Roman Catholic Church

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Vatican Reveals Church Owns 5K Properties

Extensive release of real estate and financial records is a first for the church

(Newser) - The Catholic Church has made an unprecedented financial disclosure, revealing the extent of its real estate holdings around the world. More than 50 pages of forms released Saturday show that the Vatican owns 4,051 properties in Italy and 1,120 elsewhere, Politico reports. Vatican embassies are not included in...

On Punishments for Church Sex Abuse, a 'Significant Rewrite'

Pope Francis signs off on first major update to penal sanctions since 1980s

(Newser) - A slew of new rules on how to handle sexual abuse within the Catholic Church has received the official green light from Pope Francis, updating a penal system that's been in place for 40 years. The Washington Post calls it "the most significant rewrite of canon law" since...

DA: Priest Who Died Friday Killed Altar Boy in 1972

Richard Lavigne was about to be arrested for murder of 13-year-old Danny Croteau

(Newser) - Defrocked Catholic priest Richard Lavigne died before he could face justice for the murder of 13-year-old altar boy Danny Croteau almost 50 years ago—but the victim's older brother believes Lavigne is now facing a higher power. Danny was found dead in a Springfield, Massachusetts, river on April 14,...

Sicilian Judge Killed By Mafia Moves a Step From Sainthood

Pope calls Rosario Livatino a 'martyr of justice'

(Newser) - A Sicilian judge who was called a martyr by Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis has moved to one step from sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. The beatification of Rosario Livatino took place Sunday at the cathedral in Agrigento, near the spot where the judge was shot to...

Jesuits Promise $100M for Slavery Reparations

Trust will benefit descendants of enslaved people, including those sold by Jesuits in 1838

(Newser) - The Catholic order of Jesuit priests has pledged to raise $100 million for descendants of the enslaved people it owned in what the New York Times reports is "one of the largest efforts by an institution to atone for slavery." The order relied on slave labor and sales...

Pope Names Women to Posts Only Men Had Held

French nun will be the first woman to vote in the Synod of Bishops

(Newser) - Pope Francis has taken two steps to empower women in the Catholic Church's hierarchy, answering calls for change from laypeople, some bishops, and the pope himself. In both cases, women have been appointed to positions that until now have been held only by men, NBC reports. Nathalie Becquart, a...

Church Moves Teenager a Step From Sainthood

Cardinal says Carlo Acutis 'used the internet in service of the Gospel'

(Newser) - Carlo Acutis, who taught himself to code from a college textbook while in grade school, was precocious not just when it came to computers, but in matters of faith. "Carlo used the internet in service of the Gospel, to reach as many people as possible," Cardinal Agostino Vallini...

US Catholic Church Gets 'Unprecedented' Exemption for Virus Aid

Normally not eligible for taxpayer-backed SBA funds, churches reap billions of dollars from PPP

(Newser) - The US Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups. The church's haul...

Teen Likely to Be First Millennial Saint

Italian teen is one step closer to sainthood

(Newser) - The Catholic Church is one step closer to having its first millennial saint, NBC News reports. A miracle has now been attributed to Carlo Acutis, a London-born Italian teen who died in 2006 at age 15 from leukemia. Carlo taught himself how to program on his family's old computer,...

Benedict Suggests New Title for John Paul II

Only two predecessors have been given the title 'the Great'

(Newser) - Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is floating the idea that St. John Paul II have another title added to his name—"the Great." Only two other popes have received the honorific. John Paul's longtime secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, held a press conference in Krakow, Poland, on Friday to...

Hoping for a Pope Fight? One Just Took a Step Back

Benedict has name removed as co-author from controversial pro-priesthood celibacy book

(Newser) - If you were hoping that there'd be a bona fide public bickering between Pope Francis and his predecessor, you may have to tamp down your expectations. The current pope has reportedly been mulling whether to allow married men to become priests in some cases, and news broke this week...

Benedict Breaks His Silence as Pope Emeritus

Makes it clear he doesn't like the idea of lifting celibacy rules, now under consideration

(Newser) - A retired 92-year-old man has broken his silence to insist that his former colleagues should never have sex. Pope Benedict XVI, who adopted the title "pope emeritus" after retiring in 2013, argues that priestly celibacy is essential in a new book, "From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood,...

AP Has Big Issues With Church Sex-Offender List

Over 900 accused clergy members are missing

(Newser) - Richard J. Poster served time for possessing child pornography, violated his probation by having contact with children, admitted masturbating near a church school, and in 2005 was put on a sex offender registry. And yet the former Catholic priest was only just this month added to a list of clergy...

Crop-Duster Sprays Water on Locals —But Not Just Any Water

"We can bless more area in a shorter amount of time," says Rev. Matthew Barzare

(Newser) - That wasn't rain falling in rural Louisiana on Saturday—it was holy water, sprayed by a crop-duster plane. "We can bless more area in a shorter amount of time," says Rev. Matthew Barzare of St. Anne Church in Cow Island, La. He apparently blessed 100 gallons of...

Archbishop Punishes School That Won't Fire Gay Teacher

Archbishop of Indianapolis Charles Thompson says it can no longer call itself Catholic

(Newser) - A Jesuit high school that refuses to fire a longtime teacher who is in a same-sex marriage no longer qualifies as Catholic, according to the Archbishop of Indianapolis. Archbishop Charles Thompson plans to issue a decree Friday saying Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School "can no longer use the name Catholic...

He Was Once a Slave. Now He May Become a Saint

Pope deems Augustus Tolton, America's first black Roman Catholic priest, 'venerable'

(Newser) - Pope Francis on Wednesday deemed the first known black Roman Catholic priest in the US to be "venerable," positioning the ex-slave for possible sainthood. The pontiff's designation of the Rev. Augustus Tolton as venerable, meaning the church intensely scrutinized his life and recognizes it as one of...

After 35 Years, Vatican Opens Probe Into Missing Girl

Emanuela Orlandi was the daughter of a Vatican employee who vanished at age 15

(Newser) - The Vatican has for the first time opened its own investigation into the case of Emanuela Orlandi, a 15-year-old Vatican citizen who disappeared in the summer of 1983. The Orlandi family's lawyer, Laura Sgrò, confirmed the probe on Wednesday. She told the AP that "the Secretariat of State...

West Virginia to Diocese: You 'Knowingly Employed Pedophiles'

State files suit against diocese, bishop

(Newser) - Parents entrusted their children to West Virginia's Wheeling-Charleston Diocese schools and camps—not knowing who their children were potentially being exposed to. The West Virginia attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the diocese accusing it of not conducting adequate background checks for its employees, including priests, and not...

Vatican Responds to Damning Clergy Sex Abuse Report

Pope is on victims' side, spokesperson says

(Newser) - Two days after the release of the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania's Catholic dioceses, the Vatican has responded, CNN reports. "Regarding the report made public in Pennsylvania this week, there are two words that can express the feelings faced with these horrible crimes: shame...

Hundreds of Pennsylvania 'Predator Priests' Named
Boy Forced to Pose Naked on
Cross: Clergy Sex Abuse Report
grand jury report

Boy Forced to Pose Naked on Cross: Clergy Sex Abuse Report

Hundreds of 'predator priests' named in grand jury report

(Newser) - A long-awaited grand jury report examining clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday, and it lists more than 300 "predator priests" accused of abusing more than 1,000 child victims over a period of seven decades. The almost 900-page report also has harsh words for Roman Catholic Church...

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