Pope Francis

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Pope Hailed for Blood 'Half-Miracle'

Archbishop says Francis turned saint's blood back to liquid

(Newser) - Pope Francis was credited with what could be deemed a half-miracle in Naples, Italy, on Saturday, although it didn't involve bringing anybody halfway back to life or turning water halfway into wine. Instead, the normally-solidified blood of St. Gennaro, the city's patron saint, half-liquefied when the pope kissed... More »

Disgraced Cardinal Resigns After Sex Inquiry

Keith O'Brien gives up rights, privileges of cardinal

(Newser) - After sending him away for "penance," Pope Francis has officially accepted the resignation of disgraced cardinal Keith O'Brien. The cardinal resigned as archbishop in 2013 when he was accused of inappropriately touching four priests, but the latest move means O'Brien will give up the rights and... More »

Francis Thinks He'll Be Pope 5 Years, Tops

And he's really dying to go out for pizza without anyone seeing him

(Newser) - Today's the two-anniversary of Jorge Mario Bergoglio becoming pope, and he's waxing somewhat wistful about his expected tenure at the Vatican. "I have the feeling that my Pontificate will be brief, four or five years; I do not know, even two or three," the 78-year-old told... More »

Vatican: ISIS Threat to Francis 'Exists'

Security chief says he's taking vague threats seriously

(Newser) - The Vatican knows of "no plan for an attack against the Vatican or the Holy Father," but in the wake of ISIS' latest round of sabre-rattling, the commander of the Vatican gendarmes says that he's taking it seriously. "The threat exists," Domenico Giani tells an... More »

Pope Sparks Anger in Mexico With Drug Comment

Francis noted concerns over 'Mexicanization' of Argentina drug trafficking

(Newser) - The Vatican sought today to defuse a diplomatic tiff with Mexico after Pope Francis referred to the possible "Mexicanization" of his native Argentina from drug trafficking, the latest instance of Francis' casual speaking style getting him into trouble. The Vatican said it had sent an official diplomatic note to... More »

Christian ISIS Captive Dies a Muslim— Now What?

Photojournalist James Foley apparently converted during captivity

(Newser) - Many Roman Catholics saw journalist James Foley—who was kidnapped, tortured, and beheaded by ISIS —as a symbol of enduring faith under horrible circumstances. Then it came out that he had converted to Islam in captivity. Now what? "The answer is we can’t assess it," says... More »

Pope Opens a Barbershop for the Homeless

The less fortunate can also get a shower in public restrooms

(Newser) - Homeless men and women lined up today off St. Peter's Square to take advantage of Pope Francis' latest charitable initiative: a free shave and shower for the least fortunate. Mauro Casubolo, 49, was one of the first clients as the pope's barbershop opened in the public restrooms just... More »

Pope: It's 'Selfish' Not to Have Children

After 'rabbits' remark, he praises big families again

(Newser) - Deciding not to have children is a "selfish choice," Pope Francis told an audience in St. Peter's Square yesterday, presumably referring to childless couples instead of people who take vows of celibacy. The pontiff—who said last month that Catholics shouldn't breed "like rabbits" —... More »

Pope's Sex Abuse Commission on Spanking Remarks: Um, No

Commission will recommend Francis revise his remarks

(Newser) - Members of Pope Francis' sex abuse commission have criticized his remarks that it is OK for parents to spank their children , saying there is no place for physical discipline and that the commission would be making recommendations to him about protecting kids from corporal punishment. The commission met with its... More »

Pope: OK to Smack Kid, but Avoid Face

Francis speaks frankly on corporal punishment of children

(Newser) - It's OK to spank your child as long as you preserve the child's "dignity" and don't touch the face, according to Pope Francis. "One time, I heard a father say, 'I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face... More »

In First, Pope to Address Congress

It'll be a historic appearance on Sept. 24

(Newser) - Pope Francis will address a joint meeting of Congress on Sept. 24, making him the first pontiff to do so. House Speaker John Boehner—who is a Catholic, points out Politico —made the announcement at a news conference today, then issued a statement that reads in part, "We’... More »

Pope OKs Martyrdom for Archbishop Killed in 1980

Decreed Oscar Romero was killed out of hatred for the faith

(Newser) - Pope Francis decreed today that slain Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero was killed out of hatred for the faith, approving a martyrdom declaration that sets the stage for his beatification. Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, was gunned down by right-wing death squads in 1980 while celebrating Mass. He had spoken... More »

Vatican Gives Up on Doves

Animal-rights groups objected after last year's attack

(Newser) - A year after Pope Francis and a couple of children released two doves from his studio window in St. Peter's Square to disastrous results , the Vatican chose today to instead release balloons in the name of peace. The doves tradition begun by Pope John Paul II bit the dust... More »

Santorum: 'Very Difficult' to Listen to Pope

Ex-senator didn't like pontiff's statements on Catholics breeding 'like rabbits'

(Newser) - Pope Francis likely wasn't referring specifically to Rick Santorum when he said Monday that there was no need for Catholics to breed "like rabbits" —but the ex-Pennsylvania senator and past/possibly future US presidential contender didn't like what he heard. "It's sometimes very difficult to... More »

Pope Francis: Big Families Are Good

Softens his comment that Catholics needn't breed 'like rabbits'

(Newser) - Pope Francis praised big families today as a gift from God, after his comments that Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits" made headlines this week. Francis said numerous children don't cause poverty in the developing world, as some have suggested, and that the real cause of... More »

Pope: There's No Need to Breed 'Like Rabbits'

Catholics have plenty of 'licit' ways to regulate births

(Newser) - After this colorful metaphor , an equally colorful simile from Pope Francis: While the pontiff firmly upholds church teaching banning contraception, he today said that Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits" and should instead practice "responsible parenting." Speaking to reporters en route home from the Philippines,... More »

John Paul Who? Record 6M Turn Out for Francis

Philippine streets jammed for pope's final day in Asia as rain pours

(Newser) - A record 6 million people poured into Manila's rain-soaked streets and its biggest park today as Pope Francis ended his Asian pilgrimage with an appeal for Filipinos to protect their young from sin and vice so they can become missionaries of the faith. The Vatican received the figure officially... More »

Pope Dons Rain Poncho, Visits Typhoon Survivors

But Francis has to leave Philippines early because of another storm

(Newser) - Pope Francis traveled to the far eastern Philippines to comfort survivors of devastating Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, but had to cut his own trip short because of another approaching storm. In a windy and rainy morning Mass with a crowd that included Haiyan survivors, he conceded it was hard to... More »

Pope on Free Speech: Curse My Mom and Get Punched

Francis says free speech has its limits

(Newser) - Freedom of expression has its limits, and those limits include the pope's mama and poking the faith of others. Aboard the papal plane ahead of his trip to the Philippines, Pope Francis addressed the Charlie Hebdo attack by way of pointing to the man at his side, saying, "... More »

Francis to Moms: It's Cool, Nurse Babies in Sistine

Pontiff baptizes 33 infants, again tells mothers to feed if they're hungry

(Newser) - Pope Francis has baptized 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel as part of an annual tradition, this year repeating an invitation to mothers to nurse their babies if crying out of hunger. Francis pronounced each baby's name and poured water from a golden shell-shaped cup on to their foreheads... More »

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