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Apr 27, 2014

Popes John XXIII and John Paul II become saints, witnessed by thousands

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis proclaimed his predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints on Sunday in front of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims celebrating two 20th century giants of the Roman Catholic Church.

Cheers and applause rang out across St Peter’s Square after the historic double canonisation as many in the crowd fixed their gaze on huge tapestries of the two popes on the facade of the basilica behind Francis.

Apr 27, 2014

Huge crowd gathers for historic canonization of two popes

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world converged on St. Peter’s Square on Sunday to attend the sainthood ceremony of Pope John XXIII and John Paul II, two giants of the Catholic Church in the 20th century.

Some, including many families, waited for more than 12 hours along the main street leading to the Vatican before police opened up the square at 5:30 a.m., about four hours before the ceremony was due to start.

Apr 26, 2014

Two popes to be made saints in historic ceremony

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – As many as one million people are expected in Saint Peter’s Square and nearby streets of Rome on Sunday to witness the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II, two of the great popes of the 20th century.

John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963 and set up the modernizing Second Vatican Council, and John Paul II, the Pole who reigned for nearly 27 years and played a leading role on the world stage, will be declared saints by Pope Francis.

Apr 26, 2014

Holiday atmosphere as Rome gears up for papal canonization

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – St. Peter’s Square was packed ahead of Sunday’s canonization of two of the 20th century’s great popes but hustling tour guides and a hint of the fairground were reminders that it will be a show as well as a solemn ceremony.

More than a million people are expected in and around the square to see Pope Francis declare as saints John XXIII, the Italian pontiff who launched the modernizing Second Vatican Council in 1962, and John Paul II, the revered Pole who led the Church for almost 27 years before his death in 2005.

Mar 31, 2014

Italian PM Renzi: If Senate reform is blocked, I’ll quit

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi tied his political future on Monday to a reform package aimed at creating more stable government by stripping the upper house of parliament of key functions and concentrating power in the lower chamber.

In the latest step of his ambitious reform drive, cabinet signed off on a bill to transform the Senate into a non-elected regional chamber without the power to approve budgets or hold votes of no-confidence in a government.

Mar 31, 2014

Italy PM Renzi says will quit if Senate reform blocked

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s new prime minister threatened on Monday to resign if a plan to reduce the powers of the upper house of parliament, a central part of his ambitious constitutional reform agenda, is blocked.

In the latest step of Matteo Renzi’s reform drive, the cabinet is due to approve a draft bill on Monday to transform the Senate into a non-elected chamber stripped of the power to approve budgets or hold votes of no-confidence in a government.

Mar 28, 2014

Italy economy ministry calls for change of approach in EU

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan called on Friday for a “serious, non-ideological” discussion of the problem of growth in Europe as the government in Rome pressed its drive for a change in emphasis in EU economic policy.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has hammered away at the need for Europe to shift its focus from budget rigor and do more to solve problems ranging from soaring youth unemployment to lack of investment in schools and hospitals.

Mar 27, 2014

Italy PM Renzi wins strong backing from Obama

ROME (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama visited the Colosseum in the latest stop on his European tour on Thursday, calling the ancient Roman arena “remarkable, unbelievable” and he was almost as lavish in his praise for Italy’s 39-year-old Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Renzi, Italy’s youngest ever prime minister, has set a testing agenda of economic and constitutional reforms to help the eurozone’s third-largest economy recover from its longest recession since World War Two.

Mar 19, 2014

Italy’s Renzi says EU deficit rules outdated but will stick to limits

ROME, March 19 (Reuters) – The European Union’s budget
deficit limit is an outdated tool but Italy will respect the
commitments it has made despite switching its focus to boosting
growth and jobs, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Wednesday.

Speaking in parliament ahead of an EU summit in Brussels on
Thursday, Renzi repeated his message that the 28-member bloc had
to shed its image as a technocratic promoter of austerity and
reconnect with its citizens.

Mar 18, 2014
via FaithWorld

Vatican, Church of England and al-Azhar join forces to combat modern slavery


Australia mining tycoon Andrew Forrest (L) shakes hands with Mahmoud Azab, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar’s advisor for dialogue, during a news conference at the Vatican, March 17, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

The Roman Catholic Church, Church of England and al-Azhar, the Cairo-based seat of Sunni Muslim learning, came together on Monday for a rare display of interfaith action among them in calling for an end to modern slavery within 20 years.