FaithWorld

Gays and their children should not suffer Church bias, Vatican document says

(Members of a gay activist group hold signs in front of St. Peter's square in the Vatican December 16, 2012. A group of demonstrators protesting against the Roman Catholic Church's stance on homosexual marriage tried to enter St Peter's Square in the Vatican on Sunday as Pope Benedict was giving his weekly address to pilgrims. The protesters - who were kept out of the square by police - were upset over a speech by the pontiff on Friday in which he appeared to include efforts to legalise gay marriage among the threats to peace in the world. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

(Members of a gay activist group hold signs in front of St. Peter’s square in the Vatican December 16, 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

The Roman Catholic Church must be less judgmental of homosexuals and, while still opposing gay marriage, should welcome children of gay couples into the faith with equal dignity, a Vatican document said on Thursday.

A 75-page document, a working paper for the synod of Catholic bishops planned for the Vatican in October to discuss family issues, also said the 1.2 billion member Church should become less exclusive and more humble.

The document, known by its Latin term “Instrumentum Laboris”, underscored the wide gap between official Church teachings on issues of sexual morality and their acceptance and understanding by the worldwide faithful.

It was based on responses to a 39-question survey to dioceses around the world ahead of the synod. For the first time in preparation for such a meeting, the Vatican asked bishops to share the survey widely with parish priests and for them to seek the views of their parishioners.

Vatican cricketers to meet British royal household, Church of England teams

(A player from a team of priests and seminarians returns a ball during a training session at the Maria Mater Ecclesiae's Catholic College in Rome October 22, 2013. The Vatican officially declared its intention to defeat the Church of England on Tuesday - not in a theological re-match nearly 500 years after they split, but on the cricket pitch. The challenge was launched at the baptism of the St. Peter's Cricket Club. Vatican officials said the league will be composed of teams of priests and seminarians from Catholic colleges and seminaries in Rome. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

(A player from a team of priests and seminarians returns a ball during a training session at the Maria Mater Ecclesiae’s Catholic College in Rome October 22, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

Cricket teams representing Queen Elizabeth and Pope Francis will face each other at Windsor Castle, the Vatican said on Monday, stamping its unprecedented venture into a sport rooted in Anglicanism with the royal seal of approval.

The September 17 fixture will pit the Vatican XI against a side of Britain’s royal household made up of soldiers, guards and staff. Two days later the Holy See’s representatives will play a Church of England team in Canterbury.

Vatican acts to protect Michelangelo frescoes as Sistine Chapel visitors swell

(Pope Benedict XVI leads a special meeting with artists in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican November 21, 2009. Pope Benedict meets up to 500 artists from around the world, as part of efforts to turn the page on the Vatican's sometimes conflicted relationship with the contemporary art world. Picture taken with fish-eye lens. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano)

(Pope Benedict XVI leads a special meeting with artists in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican November 21, 2009. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano)

Dust, sweat and carbon dioxide brought into the Sistine Chapel by a swelling number of tourists risk damaging priceless Michelangelo frescoes, the Vatican said on Wednesday, hoping a new air conditioning and lighting system will protect them.

Some six million people a year visit the chapel, home to Michelangelo’s famous ceiling frescoes – one of the wonders of Western civilization that are over 500 years old.

Pope Francis fires entire board of Vatican financial watchdog

(New recruits of the Vatican's elite Swiss Guard march in front of the tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) during the swearing-in ceremony at the Vatican May 6, 2014. The Swiss Guard, founded in 1506, consist of 100 volunteers who must be of Swiss nationality, Catholic, single, at least 174 cm (5.7 ft) tall and without a beard. New recruits are sworn in every year on May 6 to commemorate the day where 147 Swiss soldiers died defending the Pope during an attack on Rome in 1527. REUTERS/Tony Gentile )

(New recruits of the Vatican’s elite Swiss Guard march in front of the tower of the Vatican’s bank, the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) on May 6, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile )

Pope Francis sacked the five-man board of the Vatican’s financial watchdog on Thursday – all Italians – in the latest move to break with an old guard associated with a murky past under his predecessor.

The Vatican said the pope named four experts from Switzerland, Singapore, the United States and Italy to replace them on the board of the Financial Information Authority (AIF), the Holy See’s internal regulatory office. The new board includes a woman for the first time.

Papal commission on sex abuse wants accountability for priests, bishops

(Pope Francis talks with children during a special audience with members of the "Catholic Action" in Paul VI hall at the Vatican May 3, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

(Pope Francis talks with children during a special audience with members of the “Catholic Action” in Paul VI hall at the Vatican May 3, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

A commission advising Pope Francis on the sexual abuse crisis will recommend that negligent clerics be held accountable regardless of their rank in the Church, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley said on Saturday.

In many cases of abuse, most of which took place decades ago but surfaced in the past 15 years, bishops seeking to protect the Church’s reputation moved priests from parish to parish instead of defrocking them or handing them over to police.

Jews hail new papal saints who revolutionized ties with Catholics

(Pope John Paul II, standing in front of a group of Italian rabbis, waves
farewell April 13, 1986, to members of Rome’s Jewish community in the Rome
Synagogue. REUTERS/Luciano Mellace)

The late Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, who will be made saints on Sunday, did so much to end two millennia of Catholic anti-Semitism that a Jewish human rights group calls them “heroes to the Jewish people”.

Both pontiffs marked the world’s largest church in such varied ways that most Roman Catholics would probably list their pioneering respect for Jews, whom John Paul called “our beloved elder brothers” in faith, behind their other achievements.

Mega salaries are evil, papal preacher tells Vatican Good Friday service

(Pope Francis lies on the ground as he prays during the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican April 18, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer)

The Vatican’s official preacher, at a Good Friday service attended by Pope Francis, said huge salaries and the world financial crisis were modern evils caused by the “cursed hunger for gold”.

The pope presided at a “Passion of the Lord” service in St. Peter’s Basilica, the first of two papal events on the day Christians around the world commemorate Jesus’ death by crucifixion.

Queen Elizabeth gives Pope Francis eggs, whisky, beer at Vatican meeting

(Britain’s Queen Elizabeth (C) and Prince Philip (L) present gifts to Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)

Queen Elizabeth met Pope Francis for the first time on Thursday and gave a bemused pontiff culinary delights from the royal estates, including a dozen eggs and a bottle of whisky.

“I’ve also brought something from all our estates, which is for you personally,” said the queen, wearing a lavender dress and a purple hat, as she handed Francis a wicker basket full of food at the end of a 17-minute private meeting in the Vatican.

Vatican removes German ‘bishop of bling’ over luxury home

(A car drives past the residence of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst next to Limburg Cathedral (L) in Limburg October 14, 2013.REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

The Vatican has removed a German bishop because he spent 31 million euros ($43 million) of Church funds on an extravagant residence when Pope Francis was preaching austerity.

It said the atmosphere in the diocese of Limburg had become such that Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst could no longer carry out a “fruitful exercise” of his ministry there.

Timeline: The first year of the papacy of Francis

(Pope Francis on the flight to Rome from Brazil where he made his “who am I to judge?” comment, July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Luca Zennaro/Pool)

Below is a timeline of the major events since then and the key decisions he has made.

March 14: On the morning after his election, the pope makes a surprise visit to the Rome hotel for clerics where he was staying before his election and pays the bill.