Correspondent, Rome, Italy
Catherine's Feed
Mar 22, 2013

Marines’ return to India stirs anger in Italy

ROME/NEW DELHI March 22 (Reuters) – A decision to return two
Italian marines accused of murdering fishermen to stand trial in
India stirred anger in Italy on Friday and calls for Foreign
Minister Giulio Terzi to resign.

Mario Monti’s caretaker government on Thursday reversed a
March 11 decision not to send the marines back from a home visit
after Rome secured a promise from New Delhi that the two would
not face the death penalty if convicted, officials said.

Mar 20, 2013

Pope sets tone for humbler papacy, calls for defense of the weak

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis set the tone for a new, humbler papacy at his inaugural Mass on Tuesday where he called for the Church to defend the weak and protect the environment.

Addressing up to 200,000 people including many foreign leaders gathered under bright sunshine in St. Peter’s Square, the Argentine pope underlined his central message since he was elected by a secret conclave of cardinals last Wednesday – that the Church’s mission was to defend the poor and disadvantaged.

Mar 19, 2013

Pilgrims hope Francis can revive Church with simple values

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pilgrims who flocked to Rome for the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis on Tuesday had high hopes he can reform and revive the Catholic Church, bring it closer to ordinary people and focus global attention on helping the poor.

“Ideas are changing under Francis. The powerful have to finally understand they can’t destroy the world for money,” said Francisca Fernandes, a psychologist who traveled to Rome from Patagonia in Argentina for the inauguration.

Mar 19, 2013

Pope tours square in open vehicle to greet crowd before mass

ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis toured a crammed St. Peter’s Square in an open white jeep on Tuesday to greet a huge crowd gathered for a Mass to inaugurate his papacy, which has already fanned hope for a renewal of the scandal-plagued Roman Catholic Church.

In another sign of the informality that is already a mark of his papacy, Francis abandoned the bullet-proof popemobile frequently used by his more formal predecessor Benedict, to tour the sprawling square in bright sunshine.

Mar 16, 2013

Pope Francis wants Church to be poor, and for the poor

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, giving his clearest indication yet that he wants a more austere Catholic Church, said on Saturday that it should be poor and remember that its mission is to serve the poor.

Francis, speaking mostly off-the-cuff and smiling often, made his comments in an audience for journalists where he explained why he chose to take the name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi, a symbol of peace, austerity and poverty.

Mar 15, 2013

Focus on mission, stay true to the cross, pope tells cardinals

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Friday urged leaders of a Roman Catholic Church riven by scandal and crisis never to give in to discouragement, bitterness or pessimism but to keep focused on their mission.

Since his election on Wednesday as the first non-European pope in nearly 1,300 years, Francis has signaled a sharp change of style from his predecessor, Benedict, and has laid out a clear moral path for the 1.2-billion-member Church, which is beset by scandals, intrigue and strife.

Mar 13, 2013

Crowds in Rome flock to hail new Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of flag-waving pilgrims and Romans saluted the new Pope Francis on Wednesday, warming to the Argentine’s first words from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica after his surprise appointment.

Crowds who had come to the Vatican on a rainy evening were rewarded when white smoke billowed from the makeshift chimney on the Sistine Chapel to indicate a pope had been chosen little more than 24 hours after cardinals began their conclave.

Mar 13, 2013

Black smoke, Roman rain fail to deter conclave crowds

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – They came in their thousands to hail a new pope, only to have any hopes they had dashed by a puff of black smoke – but that did not quell the excitement of crowds gathered in the rain at the Vatican on Wednesday.

Most of those in St. Peter’s Square were well versed enough in the rituals of the Roman Catholic Church to know that white smoke to signify the naming of a new pope was unlikely to emerge from the first full voting season of the conclave on Wednesday.

Mar 13, 2013

Black smoke as morning fails to bring new pope

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Cardinals in secret conclave failed twice on Wednesday morning to elect a new pope, as black smoke over the Sistine Chapel showed ballots on the first full day of voting were inconclusive.

After an inconclusive first vote on Tuesday night, the 115 cardinal electors should hold another two ballots later on Wednesday after praying for inspiration from God for a choice that can lead the Roman Catholic Church out of crisis.

Mar 13, 2013

Black smoke signals inconclusive papal vote

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Cardinals in secret conclave failed twice on Wednesday morning to elect a new pope, as black smoke over the Sistine Chapel showed ballots on the first full day of voting were inconclusive.

After an inconclusive first vote on Tuesday night, the 115 cardinal electors should hold another two ballots later on Wednesday after praying for inspiration from God for a choice that can lead the Roman Catholic Church out of crisis.