Catholic Church

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Fatima Siblings Will Become Saints

Children who saw visions of Mary will be canonized, church says

(Newser) - The two young siblings who Catholics believe saw a vision of the Madonna six times in the Portuguese village of Fatima in 1917 will be made saints, the Vatican said Thursday, per Reuters . Francisco and Jacinta Marto, along with their cousin Lucia Dos Santos, said they received three messages or... More »

NY Archdiocese Needs $100M to Pay Abuse Victims—at Least

64 settlement offers have been made so far

(Newser) - The Archdiocese of New York plans to get a $100 million loan to pay victims of sexual abuse within the church—though it may not be enough. The archdiocese is seeking a one-year mortgage from JPMorgan Chase on land across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the Lotte... More »

Vatican's Priest Abuse Panel Loses Only Survivor

Marie Collins quits commission, calls Vatican's behavior 'shameful'

(Newser) - The only remaining sexual abuse survivor on the Vatican's commission dealing with sexual abuse by priests has quit over what she calls "shameful" push back from the Vatican, Reuters reports. Marie Collins says the "last straw" for her was when the Vatican administration ignored a request from... More »

Pope Quietly Trims Sanctions for Sex Abusers

He declined to defrock priest found guilty of sex crimes against children

(Newser) - Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope's own advisers question. One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received... More »

Pope Francis on When It Might Be 'Better to Be an Atheist'

He says Catholics are hypocrites if they don't treat their employees well

(Newser) - "How many times have we all heard people say 'if that person is a Catholic, it is better to be an atheist,'" Pope Francis said Thursday while speaking of hypocritical Christians. Reuters reports the pope made the remarks while delivering an off-the-cuff homily during his private... More »

She Said She Saw Mary in 1917. Now, a Push for Beatification

Portugal presents evidence for Fatima nun's beatification

(Newser) - Catholic Church officials in Portugal said Monday they have assembled more than 15,000 pages of testimony and documentation to support the proposed beatification of Sister Lucia, one of three shepherd children who said the Virgin Mary appeared to them in the town of Fatima in 1917. The officials said... More »

Is Steve Bannon's Next Fight Against Pope Francis?

He's reportedly aligned with the pope's conservative critics within the church

(Newser) - A spate of headlines this week have surfaced about Trump adviser Steve Bannon and his views on Pope Francis. The stories center on allegations that Bannon, a Catholic, has joined forces with the pope's conservative critics within the church in order to torpedo the pontiff's agenda. A look... More »

Shocking Scale of Priest Sex Abuse in Australia Revealed

7% of Catholic priests were accused of abusing children

(Newser) - A staggering 7% of priests in Australia's Catholic Church were accused of sexually abusing children between 1950 and 2010, a lawyer said Monday as officials investigating institutional abuse across Australia revealed for the first time the extent of the crisis. The statistics were released during the opening address of... More »

Behold, Mickey Dee's Latest: the 'McVatican'

Controversial new Golden Arches opens a stone's throw from St. Peter's Square

(Newser) - Pope Francis might have a job for life, but residents of Vatican City with less job security can now fall back on flipping burgers: As NBC News reports, there's a new McDonald's in town, and this one is controversially located on Vatican-owned property a stone's throw from... More »

This Ancient Vial of Blood Suggests 2017 Is Cursed

Saint's blood failed to liquefy, just like in 1939

(Newser) - And you thought 2016 was a rough year. Humanity is apparently in for a disaster equal to World War II or a cholera epidemic, based on an ancient vial of blood. According to legend, a woman collected the blood of Saint Januarius, or San Gennaro—the once pious bishop of... More »

Pope Francis Makes It Easier to Forgive Abortion

All priests can now absolve the 'grave sin'

(Newser) - Pope Francis temporarily gave Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion during the Church's "Holy Year of Mercy," which ended Sunday. In a letter released Monday, however, the pope "extended" the right to priests, suggesting it would last at least until the end of his... More »

Catholic Church: Yes, Members Planned, Aided 1994 Genocide

Statement was read out at churches around Rwanda

(Newser) - The Catholic Church in Rwanda apologized on Sunday for the church's role in the 1994 genocide, saying it regretted the actions of those who participated in the massacres. "We apologize for all the wrongs the church committed. We apologize on behalf of all Christians for all forms of... More »

Pope Francis Gives Definitive Answer on Female Priests

And it's not what a lot of people were hoping for

(Newser) - Pope Francis says the Roman Catholic Church will never, ever have female priests. Reuters reports Francis offered "some of his most definitive remarks on the issue" during a flight back from Sweden, where he had met with the female head of the Lutheran Church. "St. Pope John Paul... More »

Scattering Ashes a Big No-No, Says Vatican

Keeping an urn full of ashes isn't allowed, either

(Newser) - Keeping the cremated ashes of a loved one in an urn on your mantel is officially against the rules for Catholics. New guidelines from the Vatican state that ashes must never be scattered or kept by family members, but held in a "sacred place" like a cemetery, reports the... More »

Francis Names 17 Cardinals; 13 Can Vote on His Successor

3 of them are Americans, including one banished from Vatican by Benedict

(Newser) - Pope Francis named 17 new cardinals Sunday—13 of them under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave to elect his successor. Three of the new cardinals are Americans, including leading US moderate Chicago Archbishop Blaise Cupich and Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin. As is Francis' tradition, the... More »

2 Nuns Fall in Love, Leave Church, Get Hitched

Franciscan sisters in Italy joined in civil union

(Newser) - Two former nuns were joined in a civil union in Italy on Wednesday in a ceremony coming only four months after the heavily Catholic country approved same-sex partnerships. Identified only as Isabel and Federica, they met three years ago doing charitable work with drug addicts and gradually fell in love,... More »

Priest Murdered by ISIS Already on Path to Sainthood

Jacques Hamel was murdered in his church in France

(Newser) - An 85-year-old French priest murdered in his own church by Islamic militants in July is already being prepped for sainthood, Reuters reports. Speaking during a Mass Wednesday at the Vatican, Pope Francis called Jacques Hamel a "good, humble man" and a martyr. "He gave his life for us... More »

Archbishop: Remarried Couples Must Live as 'Brother and Sister'

Also, no sex for gay couples and unmarried couples, obviously

(Newser) - It just got a whole lot less fun to be a Catholic in Philadelphia. New guidelines released by Archbishop Charles Chaput last Friday say divorced couples who have remarried must permanently abstain from sex, instead living like "brother and sister," the Guardian reports. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer... More »

Montreal Priests Won't Be Allowed Alone With Kids

Chancellor says it's about protecting victims and the church

(Newser) - Some Catholic churches in Canada have banned priests from being alone with children—and more are about to start. The Catholic Church of Montreal says it will bar priests, volunteers, educators, and anyone else in "the orbit of the church" from being alone with children at 10 parishes beginning... More »

Pope Open to First Female Clergy In Over 1K Years

He promises commission to consider female deacons

(Newser) - During a meeting with an international group of nuns on Thursday, Pope Francis casually mentioned that he's open to making the biggest change to women's role in the Catholic Church in more than 1,000 years. When one of the sisters asked about the possibility of a commission... More »

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