure in May.... More »

Pope Peeved by Ex-No. 2's Posh Digs: Report

Retired cardinal isn't exactly retiring to a humble abode

(Newser) - Pope Francis is a frugal guy, but some of the Vatican's higher-ups are apparently having a hard time following his example. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the church's recently retired No. 2 and secretary of state under the less austere Pope Benedict, is renovating an apartment in which to spend... More »

Pope to Meet Sex Abuse Victims, Declares 'Zero Tolerance'

Vatican abuse probe is looking at three bishops: Francis

(Newser) - Pope Francis announced today he would meet soon with a group of sex abuse victims at the Vatican and declared "zero tolerance" for any member of the clergy who would violate a child. Francis also revealed that three bishops are currently under investigation by the Vatican for abuse-related reasons,... More »

Pope Prays at West Bank Barrier

Israeli, Palestinian presidents accept invitation to Vatican

(Newser) - The pope's Holy Land visit has been full of surprises. In an unplanned move today, Pope Francis stopped to pray at the concrete wall dividing Bethlehem and Jerusalem—a wall which, to Palestinans, symbolizes oppression by Israel, Reuters notes. Graffiti where he prayed read, "Free Palestine." The... More »

Exorcist Author's Georgetown Gripe 'Well-Founded,' Says Vatican

William Peter Blatty doesn't think his alma mater is Catholic enough

(Newser) - William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist and a Georgetown graduate, doesn't think his alma mater is Catholic enough—and the Vatican just may be on his side. Blatty submitted a petition to the Vatican last fall asking that the school be stripped of its "Catholic" and "... More »

Pope Gets Medieval in Fight Against Devil

Old-school attitude raises Vatican eyebrows

(Newser) - Pope Francis has become known for his progressive attitudes but Vatican insiders say his approach to Satan is decidedly old-school, far more so than his recent predecessors, the Washington Post finds. In many sermons, the pontiff has warned that the devil is a real, ever-present evil entity that people need... More »

Miracle Credited to Pope Paul VI

He's set for beatification in October

(Newser) - No Pope Left Behind? Francis is rapidly shuffling his predecessors toward sainthood, yesterday attributing a miracle to Pope Paul VI in a move that puts him on the path to canonization—just after last month's canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII . Paul, who was elected in 1963... More »

Vatican: We're a Model in Handling Sex Abuse

Envoy tells UN Church has defrocked hundreds of priests since '04

(Newser) - Sexual abuse of children is a "plague and a scourge" that the Catholic Church has been fighting effectively over the last 10 years, the Vatican's ambassador to Geneva told the United Nations Committee on Torture yesterday. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told the committee that 848 priests who abused children... More »

2 Living Popes Canonize 2 Predecessors

John Paul II and John XXIII canonized in historic ceremony at Vatican

(Newser) - It's a four-pope day at the Vatican, as two living popes gathered for the first time to canonize two of their predecessors: Pope Francis presided today over what the AP notes is really a pretty brief ceremony that confirmed the sainthood of John Paul II and John XXIII. Appearing... More »

Pope Bends Divorce Rules for Woman: Reports

But Vatican says it's not a shift in church policy on taking communion

(Newser) - Word has it that the pope told a woman in Argentina it was OK to take communion, even though she was married to a man who'd been divorced. The reports have prompted questions about whether the Catholic Church is changing its teachings on the matter—but the Vatican says... More »

Vatican Library to Unveil Millions of Pages Online

And they'll be free to view

(Newser) - Today, viewing one of the Vatican Apostolic Library's 82,000 manuscripts—some almost 2,000 years old—requires a scholarly application and a trip to the Vatican. Until now, allowing just anyone to see the documents "would be like putting a child with a paintbrush in front of... More »

Popes' Canonization Will Be Francis' Style: Low-Key

Newly no-frills Vatican plans subdued saint-making ceremony

(Newser) - When in Rome, apparently do as the current pontiff does: The low-frills style of Pope Francis is having an effect on the upcoming canonizations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. Organizers of the event say the April 27 saint-making ceremony is going to be a much more sober... More »

Most Unusually, Pope Confesses in Public

Visits priest during St. Peter's service

(Newser) - At a service in St. Peter's Basilica yesterday, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of confession—and, in a rare move for a pope, made his own confession in public. As he was being shown to an empty booth to hear others confess, he instead headed to a booth already... More »

Obama Meets Pope, Gives Him Seeds

President tells Francis, 'I'm a great admirer'

(Newser) - President Obama called himself a "great admirer" of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican today with the pontiff he considers a kindred spirit on issues of economic inequality. Their historic nearly hourlong first meeting comes as Obama's administration and the church remain deeply split on... More »

Germany Busts Cocaine-Stuffed Condoms Headed for the Vatican

German Customs made kind of an eyebrow-raising discovery

(Newser) - Let the party-at-the-Vatican jokes begin: German Customs authorities have intercepted a package of 14 condoms filled with cocaine and headed for the Vatican, reports RTE via Bild. The condoms contained about 12 ounces of the drug, worth an estimated $55,000. As the AP reports, the package was mailed from... More »

Francis: Church Could Be OK With Gay Unions

Plus: He finds that 'superpope' myth offensive

(Newser) - As an Argentine cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio backed gay civil unions , and Pope Francis is signaling in an interview that the Catholic Church as a whole could tolerate at least some of them. While maintaining the church's position that "marriage is between a man and a woman," Francis... More »

Ex-Pope: 'Absurd' to Think I Was Forced Out

A year after resignation, pope responds to rumors

(Newser) - With rumors swirling regarding why the former Pope Benedict left his post almost exactly one year ago to become pope emeritus, the man himself has spoken out. Responding to a Vatican Insider journalist's letter with a brief letter of his own, Benedict calls "speculations" on the matter "... More »

Vatican City Beats Every Country—at Drinking Wine

Consumes more wine per capita than any other country

(Newser) - If you're a big fan of wine and would like to be surrounded by apparently like-minded people, consider moving to Vatican City. Despite its small size, or perhaps because of it, it manages to consume more wine per capita than any other country, according to the Wine Institute. How... More »

Vatican Gets First Overhaul in 25 Years

Move brings lay experts into the world of the Vatican's finances

(Newser) - Pope Francis today announced the first major shake-up in 25 years to what the AP terms the Vatican's "outdated and inefficient bureaucracy," in a move designed to bring outside experts into the murky world of Vatican finances. Reuters reports that Francis used a Motu Proprio—a document... More »

Pope's Problem: Catholics Can't Agree on Anything

Church houses a diverse crowd that varies widely on social issues: William Saletan

(Newser) - Based on recent poll results, you might think the Catholic Church needs to shift to the left. After all, Univision finds that 54% of US Catholics back same-sex marriage, 59% support women as priests, and 76% believe abortion should in some cases be allowed; in fact, "on every issue,... More »

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