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Sep 8, 2015

Pope revolutionizes Catholic marriage annulment procedures

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Tuesday revolutionized the procedure for Roman Catholics to get marriage annulments, making them faster and simpler and calling on bishops to provide greater help to divorced couples.

The most substantial changes to Catholic marriage annulment procedures in centuries again showed Francis’ desire for the Church to be more merciful to Catholics in difficulty. The 1.2 billion member Church does not recognize divorce.

Sep 8, 2015

Pope radically simplifies Catholic marriage annulment procedures

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, making the most substantial changes to Catholic marriage annulment procedures in centuries, radically simplified them on Tuesday and said bishops should provide greater help to divorced couples.

In a move that again showed his desire for the Church to be more merciful to Catholics in difficulty, Francis reaffirmed traditional teaching on the “indissolubility of marriage”, but streamlined annulment procedures which many considered cumbersome, lengthy, outdated and expensive.

Sep 7, 2015

Pope reforms Roman Catholic marriage annulment procedures

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has reformed the Roman Catholic Church’s cumbersome procedures for marriage annulments, a decision keenly awaited by many couples around the world who have divorced and remarried outside the Church.

The Vatican said on Monday that the pope had written a document known as a Motu Proprio, Latin for “by his own initiative”, that changes the way Catholics get annulments.

Sep 3, 2015

Pope makes surprise visit to Rome optician for new eyeglasses

ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis slipped out of the Vatican on Thursday evening to make a surprise visit to a Rome optician’s shop to get a new pair of eyeglasses, insisting that his old frames be re-used and that he would pay for them.

Francis was driven to Ottica Spiezia on Rome’s fancy Via del Babuino in the small Ford Focus car he normally uses, drawing a large crowd of curious tourists and Romans outside, footage on Italian television showed.

Sep 1, 2015

Pope to allow all priests to forgive abortion during Holy Year

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis will give all priests discretion during the Roman Catholic Church’s Holy Year to formally forgive women who have had abortions — the Argentine pontiff’s latest move towards a more open and inclusive church.

In Church teaching, abortion is such a grave sin that those who procure or perform it incur an automatic excommunication, which can only be lifted by designated church officials.

Aug 15, 2015

At least 40 migrants die in Mediterranean: Italy navy

ROME (Reuters) – At least 40 migrants died after apparently getting trapped and suffocating in the water-logged hold of a fishing boat in the Mediterranean, the Italian navy said on Saturday.

The victims are thought to have suffocated after inhaling fumes from fuel after the boat took on water in the hold, the captain of the navy ship leading the rescue said on Italian state television.

Aug 15, 2015

At least 40 migrants die in Mediterranean – Italy navy

ROME, Aug 15 (Reuters) – At least 40 migrants died after
apparently getting trapped and suffocating in the water-logged
hold of a fishing boat in the Mediterranean, the Italian navy
said on Saturday.

The victims are thought to have suffocated after inhaling
fumes from fuel after the boat took on water in the hold, the
captain of the navy ship leading the rescue said on Italian
state television.

Aug 14, 2015
via FaithWorld

Interview: Pope trip will “unleash something wonderful” – U.S. envoy to Vatican

Photo

 

(U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Ken Hackett poses in his private residence in Rome, Italy August 13, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

Kenneth F. Hackett has been U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican for the past two years, having assuming his post several months after the historic election of Pope Francis.   From 1993 to 2012. Hackett was president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), an international humanitarian agency supported by the U.S. Catholic community. Reuters Vatican correspondent Philip Pullella sat down with Hackett at the ambassador’s Rome residence on Aug. 12 for an hour-long  talk about his hopes and expectations for Francis’ trip to Cuba and the United States next month. Here are some of the main points of the interview.

Aug 5, 2015

Migrant boat capsizes in Mediterranean, at least 25 dead

ROME, Aug 5 (Reuters) – A boat packed with up to 700
migrants capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of
Libya on Wednesday and many were feared dead, officials and aid
agencies said.

The Italian Coast Guard and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR
said about 400 people had been rescued and 25 bodies had been
recovered so far, although it was still not clear exactly how
many people were on board.

Aug 5, 2015
via FaithWorld

Don’t treat divorced Catholics as outcasts, Pope Francis tells priests

Photo

(Pope Francis waves as he arrives to attend an audience for altar servers at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City August 4, 2015. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito)

Pope Francis told priests on Wednesday to be more merciful to Catholics who have divorced and remarried outside the Church, saying they should not be treated as if they had been excommunicated.