QUITO (Reuters) – Laughing as his hat flew off in the Andean highland wind, Pope Francis flew into Ecuador on Sunday to start a “homecoming” tour of South America, where he will champion the rights of the poor and the planet.
His visit to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay – three of the region’s poorest and smallest countries – is Francis’ first abroad since his landmark encyclical urging an end to man’s degradation of the global environment.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis leaves Rome on Sunday for his first trip to Spanish-speaking Latin America, a “homecoming” to a continent where he will champion the rights of the poor and of the planet.
His trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay three of South America’s poorest and smallest countries, is Francis’ first abroad since his landmark encyclical “Laudato Si” issued an urgent call for defense of the environment.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis sets out on Sunday to three of South America’s poorest and smallest countries, taking his message of solidarity with the downtrodden to prisoners, peasants, garbage pickers and indigenous people.
The July 5-13 trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay will be his first abroad since he made a clarion call for defense of the environment and the poor in his landmark encyclical “Laudato Si” last month.
Pope Francis urged Europe’s leaders on Wednesday to make responsible decisions to resolve the Greek crisis, saying they had to keep human dignity at the center of the debate.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis will decide for himself if he chews coca leaves in order to ward off altitude sickness when he lands next week at La Paz, Bolivia, the highest international airport in the world, the Vatican said on Tuesday.
A Bolivian minister said on Sunday that Francis had told government officials that he would like to chew coca leaves – the major ingredient of cocaine – when he visits..
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis will meet prisoners, homeless people and immigrants as well as some of the world’s most powerful leaders during his September trip to Cuba and the United States, according to a Vatican program issued on Tuesday.
Francis, the first Latin American pope, will become the first pontiff to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress during the much anticipated Sept. 19-27 trip.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican signed its first treaty with the “State of Palestine” on Friday, calling for “courageous decisions” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a two-state solution.
The treaty concerned the Catholic Church’s activities in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Homosexuals can attend a Catholic family congress in Philadelphia during Pope Francis’ U.S. visit this year but won’t be allowed to use it to attack Church teachings, the city’s archbishop said on Thursday.
“We don’t want to provide a platform at the meeting for people to lobby for positions contrary to the life of our Church,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput. The Catholic Church teaches homosexuality is not sinful but homosexual acts are.
A working paper for a major Vatican meeting on the family this autumn indicated on Tuesday that organisers do not want the issue of how the Church should reach out to homosexual couples to be a key topic.
Pope Francis asked forgiveness on Monday for the Roman Catholic Church’s “non-Christian and inhumane” treatment in the past of the Waldensians, a tiny Protestant movement the Vatican tried to exterminate in the 15th century.
Francis made his plea during the first ever visit by a pope to a Waldensian temple on the second day of a trip to Italy’s northern Piedmont region, the centre of the Waldensian Church, which has only about 30,000 followers worldwide.