Vatican

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Conservatives: Pope 'Misled' on Climate Change

Koch-funded think tank argues against 'unscientific agenda' Francis is pushing

(Newser) - Pope Francis has taken on procreation , ISIS , and the Vatican's money issues , and now he's about to take on climate change caused by humans. He's still preparing a secret papal encyclical on the environment due in the summer, and today Vatican officials are hosting a summit to... More »

Sisters' Reaction to Vatican Ending Nun Takeover: Thank God

Critics said church's treatment of LCWR was misogynistic

(Newser) - The Vatican today unexpectedly ended its controversial takeover of the main umbrella group of US nuns, saying it had accepted a final report on its overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and declared that the "implementation of the mandate has been accomplished." The news signals a... More »

Vatican Now Reveals 1997 Michelangelo Theft

Priceless document was snatched nearly 20 years ago

(Newser) - Is life borrowing plots from Dan Brown books? The Vatican yesterday confirmed that a letter from Michelangelo himself was stolen from its archives and a $108,000 ransom is being sought in exchange for it and a second document, NBC News reports. According to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero , the priceless... More »

Pope Sparks Anger in Mexico With Drug Comment

Francis noted concerns over 'Mexicanization' of Argentina drug trafficking

(Newser) - The Vatican sought today to defuse a diplomatic tiff with Mexico after Pope Francis referred to the possible "Mexicanization" of his native Argentina from drug trafficking, the latest instance of Francis' casual speaking style getting him into trouble. The Vatican said it had sent an official diplomatic note to... More »

Vatican Probes Own Child-Porn Cases

(Newser) - The Vatican investigated two cases of child pornography possession in the past year, officials said yesterday. The chief prosecutor of the Vatican city state's criminal tribunal, Gian Piero Milano, cited the two cases in a speech summarizing the tribunal's work in 2014. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico... More »

Vatican Gives Up on Doves

Animal-rights groups objected after last year's attack

(Newser) - A year after Pope Francis and a couple of children released two doves from his studio window in St. Peter's Square to disastrous results , the Vatican chose today to instead release balloons in the name of peace. The doves tradition begun by Pope John Paul II bit the dust... More »

Pope Knocks Vatican's 'Spiritual Alzheimer's'

Pontiff describes 15 'ailments' in Christmas speech

(Newser) - Speaking to cardinals, bishops, and priests during his yearly Christmas speech, Pope Francis offered up a harsh critique of Vatican practices. Francis described 15 "ailments" within the church administration known as the Curia—ailments he's seeking to remedy next year, the BBC reports. Among his concerns are "... More »

Man Protests Atop St. Peter's —for 5th Time

Marcello di Finizio says he won't get down until he speaks to Italian PM

(Newser) - Marcello di Finizio is good at getting past Vatican security—very good. For the fifth time in recent years, the Italian man is staging a protest at St. Peter's Basilica. This time he's on the high, narrow ledge of the facade, just above the central balcony from which... More »

Pope Gives Sleeping Bags to Homeless for His Birthday

Pontiff handed out 400 sleeping bags to Rome's destitute to celebrate his 78th

(Newser) - Pope Francis spent his birthday last year by going to church with four homeless locals . This year he upped the ante, celebrating his 78th birthday on Wednesday by donating 400 sleeping bags—complete with an imprinted papal coat of arms—to homeless people around Rome, ABC News reports. Volunteers and... More »

Median Age of US Nuns: Mid- to Late 70s

Vatican report praises their work

(Newser) - A Vatican investigation of American nuns that many sisters feared would be highly critical ended up being "generally appreciative" instead, reports the New York Times . But it still laid out some stark numbers: The US now has about 50,000 Catholic nuns, down from the peak of 125,000... More »

Vatican Uncovers Hundreds of Millions 'Tucked Away'

Finance chief says balance sheet 'healthier than thought'

(Newser) - In what skeptics might say sounds suspiciously like a financial miracle, the Vatican has uncovered huge sums of money "tucked away" in accounts that didn't appear on the main balance sheets. "We have discovered that the situation is much healthier than it seemed, because some hundreds of... More »

After Man Tells Bishop He Smells, Vatican Takes Action

3 public showers to be installed

(Newser) - Pope Francis made headlines last year when he said that he would like a "poor church, and for the poor." Now, after a man declined an invitation to dine with a bishop because, the man said simply, "puzzo"—or "I smell"—the pope is... More »

Brittany Maynard's Death 'Reprehensible,' Says Vatican

Ending one's life isn't 'dignity': spokesman

(Newser) - The Vatican has made its views on Brittany Maynard's death very clear: The decision to end her own life was "reprehensible," says the Vatican's bioethics chief. "Assisted suicide is an absurdity," Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula tells ANSA . As for Maynard's support for... More »

Justin Bieber Gets Scolded by the Vatican

For kicking a soccer ball around its halls

(Newser) - Justin Bieber is apparently still not over his " annoying teenager " phase, and his latest unholy behavior reportedly got him reprimanded by the Vatican. CTV News reports that Bieber took a private after-hours tour of Vatican City earlier this month, including visits to the Vatican Museums and the Papal... More »

Pope Francis Beatifies Paul VI

Says 'God is not afraid of new things'

(Newser) - Pope Francis today beatified Pope Paul VI, concluding the remarkable meeting of bishops debating family issues that drew parallels to the tumultuous reforms of the Second Vatican Council which Paul oversaw and implemented. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI was on hand for the Mass. The bishops failed to reach consensus on... More »

Bishops Scrap Friendlier Views on Gay Catholics

They vote down revision to draft document

(Newser) - Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays today, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families. The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away... More »

Sistine Chapel Private Concert Goes to ... Porsche

It's part of automaker's tour of Italy for car owners

(Newser) - Michelangelo didn't know it at the time, but his work in the Sistine Chapel would one day provide the backdrop for a sacred gathering of Porsche enthusiasts. Tomorrow, those who shelled out about $6,400 a head to the automaker will hear a concert of classical music in the... More »

Vatican Pulls Back on Gay-Friendly Views

Emphasizes Monday's report was a 'working document'

(Newser) - The Vatican made waves this week with a seemingly more open stance toward gay and divorced people—but now, Catholic officials are pulling back from Monday's statement amid a backlash from conservatives, CNN reports. The Vatican's earlier comment that "homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to... More »

Vatican Warming Toward Gay and Divorced Catholics

Synod urges Church to appreciate 'positive aspects of civil unions,' 'gifts' of gay Catholics

(Newser) - The Vatican, in the latest sign that this is not your daddy's Catholic Church , appears to be opening its arms to gay and divorced Catholics, urging its priests to make "courageous pastoral choices" that are inclusive to a bevy of family models outside the traditional one. The shift... More »

Sistine Chapel Getting Better Lights

Given the surge in visitors, it needs a new A-C system, too

(Newser) - Michelangelo probably never would have imagined: His masterpiece on the ceiling and walls of the Sistine Chapel soon will be illuminated by 7,000 LED lights, reports the Wall Street Journal . Visitors have been complaining that the current lighting is so bad they can't make out details of the... More »

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