FaithWorld

Pope names moderate as Chicago archbishop, key role in U.S. Catholic Church

(Bishop Blase Cupich, answers questions from the press in Bellevue, Washington in this June 16, 2011 file photo. Pope Francis, in his first major appointment in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States, on September 20, 2014 named Bishop Blase Cupich as the new archbishop of Chicago. REUTERS/Marcus Donner/)

(Bishop Blase Cupich, answers questions from the press in Bellevue, Washington in this June 16, 2011 file photo. Pope Francis, in his first major appointment in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States, on September 20, 2014 named Bishop Blase Cupich as the new archbishop of Chicago. REUTERS/Marcus Donner/)

Pope Francis, in his first major appointment in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States, on Saturday named Bishop Blase Cupich as the new archbishop of Chicago.

Cupich, 65, who is seen as a moderate and is currently the bishop of Spokane, Washington, succeeds the more conservative Cardinal Francis George, 77, who is retiring.

Chicago, with more than 2.2 million parishioners, is the third-largest U.S. diocese by population and its archbishop has traditionally played a major role in the American Church hierarchy and in relations with national political leaders.

The city’s archbishops are typically elevated to the rank of cardinal, meaning Cupich would be able to enter a conclave to elect a pope after Francis’s death or resignation.

Philadelphia planning as if Pope Francis is coming in 2015, Chaput says

(Archibishop of Philadelphia Charles Joseph Chaput attends a news conference at the Vatican September 16, 2014. Chaput announced officially that the next World Meeting of Families will be held in Philadelphia from 22 to 27 September in 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

(Archibishop of Philadelphia Charles Joseph Chaput attends a news conference at the Vatican September 16, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is planning and raising funds as if Pope Francis will visit the city next year for the World Meeting of Families, the city’s Roman Catholic leader, Archbishop Charles Chaput said on Tuesday.

“The Holy Father has expressed an interest in attending if he can do that but we won’t have any official decision until several months prior to the event,” Chaput told a news conference at the Vatican on plans for the meeting.

Pope to visit Turkey in November, first trip to a Muslim nation

(The sun sets over the Ottoman-era Suleymaniye mosque in Istanbul February 19, 2012. REUTERS/Murad Sezer )

(The sun sets over the Ottoman-era Suleymaniye mosque in Istanbul February 19, 2012. REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

Pope Francis will visit the Turkish city of Istanbul at the end of November, his first trip to a predominantly Muslim nation, the Vatican said on Friday.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the exact dates and the programme for the trip, which will last several days, were still not fixed.

Shimon Peres floats idea of U.N.-style “United Religions” with Pope Francis

(Pope Francis and Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) arrive in the Vatican Gardens to pray with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (not pictured) at the Vatican June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Max Rossi )

(Pope Francis and Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) arrive in the Vatican Gardens to pray with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (not pictured) at the Vatican June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Max Rossi)

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres has held talks with Pope Francis to illustrate his idea for a U.N.-style “Organisation of United Religions” to combat violence in God’s name.

Peres, 91, who was president of the Jewish state until July and is one of the Middle East’s most prominent elder statesmen, spoke to the pope for about 45 minutes on Thursday in his residence, the Vatican said.

Diego Maradona steals show from fellow Argentine Pope Francis

(Former soccer star Diego Maradona (L) hugs Pope Francis during a special audience held before a special interreligious "Match for Peace", at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican September 1, 2014. Current and former soccer stars representing various religious faiths will participate in the "Match for Peace", which will be held in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Monday night. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

(Former soccer star Diego Maradona (L) hugs Pope Francis during a special audience held before a special interreligious “Match for Peace”, at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican September 1, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

Pope Francis normally has no competition for attention when he is in a room but it was different on Monday when another larger-than-life Argentine – soccer great Diego Maradona – attended a papal event.

Maradona was among some 400 people who attended a special papal audience for players and organizers of a charity match that was being played on Monday night in Rome to promote peace and inter-religious cooperation.

