pope

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Benedict Hopes to Reach the Afterlife 'Soon'

So writes retired pope in a letter following the death of a close friend

(Newser) - Retired Pope Benedict XVI has said he hopes to soon join a beloved professor friend in "the afterlife," in a sign that the 94-year-old pontiff is not only accepting his eventual death but welcoming it. Benedict penned an Oct. 2 letter to a German priest, thanking him for...

The Pope Is in a New PSA, With an Urgent Message

Francis urges people to get vaccinated against COVID as 'an act of love'

(Newser) - In facing the COVID conundrum around the world, the "strength of faith" can help—but most of all, everyone who can should get vaccinated. That's the message of a new PSA featuring six cardinals and archbishops from North, South, and Central America, as well as one especially big...

Update Is In After Pope's Surgery

Vatican says the pontiff is 'alert,' in 'good' condition after procedure for narrowed intestine

(Newser) - It's not unusual for people to be slightly nervous when an 84-year-old goes in for surgery—even less so when it's the pontiff. But it looks like all has gone according to plan for Pope Francis, who underwent a procedure Sunday to remedy a narrowing of his large...

Pope: Women Still Can't Be Priests, but They Can Read at Church

Francis changes law to allow women to take on more responsibilities during Mass

(Newser) - Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly allow women to do more things during Mass, while reaffirming they can't be priests. Francis amended the law to formalize what's common practice in many parts of the world: that women can read the Gospel and serve on the altar...

Pope Has 'Painful' Reason for Skipping New Year's Events

Francis' back pain due to sciatica will cause him to miss ceremonies

(Newser) - Pope Francis is skipping ceremonies on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day due to what the Vatican says is a painful back condition, a spokesman said Thursday. Matteo Bruni said Francis is suffering from "painful sciatica" and won't preside at a year-end prayer service Thursday...

After Scandals, Pope Revamps Vatican's Finance Intel Unit

It's part of pontiff's efforts to prevent and counter 'money laundering and the financing of terrorism'

(Newser) - Pope Francis has revamped the Holy See's financial intelligence and anti-money-laundering unit following financial scandals, including an ongoing in-house corruption probe, Vatican officials said Saturday. The changes involve the governance and organization of the unit, which has been renamed the Supervisory and Financial Information Authority, or ASIF, the Vatican...

Pope Speaks on COVID, and What 'Changed the Way I Saw Life'

In 'NYT' op-ed, pontiff writes that personal freedoms shouldn't displace the common good

(Newser) - When Pope Francis was 21, he became very sick with a flu that had him gasping for breath and totally dependent on his caretakers. He eventually recovered, but that illness "changed the way I saw life," and it now serves as an important reminder to him that only...

Pope Assigns Blame to 'This Lady Called COVID'

He says it while apologizing for not going into the crowd to greet people

(Newser) - Pope Francis has blamed "this lady called COVID" for forcing him to keep his distance again from the faithful during his general audience. Francis again eschewed a protective mask Wednesday, and while the prelates wore masks throughout the hourlong audience, they took them off when they lined up to...

A Film That Premiered Today Holds Big Statement From Pope

In it, Francis endorses same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope

(Newser) - Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary Francesco, which had its premiere at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday. The papal thumbs-up came midway through the film that delves into issues Francis cares about most, including the environment,...

Memo 'Steeped in Anti-Semitic Language' Found in Pius' Archives

But church experts say careful study and context is needed before jumping to conclusions

(Newser) - For decades, historians, academics, and Jewish advocacy groups have longed to catch a glimpse of Pope Pius XII's wartime records, kept under lock and key in the Vatican's archives. Earlier this year, the Vatican finally unsealed those records , though the archives were open for less than a week...

Pope on George Floyd: Abortion Isn't the Only 'Life' Issue

Francis implores Catholics—US Catholics especially—to pay attention to racism

(Newser) - Cardinals black and white have spoken out about George Floyd's death, and the Vatican’s communications juggernaut has shifted into overdrive to draw attention to the cause he now represents, per the AP . Last week, Pope Francis denounced the "sin of racism" and twice identified Floyd as the...

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...

Ex-Pope Links Gay Marriage to the Antichrist

Benedict accuses critics of wanting to silence him

(Newser) - Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI—who spoke of staying "hidden from the world" when he became the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years—is in the news once again. In an interview for a new biography out Monday in Germany, he accuses critics of seeking to "silence"...

Pope Assembles Experts to Weigh Idea of Women Deacons

A 2016 commission couldn't come to a consensus

(Newser) - The Vatican said Wednesday that Pope Francis has created a new commission of experts to examine whether women can be deacons, an ordained role in the Catholic Church currently reserved for men. The 10-member commission, the second of Francis' pontificate to study the fraught issue, includes equal numbers of men...

A 'Historic First' From Pope, With No One There to See It

Francis offered rare blessing to an empty St. Peter's Square, calling coronavirus a 'tempest'

(Newser) - The "Urbi et Orbi" ("To the City and the World") prayer recited by the pope is typically only offered on three occasions: on Christmas, on Easter, and when a new pontiff is chosen. On Friday, however, Pope Francis climbed the steps of St. Peter's Basilica in...

Pope Is Sick for Third Day After Supporting Coronavirus Sufferers

Pope Francis has a 'slight indisposition,' the Vatican says

(Newser) - Pope Francis canceled official engagements for the third day in a row Saturday as he battled an apparent cold, the AP reports. The 83-year-old pope, who lost part of a lung to a respiratory illness as a young man, has never canceled so many official audiences or events in his...

Francis Makes Surprise Decision on Married Priests

Pope has rejected ordaining married men in remote areas of South America

(Newser) - Late last year, Pope Francis gave hints that he might be open to the ordination of married men, letting them become priests in far-flung parts of the world like the Amazon region, after bishops representing indigenous areas made this push . Now, however, that idea has been officially quashed: The pontiff...

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...

Pope to Change Church Teaching: Nukes Are 'Immoral'

Francis warns that an 'accident of possession' or 'insanity of a leader can destroy humanity'

(Newser) - Pope Francis is planning to change official Catholic Church teaching to declare the use and possession of atomic weapons as "immoral," a move that makes clear that his rejection of the Cold War-era doctrine of deterrence is to be official church policy. Francis had declared the possession of...

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...

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