Vatican

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'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 »

Vatican's No. 3 Leaves Rome to Face Sexual Assault Charges

Cardinal George Pell arrived in Australia on Monday

(Newser) - The most senior Vatican cleric to ever be charged in the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal returned to Australia on Monday to stand trial in his home state on charges alleging he sexually assaulted multiple people years ago. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' top financial adviser, avoided waiting media... More »

Pope Speaks on Dying Baby, Changes Vatican Position

Francis says parents should be allowed to do everything possible

(Newser) - Pope Francis has been following the heartbreaking case of Charlie Gard "with affection and sadness," and he believes the parents of the terminally ill British baby should be allowed to do everything possible to treat him, the Vatican said in a statement Sunday. "He prays that their... More »

Vatican's No. 3 Official Charged With 'Historical' Sex Crimes

Cardinal George Pell denies accusations

(Newser) - Cardinal George Pell, the third highest-ranking Vatican official, has long been accused of mishandling the church's response to clergy abuse scandals in his native Australia. Police in Victoria state now say he might have been one of the abusers. Australian police say the 76-year-old Vatican treasurer faces "multiple... More »

Catholics Tied to Mafia Could Be Excommunicated

The Vatican is eyeing a new legal doctrine

(Newser) - The Vatican is looking to develop a new doctrine that calls for excommunicating Catholics for mafia association and corruption, the AP reports. That's the decision reached this week after the Vatican hosted its first-ever conference on fighting corruption and organized crime. The meeting gathered 50 prosecutors, bishops, victims, and... More »

Beginning of End for Noriega: One Marine's Wrong Turn

George HW Bush decided to invade after off-duty US officer was fatally shot

(Newser) - The death of Manuel Noriega has prompted all kinds of stories about his reign and overthrow, and the New York Times notes that it was the fatal shooting of a US military officer that proved to be the tipping point in his downfall. In December 1989, Panamanian troops killed an... More »

Catholic Spicer Reportedly Mad He Was Left Out of Pope Visit

President Trump's decision seen as a snub to press secretary

(Newser) - One of the hot topics among journalists in the wake of President Trump's visit to Pope Francis on Wednesday isn't about policy differences. Instead, it's about the president's perceived snub to Sean Spicer. CNN reports that the press secretary, who is a practicing Catholic, is seething... More »

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