FaithWorld

Pope Francis won’t be lenient with predator priests: ex-prosecutor Scicluna

(Newly-ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Malta Charles Scicluna (C) is congratulated by fellow bishops during his ordination ceremony at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta November 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi )

Pope Francis will not show leniency towards pedophile priests because truth and justice are more important than protecting the Church, the Vatican’s former sex crimes prosecutor has said.

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the most authoritative Catholic official on the Church’s abuse crisis, also told Reuters that the number of clerics defrocked by the Vatican was likely to have fallen to about 100 in 2013 from about 125 in 2012.

Scicluna said Francis, despite his merciful nature, would be very tough on pedophile priests after an abuse crisis that the pope on Thursday called “the shame of the Church.”

“I have met with Francis and he has expressed great determination to continue on the line of his predecessors,” said Scicluna, who served in the Vatican for 17 years before he was named an auxiliary bishop in his native Malta in 2012.

Pope Francis urges Davos elites to serve humanity with their wealth

(Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice, reads a message from Pope Francis at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2014 in Davos January 21, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich)

Pope Francis challenged business leaders assembled in Davos on Tuesday to put their wealth at the service of humanity instead of leaving most of the world’s population in poverty and insecurity.

In a message to more than 2,500 participants at the annual World Economic Forum, the pontiff urged industrialists and bankers to promote inclusive prosperity, but stopped short of chiding them for excesses laid bare by the global financial crisis.

This little piggy went to the Vatican, to get a blessing

(A traditional Sicilian chariot with a horse is seen in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican January 17, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini )Broken

With an oink oink here and a cluck cluck there, animals arrived at the Vatican on Friday to get a blessing.

The animals, including pigs, chickens, horses, cats and dogs, were at St. Peter’s Square to mark the feast of St. Anthony the Abbot, the third-century holy man who is the Catholic Church’s patron of animals.

How much is that halo? Vatican regulates costs of making saints

(St Andrew, by Lippo d’Andrea di Lippo (b. around 1370, d. before 1451) in a fresco in the Duomo in Florence)

Even “poor” saints will benefit from Pope Francis’ drive to control costs and introduce a sense of sobriety and accounting transparency in the Vatican.

The Vatican newspaper said on Tuesday that the Holy See department that oversees the making of saints had introduced a “price list”, or a rough guide to the costs of sanctity.

Pope’s choice of new Catholic cardinals puts emphasis on the poor

(Faithful watch a maxi screen as Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer from the window of the Apostolic Palace in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican January 12, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)

Pope Francis put his first stamp on the group at the top of the Roman Catholic hierarchy on Sunday, naming 19 new cardinals from around the world and emphasizing his concern for poor countries.

Sixteen of them are “cardinal electors” under 80 and thus eligible to enter a conclave to elect a pope. They come from Italy, Germany, Britain, Nicaragua, Canada, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Burkina Faso, the Philippines and Haiti.

Conservative Roman Catholic order meets to turn page on scandalous past

( Pope John Paul II blesses Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ, during a special audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican November 30, 2004. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

How can an order of priests go on serving the Catholic Church and the faithful after revelations that the man who founded it was a fraud who lived a double life as a pedophile, womanizer and drug addict?

That is the dilemma facing the Legionaries of Christ, as the conservative religious order started a six-week meeting on Wednesday to write a new constitution and chart a future course that would put the stain of scandal behind it.

Pope Francis set to name new cardinals to reflect his vision of the Catholic Church

Cardinals attend the Consistory ceremony in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican November 24, 2007. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Pope Francis is set to make the most important decisions of his young papacy in the next few weeks by naming new cardinals – the “princes of the Church” who will help him set its future course and one day elect his successor from their number.

A pope’s choice of cardinals is one of the clearest signals of the direction in which he wants the 1.2 billion-strong Roman Catholic Church to go, and what type of man he wants to succeed him.

Vatican denies Pope Francis is open to recognition of gay civil unions

Two bride figurines adorn the top of a wedding cake during an illegal same-sex wedding ceremony in central Melbourne August 1, 2009. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

The Vatican  has denied Italian media reports that recent comments by Pope Francis signaled his openness to the legal recognition of same-sex unions in Italy.

Francis, in a conversation with leaders of religious orders published by a Jesuit journal on Friday, said the Catholic Church had to try not to scare away children who live in complex family situations, such as those whose parents were separated and those living with gay couples.

Pope Francis drew 6.6 million to Vatican in 2013, three times more than Benedict

(A general view of Saint Peter’s Square is seen as the faithful gather during Pope Francis’ Palm Sunday mass at the Vatican March 24, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

More than 6.6 million people attended events with Pope Francis at the Vatican from his election in March to the end of 2013, figures released on Thursday showed, compared to 2.3 million for former Pope Benedict in all of 2012.

The Vatican said the figures were based on the number of tickets issued for papal events where they are needed, such as general audiences, Masses and private audiences. They were also based on estimates of the number of people at events where tickets are not needed, such as his weekly appearance from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square.

It’s official: Vatican says Pope Francis has not abolished sin

(A panel depicting the sin of gluttony in “The Seven Mortal Sins and the Four Last Things” by Hieronymus Bosch, around 1500, now in the Prado Museum in Madrid)

The Vatican felt compelled on Tuesday to deny that Pope Francis had “abolished sin”, after a well-known Italian intellectual wrote that he had effectively done so through his words and gestures.

The singular exchange began on Sunday when Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist who writes opinion pieces for the left-leaning La Repubblica newspaper, published an article titled “Francis’ Revolution: He has abolished sin”.