NEWS ABOUT: Pope Francis

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Christian Woman Leaves Sudan, Meets With Pope

Meriam Ibrahim, family make pit stop in Rome before move to US

(Newser) - A Sudanese woman sentenced to death for refusing to denounce her Christian faith—then freed , only to be rearrested and freed again —has finally left the country. After more than a month in the US embassy in Khartoum, Meriam Ibrahim today flew with her family to Rome, where she... More »

Vatican: Pope Misquoted on Pedophile Cardinals

And he didn't say he'd 'find solution' to celibacy

(Newser) - Pope Francis has made headlines around the world with an interview in which he said 2% of clergy, including cardinals, are pedophiles , but the Vatican says those weren't his words—and it wasn't exactly an interview. The words attributed to the pontiff in the La Repubblica newspaper came... More »

2% of Clergy Are Pedophiles: Pope Francis

Pontiff hints at possible changes to priest celibacy

(Newser) - Pope Francis has offered an estimate on "the level of pedophilia in the Church," Sky News reports: He puts it at 2%, basing his information on aides' figures. "That 2% includes priests and even bishops and cardinals," the pope tells La Repubblica newspaper of Italy. "... More »

Pope to Abuse Victims: I Beg Your Forgiveness

Francis meets with 6 abuse survivors, apologizes for 'sins of omission'

(Newser) - In a gesture that's grabbing some attention, Pope Francis today met with victims of clergy sexual abuse—six of them, two each from Britain, Germany, and Ireland—and apologized for the "sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of... More »

After US Woman's Son Dies, the Vatican Calls

Stephany Nicolo got quite the unexpected voicemail

(Newser) - Pope Francis has offered an American woman a "big hug and a blessing" after the death of her son, according to a Vatican official. Stephany Nicolo, a devout Catholic from Wakefield, Mass., says she called the Vatican after her 25-year-old son, Eric, died from an epileptic seizure in May.... More »

Vatican OKs Exorcist Group

Formally recognizes International Association of Exorcists

(Newser) - Exorcists now have a legal weapon at their disposal. The Vatican has formally recognized the International Association of Exorcists, a group of 250 priests in 30 countries who liberate the faithful from demons. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported yesterday that the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy had approved... More »

Pope Francis: Communists Hijacked Church's Ideas

And women are 'taken from a rib,' he jokes

(Newser) - Pope Francis has excommunicated the Mafia , will bankers be next? Asked by an interviewer about the criticisms of capitalism that have led some to suggest he has communist leanings, the pontiff said the church was helping the poor long before Marxist ideology existed, Reuters reports. "I can only say... More »

Pope: Mafiosi Excommunicated

First time a pope has used word to address organized crime

(Newser) - Pope Francis issued a powerful condemnation of the Mafia today, saying the mafiosi and others who follow an evil path "are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated." Never before has a pope specifically referred to "excommunication" of the mafiosi, Reuters notes. The pope was speaking... More »

Pope: No Legalizing Drugs

Francis calls drug addiction 'an evil'

(Newser) - Pope Francis condemned the legalization of recreational drugs as a flawed and failed experiment today, lending his voice to a debate which is raging from the US to Uruguay and beyond. Francis told delegates to a drug-enforcement conference in Rome that even limited attempts to legalize recreational drugs "are... More »

Ex-Mobster: I Have Secrets to Confess to the Pope

Vincenzo Calcara wants to meet with Pope Francis

(Newser) - In what could be one of history's more intriguing cases of a Catholic confessing his sins, a former mobster has asked for a meeting with Pope Francis so he can confess three "very important secrets." Vincenzo Calcara, described by the BBC as a "mafia turncoat" who... More »

Israeli, Palestinian Leaders Visit Pope for Prayers

Shimon Peres, Mahmoud Abbas join Pope Francis at Vatican

(Newser) - Pope Francis waded head-first into Mideast peace-making today, welcoming the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to the Vatican for an evening of peace prayers just weeks after the last round of US-sponsored negotiations collapsed . Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas embraced in the foyer of the Vatican hotel... More »

Pope to Couples: Have Kids, Not Pets

Lonely old age looms otherwise, he says

(Newser) - Married couples who raise pets instead of little Catholics are destined for a bitter, lonely old age, according to Pope Francis. At mass yesterday, he said a "culture of wellbeing" had convinced people that "it's better not to have children"—because that way you can travel;... More »

Pope Peeved by Ex-No. 2's Posh Digs: Report

Retired cardinal isn't exactly retiring to a humble abode

(Newser) - Pope Francis is a frugal guy, but some of the Vatican's higher-ups are apparently having a hard time following his example. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the church's recently retired No. 2 and secretary of state under the less austere Pope Benedict, is renovating an apartment in which to spend... More »

What Language Did Jesus Speak?

Pope Francis, Benjamin Netanyahu disagree

(Newser) - This week saw a small disagreement between Pope Francis and Israel's prime minister. When the two met publicly in Jerusalem, Benjamin Netanyahu told the pope that "Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew." Francis corrected him, Reuters reports: "Aramaic." Netanyahu's response: "... 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 »

Pope to Meet Sex Abuse Victims, Declares 'Zero Tolerance'

Vatican abuse probe is looking at three bishops: Francis

(Newser) - Pope Francis announced today he would meet soon with a group of sex abuse victims at the Vatican and declared "zero tolerance" for any member of the clergy who would violate a child. Francis also revealed that three bishops are currently under investigation by the Vatican for abuse-related reasons,... More »

Pope Places Wreath on Zionism Founder's Tomb

Meets with Holocaust survivors at memorial

(Newser) - Yesterday, Pope Francis made waves by referring to the Palestinian territories as the "state of Palestine"—a papal first—and praying at a West Bank barrier that Palestinians see as a symbol of Israeli oppression. But today he showed some love to the other side of conflict by... More »

Pope Prays at West Bank Barrier

Israeli, Palestinian presidents accept invitation to Vatican

(Newser) - The pope's Holy Land visit has been full of surprises. In an unplanned move today, Pope Francis stopped to pray at the concrete wall dividing Bethlehem and Jerusalem—a wall which, to Palestinans, symbolizes oppression by Israel, Reuters notes. Graffiti where he prayed read, "Free Palestine." The... More »

Abbas, Peres Accept Francis' Invite to Pray

Pope makes a breakthrough in visit to Bethlehem

(Newser) - The offices of the Israeli and Palestinian presidents are confirming that they have accepted an invitation from Pope Francis to visit the Vatican together next month. At the end of an open-air Mass in the biblical town of Bethlehem today, Francis invited the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the Vatican... More »

No. of Cops Guarding Pope This Weekend: 8K

That figure puts him even with President Obama

(Newser) - When President Obama last visited Israel, he was accompanied by a rather large police presence—about 8,000 officers. Pope Francis will get the same treatment in the country this weekend , NBC News reports. Already, "all sorts of extreme elements" are seeking to "create pressure and the impression... More »

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