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John Paul Letters Show 'Intense' Friendship With Married Woman

32-year correspondence includes 'deeply personal' notes, pics

(Newser) - Photos and more than 350 "intense" letters from Pope John Paul II to a married woman he corresponded with for more than three decades have been found at the National Library of Poland, Deutsche Welle reports, via a BBC documentary. The notes and images—often showing the pontiff, who... More »

Family Celebrates Baby's Recovery After Pope's Kiss

Gianna's tumor appears to be shrinking

(Newser) - Baby Gianna Masciantonio developed a rare brain tumor just weeks after her birth last year when her red blood cells attacked her brain stem. After multiple chemotherapy treatments, an August brain scan revealed that the tumor was still there, and parents Joey and Kristen Masciantonio decided to do one more... More »

Pope on Emissions: 'Catastrophic' If Special Interests Butt In

Francis spoke at African UN headquarters in Nairobi on fossil fuels

(Newser) - Pope Francis warned Thursday it would be "catastrophic" if special interests get in the way of a global agreement to curb the fossil fuel emissions blamed for global warming at a climate change meeting next week in Paris. In a speech at African UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, Francis... More »

Pope: Europe Is 'Elderly and Haggard'

Francis warns EU that it risks 'losing its own soul'

(Newser) - Pope Francis has been rather nice to gays and atheists , but Europe, look out. The Wall Street Journal reports that the pope took Europe to task today during a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, calling the continent "elderly and haggard" and "no longer fertile and... More »

John Paul II's Impending Sainthood Is Wrong

Maureen Dowd: He led the church during its pedophilia scandal

(Newser) - John Paul II accomplished great things as pope, but the Vatican is making a mistake in canonizing him as a saint this weekend, writes Maureen Dowd in the New York Times . The reason is simple and obvious: He "presided over the Catholic Church during nearly three decades of a... 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 »

OK, Pope Francis, Time to be CEO Now

Francis can't just ignore the rot at the Vatican Bank, David Alvarez argues

(Newser) - Pope Francis is a media darling, which is great for the Catholic Church, because otherwise reporters might look at things like the Vatican Bank instead. The bank's director and deputy director resigned July 1 amidst a criminal probe, after a priest was arrested for allegedly illegally moving $27 million... More »

Hot Twitter Account Is ... in Latin

Pope's Latin Twitter account is surprisingly popular

(Newser) - Latin may be a dead language, but it's very much alive on Twitter, thanks to an unexpectedly social-media-savvy old man: the pope. Pope Francis' Latin language Twitter account began under the auspices of Pope Benedict in January (it is the official language of the Holy See, after all), and... More »

Pope: I Stay in Hotel for My 'Psychiatric' Health

Francis gets frank in talk with students

(Newser) - Pope Francis has revealed that he never wanted to be pope and that he's living in the Vatican hotel for his "psychiatric" health. Francis got very personal today as he met with thousands of children from Jesuit schools across Italy and Albania. Answering their questions one by one,... More »

Poland Unveils Giant Statue of John Paul II

5-story likeness overlooks city of Czestochowa

(Newser) - Fans of Pope John Paul II now have a potential pilgrimage site: Czestochowa, Poland. The city in the southern Poland unveiled a giant statue of the late pontiff today. The white fiberglass figure rises about five stories, or more than 45 feet, on a hill overlooking the city. It was... 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 »

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 »

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 »

How It Ended Up Being Bergoglio

A front-runner, Scola, got a mistaken email of congratulations

(Newser) - Insiders are beginning to open up about how they chose Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope . For one thing, he wasn't part of the Vatican's troubled Curia hierarchy, but it was believed he could help heal it, the New York Times reports. It also helped that he didn'... More »

Pope Starts First Day by ... Paying Hotel Bill

Even though he now kinda runs the hotel

(Newser) - Never let it be said that Pope Francis is a deadbeat. He began his first day as pontiff by returning to the hotel where he'd been staying way back when he was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, picking up his own bags, and insisting on paying his bill—even though he... More »

Pope Francis: The Meaning Behind the Name

Celebrates St. Francis of Assisi: Vatican

(Newser) - So we've got a new pope , and he's got a new name—but what exactly does the moniker mean? It's a salute to St. Francis of Assisi, says a Vatican spokesman.
  • For a Jesuit pope, the choice is a nod to the Franciscans, often seen as Jesuit
... More »

Pope Francis Known for Humble Style

As archbishop in Buenos Aires, he avoided the trappings of his position

(Newser) - The world is getting to know Jorge Bergoglio, to be known as Pope Francis from this day forward. The 76-year-old Jesuit is the son of Italian immigrants who has spent nearly his entire life in Argentina. He is known as conservative on most church issues—staunchly opposing gay marriage, for... More »

New Pope: Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina

He will be called Pope Francis

(Newser) - The Catholic church has chosen a new pope: Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, a 76-year-old Jesuit. He will be known as Pope Francis and is the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than 1,000 years. He stepped out onto the balcony of... 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 »

Rodman 'Vacationing' With Kim Jong Un This Summer

Oh, and the Worm is jetting to Rome in hopes of meeting new pope, too

(Newser) - Just when you thought the Dennis Rodman-Kim Jong Un relationship couldn't possibly get any weirder ... now they're planning a vacation together, AFP reports. "I don't condone what he does, but he's my friend," Rodman said in a bizarre, rambling interview with KXJB yesterday. So... More »

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