Vatican City

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Bernie Sanders Accepts Invitation to the Vatican

He'll attend a conference on social, economic, environmental issues

(Newser) - Bernie Sanders said Friday he will attend a Vatican City conference on social, economic, and environmental issues next week, making the symbolic overseas trip ahead of a pivotal New York primary against Hillary Clinton. The Vermont senator has long been an admirer of Pope Francis on issues of wealth inequality... More »

Argument About Vatican Having Walls Not Quite Right

Vatican City isn't surrounded by them

(Newser) - When Pope Francis suggested Donald Trump's plan to build a wall between the US and Mexico was "not Christian," Trump's senior adviser shot back. "Amazing comments from the pope—considering Vatican City is 100% surrounded by massive walls," Dan Scavino tweeted Thursday. Rush Limbaugh... 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 »

Vatican City Beats Every Country—at Drinking Wine

Consumes more wine per capita than any other country

(Newser) - If you're a big fan of wine and would like to be surrounded by apparently like-minded people, consider moving to Vatican City. Despite its small size, or perhaps because of it, it manages to consume more wine per capita than any other country, according to the Wine Institute. How... More »

Man Sets Self Ablaze at Vatican

Now in hospital with 'serious burns,' condition 'grave'

(Newser) - A man is in "grave" condition after he doused himself in gasoline and set himself on fire in St. Peter's Square today around 8:30am local time, ANSA reports. The 51-year-old man was treated at a nearby hospital, then transferred to a larger one, with serious burns to... More »

Pope Shuns Palace Apartment

He opts for hotel room over 12-room papal dwelling

(Newser) - Pope Francis, much like his saintly namesake, is keeping things simple. He has shunned the fancy robes favored by his predecessor, and now he's broken with a tradition more than a century old by declining to move into the grand papal apartment in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, Reuters... More »

At Inaugural, Francis Calls for Protection of Planet, Poor

New pope tours St. Peter's Square in open-top Jeep

(Newser) - Pope Francis officially kicked off his papacy today with a call to protect the planet and its poor, in a "low-key" yet dignitary-stuffed inaugural Mass that installed him as the Catholic Church's 266th pontiff. “Let us never forget that authentic power is service and that the pope,... More »

'Green' Pope Gets First Electric Car

Pontiff presented with electric Kangoo

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI can now pootle around the grounds of his summer residence in an electric car. The pontiff—who has paid more attention to environmental issues than his predecessors—was presented with the customized white Kangoo by Renault, AP reports. The automaker has already given electric Kangoos to the... More »

Vatican Slammed With $19M Deficit

2011 figures blamed on market troubles, high costs

(Newser) - After a rare surplus in 2010, last year saw the Vatican's biggest deficit in years: $19 million, the AP reports. The figure comes despite bigger donations from dioceses around the world and the Vatican bank's $62 million donation to the pope. Officials say weak markets—particularly in real... More »

Mobster's Tomb Opened in Quest to Solve Vatican Mystery

Bones removed from Roman basilica in search for missing teen

(Newser) - Italian cops cracked open the jewel-encrusted tomb of a murdered mob boss yesterday in a bid to solve the 1983 disappearance of a Vatican employee's teenage daughter. Experts opened the casket of Enrico de Pedis inside the crypt of a prestigious Roman basilica and discovered that he was the... More »

Vatican Transfers Corruption Whistleblower

Vatican confirms letters penned by whistleblower, calls reports 'banal'

(Newser) - Italy is reeling from news last night that a high-ranking official of Vatican City who tried to blow the whistle on corruption was ignored and was forced to transfer positions, reports Reuters . Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was the No. 2 man at Vatican City in charge of maintaining the... More »

Half-Naked Acrobats Shake Up Staid Vatican

Benedict looks especially uncomfortable

(Newser) - The Vatican's normally a pretty staid place, lined with pure thoughts and celibate clergymen, so more than a few eyebrows raised when four buff guys lined up in front of Pope Benedict himself and ripped their shirts off. The four were actually acrobats, known as the Pilgrim Brothers, who proceeded... More »

White House Supports Vatican Immunity

Solicitor general backs Vatican in abuse suit

(Newser) - The Vatican should not be held liable in civil lawsuits over clergy abuse cases because it's a sovereign nation, according to Obama administration lawyers. The acting solicitor general has urged the Supreme Court to set aside a ruling from an appellate court allowing an Oregon man claiming abuse by a... More »

Vatican Plans Major Overhaul of Secretive Bank

Pope shakes up management at little-regulated Vatican bank

(Newser) - The Vatican bank—so secretive it makes Swiss bankers seem chatty—is getting a major revamp as part of Pope Benedict XVI's campaign for transparency. Italian economist Ettori Tedeschi has been appointed the new chief executive—replacing someone who's been in the post 20 years—and the bank's supervisory board... More »

Vatican Plans Europe's Largest Solar Plant

(Newser) - The Vatican plans to build Europe’s largest solar power plant on land it owns north of Rome, Bloomberg reports. The 740-acre site—many times bigger than the 108 acres that make up the world’s smallest nation—is predicted to generate enough power for 40,000 households when it... More »

Religious Tourists Still Flocking to Italy

Easter likely to see 100,000 in St. Peter's Square

(Newser) - While industries around the world feel the weight of recession, Italy’s religious tourism appears fairly immune, USA Today reports. “It's one of the only areas where things haven't slowed down much," said a religious tour marketer. "Religious pilgrims still want to have the same experiences”—... More »

Vatican Splits Off From Italian Law

Vatican will no longer rubber stamp Italian laws before adopting them

(Newser) - The Vatican is getting a divorce from Italian law. The Pope has decreed his city-state within Rome will no longer automatically endorse Italian legislation, but will scrutinize bills for conflicts with Roman Catholic doctrine before adopting them. It's the first time the Vatican has distanced itself from Italy's laws—and... More »

Vatican Offers Earthly Rewards

Employees get new corporate-style bonus system

(Newser) - The Vatican is offering corporate-style performance bonuses to its workers for the first time, the Times of London reports. Pope Benedict XVI is offering rewards based on "dedication, professionalism, productivity and politeness." The conditions will apply to the thousands of lay workers who do everything from run Vatican... More »

Pope Backtracks on Muslims

Benedict rebuilds demoted department the leads dialog with Islamic world

(Newser) - The Pope applied some salve to wounded relations with the Muslim world yesterday after neglecting and then appearing to slander Islam in a speech last fall. In a surprising reversal, Benedict XVI announced he is restoring the Vatican department responsible for Muslim affairs, which he demoted in importance last year. More »

King Cozies Up to Pope

Don King gets ringside seat, offers Benedict XVI a boxing belt

(Newser) - A tonsorially tamed Don King took the stage Wednesday in front of an atypical audience–the Pope. The legendary boxing promoter, who spent four years in jail for manslaughter, was denied a personal audience with his Holiness, but did manage to hand the pontiff a handwritten set of prayer requests–... More »

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