Vatican

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He Kept Vatican's Secrets for 45 Years. Now He's Retiring

Retiring prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archive reveals how US funds paid for 1922 peculiar conclave

(Newser) - The Vatican has been trying for years to debunk the idea that its vaunted secret archives are all that secret: It has opened up the files of controversial World War II-era Pope Pius XII to scholars and changed the official name to remove the word "Secret" from its title....

After Pope's Public Comments, Nicaragua Frees Jailed Bishop

Along with 18 other clergy members

(Newser) - Nicaragua's government released a prominent Catholic bishop and 18 other clergy members imprisoned in a crackdown by President Daniel Ortega and handed them over to Vatican authorities, who welcomed them in Rome on Sunday. Bishop Rolando Alvarez—described by the New York Times as "one of the most...

Pope: Priests Can Bless Same-Sex Couples

Those seeking God's love and mercy shouldn't be subject to 'exhaustive moral analysis' to get it

(Newser) - If same-sex couples go to their priest looking for a blessing, Pope Francis is cool with it. This news comes via a new document approving a radical change in Vatican policy by insisting that people seeking God's love and mercy shouldn't be subject to "an exhaustive moral...

In a First, Vatican Court Convicts a Cardinal

Angelo Becciu, who was a close adviser to Pope Francis, found guilty of embezzlement

(Newser) - Cardinal Angelo Becciu, a onetime adviser to Pope Francis who was touted as a potential successor, was convicted Saturday by a Vatican court of embezzlement. Cardinal Angelo Becciu was sentenced to 5½ years in prison, the BBC reports. He was charged after an investigation sparked by a losing property investment...

Vatican Bends Its Rules Regarding Ashes of the Dead

Families may request to keep a small portion, so long as the rest resides in a sacred space

(Newser) - The Vatican has slightly softened its stance when it comes to the ashes of the dead, saying Tuesday that Catholic families may keep a small portion of their relative's cremated ashes in a "place of significance" to them rather than in a church or cemetery. It's the...

Pope's Top Critic Is About to Have to Find New Digs

Pontiff has apparently had it with Cardinal Raymond Burke

(Newser) - Cardinal Raymond Burke , an American who's led conservative resistance to Pope Francis' progressive moves since his election a decade ago, has apparently poked the pontiff one too many times. As the New York Times reports, Francis has "frequently demoted and stripped the American cleric of influence"—...

Vatican Reminds Catholics Freemasonry Is Banned

Church believes those Catholics who join are in a state of 'grave sin'

(Newser) - In 1738, Pope Clement XII declared Freemasonry an excommunicable offense, and the Catholic Church's position hasn't softened much since then. The Vatican this week confirmed its ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons, a secretive and ritualistic society with an estimated 6 million members worldwide. "Active membership in Freemasonry...

Pope's Comments on Same-Sex Unions Make Waves

Francis suggests there could be ways to bless such unions

(Newser) - Pope Francis has suggested there could be ways to bless same-sex unions, responding to five conservative cardinals who challenged him to affirm church teaching on homosexuality ahead of a big meeting where LGBTQ+ Catholics are on the agenda. The Vatican on Monday published a letter Francis wrote to the cardinals...

Pope Enters 'Crucial New Phase' for Church

Francis appoints 21 new cardinals to help him enact his reforms, cement his legacy

(Newser) - Pope Francis created 21 new cardinals at a ritual-filled ceremony Saturday, including key figures at the Vatican and in the field who will help enact his reforms and cement his legacy as he enters a crucial new phase in running the Catholic Church. On a crisp sunny day filled with...

Pope Accepts Bishop Named By China
Pope Yields
to China on
New Bishop

Pope Yields to China on New Bishop

Government filled Shanghai post months ago, despite agreement with Vatican

(Newser) - Pope Francis has given in to China's unilateral appointment of a new bishop in Shanghai, formally recognizing the government's installation of Bishop Shen Bin three months after the fact. The Vatican said Saturday that Francis had appointed Shen as bishop of Shanghai, transferring him from Haimen. The announcement...

