Pope Benedict XVI

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Pope Francis: Sorry, Creationists, God Has No 'Magic Wand'

God isn't a 'magician,' and the Big Bang makes sense, he says

(Newser) - Pope Francis has some bad news for creationists and those who believe in the theory of intelligent design: He thinks both camps are wrong. In remarks to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Francis embraced the concepts of evolution and the Big Bang theory in straightforward language, reports the Independent .
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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 »

Pope: Priest 'Celibacy Is Not a Dogma'

And papal retirement could become more common

(Newser) - Sure, Catholic priests are usually celibate—but that tradition has only been around for about 1,000 years, Reuters notes. And according to Pope Francis, "celibacy is not a dogma." He tells reporters that "it is a rule of life that I appreciate very much and I... 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 »

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 »

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