Pope Francis

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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... More »

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,... More »

With His Direct, Simple Apology, Pope Provides a Lesson

Ruth Marcus sees the power in Francis' statement

(Newser) - When Pope Francis issued a public apology for slapping the hand of a pilgrim who grabbed him as he greeted a New Year's Eve crowd, he didn't hedge. "Love makes us patient," the pope said in his New Year's homily. "So many times we... More »

Pope Apologizes After Incident With Woman in Crowd

He smacked her hand away after she grabbed his hand

(Newser) - Even the pope gets a little ruffled in public sometimes. As he walked in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday, Pope Francis greeted a few people, then turned from the crowd. At that point, a woman seized his hand and pulled him toward her. A "visibly indignant" Francis smacked... More »

'Original' Jesus Relic Arrives in Bethlehem

The pope returns it, 1,400 years later

(Newser) - A tiny wooden relic that some Christians believe to be part of Jesus' manger arrived Saturday in its permanent home in the biblical city of Bethlehem 1,400 years after it was sent to Rome as a gift to the pope, the AP reports. Sheathed in an ornate case, the... More »

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... More »

Pope Francis: Let's 'Leave Comfortable Shores'

The pope answers bold call from bishops in the Amazon region

(Newser) - On the heels of a bold call by Amazon region bishops for married men to become priests, Pope Francis is urging openness to new ways, and in a possible slap at conservative critics who fear he is weakening the Catholic church's foundations, he cautions faithful against entering the "... More »

Francis Makes Move to Reshape the Church

The pope adds 13 new cardinals who reflect his views

(Newser) - Pope Francis added 13 new cardinals to the top of the Catholic hierarchy on Saturday, telling them they must show God's compassion to those who suffer to be faithful to their ministry, the AP reports. Francis presided over the ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica, elevating churchmen who share... More »

Pope: It's an 'Honor If the Americans Attack Me'

He responds to 'bombshell' book about US critics

(Newser) - Pope Francis acknowledged his growing opposition within the conservative right wing of the US Catholic Church and said in off-hand remarks aboard the papal plane Wednesday it is "an honor if the Americans attack me." Francis commented on critics of his papacy when he received a copy of... More »

The Pope Needed a Rescue

Francis got stuck in an elevator for 25 minutes and needed firefighters to get him out

(Newser) - Pope Francis says he was stuck for 25 minutes in a Vatican elevator and had to be rescued by firefighters, reports the AP. "I have to beg your pardon," Francis told the crowd, per KIRO . Francis apologized to the faithful in St. Peter's Square Sunday for showing... More »

In the Amazon, Married Catholic Priests? Perhaps

Vatican proposal would permit the ordination of married men there

(Newser) - It's just a proposal, but the Vatican on Monday opened debate on what would be a very narrow path to the priesthood for married men, specifically those living in remote parts of the Amazon. The AP reports the call for study on the proposal was included in a working... More »

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... More »

Pope Asks Forgiveness of an Ethnic Minority

Francis apologizes for 'discrimination, segregation, and mistreatment'

(Newser) - Pope Francis apologized Sunday to the Roma ethnic minority for a history of discrimination in Europe and paid homage to Romanian Catholics persecuted during communist rule as he wrapped up his three-day visit with a message of forgiveness. Francis reached out to the minorities of Transylvania during a deeply symbolic... More »

Pope Weighs In on Abortion: It's Never Acceptable

Francis made remarks at Vatican on Saturday

(Newser) - Pope Francis says abortion can never be condoned, even when the fetus is gravely sick or malformed, and he's urging doctors and priests to support families to carry such pregnancies to term, the AP reports. During an audience Saturday with participants of a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference, Francis said opposition... More »

Vatican Has New Law on Sex Abuse Complaints

For first time, a system is in place to investigate bishops, other higher-ups

(Newser) - Pope Francis issued new rules Thursday on how the church should handle sexual abuse allegations. Some key points of the decree, called "You Are the Light of the World," which takes effect June 1:
  • A first: For the first time, priests and nuns are required to report abuse
... More »

Pope Francis Has Some Advice for Hairdressers

They should 'avoid falling into the temptation of gossip'

(Newser) - Pope Francis might not be hearing much chit-chat the next time he gets his hair cut. The pontiff advised some 230 members of Italy's association of hairdressers, hairstylists, and beauticians who visited him during a pilgrimage to Rome to "avoid falling into the temptation of gossip that is... More »

Pope Puts His Money Where the Migrants Are

Francis donates $500K in humanitarian aid for those stranded at the US-Mexico border

(Newser) - Pope Francis has donated 500,000 dollars to help migrants in Mexico, reports the AP , offering assistance to local projects that provide food, lodging, and basic necessities. The funds, from the Peter's Pence collections, will be distributed among 27 projects promoted by 16 Mexican dioceses and religious congregations, Peter'... More »

With Easter Bloodied, Pope Decries 'Cruel Violence'

Sri Lanka attacks hang heavy over Mass at St. Peter's

(Newser) - Pope Francis denounced the "cruel violence" of the Easter Sunday slaughter of Christians and foreigners in Sri Lanka as he celebrated the most joyful moment on the Christian liturgical calendar by lamenting bloodshed and political violence. Francis skipped his homily during Easter Mass but delivered his traditional "Urbi... More »

At Easter Vigil, Pope Draws Line on Wealth

Pope Francis urges people not to 'bury hope'

(Newser) - At an Easter vigil in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis on Saturday encouraged people to resist cynicism or pursuing the "glitter of wealth," and to avoid seeking life's meaning in "things that pass away." "Do not bury hope!" Francis exclaimed, after noting... More »

In Significant Move, Pope Defines the Term 'Vulnerable Adults'

As part of new law requiring Vatican personnel, Holy See diplomats report abuse allegations

(Newser) - Pope Francis on Friday issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and Holy See diplomats that requires the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide. The mandatory reporting provision, while limited in scope, marks... More »

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