Pope Francis

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Pope Will Nosh on a Controversial Plant

He plans to chew coca leaves while in Bolivia

(Newser) - Another entry for the pope-is-a-regular-guy files: Francis wants to sample coca leaves when he arrives in Bolivia next week, reports Reuters . "He has specifically requested that he wants to chew coca, so we will be awaiting the Holy Father with the sacred coca leaf," says the culture minister.... More »

Pope: Sometimes, Couples Should Split

Especially if the kids are in danger, he says

(Newser) - Pope Francis addressed damaging dynamics within families yesteday, saying sometimes the separation of a husband and wife may be "inevitable" or "even morally necessary" to protect the "weaker spouse or small children." Francis said some troubled spouses are able to overcome their problems and revive their... More »

Pope's Encyclical Largely Ignored at Sunday Mass

Without guides, few priests take up environmental cause

(Newser) - Many Catholics are applauding Pope Francis' environmental encyclical addressing climate change and global inequality, which made a splash around the world last week. But on the first Sunday since "Praise Be to You" was published, few priests or bishops spoke of its lessons from the pulpit, reports the New ... More »

Pope: If You Make Weapons, Don't Call Yourself Christian

He questions why the Allies didn't do more to stop the Holocaust, too

(Newser) - Some theologians wonder why God didn't stop the Holocaust; Pope Francis wants to know why the Allies didn't do more to stop it. "The great powers had photographs of the railway routes that the trains took to the concentration camps, like Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and... More »

Pope's Deep Green Dive: 'Our Home' Looks Like 'Pile of Filth'

Humans' 'unethical consumerism' has spurred our current environmental 'crisis'

(Newser) - Three days after it was leaked online (amid whispers the leak may have been an inside job ), Pope Francis' long-awaited encyclical on the environment was officially released today, and he doesn't mince words in describing today's environmental issues as "one small sign of the ethical, cultural... More »

Pope Francis' Encyclical Leak: an Inside Job?

Reporter's press credentials suspended; some suspect Vatican conservatives

(Newser) - The "heinous act" of leaking the draft of Pope Francis' long-awaited environment encyclical may have been designed to steal some thunder from Thursday's official launch, Vatican observers say—and some think it may have been masterminded by Vatican insiders, the AP reports. What the news agency is calling... More »

Pope Francis Letter Leaks in 'Heinous Act'

Vatican is not pleased, reminds all that official copy comes Thursday

(Newser) - Pope Francis' long-anticipated letter on the environment has arrived three days early, at least in some fashion. A 192-page draft version of the encyclical, a rare papal "teaching letter," was posted online today by Italian magazine L'Espresso, reports the Wall Street Journal . It has confirmation of its... More »

Pope to Release 'Most Radical Statement Yet'

Francis expected to tell Catholics they have a duty to fight climate change

(Newser) - Pope Francis is days away from releasing what the Guardian predicts will be "his most radical statement" yet, and he says it isn't just for Catholics. Francis will be accompanied by an atheist climate scientist and a Greek Orthodox theologian, as well as a Vatican cardinal, when he... More »

Pope Creates New Court for Abuse Cover-Up Bishops

It will punish those who 'failed to protect their flock'

(Newser) - Pope Francis has taken the biggest step yet to crack down on bishops who cover up for priests who rape and molest children, creating a new tribunal inside the Vatican to hear cases of bishops accused of failing to protect their flock. The initiative has significant legal and theological implications,... More »

Pope Sounds Skeptical on Virgin Apparitions

He criticizes Christian 'novelty seekers'

(Newser) - Dealing with things like the liquefaction of dried saint's blood is all in a day's work for Pope Francis, but he doesn't sound convinced by some alleged apparitions in a Bosnian village. More than 30 million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje since children first reported seeing the Virgin... More »

Pope Francis Remembers Last Day He Watched TV

It was July 15, 1990

(Newser) - If the Vatican has a water cooler, Pope Francis is decidedly not the guy spouting off Monday morning about last night's Game of Thrones: As NBC News reports via an extensive interview with Argentina's La Voz del Pueblo , the pontiff says he hasn't watched the boob tube... More »

Pope's Newest Saints: Palestinian Nuns

Pair from Holy Land canonized in front of Mahmoud Abbas

(Newser) - Pope Francis canonized two nuns from what was 19th-century Palestine today in hopes of encouraging Christians across the Middle East who are facing a wave of persecution from Islamic extremists. Sisters Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas were among four nuns who were made saints today. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas... More »

'Bienvenido!' Francis Welcomes Raul Castro

Pontiff helped drive warming US-Cuban relations, will visit island

(Newser) - Cuban President Raul Castro received a warm welcome at the Vatican today from Pope Francis, who played a key role in the breakthrough between Washington and Havana aimed at restoring US-Cuban diplomatic ties. "Bienvenido!" Francis said in his native Spanish, welcoming Castro in a studio near the Vatican... More »

Vatican OKs Controversial Missionary for Sainthood

Seems like Francis pushed for Junipero Serra, despite Native American complaints

(Newser) - The Vatican's saint-making office has officially given a thumbs-up for the Rev. Junipero Serra to be declared a saint—four months after Pope Francis announced he would canonize the controversial 18th-century missionary during his upcoming visit to the United States. The Vatican said today that the Congregation for the... More »

Skeptical Guy Hangs Up on Pope— Twice

He was sure it was a prank

(Newser) - The thing about being the pope is that strangers aren't going to believe it if you call out of the blue. Which is why Franco Rabuffi hung up on a man calling himself Pope Francis on April 27. And when the man called back, the ticked-off Rabuffi hung up... More »

Conservatives: Pope 'Misled' on Climate Change

Koch-funded think tank argues against 'unscientific agenda' Francis is pushing

(Newser) - Pope Francis has taken on procreation , ISIS , and the Vatican's money issues , and now he's about to take on climate change caused by humans. He's still preparing a secret papal encyclical on the environment due in the summer, and today Vatican officials are hosting a summit to... More »

In First, US Bishop Convicted in Porn Coverup Resigns

Missouri's Robert Finn was under pressure after failing to report priest's porn

(Newser) - Pope Francis today accepted the resignation of a US bishop who pleaded guilty to failing to report a priest suspected of child abuse in the first known case of a pope sanctioning bishops for covering up for pedophiles. The Vatican said today that Bishop Robert Finn had offered his resignation... More »

Sisters' Reaction to Vatican Ending Nun Takeover: Thank God

Critics said church's treatment of LCWR was misogynistic

(Newser) - The Vatican today unexpectedly ended its controversial takeover of the main umbrella group of US nuns, saying it had accepted a final report on its overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and declared that the "implementation of the mandate has been accomplished." The news signals a... More »

Furious With Francis, Turkey Yanks Ambassador

After pope labeled Armenian genocide a genocide

(Newser) - Pope Francis today lamented the deaths a century ago of some 1.5 million Armenians as one of "three massive and unprecedented tragedies" that struck the last century, reports the BBC , and the AP adds that Turkey wasted little time in yanking its ambassador to the Vatican after the... More »

Faithful Brave Rainy Easter as Pope Applauds Iran Deal

Francis hopes it's a 'definitive step' toward 'more fraternal world'

(Newser) - In an Easter peace wish, Pope Francis today praised the framework nuclear agreement with Iran as an opportunity to make the world safer, while expressing deep worry about bloodshed in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and elsewhere in Africa. Cautious hope ran through Francis' "Urbi et Orbi" Easter message,... More »

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