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Vatican Fires Priest Who Announced He's Gay

'I am a happy and proud gay priest'

(Newser) - "I have to say who I am," Krzysztof Charamsa told a Polish newspaper Saturday. "I am a happy and proud gay priest." Reuters reports that admission, also made to an Italian newspaper, cost the 43-year-old monsignor his position at the Vatican's Congregation of the Doctrine... More »

Is the Pope Facing Open Rebellion?

Conservatives say church is moving away from its 'real teachings'

(Newser) - Pope Francis' statements on everything from abortion to annulment have helped transform the public's view of the Catholic Church. As for actual changes in Church policy, there have been few. Why? The pope is "grappling with a conservative backlash to the liberal momentum building inside the church,"... More »

Vatican Envoy Accused of Sex Abuse Is Dead

Jozef Wesolowski was to be first high-ranking official tried for such crimes

(Newser) - Jozef Wesolowski will never see his day in court. The 67-year-old ex-envoy for the Vatican to the Dominican Republic, who was awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing children there, died today of apparent natural causes, the Vatican reports via the AP . His body was found in the room at... More »

Pope Embraces the Kids via Church's Tablet 2.0

Francis opts for gadget to sign himself up for World Youth Day

(Newser) - Pope Francis today opened the registration period for next year's World Youth Day in Poland, using a tablet to sign himself up from a window overlooking St. Peter's Square during the traditional Sunday blessing. The pontiff was joined by two young people as he extended an invitation to... More »

Pope's Deep Green Dive: 'Our Home' Looks Like 'Pile of Filth'

Humans' 'unethical consumerism' has spurred our current environmental 'crisis'

(Newser) - Three days after it was leaked online (amid whispers the leak may have been an inside job ), Pope Francis' long-awaited encyclical on the environment was officially released today, and he doesn't mince words in describing today's environmental issues as "one small sign of the ethical, cultural... More »

Pope Francis' Encyclical Leak: an Inside Job?

Reporter's press credentials suspended; some suspect Vatican conservatives

(Newser) - The "heinous act" of leaking the draft of Pope Francis' long-awaited environment encyclical may have been designed to steal some thunder from Thursday's official launch, Vatican observers say—and some think it may have been masterminded by Vatican insiders, the AP reports. What the news agency is calling... More »

Pope Francis Letter Leaks in 'Heinous Act'

Vatican is not pleased, reminds all that official copy comes Thursday

(Newser) - Pope Francis' long-anticipated letter on the environment has arrived three days early, at least in some fashion. A 192-page draft version of the encyclical, a rare papal "teaching letter," was posted online today by Italian magazine L'Espresso, reports the Wall Street Journal . It has confirmation of its... More »

Pope Creates New Court for Abuse Cover-Up Bishops

It will punish those who 'failed to protect their flock'

(Newser) - Pope Francis has taken the biggest step yet to crack down on bishops who cover up for priests who rape and molest children, creating a new tribunal inside the Vatican to hear cases of bishops accused of failing to protect their flock. The initiative has significant legal and theological implications,... More »

Vatican Recognizes Palestine; Israel 'Disappointed'

Official diplomatic recognition days ahead of Abbas visit

(Newser) - The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized today, immediately sparking Israeli ire and accusations that the move hurt peace prospects. The treaty, which concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic recognition... More »

Vatican OKs Controversial Missionary for Sainthood

Seems like Francis pushed for Junipero Serra, despite Native American complaints

(Newser) - The Vatican's saint-making office has officially given a thumbs-up for the Rev. Junipero Serra to be declared a saint—four months after Pope Francis announced he would canonize the controversial 18th-century missionary during his upcoming visit to the United States. The Vatican said today that the Congregation for the... More »

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 »

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