NEWS ABOUT: Pope Benedict XVI

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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 »

88% of US Catholics Approve of Pope

And some 75% of Americans like Francis

(Newser) - American Catholics are big fans of the new pope, with some 88% approving of the job Pope Francis is doing, a CNN/ORC International poll finds. ( Eat your heart out, Congress .) As for the country as a whole, CNN reports that about three in four Americans has a positive... More »

Amid Overhaul, Vatican Bank Finds 100 Fishy Transactions

1K customers asked to leave

(Newser) - Last year, the Vatican bank detected six suspicious transactions; this year, that figure has soared to more than 100 amid a reform effort, an official tells the Los Angeles Times . That work, headed by Swiss financial expert Rene Bruelhart, also involves asking 1,000 account holders at the bank to... More »

Pope Francis Issues a New 'Thou Shalt Not'

He writes that we must say no 'to an economy of exclusion and inequality'

(Newser) - Pope Francis is a published author of a major work for the first time under that name, having issued his first apostolic exhortation. The topic: money. The 224-page document rails against unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny," and had this to say: "How can it be that... More »

Least Influential Person of the Year? Rodman

'GQ' rounds up the 25 people who didn't make a difference

(Newser) - Dennis Rodman certainly thinks he's influential, but GQ disagrees. The basketball star and self-styled North Korea ambassador is the No. 1 entry on the magazine's annual list of the 25 Least Influential People. Rodman "was the first prominent American celebrity invited inside the nation-sized prison that is... More »

NSA Spied on Vatican as Pope Was Chosen: Report

Church 'not worried' about Italian magazine piece

(Newser) - Among the NSA's apparently unending surveillance targets, according to an Italian magazine report, was one Jorge Mario Bergoglio—the current Pope Francis. Panorama says Bergoglio and other cardinals were subjects of US spying ahead of the conclave that made him pope , AFP notes. "It is feared that the... More »

In 7 Months, It'll Be 'Saint John Paul II'

John XXIII also set for sainthood in first double canonization

(Newser) - It's official: Pope John Paul II will be declared a saint on April 27, 2014—as will Pope John XXIII, pontiff from 1958-1963, in the Catholic Church's first-ever double canonization. Pope Francis, who will lead the ceremony, announced the date at a meeting with cardinals today, the AP... More »

Benedict: God Told Me to Quit

Former pope says he had 'mystical experience'

(Newser) - Former Pope Benedict is quoted as giving his most straightforward answer yet as to why he resigned : "God told me to." Benedict said so to an anonymous visitor, according to Catholic news agency Zenit, reports the Telegraph . It wasn't an apparition, explained Benedict, but more of a... More »

Francis: 'It's True,' Vatican Has Gay Lobby

Stunning admission in reported comments to private audience

(Newser) - Pope Francis has stunned Vatican-watchers by acknowledging that a "gay lobby" exists high up in the church hierarchy. "It is true, it is there ... We need to see what we can do," the pontiff told a key Latin American church group on June 6, according to a... More »

Benedict Withering Away: Sources

Vatican agrees, but says former pope's condition is not critical

(Newser) - Pope Benedict has only recently begun his retirement , but he may not have much time left to enjoy it. Several sources say his health has deteriorated significantly since leaving his post, reports USA Today . "Benedict is in a very bad way" says a Vatican media correspondent who met with... More »

The Vatican: Now With 100% More Pope

Benedict, Francis are new neighbors

(Newser) - Former Pope Benedict XVI is lugging his suitcases back to the Vatican today—marking the first time two popes have ever simultaneously lived behind Vatican walls. Benedict has been staying at the pontifical summer residence since abdicating in February, but will fly via official papal helicopter to his new home,... More »

2 Popes Meet: 'We Are Brothers'

Pope Francis prays with Pope emeritus Benedict

(Newser) - It's a Catholic first: A sitting pope met with his predecessor today. Pope Francis traveled to Castel Gandalfo outside Rome to visit with Pope emeritus Benedict, reports the BBC . The AP says both men paid deference to other other. When they entered a chapel, for instance, Benedict directed Francis... More »

Pope Francis to Wash, Kiss Inmates' Feet

New pope will break Holy Thursday tradition

(Newser) - At least he's washing them first: The new pope plans to wash and kiss the feet of juvenile delinquents in a rare gesture next Thursday, the Guardian reports. Instead of holding Holy Thursday mass in either St Peter's basilica or the basilica of St John in Lateran, Pope... More »

No Pope Today: First Smoke Is Black

Cardinals will try again tomorrow inside Sistine Chapel

(Newser) - Catholics have to wait at least one more day for a new pope, reports AP . Black smoke emerged from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel today, signaling that cardinals failed to elect a pope on the first ballot, as expected. They will now retire for the night and try again... More »

The White-Smoke Watch Begins

Cardinals prepare to cast first ballots for new pope

(Newser) - This afternoon, 115 cardinals will file into the frescoed Sistine Chapel singing the "Litany of Saints," a hypnotic Gregorian chant imploring the intercession of saints to help them choose a pope. By 3pm EDT (8pm local time) the first puffs of smoke should make their way out of... More »

Cardinals Get Ready to Send Smoke Signals

Voting for next pope begins Tuesday

(Newser) - Catholics should have a new pope next week. Church cardinals who already are gathered at the Vatican decided today to begin voting on Tuesday, reports CNN . As per tradition, they will vote in the Sistine Chapel and send up black smoke after a failed ballot (a candidate needs two-thirds of... More »

US Catholics: Give Us Hip, Young Pope

Poll finds most American Catholics think church is out of touch

(Newser) - The last pope was installed as a 78-year-old spring chicken who wasn't cool with birth control. This time around, a majority of US Catholics think that should change. A CBS News / New York Times poll finds that 66% of American Catholics want a pope who is "younger... More »

Cardinals Launch Pope-Picking Process

New pontiff's new name will offer vital clues

(Newser) - Catholic cardinals from all over the world are gathering in Rome to begin the process of choosing a successor to Benedict XVI, who ended his papacy Thursday . The 115 cardinal electors will hold meetings this week ahead of a conclave next week in which one of them is expected to... More »

With Benedict Out, the Secrecy Begins

Cardinals prepare to meet Monday

(Newser) - Pope Benedict is officially retired, and it's time for deliberations on his successor to begin in earnest. The "princes of the Church," top cardinals worldwide, will soon meet informally to discuss plans; on Monday, formal talks begin, Reuters reports. In closed-door general congregations, cardinals will assess potential... More »

Benedict Departs Vatican, Ends Papacy

Doors symbolically closed as he flies to summer residence

(Newser) - The massive doors to the pope's Castel Gandolfo residence have swung shut, symbolically ending Pope Benedict XVI's tenure as pope. The doors closed just after 8pm local time (2pm Eastern), USA Today reports, about three hours after Benedict had left the Vatican for the last time as pope... More »

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