Pope Francis says it’s legitimate for world to stop Islamist aggression in Iraq

(Pope Francis gestures during a meeting with Asian youths at the Solmoe Shrine in Dangjin August 15, 2014. The pope began his five-day trip to South Korea on Thursday. The main purpose of the trip is to preside at the gathering of Asian Catholic youth and beatify 124 people killed for their faith in the 18th century. REUTERS/Ahn Young-joon/Pool )

(Pope Francis gestures during a meeting with Asian youths at the Solmoe Shrine in Dangjin August 15, 2014. REUTERS/Ahn Young-joon/Pool )

Pope Francis said on Monday the international community would be justified in stopping Islamist militants in Iraq, but that it should not be up to a single nation to decide how to intervene in the conflict.

The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics made his comments in an hour-long conversation with reporters aboard a plane returning from a trip to South Korea that ranged from international diplomacy to his health and future travel plans.

Vatican bank’s TV investment loss showed Cardinal Bertone’s power

(The Vatican State Secretary Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone prays as Pope Benedict XVI meets youths in Bkerke in Harissa, near Beirut September 15, 2012. REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini )

(The Vatican State Secretary Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone prays as Pope Benedict XVI meets youths in Bkerke in Harissa, near Beirut September 15, 2012. REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini )

Two years ago, the Vatican bank invested 15 million euros in an Italian television company that makes family movies, including films about popes and a series about a bike-riding country priest who helps police solve crimes.

The Vatican’s then Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone ordered the investment in Lux Vide SpA, which he said shares the Holy See’s “lofty goal of evangelisation”.

Pope Francis says about two percent of Catholic priests are pedophiles: paper

(Pope Francis signs an autographs on one of his books given by a faithful, as he arrives to lead a prayer in Isernia, south of Italy, July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca)

(Pope Francis signs an autographs on one of his books as he arrives to lead a prayer in Isernia, south of Italy, July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca)

About two percent of Roman Catholic clerics are sexual abusers, an Italian newspaper on Sunday quoted Pope Francis as saying, adding that the pontiff considered the crime “a leprosy in our house”.

But the Vatican issued a statement saying some parts of a long article in the left-leaning La Repubblica were not accurate, including one that quoted the pope as saying that there were cardinals among the abusers.

A game of two popes: Vatican plays down talk of World Cup rivalry

(Pope Francis (L) prays with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI after arriving at the Castel Gandolfo summer residence, south of Rome March 23, 2013. Pope Francis travelled by helicopter from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo for a private meeting with former Pope Benedict XVI. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano )

(Pope Francis (L) prays with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo March 23, 2013. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano )

With Argentina meeting Germany in the World Cup final, the Vatican on Friday brushed aside talk of soccer rivalry between Argentine Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict, a German.

In response to the intense media speculation about whether they would watch the game together, which it called “amusing”, the Vatican called on soccer fans to observe a “pause for peace” before Sunday’s final to remember victims of war and poverty.

Vatican bank clean-up and account closures wipe out 2013 profit

An exterior view of the tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) in Vatican City in 2011. A preliminary inquiry by the Vatican bank after the arrest of a Vatican prelate on suspicion of trying to smuggle huge sums of money into Italy from Switzerland found "clear failings" at the institution, a source close to the bank said on July 4, 2013. The board of the bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), held a meeting on Thursday that also addressed the shock resignation of its two top managers on Monday. The meeting had not been made public. Picture taken in 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

(The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), or Vatican bank, is located in the round tower at the right in this view of Vatican City in 2011. REUTERS/Stringer)

The Vatican bank has blocked the accounts of more than 2,000 clients and ended some 3,000 “customer relationships” as part of a clean-up process that nearly wiped out its profit, its 2013 financial statement showed on Tuesday.

The bank has been hit by years of scandal, including money laundering allegations and is about to be restructured with a new president and a new board.