Vatican: Let's Look at New Leads Over Missing Teen

40 years after 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi vanished, new hope for solving her cold case

(Newser) - Exactly 40 years after the teenage daughter of a Vatican employee disappeared, the Vatican said Thursday that new leads "worthy of further investigation" had surfaced hopes of finally getting to the bottom of one of the Holy See's enduring mysteries. Emanuela Orlandi vanished June 22, 1983, after leaving...

Pope Francis Goes Under the Knife
Pope Francis'
Surgery Was
Successful
UPDATED

Pope Francis' Surgery Was Successful

Surgeon says Francis cracked joke afterward

(Newser) - Pope Francis underwent successful surgery Wednesday to remove intestinal scar tissue and repair a hernia in his abdominal wall. The Vatican said there were no complications during the three-hour surgery, which required the 86-year-old to be under general anesthesia, the AP reports. The pontiff is expected to remain at Rome’...

Car Rushes Vatican Gate, Is Fired On by Armed Guards

Driver was apprehended quickly after Thursday night incident

(Newser) - A car driven by someone with apparent psychiatric problems rushed through a Vatican gate Thursday evening and sped past Swiss Guards into a palace courtyard before the driver was apprehended by police, the Holy See said. Vatican gendarmes fired a shot at the speeding car’s front tires after it...

Struck by Lightning, Ancient Hercules Is Reborn

Vatican experts are restoring this statue to its former glory

(Newser) - Scaffolding in a niche of the Vatican Museums' Round Hall conceals from view the work of restorers who are removing centuries of grime from the largest known bronze statue of the ancient world: the gilded Hercules Mastai Righetti. For more than 150 years, the 13-foot-tall figure of the half-human Roman...

Connecticut Priest Happy About 'Very Cool Miracle'

Church asks Vatican to weigh in on whether one took place during communion

(Newser) - A Catholic church is Connecticut is wondering whether it might have a miracle on its hands. In fact, St. Thomas Catholic Church in Thomaston has rounded up the evidence and asked the Vatican to formally weigh in, reports the Hartford Courant . The particulars are pretty straight-forward: In March, a lay...

Pope Endorses Returning Artifacts Held by Vatican

'If you steal something you have to give it back,' Francis says

(Newser) - Pope Francis said Sunday that talks were underway to return artifacts in the Vatican Museum that were acquired from Indigenous peoples in Canada and voiced a willingness to return other colonial-era objects in the Vatican's collection on a case-by-case basis. "The Seventh Commandment comes to mind: If you...

'We Still Call Him Georgio'
'We Still Call Him Giorgio'
the rundown

'We Still Call Him Giorgio'

Pope Francis quietly celebrates a 10-year milestone

(Newser) - It's been 10 years since a guy named Jorge Bergoglio became the leader of 1.3 billion Catholics, with the white smoke emerging from the Sistine Chapel to signal that a new pope—the first from Latin America—had been selected. The then-76-year-old Pope Francis was seen as an...

Vatican Giving Up Parthenon Pieces It Has Held for Centuries

The move ratchets up pressure on the British Museum to do the same

(Newser) - The Vatican and Greece finalized a deal Tuesday for the return of three sculpture fragments from the Parthenon that have been in the collection of the Vatican Museums for two centuries, the latest case of a Western museum bowing to demands for restitution. The Vatican has termed the return an...

Vatican to Take Another Look at Case of Emanuela Orlandi

The 15-year-old daughter of Vatican employee vanished in 1983

(Newser) - The Vatican said Monday it has reopened the investigation into the 1983 disappearance of the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee, months after a new Netflix documentary purported to shed new light on the case and weeks after her family asked the Italian Parliament to take up the cause . Vatican...

For the First Time in Centuries, Pope Presides Over Pope's Funeral

50K attended service for Benedict XVI

(Newser) - With bells tolling, tens of thousands of faithful, political leaders, and the pope himself mourned Benedict XVI, the German theologian who made history by resigning the papacy, at a rare requiem Mass Thursday for a dead pontiff presided over by a living one. The crowd applauded as pallbearers carried Benedict'...

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